About Ivy Rugby

Ivy Rugby Conference and Championship Series

The Ivy Rugby Conference is a men's and women's rugby league featuring each of the eight schools of the Ivy League.

The men's and women's teams of Ivy Rugby Conference constitute its own conference of USA Rugby. Ivy Rugby’s collegiate conference replaces the prior structure for the teams, which had required them to be part of four (4) Local Area Unions (“LAUs”) (EPRU, Met NY, Upstate NY and New England) in two (2) Territorial Unions (“TUs”) (Northeast, MARFU).   Ivy Rugby still hires four (4) referee societies (EPRRS, Met NY, Upstate NY and New England). With Operating Rules approved, Ivy Rugby has had its core league structure in place since 2010 and presently has formed committees to manage the league independent of LAUs and TUs. The Competitions Committee, in place since 2009, has done great work establishing the schedule and deciding on key competition logistical issues. The original Governance Committee was responsible for establishing the Operating Rules in 2009.

2010 marked the second full season of the Ivy Rugby Conference. The year brought more parity and, frankly, the competition was fierce. Dartmouth accepted an invitation to play in the newly-formed USA Rugby Premier League and the league has qualified to participate in the USA Rugby Division 1 playoffs. With Dartmouth not eligible due to their Premier status, the season culminates with a four-team Wildcard playoff to determine second place in the Ivies and the Ivy representative for the D1 playoffs. Though Dartmouth had already accepted the Premier bid, the 2010 Ivy Rugby Conference champion was not officially crowned until Dartmouth defeated Harvard on the last weekend of the season.

The fall of 2009 was the beginning of a new era for Ivy Rugby! After years of talking about it and dreaming about the possibilities, the eight clubs from the Ivy League universities have banded together to form the Ivy Rugby Conference.

Although there had been discussions about the rugby clubs forming an Ivy League for years, discussions picked up recently at the 2007 Ivy Tournament. After the 2008 tournament, various coaches put their concerns and thoughts on the table and prospective schedules were cobbled together. It certainly wasn't easy to find an agreement that worked for all eight clubs, especially considering the differences in financing and on-field capabilities. But Jan Pikul from Yale finally found a way to bring the two extremes, Dartmouth's Alex Magleby and University of Pennsylvania's Rich McGovern, and all the clubs in-between into agreement.

While there are still many hurdles to overcome, this new alignment creates many possibilities and opportunities for the future. First and foremost, the new conference will foster better competition among the Ivy League teams and raise the level of play.

Although we're still in our infancy, we have already dreamed "big". While the formation of this new league will require a much greater commitment on our part, all of the Ivy League teams are excited about the challenge and eager to be a part of this prestigious competition.

The Ivy Rugby Tournament

In the modern era, since 1969, clubs of the eight Ivy League universities competed in the Ivy Rugby Championship Tournament. The 41st annual 2009 Ivy Rugby Championships was no different, except that, as present plans have been made, it was the last tournament gathering of all eight schools for a 15-a-side men's tournament.

The 2009 event was dominated by Dartmouth and hosted on Saturday at Yale and Sunday on the campus of Columbia University at the soccer and rugby stadium. The 2008 event was also hosted by Columbia University RFC and dominated by Dartmouth. Dartmouth scored a combined 143 points to 0 for their opponents. The last two years have been big weekends for the green!

All Ivy League Tournament Results (1969-2009) »