World Rugby Women's Sevens Series

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World Rugby Women's Sevens
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017–18 World Rugby Women's Sevens
World Rugby Women's Sevens Series logo.png
Sport Rugby union
Founded 2012
No. of teams 12
Country Worldwide
Most recent
champion(s)
 Australia
Most titles  New Zealand (4)

The World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, known as the HSBC Women's World Rugby Sevens Series for sponsorship reasons,[1] is a series of international rugby sevens tournaments for women's national teams run by World Rugby. The inaugural series was held in 2012–13 as the successor to the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup held the previous season.

The series, the women's counterpart to the World Rugby Sevens Series, provides elite-level women's competition between rugby nations. As with the men's Sevens World Series, teams compete for the title by accumulating points based on their finishing position in each tournament.

History[edit]

The first 2012–13 series consisted of four tournaments on three continents. The first two events were hosted by the United Arab Emirates (specifically Dubai) and the United States, both of which host events in the men's version. The other two events were hosted by China and the Netherlands.

For the second series in 2013–14, five tournaments took place; a sixth had initially been announced, but never materialized. All nations that hosted events in 2012–13 hosted in the second season, with the added event hosted by Brazil.[2]

The series expanded to six events for 2014–15. The Dubai, Brazil, USA, and Netherlands events remained on the schedule. China was not on the 2014–15 schedule. New rounds of the series were launched in Canada (specifically in Greater Victoria) and London.[3] Initially, the 2015–16 series was announced with only four events, with London and the Netherlands dropping from the schedule, but a fifth event was eventually added, hosted by France. Events in Australia and Japan were added in 2016–17. With the USA set to host the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, the USA will not be on the 2017–18 schedule.

Tournaments[edit]

Current events[edit]

There were five tournament events in 2017–18. The USA Women's Sevens, which had been part of the schedule in each season since the start of the series, was superseded for that season by the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, set to be held in San Francisco.[4]

Event Stadium (Capacity) City Joined
United Arab Emirates Dubai The Sevens (50,000) Dubai 2012–13
Australia Australia Sydney Football Stadium (45,500) Sydney 2016–17
Japan Japan Mikuni World Stadium Kitakyushu (15,066) Kitakyushu 2016–17
Canada Canada Westhills Stadium (1,600) Langford (Victoria) 2014–15
France France Stade Jean-Bouin (20,000) Paris 2015–16

Event on hiatus[edit]

Event Stadium (Capacity) City Joined
United States USA Sam Boyd Stadium (35,500) Whitney (Las Vegas) 2012–13

Previous events[edit]

Event Stadium (Capacity) City Joined Ended
China China Guangzhou University City Stadium (50,000) Guangzhou 2012–13 2013–14
Brazil São Paulo Arena Barueri (35,000) Barueri (São Paulo) 2013–14 2015–16
England London Twickenham Stoop (14,800) London 2014–15
Netherlands Netherlands NRCA Stadium (10,000) Amsterdam 2012–13 2014–15

Sponsorship[edit]

Unlike the men's Sevens Series, which has enjoyed title sponsorship by banking giant HSBC in recent years, the Women's Sevens Series did not have a title sponsor until 2015–16. HSBC is now the title sponsor of both the men's and women's series.

Results by season[edit]

Summary of the top six placegetters for each series:

Series Season Events 1st, gold medalist(s) Champion 2nd, silver medalist(s) Second  3rd, bronze medalist(s) Third  Fourth Fifth Sixth
I 2012–13 4
New Zealand

England

Canada

United States

Russia

Australia
II 2013–14 5
New Zealand

Australia

Canada

England

Russia

Spain
III 2014–15 6
New Zealand

Canada

Australia

England

United States

France
IV 2015–16 5
Australia

New Zealand

Canada

England

France

United States
V 2016–17 6
New Zealand

Australia

Canada

Fiji

Russia

United States
VI 2017–18 5
Australia

New Zealand

France

Canada

United States

Russia

Format[edit]

Rugby sevens is a 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, generally lasting only seven 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 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.

The women's series features 12 teams in each tournament. The remaining participants are invited on the basis of regional tournament rankings.[5]

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.

Core teams[edit]

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 began with only six.

