The 2016 Girls High School Rugby National Tournament will bring together competitors from at least nine different states at the historic May 20th-22nd event held at Lindenwood University's Hunter C Stadium in St Charles, MO. Although this is the 17th Annual National Tournament, this is the first ever championship to include single school brackets.
"We are thrilled to host the Girls High School Rugby Championship. When we were approached with the opportunity to support girls rugby at our University and the growth at this level, it was a no brainer. The competition will give more students a chance to see some of the top facilities in the Nation and the support our University has for the sport. Our hopes are to continue to open student-athletes and families eyes to opportunities that are available at the next level," said Coach Billy Nicholas of Lindenwood University.
In a reflection of the significant growth in girls high school teams across the country, nine of the competing teams did not compete at last year's event. Seven of these programs have never competed at the annual National High School Girls Tournament before 2016, which first began with a six team competition in 2000.
"Bringing more teams together to compete at this level is what it's all about. The competition at a national tournament is a great challenge and still, at its heart, this is always developmental at the same time. The experience these young women take back from playing diverse teams and styles from coast to coast is what makes a national tournament a yearly once-in-a lifetime competition," said John Klein, chair of the grassroots organizing committee.
"This expansion to offer a single school competition is the next logical step in the growth of the game," said John Waliszewski of the organizing committee, which brings together teams from the South, West, East, and Midwest.
There will be two tiers of competitive brackets plus a third festival or b-side bracket, which features GHSAA asst. coach Anna Kunkel's own team from Kansas City.
Organizers remain open to adding competitors should teams be looking to attend this historic high school event.
Ohio's Hudson expressed excitement over being invited to compete and just confirmed funding and travel plans. Idaho's Capitol, an inner city single school team, has also expressed an interest in competing. "We keep finding more and more competitive single school teams as word spreads," added Klein.
"Looking at the big picture, we're looking at 20 high school age teams, maybe more, all competing across the country if you include eight club teams from the parallel event. The national tournament has never been stronger," commented Klein.
2016 National High School Tournament Competitors
Broken Arrow High School (OK)
|Catholic Memorial HS (WI)|
Divine Savior Holy Angels HS(WI)
Hudson High School (OH)
Kahuku High School (HI)
McMinn Cnty HS (Tribe)(TN)
Oak Creek High School (WI)
Penn High School (Ind)
Sebastian River High School (Fl)
St Joseph's Academy (OH)
State College High School (Pa)
Summit High School (CO)
Warsaw High School (IN)