• RUGBY

    Curious? Willing to try, but just not sure if it is for you? 
    You've come to the right place.

​This is RUGBY

Rugby was first played in England about 200 years ago, with the first formal laws drawn up at the Rugby School about 40 years later. The game was designed to teach the boys leadership and team work. It's now played by over 120 million men and women worldwide. Rugby, the predecessor to American Football, is a fast, continuous moving game played by either 7 or 15 players per side in both contact and non-contact variants.

Beginner's Guide

Spectator's Guide

"Rugby brings together a proud community and a tradition that spans the globe."

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about rugby.

I've heard rugby described as "Football without pads". Is this accurate?

Football is a sport that originated from the game of rugby, but it is a much different game. Rugby is a very controlled game with many rules (or as they officially referred to, "Laws") in place to keep all players safe on the field. Rugby players do not wear pads and protection, in fact, hard pads are illegal in rugby. It is widely considered that not allowing hard pads and helmets prevents players from feeling invulnerable, so they are motivated to tackle safely. Rugby tackling is very specific and focuses on bringing players safely to the ground - it is rarely to the benefit of the defending team to stop a player in their tracks as there is no equivalent of the 10 yard down. Referees are charged and coached with keeping the players safe, and dangerous play leads to penalties, sin bins and expulsions from the game.

Is rugby safe for my child?

Flag rugby is very safe. Players do not make contact with each and are not allowed to dive on the ground - even in the act of scoring. When a player is on the ground, the referee will stop the game if the player is too close to play to prevent injuries occurring.


Middle school and high school rugby is a contact game. With all contact games there is always some risk of injury. However, player safety is paramount. The laws prohibit deliberate contact with the head or neck of player, making contact with a player while the player is jumping other than to compete for the ball and tacklers are responsible for  the safety of the player they are tackling. Referees are empowered to sanction, sin bin or send off players they deem to be playing dangerously or recklessly. These same instructions are used all the way through rugby to highest professional levels.


The laws are modified for middle school players to allow them to experience contact rugby without some of the more complex elements that can lead to multiple players being in contact with each other in the same area. As players progress to high school, the laws revert to standard laws and players participate in the full game. World Rugby, the governing body, has passed down guidance to all participating nations to introduce contact rugby after players are 12 years old. This is based on extensive research in to the physical make of children and their development and it has been medically proven that children under the age of 12 are at far greater risk of serious injury if they are subject to a concussion or blow to the head than after they have turned 12.

Why do you refer to "7s"?

There are two forms of rugby union - seven a side and fifteen a side. Fifteen a side (also known as 15s and simply rugby) is the game most often seen or television and is the most popular form of the game. It requires teams to field 15 to 23 players (15 + 8 substitutes) and the games consist of two 40 minute halves.


Sevens, is seven a side rugby. Played on the same size pitch as a 15s, 7s consists of 7 to 12 players (7 + 5 substitutes) and the games consist of two 7 minute halves. 7s was traditionally a summer variant of the game, played when the ground was harder (it rains all winter and spring in the UK) and the players could move faster. Given its high-speed nature and short halves, games move quickly, can be high scoring and make for a more pleasing crowd spectacle.


USA Rugby has chosen to target 7s as a natural way to progress from five a side flag on small pitches up though middle school and high school on full size pitches. It allows clubs to get started more easily due to the fewer players being needed.

What is Rookie Rugby?

This is non-contact, flag rugby that can be played by boys and girls, ages 12 and under. It is a game that introduces the kids to the sport of rugby, where everyone gets to pass, catch, run and score with the ball. Rookie rugby is played with flags to simulate and replace the tackle. Kids will learn about all the unique parts of rugby, like the ‘scrum’ and the ‘line-out’, in a fun, safe and non-contact environment.

Is Rookie Rugby played under the same laws as regular rugby?

No. Rookie rugby laws are amended to provide a fun and safe opportunity for kids to learn the sport.

Are there special skills necessary to start playing Rookie Rugby?

No special skills are necessary to begin. If kids can pass, and catch a ball while running, they’ll be a star. Remember, tackling will be replaced with flags. Kids will concentrate on the skills of passing, running, kicking and positional play.

What if my child has never played rugby before?

Everyone is welcome.  We started the Barbarians to grow rugby in the US and allow the next generation of US Eagles (the US national side) to start as early as possible. If your child has no experience, they are exactly who we had in mind.


Every coach in the club is a former player who wanted to introduce their children to rugby. For those of us born in rugby countries we know the benefits of starting young, for those of us born in the US, we can see how we can grow the game by introducing the next generation of players, officials, coaches and fans to the sport as early as possible.

Is professional rugby played in the U.S?

Yes. 2018 marks the inaugural season of Major League Rugby. There are 7 teams playing this year (Seattle, San Diego, Glendale, Houston, Austin and New Orleans) with a confirmed 8th (NY) and potential 9th and 10th (Toronto and Washing D.C.) joining in 2019. Check out https://www.usmlr.com/

How can I watch rugby on TV?

On DIRECTV: channel 490 (and sometimes 489 as well) shows international test matches, Super Rugby matches (from Australia, New Zealand & South Africa), the ITM Cup (New Zealand’s Domestic League) & the Currie Cup (South Africa’s Domestic Competition).


On Cable: Fox Soccer Plus shows the Pro12 league (Teams from Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Wales) & the Aviva Premiership (England’s top domestic league). Universal Sports holds the rights to the IRB Sevens World Series. 


The Rugby Channel: A streaming TV service that offers free and paid content.


NBC Sports Gold shows English Premiership Rugby, 6 Nations (which is the oldest international rugby competition) as well as U20s World Cup, Women's World Cup and the Rugby World Cup matches.


CBS Sports Network and ESPN+ both are streaming services covering the inaugural Major League Rugby season. 

NBC, in addition to their NBC Gold also broadcasts on NBCSN https://www.nbcsports.com/live


And finally .. YouTube is always a great source of content, including some local games, skills coaching and drill examples. Subscribing to World Rugby and USA Eagles channels provides a regular stream of some of the best action from the world sevens series.

Where can I buy rugby gear?

We purchase our team jerseys and equipment from Rugby Imports and they are local - right in Providence. We also like the World Rugby Shop.  

   

Questions about Barbarians Youth Rugby.

Where are your practice fields?
How much does it cost to play?

Playing rugby is relatively low cost, since all you need are some cleats, a mouth guard, shorts and long socks. Our membership fees cover the cost of our fields, our registration fees with USA Rugby, MYRO and the team jerseys. Since membership fees vary by season and age, please contact us and we'll get you the most up to date information.

Are girls welcome on your team?

Absolutely! And not only do girls play on our teams, they are some of the better athletes. There is a concerted effort among all the clubs to grow girls and womens teams.

What equipment/gear will I need to play rugby?

Similar clothing to nearly any outdoor sport is needed. A mouth guard and cleats similar to soccer cleats, however sneakers are fine for younger players.

Do I need to live in the town of Wrentham to play with the Barbarians?

No. Our fields are conveniently located for players from Foxboro, Walpole, Norfolk, MIlford and Plainville, just to name a few towns in Massachusetts. We also attract players from Rhode Island with some of our members traveling as far away as Providence.

Do you guys need help? How can I get involved?

We welcome all the help we can get! We have big plans to expand our club and we'll need the support of sponsors, parents and coaches to get there. Please see the "Get Involved" section of our site for more info.