For the 2013–14 series, the number of core teams was increased to eight, all reached the quarter final from the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens:[2]

Brazil was invited to participate in all events for the 2013–14 series. This was part of an IRB initiative to help jump-start women's rugby development in the country, which is set to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.[2]

For the 2014–15 series, the number of core teams increased to 11, and qualification was extensively revamped, changing to a system more similar to that currently used in the men's World Series. The top seven teams in the 2013–14 series retained core team status. Four additional core teams were determined in a 12-team qualifying tournament held in Hong Kong on 12–13 September 2014.[6] World Rugby did not initially announce full details of the qualification system for future series, but eventually determined that the top nine teams from the 2014–15 series would retain their status for 2015–16, with a world qualifier following in September 2015.[7]

Core teams I II III IV V VI VII
 Australia  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
 Brazil  •
 Canada  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
 China  •  •
 England  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
 Fiji  •  •  •  •  •
 France  •  •  •  •  •
 Ireland  •  •  •  •  •
 Japan  •  •
 Netherlands  •
 New Zealand  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
 Russia  •  •  •  •  •  •
 South Africa  •
 Spain  •  •  •  •  •  •
 United States  •  •  •  •  •  •  •
Total 6[5] 8 11 11[8] 11 11 11

Player awards by season[edit]

Season Rounds Top Scorer Most tries Player of the Year
2012–13 4 New Zealand Portia Woodman (105) New Zealand Portia Woodman (21) New Zealand Kayla McAlister
2013–14 5 Australia Emilee Cherry (195) Australia Emilee Cherry (33) Australia Emilee Cherry
2014–15 6 New Zealand Portia Woodman (?) New Zealand Portia Woodman (52) New Zealand Portia Woodman
2015–16 5 Canada Ghislaine Landry (158) New Zealand Portia Woodman (24) Australia Charlotte Caslick[9]
2016–17 6 Canada Ghislaine Landry (269) New Zealand Michaela Blyde (40) New Zealand Michaela Blyde
2017–18 5 New Zealand Portia Woodman (215) New Zealand Portia Woodman (43) New Zealand Michaela Blyde

Points schedule[edit]

The overall winner of the series was determined by points gained from the standings across all events in the season.[10] The points schedule is similar to that of the men's Series, with the differences noted above.[11][12]

In Series V, 2016–17 the awards changed. At each event teams compete for gold, silver and bronze medals while lower ranked teams will contest a new Challenge Trophy competition.[13] In the first four Series teams played, after the pool stage, for a Cup (1st four teams), a Plate (second 4 teams) and a Bowl (last 4 teams)

Twelve teams competed at each event; nine being "core" teams, with three teams invited to participate in particular events (similar to previous women's series as well as the men's counterpart).

Place Status Points
1st, gold medalist(s) Cup winner and gold medalist 20
2nd, silver medalist(s) Cup runner-up and silver medalist 18
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Cup third-place play-off winner and bronze medalist 16
4 Cup third-place play-off loser 14
5 Cup 5th-place play-off winner 12
6 Cup 5th-place play-off loser 10
7 Cup 7th-place play-off winner 8
8 Cup 7th-place play-off loser 6
9 Challenge trophy winner 4
10 Challenge trophy runner-up 3
11 Challenge trophy 11th-place play-off winner 2
12 Challenge trophy 11th-place play-off loser 1

Tie-breaking: 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:[11]

  1. Overall scoring differential in the season.
  2. Total try count in the season.
  3. If neither produces a winner, the teams are tied.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "HSBC partners with World Rugby for record-breaking sevens properties" (Press release). World Rugby. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Schedule announced for 2013/14 Women's Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Host cities announced for women's series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sevens Series 2018 to finish in Paris as women's dates confirmed". World Rugby. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "IRB announces Women's Sevens World Series" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 4 October 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Women's Sevens Series places up for grabs" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Team GB secure Olympic qualification as Canada claim Amsterdam Sevens" (Press release). World Rugby. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Japan and Ireland qualify for Women's Sevens Series" (Press release). World Rugby. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Caslick crowned Women's Sevens Player of the Year by World Rugby". Daily Telegraph. 4 November 2016. 
  10. ^ "Women's Sevens Series tournament rules". World Rugby. 2016. Archived from the original on 30 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Women's Sevens Series Tournament Rules". World Rugby. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "IRB Sevens World Series: Rules". International Rugby Board. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Men's and women's sevens winners to strike gold". World Rugby.org. 3 October 2016. 

External links[edit]