If you enjoy carnival-like atmospheres, dressing up like it’s Halloween, and watching sports, we have great news for you: Edmonton has landed a spot as a host city for the World Rugby Sevens Series for the first time ever.
Snagging the hosting spot (for this year only) from its usual UK stop of London, England, this is a one-time chance for Albertans to experience the HSBC Canada Sevens.
The high-intensity sporting event and all-around funfair is coming to Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium for two adrenaline-fueled days on Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26.
HSBC Canada Sevens — the largest sporting event in Western Canada — will feature matches from Canada’s national team, fresh from the competition at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, along with 11 other teams.
As part of this year’s event, the Canadian women’s team will also be getting in on the action with an exclusive ‘Women’s Fast Four’ component of the upcoming tournament.
Whether you’re a sports fanatic or the kind of person who can’t tell the difference between soccer and football, it’s the kind of sporting event that requires more general enthusiasm than it does sports knowledge.
But if you’re wondering what on earth the Rugby Sevens is, the short answer is that it’s a skimmed-down, faced-paced version of your standard rugby game. While much of the same rules as the usual 15-player game apply, this increasingly popular version consists of 14-minute matches in which seven players attempt to cover a full-size rugby pitch — racing for points and tackling each other at every opportunity.
Day one of the dynamic sporting event unfolds with a round-robin tournament within pools. On day two, the losing teams of each pool compete for a ninth-place finish, while the successful teams continue to compete for the chance to win gold, silver, or bronze medals.
It’s a true feat of athleticism that tests the speed and agility of its players, and it’s mighty entertaining to watch. Even if you don’t fully understand the game, you can’t help but be delighted by the exuberant ambiance and exhilaration of the rowdy crowd.
Tickets also include two full days of access in which teams from across the world compete in Rugby Sevens match-ups. The over-the-top costumes, of course, are also an important part of this double-day party.
Last year, when the Rugby Sevens was in Vancouver, locals took the streets and stadium decked out in everything from Sesame Street attire to full-blown, 80s gear and Star Wars ensembles to showcase their excitement.
It’s all part of a Rugby Sevens tradition called “fancy dress” that involves rallying friends and dressing up in strange costumes that have absolutely nothing to do with the game. No one fully knows how the trend started, they just know it’s entertaining.
So, get your squad together for a weekend of ridiculous outfit-wearing, beer-drinking, and sports-cheering and experience what all the hype is about for yourself.
HSBC Canada Sevens
Where: Commonwealth Stadium, 11000 Stadium Road
When: Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26
How: Buy tickets here