It's the beginning of a new era for Penn Rugby! After years of talking about it and dreaming about the possibilities, the eight clubs from the Ivy League universities have banded together and formed the Ivy League Rugby Union.
Although there had been discussions about the Rugby clubs forming an Ivy League for years, discussions picked up at the Ivy Tournament in 2007. After the 2008 tournament, various coaches put their concerns and thoughts on the table and prospective schedules were cobbled together. It certainly wasn't easy to find an agreement that worked for all eight clubs, especially considering the differences in financing and on-field capabilities.
While there are still many hurdles to overcome, this new alignment creates many possibilities and opportunities for the future. First and foremost, the new Union will foster better competition among the Ivy Clubs and raise the level of play. It also brings the possibility of major sponsorship and, eventually, the recognition of Rugby as a varsity sport. It is also hoped that it will create a television market for Rugby in the United States due to the high visibility of the Ivy League and the ability of the casual fan to recognize Ivy Rugby. Although we're still in our infancy, we have already begun dreaming "big". While the formation of this new league will require a much greater commitment on our part, the club is excited about the challenge and eager to be a part of this prestigious competition.
*Note: If you are a high school player and are interested in joining Penn Rugby, please email our Recruitment Chair, Federico Velarde.