Sevens Vote

Olympic_rings

Today, the International Olympic Committee will vote about whether Sevens and Golf(!) should be admitted to the Olympics. Sevens is a great game. For the uninitiated it is a fast version of rugby union. There are seven players per side (not fifteen), and seven minutes played per half. There are some rule variations regarding scrums (3 man), conversions (from the hand) and sin binning (2 minutes) - but other than that it's essentially the same game. The scorelines look similar as there is more space on the pitch and so tries come more frequently.

A sevens tournament typically spans a couple of days, and in that time it's like watching a whole world cup. First there are the pool stages - one minute you're watching England vs Wales, and the next it's Fiji vs. Samoa. Whenever we've gone to Twickenham, Kenya have received the support of many neutrals. Following that, there is a knockout stage to play for the cup (some teams who are out of contention for the cup will find themselves in a second tier contest).

Many big names have played sevens, from Dallaglio to Lumu, and a if near an IRC sevens event, it is a good, and pretty cheap, way to spend the weekend.

The IOC have specified that for any sport, the Olympics must be the pinnacle of achievement and the IRC have said that the World Sevens Cup will be scrapped should sevens get in. That sounds fair enough, but why is the same not true elsewhere? In football, an olympic sport, the olympics is not the pinnacle, even in Athletics they still have annual world championships.

Regardless, it'd be a good thing for sevens to get to the olympics. It'd increase the reach of the game, and would be relatively easy to stage requiring a stadium for a couple of days. Indeed, there'd be no reason at all why it'd have to wait for 2016. I don't imagine this would happen, but Sebastian Coe could ring the RFU at Twickenham today and say 'could you let us have a couple of days, please'.

Simples!