7 Reasons Why You Should Play Women's Rugby

7 Reasons Why You Should Play Women's Rugby

Yes Ladies, I'm looking at you.
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Okay, hear me out. You probably see "Women’s Rugby" and are instantly thinking two things: either we are a group of large, manly, ugly girls who run around a field hitting each other, or we play some form of lingerie rugby. I can tell you right now that neither of those is true. We are just like any other sports team (well, except we’re better). We are a group of strong individuals who sign up to play one of the hardest sports in the world, and we love it. Everyone who plays can agree that there is nothing better. But, just in case you need some more convincing, here are some of many reasons why you should take up the sport.

1. It's empowering

I can't even begin to describe the feeling you have when you are on that field. Playing rugby makes you feel fast, agile, and strong. It's physically and mentally straining, but the ability to push yourself to the limit is an incredible accomplishment. In women's rugby, you do tackle each other. It's scary at first, that much is true. Sometimes I still get scared and I've been playing for four years. But you go on the field, and you feel powerful. You feel like you have total control of your body, of your mind, and of the game. There is nothing like the feeling of tackling a girl, running with the ball, or scoring a try.

2. There are positions for everyone.

Believe me, there is literally a spot for any person regardless of their shape or size. Rugby teams are always a mixed bag. Our front row players are solid and powerful. Our locks are tall and strong. Our flankers are fast and tough. Our back line is quick, resilient, and have crazy endurance. I swear some girls could run forever. Even our scrum half who is 4'11 (and 3/4, but who's counting) found her niche. I am 5'4, relatively fast, and a good decision maker. That makes me perfect for my spot at #10, fly half. We don't care where you come from, what you like, or how you look. I promise you, there is a place for you.

3. It is fast paced.

I have to be honest with you. Some sports are really, really boring. The games last forever, and nothing really happens. Rugby, however, is never boring - and it is nothing like football. People always assume it is, but it's actually a lot harder. In rugby, there are no timeouts or dumb commercial breaks. It's 80 minutes of nonstop contact. The only time you get to rest is after somebody scores and it is for two minutes, maybe. You run, you tackle someone, you get up, you ruck, you run, you hit someone again, you ruck again, you run some more. Sometimes you scrum and it's a tangled mess of body parts, and you get up and do it all again. It doesn't stop. And, some people may tell you that "in football you get hit harder so they need a break." They clearly never got tackled by a 6'0, 300-pound girl and then had to get up and keep playing. It's awesome.

4. Rugby is hard work.

Rugby is a mental and physical game. It's tough, I'm not going to sugar coat it. You have to be prepared to put in hours of hard practices and training, ready to be tackled and to tackle, and always be supporting your players. You play in all conditions - rain, unbearable heat, even snow. You will feel sore and pain in places that you didn't know existed. You will get cuts, cleat marks, and bruises. Ice baths become your best friend. You get injured and you keep playing until they forcibly remove you from the field. But all of that feeling is so satisfying. The marks on your body become trophies that you show off. Knowing that you put in the work and pushed your body to it's limit is worth every moment.

5. The team.

Every single sport is going to say that they have the "best team in the whole world," but they're lying. You get very weirdly close to your rugby team that you really do become a family. You tackle each other at practice hard, and then tell them it was a great hit. You have team dinners where 50 pounds of food is consumed, but you're all still hungry. You party together and dance your hearts out. You tell each other everything and make friends you will keep forever. There is just something about beating people up on the field together that makes you closer than any other team ever will be.

6. The community.

Regardless of where you go, if you say that you play rugby you will instantly make friends. In another state, country, or continent, it doesn't matter. You will bond over your experiences, tell stories about your best games, and compare positions and strategies. The community that is built over this game is one that you will always be a part of. Once a rugby player, always a rugby player.

7. The sense of pride.

"Wait, you play rugby?" is probably my favorite question in the whole world. Hell yes I play rugby. Yes I tackle people. Yes I ruck. Yes I'm stronger than I look. But yes, I am still a normal 18 year old girl. I don't "look the part," but that doesn't mean as soon as I am on the field I won't kick your ass. I have so much pride for my sport, and I never fail to tell people that I play. Their reaction is what pushes me to be better. People I meet don't always believe me, but as soon as they see me and my team play, they gain instant respect for us. Women's rugby players are a large group of badass females who will have your back forever.

So there it is. The reasons why you should play the greatest sport to ever exist. You don't need any experience and you don't need to fit any mold. My teams have had former soccer and basketball players, cross country stars, a boxer and a wrestler, some dancers, and people who have never played a sport in their life. Yet, we all come together and we make a force to be reckoned with. The girls I have played with have changed my life. And that is by far my favorite part.

Cover Image Credit: Val Keefer

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7 Things That Annoy Volleyball Players More Than Anything

How to get under a volleyball player's skin in two seconds.
Sam
Sam
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I'm not sure why but volleyball players are a very particular group of people — we like what we like and we HATE what we don't, especially when it is volleyball-related. If you're a volleyball player, I'm sure you can relate to this list and if you're not a volleyball player, now you know exactly how you will be able to get under our skin.

1. Girls who wear spandex in public

Don’t get me wrong, we wear spandex for a living. We understand WHY people wear them to workout. But wearing them to the dining hall, class or anywhere that isn’t the gym… please don’t. Put on some shorts or leggings — PLEASE.

