Women’s rugby moves into Division II play

This season, Women’s Rugby has undergone a major change. Instead of competing in friendly local competitions as many club sports do, the women’s rugby team has moved into Division II.

The team is now a part of the Cascade Collegiate Women’s Rugby Conference. The shift has changed things for the team.

“Now that we’re in a league, the teams that we play are actually varsity sports, instead of our club sport, how we are. So we face challenges on the field because not only are the girls twice our size physically, but their team is twice the size of ours because they’re at the advantage of being a varsity sport,” Match Secretary Paradise Razma ’18 said.

“The games are really difficult. We’re probably not going to win any games,” Social Chair Emily Dewey ’19 said. “Everything has gotten a little more intense, we’re playing way better teams, and it’s pretty cool. We were winning more last year yeah, because the games were much easier. We’re kind of at the bottom of the league, but it’s a lot better than just easily winning games.”

After a successful season last year, moving into the new league seemed like the next step.

“We killed it last year. We were just really really put together and it seemed like going into the league was the next appropriate step to build off of what we had already done,” Razma said.

The team has also been forced to change structurally, as the club tripled in size. New in the Division II league is a Back Captain, Forwards Captain, President, Match Secretary and Social Chair.

As Match Secretary, Razma is responsible for scheduling games and coordinating most team activities, except for the social ones, which fall under Dewey’s responsibility as Social Chair.

This season the games have been rougher, and the team has suffered numerous injuries, but Dewey doesn’t think that that should detract from participation.

“Anyone can play rugby. Literally anyone. We’ve had two games, two hospital visits, a broken leg, a concussion, sprained wrist, sprained ankle. People think you can’t play because you have to be really really strong or really really tough, but we have such a wide range of people that play and everyone does really well. It is dangerous. I’m concussed,” Dewey said. “The thing is that rugby focuses a lot more on safety than you would think. So that’s why we don’t have padding or anything. Football is a lot more like ‘just go at them,’ and in rugby, you learn how to be more strategic in which parts of the body you go for when you tackle, keep your head out of the way, or try to.”

Razma agrees and said, “We’ve had a few sprains and fractures. I think it’s because the girls are a lot bigger than us and we have a lot of new players which is our issue, and we don’t have access to the training facilities at LC because they’re exclusively for varsity sports.”

Moving forward, the fate of the Women’s Rugby team in Division II is uncertain. Razma points to a lack of resources, compared to the varsity teams they are competing against.

Regardless, Razma and Dewey agree on the ability of rugby to bring people together.

“The whole rugby culture is built on support, and it doesn’t really matter who you are or what you look like or what you identify as,” Razma said. “As long as you can put a mouthguard on and get on the field.”

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