Heart of America (college rugby)
|No. of teams||8|
|Most recent champion(s)||University of Missouri|
The Heart of America Rugby Football Union is a college rugby conference playing in Division 1-AA, with members composed mostly of Big 12 and SEC schools (and many of these schools enjoying longstanding rivalries from the former Big Eight Conference). HOA organizes a league competition with the winner qualifying for the national playoffs, and every fall hosts a rugby sevens tournament with the winner qualifying for the national sevens championships.
Heart of America was a Division 2 conference until 2011, with Arkansas and Missouri ranked among the top teams in Division 2. In summer 2011, however, with the creation of the Premier College Division (Division 1-A), several conferences including HOA decided to move up to Division 1-AA.
The HOA conference is led by Conference Commissioner Miles Hunter of Oklahoma State.
The current member schools (and the date they joined the conference) are:
|University of Arkansas||Razorbacks||Fayetteville||AR||1871||SEC||24,595||1971|
|Iowa State University||Cyclones||Ames||IA||1858||Big 12||29,887||2012|
|University of Kansas||Jayhawks||Lawrence||KS||1865||Big 12||30,004||1980|
|Kansas State University||Wildcats||Kansas||KS||1863||Big 12||23,588|
|University of Missouri||Tigers||Columbia||MO||1839||SEC||34,255|
|Oklahoma State University||Cowboys||Stillwater||OK||1890||Big 12||23,307|
|Truman State University||Bulldogs||Kirksville||MO||1867||GLVC||5,880||1989|
- Lindenwood joined HOA summer of 2012. Lindenwood was the Division 2 champion in 2011-12, and was promoted to Division 1-AA for the 2012-13 year.
- Iowa State joined HOA summer of 2012. Iowa State played in the D1-AA Midwest conference until summer 2012, and joined HOA when the majority of the Midwest conference teams joined the newly formed Big 10 rugby conference.
- Former member Central Missouri left the conference in summer 2012 to play in the Division 2 Gateway Collegiate Rugby Conference.
- Former member Lindenwood left the HOA conference during the summer of 2013 to play in the Division 1-A Mid/South conference.
Heart of America Sevens
The HOA sevens tournament is played every fall among the eight members of the HOA conference and a limited number of additional Division 1 schools. The winner of the HOA sevens tournament qualifies for the annual USA Rugby sevens national championship.
The HOA sevens tournament is one of a number of college rugby tournaments that are tapping into the increased interest of rugby sevens while also targeting traditional collegiate conference rivalries. The HOA developed this competition due to the increasing popularity of rugby sevens throughout the United States, particularly since the 2009 announcement adding rugby sevens to the Summer Olympics, and in the wake of the success of the Collegiate Rugby Championship rugby sevens tournament broadcast live on NBC every year.
|Sep 24, 2011||Lawrence, KS||Oklahoma||???||Kansas State||Arkansas|
|Sep 22, 2012||Lawrence, KS||Lindenwood||21-5||Arkansas||Missouri|
- College rugby
- College Premier Division
- Collegiate Rugby Championship
- USA Rugby
- Rugby union in the United States
- Rugby Mag, Men's DII College Top 25, Dec. 7, 2010, http://www.rugbymag.com/rankings/203-mens-dii-college-top-25-dec-7-2010.html
- Clifton, Pat (June 19, 2011). "D1 Conferences Identified". Rugby Magazine. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
- Rugby Mag, USA Rugby Certifies College Conferences, June 21, 2011, http://www.rugbymag.com/college-news/1271-usa-rugby-certifies-college-conferences.html
- Clifton, Pat (August 16, 2012). "DI-AA Conferences Set". Rugby Magazine. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Rugby Mag, Gateway Collegiate Rugby Conference Launched, April 26, 2012, http://www.rugbymag.com/men's-dii-college-/4307-gateway-collegiate-conference-launched.html