Attending the Las Vegas Invitational, presented by Stations Casinos, is a great way to get a team warmed up for the spring, but it’s more than that.
Teams that have attended the LVI in the past do so to get some warm-weather games in during February. But there is so much more to get out of the tournament than just a few games of rugby.
“We have definitely gotten a lot out of it, and have used it for different purposes,” said Penn State Director of Rugby Don Ferrell. “We have had specific team goals each time which we were able to reach, and were able to gain much needed experience.”
Last year Penn State’s men’s team faced off with BYU, and Ferrell was presented with a tough issue – do you put your players in a game you know they will win in order to build confidence, or do you find the toughest opposition possible in order to challenge your team and let them know how far they have to go?
Ferrell chose the latter.
“I have a strong belief that you need to constantly challenge yourself against the best competition you can find, and the LVI provides us with that opportunity at an important time in our team’s training cycle,” Ferrell told RUGBYMag.com. “Last year we played two matches against two of the best collegiate teams in the country with 9 true freshmen starting on the first XV’s. You cannot replicate those types of situations in practice, the intensity, pace, excitement and ferocity can only be found in matches of that caliber. Finding those matches, at that time of year is difficult, and this event provides you with the chance to get all you want in one place in a short period of time. It also provides you with a chance to play teams that you don’t regularly get a chance to play, or that you want to play and measure yourself against.”
At the same time, there’s an aspect of fun for the LVI, too. Players get to mingle with other players from various colleges and clubs. They enjoy visiting Las Vegas, and get to see the USA 7s as well.
“You add in the team building, bonding, and the excitement of a full International event on top and I believe you truly have the makings of a very useful tour,” said Ferrell. “As this event continues to grow, the opportunities only increase, and with our spring break now encroaching on our competitive season, we are very excited to have this event, at this time of year, to take its place.”
November 11 is the deadline for pre-registered teams to confirm their place at the Stations Casinos LVI. Go to www.lvirugby.com to sign up your team and learn more about deals on hotels, USA 7s tickets, and transportation.