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HS Club Championship Info

  • 15 Jan 2016

Five-time national titleholder Fallbrook will now compete in the club championships.


SEATTLE – The 2016 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) Club Committee is pleased to announce that the inaugural Girls High School Club Rugby National Championship will be held at Central Washington University (CWU) in Ellensburg, Wash., from May 21-22. While girls high school rugby has held a national championship since 2000, in 2016 coaches from “club” (i.e., multi-school) and “single school” teams mutually agreed to hold separate championships for the two types of teams in order to provide a more equitable competition.


“We are very honored to host the Girls High School Club Championship at Central, as we are committed to support the growth of the high school game,” said Mel Denham, Head Coach of CWU Women’s Rugby, a DI varsity program. “With varsity women’s rugby rapidly emerging in the NCAA, Central Washington will provide a top-class venue for the event, as well as an opportunity for these young athletes to see and experience first-hand what it is like to be on a university campus that fully supports the sport.”


The club championship’s organizing committee is committed to holding the tournament each year at a women’s rugby university to maximize exposure for the young athletes participating and inspire them to continue playing beyond high school.


“The National Invitational Tournament has inspired my high school players to aspire to attend a university with a rugby program so that they can continue to play the sport they love in college,” said Fallbrook Head Coach Marin Pinnell. “At Nationals each year, my girls are approached by college scouts who want to give them more information about their university programs. This first-hand experience has enabled many of my girls who never would have thought about a rugby university to consider this option. I now have my girls playing rugby across the country at universities such as CWU, Lindenwood, and Notre Dame College. Hopefully the list of schools will grow with this new exposure to a university venue each year.” 


This year’s host, CWU Women’s Rugby, has grown into a nationally ranked program in recent years, finishing 2nd in the nation in 2015, and was recently named the program of the year by This Is American Rugby.


“To ensure women’s rugby continues its rapid growth, athletes need opportunities like this to play the best competition possible,” said Rex Norris, Head Coach of the Kent Crusaders, host team for the championship. “The venue, the competition, and the support by the women’s rugby community ensures this event will be top-notch across the board.”


The championship will be supported by ATAVUS under a 3-year commitment to grow the game, bringing the best club teams from across the country together to compete on the national stage. Coaches interested in more information on participating in the club championship can e-mail Marin Pinnell at Companies or organizations interested in helping to sponsor the tournament should contact Julie Prentice at


Registration for the tournament will be available by January 25 at

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