Sarah Brooks, Palisade Recreation Director/Events Coordinator

This fall, Palisade Recreation will be introducing youth to the game of rugby through a program called Rookie Rugby in a partnership with the Grand Junction Rugby Club.

Beginning September 15, Grand Junction Rugby Club will send elite collegiate and club level players out to coach a mini camp on Mondays and Wednesdays through Oct 15th, 4 to 5:30 p.m. The camp will be held at Peach Bowl Park for youth ages 8-12. Participants will need to bring a water bottle, wear tennis shoes, and loose fitting exercise clothing.

For more information or to register for the program, please contact Palisade Recreation at 970-464-5602 or

Flag rugby

There are a few variations of the game, with full side rugby consisting of 15 players on each side of the field; this format is typically not seen until players are at the high school level and higher.

Rookie Rugby is geared towards young players, and will begin with six to seven players per side. Rookie Rugby is flag rugby, so it is a safe, non-contact, easy to play game for both boys and girls of all ages. The rules are simple, the game is easy to learn, and minimal equipment is required.

Rookie Rugby is a fun game that encourages players to work together as a team, helps to develop communication skills, improves coordination, and builds self-confidence. Youth engage in a variety of drills and games that promote active lifestyles and the drills will help with cross training in other sports.

The art of rugby

Leisure time during the 1800’s was often spent engaging in sport, just as we do today in modern times. In England, men spent their work breaks in the streets playing football, kicking an inflated pig bladder back and forth, scoring by shooting the ball by foot between two goal posts.

Then in 1823, William Webb Ellis, a student at Rugby School and frequent rule breaker, decided to pick up the ball and run with it between the two goals. Many young lads thought Ellis had the right idea, and soon the game evolved to be one of both kicking, ball carrying, and passing.

Forty years later the president of the Rugby School invited 11 men’s clubs together to hash out the rules of the game, and in 1845 the first set of rules were written, which began to separate soccer and rugby as two sports. Finally in 1871, the first formal set of rules in the history of rugby was called the 59 laws of the game.

Terms such as scrum, maul, ruck, lineout, and try are frequently tossed around in the sports world, but can’t be fully understood until witnessed during a game.

Rugby is often referred to as the sport of scoundrels, because it was created on a foundation of rule breaking, is played in full contact without padding, and is frankly quite rough on the body. Despite the brutal image rugby carries, devout players will tell you it is an art form they aim to master each time they step onto the pitch.


Please check out these links below to view some videos of Rookie Rugby.

Rookie Rugby Promo

Rookie Rugby Overview

Grand Junction Rugby Club