Rugby sevens is a fast-paced, exciting variant of traditional rugby in which teams are made up of seven players, instead of the usual fifteen-a-side. The game consists of two seven-minute halves and is played on the same size field with many of the rules consistent with its predecessor. Sevens is a game that requires speed, skill, and strength and is played by rugby’s fastest and fittest athletes, both male and female.
The most notable international competitions include the IRB Women’s World Series and the IRB Sevens World Series (Men’s) and the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens. Sevens is also played in multi-sport events such as the Commonwealth Games, the Asian and Pan American Games, and was recently recognized as an Olympic sport, making its debut at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Because of its shorter games, tournaments are predominantly played in a round robin format with teams playing up to three games each day. Having matches played in this style provides fans with exciting action throughout the day, compared to one match per venue in fifteen-a-side Rugby union.
The game is one of the most well distributed forms of rugby and is popular in non-traditional rugby markets such as Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Americas. Since its acceptance in the 2016 Olympic Games, Rugby sevens has experienced unprecedented growth in athlete participation, corporate sponsorships and fan involvement.