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Column: Use Shutdown To Revisit The Best Of The Rugby Ethos

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Column: Use Shutdown To Revisit The Best Of The Rugby Ethos

Salisbury and St. Joe's all smiles, the way it should be. Colleen McCloskey photo.

GRR posted this little video on Instagram and it’s getting some traction because rugby coaches, players, and fans get it.

It’s not that we’re against high-performance, or championships, or playing around the country. But the thing is, those things will be very difficult to pursue as we come back from the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Different regions will have different rules. Already we’re seeing adjacent states treat HS sports completely differently — look at Virginia and West Virginia, for example.

So travel will be difficult. Ongoing leagues will be difficult. Championships will be difficult.

So our point is this: now that we’re aching to play, let’s embrace that feeling and pursue opportunities to improve rugby through the love of just playing.

How many of you just love the sound of a rugby practice? It’s a great sound, right? The distant shouts, the thump of a kicked ball echoing across the field. The small of crushed grass under your boots (OK, that’s not a sound, but you know what we mean).

Practicing rugby is fun, and players miss it. Let’s use that. Let’s think about learning the game and the best of Rugby’s ethos. Let’s teach and re-teach the sportsmanship and camaraderie. And if you are in a state where one or two teams are way, way better than the others, find ways for everyone to play, and to give the best some competition.

Let’s expand how we play. If playoffs or travel are not in the cards, play a different hand and just keep playing games. Turnout down? Play 10-a-side (it’s fun).

Re-emphasize the post-match meal with opponents sharing the food.

Re-emphasize that we don’t cut players, we accept everyone.

Use this difficult time to remind everyone, including ourselves, what it’s about. It’s supposed to be fun.