On November 30th, New York City’s Randall’s Island came alive with over 2,000 athletes, representing 140 teams from across the United States and abroad, competing in the 61st Annual New York Sevens Rugby Tournament (NY7s). Hosted by NYC’s own New York Rugby Club, the NY7s is the nation’s oldest and largest single-day Rugby 7s tournament getting its start in 1958.
As has been the custom, this year’s event kicked off with a pre-tournament party at The Australian on New York City’s west 38th street and closed with a Saturday night celebration party at The Liberty, also on W 38th street. In between the parties, some rugby was played on the pitches of New York City’s Randall’s Island.
Above: Randall's Island athletic fields under the R.F. Kennedy Triboro Bridge with the New York City Skyline behind. Photo Credit-Warren Rosenberg
Apart from being the site for the New York Sevens Rugby Tournament, Randall’s Island is also a well-known NY Metro area mecca for sports of all types. Randall’s Island has served as the home for New York’s first professional soccer team, the NY Cosmos on which international soccer star, Pele, played. In 1936 in front of an audience that included President Franklin Roosevelt, Jesse Owens qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team with a victory in the 100 meter dash at the Randall’s Island Olympic Trials and went on to win 4 Olympic Gold Medals at the 1936 Berlin games. Jesse’s victory was reenacted in 2004 by U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Justin Gatlin to celebrate the opening of the island’s Icahn Stadium and recapture a bit of Randall’s Island history. On May 31, 2008, six time Olympic Gold Medalist, Usain Bolt, set a new world record for the 100 meter dash, also in Icahn Stadium. Back in the days when baseball was a segregated sport and before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, the Black Yankees of baseball’s old Negro League played their 1938 season in Triborough Stadium on Randall’s Island although most of their home games were played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Although the NY7s moved to Randall’s Island in 1967 the NY Rugby Football Club has been using the Island since the 1930s.
Above: Bishop Loughlin High School's #13 goes airborne to tackle Rugby New Jersey's #6. The Bishop Loughlin Lion's were ultimately crowned the Boys High School Club Bowl Champions while the Rugby New Jersey team took home the Boys High School Plate Champion's Trophy. Photo Credit-Warren Rosenberg
Above and Below: Teams of the Roots Rugby Family (above, Red and Black and below, Yellow and Black) in action. The Roots Family of teams went on to the Men's Club Bowl Championship and second place finishes in the Men's Collegiate and Men's Premier Cup Championship divisions. Photo Credit-Warren Rosenberg
Above: After traveling over 4,800 miles, Hawaii's South Shore RFC "Manu 'o Ku" recreates her team's flight across the Pacific ocean as she goes 'all in' in pursuit of the catch. Photo Credit - Clark Thompson
Below: Although traveling a much shorter distance, the White Plains Women's RFC (white jersey) recreates her team's battle through the NYC traffic in pursuit of the goal. Photo Credit - Clark Thompson
Above: Members of Canada's Femmes Fatale RFC (white and black jerseys) literally face-off against their opponents in the scrum. Photo Credit - Warren Rosenberg.
Below: Stars Rugby 7s #52 does his best to avoid being tackled by a member of the Upright Rugby Rogues. Photo Credit - Warren Rosenberg
61st Annual New York Sevens Rugby Tournament Final Results
We look forward to seeing the tradition continue as the New York Sevens Rugby Tournament returns to NYC in 2020.