Sevens

Tra­di­tion­ally, sev­ens was con­sid­ered a bit of fun to wind down the sea­son. Nowa­days, how­ever, it is seen as an exten­sion to the sea­son with more and more sev­ens activ­i­ties tak­ing place. The game is pop­u­lar at all lev­els, with ama­teur and club tour­na­ments gen­er­ally held in the sum­mer months. Sev­ens is one of the most well dis­trib­uted forms of rugby, and is pop­u­lar in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Amer­i­cas, and espe­cially in the South Pacific.
It truly is a global sport with a huge world­wide fol­low­ing, and as such, will be mak­ing its debut in the 2016 Sum­mer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Basic Rules

  • Seven-​a-​side con­tact rugby
  • Three-​man scrums (instead of eight)
  • Tour­na­ments gen­er­ally held in the sum­mer months
  • Seven-​minute halves, one-​minute half-​time
  • Recog­nised at inter­na­tional level

The key fac­tor in sev­ens is that, as the name clev­erly sug­gests, there are only seven play­ers in each team. This means more ground for each per­son to cover, but also more pos­ses­sion of the ball for each player.

There are just three peo­ple in a scrum and two or three in a line­out, whereas in the full game there can be up to eight play­ers in each.

As a result, tech­ni­cal offences are less com­mon and play is faster and freer flow­ing. In addi­tion, set pieces are a lot sim­pler to under­stand, which is great if you can’t get your head around all those scrum laws!

With fewer play­ers on the pitch, there is plenty of space for indi­vid­u­als to show off their skills. It is a game that really exploits the basics of rugby – run­ning, pass­ing, tack­ling and decision-​making. To be suc­cess­ful you need speed, skill and stamina.

Speed and sta­mina the key

Speed is prob­a­bly the great­est asset in becom­ing a star on the sev­ens scene, but you can­not rely on indi­vid­ual flair. Teams have fewer play­ers to cover the pitch, so it is impor­tant that every­body works together in unison.

The aim is to cre­ate as much space as pos­si­ble for your team-​mates and to out­ma­noeu­vre oppo­si­tion defend­ers using nifty foot­work, such as a swerve or a sidestep.

It is impor­tant to keep pos­ses­sion, so you have to look after the ball well. That means work­ing hard in the con­tact area. If you lose the ball in the tackle or if you miss a tackle, it will prob­a­bly mean a try for the opposition.

You can­not rely on other peo­ple to have it cov­ered as they might in the 15-​man game. There really is no place to hide in sevens!