“Rugby: More Than Just a Game" at the Davenport Public Library Main Branch -- March 20.

Monday, March 20, 6 p.m.

Davenport Public Library Main Branch, 321 Main Street, Davenport IA

For those who don't know what to do with themselves now that the NFL season is over, members of Quad City Rugby will visit the Davenport Public Library's main branch on March 20 for the presentation Rugby: More Than Just a Game, teaching participants about the pastime and how it instills great virtues within players including teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline, respect, and enjoyment for all.

A close-contact team sport that originated at Rugby School in the first half of the 19th century, rugby is commonly played between two teams of 15 players each, using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field called a pitch. The field has H-shaped goalposts at both ends, and rugby is a popular sport around the world, played by people of all genders, ages and sizes. There are presently more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million, as of 2014, were registered players. World Rugby, previously called the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB) and the International Rugby Board (IRB), has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, and currently has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members.

In 1845, the first laws were written by students attending Rugby School, with other significant events in the early development of rugby include the decision by Blackheath F.C. to leave The Football Association in 1863 and, in 1895, the split between rugby union and rugby league. Historically, rugby union was an amateur sport, but in 1995, formal restrictions on payments to players were removed, making the game openly professional at the highest level for the first time. Rugby consequently spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland, with other early exponents of the sport including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France. The sport is followed primarily in the British Isles, France, Georgia, Oceania, Southern Africa, Argentina, and, to a lesser extent Italy, Uruguay, Canada, Japan, and the United States. Meanwhile, countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Georgia, Madagascar, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, and Wales.

International matches have taken place since 1871 when the first game was played between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh. The Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, is held every four years, and national club and provincial competitions include the Premiership in England, the Top 14 in France, the Bunnings NPC in New Zealand, the League One in Japan, and the Currie Cup in South Africa. Other transnational club competitions include the United Rugby Championship of club teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales; European Rugby Champions Cup in Europe; and Super Rugby Pacific in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands.

Rugby: More Than Just a Gamewill be presented at the Davenport Public Library's main branch on March 20, participation in the 6 p.m. indoor program is free, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7832 and visiting DavenportLibrary.com.

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