A continuous full contact sport that involves tackling with upto 80 minutes of play without pads or a helmet is just the tip ofthe iceberg in describing Rugby. A cross between football andsoccer, the only mandatory protection for this game is a mouthguard.
Rugby is generally played on a soccer field.The sport, which began in 1823, is similar to football. The rugbyball is generally about the same size as a football. Different fromfootball, gang tackling and piling onto one player is illegal andthe only person who can be tackled is the ball carrier. Theuniforms that Rugby players wear are similar to that of a soccerplayer. Considered by many to be an aggression-releasing sport,Rugby is attracting more and more female players daily. It’salso one of the fastest growing women’s collegiate sportsnationwide; with universities such as Brown and MIT with femaleRugby teams.
Although there is not a Rugby team at Howard afellow Bison, Carille Guthrie has found a way to attend school andplay a sport that she loves. Junior Architecture major fromChicago, Illinois Carille is also a member of the MarylandStingers.
The Maryland Stingers is an all female rugbyteam that comprises women from the Maryland, DC, and Virginia areathat have a genuine love for the sport. This nationally ranked teamplays most of their games in the area and recently played in arugby tournament at the Rose Croft racetrack this pastweekend.
Among her peers Guthrie says “whenfemales find out I play rugby they respect it and think it’scool, when males find out they assume I beat up by boyfriend, I ama lesbian, or they want to wrestle me.”
As one of the two undergraduate players on theStingers one might assume that Carille would be overwhelmed withRugby and the closing of the semester. However, Guthrie says thatRugby does not hinder her academic success. “Most of myteammates are working professionals. Our practice is only twice aweek for two hours each day.” Like the majority of otherstudents Carille is looking forward to the end of the semester butshe says that as long as one prioritizes they can do work and enjoylife as well.
Beginning her rugby career at Tufts Universityin Boston, Carille says that she found out about the MarylandStingers on the Internet. She has been playing the sport for aboutthree seasons now and has learned a lot from her current teammates.She likes the environment that rugby brings. “It’s afriendly environment. People bring their dogs to the tournament andeveryone is about having fun.”
Asan aspiring architect, Guthrie says although she enjoys playingrugby it’s very hard to make it professionally. While rugbyis a sport that is in its beginning stages of attracting moreviewers, a women’s professional rugby association does notexist. “The only way to make money in this sportprofessionally is to play overseas; it’s very hard to getinto that.” More information on the Maryland Stingers can beobtained at www.marylandstingers.org.