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About the Denver Sevens Rugby Tournament

Seven-A-Side Rugby competition in the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union (ERRFU) started at the end of the 1968 Spring rugby season and has been a regular feature ever since. The tournament was initially a joint venture of Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union the Colorado School of Mines, and was held in Golden.  The School of Mines discontinued it’s sponsorship after 1969, leaving the 1970 7s an exclusive ERRFU event.  Beginning in 1971, the Denver Barbarians Rugby Club offered to take over the tournament as its host team.  In the early 1970’s the tournament became known as the National Western Seven-A-Side Tournament.  A major change in focus was made in 1978 when the event was dedicated to the Memory of Michael Sneath.  The Denver Barbarians club holds the Michael Sneath Memorial Cup with all past winners of the top Men’s division names engraved on it.  A separate trophy is awarded to each year’s winner in all divisions. Over the years the tournament has been called the; ERRFU 7s/ WESTERN NATIONAL 7s/ SNEATH CUP 7s/ ROCKY MOUNTAIN 7s and DENVER 7s TOURNAMENT.

At its height in the 1980’s the tournament was attracting 48 men’s clubs from all over the US, including Hawaii and was staged on 6 fields.  The encroachment of 15s into the late spring and a lack of interest locally saw the Denver 7s tournament abandoned from 1996 through 2000 in lieu of a multi week series.  Since 2001 a small group of committed individuals has re-established the Denver 7s tournament.  The tournament management has opened the event to Youth, Collegiate, Women’s and Men’s clubs and has reclaimed its status as a premier event in the Rugby community.  In 2004 the Denver 7s tournament helped initiate and is still a major part of the West Rugby Football Union (now Frontier Union) Regional Qualifier series which leads to the USA Rugby National Club 7s Championship. In summer of 2007 the Denver 7s made its’ home at the fields facility surrounding the newly opened stadium known as Dicks Sporting Goods Park.  From 2012 to 2014 the Denver 7s was held inside the Stadium as well as on the adjacent fields.  In 2016 & 17 the Denver 7s Rugby Tournament hosted over 50 teams (Adult, Collegiate, HS & MS) playing in 7 divisons, plus a Youth Tournament featuring another 105 teams ages 5 - 15, playing on 12 fields. For 2018 our fields will be under renovation so we will have a reduced presense without the participation of the full Youth contingent, yet we are certain to have a successful Denver 7s!

Since 2009 the Denver 7s has been operated by the Denver 7s Rugby Tournament LLC. Our goal is to create a high level professionalized Rugby 7s competition as part of a series.  The end game is for the US 7s series to be a component of the activities required for the US 7s Rugby national team to participate in and achieve medal status in the Summer Olympics.  We have been very fortunate over the years to have National level players play in the Denver 7s.  It is entirely possible that talented players who are participating in the Denver 7s now, will be members of the USA national team participating in the Olympics.

US Eagle Mark Bokhoven getting acquainted with the KC Rogues, Denver 7s 2010