Taconic to host state high school rugby tourney
The best high school-age rugby teams in Massachusetts are scheduled to meet in Pittsfield next month.
The Massachusetts Youth Rugby Organization's boys and girls state championships will be held June 9 at Taconic High School, according to Berkshire United Rugby Director/Coach David Colli and MYRO President Bill Good.
The all-day tournament will include approximately 28 clubs in boys' I, I-A, II and club divisions, and Division I for girls. Good said a few minor details need to be finalized, but the "plan right now" is to play on three fields at Taconic.
"We need at least three fields, and we want to have the support of the community with it," he added. "We think we have that, based on the conversations we've had with Dave Colli."
The matches -- normally 80 minutes, split into 40-minute halves -- will be shortened to between 12 and 20 minutes per half, due to International Rugby Board guidelines limiting the minutes under-19, or high school, players can play in a day.
Both Berkshire United high school clubs -- which are not run through the high schools, since rugby is not an MIAA-sanctioned sport -- are unbeaten this spring, with the defending state champion boys (5-0-1) having been tied once. This is the first season for the girls club (4-0). Colli said players on his clubs come from seven different county high schools.
"It's probably been a couple-year process" to get the tournament in the Berkshires, Colli said Wednesday. "We want to showcase rugby in Western Mass. a little bit. ... Obviously, we're a little more rural and have less of a population selection. It's nice to have it here."