DNHS RUGBY CLUB
In 2010, four students established the on-campus Nighthawks Rugby Football Club with the encouragement of theDel Norte High School administration. The dream was to field the first competitive rugby team in the Poway Unified School District. In the winter of 2010-2011, the dream came true. It was a great start toward building a winning tradition. For the 2017-18 winter sports season, Del Norte will build on that tradition by fielding JV and Varsity sides in the girls and boys Southern California Youth Rugby high school competition.
Q. Why play rugby?
A. It’s fun. Every rugby player runs with the ball, passes the ball, tackles and has the chance to score.
Q. Who plays rugby?
A. Rugby is the contact sport of choice for boys, girls, men and women around the world. High school rugby is played in the United States, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Canada and more. Rugby is the fastest growing youth sport in the United States, with more than 6,700 high school student-athletes playing the game. With rugby’s inclusion in the 2016 Summer Olympics, our sport becomes more popular every day.
Q. How long has there been high school rugby?
A. The 2014-2015 season will be the sixth for high school rugby in San Diego County. There are 21 boys high school teams and a dozen girls teams in the county.
Q. Is rugby a CIF sport?
A. No. But starting in 2015 seven on-campus high school varsity rugby teams - Cathedral Catholic, Del Norte, Fallbrook, La Costa Canyon, Poway, Saint Augustine and Torrey Pines - kicked off a pilot program with the support of school athletic directors to earn recognition for rugby from the CIF San Diego Section.
Q. Who governs high school rugby if not the CIF?
A. The national organization is USA Rugby, through which all high school rugby players, administrators and coaches must be registered. USA Rugby provides accident insurance for each player and $2 million in liability insurance for each high school team. Southern California Youth Rugby sanctions the high school competition in San Diego County.
Q. How much does it cost to play Nighthawks Rugby?
A. Athletic teams in the Poway Unified School District are supported by fundraising and donations. Although personal purchases are not required for participation on the team, we hope that you support rugby, and by extension the Del Norte ASB Rugby Club in these endeavors. The suggested donation for individual rugby players is $250. That amount covers a practice jersey, rugby shorts, socks, USA Rugby registration ($35), Southern California Youth Rugby Registration ($60), certified referees and athletic trainers.
Q. When is the rugby season?
A. Rugby is a winter sport. Practices start Nov. 13, 2017, and the season runs to mid-February.
Q. Where and when are the practices?
A. Generally, practices start at 3:45 p.m. and end around 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at Design39Campus, across the street from DNHS. From mid-December to the end of the season Nighthawks Rugby will practice on Tuesdays at the all-weather field at 4S Ranch Sports Park. Practice times can change during the the Thanksgiving and Winter Holiday breaks.
Q. Is there rugby outside of high school?
A. In 2016, seven-a-side rugby was introduced into the Summer Olympics. The U.S. Olympic team trains in Chula Vista at the Olympic Training Center. In San Diego County, there are dozens of youth rugby clubs with age-group teams at Under-8, U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16, and U-18 or high school. Almost every college or university has a men’s and women’s rugby team. Currently, several former Nighthawks are playing college rugby. Many colleges and universities offer financial aid, on-campus housing, or in-state tuition to out-of-state student rugby players. Every U.S. military academy has a rugby team. In Europe, Asia, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia there are professional rugby leagues. The European and Southern Hemisphere professional leagues pay well, and it is common for accomplished American rugby players to find work overseas. There is a fledgling professionals rugby league in the U.S. with a franchise in San Diego.
I hope these FAQs answer most questions you might have regarding rugby and the Nighthawks Rugby Football Club.
Coach Grant Ford
Del Norte Rugby Football Club