Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rugby is quietly building momentum

Robert Husseman, a sports copy editor for the Oregon Daily Emerald, writes that the University of Oregon could be the first major Division I program to adopt women's rugby as an NCAA sport. The club team recently petitioned Oregon's athletic department, asking for NCAA status. This does not guarantee the sport will be established on the Eugene campus; however, it does show that women's rugby is quietly building some momentum. The sport is currently on the NCAA's emerging sports list, which essentially means that the NCAA has given it 10 years to garner enough teams to offer a championship. So far, five universities play women's rugby – Eastern Illinois University, West Chester (Pa.) University, Bowdoin College, Southern Vermont College and Norwich University – which is far below the required 40 teams needed to earn championship status. But the NCAA would probably extend women's rugby an additional five or 10 years if momentum continues to build. According to Husseman, petitions have been circulated through 50-plus universities, including Colorado, Missouri and California. Robert did a fine job exploring a complex topic, and offering salient details, significant background, and solid reporting on Oregon's petition. Check it out.

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