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USA sevens collegiate championships

NUTS AND BOLTS What: The USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship is at PPL Park in Chester this weekend. It's the first nonsoccer event at the stadium, which opened last June.


 What: The USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship is at PPL Park in Chester this weekend. It's the first nonsoccer event at the stadium, which opened last June.

When: There are 24 matches tomorrow and 22 on Sunday at PPL Park, culminating with the women's final at 4 p.m. and the men's final at 5:20 p.m. Matches generally take about 20-25 minutes to complete. Tomorrow's play starts just before 10 a.m. when Penn State's men play LSU. Sunday's first match, a women's quarterfinal, is at 8:59 a.m.

Who: The 16 men's teams are divided into four pools of four. Temple is in Pool D. The eight women's teams are in two pools of four with Temple in Pool 1.

Men's format: Tomorrow is pool play where each team plays the other three in its pool. The top two in each pool advance to Championship bracket play on Sunday. The remaining teams go into the Challenger's consolation bracket. From there, it is single elimination.

Women's format: Round-robin format similar to the men with pool play taking place today at Drexel (43rd and Powelton). Single elimination play moves to PPL Park on Sunday.

About Temple: The Owls men's first match is tomorrow at 12:10 p.m. against Arizona. The women's opening match is at 1:20 p.m. vs. Penn State.

Why is it called "sevens"?: There are seven players on the field per side, eight fewer than in traditional rugby.

Tickets: Reserved tickets for single day are $45 with weekend passes costing $80. Those seats are midfield with in-seat food and beverage service. General admission seating is $25 for one day and $35 for both days ($15 and $20, respectively, for kids 14 and under).

Contacts: Available at the PPL Park box office, by calling 800-298-4200 or at As always, beware of online service fees. The Daily News priced two of those $15 youth general admission tickets for tomorrow and found the fees totaling $16.70 - that's more than 55 percent per.

Parking: Around the stadium - including boat slips - is $20. There is an off-site lot at 4th and Edwards charging $15.

Weather: Temps are expected to range from the mid-60s to the low 80s with chances of thunderstorms each day.

Party on: The renowned rock group the Dropkick Murphys will perform on the field following play tomorrow. In addition, a block party will ring the stadium throughout the weekend.


 * Each match consists of two 7-minute halves. Traditional rugby has 40-minute halves. The object, to advance the ball down the field to score while the other team does just about everything it can to stop you, is the same. Halftime is 2 minutes. The championship match is 10 minutes per half.

* The ultimate destination is the "Tryzone," which is the football equivalent of the end zone. A rugby score is worth five points and known as a "try." The subsequent conversion kick is worth two points. There's a penalty kick nuance that is worth three points.

* The ball may be passed backward or laterally, but never forward. The three football players you are bound to think of are Kevin Moen, who scored the touchdown after five lateral passes as Cal beat Stanford in 1982; and Kevin Dyson and Frank Wycheck (Archbishop Ryan High), who teamed up for the Music City Miracle when the Tennessee Titans stunned the Buffalo Bills in an NFL playoff game following the 1999 season.

* There's no blocking in rugby.

* The field is 110 yards long and about 77 yards wide.

* Scrum: When teams lock together in a huddle following a penalty. The purpose is to kick the ball back to teammates in order to gain possession. Think of a hockey faceoff, except a little more pungent in 85-degree heat.

* Ruck: Follows when a player is tackled and there's a fight for possession. Also follows closing time at various establishments around the area, but that's a story for another time.

* Line-out: Occurs when the ball goes out of bounds and, according to Rugby Sevens' website, "teams lift a player in the air who catches the ball to gain possession." Frat houses have been doing this for years except with beer bongs not rugby balls.


* English minister William Webb Ellis is most popularly credited with inventing rugby in 1823. The Rugby World Cup, the sport's Super Bowl, is in New Zealand starting Sept. 9 with the winner earning the William Webb Ellis Cup. South Africa is the defending champion.

* Rugby sevens dates back to 1883. Not that it has anything to do with it, but that's the year the Phillies started playing.

* Rugby was an Olympic sport in the early part of the 20th century, with the United States capturing the final two golds in 1920 and 1924.

* Rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut in 2016 and has been added to the Pan Am Games for the first time this year (October in Mexico).

* Some purists view sevens as gimmicky for its wide-open style unlike the more rugged nature of 15-on-15. They might not put it this way, but to them it's like hockey changing to 4-on-4 for an entire game and not just during regular-season overtimes. There's still plenty of athleticism, blood and other mayhem in sevens, however.



Noon-2 p.m. Universal Sports

2-4 p.m. Versus

4-6 p.m. NBC

6-8 p.m. Versus


Noon-2 p.m. Universal Sports

2-4 p.m. Versus

4-6 p.m. NBC

Note: Check cable or satellite provider for detailed channel information.