USA Rugby's Strategy 2020 released

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - USA Rugby today published its new strategic plan, Strategy 2020, and the accompanying website,, to outline the national governing body's focuses to raise awareness and participation of the game of rugby.

Developed in three phases between February and July 2016, Strategy 2020 is a comprehensive plan - incorporating the USA Rugby National Office, Rugby International Marketing (RIM), and USA Rugby Trust - designed to promote growth at all levels. Emphasizing development, community rugby, and youth, Strategy 2020 also prioritizes building major markets in order to develop community rugby through a standardized approach that can then serve as a template for cities and regions nationwide.

The standardization of regional development aligns with the ideal membership pyramid, with a broader base of youth feeding into the collegiate and club competitions to better support commercially-viable events and the pathways to the national teams. The awareness driven by the commercial events will lead to greater participation to meet the Strategy 2020 expectations of a 25-percent membership increase by 2020. The intent is to put the systems and infrastructure in place by 2020, setting the conditions for greater success in the years that follow.

Visit for Strategy 2020

The immediate priorities of Strategy 2020 include delivering a fully-integrated National Office that will:

  • Collaborate to grow and develop the sport in communities nationwide;
  • Nurture a culture of philanthropy by engaging members for life;
  • Develop a value proposition toward serving the membership and providing recognizable benefits that are associated with belonging to the organization, and;
  • Establish a robust centralized training program and correlating pool of athletes that will inspire a grassroots growth/success, while also preparing our athletes and coaches for elite/professional opportunities.

From this platform, USA Rugby will partner with service providers and organizers regionally to:

  • Promote robust growth
  • By 2020, develop six major markets offering:
    • The full suite of rugby programming with proportionate membership pyramids;
    • Gains in awareness and participation to commercially support the game's growth regionally, and;
    • A template for future growth
  • By 2024, reach 180,000 members through recruitment, retention, and transition of players, coaches, match officials, administrator, and supporters.

More than 100 members representing the communities of youth, high school, collegiate, clubs, High Performance, match officials, the National Office, commercial stakeholders, and more developed Strategy 2020 with Top-Quartile Performance Institute CEO George Henderson facilitating the efforts. The plan was then introduced to Payne upon his hire in August 2016 for further refinement. Now in its final form, execution will proceed along five strategic themes:

  1. Financial Accountability
  2. Growth and Development
  3. Leadership
  4. Recruiting, Retention, Transition, and Participation
  5. High Performance

Further support for Strategy 2020 will come from the self-funded Rugby Business Executives Association (RBEA), a themed community intended to engage rugby professionals to renew their love of the game and use their skill sets and networks for the purposes of raising awareness and participation. In addition to connecting senior executives exemplifying rugby's traditions of courage, commitment, and passion, RBEA will seek to promote and professionalize the sport and get involved locally.

The full Strategy 2020 plans, in addition to information regarding the free Rugby Business Executives Association, can be found on