Boys/Girls High School Rugby Program Information
Registration is open from early September each year until mid-August of the following year. Anyone may register at any time. Instructions are on the splash page.
Registration opens each year in early September and is valid for the entire year, until the end of August of the following year. This follows USA Rugby's "rugby year."
- High school rugby is generally a spring sport, like any other high school-age sport. There are developmental and training opportunities, as well as some tournament play, available in the fall. There is recreational rugby 7s available in the summer (June-July).
- Players and parents are expected to dedicate themselves to the program and their team, as they would any other varsity sport.
- This is not a recreational program, but a varsity-level program emphasizing player development and competition.
- Players must be fully registered, with all fees paid/accounted for in order to take the field to represent their team.
- The best players who attend training will start, and will play.
- -- There will be B-side matches for all other players
- Players who do not attend training will be last in consideration for play, regardless of experience or ability.
- Players must attend a minimum of 4 full-contact practices before being permitted to play, regardless of prior experience. This is for coach observation and verification of readiness to play.
- Players must demonstrate proper contact discipline and physical/emotional maturity before being permitted to play. Coaches are the sole authority for this decision.
- All players are required to wear a personally fitted mouth guard for training and matches.
- Players, coaches and parents/spectators must abide by respective USA Rugby, Rugby Virginia and Fort Hunt Rugby codes of conduct, which are acknowledged and electronically signed during club registration.
- Players and coaches will personally sign their respective code of conduct and turn it in as a part of the club registration process, and as a requirement for participation. This is part of the club registration process.
2011 was the first year of Fort Hunt high school rugby, and we have seen fantastic success, with us fielding competitive boys and girls sides, both teams posting winning records, and both teams going to the state semi-finals.
We intend the high school program to continue indefinitely.
Our high school program is not affiliated with any school, nor is it affiliated with the Virginia High School League (VHSL) system. Our parent organization and league organizer is Rugby Virginia. We currently have players from many sources; we are not a single-high school program. We are working with schools to recognize our players’ efforts with equivalent school-specific awards and accolades (letters of recognition, varsity letters); this may take a few years.
Note: Rugby is a "prohibited student activity" in the Fairfax County Public Schools system. This means that no school is allowed to support, sponsor, or allow rugby to take place under its auspices. If you don't agree with this designation, let your athletic directors and directors of student activities know about it. Click here for the full and highly entertaining list of FCPS prohibited activies.
Parents: talk to your high school teachers and administrators and mention rugby as an important varsity-level sport that your players enjoys immensely; this is the kind of positive feedback to the schools that will influence their support for our program.
Our purpose with the high school program is to offer an alternative spring sport to high school-age students, a sport they can easily carry with them when they leave high school. We offer a sport that a new college student--who is not playing a college varsity sport--can begin to play immediately, and who, having a number of years of experience in the sport, will be of immediate use to any college rugby club.
Our high school rugby program is the equivalent of a varsity sport. Players may play other sports and engage in other extracurricular activities if they so choose, but only those players who dedicate themselves to their rugby team, and who attend training on a regular basis, will earn the honor of starting on the A side, regardless of their playing ability.
Registration is open September to August. The 2019-2020 fee is $200 per player, and $125 for youth/middle school players. Need-based scholarships are available--talk to your coach.
Training has already begun. We usually train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at West Potomac High School. Contact each team's coach for specifics on training. Directions are in our Field Directions section.
All players must register with USA Rugby. Full instructions are on the splash page. Go to www.usarugby.org and then "Membership/Become a Member." Register under invidivual high school registration and for "Fort Hunt High School Girls." This registration is valid through 31 August each year, so is valid for the summer, if you choose to participate in the summer season. This registration is a requirement to play any form of rugby.
What do I need for practice?
