Teams From Northeast Compete In Roadkill Sevens Rugby Tournament
7/14/2012 (Updated 11:32:14 PM)BINGHAMTON -- The heat didn't keep anyone off the rugby field as the 23rd Annual Roadkill Sevens Tournament kicked off at Otsiningo Park.
For nearly 40 years the Binghamton Barbarians Rugby Club has represented this area. Every summer since 1990 teams from across the northeast come to Binghamton to compete against the Barbarians in the Roadkill Sevens Tournament.
"People like to come to it because it's not a very big tournament it's medium sized tournament so I can give the teams that come a lot of attention," said Joe Longo, Tournament Director.
That extra attention is key in bringing teams into town. The tournament is formatted so that all 15 men's teams and 6 women's teams know that the trip is worth their time.
"It's three games minimum so everyone gets a lot of good playing time in some tournaments it's a 'one and done' and it's kind of a waste of a drive," said Josh Swearingen of the Hudson Valley Rebels.
And by using a Hong Kong format the playing field is level making the competition better.
"You wind up playing for a trophy against a team that is your skill level," said Longo
After playing Sevens Rugby in the tournament a few years ago Longo kept the same format to make it more fan friendly.
"Sevens is much more exciting. it's spectator friendly, it's faster, there's a lot more scoring," he said. It's easy for people who don't know a lot about rugby to watch the game and pick up on it quick so they can enjoy it."
With seven players on the field instead of the usual 15, not only does it change
the strategy of the game, but it changes the way you train.
"It's a lot more sprint work, same size field, less guys, you're throwing the ball around a lot and you're doing a lot of sprinting," said Rob Murello, Captain of the Monmouth Rugby Club. "You have to get the chubbier guys like myself in shape to run for 14 minutes."
The faster pace and increase in scoring puts rugby on the same level as other popular sports.
"Everybody likes to see a guy run the length of the field and score and that's something that's universal for any sport," said Longo
In Binghamton, Jeremy Donovan, Fox 40 News
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