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Why Rugby?

  • Rugby is a sport for everyone. Whatever your size, speed, strength, gender there is a spot for you on the pitch.
  • It’s a great workout!
  • Your teammates will become your family.
  • It’s fun!
  • Discipline, Respect, Integrity, Passion and Solidarity. These are the values of the game, and these are the values we live by.
  • The US will hold the World Cup in 2031/2033. Start playing now and you could be representing your country!
  • Where ever you are in the world you can be guaranteed that if you see another rugby player that you’ve got a bed if you need it, food if you want it and a friend you didn’t know you had.

Why join the Panthers?

  • We offer a year-round program for players interested in playing the full school year, but also offer flexibility to players who want to combine Rugby with other fall sports such as Football
  • Our coaches are passionate and have an international Rugby background, they have deep roots in the game and offer a depth of knowledge rare at the youth level
  • Our coaching philosophy puts the emphasis on skills & player development rather than on athleticism. Our style of play reflects this approach, with a focus on movement, agility, ball handling skills and team skills rather than relying only on physicality.
  • Our top priority is safety. We compete agressively in league games and coach our kids to win, but we will rather lose a game than put any player at risk.

Who Can Play Rugby?

The short answer is anyone can play rugby.

Rugby is not just for large men. There is a spot for all sizes, speeds, genders on the rugby pitch. You will notice that most rugby teams do not have names on their jerseys, this is because the focus is on the team and not the player.

Panthers Rugby Club is focused solely on Youth Rugby and we accept players from as young as 6. Players must have enough maturity and attention-span to participate in 1h30 practices and follow instructions of the coaches. If after a few sessions coaches find that your child has difficulty following practices – which is not unusual at this age – we may reach out to you to discuss postponing their participation to the following year, for their benefit and the benefit of the group.

Is Youth Rugby Safe?

Rugby is a contact sport, and as such carries an inherent risk of injury. While it is difficult to characterize injury risks, we can offer some opinions (if not indisputable facts), and share our coaching philosophy:

  • Rugby is not more dangerous than American Football, we believe it is actually safer.
  • The risk of concussion is significantly lower in Rugby as tackles are done with the shoulder, and any contact to the head by a player is severely sanctioned (up to a red card)
  • No tackling is allowed to be done during practice unless a coach with a bare minimum of Level 200 is available to supervise and maintain a safe environment. All Level 200 coaches have had Concussion Protocol training.
  • The emphasis of Rugby USA, Rugby WA and the Panthers Youth Rugby Club is to put player safety first. We have stopped league games in the past when we considered that our players’ safety was at risk.
  • As a club and as coaches, we pride ourselves in having had few player injuries, at a rate similar to soccer for example.

What equipment do I need?

One of the nice things about Rugby is how little equipment is required to play.

Required Gear:

All players doing contact (U12 and above) must wear a mouthguard (gumshield). A rugby mouthguard is just a simple upper mouthguard (pictured to left). Do NOT get a double layer “football” style mouthguard, or one with a strap to attach it to a helmet. Having a case is a nice feature, and we’d recommend buying more than one for youth players as they tend to chew them for some reason and often need a mid-season replacement.

Please follow the instructions on how to shape and fit the mouthguard appropriately. If for some reason your mouthguard did not come with instructions, this video covers a basic fitting.

Panthers rugby jersey and shorts. You need clothes that can hold up to the rigors of the sport. We have used gear in a variety of sizes, please contact us if you’d like to see if we have something that would work. You can also buy new gear if you’d prefer on our store.

Important: We practice in almost all weather, and since we are in the Pacific North West it can get a little cold and wet at times. For the colder evenings we highly recommend having a pair of tights/sweats under your shorts and a long sleeve athletic top under your jersey. You don’t want too many layers on the pitch, but a warm WATERPROOF coat on the sidelines is very important because you can cool down very quickly after practice. In general we find gloves tend to interfere with passing and catching so having pockets can be useful to quickly warm up cold hands, and a beanie does wonders for keeping the rest of your body warmer.

Optional Gear (but highly recommended):

Technically not required, having a good pair of cleats can make all the difference in the world. They give you traction on the field allowing you to contest for the ball, and juke your opponents.

Most players wear standard soccer cleats. In general we would recommend cleats with plastic studs as those can be used on both grass and artificial turf. Football cleats with metal blades are not allowed. If you are concerned about whether your cleats are legal, please ask a coach or refer to the USA Rugby Handbook.