Rugby Sevens/Olympic sport disciplineEVENTS
- Men's Rugby Sevens
- Women's Rugby Sevens
Rugby Sevens - the real spectacle
For medals and Olympic qualification
Rugby sevens tournament at the 3rd European Games will be held at the Henryk Reyman’s Municipal Stadium in Kraków, where the 2022 Rugby Europe Sevens Championship Series were also played. The first matches will begin on June 25, while the finals are scheduled for June 27.
In addition to fighting for European Games medals, Europe’s top teams will try to gain Olympic qualification for the 2024 Paris. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the Olympic Games, while the second and third teams will go to an international repechage tournament. All medallists from the European Games will thus retain their chance to play at the world’s biggest sporting event in 2024.
Twelve teams each in the men’s and women’s tournaments, 312 players and athletes, will compete at the Municipal Stadium. As many as 32,000 spectators will be able to sit in the stands. The facility is located in the very centre of Kraków, right next to Błonia Park. Used on a daily basis by the Wisła Kraków SA football team, it also serves as an office and is the popular arena for many events. The facility consists of four stands and a media pavilion, and can accommodate 33,130 spectators.
BEGINNINGS IN SCOTLAND
Rugby sevens is the younger sister of the most popular, 15-players version of the sport. Its origins date back to 1883, when representatives of the Scottish team Melrose, in order to gain financial support for their club, began to organize matches in smaller squads. Initially, however, it was practised only in the Scottish-English borderlands, and although emigrants from Scotland tried to popularize it in Australia, Argentina and New Zealand by the end of the 19th century, it developed rather slowly.
The real boom in “sevens” began in Scotland only in the early 1920s. Tournaments began to be played all over the country, which attracted plenty of fans, eager to watch much more dynamic matches than in the fifteen players variety.
After the end of World War II, the advantages of the new version of rugby were also recognized in other countries, and gradually tournaments began to be organized outside Scotland and England as well. However, it took a long time for international competitions. It was not until 1973, for the centenary of the Scottish federation, that a tournament was held at the famous Murrayfield. Three years later, the first edition of the competition was held in Hong Kong, and it’s still considered the most popular in the world. The turning point for the seven-man variation of rugby was in 2016 when the players competed for Olympic medals in Rio de Janeiro.