2. The “I’ll beat you in volleyball” line

For some odd reason when someone who likes you finds out that you play volleyball, they say this. I’m not sure why, but its really annoying that people think they’re better than you (a collegiate athlete) at the sport you’ve been playing your whole life.

3. When guys mention that they only come to your games because you wear spandex

You’re right, why would any appreciate our athletic ability when you can simply appreciate our butts.

4. Freshman who don’t think they have to do their Freshman duties

PSA: Every single school has freshman duties; YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FRESHMAN WHO HAVE TO DO THEM. Everyone has done them when they were a freshman. Stop complaining, do your duties, and play volleyball because after your freshman season you’ll never have to do it again.

5. When people try to tell you that volleyball isn’t hard

Why don’t you jump for three hours straight and throw your body on the ground hundreds of times and tell me how easy it is.

6. The word "spike"

I honestly feel bad about hating this so much but nothing nothing NOTHING annoys us more than when someone uses the work "spike". For some reason this word went out of style a longgggg time ago and nobody got the memo except the people in the volleyball world. Instead of telling your friend that they had a good spike, tell them that they had a great "hit." HIT = SPIKE.

7. Balls that aren't perfectly blown up

Volleyball players are hands down the most high maintenance group of people when it comes to our sport. I will go through an entire ball cart to find the best ball possible... if the ball is flat, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad. If the ball is too hard, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: Sam
Sam
Sam

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The Ronaldo Effect

CR7's Newest Transfer

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It finally happened. The infamous Cristiano Ronaldo has left the perennial superpower Real Madrid and has taken his talents to Turin. Now what?

Every summer over the past three years there has been rumors about Ronaldo being unhappy at Real Madrid. Whispers of a rift between Ronaldo and Real's president, Florentino Perez, have been said to be one of the reasons that caused Ronaldo to leave. Others have stated that legal troubles over tax evasion have led to Ronaldo being unsettled living in Spain. A quick search will also reveal stories about how Ronaldo felt betrayed by his club not rewarding him with contracts similar to Messi and Neymar despite winning consecutive Ballon d'Or trophies and Champions League finals.

Now, all of that is in the past. Cristiano is a Juventus player.

You can have the Messi-Ronaldo debate all you want but the undisputed fact is that when a player of Ronaldo's caliber and influence completely changes the direction of his career, there are going to be massive ripple effects across the whole footballing world.

The first major change that will happen will be in Real Madrid. What direction will the storied club take? Who will be the next Galactico that they decide to go buy? Immediately following the transfer, the rumor mill started turning. The first three players brought up as a replacement for Ronaldo include Eden Hazard, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. Of course, each of those players would probably require a world record transfer price.

So, what effect does this have on the rest of the transfer market? Essentially, the market would be in a position where the world record transfer price is getting broken on a yearly basis. This yearly rate exponentially drives up the average transfer price of the rest of the market. A player historically worth fifteen million dollars would now be selling for nearly forty to fifty million dollars. At that point, transfers that size are only financially feasible for a small pool of clubs around the world. The way that FIFA has tried to curb this is by creating Financial Fair Play rules. However, the enforcement of these rules is shoddy at best and has not been effective at stopping world record transfers or helping smaller clubs.

My take on this is that if you're going to have laws meant to curb the average transfer price down than it better be strictly enforced. If the rules do not enforce the purpose than FIFA should adopt a free market policy. There simply cannot be laws in place that give the disguise of regulation but in action actually, do nothing. It has corruption written all over it. And we all know about FIFA's history of ethical practices.

Remember, this all comes from the transfer of the notorious CR7.

The other place where Ronaldo's transfer will have major repercussions is in the Serie A, Italy's top flight of club soccer. By joining Juventus, Ronaldo has bolstered a team that continually dominates Serie A year after year. Yet, the Champions League trophy has eluded Juventus despite reaching the final in two of the last four years. Juventus fans will hope that Ronaldo's skill and experience will be the missing piece of the puzzle that will allow them to achieve Champions League glory. Additionally, Juventus has been trying to break the mold and enter into what is considered the top three clubs in the world: Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. The coming of Ronaldo and in-game success that Juventus has had in their history surely at least puts The Old Lady in that debate now.

Now, let's talk about Serie A as a whole. While Serie A used to be one of the top landing spots and most desirable leagues to play in, following corruption scandals and economic turmoil, Serie A took a major fall from grace. Custom to most sports, when there is money to be made, people will step in and fix issues until there is a profit. In Serie A, over the last five years, many of the major teams have been sold to new owners. This has been the catalyst for the revival of Serie A into a destination top players want to be a part of again. Ronaldo's move to Italy confirms that Serie A is back and will surely prompt the transfers of other star players and coaches.

As you can probably tell, money plays a big role in nearly all aspects of soccer. For Juventus, an investment in Ronaldo for over two hundred million dollars seems like a lot for a player who is already thirty-three years old. Although, when you factor in Ronaldo's massive media presence, jersey sales and sponsorships, the investment will be entirely worth it. The earliest indication of this was the Juventus share prices skyrocketing following the imminent transfer.

All in all, the most positive effect of Ronaldo's transfer is a newfound balance of power between the major leagues in Europe. The Clasico in the coming years will no longer feature battles between Ronaldo and Messi, but there is potential for a rivalry to develop between Messi and Neymar should the latter make his way to Real Madrid. You know in the back of Ronaldo's mind he has to be thinking that success in Serie A will push him ahead of Messi in the all-time great debate. Only time will tell.

Odds on a Juventus vs. Barcelona Champions League final, anyone?

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