SAN DIEGO — When it comes to sports, Americans love their football and baseball, but there is a new youth sport in San Diego County you may just want to "try".
In Friday's Zevely Zone, Jeff was invited by the non-profit organization Girls Rugby Inc. to meet a few of the coaches, parents and players in Ocean Beach.
On the same fields usually set aside for softball and soccer, a new generation is tossing around an odd looking ball.
"Rugby is a game that is kind of like football but it is harder because you have to pass backwards," says a young female rugby player with a smile.
Coach Nicole played rugby in college, she didn't study it. So when Jeff asked her where rugby was from, Nicole responded, "I believe it's from Europe. My history is not so great."
Surely, the parents must know. They signed their kids up for this sport. Jeff asked them: "Where does rugby come from?"
Two of the moms chime in, "Originally? Europe? England? I know it's big in Australia and New Zealand."
A new game means new rules. Instead of a touchdown in football, in rugby when you score you get a try. There is another big rule difference.
"Apparently you can only pass backwards and I was like okay. I don't know how to pass backwards," says a young rugby star in the making.
Jeff asked Coach Kettie if players have to be fast, if players need to be strong or if they have to be wily.
"No," Coach Kettie says with a laugh. "Rugby is for everyone."
Just like everyone can figure out anything with a phone, especially a bunch of rugby moms. Jeff Googled the history of rugby and found that in 1823 the first rugby match was played in England. Supposedly a guy named William Webb Ellis picked up a ball during a soccer game and that is how the sport started.
At this young age, it's all fun with flags. The children pull the flags off of their belts to stop a play. But soon, the tackling starts and that means you'd better bring your game face and a few Band-Aids.
So, if you have an open mind, bring your kid to and open field to rumble with rugby. Word is there are some future college rugby scholarships up for grabs.
If you'd like to learn more about rugby for girls, Girls Rugby Inc. is has teams for children seven to fourteen years old. For more information Girls Rugby Inc.