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What is Sevens Rugby?
Sevens Rugby is a fast paced variation of regular rugby where there are seven players on a side playing for seven minutes per half.  The entire match lasts less than 20 minutes.  It is usually played tournament style with two or three games per team and between three and four (or more) Clubs participating in the tournament.  In club rugby, it is usually played in the off-season - in the summer, so is sometimes referred to as Summer Sevens.
Where are games played?
Normally, rugby clubs host a game once or twice a season at their home field and travel to the other games.  As such, we will play several times here in Encinitas and travel to the other games.  The Coastal Dragons 2012 schedule will take us to tournaments at the magnificent Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista and up to the Backbay Tournament in Newport Beach. All of our regular season games will be played in San Diego county. Rugby is also a touring sport and the Coastal Dragons has an incredible opportunity to organize trips to play non-league games in other parts of California, other states and even internationally!  Unlike many youth sports, in rugby the visiting team is hosted by the home team.  In addition to providing a playing field, coordinating schedules of different age groups and officials, the hosting team usually provides food and drinks for all.  After games we all get together to honor the one of the greatest traditions of rugby in that players from all teams gather to celebrate the great battle, share stories and build friendships.

Who do we play against?
The Coastal Dragons are scheduled to play against all of the San Diego based teams listed below but in tournaments we will meet up with clubs from all over southern and northern California, some examples are:

  • San Clemente Gators
  • Poway Youth Rugby Club
  • San Marcos Penguins
  • Oceanside Hurricanes
  • Del Mar Mustangs
  • San Diego Aztecs
  • San Diego Wallabies
  • Fallbrook Youth Rugby Club

What ages can play rugby with the Coastal Dragons?
The Coastal Dragon Rugby Football Club intends to field age groups U08, U10, U12, U14, U16 and a U18 team. Girls are allowed to play tackle with boys U8-U12 by USA Rugby and the So Cal Youth Rugby Organization.  Girls/boys only teams begin at U14 and up.  At the moment, we will not have a girls U14/16 team. Age groups are established by a basic rule of thumb; whatever age you are on August 31st of the year prior to the season, determines your age group see the Registration page.

If I sign my child up, is he guaranteed to play?
Yes.  Provided there is no unsual safety issue involved, any child signed up will be given the opportunity to play.  However, your child may or may not play on the first string or first side, and probably will not play every minute of every game.  The Coastal Dragons is a club and not a recreational sport sponsored by the city.  We have a limited number of coaches, fields and competition and cannot accept an unlimited number of players.  In order to provide an opportunity for all players to play, we set a cap on all age groups.  At older age groups (U12 and up) there is a formal roster of players that must be filed with our parent sports body, and presented to the referee and opposing team before the match.  There is maximum number of players that can be placed on the roster and only the players on the roster may play in the game.  Thus, if we have 30 or 40 boys signed up for one age group, we will field two teams from this age group, a first side and a developmental side, and will mix and match throughout the season.  The priority given to placing players on the first side or on the developmental side depends on a variety of factors including, experience, knowledge and understanding of the game, ability, attitude, attendance at practices, "heart" or desire, and improvement. 

Clothing, Apparel, and Special Equipment
A good mouthguard, sturdy shorts, socks, jersey and proper cleats are the only equipment neccessary.  The club will issue each player a "kit" toward the end of November consisting normally of shorts, socks, and a T-shirt.  Mouthguards and cleats are the players responsibility.  Team jerseys are handed out prior to the beginning of each game and collected afterwards and washed, usually by one of the team moms.  Soccer cleats are fine for rugby, American style football shoes with cleats at the toe, are not - unless the toe cleat/s are removed.  Cleats with sharp edges, such as some football cleats or poorly maintained soccer cleats -that can easily cut or punture the skin- are not acceptable. 
-All  Youth Rugby Clubs in Southern California have been informed by So Cal Youth Rugby that "per USA Rugby policy, eyewear (goggles, sports glasses etc.) is not permitted to be worn by a player when tackle rugby is played."
-Additionally, rugby rules specifically prohibit most types of padded clothing (shorts, T-shirts, and undergarmets) unless approved by the IRB (International Rugby Board).  These items of apparel will have an IRB approval label on them.  In any case of doubt, the referee of the game is the person deciding. 

My son needs corrective lenses, can he wear eyeglasses?
No.    -All Youth Rugby Clubs in Southern California have been informed by So Cal Youth Rugby that "per USA Rugby policy, eyewear (goggles, sports glasses etc.) is not permitted to be worn by a player when tackle rugby is played."

