The Old Boys are back.
Kelowna’s Priest Valley Vicars kicked off the new rugby season Saturday at the Parkinson Recreation Centre with an eight-team tournament.
Members of PANORU—Pacific Northwest Old Boys Rugby Union—the Vicars feature players from 38 to 70 years of age who have 10 playing dates annually, including five in the fall.
Old Boys rugby is much like the full, traditional rugby game featuring a few rule modifications.
Individual players, depending on their age, wear designated coloured shorts to limit the amount physical contact on older players.
There is no championship game and no standings are kept but according to Vicars president Bill Lang, the games are “very competitive.”
On the other side of the coin, Lang said there’s a special camaraderie in old boys rugby—and rugby in general—which is not often prevalent in most other sports.
“The flavour of old boys rugby is to stay active and fit, and just the pure enjoyment of being out there and competing,” said Lang. “These games help build relationships between the players and within the clubs.
“This is one of the few sports you’ll see guys from opposing teams in the same locker room, getting together and socializing after the games. Once the game is over, it’s over, everything gets left on the field.”
The Vicars consist of players from Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and Salmon Arm, most of whom are in their 50s and 60s. Their national origins range from countries such as South Africa, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Australia, Fiji and, of course, Canada.
The Vicars are always looking for new players and previous experience isn’t necessary.
“Some guys come from other sports, like football, they try rugby for the first time and have an absolute blast,” said Lang.
For more information on the Priest Valley Vicars, call Bill Lang at 250-878-9335.