Rugby – The Global # 2!
Rugby — more popularly known as Rugby Union Football — is the original form of football (and the actual parent of American football, known in many parts of the world as “Gridiron.”) Rugby Football was derived from what is more popularly known in the U.S. as Soccer. It began at Rugby School in 1823 when a young player named William Webb Ellis became frustrated with kicking the ball around on the ground, and picked it up and ran it into goal. The next time he tried it, two of his opponents “tackled” him into the ground as he crossed the goal, and a great tradition began.
Today, Rugby (as opposed to League Rugby or “Aussie Rules” Rugby) is the second most popular field sport in the world after Soccer, and is played in every nation of the world. There are more 6,000 Rugby Clubs in the United States, nearly two thirds of those coming from U.S. Colleges and Universities, including over 300 women’s clubs.
In U.S. Collegiate Rugby there are two divisions – Division One and Division Two, and there are playoffs and national championships played every spring in both divisions.