The San Diego Rugby Football Club is more than just a team, they are a family! A family that is there for each other as well as the San Diego community. You can find “Ruggers” volunteering at many fundraisers throughout the city. They have been known to answer the call whether it be back up support with staffing events, attendance at fundraisers, and even donating their physical strength by helping community members move residences and the like. Whether you’re on the current roster, an alumnus, or a fan you are always treated with acceptance, encouragement, and love.
Developmental Social Inclusive:
The San Diego Armada is an inclusive rugby union club. We welcome all players and supporters regardless of skill level, orientation, gender identity, religion, or national origin.
As a developmental team Armada routinely field players with a few weeks of rugby experience next to players with a decade on the pitch; it’s okay to be new because they love to help people learn the game. Being a social club means that their primary goal is to have a great time and make friends by playing. Inclusivity means that everyone is welcome in the Armada, they are too busy playing rugby and having fun to be judgmental.
The language of Rugby:
Rugby was invented in the 19th century by English school boys that found soccer to be lacking in confrontation. The English spread it throughout the world and in the early 20th century Americans began morphing the game into football.
With so many influencers over so much time rugby players have developed a language all of their own; American players speak our own dialect.
Below is a quick guide to decoding our gibberish:
Pitch- playing field
Boots- cleats/playing shoes
Whoring on- showing up at the last second to play for your team or a team of total strangers, often done to help both teams hit fifteen players
The Sir- game referee
Rugger hugger- significant other/supporter
Kit- equipment, specifically a uniform
Drink up- the postgame party, also known as the social
Zulu- a sacred tradition
Social jersey- a non-playing jersey typically reserved for the bar
Bullmoose- a very important and nonsensical drinking game
Stash- collection of shirts from your team and others, often traded post-match
Rugby candy- any kind of over-the-counter pain killer, generally ibuprofen
The Bingham Cup:
On September 11th, 2001, Mark Bingham gave his life on flight 93 to protect others. The San Francisco Fog, the second inclusive team which he helped found, created the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament the following year. It has since become the largest rugby tournament in the world and the largest amateur sports gathering in the world.
Winning the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Rugby Tournament is the pinnacle of the team’s existence. If they have to choose between taking a strong side to the national playoffs or the Bingham Cup, they will always choose Bingham. The Armada will always register and send players to the Bingham Cup, even if it isn’t a full side.
In 2016 they attended the tournament in Nashville, Tennessee, hosted by the Nashville Grizzlies. It was the first time that they sent a full team to a Bingham Cup. Throughout the tournament they dominated the competition by scoring 116 points and giving up only 29. Their record was 5-1 with a single loss coming to the Chicago Dragons. The Armada took third place in their division and brought home the Hoagland Plate.
In 2018 they travelled to Amsterdam, Netherlands to compete for the Bingham Cup. Because of their heavy score differential in 2016 and growing team presence they were placed in the top tier of competition. Again, they finished 5-1 with their sole loss from the Kings Cross Steelers, the first gay team in the world and an incredible organization. Every game they played was extremely competitive and all had very narrow margins of victory. They brought home the Bingham Plate, taking third place in the world.
We asked Armada Board President Danielle Schlesinger a few questions and here are her answers.
How long have you been Board President and what does that entail?
This is my first year as Board President, though I’ve been coaching with the Armada since Fall 2016. The President is responsible for overseeing the club and its activities, such as games, team social events, community service, and fundraising events. I am very fortunate to have a stellar team of Board members that I work with to coordinate these efforts.
What is your favorite thing about the Armada Family?
There are so many things I love about the team, though I think at the core is the key word “family”. The team truly is a family, who is strongly bonded and supports each other both on and off the field.
What are the teams hopes and goals for the coming year?
We are both a competitive and developmental team, so I look forward to our season of competition with other Southern California rugby teams while continuing to introduce new players to the sport and fostering the growth of the game with our veterans. As an inclusive team, we also consistently strive to actively increase our involvement within the LGBTQ+ community through recruitment, events and service.