The Empire Rugby Conference (ERC) has announced that the conference will make the switch from one national qualifying tournament to a series style of tournaments to determine the team that will move on to nationals. The league teams will compete in a series of tournaments held at different locations within the conference. This year the two host schools will be The University of Buffalo which will take place on April 6th and Rutgers University on April 13th.
The Sevens Series Coordinator, Kevin Dublin and others on the ERC staff thought that creating a sevens series would be a great step for the conference. “A series provides a competitive schedule of events that encourages all teams participating to take 7s seriously. The only way to win a series is to get consistent results in each event thereby encouraging teams to prepare and improve event by event.” Said Dublin “Our teams will also have the benefit of having played in multiple tournaments before nationals.” The series only has two tournaments scheduled so far this year but looks to add more in the future. “Next year we plan on adding at least one more tournament to the series and hope to have a two day event for the closing tournament of the series.” said Dublin.
President of the ERC Mike Hodgins has also endorsed the plan and thinks that the Sevens Series will be a perfect fit for the ERC. “The Empire Rugby Conference Sevens series will be a natural complement to our fall 15’s season by giving us a focused spring sevens program.” Said Hodgins “This approach makes the most sense for the schools in our geographic region and allows to put our full efforts into each competition.” Hodgins thinks the series also helps create more of a competitive style of sevens play to the ERC. “The Sevens series will help the Conference to establish a competitive sevens program that will allow us to compete at the national level. Once the series is fully operational in years two and three it will provide a comprehensive competition that will be modeled after the IRB Sevens Series, with points awarded per event and a cumulative standings and championship.” With the Sevens Series in place the ERC looks to have a very competitive sevens tradition for years to come.