USA Rugby Celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day
In celebration of the 27th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), USA Rugby is reflecting on some important milestones in USA Women's Rugby history, and would like to thank countless USA Rugby members, coaches and staff for their work to move girls and women's rugby forward, on and off the field.
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For more information on the National Girls and Women in Sports Day, visit www.aahperd.org.
Fast Facts on Women's Rugby in America
• USA Rugby leads the world in women's rugby participation with over 20,000 participants
• Over 3,000 girls are participating in high school rugby
• There are 35 different state championships for Youth and High School girls
• There are 347 women's collegiate rugby clubs and plans for Women's Rugby to become a recognized NCAA Sport in the near future
• USA Rugby now has 16 contracted, full-time women's rugby sevens residents at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA
• USA Rugby is currently developing the first ever Olympic Development Program and Eagle Training Centers for Women's USA National Team development
USA Women's Rugby Achievements
• In 1985, the first semblance of a USA Women's National Team was formed. An 'invitation-only' team was put together and made up of, arguably, the top women playing the game at the time. The team was named WIVERN and toured throughout England and France. The team finished the tour undefeated.
• In 1987 the USA Women's National Team was officially born with their first match against the Canadian Women's National Team. Although the women were not permitted to wear the Eagle logo, this match was sanctioned by Rugby Canada and USA Rugby. USA and Canada began holding an annual match, which became known as the CanAm series. For ten years the Women Eagles went undefeated in this test series.
• In 1990 the Women's National Team, competing under the name 'USA Presidents 15', traveled to New Zealand to compete in the historic Women's World Rugby Festival. The WNT posted a record of 3-1 with their only loss coming at the hands of New Zealand.
• In 1991, the USA Women's National Team won the inaugural Women's World Cup. In front of a crowd of about 5,000 people, the Eagles went on to control England in the final 19-6 and take the title.
• In 1994, the USA Women's National Team took second at the World Cup. The United States lost a competitive game to England 38-23 in the second ever Women's Rugby World Cup, hosted in Scotland.
• In the third IRB Women's World Cup in 1998, the USA Women finished second, losing to New Zealand 44-12. This was the first Women's World Cup fully sanctioned by the IRB, and was held in the Netherlands.
• In both 2006 and 2010, the USA Women's National Team took 5th place in the IRB Women's World Cups in Edmonton, Canada and London, England. The first female USA Rugby National Team Coach, Kathy Flores, coached both teams.
• In 2008, the USA Women's National 7s Team, coached by the first female USA Rugby National 7s Team Coach, Jules McCoy, won the Hong Kong 7s for the first time ever. The USA beat Canada 21-7 in the final in front of 40,000 fans.
• In 2009, the USA Women's National 7s Team competed in the first ever, combined Men's & Women's IRB Rugby Sevens World Cup in Dubai, UAE, barely losing to New Zealand in the semi-finals.
• On December 18, 2010, a USA Women's Referee became the first female to ever referee an IRB international game. USA Rugby Referee Dana Teagarden was appointed by the International Rugby Board (IRB) to the senior men's international test match between the Netherlands and Hong Kong in Amsterdam.
• In January 2012, USA Rugby announced the first full-time contracts for USA Women's and Men's Rugby 7s players. In partnership with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), 23 rugby sevens athletes received fulltime training contracts.
• In November 2012, USA Women won the first ever IRB Women's Sevens World Series Shield, taking home some historic hardware. On Day 2, the USA beat China and France decisively to win the Bowl.
• On February 1st and 2nd, 2013, USA Rugby and the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas hosted the second stop on the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series. Twelve teams played historic matches all weekend with the USA Women taking 2nd place.
What is National Girls and Women in Sports Day?
NGWSD was started by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports to honor Olympic volleyball athlete Flo Hyman for her achievements and work in women's equality in sports. Since Hyman's death in 1986, the NGWSD has become a day where we remember the past and celebrate current sports achievement for women.
"Today, strong girls and women excel in many areas of athletics, even in traditionally male-dominated sports. Females reach their goals, break records and win championships. Participating in sports creates champions on and off the field. These champions not only lead in their respective sports, they lead in their homes, in their schools, at their jobs, and in their communities. They lead on a path that has been paved by skilled and accomplished women who have gone before them."
-National Association of Girls and Women in Sports
This day recognizes all the women who have overcome adversity and given other women in sports the opportunity to participate. It celebrates the progress women's sports has made and honors those who worked hard to make it happen.