Rugby, the sport and the party, in Alpine this weekend

ALPINE, WYOMING — To a spectator, rugby can look like a violent sport.

“We knock the hell out of each other on the field,” said Jackson Club Rugby player Arthur Blue. But as soon as the game is over, everyone, even your rival, is your pal.

Nowhere is that more apparent than the annual Teton 10’s tournament, happening this weekend in Alpine. Ten men’s teams and four women’s teams will go head-to-head in a full day of rugby.

It’s a day of sporting, for sure, but it’s also a party. Players and spectators of all experience levels are invited to play and learn about the sport all day Saturday.

Photo: Dan Fiddler

The tournament is sort of a hybrid between a traditional union rugby tournament and a pro-level rugby tournament. In traditional games, there are 15 players on the field. A the pro-level there are only seven. In the Teton 10’s, there are — you guessed it — 10 players on the field. There are also only 10-minute halves. This means the game is fast-paced, but it’s also not as physical and hard-hitting. “It emphasizes skill and using open space on the field,” Blue explained.

It’s also more fun watch, he said. The rules are less complicated, so it’s easier to follow. “It’s a great way to learn the process of rugby and how it works.”

This very tournament is actually what convinced Blue to play rugby again. He said he was attracted to the sport of the physicality it requires “that you don’t really get it other recreational sports leagues.”

But, Blue emphasized, the league and the tournament are about so much more than the sport. They’re about the community. “It’s more than just a sports club. The people are awesome. I’ve made some really true friends,” Blue said.

The party technically starts Friday night. Friends, family, and fans are invited to join the team for a campout on the field with beer from Melvin and Roadhouse, and food on the grill. “It’s a good old fashioned party,” Blue said. And the more the, merrier

The tournament will begin promptly at 8:30 Saturday morning. If all goes as planned, the final match will start at around 7 p.m.

Getting there: 

The “Field of Dreams,” as it’s called, is right on the Palisades Reservoir. From the town of Alpine, head NNW on highway 26, cross the Snake River Bridge, go past Alpine Junction, and take your first left onto Old Alpine Road. Follow this road all the way past the airstrip to the end until you see the posts on your right. Find it on a map here.

Photo: Dan Fiddler

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