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Newcomers are encouraged to attend a training session immediately. Check our Practice Schedule for time/location and email infogothamrfc [dot] org to let us know you're coming! See you soon!
Rugby is exhilarating. When you first watch rugby, it may look like organized chaos. Don't let that intimidate you. Join us, and you'll quickly realize that rugby football is more than a sport; it's a challenge you issue to yourself and -- no matter what kind of athlete you are or think you are -- once you start playing, you will be hooked.
Rugby is a game like no other. It requires strength and conditioning you'll never know you had, but because it's so demanding, you'll come off the pitch feeling on top of the world. One of the many beauties of rugby is that there's literally a place for players of all shapes and sizes. Look at our team lineup and you'll see everything from 5'5" to 6'7" with lots of variations in between. In short, as Gotham Knight Yaz Fujimoto puts it, rugby is "madness!"
What really separates rugby from most other team sports is the spirit of brotherhood its players develop. In Rugby you play your heart out on the pitch and then celebrate with the other team the thrill of the competition and the brotherhood of the sport. Gotham's "third half" drinkups are infamous as some of the best fun you will ever have with your clothes on. The intensity and demands may be intimidating, but they lead to deep loyalties and friendships among teammates. You may come to gotham for the fun of the game, but you'll likely find a family.
WHAT IS GOTHAM?
The Gotham Knights aim to be highly competitive in our Local, National and International Unions. We have a mission to bring rugby to men of diverse sexual orientations and cultures who have historically been under-represented in the sport. There have always been these types of players, but Gotham allows men to combine their lives with the sport they love in a more complete experience. Gotham is a fully diverse team with approximately 50/50 ratio of Gay/Bisexual to Straight players. All of our players support the team's mission and work together to achieve our Rugby goals.
The tremendous growth of teams like Gotham across the U.S. and the rest of the world -- from about 5 in 2001 to about 30 today -- was sparked by the inspiration of Mark Bingham, a celebrated rugger and member of the San Francisco Fog who died on United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Mark was working with Scott Glaessgen to found Gotham Rugby when he died.
Inspired to carry on this vision, Scott and several brave souls began playing in early 2002. The Knights adopted Blue & Gold, the colors of Mark's college rugby team, Univ. of California - Berkeley, and quickly began discovering a passion for the game. Two-and-a-half years later, Gotham has returned from the second Mark Bingham Cup and heads into the fall season of the Met New York Rugby Football Union playing its best rugby ever. We're ready for you to join the madness.
WHY PLAY RUGBY WITH GOTHAM?
There is a place for everyone at Gotham Rugby: our training is designed to meet the twin goals of high-level competition and full participation for all players, including new ones. We serve the demands of all levels of athlete.
Experienced players come to Gotham because we offer the chance to step in and play intense rugby in a fun and seriously competitive environment.
Gotham's coaching staff are all certified by USA Rugby. Our Head Coach Philippos Kyriacou was formerly associated with the London Irish Premiership Rugby Club Coaching Staff. Whether you've been recently playing high level club or college rugby, or haven't booted up in years, you'll find that Gotham is a great place to begin, extend or advance your rugby career.
Experienced competitive athletes find that Gotham Rugby offers the challenge of a thrilling new sport in a unique atmosphere that combines friendliness with a desire to win. You'll get plenty of playing time early on even as you learn the game from your experienced coaches and teammates.
Less-experienced athletes enjoy Gotham because they find like-minded teammates who also came to the game with little or no experience in team sports, but were quickly sold on the thrill and camaraderie of the game. You will learn the game of rugby while realizing athletic abilities you never knew you had. Some of Gotham's best players came to the team never thinking of themselves as "jocks."
Finally, there are team members who love rugby but don't participate on the pitch. We offer everyone a chance to be a part of Gotham Rugby in our supporters' group, the Armory.
HOW DO I JOIN THE MADNESS?
If you've made it this far, the next step is for you to contact us at . We'll get in touch with you right away about upcoming events and practice schedules. Even if you're not sure what your interest level is, come meet us. We just may be the lunatics you're looking for!
If you're ready to boot up and join, we'll see you at practice. It's that simple. Again, if you're new to the sport please register for one of our Rugby 101 Boot Camp events but begin attending practice as soon as possible.
I'VE GOT QUESTIONS...
Do I have to be gay?
No, on the contrary, we welcome anyone who believes in equality. Teams like Gotham were founded because gay and bisexual men did not always feel like they could play rugby and be themselves with teammates.Gotham is a club where every man, whether he's into men, women, both or neither is comfortable being himself and enjoying the sport.
What if I don't know anything about rugby or contact sports?
Our coaches are experienced at bringing the game to people who've never played before. Some of our best players came from sports like American football but still had to learn the big differences between that game and rugby football. Others, like 2003's team MVP Jerry Reilly, had no experience with anything resembling rugby.
