The average American knows little about rugby. They are unfamiliar with how the game is played, the rules, the traditions, the difference between a scrum and a ruck or the need for head-to-toe electrical tape. They don’t get the lack of pads, blocking, forward passes, and the need to actually touch the ball down over something called a Try Line. They are unaware that their country has been the defending Olympic Champions for 87 years and their Amazonian females bested the world to win the first ever Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The reasons for this are many: a lack of domestic broadcasting, an unwillingness of talented athletes to play in front of small crowds, and lucrative wages in the mainstream sports of football, basketball, and baseball that lure the best athletes to go for broke and make it in the big leagues.
But those days are numbered and this makes the rugby world both nervous and excited because they all know about the untapped potential in North America to invigorate and subsequently dominate a sport that we have not excelled at for a long time.
While the world thinks America is apathetic to rugby, the reality is that the mainstream sports are slowly losing their grip on an incredible talent pool of naturally gifted athletes, while niche sports like rugby and lacrosse are gaining momentum by leaps and bounds. By some estimates there are as many as 2500 rugby teams in America.
And America hasn't even committed to it yet.
Let's put things into perspective - America is the richest country in the world with a population of 330 million people. There are 100,000 more NCAA athletes in America than the combined populations of Fiji and Tonga and yet both of those tiny countries boast a more powerful rugby team than America. The champion New Zealand All Blacks hail from a country with half the population of New York City.
USA Rugby has not placed in the top 6 in the HSBC Sevens tournament since it began 11 years ago and have failed to make it past the pool rounds of the World Cup since its inception in 1987.
That has to change.
At American Sin Bin we seek to bring the glory back to American rugby by raising awareness, educating the masses, improving youth rugby, and infusing the sport with more funding. We’re putting our money where our mouths are by hosting the first American Sin Bin tournament in 2012 and offering sponsorships for some of the top rugby teams across the country.
Rugby is a game of sacrifice where every inch comes with a price. We get that. We’re all ruggers and / or military veterans, so it’s a culture that we understand.
We know an American rugby team can proudly hoist a World Cup over their heads one day and bring our country into the highest level of the sport. We’ve got everything it takes. We just need to get it done.We are American rugby.