Booth Rugby gets ready to play.
Do you like sunshine? How about competition and beer? So does the Booth Rugby Club, which escaped a snowy Chicago weekend to compete in the 2013 Rugby MBA World Cup in Danville, VA on April 13-14. Fifteen members of the club made the trek to the East Coast tournament, which was hosted by the Duke Rugby Club, marking the first time Booth has fielded a team there since 2006.
The club joined more than 500 rugby-playing MBA students (male and female) from schools around the world including Kellogg, Wharton, HBS, Columbia, Stanford and more. Teaming up with a small group from the UVA Darden School of Business, Booth finished 14 out of 19 teams, playing games against Cornell (Johnson), Duke (Fuqua), London Business School and SMU (Cox). The team from University College of Dublin (Smurfit) took the cup the 14th time in 17 years in a championship matchup vs. LBS.
Rugby has a long and rich tradition at Booth (the club belonged to the GSB in the 1980s when it was in its prime), as well as in MBA programs across the world, and it's not hard to see why. Those familiar with the sport know that Rugby is as much about the post-game traditions as it is about the 80 minutes spent on the pitch. Generally described as a hooligan's sport played by gentlemen, rugby's etiquette requires both teams to join for drinks and celebration, regardless of what happens during the game. Picture TNDC with poorer manners, more drinking songs and a mechanical bull, and you might come close to Shooter's Tavern in Durham for the closing tournament social.
As one of Booth's lesser known, but more active extramural student-groups, this year was a big one for the team, which plans to become recognized as an official Booth club in the fall. Beyond the tournament, the club played games against the University of Chicago Undergraduates, the Chicago Blues (Chicago Police Department's team), Lincoln Park Men's Club and Kellogg. Moving into next year the club's leadership team of (including co-captains Mike Velcich '14 and Juan Rubio '14 and co-chairs Andy Bratten '14, Craig Gridelli '14, and Felipe Rocha '14) has strong momentum and big plans. Next year's priorities include continuing to grow the club, expanding the schedule (for example, attending a fall tournament in Texas), securing club sponsors and, of course, returning to Duke for another shot at the MBA World Cup.
So, dearest first years, don't be surprised to see more of your classmates sporting rugby shorts, big bruises and bigger smiles next year – it's going to be a great one for Rugby at Booth.
Give Blood, Play Rugby.