Yale Rugby

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Yale University RFC
Full name Yale University Rugby Football Club
Union USA Rugby
Nickname(s) Bulldogs
Founded 1875
Location New Haven, Connecticut
Ground(s) Upper Athletic Fields 41°18′47″N 72°58′05″W / 41.313°N 72.968°W / 41.313; -72.968 (Rickerson Field)Coordinates: 41°18′47″N 72°58′05″W / 41.313°N 72.968°W / 41.313; -72.968 (Rickerson Field)
Coach(es) United StatesJan Pikul
United StatesJohn Broker
League(s) Ivy Rugby Conference
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

The Yale University Rugby Football Club (YRFC), or simply, Yale Rugby is the rugby union team of Yale University. The school competes in the Ivy League in Division I-AA of USA Rugby's intercollegiate competition. The YRFC plays a fall and spring schedule, which includes both a 15s and a 7s program. The team has approximate 45 players and has two coaches, Jan Pikul and John Broker.[1]


Men's Team[edit]

Yale Rugby was founded in 1875, making it one of the oldest rugby teams in North America.[2][3] It competes in the Ivy League. It was a founding member the Intercollegiate Football Association, along with Rutgers, Princeton, and Columbia, which used the rugby code.

Yale Rugby was also an important progenitor of American Football. Walter Camp, a Yale Alumnus and rugby player, helped influence the American rules so that by 1882 the rules innovations like the snap and downs had distinguished the American game from rugby.[4]

Yale Rugby, along with the Harvard and Princeton Rugby teams, began the tradition of U.S. college students going on Spring Break to the Caribbean.[5][6]

Women's Team[edit]

The Yale Women's Rugby Football Club was founded in 1978.[7]

Cup's and Competitions[edit]

Ivy League Regular Season[edit]

Main article: Ivy Rugby Conference

The first Ivy League Rugby Championship was played in 1969.[8] In 2009, the men joined a newly established Ivy Rugby Conference that was formed to foster better competition among rugby teams from the Ivy League schools and to raise the quality of play. Ivy Rugby formed committees to manage the league independently of the Territorial Area Unions.[9] The Ivy Rugby Conference, and specifically its sevens tournament, has enabled the Ivy schools to tap into existing rivalries and fan bases.[10] The women began a full season of Ivy League play in the fall of 2011.[11]

The Koranda Cup[edit]

The Yale vs. Princeton rugby rivalry has strong historic roots dating back to the 1870s. In 2002, after many years of not playing Yale regularly, Princeton decided to re-establish the tradition and challenge Yale to an annual match each spring. The following year, Yale graciously accepted Princeton's request to make the match special for both teams by creating a trophy in memory of Rob Koranda.[12] Rob died in a Chicago porch collapse in June 2003, a tragedy that claimed 12 other young lives.

Las Vegas 7's Invitational[edit]

The Yale team competes annually in the Las Vegas 7's tournament.[13]

Notable Alumni[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.usarugby.org/college-directory/item/yale
  2. ^ E Digby Baltzell, "Goodbye To All That," Society 31, no. 2 (January 1994): 62-71. http://www.springerlink.com/content/m6745608466780k7/
  3. ^ http://www.ivyrugby.com/yale-rugby/yale-men
  4. ^ "Camp and His Followers: American Football 1876–1889". The Journey to Camp: The Origins of American Football to 1889. Professional Football Researchers Association.
  5. ^ Sports Illustrated, "Bermuda College Week," March 26, 1956. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1069587/index.htm
  6. ^ Life Magazine, "Collegians in Bermuda," April 26, 1948.
  7. ^ http://www.yale.edu/ywrfc/Womens_Rugby/Home.html
  8. ^ http://www.americanrugbynews.com/artman/publish/college/Ivy_League_Championships.shtml
  9. ^ Ivy Rugby, http://www.ivyrugby.com/about-ivy-rugby
  10. ^ Gainline.us, 7s tournament points to resurgence of invitationals, Nov. 11, 2011, http://www.gainline.us/gainline/2011/11/7s-tournament-points-to-resurgence-of-invitationals.html
  11. ^ http://www.americanrugbynews.com/artman/publish/college/Ivy_League_teams_split_from_NERFU.shtml
  12. ^ Annual Rob Koranda Cup: Princeton vs. Yale http://www.ivyrugby.com/match-schedule/2011/annual-rob-koranda-cup-princeton-vs-yale
  13. ^ http://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/las-vegas-invitational/2013-registered-teams/
  14. ^ George W. Bush, left, playing rugby http://www.latimes.com/la-badboy_i27hnikf,0,2687743.photo