The Wolf Creek Rugby Club, which features players from Union High School, opened its fourth season of competition last week against defending state champion Waverly-Shell Rock. Playing under the auspices of the Iowa Youth Rugby Association, Wolf Creek competes in the Varsity Class 1A Eastern Iowa League, which uses modified rules based on the game of Rugby Sevens.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Rugby Sevens bears some semblance to the American game of football, in that a similar shaped ball is used, players tackle one another and, after a try is made (similar to a touchdown), a conversion kick is attempted. Unlike American football, rugby players do not wear helmets or protective padding.
Rugby Sevens is an offshoot of the traditional game of rugby where each team takes the field with 15 players. The number seven is prevalent throughout the game- seven players per team play two seven minute halves, with a successful try and conversion equaling seven points.
The game is very fast moving and free-flowing by design. The compact timing of the game allows high school teams to play two games every Friday night during the regular season.