Rugby Super League (US): Wikis

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Rugby Super League
RugbySuperLeague Logo Color.jpg
Rugby Super League (US)
Sport Rugby union
Founded 1996
No. of teams 16
Country(ies)  United States
Most recent champion(s) SFGG

The Rugby Super League, usually referred to as simply the Super League and for sponsorship reasons the Michelob Super League, is a national rugby union competition contested by eighteen clubs in the United States. The competition is sanctioned by USA Rugby, the sport's national governing body, and is the "premier level" of rugby union in the country.[1]

The competition was created in 1996 by the major governing bodies in the USA, in order to create a competitive national competition. The competition has since been contested annually. The largest number of clubs to have competed in the league was 18, in 2007 and 2008; however, as of 2009, there are 16 teams divided into two conferences, Red and Blue.

Contents

History

The Rugby Super League was created in 1996 by the 14 major governing bodies of the sport in the United States. It was intended to create a competitive and national competition. It was created at a time when there was a need for expansion of the code in the country. 1997 was subsequently the inaugural season of the competition. There were 14 teams competing, which were divided into two seven-team divisions, the Western-Pacific Conference and the Midwestern-East Conference.

The original competing sides in the 1997 season were; Belmont Shore RFC, the Chicago Lions, the Dallas Harlequins, the Denver Barbarians, the Gentlemen of Aspen, the Kansas City Blues, Life, Old Blue, Old Puget Sound Beach RFC, Old Mission Beach Athletic Club RFC, the Potomac Athletic Club RFC, Golden Gate Rugby Club and Washington RFC. Aspen won the first championship, defeating Old Blue 29 points to nine in the final which was played in New York.

The following season, two more sides gained entry into the competition, being, Boston RFC and the Philadelphia Whitemarsh RFC. Both sides joined the eastern conference, which saw the Harlequins move to the Western conference. This expansion saw two fifteen-side conferences. In 2001 the competition became recognized as the premier club rugby union competition in the United States - becoming separated from USA Rugby Division 1. The following season, the league expanded again, with the inclusion of New York Athletic Club, who gained entry through means of promotion and the Hayward Rugby, who formed a merger with Old Blue.

The 2002 season saw major changes to the competition, with the "east and west divisions" format being dissolved to form a national competition. The format reverted back to the division-associated fixtures in 2005. Super League celebrated a decade of competition in 2006, with OMBAC defeating Belmont Shore 36 to 33 in the final which was held in Santa Clara, California. It was announced after the 2006 season that the Rugby Super League would be expanding from 15 teams to 18 for the 2007 season. Santa Monica Rugby accepted an invitation to join Super League, as did the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, who also finished runner-up in both Divisions I and III in 2006.[2] The Chicago Griffins also joined to replace the Kansas City Blues, who self-relegated their club to the USA Rugby Division I men's club competition.

A major event took place in the 2008 season, with the live broadcast on ESPN Classic of the RSL Final between NYAC and Belmont Shore. It was an extremely hard fought match that saw NYAC winning 31-28 in sudden death extra time. The league featured 16 teams in two conferences in 2009. Philadelphia Whitemarsh, Washington RFC, and the St. Louis Bombers did not return to the competition, while Life University returned after a six-season absence.

Due to the ongoing economic crisis, before the 2010 season longtime RSL powers Belmont Shore decided to only compete in Southern California's Division I competition. In response to this, Santa Monica also decided to self-relegate. Due to the uneven conferences, Dallas was shifted to the Red (West) Conference and no new teams were added, dropping the number to 14.

Competition Format

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Red Conference

Club Founded Stadium/Ground City/Area
Chicago Griffins RFC 1973 Schiller Woods Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Lions RFC 1964 Chicago Hope Academy Chicago, Illinois
Dallas Harlequins RFC 1971 Glencoe Park Dallas, Texas
Denver Barbarians RFC 1967 Dicks Sporting Goods Park Denver, Colorado
Old Mission Beach Athletic Club RFC 1966 The Little Q Rugby Field San Diego, California
Old Puget Sound Beach RFC 1971 Pat Ryan Memorial Field Seattle, Washington
San Francisco Golden Gate RFC 2001 Rocca Field San Francisco, California

Blue Conference

Club Founded Stadium/Ground City/Area
Boston RFC 1961 Steinbrenner Stadium Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Irish Wolfhounds RFC 1989 Irish Cultural Center Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte Olde Originals RFC 1971 Skillbeck Athletic Grounds Charlotte, North Carolina
Life University 1980 International Sport Complex Marietta, Georgia
New York Athletic Club RFC 1973 Travers Island New Rochelle, New York
New York Old Blue RFC 1964 Baker Field New York, New York
Potomac Athletic Club RFC 1988 Wallenburg Field Washington, D.C.

Results (1997-2009)

Year Location Final[3]
Winner Score Runner-up
1997 San Francisco, California Aspen 29 - 9 Old Blue
1998 Boston, Massachusetts Belmont Shore 28 - 10 Old Blue
1999 Denver, Colorado Barbarians 22 - 18 Belmont Shore
2000 San Diego, California Life 43 - 21 Aspen
2001 Rockford, Illinois Aspen 56 - 21 OMBAC
2002 Aspen, Colorado Aspen 34 - 23 Belmont Shore
2003 San Francisco, California Belmont Shore 23 - 15 OMBAC
2004 Newport, Rhode Island Belmont Shore 24 - 21 San Francisco Golden Gate
2005 Rentschler Field
East Hartford, Connecticut
NYAC 23 - 19 Belmont Shore
2006 Buck Shaw Stadium
Santa Clara, California
OMBAC 36 - 33 Belmont Shore
2007 The Little Q Rugby Field
San Diego, California
Belmont Shore 27 - 21 Chicago Lions
2008 Infinity Park
Glendale, Colorado
NYAC 31 - 28 (aet) Belmont Shore
2009 Infinity Park
Glendale, Colorado
San Francisco Golden Gate 23 - 13 Life

See also

References

External links


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