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EIRA To Hold Regional Summer All-Star Events For Boys and Girls

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EIRA To Hold Regional Summer All-Star Events For Boys and Girls

EIRA tours Canada every year, but because of COVID, not since 2019. Adam Smith photo.

This year it seems unlikely that there will be the sort of high school all-star tournament we've been used to seeing every summer, but there will be one event.

Eagle Impact Rugby Academy won't be able to tour Canada the way the program normally does. Last year's tour was, of course, called off due to the COVID pandemic. This year, rugby is possible but travel across borders probably isn't. So instead EIRA will run regional tournaments of EIRA teams.

EIRA will make four super-regional groups: EIRA East, EIRA Midwest, EIRA West, and EIRA Pacific. Those super-regions will field five separate teams: Girls Older (born no earlier than 2002) and Girls Younger (born no later than 2008), Boys U14-15, Boys U16-17, and Boys U18-19.

The tournaments will be formatted in a way similar to the old ITTs, with teams playing a full game each competition day, as opposed to shortened games throughout a weekend. 

"The full game is a better test for the players," said EIRA Director Salty Thompson. "ANd we can make it more of a camp assembly, trying to replicate some of the features of our tours."

The U14-15 Boys and the two Girls brackets will compete July 5-9, while the three older Boys brackets will compete July 12-17. All games will be held at the Moose Rugby Grounds in Elkhart, Ind. This venue was chosen because it is a dependable, well-run venue that has a long history of hosting Youth and High School competitions.

Each team will assemble for three days and then compete in the tournament.

You do not have to be an Eagle Impact player to get on these teams. You can apply to be invited to play. Thompson stressed that this is so players have an opportunity to play, not so EIRA can sweep up players.

"We have often had players who tour with us and then in other competitions go play somewhere else like 5786 or Atlantis," Thompson said. "It's what's right for the individual player. But while this is going to be EIRA teams only, we wanted to make it available to players who wanted to play, just as we do with our tours. For some kids this may be the only chance they have to play. We want to provide opportunities for players to develop and compete in an EIRA environment, and we'll be emphasizing a positive culture within the team—it's about more than just the games."

If you want to be considered for one of the teams to compete in the EIRA Championships, you can fill out the player prospect form here >>