Photo Credit: Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt.

Photo Credit: Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt.

RFK Ambassador Global Leadership Academies hosted 150 Middle School girls who represented 18 teams from all over Los Angeles.

The level of skill on display was amazing to watch, with around 70 students playing in their first ever flag rugby tournament. The tournament format – based on the HSBC Sevens World Series – saw teams play six-minute matches against five teams in their pool. All 18 teams were then ranked based on their performance and put into various finals.

For this tournament, PRUSA mentors tasked each team with defining what one of our values in action means to them, both on and off the field. The value in action chosen was ‘Try Makers Not Just Try Scorers’ with all squads submitting extremely insightful answers. Our staff selected Byrd Middle School as the team who best expressed these values in their feedback.

“We are all doing our part to make sure we have fun as a team and advance where possible. There is no ‘I’ in team, so we trust our players to do their part in the game. We pass to everyone so that we can score as a team” – Byrd Middle School.

Meanwhile on the field, it was fast paced action with matches being played every ten minutes on all three fields. In total 54 matches were played during the tournament, with each student running for an average of 30 non-stop minutes.

The Bowl Final (3rd Place) saw Nightingale take on Olive Vista in a tense low scoring clash. With seconds remaining in the match it was Nightingale who sliced through for the winning try, and secured a great looking trophy for their school!

Photo Credit: Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt.

Photo Credit: Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt.

The Cup Final was one of the best finals seen in years.

Emerson (Blue) went through unbeaten in their pool with wins over Dana (3-0), Harry Bridges (6-1), Pacoima (5-0), Hollenbeck (4-1) and a 2-2 draw against Olive Vista. They scored 20 tries, only conceding 4.

Byrd reached the Cup Final as the only team with five wins in their pool including: El Sereno (3-0), Burroughs (3-1), Sutter (6-0), Irving (3-2) and King (2-1). Byrd also conceded 4 tries, and scored 17 times.

It was fitting that Byrd held strong on defense, and then scored a classic on fulltime to claim the 2014 LA Fall Cup with a 2-1 win over Emerson!

Emerson, who has won several Cup Finals in the past, took the Plate trophy home. The two MVP awards went to Chelsea Perez and Crystal Gaona, who both represented Bryd Middle School.

Tim Bower from BTB presents the MVP Awards! Photo Credit: Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt.

Tim Bower from BTB presents the MVP Awards! Photo Credit: Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt.

The prestigious Spirit of Rugby Award for sportsmanship was presented to Danielle Temple (Dodson) and Thais Corral (Burroughs). The ‘Go Forward’ award for leadership and effort went to Abrill Armenta (Sepulveda). Each of the above recipients received a Canterbury rugby ball.

View all the tournament photos here by Rene Merideth/Red Dragon Mgmt.

 The remaining PRUSA LA fall tournament schedule includes –

November 22nd: Beyond the Bell Boys Middle Schools (20 Teams)

December 6th: After-School All-Stars Co-Ed Schools (12 Teams)

December 13th: Beyond the Bell Co-Ed Elementary Schools (30 Teams)

The BTB Middle School Boys Tournament! Design by Casey Bollinger.

The BTB Middle School Boys Tournament! Design by Casey Bollinger.

PRUSA would like to thank the fantastic LA84 Foundation for all their support, as well as the extremely well organized Beyond the Bell program and staff. Stay updated on the San Francisco and Los Angeles program by liking our Facebook and Twitter pages.

And lastly, a massive thank you to the volunteers from the Pasadena Women’s Rugby Club, who came out to ensure that this was one of the most successful tournaments to date.

“It was so exciting to see so many young girls out there playing the sport that we love! We look forward to participating in many more Play Rugby USA events.” – Emilie Bagan, Pasadena Women’s RFC.


Beyond the Bell Girls Middle School Fall Tournament Results (RFK)

Cup Champions: Byrd

Plate Champions: Emerson

Bowl Champions: Nightingale

Participating Middle School sites: Burbank, Burroughs, Byrd, Dana, Dodson, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Emerson, Fleming, Harry Bridges, Irving, King, Maclay, Nightingale, Olive Vista, Sepulveda, Sutter, YOKA.

LA84 FoundationFor more information visit Play Rugby USA (, Beyond the Bell ( and the LA84 Foundation (

PRCAAbout Play Rugby USA: The non-profit was founded by Mark Griffin in New York City in 2003, and with it’s mission of ‘Developing Youth Through Rugby’ the program has spread to Los Angeles in 2010 and San Francisco in 2012.

The LA program has grown from 6 to 115 schools over the past five years, serving an estimated 2,500 students annually. These are exciting times for the sport, especially with Rugby returning to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio in 2016.

PRUSA works with after school programs LA’s Best, After-School All-Stars (ASAS), the Sheriff Youth Academies League (YAL), Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), Summer Night Lights (SNL), and Beyond the Bell (BTB).

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