Become Part of a Diverse and Dynamic Group

The Boston Ironsides welcome men of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels. Whether you've been playing rugby all your life or have only just heard about the sport, we invite you to check out our team. There are plenty of opportunities to participate both on and off the pitch. We all have a passion for the game; if you're new to the sport, we think you're going to love it too! 



I've never played rugby before. Will I be able to follow what's going on?

Early practices will focus on a lot of basic skills and physical conditioning. Also, you can check out the Rugby 101 Primer (below) for an overview of the sport. Besides, the best way to learn rugby is to dive right in !

I'm not sure if I'm in good enough shape for rugby. What if I can't keep up?

We won't lie, rugby is intense; the intensity will build as the season progresses. It's not easy, and everybody needs to push themselves to become a good player. The only way to gauge how far you can push is to try it. (It's worth the effort!)

Is there a chance I could get injured?

Yes. Same as any sport. But the training and the laws of the game are designed with player safety in mind. We'll teach you how to minimize the risk. Tackling and other contact will also start out light and intensify as time goes on.

What should I wear? Do I need any special equipment?

Eventually, you'll want a good sturdy rugby practice jersey, proper rugby shorts, and boots (cleats). But we advise beginners to hold off buying kit until they're certain they want to participate.

However, 2 specifics:

For indoor practice at this facility, boots of any kind (molded or spike) are prohibited. Wear regular sneakers.

Mouthguard (gum shield) is a necessity. A basic one can be picked up at any sporting goods store. Follow the instructions to mold it before your first practice.

How early should I get there?

For practice that starts at 6:00 pm, be kitted up and ready to start moving at 6:00 pm. Indoor practice space in Boston isn't easy to get for big blocks of time, so we have to make the most of the hour or two we have. Besides, it's very much to your benefit not to miss anything.

Do I have to have health insurance to play?

Yes, it's required. If you do not have your own insurance, there is an option to get it through the team.

What about fees and dues? Does it cost a lot to play?

Less than many sports, since the equipment is minimal. There will be announcements about the specifics of dues, etc. at the early practices.

Will parking be a problem? It is Boston, after all.

Boston Athletic Club has a huge sprawling parking lot.

If I have other questions, who do I talk to?

Anyone on the team you feel comfortable with. Coach John. Anyone on the executive board. The guy standing next to you at practice. There's a lot to learn, and the whole team will be there to help. New players will be set up on a group email that you can send questions to, or, until then:


Rugby 101

In many ways, rugby is a far less cumbersome sport than football. However, as with any sport, there are rules which must be followed, and penalties that result from breaking them. The following primer will give you a pretty good idea how the sport of rugby is played, and will be great preparation regardless of whether you intend to watch or play: 

RugbyPrimer.pdf — courtesy of the San Francisco Fog

You could also invest in a copy of the new Rugby Union for Dummies or the original Rugby for Dummies for a no-nonsense and entertaining introduction to the sport. Or even better... just show up at practice and we'll teach you how to play!

There are also some great new games out there, most notably Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge and Rugby World Cup 2011, both of which are available for PS3 and Xbox 360.

Getting Your Kit

Before your first match you'll need a basic set of equipment, collectively called a "rugby kit." Please click here for a checklist.

For More Information

To find out more about joining as a playing member, come to one of our posted events, practices or matches, or e-mail us at

Another great source of current information is our Yahoo! Group, BostonGayRugby. There, you can join our mailing list and get up-to-the-minute updates on team events and matches.