Greenwood to host social rugby tournament

Shara JJ Cooper
By Shara JJ Cooper
July 23rd, 2013

This August long weekend, Greenwood residents won’t have to stray far from home to find excitement — excitement is coming to Greenwood.

A social rugby tournament is being held at city park Aug. 2 to 4 with teams from across the province being invited to take part.

Social rugby is a style of Union rugby that is competitive but puts equal emphasis on the fun and camaraderie part of the tournament. The emphasis is so strong, that a winning team can be kicked out if its players don’t join in the social side of things, according to organizer Oliver Glaser.

“There are plenty of serious tournaments throughout the summer. We are here to play the game we love and have fun. That is not to say that there are not some high level players and teams that step onto the field,” said Glaser. “You are likely to see very good rugby at our tournament, but its not the sole reason for being there.”

In order to keep the social in social rugby, the tournament will have a beer garden, live music, games and a party. Players play hard but like to keep things festive. It’s not unusual for a rugby player to hit the field in a costume to keep the mood light.

Social rugby also stands out from traditional Union rugby because it is a 10s tournament, meaning there are 10 players on each side instead of 15. Halves are 20 minutes long instead of 40.

“This makes for a faster more dynamic game with greater openings on the field to allow the possibilities of epic runs,” said Glaser. “The other major variation on Union is 7’s which is even shorter — 7 minutes per half — and 7 players per side. It is also the newest Olympic team sport.”

Glaser started planning the tournament in February, in an effort to revitalize rugby in the Boundary. He moved to Greenwood just over a year ago so he could raise his family in a country environment, but was missed playing rugby regularly. The Boundary used to have a team called the Wanderers but they have since folded due to a lack of support.

In order jumpstart rugby in the region, he felt a tournament would draw a lot of interest. Glaser approached Greenwood city council, who responded favourably to the idea and agreed to help get the field set up. Teams were invited from around Western Canada and the United States.

Teams are coming from Trail, Chilliwack, Kelowna, Merritt and East Vancouver’s team the “Scribes” — which was Glaser’s old team. They are also hoping to see teams from Nelson and Cranbrook but haven’t received confirmations.

“It’s a little like herding cats,” said Glaser.

There are enough Boundary players if any visiting team needs an extra player they can step in and help.

Rugby is for anyone, in any age, shape or gender and teams are divided into mens, womens and “old boys.” For registration information, contact Gaser at oliver.newsreel@gmail.com


Friday night and Saturday Morning – Teams arrive, settle in to the campground adjacent to the field.

Saturday – Skills competitions (kicking, precision throwing, longest pass,). Full contact walking rugby. Tug-o-wars and boat races!

Sunday – Rugby Day! Games all day with finals in the evening. Party with food, drinks and the Scribes house band,” The Dropbears” perform live. Awards.

Monday – Recovery Day — Concession will be open for breakfast. Camp broken up and teams go home (until next year).

For more information check out



Categories: GeneralSports