The Northern Michigan University Men’s Rugby Football Club, AKA the Moosemen, was established in 1979. It is the oldest club on campus, and as such, members of the club try their hardest to preserve the long standing tradition of this great sport. Rugby, much like soccer, is a sport that is recognized worldwide and blends endurance, strength, teamwork, patience and grit. Whilst many do not know much about the sport, it is rapidly gaining recognition throughout the US.
The club competes in two separate seasons during the school year. During the Fall season, the Moosemen participate in the Wisconsin-Illinois Intercollegiate League (WIIL) Rugby Conference and Wisconsin Rugby Football Union (WRFU). There is a seven week competitive schedule against other teams in the WRFU: three home games, three away games, and a bye week. Those teams that qualify can advance to the championship bracket and compete against teams in the other divisions of the WIIL Rugby Conference. The Spring season is a non-competitive season consisting of exhibition matches and tournaments in the Midwest. In past years, the Moosemen have traveled to Detroit to play in the Tradesmen tournament, hosted by the Detroit Tradesmen Men’s League team, and also to Kalamazoo to compete in a tournament hosted by Western Michigan University Rugby Club.
To continue the club’s long-lasting traditions, the NMU RFU hosts an annual Alumni game the first week before the competitive season. Moosemen from prior generations are invited back to play the current generation (and often other invited teams) in a friendly competition. Afterwards, there is a social gathering of food, singing and good spirits put on by the hosting team. This is a way to show respect and give back to the prior generations of NMU ruggers that have given, and continue to give, contributions to the team.
Aside from the competiveness of the sport, playing rugby creates a unique trust and comradery that defines a team. The club offers students the opportunity to build life-long friendships that continue for years on. Often times members will plan recreational outings for the team such as a team canoe/kayak trip down the Au Train River or camping/hiking trips to local hotspots. Nonetheless, there is always fun to be had for all groups.
Dues are $175 per player every fall season BEFORE THE FIRST COMPETIVE GAME. This money goes toward purchasing new shorts and socks, CIPP fees, league fees, and after-game socials. Extra money for travel arrangements must also be kept in mind. Members are also required to purchase a PEIF pass for the year.
Tryouts begin the first week of practice, starting Tuesday Aug. 26 and ending Thursday Aug 28.
*Please note, absolutely no one is cut from the team. Everyone gets to play in a game.
Participants Must Supply
All players must supply their own pair of cleats. Football or soccer cleats are fine as long as they do not have the front toe spike (illegal to have in rugby). Players may wear a mouth guard if they so choose. Additionally, all registered players must have a year-round PEIF pass.
Traveling to away games in the fall is subject to the WRFU schedule. They are usually spread out so that traveling is done every other week, but on occasion there will be back-to-back traveling weekends. For more information, see the Fall game schedule posting. Traveling is done via carpool. Typically, cars leave around Friday afternoon before game day, but travel arrangements are often made to accommodate class and work. Some cars return on Saturday after the game, otherwise most typically stay the night and leave Sunday morning. This leaves options for players to stay or leave early..
Practices are held Tuesday and Thursday 6-8pm held at the pitch (Intramural fields at the corner of Wright and Lincoln Street). IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT PLAYERS ATTEND PRACTICE. Obviously there may be individual complications with class and work obligations, however, strong dedication to practice and games are required for a SUCCESSFUL TEAM.
Additional Requirements & Information
Each participant must have health insurance.
Please keep in mind that there are no tryouts and no one is cut from the team. That being said, there is NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. Those that choose to join will be trained at the position best suited for them and will have the opportunity to play. Regardless of size, shape, race, athletic ability, all players are welcome!
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