I'm an experienced rugger. Why should I choose Gotham over another local club?
Gotham is the only New York based Rugby club that annually compete on a National Stage and every two years competes Internationally versus clubs from Australia, England, Dublin, Manchester and many more.
Gotham offers a unique rugby experience that's hard to beat. Our members have a commitment to intense, competitive rugby that is as strong as any club in the tri-state area, and it matches that with a friendly atmosphere that both gay and straight players thrive in. It is the quintessential New York City Rugby Club.
Gotham has acquired a taste for success and is hungry for more. As an experienced player you can be part of a program that's quickly on the rise. You'll also get the opportunity to compete for starting positions and playing time quicker than at many other clubs. Most importantly, you'll have a lot more fun playing rugby with Gotham than any other team in town, and you'll have teammates whom you can always count on -- on and off the pitch.
What if I feel I'm not fit enough?
Again, even our best athletes had no idea what they were getting into physically. Gotham's coaching program provides for skills, fitness and strength training. But don't worry. You'll be pushed by the coaches, your teammates and by your own love for the game.
What if I'm not good enough?
Rugby takes a while to figure out. Like anything worth doing, it's not easily mastered. But if you concentrate on having fun, your joy for the game will carry you through the learning curve. When it finally starts to click, it will feel that much better.
What is it about this rugby stuff that you guys love so much?
The Boston Globe wrote a piece a few years ago that sums up the feelings of so many ruggers: "The rough contact of rugby requires a certain bravery or bravado from anyone who plays. So from the word go, a level of respect is built into the contest, no matter what the final score is." Living and working in a place like New York, there are few places where you can combine intense competition with intense respect for your teammates and opponents. "Rugby is tactile, interactive violence" where "winning is nowhere as important as playing. It's the ultimate in-your-face experience... for it's a rough game that teaches you to be human. Plus, it's fun."
RUGBY VS. FOOTBALL COMPARISON
In football, each side has 11 players on the field.
In rugby, each side has 15 players.
In football, the contest between two teams is called a game.
In rugby, it is called a match.
In football, normally there are special players for offense, defense, and special teams.
In rugby, all 15 players play the entire match, offense and defense.
In football, the forward pass is legal.
In rugby, the forward pass is illegal. The only way to advance the ball forward is by running it or kicking it.
In football, a score is called a “touchdown” and is worth 6 points.
In rugby, a score is called a “try” and is worth 5 points.
In football, the kick after a score is called the extra point and is worth 1 point.
In rugby, it is called a conversion and is worth 2.
In football, after a team scores, they must kick off to the other team.
In rugby, the team who scored receives the kick off.
In football, the playing surface is called a “field”.
In rugby, it is called a “pitch”.
In football, the field is 100 yards long.
In rugby, the pitch is 100 meters long.
In football, the area where the score is made is called the end-zone.
In rugby, it is called the try-zone.
In football, the goal posts are lined up on the back line of the end-zone.
In rugby, the goal posts are lined up on the front line of the try-zone.
In football, the area outside the field-of-play is called “out of bounds”.
In rugby, it is called “in touch”.
In football, after the tackle, the team huddles up and calls a play.
In rugby, play continues constantly unless the ball goes “into touch” or the referee indicates an infraction.
In football, you typically wear a helmet, shoulder pads, thigh pads, hip pads, knee pads, and elbow pads.
In rugby, only IRB approved light padding are allowed. You may wear a soft leather scrum cap.
In football, the sides of the playing surface are called “sidelines”.
In rugby, they are called “touchlines”.
In football, the team is run by organizations such as university's, paid coaches, or businesses.
In rugby, the team is primarily run by the players.
In football, there are four quarters, 10 to 15 minutes each.
In rugby, there are two halves, 40 minutes each.
In football, you get three time-outs per half.
In rugby, there are no time-outs.
In football, you only have to break the plane of the goal line to score.
In rugby, you must, under control, physically “touch” the ball down to the ground in the try-zone.
In football, the field is lined like a grid with lines across the field every ten yards.
In rugby, the field is lined on each 22-meter line, on each 40 meter line, and the mid-field line.
In football, if you down the ball in your own end zone after receiving a kick, it is called a touch-back.
If rugby, you get to kick a 22-meter drop-kick.
In football, the kick-off is kicked from either the 30-, 35-, or 40-yard line.
In rugby, it is kicked from the mid-field line.
In football, after the game ends, both teams head to the showers.
In rugby, after the match, both clubs shake hands, congratulate one another, and head to the social gathering put on by the home club.
In football, there are six to eight referees and umpires.
In rugby, there is one referee and two touch judges.
I WANT IN! TELL ME MORE...
Recruiting chairman (infogothamrfc [dot] org) will be glad to tell you all you want to know about the madness of Gotham Rugby!