Welcome to Memphis Flamingo Women’s Rugby
If you’re reading this, chances are that you either: (A) came out to a practice, or (B) at some point in time expressed some interest, or at least curiosity, about our fine sport. You may have downloaded this from our website, or received it in an email. Either way, you’re here now, and hopefully considering rugby as a new hobby. Allow me to explain why that would be a wonderful idea…
Let us introduce ourselves…
Whether you’re an experienced rugger looking for a new team, a non‐rugby athlete looking
to try a new sport during the off‐season, or just someone looking for a fun way to get in
shape and make some great new friends, we have a place for you. Memphis Women’s Rugby
was founded in 2004, and we have grown tremendously since then. Each season
brings new cities to visit, new teams to meet, and new stories to tell.
Who can play rugby?
Just about anyone. Perhaps that’s why rugby is one of the most popular sports in the world (second only to soccer) and one of the fastest-growing sports in America. You’re probably not too young, nor too old: We’ve had players ranging in age from 16 to 42. Worried that you’re not “built for rugby”? The diverse nature of the game requires players of all body‐types, short and tall, big and small. Our players have varied backgrounds and lives, from college students to trained professionals such as paralegals, teachers, accountants, auditors, managers, technicians, physical therapists, counselors, computer specialists, members of the Armed Forces, and more. Some of our players have even taken breaks to become mothers and they came back to play again the next year!
Ok, so anyone can play. But why?
Well, rugby is an amazingly fun sport that sharpens your athletic AND mental abilities. But for some, it’s also a family – cheesy perhaps, but true. You won’t just make friends on this team – you’ll make friends on every team you play against. Once you become a rugger, you have a home no matter where you go. Moving to a new city? Call up the local rugby team – I guarantee they’ll be happy to hear from you. Last, not certainly not least, you get to hit people. No pads, no holding back – it’s a feeling like no other. So, thanks for reading this far, and we hope to see you at the next practice!
Frequently Asked Questions:
When do you play?
Regardless of school, work, family, or other sports commitments, we can help you fit rugby into your schedule. We play two different versions of rugby, three seasons a year. Also, we’re always accepting new players, whether the season has just begun or is halfway through!
Each season lasts about 3 months (Roughly: Spring: Feb – Apr, Fall: Sep – Nov), and we typically play 2‐3 weekends per month. Individual games and round robins are on Saturdays and some tournaments run Saturday‐Sunday.
What's the difference between 15's vs. Summer 7's?
15's is the traditional version of rugby – 15 players per side, 25‐40 minute halves
(we tend to play shorter halves during tournaments when multiple games are played in one day.)
We have a “non‐competitive” 15's season and a “competitive” 15's season – this is when our regional & national competitions are held.
In 7's, each team consists of 7 players per side, and the games are only 15 minutes long: 7 minutes per half with a 1-minute half‐time. This version of the game is much more fast‐paced with more scoring and less tackling. During the summer season (Jun‐Aug), we typically play 3‐4 tournaments –because each match only lasts 15 minutes. 7's is played tournament‐style, not as individual games.
Does it cost anything to play?
Unfortunately, yes. There are tournament fees, foundation dues, referee fees, pitch-lining equipment, and many other costs that go into allowing us to play this great sport so we do have membership dues. However, you can arrange a payment plan for dues, and new players can sometimes borrow shorts and socks from other players until they can arrange to buy their own.
How do I join the team?
Just come out to practice! Unlike many sports, we don’t have tryouts. We’re a growing team, and anyone is welcome, anytime. Practices are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at the University of Memphis Memorial Field. Practices start at 6:30 pm and last approximately two hours. If you’re coming out for the first time, we recommend contacting someone on the team first – we sometimes change locations, or go inside and watch game videos if the weather is bad enough. Our coaches are Tim Brennan, Ralph Parks, and Beth Halldorson and they do their best to balance out practices so they teach the basics to new players while still challenging the more experienced ones.
I’ve never played rugby before. Are you all going to laugh at me?
Well, maybe just a little bit. Luckily, you won’t be alone. Despite its rising popularity, rugby is still an unknown sport to many people. Therefore, many of our new recruits have never played the game before. We’re prepared to train you from the ground up, even if you still thought rugby was “that game with the sticks” (FYI: That’s lacrosse). We also have a Rugby 101 page on our website with videos explaining the basic rules of the game. Don’t worry about grasping all the rules right away ‐ it’s an accepted fact that if a rookie does not get at least one penalty in her first game, she simply wasn’t trying hard enough.
What should I wear to practice? What else should I bring?
Are there any other costs involved?
• You must possess medical insurance coverage of $100,000 or more. Playing any sport without insurance is not recommended.
• You must become a member of USA Rugby. Current cost: $65. You must join prior to your first game.
(This is known as your CIPP fee.) Click HERE to CIPP.
• You must pay dues each Spring and Fall season to Memphis WRFC. Current cost: $100. But we have exceptions. Social members pay only $25. (During Summer 7s, players split the tournament fees instead of paying dues.)
What gear do I need?
• You are responsible for providing your own black shorts for game day – we often place group orders for these to save money. Team socks will be available for purchase.
• Soccer cleats are a good enough start for shoes. If you have another style of cleats, make sure there is no toe cleat. Ladies designated to play in the 'tight five' may wish to consider rugby boots.
• Gameday uniform shirts are provided by the club.
Tackling without a mouth guard is not advisable. You can pick one up at any store selling sporting goods.
What's the deal with traveling?
• Our away games are typically 2‐6 hours away. We arrange carpools for the road‐trips and share hotel rooms, and everyone splits the costs. (It ends up being quite reasonable.) Sometimes, the home team will even hook us up with a free place to stay.
• The home team is expected to host a social after the game – this usually includes free beer and soda, and sometimes even free food, which helps keep costs down.
• Teams often have t‐shirts and other merchandise for sale, especially at tournaments, so bring some extra spending money.
Anything else I should know about?
-This is a lifestyle and rugby will change your life.
-Don't get discouraged. This sport is a challenge to learn but once you do you will love it. It really is a mental game as much as it is a physical game.
-Rugby has one of the most unique cultures in that anywhere you go if you know about rugby fellow ruggers will immediately embrace you.
-Rugby is the greatest sport ever created.
-Rugby can be addictive. Obsessions can form. You have been warned.