Field and Player Equipment
Gear for a rugby pitch is quite simple, consisting of lines on the field, flags, two sets of uprights. And a ball.
Field markings/lines are discussed in the "The Pitch" section.
For home matches, we must line our own field. This is a parent-volunteer responsibility, and is done the night before the match, or immediately prior to the match. The club provides the field-marking supplies, and coaches provide instructions on how to properly line the field. This takes all of one hour, less if the crew is numerous, and if they've done it once before.
The club offers some gear for sale:
- Fort Hunt Rugby custom-embroidered rugby shorts, currently in sizes Small, X-Small, XX-Small
- Black rugby shorts (boys high school only)
- Club socks in black/blue (boys high school) and green/gold (girls high school and summer)
- For the high school programs, jerseys are club property, and are assigned at the match, and collected after the match.
This is where you can buy gear online:
The referee is required to inspect and approve both the field and player equipment prior to each match. The referee is empowered to disallow play until the field is deemed safe for play, and also is required to disallow any player’s participation until identified unsafe/prohibited playing equipment/uniform is corrected.
Basic player equipment consists of boots (cleats), socks, shorts and a jersey. All Fort Hunt tackle players must wear a personally fitted mouthguard.
Boots: These can be any style, any color, as long as they meet basic safety specifications. Rugby boots may have screw-in or molded studs, but may not have a screw-in toe stud. Boots that are in extreme disrepair, especially boots where the plastic sole is beginning to shear from the upper, present a cutting hazard, and the referee may compel the boot to be repaired, or may not allow it in the match. See here for a number of available rugby boots.
We do not recommend the purchase of rugby boots (shown below) for first-year/novice players. General-purpose molded-sole boots (soccer or multi-sport cleats) are just fine for a beginning player; save the purchase of rugby boots for when the player has truly decided that rugby is a sport he/she wants to continue playing.
Players looking for cheap boots should go to the thrift store at Sherwood Hall and Route 1--there is always a good selection of boots there, usually general-purpose molded-sole boots.
Socks: These can be any style, any color. Fort Hunt Rugby plays matches in high-rise, over-the-calf black socks. High school players wear custom match socks, available from the club for purchase.
Shorts: Touch players do not need to wear rugby shorts, but tackle players need to have them. Rugby shorts are usually cut high on the thigh, and are made of heavy cotton to take a great deal of extreme use. These can be any style, any color. Fort Hunt Rugby plays matches in black rugby shorts. The club offers custom-embroidered black shorts; these are an optional purchase.
Shorts with metal fittings, rings, or rivets are not allowed, for touch or tackle, as they are dangerous. Shorts with any kind of inflexible or rigid hard plastic or metal construction (think zippers), whether visible or not, are not permitted. Belts are not permited in any form.
Loose-fitting nylon shorts for soccer or basketball are not recommend, as they are too elastic and do not tie at the waist (they are very likely to be pulled down in full-contact action). Also, these shorts are not sturdy enough to withstand full-contact tackle rugby.
Players should wear either a jock strap (boys) or well-fitted compression shorts (recommended) under their playing shorts. A cup for boy players is permissible but is not recommended by this club, as the danger is minimal and the constant running in rugby will prove to be highly uncomfortable if wearing a cup.
Top/Jersey: We recommend for tackle rugby that practice tops be very sturdy. Loose-fitting or flimsy tops are likely to be pulled off, stretched, or ripped. The club owns rugby practice jerseys for use in tackle practices.
Fort Hunt Rugby plays its summer program in player-owned club jerseys; every player gets their own club jersey for keeps as part of their registration fee. Our summer jersey design changes every single year, so each is a limited edition, a unique collectible piece of Fort Hunt Rugby history.
High school players play in club-owned jerseys.
Mouthpiece: This is optional but highly recommended for all touch rugby players, and is mandatory for all Fort Hunt Rugby tackle players in practice and in games. Get your mouthpieces here. Dental and mouth injuries are unlikely in a touch practice or match, but accidents can happen, and a mouthpiece will go a long way toward reducing the severity of the injury or will prevent it altogether. We cannot guarantee this, but it usually is the case. Dental and mouth injuries also are unlikely in a tackle practice or match; nevertheless, mouthpieces are required for all players in a tackle practice or game. The mouthguard must be personally fitted to the player--no borrowing from a buddy, and no popping in a brand-new, unfitted mouthpiece. Coaches and referees will inspect mouthpieces before training and matches.
We recommend players buy the boil-in-water, mold-to-your-teeth kind of mouthpiece. No straps may protrude from the mouth, so cut off all excess. These are available at most sporting goods stores for a few dollars each. If in doubt about a mouthpiece, talk to your family dentist.
The West Potomac Academy at West Potomac High School offers a program where they will custom-mold a mouthpiece for you. Contact them for more information on the program, 703-718-2500. Links to the forms for this program are available in the Documents and Forms section.
Players should have at least three fitted and ready mouthpieces at all times, so when one gets lost the others are immediately available. One is in the player’s pocket, one in his/her kit bag, and one is at home.
Wrap/Bandage: A player may have any form of wrap or bandage on any part of their body, as long as it does not contain or cover hard plastic or metal. These will be subject to referee inspection.
Optional Player Equipment
Padded shirt: These are rugby-specific undershirts which contain modest shoulder and torso padding (photo, right). These are permissible to wear only under a jersey. See here for some examples. Female players may wear chest padding; see here for official information on approved female chest padding.
Scrumcap: This is a full-head cap which is analogous to a wrestling cap, designed to protect the ears from twisting and cartilage injury, and to prevent impact cuts/tears, to which scrum/forward players are more susceptible (photo, right). Its secondary purpose is to serve as a very modest form of general head padding.THIS IS NOT A HELMET. See here for an example.
Fort Hunt Rugby does not recommend the use of a scrum cap for its players, as players may believe it to be some form of helment, and therefore--consciously or unconsciously--engage in training and match behavior which could be dangerous to teammates, opponents and themselves.
Shinguards: These are permissible to wear for all players, but usually the only player who may need to wear them is the #2/hooker, given his/her job in the scrum. Given the fact that scrums are not that fiercely contested in youth rugby, a youth rugby hooker generally does not need to wear shinguards. Shinguards are not recommended for any other players.
Gloves: All players may wear gloves (in rugby terms, "fingerless mitts") to assist with grip. Full-fingered gloves such as football receiver gloves are NOT permitted; see these examples of rugby-specific gloves. All gloves will be subject to referee inspection.
Prohibited Player Equipment
Players must remove watches, rings, bracelets, and necklaces prior to both touch and tackle practice and play. Tackle players with pierced ears must remove the earrings--taping over earrrings is not permitted. Taping is permitted for touch play. Any other body piercing, if visible or likely to become exposed during practice or play, must come out or be firmly taped down. All will be subject to referee inspection.
For touch rugby, players may wear eyeglasses, but only sports goggles. All eyewear must be secured on the player through the use of a retaining strap.
For tackle rugby, no form of eyeglasses is permitted. This is non-negotiable Rugby VA policy.
No player may wear external, "headgear" dental equipment in touch or tackle rugby. Players must remove a retainer or other removable dental equipment before any touch or tackle practice or play.
Any form of cast or bracing which contains a hard material, such as plaster, hard plastic or metal, is prohibited, whether under a player’s clothing, or encased in a cover/padding. No player may play with any form of cast. Braces for knees and arms are permitted, but only if constructed of flexible plastic and/or fabric. All will be subject to referee inspection.
A toe stud on a player’s boot is prohibited.