See our equipment and gear pages for more info. The basics needed are:
Boots: Players need a pair of broken-in studded sports shoes (cleats). Either molded soles or screw-in studs will work. Usually molded soles are the best all-around bet, as we will tend to play on dry, hard summer fields and a lot of turf fields. If the boots have a screw-in toe stud (a single stud at the front tip of the boot) you must remove it as the toe stud is prohibited in rugby. If your molded-sole boot has a toe stud, leave it in place, as cutting them off has sometimes left sharp plastic burrs, which are dangerous.
Shorts: Players should have a sturdy pair of shorts. For touch rugby practice, any shorts are fine, as long as a player can run in them.
For tackle, players should have a pair of traditional rugby shorts, which are designed for rugby contact, and are designed to take considerable wear and tear. See the Warriors (boys) and Gators (girls) team stores for team-specific rugby shorts. See the Gear section for more vendor links. Lightweight nylon shorts are not advisable for tackle rugby, as the elastic waist gives too freely and cannot be cinched down; players may find themselves being tackled and de-pants’d at the same time.
Under the shorts, we recommend both male and female players wear a pair of compression shorts. A jock strap also will work for boys. A cup is not recommended, as the overall risk of a direct groin contact injury is low, and the high level of running involved makes wearing a cup highly uncomfortable.
Jersey or T-Shirt: Any kind of top is fine for touch rugby practice. For summer, something light and breathable is best. Players will keep their shirts on at all times.
For tackle practice, players should wear a sturdy jersey that can withstand tackling, pulling and binding. Check out these basic jerseys. A proper, genuine rugby jersey tends to be somewhat expensive, but they will last forever.
Additionally, the team will have rugby practice jerseys available for tackle practice, and lightweight pinnies available for touch training.
Mouthguard: A personallhy fitted mouthguard is not required for touch rugby practice, but is highly recommended.
For all tackle rugby practice, a properly personally fitted mouthguard is mandatory. Players will not participate in any tackle drill if they do not have a mouthpiece. Players will not play in any match if they do not have their mouthpiece; referees inspect prior to every match. Mouthguards must be worn for all contact training, and in matches. Coaches will inspect mouthguards for serviceability.
A mouthguard is a smart move for touch players, and is a good way to become accustomed to one before the move up to tackle rugby.
What should I not wear to practice?
Necklaces, watches, rings, earrings, bracelets. Take out any piercings.
No shorts or any other gear with belts or metal buckles or fittings. Nothing in pockets.
For tackle practice and play, no form of eyeglasses is permitted (not even sports goggles). This is non-negotiable. Glasses are permitted for touch training, and for touch play but sports goggles only.
Where can I get this super-cool rugby gear you’re telling me about?
Fort Hunt Rugby’s favorite place for rugby-specific gear is Matt Godek Rugby and Soccer Supply. Matt is a longtime friend and a local businessman, with a store nearby in Merrifield. He is a former Army officer and a lifelong supporter of US armed forces rugby. Here is a link to other rugby gear suppliers.
Attendance at practice
Our high school program is a varsity-level sports program. If you do not attend training, you will not play. If you will be absent for training, your coach expects proactive contact explaining your absence.
What else should the player bring to practice?
Water, water, WATER!!! And water! Water at training is a player responsibility. Or any sports drink, at least one quart; a single-serving bottle of water is not enough. It will be hot, we will be taking breaks at least every 30 minutes, and players will need to hydrate.
Players should drink plenty of water before practice, especially on hotter days.
We need volunteers!
No experience necessary; do not be intimidated by not being familiar with rugby
We will teach you how to help
-- Assistant coaches
-- Registrar/Compliance Officer (registration/paperwork)
-- Match secretary (making contacts, scheduling games, providing directions)
-- Equipment/Field Manager (pads, jerseys, etc.)
-- Social Chairman (plan/execute home match socials)
John Dacey, Fort Hunt Rugby President, H 703-780-5859,
Above: The Warriors squad who traveled to Hampton for the state Div II semi-finals, May 2011.
Here’s an article from the West Potomac HS Wire, from 15 December 2010. There are a number of factual errors, so we have to wonder who Ms. Palo talked to for her information, but nonetheless it’s great that we’re getting some exposure: