The action will be fast and beginner-friendly at the Raleigh Rugby Complex on Saturday as the Raleigh Rugby Football Club hosts its annual Charity Sevens tournament.
"Sevens" competition is a smaller, quicker version of the sport, club spokesman Brent Vaughn said. Instead of the usual 15 players per side, each team sends seven to the field, or pitch, and instead of the usual 40-minute halves, teams play seven-minute halves. The result is a family-friendly format that is ideal for introducing spectators to the sport.
"Spectators can expect a very fast-paced, full-contact sport that they will be able to enjoy with people around the facility who are familiar with the sport and will be happy to explain," Vaughn said.
The streamlined version of the sport is catching on in the United States.
"It is growing very fast," Vaughn said, noting the seven-a-side version of the sport will be in the 2016 Summer Olympics and is gaining television presence.
Today's tournament will have at least 10 men's teams from Raleigh, Maryland, Wilmington, Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and East Carolina University. Two 19-and-younger youth teams from Raleigh and Chapel Hill also will compete.
Play starts about 10 a.m., and the championship game should start about 4 p.m. at the rugby complex, which is four miles east of the Beltline on Poole Road, on the left about a quarter-mile past Hodge Road. Concessions will be available.
Admission is $5 per carload, so load up the car.
Proceeds benefit Life Experiences, a Triangle nonprofit that provides job opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
Check the Raleigh Rugby Football Club's website for more information and directions.
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- Teri Boggess