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Might Service Academies Pitch-Up This Fall?

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Might Service Academies Pitch-Up This Fall?

Navy vs Air Force from last fall. Colleen McCloskey photo.

The US Service Academies may possibly play in a series of games this fall.

While most universities will not be holding fall games of any kinds in rugby, the Service Academies are in a unique position to compete. The incoming students started quarantine early and are basically in their own bubble already. They are not allowed to leave base, thus also reducing the chance of catching or spreading the COVID-19 virus, and sports is recognized within the academies as a key part of the student's development.

So, according to the rugby coaches at the US Military Academy at West Point, US Naval Academy in Annapolis, and US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, both men and women, the door remains open to compete. Some strict protocols will have to be followed, but the teams are looking into the possibility that they might play a series, perhaps even a home-and-home series with each of the other two academies.

It's a bit of a hike out to the East Coast for the US Air Force Academy, but it's doable. In addition, some other smaller academies might get in on the action. The US Merchant Marine Academy is reportedly also in its bubble and in a position to play. The US Coast Guard Academy was reported to not be ready, but then we got a different report, so we'll confirm.

SUNY Maritime may also be available.

These academies, which control the movements of their student-athletes much more strictly than other institutions, may well be the only collegiate rugby we'll see this fall. It's by no means for sure, but it remains a distinct possibility.