IRB Women's Sevens World Series
|Current season or competition:
2012–13 IRB Women's Sevens World Series
|No. of teams||12|
The IRB Women's Sevens World Series is a series of international rugby union sevens tournaments that debuted in the 2012–13 season. The tournaments, run by the International Rugby Board, feature national women's sevens teams. The series, the women's counterpart to the IRB Sevens World Series, is intended to provide elite-level women's competition between rugby nations and develop the Sevens game in advance of the creation of an Olympic sevens competition in 2016.
As with the men's Sevens World Series, teams compete for the title by accumulating points based on their finishing position in each tournament. The inaugural 2012–13 series will consist of four tournaments on three continents. The first two events will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates and the United States, both of which host events in the men's version. The other two events will be hosted by China and the Netherlands.
The events for the first season were officially announced by the IRB on 4 October 2012.
|IRB Women's Sevens World Series Itinerary (2012–13)|
|UAE (Dubai)||The Sevens (50,000)||Dubai||30 November – 1 December 2012||2012–13||Results|
|USA||BBVA Compass Stadium (22,000)||Houston||1-2 February 2013||2012–13|
|China||Guangzhou University City Stadium (50,000)||Guangzhou||30-31 March 2013||2012–13|
|Netherlands||NRCA Stadium (10,000)||Amsterdam||17-18 May 2013||2012–13|
Unlike the men's Sevens World Series, which enjoys title sponsorship by banking giant HSBC, the Women's Sevens World Series does not yet have a title sponsor.
|Season||Rounds||Champion||Top Scorer||Most tries||Player of the Year|
|2012–13||4||New Zealand||Portia Woodman (105)||Portia Woodman (21)|
Sevens is a stripped-down version of rugby union, invented in Scotland in the 19th century, with seven players each side on a normal-sized field. Games are much shorter, lasting only seven or ten minutes each half, and tend to be very fast-paced, open affairs. The game is quicker and higher-scoring than 15-a-side rugby and the rules are far simpler, which explains part of its appeal. It also gives players the space for superb feats of individual skill. Sevens is traditionally played in a two-day tournament format.
Prior to the inaugural season, a group of "core teams" that are guaranteed places in all series events was announced. This concept is taken directly from the men's series. Unlike the men's series, which features 15 core teams as of the 2012–13 season, the women's series will begin with only six. The initial core teams are:
Unlike the men's series, which features 16, 20, or 28 teams in each tournament, the women's series will begin with 12 teams in each tournament. The remaining six participants are invited on the basis of regional tournament rankings.
Each tournament uses a format similar to that of the men's series, adjusted for the lower number of teams, with pool play followed by three separate knockout tournaments. The IRB did not initially announce whether the women's series would follow the men's practice of conducting tournaments for multiple trophies of varying prestige. In the end, it chose to follow the men's practice, although with minor adjustments. Since each women's tournament has only 12 teams, as opposed to the 16 that compete for series points in all events of the men's series except the London Sevens, the fourth-level Shield trophy is not contested in the women's series. Both series offer a Cup trophy to the overall winner, with lower-level Plate and Bowl trophies also contested.
One significant difference between tournament formats in the men's and women's series is that in the women's series, the losers of the Plate and Bowl semi-finals play in classification matches. In the men's series, the only semi-final losers who play a classification match are those in the Cup tournament.
Points schedule 
The season championship will be determined by points earned in each tournament. The points schedule is similar to that of the men's IRB Sevens, with the differences noted in the previous section.
|Cup third-place play-off winner||3rd||16|
|Cup third-place play-off loser||4th||14|
|Plate seventh-place play-off winner||7th||8|
|Plate seventh-place play-off loser||8th||6|
|Bowl 11th-place play-off winner||11th||2|
|Bowl 11th-place play-off loser||12th||1|
Should teams finish equal on series points at the end of the season, the tiebreakers are the same as those in the men's series:
- Overall scoring differential in the season.
- Total try count in the season.
- If neither produces a winner, the teams are tied.
See also 
Notes and references 
- "IRB announces Women's Sevens World Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- "IRB Women's Sevens World Series: Rules". International Rugby Board. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
- "IRB Sevens World Series: Rules". International Rugby Board. Retrieved January 4, 2013.