6 reasons to try rugby in Milwaukee.

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Milwaukee is a great sports city. From the Bucks and Brewers to professional hockey and soccer, there’s no shortage of games to watch and attend all year round.

Residents of the greater-Milwaukee area also have lots of choice for recreational sports. But few offer the fun, satisfaction, challenge and community of rugby.

If you’re looking for a new sport to try in and around Milwaukee, check out the things that make the sport awesome below, and sign up to give rugby a try.

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1. Rugby is hella exciting!

A rugby match is a perfect showcase for how a team sport can balance strength, speed and endurance. One of the main reasons for this is that the clock doesn’t stop in rugby.

For example, once a player is tackled, a contest for possession ensues in real time. The team that wins possessions is on offense, and the other team is on defense, regardless of what team had possession before the tackle.

And if you’re watching rugby on TV, you can forget the commercials and timeouts that you are used to in most professional sports in the US. In rugby, the action never stops!

Even the half time break is just a few minutes long!

But words can only express so much: check out these highlights from the 2023 Rugby World Cup!

2. Everyone gets a chance to score!

Although rugby has set positions like other sports, the responsibilities during a match are spread across the team. In fact, all the players have a chance to carry, pass and kick the ball, as well as tackle on defense.

In other words, everyone has the chance to score!

3. Football, soccer, basketball and hockey skills are well-suited to rugby.

Given the combined strength, speed, and endurance required for rugby, it’s not surprising that rugby attracts athletes from many sports.

Soccer and track athletes bring speed and endurance, while football brings the tackling and strength.

Hockey and basketball have great mixes of contact, speed, endurance, and hand-eye coordination. Overall strategy and the “2-on-1 mentality” of these sports also translate very well to the rugby pitch.

Even more pointed is the overlap in tackling skills between rugby and American football. With the ongoing concerns about head injuries in the NFL, teams including the Seattle Seahawks and Ohio State have started coaching rugby-style tackling.

In fact, athletes of most sports have skills that can be transferred to rugby. As such, rugby is great for offseason conditioning and cross-training.

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4. Milwaukee has a vibrant rugby community.

The metropolitan Milwaukee area boasts 4 Men’s teams and 1 women’s team. Each has their own history, culture and traditions including watch parties, pub crawls, volunteer activities, overseas tours, fundraisers, and of course lots and lots of rugby.

For example, the Barbarians field two full-contact teams in the fall and spring, and three in the summer.

They also host the largest summer rugby event in the country — the Lakefront 7s Tournament — and routinely organize tours around the country and overseas.

Or if you prefer non-contact rugby, the Barbarians organize a pickup game every two weeks all year long (indoors in winter).

Milwaukee is host to the Lakefront 7s Rugby Tournament, the largest summer-rugby event in the country.

5. No matter your shape and size, rugby has a position for you.

Are small and fast? Are you heavy and strong? Rugby is the best team sports because there is a position for all shapes and sizes.

One of the most satisfying aspects of playing rugby is identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and learning how they can be best-leverages so your team can succeed.

6. Rugby has a unique, unspoken, and unparalleled code of conduct.

One of the most important and enduring qualities of rugby is the camaraderie: not just between teammates but amongst opponents as well.

No matter what happens during a match, once the final whistle blows there is a mutual respect that takes over. Players and coaches retire to the after-match social to share food, tall tales, and perhaps a beverage or two.

But it’s not just at social events: the character and class of the sport can be seen during matches as well. For example, a player may stop during a match to tend to an injured opponent well before the referee and medical professionals can react.

You’ll also witness a full 80,000-person stadium going silent to allow a kicker to concentrate on a conversion kick.

On a rare occasion, you may even see a player apologizing to a referee for foul play as Romanian Johan Van Heerden did during the 2015 Rugby World Cup (see video below). 

In every aspect of the sport, rugby’s code of conduct shines through, builds character, and delivers respect to those who play the game.

Ready to give rugby a try in Milwaukee?

Just fill out this form and we’ll be in touch!

Try rugby today for free