By Rick Morwick
Evan Roberts can list a host of reasons why rugby is an ideal sport for young boys and girls.
But one reason in particular, he insists, easily tops the others.
“Rugby is a great youth sport, first and foremost, because it’s fun,” said Roberts, a former high school player and longtime coach with the Carmel Dads’ Club. “Every player is fully involved, playing both offense and defense, and every player has the opportunity to perform all the fun skills of rugby.”
Roberts, who also is a former club player, is assembling a seventh/eighth-grade girls tackle team for the Carmel Rugby Club through the Carmel Dads’ Club. Carmel Rugby has several co-ed teams and separate teams for boys and girls but hasn’t offered a seventh/eighth-grade girls team since 2014.
With more than 75 players in Carmel’s collective rugby program, Roberts doesn’t foresee any problems filling the new team.
“We anticipate having at least 12 girls for the team,” Roberts said. “We would love to have as many girls playing rugby as possible.”
One of the nation’s fastest-growing sports, rugby is a contact activity that does not have separate rules, or different field or ball specifications, for boys and girls. It involves running, kicking and tackling and is generally conducive to players of all skill levels and athletic ability.
“Rugby is an inclusive game. There is no such thing as an ideal rugby body,” Roberts said. “The separate rugby positions provide every kind of physique the opportunity to play a role, short or tall, big or small. And rugby is very easy to teach. Besides focusing on the fundamentals, our coaches spend a lot of time teaching safety.”
Carmel Rugby competes in the Rugby Indiana league, which includes other Hamilton County teams and teams from as far away as Warsaw and Elkhart. The season begins in March and runs through the end of May. Most games are played on Sundays. Carmel plays its home matches at River Road Park.
For more or to register, visit carmeldadsclub.org.