It’s been a week since the national 15s season has ended so, naturally, the club 7s season has to start now.
Many hundreds of amateur players are now making the season switch with little more than a week or two rest.
Here at RUGBYMag.com we have listed the tournaments throughout the country (see here), but we know it’s also important to get a handle on the National Championship qualifier process. Here is how you get your club to qualify for nationals on the men’s side:
Teams compete for points in a series of five tournaments. The two teams with the most points at the end of the series will go on to the National Championships in Pittsburgh, Pa. There is no territorial championship tournament.
The points system roughly mirrors that of the IRB World Series.
The Northeast qualifier tournaments are:
June 22 – JoJo Moore 7s, Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY
June 29 – Monmouth 7s, Lincroft, NJ
July 13 - New Haven 7s, Cheshire, Conn.
July 20 - Princeton 7s, South Brunswick, NJ
July 27- Middlesex 7s, Woburn, Mass.
Teams compete in a three-tournament series, gathering points throughout the series. The top eight teams then qualify for the territorial championship tournament on July 20.
June 8 - Wilmington, Del.
June 15 - Washington, DC
July 13 - Richmond, Va.
This makes the Blue Balls 7s in Wilmington the first qualifier tournament of the season, and it’s being held this weekend.
The MARFU championship will be held July 20 in Norfolk, Va., hosted by the Norfolk Blues.
While Florida holds a 7s series, there is no series of qualifiers in the South. Teams interested in qualifying for the national championships need only be in good standing and enter the South Championships, July 20 in Atlanta.
The Midwest , like the Northeast, will not hold a territorial tournament, and instead will decide its seeds through its summer series standings.
As in previous years, the points system is: 6 for 1st, 4 for 2nd, 2 for 3rd, and 1 fo 4th.
The Midwest Series tournaments are:
June 15 - Minnesota Sevens, Minneapolis, Minn.
June 22 - Firehouse Sevens, Lemont, Ill.
June 29 - Lakefront 7s, Milwaukee, Wisc.
July 13 - Rock 'N' Roll 7s, Cleveland, Ohio
July 20 - Rock Hard 7s, Grand Rapids, Mich.
The West returns with a series of qualifier tournament through which teams earn points. This territory has been one of the most consistent in recent years, keeping the same points-based, no territorial championship, system.
The West Series consists of three tournaments:
June 22 - Woodlands 7s, Woodlands, Texas
July 6 – Kansas City 7s, Kansas City, Mo.
July 20 – Denver 7s, Denver, Colo.
It’s a new system in the Pacific Coast once again, as now teams must go through a qualification process rather than just show up to the territorial championships.
The Pacific Northwest qualifier will be held during the Can-Am 7s July 12 in Ferndale, Wash. The top four teams from there will qualify for the Pacific Coast event.
The Northern California qualifier will be a series. The tournaments are:
June 29 – at SFGG, Treasure Island
July 6 – at Olympic Club, San Francisco
July 13 – at Sacramento Lions, Sacramento
The Pacific Coast championship will be July 20 in Seattle, Wash. and will feature four teams from the two regions. (Note – Utah teams, which had been in the Pacific Coast, have essentially shifted to the West and are expected, at the moment, to compete in the West.)
SoCal will have a four-tournament series with a points system similar to that of the IRB World Series. The top three will attend the National Championships.
The qualifier tournaments are:
June 15 – OMBAC 7s, San Diego, Calif.
June 22 – Sizzlin’ 7s, Tempe, Ariz.
June 29 – Santa Monica 7s, Santa Monica, Calif.
July 20 – Belmont Shore 7s, Long Beach, Calif.
The last two years, USA Rugby has opened up a pathway for Hawaiian teams to compete at the national 7s club championships. It is expected that Hawaii will repeat their selection process from 2012, with two tournaments and a points system selecting the winners. Details to follow.
The expect seed allotments should be: two for every territory except Southern California, which gets three, and Hawaii, which gets one.
Summary of how regions figure out their seeds:
Northeast – series standings; no territorial tournament
MARFU – series standings to qualify for territorial tournament
South – Territorial tournament only
Midwest – series standings; no territorial tournament
West – series standings; no territorial tournament
Pacific Coast – Series on NorCal, single-tournament in PNW to qualify for territorial tournament
SoCal – series standings; no territorial tournament
Hawaii -– series standings; no territorial tournament