Jack’s Journal: Alliance Rugby
It’s been around for a long time, but it seems to be coming into its own here in the north.
The sport of rugby.
It’s a world game, played in 125 countries. One of the local leagues is known as Alliance. It’s a co-op team with students from numerous schools. Its long-time head coach says he’s looking for smart kids that want to be a team!
“I said ‘I want you because of your hands and your brain, because it’s a thinking game’. There’s no cross-body blocking, there’s no equipment, you are moving all the time. It is the ultimate team game,” says Alliance rugby coach Chuck Benson.
One of the players, Walker Chung a sophomore at TC Central, says he likes rugby because you do make friendships with your teammates, and even the competition, as one feature of soccer is comradery of the post-game gathering with the other team!
“It’s really fast paced. In football, you stop and sometimes lose momentum. It’s more like soccer, everything progresses,” says Chung.
This Alliance team has been around 15 years and has had members go on to the U.S. national team, World Cup, captain the West Point team and recently become the University of Michigan’s head coach. Chuck says the ladies play rugby, too. His league is looking to form a team, while another association has a girls team playing.
It’s a sport like any other. You have to be in shape, and bumps and bruised occur, but the coach says it’s not even in the top 10 for youth sports injures!
“By all the studies football, lacrosse and many of the other sports that have helmets and other gear have far more injuries. We aren’t even in the top 10. Cheerleading is higher in injury risk than rugby,” says Benson.
He tells me the reason for that is no cross-body blocking and tackling is much different than in football.