Frequently Asked Questions
I've never played
before. Is that a problem?
Not at all. We'll teach you everything you need to know about
the game. About 75% of the team had never played before Spring 2004,
so we remember very well what it's like to start from scratch. Also,
this Fall, we plan on fielding two squads, with the "B" side
providing playing opportunties for beginners and more social (rather
than competitive) players.
Isn't it dangerous?
Rugby is a full-contact sport, so yes, people can get hurt.
But Rugby is no more dangerous than any other similar contact sport,
such as lacrosse. In fact, injury rates and insurance costs are comparable
to soccer, Rugby's father sport, and lacrosse. Unlike many collision
sports that involve equipment and padding (i.e. football and hockey),
many rugby players enjoy careers lasting into their 40's and longer.
The majority of the injuries that sidelined Dragons have been pulled
muscles or sprains - injuries not from hitting or being hit, but from
not being properly conditioned. However, if you're really worried about
getting injured, you should consider that rugby may not be the right
sport for you.
Do I have to be big to play Rugby?
NO! You just need to be fit and aggressive. Rugby is every
person's game. Because of the variety of positions and skills demanded
in the game, athletes of all shapes and sizes can find a position. From
the small, quick and wily scrumhalf, to the rugged prop, to the towering
second row player, there's a position for all athletes.
What all do I need?
For practice, you only need to bring a pair of cleats and a
Once you start playing, you'll need to get to get a uniform (or "kit"),
consisting of shorts, socks and a jersey.
Most football and baseball cleats are NOT allowed in games (and not
really encouraged at practice, for that matter). The front toe cleat
is illegal and, often, the cleats are too narrow and sharp. If you have
a pair and aren't sure, bring them out and we can take a look. Sometimes,
you can simply cut off the front toe cleat and be legal.
Also, you are required to have medical insurance to play and/or practice
with the team.
When are practices?
During the regular season, we practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays
from 7:00 to 9:00. During Sevens, we practice on Thursdays only.
When do you play games?
Regular games are usually on Saturdays, traditionally starting
at 1:00pm. Sevens games are exclusively at tournaments, which usually
have an early morning start time.
Where do you play?
We play Home games at Cricket Hill. Away games
are usually within 2 hours of the city (though occasionally they can
be as far away as Peoria).
I don't have a car - how can I get to out-of-town
We have a pretty good record of setting up car-pooling for
both practices and games.
Who do you play?
The Dragons play other teams in the Midwest and Chicago Area
Rugby Football Unions. We play teams in the Chicago area as well as
Central Illinois and Indiana.
How much does it cost?
Currently, dues for Active members (usually players) are $125
per Season (Fall, Spring and Summer). If you do not play Sevens, your
Spring membership carries through the Summer for all social functions.
There's another $45 paid once a year to USA Rugby for your membership
In the summer Sevens season, players pick up their portion of the cost
of each tournament entry fee (usually about $15/player per event).
The uniform costs is about $30 for socks and shorts. We'll provide the jersey, but you might get stuck with laundry duty once or twice. Good quality rugby cleats (or "boots") will cost you about
$80-$100. But a cheap pair of soccer shoes will get you by until you
decide if this is the sport for you.
I want to support the team, but I won't be able to play. What
can I do?
We have Social memberships available at $50 per Season. You
are invited to all club functions, including the Home match after-parties,
for which we otherwise charge a cover. If you would like to vote or
hold office in the club as a non-playing member, you can apply for an
What is your season?
Our season runs from late August through mid-November and
then from March to mid-May.
In the summer, we play a variation called seven-a-side (or "Sevens").
Sevens? What's that?
Sevens is a variation of the game in which there are only seven
players per side instead of the usual fifteen. It's played on a full-sized
pitch, so with half the guys covering the same amount of space, there's
a LOT more running involved. Games are only 15 minutes long (2 7-minute
halves with a 1 minute halftime).
So why a "predominantly gay" rugby team?
Rugby is as much social as it is competitive. You spend as
much (or more) time off with your teammates off the field than on it.
The Dragons offer an inclusive social environtment within the club while
competing head-to-head with the other teams in the league (or "Union")
Several of us have been "out" while playing on "straight"
teams and, while we made some great friends, it was often socially isolating.
Playing on a mostly gay team in a "straight" league hits a
So do you play other gay teams?
For the most part, no. At this time, we are the only predominantly
gay team in the Midwest so it's logistically not an option. That being
said, we are extremely proud to be members of CARFU. We are a growing,
learning team and we are dedicated to competitive play within our division.
To be honest, if there were an exclusively gay league in the area,
we probably wouldn't join it. Variety is the spice of life and we've
made some great friends on the other teams that we wouldn't have gotten
the opportunity to meet if we restricted ourselves to a gay-only league.
We are members of the International Gay Rugby Association and Board
and hope to play other IGRAB teams when travel permits, etc.
Why is Sevens different for practices, cost, etc?
Basically, we really don't want guys to get burnt out. Sevens
is a completely optional program for the Dragons (as it is for most
teams). We encourage people to play because it's fun, but the grind
of twice weekly practices, games every Saturday, events, meetings, fundraisers,
etc. can be a bit much year-round.