USA Rugby Deaf Rugby Player Identification

Dear Administrators & Coaches,

We are sending this email as part of an effort to identify deaf and hard of hearing rugby players and coaches around the United States. Though deaf people have been playing rugby on college and club teams for many years, there has never been an organized effort to track how many deaf players there are, or where they are playing.

While many rugby-playing nations have founded competitions for deaf teams and placed deaf representative teams into international matches, the United States is just now seeing broader interest in the sport from the deaf community. Since 2009, we have seen the emergence of a deaf rugby community in Washington, D.C., with the formation of high school and senior men’s clubs comprised of deaf and hard of hearing players. In 2013 a deaf player from a U19 club in Virginia was selected for the Challenge Cup All-Star Tournament in Pittsburgh. USA Rugby has initiated discussions with a Deaf Rugby Advisory Panel to capitalize on this momentum and find ways to support the growth of rugby in the deaf community.

By identifying deaf players and coaches currently involved in the sport the Deaf Rugby Advisory Panel hopes to:

  • Provide resources for coaches and players on typical clubs at all levels.
  • Provide resources and standards for referees working games involving deaf players.
  • Identify locations where there are potential partners and structure to support new deaf rugby teams at the U19 and high school level.
  • Evaluate the potential for a viable player pool for international competitions.

While the realization of a deaf representative side may be a long way off, the first step comes in identifying how many deaf and hard of hearing people are currently playing and coaching rugby, and how best to support them. We all know the benefits of involvement in rugby and we are excited to bring our great game to a previously underserved community.

Please provide some information about any coaches and/or player’s that identify as deaf or hard of hearing. This should only be done with the consent of the player if someone other than the player is filling out the form.

Please click here to access the form

Thank you for your time and attention.

All the best,
Deaf Rugby Advisory Panel