Welcome to the Battleship Rugby Football Club
The team has a storied history dating back to its formation in 1975. This includes two national championships in 1992 and 2001. Here’s a few things you will need to know to join the club and play for the team.
There are two aspects of playing rugby for Battleship. The first is the rugby team aspect. As a member of the team, you’re expected to attend practice and games. This is obviously the physical part of the game. For beginners, you’ll be trained in the proper and safe way to play the game. Be sure to ask a club veteran what “60” means.
The second aspect is the rugby club. The club has to pay for and maintain our clubhouse and practice fields. The club has many duties to keep the team on the field. As a member of the club, you’re expected to pay dues, attend fundraisers and participate in other club activities. You cannot be a part of the team without being a part of the club.
The club has a number of expenses, for example membership in USA Rugby is $150 per year, per team. Each home game costs an average of $100 for referees and $250 for the after match social. Practice and game balls, field paint, etc costs add up quickly. The majority of our operating expenses are covered by member dues and various fundraisers. This aspect of the club is no different than any other club/organization. Senior players are required to wear the same Match Day kit (black shorts, red socks and a black or red warmup shirt). Monthly Dues will be collected via Paypal only and have been reduced this year to $10/month. All Senior players are required to be subscribed to monthly dues prior to participating in team events, including practice, matches and socials. Battleship Old Boys and supporters can also subscribe for $5/month to enjoy all of the social aspects rugby has to offer. Everyone can visit our Team Store for Match Day and Fan gear.
You also have the option of making a donation to the Club. Press the Donate button, list the amount you would like to donate, and then under “Special instructions for Seller”, put your name and what donation is for.
Rugby throughout the world is organized into unions. Think of it in terms of conferences and divisions. Battleship RFC competes in the True South Geographic Union in Division III. It is comprised of teams from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. The True South is one of twelve Geographic Unions and there are several larger regional territories. All rugby is governed by USA Rugby, the national union. The pathway to the national championship goes through USA Rugby and the national playoffs.
You will hear players and coaches refer to being “CIPP’d” (sipped). This stands for Club and Individual Participation Program. This is the registration process that each club and player must go through to be eligible to play competitive rugby. To register, go to www.usarugby.org/membership and follow the instructions. When prompted to find a club, simply type in Battleship. The current cost for a player is $70. This registration is current from date of signup through Aug 15 of the following year. This is a mandatory requirement for playing.
Throughout the years, the team has amassed equipment needed to properly train. A scrum sled, goal posts, tackle dummies, ruck shields, cones and balls are all stored in our clubhouse. The game jerseys are property of the club and handed out before each game. All other equipment is the responsibility of the individual player. At a minimum each player needs:
1. Match Shorts (black)
3. Cleats (can be position specific)
4. Match Socks (red)
Shorts and jerseys are not available locally. There are several different websites that offer rugby gear. Many sites have rookie rugby packages that include a practice jersey, shorts and socks for a discounted price.
Saturday’s A Rugby Day
Practice is Tuesday and Thursday at our pitch at the Brookley Airfield Complex. Games are typically played on Saturdays sometime between 12 PM and 2 PM, depending on travel distance and field availability. We play our home games at USS Battleship Alabama Memorial Park. One of the best backdrops in southern rugby is the Battleship. Teams from all over the world have played rugby in it’s shadow.
One of the unique features of rugby is the post-game social. The home team is expected to host the visitors after the match. This usually includes food and an adult beverage. The matches are intense and high spirited. After that, all is forgiven and the teams unite as one.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the officers or coaches.