Heart of America (college rugby)

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Heart of America (college rugby)
Sport Rugby union
Founded 1975
No. of teams 9
Most recent
University of Missouri
Official website http://hoarfu.org/

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.[1] 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.[2]

The HOA conference is led by Conference Commissioner Miles Hunter of Oklahoma State.[3]

Current members[edit]

The current member schools (and the date they joined the conference) are:[4]

Institution Nickname City State Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joined HOA
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 Manhattan 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
Washington University in St. Louis Griffins* St. Louis MO 1853 UAA 7,303 2016[5]

Member notes:

  • 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.[6]
  • Former member Lindenwood left the HOA conference during the summer of 2013 to play in the Division 1-A Mid/South conference.
  • Washington University are a club team as opposed to an official varsity squad and thus use the moniker Griffins instead of the school's mascot Bears. The Griffins promoted from the Division 2 Gateway Collegiate Rugby Conference.

League results[edit]

Year Champion Runner Up
2009-10 Arkansas Central Missouri
2010-11 Arkansas Central Missouri
2011-12 Missouri Arkansas
2012-13 Lindenwood Arkansas
2013-14 Missouri Iowa State

Heart of America Sevens[edit]

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.

Date Location Champion Score Runner Up Third
Sep 24, 2011 Lawrence, KS Oklahoma  ??? Kansas State Arkansas
Sep 22, 2012 Lawrence, KS Lindenwood 21-5 Arkansas Missouri

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ Clifton, Pat (June 19, 2011). "D1 Conferences Identified". Rugby Magazine. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  3. ^ Rugby Mag, USA Rugby Certifies College Conferences, June 21, 2011, http://www.rugbymag.com/college-news/1271-usa-rugby-certifies-college-conferences.html
  4. ^ Clifton, Pat (August 16, 2012). "DI-AA Conferences Set". Rugby Magazine. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.studlife.com/news/2016/03/10/wu-club-rugby-team-set-to-move-to-division-i/
  6. ^ Rugby Mag, Gateway Collegiate Rugby Conference Launched, April 26, 2012, http://www.rugbymag.com/men's-dii-college-/4307-gateway-collegiate-conference-launched.html