On the heels of the first Rio Summer Games featuring rugby as an Olympic medal sport for the first time since 1924, interest in the sport has never been higher.
So it’s with great anticipation that the Sacramento Valley Rugby Foundation and Rugby NorCal will kick off the high school rugby season by hosting the 33rd Annual Sacramento Kick-Off Tournament at Cordova High on Jan. 21-22.
The KOT, as it’s referred to in rugby circles, has been “” and continues to evolve as “” one of the largest youth and high school rugby tournaments in the Western Hemisphere. The event acts not only as a professionally run tournament, but it’s also considered a pre-season development tournament for both players and officials.
While first-year players are able to learn on the fly in the forgiving structure of the 30-minute matches, more experience teams and clubs can work on sharpening skills and execution. Aspiring referees can take part in a free Friday night training session with some of the top match officials from the Western United States.
The KOT is open to several levels of play. There will be boys and girls competition in the following divisions: U-10, U-12, U-14 (two levels), U-17 (two levels) and U-19 (six levels). The tournament is open to both club teams and single high school teams. Many clubs and schools have been known to travel in from states such as Oregon and Washington, among others.
For the high school teams, varsity and JV competition will be available on both days of the event. And tournament directors make every effort to minimize teams from playing in-season rivals. Playing schedules are often not set until one week prior to the tournament.
For more information about the event, or to sign up your team. You’re encouraged to check out the KOT website at www.kickofftournament.com.