Rugby is one of the world’s greatest and most popular team sports. The game is fun to play and watch, with its combination of physical intensity, speed, strength, fitness, courage, skill, strategy, and teamwork. Of equal importance is the culture of great sportsmanship that characterizes rugby’s reputation. From lowly beginners to upper echelons of professional and international levels, the game is played and supported in an unbiased, good natured fashion. Examples of this sporting culture pervade the sport.
Rugby players are usually on good terms with team members of opposing teams and this camaraderie is promoted at all levels via the “3rd Half”, when the two teams socialize after a match. Trouble between opposing fans is extremely rare. It is uncommon for a rugby player to fake an injury or a foul in order to gain a penalty. In an era of intense competition, the sport has a remarkable record regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs. An extensive testing program before and during the 2007 Rugby World Cup resulted in NO positive results.
USA Rugby, Carolina Youth Rugby, and the Highlanders Rugby Club are committed to perserving and promoting this desirable culture of sportsmanship. USA Rugby has partnered with an organization called the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) to help achieve this goal. Following recommendations of the PCA for youth rugby, the Highlanders appoint a parent to as the club “Culture Keeper”. The ethos of this role is simple, to spread the passion for the sport of rugby and help to keep it the great sport that it is. Working from the sidelines, the culture keeper promotes good “sporting” behavior in parents and players.