I heard rugby is dangerous, is it?
The biggest difference between rugby and football is that rugby is game of avoidance and football is a game of collision. In rugby that extra yard gained or lost in a tackle is inconsequential because the clock never stops and the ball is always live and in play, moving from player to player avoiding contact. Much like soccer, rugby is safer than other team sports like hockey, football and lacrosse. Because they don't wear heavy "protective" equipment, rugby players are more aware of their physical position, particularly their head, neck and shoulders. By playing for possession of the ball, not yardage, and the rule of no blocking, players are less likely to be injured by other players.

For more on rugby safety, please see the USA Rugby organization web site which has a number of resources and informational articles: http://usarugby.org - and specifically for youth rugby:


Do all age groups tackle?
No -  Our U08 age group does not play contact rugby.  They play touch rugby.  We begin to play contact rugby at the U10 and higher age groups.

I saw rugby on TV and the players were giants, can my smaller child play?
Keep in mind that you probably watched an international game given that it was on TV in the USA. Yes those players are insanely large and powerful but if you saw a defensive tackle walking down the road would you think your child couldn't play Pop Warner football? The beauty of rugby is that there is a position specifically suited for every shape and size. The beefy players make up the highly skilled front row in the scrum while the taller players are the jumpers in the lineouts. Slender, nippy players zig and zag and are extremely deft at running the ball in the backline. Short - tall - bulky - slender - fast - slow there is always a place for you on a rugby team and you will definitely get your chance to run with the ball or tackle someone else running with it.

Are there height or weight limits for the different age groups?
No.  There are no maximum height or weight restrictions in any of the age groups.  An exceptionally small child for their age, in younger age groups, might qualify to play down for a season.  See the link to So Cal Youth Rugby for an explanation of the rules and considerations for a child playing down.

Can my child play down an age group?
Yes.  It is possible for a child in a younger age group, who is exceptionally small, to play down an age group for the season.  The Club must request a waiver from So Cal Youth Rugby to allow a player to play down an age group.  If an older player begins playing down - then plays up, generally speaking, they cannot return to the lower age group.  See the link to So Cal Youth Rugby for an explanation of the rules and considerations for a child playing down.  http://www.socalyouthrugby.org/Regulations.php

Can my child play up an age group?
Yes.  It is possible for a child to play up an age group.  However, this is not neccessarily a good thing for the child.  Even though a child may be big for their age, there is more to consider than size.  Generally speaking, a child enjoys an activity they can do well at with regard to their peers.  Attention span, learning ability, eye-hand coordination, fitness levels, maturity, and the ability to focus or concentrate all generally increase with age.  A large child performing at the same level as his peers will most likely enjoy his efforts.  While a child the same size as his older mates who has a lesser abiltiy than they do in grasping concepts, skills, drills and lessons often will feel frustrated. 

Will Youth Rugby help me in my other sports?
Rugby is excellent preparation for any team sport. The game will get you in excellent shape. Your spatial orientation will improve dramatically. Your passing will be vastly improved in your other sports, whether it's with a stick in lacrosse, your feet in soccer, your hands in basketball, or your tackling skills in Pop Warner Football.

Will I get to touch the ball?
Absolutely! In rugby there are no downs, the ball keeps moving around the field. Everyone touches the ball! Everyone runs with the ball! Everyone passes the ball! Everyone is a running back on offense and a linebacker on defense.

Are there special skills or knowledge necessary to start playing Youth Rugby?
Absolutely yes - you have to be able to have tons of fun! Actually, no special skills are necessary to begin. If you can pass a little bit and catch a ball while running, you'll be a star. You will concentrate on the skills of tackling, passing, running, kicking and positional play.

Are there tryouts or cuts?
No.  We take everyone.  Teaching children to play, love and respect the sport of rugby is fundamental to the club.

When are you too old to learn to play rugby?
You can learn to play rugby at almost any age.  Many of the senior players here in the US began playing in their late teens or 20s.  In rugby, like most sports, an athlete with 15 years of experience will play smarter and generally better than someone with just one or two years.  Rugby is more than just a sport though.  Some of our club parents actually played their first (full contact) game in their 40s and 60s!!  Old Boys Rugby, like Youth Rugby, pits players of the same approximate age against one another, making it a game for youths, adults, and those over 40.

Where can I find out more about the sport?
See the ABOUT Page for general information and useful links to other resources.   

How do I start?
Well you have already taken the first steps by visiting the Coastal Dragons website. Simply go to the registration page and sign up or contact us and a youth director will contact you shortly. If you live outside of the North County San Diego area, drop us a line and we will direct you to your local rugby club.

How can I become a sponsor?
Please see the page under Sponsors for sponsorship opportunities.