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Ohio Senior Clubs Take Tentative Steps Onto Rugby Field

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Ohio Senior Clubs Take Tentative Steps Onto Rugby Field

Scioto Valley players huddle up before the COVID shutdown.

Rugby is shut down across much of the country, but there are pockets where it's possible to get on the field.

One of those pockets is in Ohio.

Senior clubs around the Buckeye State are holding practices as the state has entered a stage where limited athletic activity is allowed statewide. According to the Midwest Rugby Union, which keeps a detailed grid of where their member unions are in the shutdown phase (see here>>), Ohio is in USA Rugbys Stage 4, which allows training and limited contact, but does provide insurance coverage to members who are training.

WEEEE’RE BAAAAACK! Rugby is back in Cleveland! Want to play? Message us and get details at how you can join us at WC...

Posted by Cleveland Crusaders on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Cleveland Crusaders have announced they are back practicing, and the Cincinnatiy Wolfhounds have posted an announcement on their website:

We at the CRFC are happy to announce that fall practices have resumed! We are dedicated to the safety of our players, coaches, and fans, and as such, we will be complying with all Covid-19 policies laid out in the Midwest Rugby Football Union's Return to Play Handbook, all other MWRFU Covid-19 Policies, and with Governor DeWine's recent executive order regarding contact sports during the pandemic. Practices will be held every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 PM at Brimelow Rugby Grounds. Our Covid-19 self-reporting form is located here, and it is mandatory that anyone planning to participate in any club events fill out that form each day prior to arriving at the facility. If you're interested in joining the club, please reach out to us through our Contact Us Form, and make sure to self-report before you come out to the facility. More info to come on the Fall Schedule, Go Hounds!

The Midwest Rugby Union did release a statement today saying that clubs do not make the determination as to what stage of return-to-play they are in—their Local Area Union compliance officers should be making that determination. In addition, the statement said that teams must have their USA Rugby membership in place.

See the entire statement here>> 

"A lot of clubs around the state have started training," said Chris Schade with the Scioto Valley Rugby Club in Columbus. "We have cleared it with the Ohio RFU and our COVID compliance officer. We do temperature checks and a series of questions for every player at every practice."

This is now fairly standard practice at medical facilities and in fact Schade used the questionnaire he dealt with while rehabbing his own injury to help author the team questionnaire. 

The Scioto club also polled the players to ask what they wanted.

"Did they want to train, or play touch, or what? There was a variety of options," said Schade.

From that the team has decided to start slowly, with no contact and mostly getting the team back together and thinking about rugby again. 

"Obviously we are being careful and right now we're just going to take it slow," said Schade.

So games are not oin the offing yet, it's all about just getting some training in, but for some, that's enough.

USA Rugby Return-To-Play Guidelines>>