CLAYTON, North Carolina – The Clayton Rugby Football Club has moved the date of their Annual CottonTown 7s Rugby Festival from July 11th to August 1st. The move allows more time for restrictions to be lifted. With the State of North Carolina recently moving into a three-phase plan to re-open the state, the club was confident that the gathering bans would be lifted in time for the event. Unfortunately, there are still concerns about the playing ban in place for the sport of rugby. Club officials are closely following guidance provided by World Rugby and the CDC on returning to play. The extra three weeks will hopefully provide the buffer needed to allow the tournament proceed.
The club is also awaiting guidance from USA Rugby on the current playing ban. Club administrators understand that the USA Rugby liability insurance may not be in effect over the summer as different parts of the country are on different re-opening plans. In the event that the USA Rugby insurance is not in effect, the Clayton RFC is committed to providing general liability insurance to cover the event, club, tournament admins, and referees.
“We are still moving forward with our planning for the tournament,” added Clayton RFC President Ted Hardy. “It’s not an ideal situation, by any means, but we’re trying to make the most of it. We want to get back to rugby as soon as possible, but it’s important that we do it in a way that decreases the chances of our tournament participants being exposed. This will unfortunately require some changes to the event for this year.”
Those changes include dropping the High School Division and decreasing the overall number of teams and fans at the event. The CottonTown 7s has grown into one of the largest social tournaments in the southeast since launching in 2016. Last year’s event had almost 30 teams and more than 750 players and fans at the event. The tournament still offers Men’s and Women’s Divisions, but the number of teams allowed may decrease to eight per division. This is dependent on the gathering restrictions in place at the time of the tournament.
With the limited number of spots available, registration is expected to fill up fast. To learn more or to register, please visit the CottonTown 7s informational page. If the tournament is cancelled, full refunds will be given to all registered teams. For the time being, clubs are restricted to only entering one team per division. This is to allow more teams to participate. If the divisions end up being expanded, the Clayton RFC will consider allowing clubs to enter second sides.
The Clayton RFC thanks everyone for their patience during these uncertain times and hopes to see rugby at the CottonTown 7s on August 1st!