USA Sevens

USA Sevens

USA Sevens
Current season, competition or edition:
2014 USA Sevens
Sport Rugby sevens
Founded 2004
Country 16
Most recent champion(s)  South Africa (3rd title)
Most titles  South Africa (3)
TV partner(s) NBC and NBC Sports
Official website

The USA Sevens is a rugby sevens tournament held annually during the second weekend of February in Las Vegas in the United States. The USA Sevens is the largest annual rugby competition in North America, drawing over 60,000 fans, and is broadcast live in the United States by NBC and NBC Sports. The USA Sevens was introduced in 2004, and has been held at its current home, Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas every February since 2010. The USA Sevens tournament features 16 teams representing countries from every continent, including the host, the U.S. national team.

The USA Sevens is the fifth of nine tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series. The IRB Sevens World Series is played throughout the world at eight other venues: Australia, Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, London and Scotland.

The United States plays Canada in the 2012 USA Sevens tournament


The tournament consists of 16 countries participating in 45 matches over a three-day weekend. The 16 teams are divided into four pools of four teams, with seeding determined by finishes in the previous competition in the IRB Sevens World Series. Wins are worth three points, draws two, and losses one. The top two teams from each group progress to the quarterfinals to compete for the Cup (places 1-4) and Plate (places 5-8). The bottom two teams from each group participate in the Bowl (places 9-12) and Shield (places 13-16) competitions.

Through the 2011-12 edition, the sixteen participating teams were the 12 "core" members of the IRB Sevens World Series circuit, along with 4 additional qualifying teams—other teams that qualified multiple times during the 2009-2012 span included Japan, Canada, Uruguay and Guyana. Starting with the 2012–13 season, the number of core teams increased from 12 to 15, with Canada, Spain and Portugal earning the three new slots.

Popularity and Growth

The USA Sevens is the largest annual rugby competition in North America. The tournament has grown in popularity since the tournament began in 2004. In recent years, a number of events have accelerated the surge in popularity, including the announcement in 2009 that rugby would return to the Summer Olympics, the general growth of rugby in the United States, the improved performance of the U.S. national rugby team including their success in reaching the semi-finals of the 2009 USA Sevens, and NBC's decision to begin televising the tournament beginning in 2011.


Tournament attendance has grown rapidly since its inception in 2004. The tournament drew 15,800 fans in 2004,[1] 25,000 fans in 2007,[2] and 37,000 fans in 2009.[3] The tournament switched to a three-day format in 2011, and drew 49,909 fans that year.[4] The tournament drew over 64,107 fans in 2012, including 30,112 on the second day of the event, setting a new record for the largest crowd to watch a rugby event in the United States.[5] The 2013 tournament broke attendance records again, with total attendance of 67,341, and a single-day attendance record of 31,228.[6] The 2014 tournament again saw record attendance, with 68,608 fans over the three-day event (single-day high of 31,664 on Saturday), despite the fact that the tournament had been moved to January to avoid the 2014 Winter Olympics.[7]

Media coverage

The profile and visibility of the USA Sevens has increased in the United States since NBC began broadcasting the tournament in 2011, marking the first time that the tournament had live television coverage on network TV in the United States. NBC Sports and Universal Sports broadcast eight hours of live coverage of the 2011 tournament, including 4 hours of coverage on NBC. NBC increased its television coverage for the 2012 tournament, showing 10 hours of live coverage, including 4 hours on NBC and 4 hours on NBC Sports.[8] The 2012 USA Sevens earned strong ratings of 0.7 on NBC, beating other popular sports events that weekend such as the Detroit v. Philadelphia NHL game (0.4) and the Alabama v. LSU basketball game (0.3).[9] NBC again increased its TV coverage in 2013, with 16 hours of coverage across three channels, including 4 hours on NBC and 6 hours on NBC Sports.[10] The 2014 USA Sevens drew ratings of 0.7 on Saturday and 1.0 on Sunday.[11]

NBC Sports has displayed an increased interest in broadcasting rugby since the International Olympic Committee's announcement in 2009 that rugby would return to the Summer Olympics in 2016.[12] NBC Sports has recognized that its partnership with USA Sevens to broadcast the tournament will help grow the sport of rugby in the United States.[13]

For the 2009–10 season, ESPN3 held internet streaming rights to the IRB Sevens World Series, and streamed live all 44 matches of the 2010 USA Sevens, as well as all trophy finals in all other legs of the series. Setanta Sports previously held the cable rights to the USA Sevens, with highlights shown on ABC after the tournament's conclusion. Previously, it was covered on the America One network.


Fueled in part by the publicity generated by the NBC broadcasts and rugby's return to the Olympics, the USA Sevens has been successful in lining up several blue-chip corporate sponsors. For the 2011 tournament, sponsors included Bridgestone, Toyota, Subway and ADT.[14] The tournament was similarly successful in landing commercial sponsors for 2012, including Adidas, Pepsi, DHL, Subway and others.[15]

Effective with the 2010–11 series, the London-based global financial services company HSBC became the title sponsor of the overall IRB Sevens World Series.


