USA Beach Rugby makes its debut on a sandy pitch in Chicago

With its festival-like atmosphere and several divisions to take part in, USA Beach Rugby seems to be a popular summer activity.

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During 4th of July weekend, USA Beach Rugby made its first debut on the sandy shores in Chicago. Participants raved about the opportunity to play the fast-paced, 5-on-5 game of rugby on one of the sandiest pitches in the United States. With four more beaches to visit this year, USA Beach Rugby seems to be a popular summer activity.

“In Chicago, we had 18 teams compete. This week in Cleveland, we are up to 28 teams with a wide array of divisions. We are aiming to have 20, if not 30 teams, at each tournament. So the first two stops are looking good so far,” said Frank Palumbo who is helping to spearhead the beach rugby initiative.

“We played on North Avenue Beach with the Chicago skyline in the background. Our DJ and emcee were playing music and hyping up the crowd. It was clear that participants enjoyed playing on the beach and stepping back into that social atmosphere everyone knows and loves,” Palumbo added.

Beach Rugby is structured to be an inclusive tournament with several divisions including contact and non-contact games.

“One of the best things about Beach Rugby is its inclusiveness. There is a division for every age and every gender. We have touch rugby, contact rugby, men’s, women’s, high school boys and girls, youth, you name it.”

With that, Palumbo notes that this is also a great tournament for first-time rugby players to be introduced to the game.

“I think Beach Rugby is a great way for new players to get involved. I am hoping that teams across the country use this tournament as a place to invite new people to try out rugby and introduce them to the sport.”

On a similar note, Palumbo explained that individuals do not need a team to sign up, “We are not just inviting teams, individuals can sign up as a free agent and then will be paired with a team that is looking for more players.”

Also woven throughout the tournament weekend are two socials giving participants additional opportunities to engage with one another, “We try to have a Friday welcome party to allow everyone to meet, as well as a Saturday night social after the tournament to keep the rugby camaraderie going.”

“Overall USA Beach Rugby is a super fun day on the beach – which brings so much fun already – we just add rugby to it,” Palumbo concluded.

Interested in playing on the sandy pitch? Visit USA Beach Rugby website to learn how you can sign up or find USA Beach Rugby on Facebook to keep up-to-date on upcoming events.