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USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships

The USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships is an annual competition among the top college rugby teams in the country to decide a national champion in rugby sevens. USA Rugby organized the championship to capitalize on the surge in popularity of rugby sevens following the 2009 announcement of the addition of rugby to the Summer Olympics. USA Rugby recognized that rugby sevens is growing in popularity, participation and interest. This tournament is a major contributor to the selection process for USA Rugby Olympic athletes.[1]

USA Rugby Sevens Collegiate National Championships
SportRugby sevens
No. of teams24
CountryUnited States
Most recent
Arkansas State (2nd title)
Most titlesArkansas State (2 titles)

College rugby continues to grow in popularity, and rugby is one of the fastest growing sports across college campuses.[2] The 2009 announcement that rugby sevens would be added to the 2016 Olympic games has led to an increased emphasis in the collegiate ranks on the sevens game.



USA Rugby announced in September 2011 the creation of a new sevens tournament.[3] The launch by USA Rugby had a few hiccups. USA Rugby did not officially announce the December 16-17 2011 tournament and its dates until September 2011, and at that time USA Rugby had still not determined the location.[4] Those mid-December dates were in the middle of exams for some schools. The ultimately chosen location, the College Station, Texas, was not announced until November.[5] College Station lacks direct flight to many major cities, and this problem was compounded by the decision to hold the tournament over a Friday and Saturday, requiring students to miss both a Thursday and Friday. For these reasons, many colleges that qualified or were invited to the tournament -- such as Penn State, UCLA, Utah, BYU, Boston College, Navy, LSU, Iowa, Dartmouth, Delaware, and Bowling Green -- declined to participate, nor did Cal participate.[6][7]

The inaugural 2011 tournament was contested by 24 teams that qualified based on performance in qualifying tournaments throughout the fall of 2011. The 2011 tournament was won by Life University, defeating Central Washington 22-17 in overtime.[8] Tim Stanfill of Central Washington was the tournament MVP, and Derek Patrick of Miami was the tournament's leading try scorer.[9]

The 2012 tournament was more organized, with only one team - UCLA - declining to participate in the tournament. The 2012 tournament also saw increased airtime, with the entire tournament available live via webstream and some of the knockout rounds broadcast on ESPN3.[10]

For the 2013 tournament, three teams -- Cal, BYU, and UCLA -- won bids but declined to participate.[11]

The 2015 tournament was held in May — unlike previous tournaments which had been held in December. The tournament took place in Denver over the weekend of May 23-24, less than one week before the 2015 Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia. Once again, several top teams did not play: BYU, California, Life University, and UCLA.

Format & ResultsEdit

The men's tournament features 24 teams, divided into 6 pools of 4 teams each. Eight teams qualify for the quarterfinals - the winners from each of the 6 groups, plus the two best second-placed teams from among the 6 pools.

Year Location Champion Score Runner Up Third Fourth Other Quarterfinalists
2011 College Station, TX Life University 22–17 Central Washington Arkansas State Kutztown Saint Mary's, Colorado,
Tennessee, Cal Poly
2012 College Station, TX Arkansas State 21–7 Life University Delaware Saint Mary's Navy, Central Washington,
Texas A&M, Kutztown
2013 Greensboro, NC Arkansas State 32–12 Saint Mary's Dartmouth,
Central Washington
Life University (5th), Davenport (6th),
Air Force, Lindenwood
2015 Denver, CO Lindenwood 28–10 Davenport Central Washington Utah Saint Mary's (5th), Arizona St. (6th),
American International College, San Diego State University

Note: There was no distinction between 3rd and 4th places in 2013.


Year Tournament MVP Leading Try Scorer
2011 Tim Stanfill (Central Washington) Derek Patrick (Miami, Ohio) (8)
2012 Zac Mizell (Arkansas State)
2013 Dylan Carrion (Arkansas State) Matthew Beeman (Miami, Ohio) (7)
2015 Mickey Batemen (Lindenwood)

Qualifying tournamentsEdit

The following rugby sevens tournaments, played throughout the fall season preceding the national championships, serve as the qualifying events for the national championships. The winner of each qualifying tournament earns an automatic berth in the national championships.[12] The rest of the places in the national championships are awarded to at large bids chosen by a selection panel.

  • 1st — Champions
  •    — Champions
  • 2nd — Runners-up
  • 3rd — Third place
  • 4th — Fourth place
Tournament 2011[13] 2012 2013[14]
Allied 7s Texas A&M Texas A&M Oklahoma
Atlantic Coast 7s N.C. State Virginia Tech Navy
Battle in the Bay 7s * * St. Mary's
Big 10 7s Wisconsin Wisconsin
California 7s St. Mary's San Diego State Cal Poly
East Coast 7s Boston College Northeastern
Empire 7s Navy *
Halloween 7s Kutztown *
Heart of America 7s * Lindenwood Arkansas
Ivy Rugby 7s Dartmouth Dartmouth Dartmouth
MAC 7s * Davenport
Midwest 7s Miami, Ohio *
Northwest 7s Central Washington Central Washington Central Washington
PAC 7s Colorado Cal Cal
Pacific Western 7s * * San Jose St.
South Independent 7s Life University Life University Arkansas St.
Southwest 7s * Texas Texas
Southeastern 7s Tennessee Texas A&M Auburn
Cougar Invitational Brigham Young Air Force Air Force


  • Team in italics declined to participate in the championship tournament or were not invited for team-specific issues.
  • An asterisk indicates that the tournament was not held or was not an automatic qualifier that year.
  • The Cougar Invitational was called the Rocky Mountain 7s in 2012 and the Mountain 7s in 2011.
  • The Allied 7s was known as the Oklahoma 7s in 2011 prior to the formation of the Allied Rugby Conference.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rugby Mag, College 7s Back at Texas A&M, Sep. 5, 2012,
  2. ^ Forbes, Why Pro Rugby Could Win In The United States, Feb. 25, 2011,
  3. ^ USA Rugby Press Release, Sep. 1, 2011,
  4. ^ USA Rugby Press Release, Sep. 1, 2011,
  5. ^ Rugby Mag, College 7s Championships Details Coming Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2011,
  6. ^ Rugby Mag, One Out, One in for College 7s Nats, Nov. 2, 2011, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-08. Retrieved 2014-01-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Rugby Mag, Razorbacks to 7s Nats, One Spot Left, Nov. 27, 2011, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2014-01-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Rugby In Texas, Order Of Finish For Collegiate 7s Championship, Dec. 20, 2011,
  9. ^ Rugby Mag, 7s Nationals Men's All-Tourney Team, Dec. 18, 2011,
  10. ^ RugbyRugby, USA Rugby & ESPN3 Partner for College 7s Championships Coverage, Nov. 29, 2012,
  11. ^ Rugby Mag, College 7s Nationals Fields Finalized, 12 November 2013, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-01-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Rugby America, Finally!!! USA Rugby Announces Collegiate 7's National Championship, Sep. 1, 2011,
  13. ^ Rugby Mag, 23 Teams Announced for 7s Nationals, Nov. 9, 2011,
  14. ^ Rugby Mag, College 7s Nationals Fields Finalized, 12 November 2013, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-01-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)