USA Rugby League


USA Rugby League
USA Rugby League
Current season or competition:
2011 USA Rugby League season
USARL logo
Sport Rugby league football
Instituted 2011
Inaugural season 2011
Chairman Peter Illfield
Number of teams 8
Country  United States
Champions Philadelphia Fight (2011)
Website usarugbyleague.com

The USA Rugby League (USARL) is a semi-professional rugby league football competition based in the United States. The league was founded in 2011 by clubs that had broken with the established American National Rugby League (AMNRL), plus expansion franchises. The USARL began its inaugural season in 2011.

Contents

History

The formation of the USA Rugby League was announced on January 12, 2011. Seven teams that had previously competed in the American National Rugby League (AMNRL), the United States' established rugby league organization and recognized governing body for the sport, announced they were breaking with the AMNRL to form a new league. The stated reason for the split was dissatisfaction with the governance of the AMNRL; the departing teams were unhappy with the lack of club involvement in the league's decision making. The new league will include its member clubs in its administration.[1][2][3][4]

On January 13, 2011, the USARL announced that Peter Illfield, chairmen of the Philadelphia Fight, would be the league's first Chairman.[5][6] The league's first event was a rugby league nines tournament in the Philadelphia area on May 28–29, 2011. Round 1 of the regular season championship kicked off on June 4; the Jacksonville Axemen won the minor premiership with the best regular season record. In the inaugural Grand Final on August 27, the Philadelphia Fight defeated the New Haven Warriors to win their first ever national championship.[7]

List of championship titles

Season Championship Final Information Regular Season Premiers
Champions Score Runners-Up
2011 Philadelphia colours.svg Philadelphia Fight
28 - 26
New Zealand colours.svg New Haven Warriors Jacksonville colors.svg Jacksonville Axemen (14 pts)

Season structure

Beginning in their inaugural 2011 year, the USARL season consists of an eight-game regular season, followed by a playoffs series culminating in a Grand Final for the National Championship. The first event of the season was a pre-season rugby league nines tournament. The regular season will run through June and July, with each team playing every other team, and one team twice, in four home and four away games. Teams will qualify for the playoffs based on point differential, with a win counting for 2 points, a draw for 1, a loss for 0, and a forfeit for -2. The playoffs consist of a two-round single-elimination tournament in August. The season's top four teams will compete in a semi-final round, with the two winners going on to the Grand Final.[8]

Teams

On February 18, 2011 the USARL announced that eight teams were committed to play in the "Top Tier" competition for the upcoming season. These teams include five former AMNRL teams, the Boston Thirteens, the Jacksonville Axemen, the New Haven Warriors, the Philadelphia Fight, and the Washington DC Slayers, plus three new teams, the New Jersey Turnpike Titans, the Rhode Island Rebellion, and Oneida FC. These teams have committed to the league's standards of operations, including travel, venue, and scheduling obligations.[9]

USARL teams
Team Stadium City/Area Foundation Joined
Ipswich Colours.svg Boston Thirteens Saunders Stadium Boston, Massachusetts 2009 2011
Jacksonville colors.svg Jacksonville Axemen Hodges Stadium Jacksonville, Florida 2006 2011
New Haven colours.svg New Haven Warriors Ken Strong Stadium New Haven, Connecticut 2006 2011
Wests Tigers colours.svg New Jersey Turnpike Titans Lincoln Park Jersey City, New Jersey 2011 2011
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Oneida FC MIT Steinbrenner Stadium Boston, Massachusetts 2011 2011
Philadelphia colours.svg Philadelphia Fight A. A. Garthwaite Stadium Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1998 2011
Melbourne colours.svg Rhode Island Rebellion Classical High School Providence, Rhode Island 2011 2011
St. George colours.svg Washington DC Slayers Duke Ellington Field Washington, D.C. 2003 2011

Developmental teams

As part of the 2011 season, a former AMNRL team, the Pittsburgh Sledgehammers, participated as a "developmental team". The team will play a more limited schedule while developing the club for future seasons.[9] Several other clubs have registered "developing" teams: these include the Denver Wolverines, the Los Angeles Raiders, the Orange County Outlaws, the Seattle Force and Texas Rugby League (which will field two teams, the Dallas Dragons and the Houston Hornets). Several of these are established developing teams that were previously aligned with the AMNRL; the USARL has committed to support them in their development.[10] Another team, the Utah Avalanche, were formerly affiliated as a developmental team, and participated in the 2011 USARL 9s tournament.[11]

In 2011 the Jacksonville Axemen also launched a reserve grade competition, the "Firehouse Subs" Southeastern Rugby League Championship, which acts as a feeder club system for the Axemen to further develop players. The competing teams are the Daytona Gearheads, the Jacksonville Hatchets, and the Orlando Adrenaline.[12]

USARL Developing Teams
Team City/Area Foundation
Catalanscolours.svgDallas Dragons Dallas, Texas 2011
Western Suburbs colours.svg Denver Wolverines Denver, Colorado 2010
Rochdale colours.svgHouston Hornets Houston, Texas 2011
Canberra colours.svg Los Angeles Raiders Los Angeles, California 2011
University colours.svg Orange County Outlaws Orange County, California 2011
CarcassonneRLcolours.PNG Pittsburgh Sledgehammers Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2009
Ireland colours.svg Seatle Force Seattle, Washington 2010

References

  1. ^ Mascord, Steve (January 12, 2011). "Discord 2011: Edition 2". rleague.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5vrHpLvf8. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ "New Rugby League Competition Announced". rugbymag.com. Rugby Magazine. January 12, 2011. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5vrI1Wig0. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Breakaway league launched in the US". code13rugbyleague.com. January 12, 2011. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5vrIJxNGt. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  4. ^ http://leaguefreak.rlfans.com/news.php
  5. ^ "USA Rugby League (USARL) Names Peter Illfield Chairman". usarugbyleague.com. USA Rugby League. January 13, 2011. http://www.usarugbyleague.com/news/news-011311.html. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ "USA Rugby League name a Chairman-the Fight's own Peter Illfield". Philadelphia Fight Rugby News and Press. fightrugby.com. January 13, 2011. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5vrIT26at. Retrieved January 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ Daniel Andruczyk (August 28th, 2011). "It's Hard to Keep a Game of Rugby League Down". rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com. http://www.rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com/index.php/2011/08/its-hard-to-keep-a-game-of-rugby-league-down/. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  8. ^ "USARL Constitution, Teams, Entry Qualifications Announced". usarugbyleague.com. USA Rugby League. February 17, 2011. http://www.usarugbyleague.com/usarl-schedule.pdf. Retrieved March 9, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "USARL Constitution, Teams, Entry Qualifications Announced". Philadelphia Fight Rugby News and Press. fightrugby.com. February 18, 2011. http://www.fightrugby.com/news/398/usarl-constitution-teams-entry-qualifications-announced. Retrieved February 21, 2011. 
  10. ^ "USA Developing Regions". usarugbyleague.com. USA Rugby League. 2011. http://www.usarugbyleague.com/about/developing-regions/. Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Draw for this Weekends 9′s Announced". usarugbyleague.com. USA Rugby League. May 23, 2011. http://www.usarugbyleague.com/2011/05/draw-for-this-weekends-9s-announced/. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Three New Teams Coming to Florida". jaxaxe.com. Jacksonville Axemen. May 27, 2011. http://www.jaxaxe.com/Home/tabid/129/newsid540/501/Default.aspx. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 

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