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Frostburg State to offer NCAA Varsity Women’s Rugby

  • 22 Aug 2022
Frostburg State rugby

FROSTBURG, Md. – Frostburg State University (FSU) Director of Athletics Troy Dell has announced the addition of women’s rugby to bring another emerging NCAA sport to the university. Along with the recent announcement of the addition of men’s and women’s wrestling, this will raise the number of sponsored sports at FSU to 25.

“We are excited to be able to continue the university’s commitment to growing opportunities that create greater equity across our department and intercollegiate athletics overall,” said Dell. “We have truly enjoyed the process of supporting the NCAA Emerging Sports program through the addition of Acrobatics & Tumbling. Women’s rugby gives us the opportunity to continue our support of female student-athletes on our campus. The alignment of the addition of women’s rugby with the 50th Anniversary of Title IX makes this announcement even more special for our university.”

Ruggette rugby

According to the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association, there are currently 28 schools currently competing in the sport. Nine of those schools compete at the Division II level, including Alderson Broaddus, the only current Mountain East Conference school that offers women’s rugby.

While designated as an emerging sport, the NIRA oversees women’s rugby programs while awaiting official NCAA status, similar to the NCATA in acrobatics & tumbling. More information can be found at The season for women’s rugby is played in the fall and the primary format is 15-player rugby.

“The NIRA is thrilled that Frostburg State University has elected to add women’s rugby as its 25th varsity sport,” NIRA Commissioner Amy Rusert enthused. “Bobcat Women’s Rugby will mark a significant milestone as the 30th NCAA varsity program to take the field in the fall of 2023. We look forward to working with AD Troy Dell and his staff in the coming months as Frostburg builds out and staffs their new program and engages in the NIRA membership process.”

This will be the third emerging sport FSU has added since making the transition to Division II. Acrobatics & Tumbling has recently hit the 46-team mark, while both women’s wrestling and women’s rugby continue to grow their number of programs offered.

Frostburg will immediately begin a national search for a coach to lead the women’s rugby program, and will also begin its formal application process to join NIRA. Should Frostburg be added to NIRA (and there’s no reason to expect otherwise), then the Bobcats will represent the 28th member. Central Washington Univ. and Marywood Univ. are also NCAA varsity programs but do not belong to NIRA.

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