Rugby sevens: Olympic dreams
Rugby sevens is played on a full size pitch by teams of seven players rather than 15. The game is shorter in duration, with each half lasting seven minutes.
Aside from the duration, the Laws vary very little from the 15s game, though, of course, because of the amount of space available on the pitch, it is a very different game to watch. One characteristic of rugby sevens is that sometimes teams will choose to retreat towards their own try-line initially, drawing the opposition towards them, in an attempt to create space in other areas to then go forward in attack.
Demands of rugby sevens
Because rugby sevens is played on a full size pitch, players need to be able to cover a lot of ground during a match. This means that participants need to be incredibly fit and have plenty of speed, skill and stamina. As a result, rugby sevens players are often backs or loose forwards in 15s rugby.
The basics of rugby – running, passing, tackling and decision-making – are key components of rugby sevens, as are creating space and keeping possession of the ball.
Sevens and the Olympics
Rugby rejoined the Olympic programme for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
Rugby is a perfect fit for the Olympic Games; it reinforces the Olympic movement’s ideals thanks to its longstanding ethos of fair play and friendship while the vibrant and exciting format of rugby sevens appeals to both existing followers of the sport and a wider sports-loving audience worldwide.