The USA Sevens debuted at The Home Depot Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California in February 2004. This competition marked the first time the United States ever hosted an official IRB event of international importance. USA Rugby was awarded the right to host the USA Sevens for three years, in part because rugby was recognized as one of the fastest growing team sports in the US.[16]

In 2005, USA Rugby sold a 90% interest in USA Sevens, LLC to United World Sports, LLC, with USA Rugby retaining the remaining 10% ownership interest.[17] In August 2006, USA Rugby and the International Rugby Board renewed the contract for the USA Sevens to remain in the IRB Sevens World Series.

The USA Sevens tournament, beginning February 2007, was held for the next few years at PETCO Park, the home field of the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball. San Diego was an appealing location because the average high temperature in San Diego in February is a balmy 72 °F (22 °C).

Las Vegas then won the right to host the event, beating out competition from San Francisco, Phoenix, and Orlando.[18]

The USA Sevens tournament has been a part of the IRB Sevens World Series every year since its 2004 debut. This makes the USA Sevens tournament one of the longer running consecutive hosts on the circuit.


Results by year

Year Host Cup Final Plate Final
Winner Score Runner-up Winner Score Runner-up
2004 Los Angeles, CA
New Zealand

2005 Los Angeles, CA
New Zealand

2006 Los Angeles, CA

2007 San Diego, CA

South Africa
2008 San Diego, CA
New Zealand
South Africa


2009 San Diego, CA

New Zealand
2010 Las Vegas, NV
New Zealand

South Africa
2011 Las Vegas, NV
South Africa

2012 Las Vegas, NV
New Zealand

2013 Las Vegas, NV
South Africa
New Zealand

2014 Las Vegas, NV
South Africa
New Zealand



Results by team

Team Champions Runners-up Semifinalists
 South Africa 2011, 2013, 2014 2008 2009, 2012
 Samoa 2010, 2012 2007 2008, 2013, 2014
 New Zealand 2005, 2008 2004, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 2007, 2011
 Argentina 2004, 2009 2005
 Fiji 2007 2006, 2011 2012, 2013
 England 2006 2009 2005, 2011
 Kenya 2008, 2010
 Canada 2014
 Australia 2010
 United States 2009
 France 2007

Leading scorers

Leading Tournament Scorers
Season Tries Points
2004 ?? ??
2005 8-Tafai Ioasa (New Zealand) 61-Orene Ai'i (New Zealand)
2006 9-David Strettle (England) 59-Ben Gollings (England)
2007 6-(several) 56-William Ryder (Fiji)
2008 8-Chris Wyles (USA) & Victor Vito (NZ) 51-Ben Gollings (England)
2009 8-Viliame Waqasduadua (New Zealand) 48-Peni Rokodiva (Fiji)
2010 11-Mikaele Pesamino (Samoa) 55-Mikaele Pesamino (Samoa)
2011 10-Collins Injera (Kenya) 54-Cecil Afrika (South Africa)
2012 7-Cecil Afrika (South Africa) 44-Tomasi Cama (New Zealand)
2013 8-Lewis Holland (Australia) 52-Lewis Holland (Australia)
2014 6-Seabelo Senatla (South Africa) 48-Cameron Clark (Australia)

See also


  1. ^ Rugby Mag, GoffonRugby: The Big Deal, Feb. 14, 2011,
  2. ^ Glasgow7s, IRB Sevens Set for Another Record Breaking Year, August 2, 2007,
  3. ^ Las Vegas Review-Journal, USA Sevens rugby tournament ready to scrum in Las Vegas, Feb. 12, 2010,
  4. ^ Las Vegas Review-Journal, Rugby organizers set lofty goals for 2012, Dec. 31, 2011,
  5. ^ Kirvin Doak Communications, USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament Returns to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas for Fourth Consecutive Year, Sep. 11, 2012,
  6. ^ Rugby Mag, Strong Crowds Harbinger of New Direction?, June 9, 2013,
  7. ^ Rugby Mag, USA 7s Attendance Nudges Up Slightly Despite Obstacles, Ja, 26, 2014,
  8. ^ TV by the Numbers, 10 Hours of Live Coverage of HSBC Sevens Rugby This Weekend, Feb. 9, 2012,
  9. ^ Sports Media Watch, Weekly Sports TV Ratings, Feb 22, 2012,
  10. ^ TV by the numbers, NBC, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports Combine to Deliver More Than 16 Hours of USA Sevens Vegas, Feb. 7, 2013,
  11. ^ "TV Ratings for USA 7s Rise", Rugby Today, January 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Adweek, NBC Lines Up 4 Sponsors for USA Rugby Tourney, Feb. 8, 2011,
  13. ^ Inside the Games, Match timings switched as rugby sevens televised live across USA for first time, Jan. 21, 2011,
  14. ^ Adweek, NBC Lines Up 4 Sponsors for USA Rugby Tourney, Feb. 8, 2011,
  15. ^ USA Sevens Rugby, Leading brands have sponsorship in rugby,
  16. ^ USA Rugby, TEAM ROC USA SEVENS Brings World Rugby Series to U.S., Jan. 28, 2004,
  17. ^ See USA Rugby December 31, 2010 Consolidated Financial Statements, available at
  18. ^ Las Vegas Review-Journal, EDITORIAL: Successful scrum, Jan. 29, 2014,

External links

  • Official USA Sevens Homepage
  • All-Time Event Records
  • Official IRB homepage for USA Sevens
  • Index of World Sevens series