Cape Fear 7’s Rugby Tournament set for this weekend at Ogden Park is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

One of the nation’s largest summer 7’s tournaments featuring some of the most competitive divisions returns to the Port City on July 2-3 for the 42nd Annual Cape Fear 7’s Rugby Tournament at Ogden Park.

More than 800 men, women and high school-aged boys will play over 100 7 vs. 7 matches on Saturday as 66 teams are registered for the event. Qualifying teams will then compete during finals day on Sunday. Play commences at 9 a.m. on both days, while championship finals start at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free to spectators.

The 41st edition of the Cape Fear 7s Rugby Tournament is set for this weekend.
The 41st edition of the Cape Fear 7s Rugby Tournament is set for this weekend.

The men’s and women’s Elite Divisions will vie for $7,000 in prize money. Participants include the US Army Select 7s team from Chula Vista, Calif., in addition to defending tournament Champion 1823 out of Columbus, Ohio. Additional teams from Chicago and Washington D.C. are also expected to compete at the tournament.

Eight regionally based high school teams will also compete during this year’s event.

Rugby 7s is faster paced than traditional 15-player rugby as the game consists of seven players and is split into two seven-minute halves. All players must possess and execute all of the general skills of the game: passing, tactical running, tackling, mauling and rucking, and to a lesser extent tactical kicking.

“Rugby 7s is uniquely fitted to the American character,” said Bob Bogen, Cape Fear 7s Tournament Director. “It is a rugged, action-packed game with a lot of hard hitting and fervent inter-passing amongst players. Because the matches are only an exciting 14 minutes of play, the pace is fast and furious.”

While many traditional sports fans may have never seen a live match or competed in the sport, participation in rugby actually increased by 81 percent between 2008-2013, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

An all-inclusive sport, women’s rugby teams make up at least a third of the total U.S. teams.

“This is an important time for rugby in the USA,” Bogen added. “For the first time in 92 years rugby 7s will make an appearance at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Let’s support the growing sport of rugby and the USA Olympic team by visiting Ogden Park this weekend.”