Rugby can be intimidating. It doesn't have to be. The best way to discover what we are all about is to join us for practice! If you're feeling hesitant, nervous, or simply curious, this FAQ will help set you up to take the first steps.
I've never played rugby before. will I have any idea what I'm doing?
Probably not. But that's okay. Many of our players have come to us having never played or seen a minute of rugby union. If you've played any other sport before, some parts might come a bit more naturally, but many of our players are first time athletes, too. Feel free to show up without any preparation, but if you'd like to prepare, here's a video. Follow it up by watching other videos, too. Just make sure you're watching rugby union, not rugby league. We'd suggest watching high-school rugby union, too. The match will be at a slower pace, allowing you to take more of it in.
Can I just show up to any practice? Do I need to let anyone know?
If you're brand new to rugby, the easiest times to show up are at the first few practices of our fall and spring seasons or at our annual summer "Rugby 101." Players with a bit more experience might feel more comfortable jumping in during the season. However, any player, of any skill, is invited to each and every practice. Participate in only what you feel comfortable doing. Just remember: The only way you get more comfortable is by jumping in and doing it! Don't forget that you'll need/want a mouth guard to participate in any drills that involve contact. It's always good to fill out the contact form or send us an e-mail if you're coming, that way we can look out for you, but you don't need to let us know.
I'm not sure I'm in good enough shape for rugby. What if I can't keep up?
We won't lie, rugby is intense; the intensity will build as the season progresses. It's not easy, and everybody needs to push themselves to become a good player. But for our teammates who have stuck with it they've found that eventually they couldkeep up, and it has transformed their physical bodies and mental toughness.
Is there a chance I could get injured?
Yes, same as any sport. But the training and the laws of the game are designed with player safety in mind. We'll teach you how to manage the risk. Tackling and other contact will also start out light and intensify as time goes on.
What should I wear? Do I need any special equipment?
For your first practice, wear ordinary workout gear and bring water. A mouthguard and cleats are helpful if you have them but are not necessary for the first practice.
Do i need health insurance to play?
Yes, it's required. You'll be asked to provide a copy of your insurance card to our Secretary each season.
What about fees and dues? Does it cost a lot to play?
Rugby is among the less-expensive sports as there isn't much equipment! The team supplies jerseys for matches. You'll need to supply boots (cleats), a mouthguard, and rugby shorts. We do have seasonal dues as part of our team, currently $125 per season. These dues enable us to pay our coaches and provide some subsidies when we travel, provide food and drink after matches (drink-ups), and help with team operations and fundraisers. Additionally, there is an annual fee of $85 with USA Rugby in order to be registered (CIPPed) as a player. Don't let finances stop you from showing up; if you have any concerns about affordability, our Treasurer will work with you privately.
When and whom do we play?
"Saturday's a rugby day!" (It's a song - you'll learn it.) Most of our matches are on Saturdays. During the Fall and Spring, we play other teams in the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU). We play about ten matches in the fall and six in the spring. About half of our matches are at home, and half see us travel throughout New England. Additionally, as a full member of International Gay Rugby, we frequently travel around the world for tournaments against more than 100 other IGR teams. These include regional tournaments along the East Coast in the USA and Canada, and a biennial tournament - the Bingham Cup - which rotates host sites around the world.
Do I have to be Queer to join the team?
Nope! While many of our teammates identify as gay or bisexual, there are plenty of players who identify as straight. We are proud to be the only team in NERFU who has chosen to be an intentionally inclusive club.