By Nick Fathergill SYRACUSE, N.Y. – As snow turns to rain and cloudy days to sunshine, the Syracuse University club rugby team readies up to take the field. However, the spring season offers a type of rugby you may have never seen before: sevens.
Sevens rugby differs from regular, or fifteens, in largely two ways. First, as both names imply, there are less people on each team. According to SU rugby player Jake Smith, this opens up the field quite a bit.
“It’s much faster and it’s more conducive to quick play,” said Smith, a junior studying chemical engineering. “It’s a lot less crowded.”
Secondly, the halves are significantly shorter. Where fifteens rugby has two forty-minute halves, sevens only has seven-minute halves. This is partly due to the openness of sevens rugby compared to the regular style.
“You have to be in really good shape to play sevens,” said Smith.
Senior Ethan Palleschi, a member of SU rugby since his freshman year, says he really enjoys sevens because it’s so inclusive to new members. Since it involves more running and less strategy, it’s much easier to pick up the specifics of sevens.
“If you’re a good athlete, we can just put you in and you could do well,” said Palleschi.
SU rugby looks to add some tournament victories to its already impressive resume. This past fall, the Hammerheads lost in the league championship game, just one year after winning the league. However, sevens season only includes tournaments and scrimmages in favor of a league championship.
Both Smith and Palleschi feel the sport isn’t properly funded by SU. While Palleschi said the school should support the team financially more due to the growing size, Smith simply wishes the money would be spent smarter.
Regardless of their qualms about dollars and cents, though, the two athletes and their team look to make SU proud this upcoming season.