Hong Kong Rugby Sevens: The Biggest Sports Party on Earth

by Mike_W

The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is the crown jewel of the IRB Sevens World Series, renowned for its party atmosphere and audience members dressed in theme.

If you like sport and you like parties then you need to be introduced to rugby sevens. Sevens tournaments combine one of the most exciting, fastest and physical team sports in the world and have it occur in front of stadiums full of partying fans in fancy dress. The international representative rugby sevens teams travel all over the world, battling it out on the IRB Sevens World Series. Their most important appointment on the calendar, and the most sought after tickets for fans, is the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament.

The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is the crown jewel of the IRB Sevens World Series, renowned for its party atmosphere and audience members dressed in theme, which all other sevens tournaments now try to emulate.

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Party
Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Party

Hong Kong Sevens Fancy Dress Street Rugby

But what are rugby sevens?

Rugby sevens are a shortened version of rugby union. Traditional rugby union is played with fifteen players a side, but sevens, as the name implies, is played with seven. It is played on a regular sized rugby and soccer field of 100m by 70m. Because of the large field size and fewer defenders, there are always a lot of tries and spectacular plays. Also, each game is only fifteen minutes, comprised of two halves of seven minutes each, so the two teams run at each at an extreme pace over that short period.

Rugby sevens is a very exciting and fast game, which is one of the reasons why the tournaments are so enjoyable. The other reason is that sevens tournaments have generally become stadium-sized parties. Of all the sporting mardi gras carnivals on the circuit, the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is considered to be the biggest and the best.

You can read more about rugby sevens at RugbyFix.

Rugby Sevens Promotional Video

The Hong Kong Sevens: A Brief History

The Hong Kong Sevens Tournament has been an annual rugby union sevens event since 1976. It is organized by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) and takes place on the last weekend of March. Like other sevens tournaments, it starts on the Friday afternoon and concludes on the Sunday evening. It has taken place at the Hong Kong Government Stadium since 1982.

Originally the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament was contested by clubs from Indonesia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Fiji, with the inaugural tournament being won by the Cantabrians from New Zealand. However, the tournament is now international, featuring the best international teams in the world.

The Hong Kong tournament has been the stage where many leading international players first got their start, such as the incomparable Jonah Lomu. Other legendary players such as Christian Cullen, William Ryder, Zinzan Brooke, Marika Vunibaka, and Bryan Habana all shone at Hong Kong. With the introduction of sevens into the Summer Olympics, the rugby sevens star continues to rise, and tickets to the Hong Kong Sevens will get even harder to find.

The HK Sevens in Present Day

Today, the competing teams at the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens play for the HK Sevens Cup, but there are also Plate and Bowl tournaments which teams that are knocked out early compete for. As of 2012, Fiji have won the most HK Sevens Cups, with 13, followed by New Zealand with 10, Australia with 5 and England with 4. Unlike the other tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series, HK is a 24-team tournament instead of a 16-team. It is also worth more series points, currently 30 points for a win instead of 24.

The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens continues to be the biggest party on the sevens calendar. The South Stand is particularly notorious for its drinking, streaking and Mexican waves, and is now restricted to over 18s only. Older audience members and those under 18 tend to be seated in the North Stand.

The event is sponsored by Cathay Pacific.

Hong Kong Sevens 2013

The 2013 HK Sevens tournament has been confirmed for Friday the 22nd of March through to Sunday the 24th of March, 2013. It will be the seventh leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series 2012/13, after Las Vegas and before Tokyo.

The South Stand

Four friends from the same rugby club decide to go on a trip to the Hong Kong rugby Sevens - the most internationally renowned sevens rugby tournament in the world. Their story ...

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Updated: 10/03/2012, Mike_W
 
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