Rugby teams from local colleges gathered in Rittenhouse Square on Tuesday, closing off parts of 18th and Walnut Streets to promote the 2013 USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship at PPL Park in Chester on June 1 and 2.
Players from Temple, St. Joseph's, Delaware and Penn explained proper tackling, ball movement, how scrums work, and some of the rules governing the game.
"Basically, it's a demonstration to get people acquainted to what rugby is," said Hawks junior wing Eric Jackman, a graduate of St. Joseph's Prep. "To the outside community, it looks like kids doing something out of the ordinary. But we are trying to gauge people's interest and to get them to gain some interest and want to come to PPL Park."
The players gave away small gifts to bystanders and ran a few scrimmages to show the audience what the game looks like at full pace. St. Joseph's coach Sean Duffy, who organized the event, said there are some common misconceptions about the game.
"One misconception that rugby has is the injury-prone aspect of the game," Duffy said. "It's actually less dangerous [than football] because when you aren't wearing a helmet or facemask you take care of your face more."
In this year's tournament, 20 teams from across the country will be competing for the national title. Last year, Dartmouth won the title with a 24-5 victory over Arizona.
Arizona; California; UCLA; Dartmouth; Delaware; Florida; Kutztown; Life University (Ga.); North Carolina State; Northeastern; Notre Dame; Penn; Penn State; St. Joseph's; Temple; Texas; Army; Navy; Virginia Tech; Wisconsin.