The British Sport That's Fun to Watch, and Even More Fun to Play

And You Can Experience it Right Here in the Upper Valley

Mezmerizing to Watch

When I lived in England I got to go to a local rugby game in Gloucester.  It was so fun because it was so unfamiliar.  What are they doing?  Ohh...I see!

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You see so much fun stuff like the scrum in the featured image: a big huddle of people and a ball in the middle and the hooker tries to kick the ball back to his teammate for possession.  

My favorite was the lineout.  After a ball goes out of bounds the players form lines and players can lift their teammates up for control of the ball.  Crazy cool! 

You Can Play Too

Rugby was started in the mid 1800s in Warwickshire, England. American football derived from this game, but now we can enjoy the real-deal right here in the Upper Valley.  

The Upper Valley Rugby Football Club consists of two adult teams: Mountain Men and the ladies team, the Valkyries.  There's a spring and a fall season.  

You don't need to be big and buff to play.  According to Adam Barczewski, President of the Upper Valley Mountain Men, the men on the team range from 5'6" to 6'5" and 130 to 310 lbs.  My husband's cousin played rugby on a lady's team in Massachusetts and loved it (she's only around 5'3"). 

The fall season is official league season running from Sept.-Oct. and spring season runs late April-June.  Games are 1 pm on Sat. and a lot of them are right in Lebanon on the field next to the old middle school on Bank St.  Away games are in bordering states.

Be More Than Just a Team, Be a Part of the Community

The teams give back to the community taking care a park on the Mascoma River Greenway and a road clean up on Route 10.  When you join the team, you build strong bonds: "We're looking to build more than just teams - the club is a second family to anyone involved, and we like to take care of each other and the community," says Adam.  Join with a friend or loved one and have something fun and new to learn together.

Looking to give it a try?  Practices are Thursdays from 8:30-9:30 pm at the Field House in the back of Kimball Union Academy (KUA) on Main St. in Plainfield until the end of March. 

Even if playings not for you, make sure to check out their games this spring and fall.  I know I plan to!

Looking for more sports?  Check out winter rec sports.  The CCBA in Leb. has winter sports starting soon too.  You can also watch Dartmouth's Lacrosse  and baseball/softball at Hanover this month and next.  See their schedule here.

All photos courtesy of Upper Valley Rugby.

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