A Mix of Community Awareness, Sportsmanship, & Fun

The 4th Annual Jack Riekena Memorial 7’s Tournament for Suicide Awareness was held yesterday in Missoula, Montana at the Washington Grizzly Stadium on the University of Montana campus.  This annual event was started by the Riekena family to help families across the state be able to recognize the signs of suicide and promote suicide awareness.  The tournament is organized as a High School Senior project and was run this year by Jake Riekena and Brady Clawson, Big Sky High School students and rugby players for the Missoula Mud Dogs. Approximately 45 local community businesses and organizations helped sponsor the event this year. Additionally, Atavus Rugby and Olympic Rugby 7’s Player Shalom Suniula donated an autographed jersey to the event to help with fundraising.

This year the boys chose to team up with Project Tomorrow Montana a local program dedicated to suicide prevention and education.  Follow this link to find out more information on Project Tomorrow Montana and make sure to share their contact information for anyone who may need someone to talk to about thoughts of suicide.  Together we can all make a difference.

Project Tomorrow Montana

Need confidential help now? Call for support:
National Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Help via Text Message: Text “mt” to 741-741

Seventeen (17) teams made the trek to Missoula with players from Washington, Idaho, and all across the state of Montana.  Divisions of play consisted of Middle School (Grades 6-8), High School Girls, and High School Boys (A & B Division).  Some players were veterans to the tournament while other players and teams were experiencing their first game of the year.  The great part of rugby is that several of the teams yesterday had a mixture of players from other teams jump in and help fill out numbers.  The culture we promote was on display in great form as opponents became teammates and helped each other out even if it meant playing against their “regular” team in the process.  The report from all at the end of the event was one of sportsmanship and community.  New friends were made and old friendships rekindled both on and off the pitch.

Event organizers, University of Montana Athletic Trainers, and the University of Montana event staff helped provide a well organized program. The Montana Rugby Referee Society referees were patient with all the new players and provided guidance to both players on the field and parents and spectators in the stands helping all understand the game and promote a safe and competitive environment.  While not all teams could be named tournament champions at the end of the day, all participants played hard and had a great day of rugby, learning, and community!


Rugby Montana Gear Available

Help us celebrate becoming a State Rugby Organization (SRO) with USA Rugby!

This is an amazing opportunity to get Under Armour gear at a low discounted price and support Team Montana!

10% of all purchases will be going to help Team Montana compete regionally!

The store will be open from February 1 through February 28.

Follow the links below and get ready to hit the pitch in style!

The apparel link has great quality shirts, pants, rain gear and much more!

The accessories link has cleats, shoes, and bags!



2017 Spring Registration is OPEN for all Montana teams

The 2016-2017 Montana Youth Rugby Registration is now available.  To be a team in compliance with USA Rugby, each player must register through our new Sports Engine registration portal.  Select the JOIN UP Tab to register.

Coaches and referees need to register directly through USA Rugby.  All new teams need to contact the Montana Youth Rugby Administrator

Review the requirements for registration and then click on the links to register for the open programs.

This registration covers:  High School Boys & High School Girls and Middle School Boys & Middle School Girls – Grades 6, 7 & 8.

IMPORTANT!  Please read the information for registration on the JOIN UP tab PRIOR to registering.

With our secure, online registration system, you will:

  • Complete required registration information and submit payments
  • Items needed to register:  Player Identification:  Accepted items are a driver’s license, State identification card or school id. Medical Insurance & Physician Information.  If no official ID photo is available, a clear headshot with no obstructions may be used.
  • Electronically sign required liability forms and waivers

*Note: Not all clubs are collecting dues directly through the state registration site.  Please follow up with your coach or club administrator for team specific dues and season kick off meetings.

Upcoming Training for 2017

Montana Youth Rugby & Montana Rugby Referee Society

are pleased to offer the following courses for Spring 2017

STRENGTH & CONDITIONING – clinic will be held Sunday March 12 in Missoula  

World Rugby Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Course Presented by USA Rugby

This World Rugby certification course is for coaches, referees, administrators, parents, players, and others who are involved with rugby. The aim of the course is for participants to develop a foundational understanding of Rugby specific Strength and Conditioning.

For coaches registered with USA Rugby, this course will be worth 10 Professional Development Credits towards an active certification in the 2016-17 membership cycle.

Level 200 Coaching – CLINIC WILL BE HELD Saturday March 11 IN MISSOULA 

All contact teams require an active Level 200 Coach to be in compliance with USA Rugby.

The Level 200 Coach Certification consists of online pre-course work and attendance at an in-person clinic. The course structure helps to blend the “how to coach” theory with the practical implementation of coaching Rugby.

The Level 200 Coach Certification focuses on player welfare and teaching players the technical skills to play safely. The assessment requires coaches to demonstrate effective coaching techniques. These techniques include teaching through games, technical skill development through progressions and collaborative coaching.

LEVEL 300 COACHING – CLINIC WILL BE HELD Saturday March 11 & Sunday March 12 in Missoula 

The Level 300 Coaching Certification is the next step in the American Rugby Model (ARM). The certification progresses towards advanced coaching skills used in athlete development and program building.

The Level 300 Course consists of a two-day certification clinic and successful completion of the home study tasks.

The object of the certification is for coaches to increase their ability to coach technical skills to achieve strategic and tactical outcomes. Coaches will be able to use the coaching process, key factor analysis and functional role analysis to achieve specific short and medium term goals for their teams.

REFEREE – clinic will be held Saturday March 18 in Missoula 


The purpose of this introductory course is to enable officials to acquire basic skills to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. Course certification is required for anyone who wishes to referee any match in Montana.  Players, parents, coaches and volunteers and encouraged to get involved as referees!

Help make 2017 great for youth rugby in Montana!

Planning for 2017 is currently underway across the state and we have some great things in store for 2017.

Help us make this season even better by providing your feedback.

Please take a few minutes to complete a quick questionnaire on youth rugby in Montana by following this link.

Your comments and ideas will be reviewed and discussed at our December 10 general meeting.

Thank you in advance for helping to grow rugby in Montana!


Fall Rugby Courses (Coaching, Strength and Conditioning, Refereeing) – 17 September 2016

Montana Youth Rugby, USA Rugby, and the Montana Rugby Referee Society are putting on three different rugby courses this fall – all in the same place – all the same weekend! The three classes are:

  1. Level 300 Coaching 
  2. Level 1 Strength and Conditioning
  3. Level 1 Refereeing

Level 300 Coaching is the next step in the American Rugby Model (ARM). The certification progresses towards advanced coaching skills used in athlete development and program building. The object of the certification is for coaches to increase their ability to coach technical skills to achieve strategic and tactical outcomes

Level 1 Strength and Conditioning is for players, coaches, referees, administrators, parents and others who are involved with rugby. The aim of the course is for participants to develop a foundational understanding of Rugby-specific Strength and Conditioning.

Level 1 Refereeing is an introductory course that enables officials to acquire basic skills to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. Course certification is required for anyone who wishes to referee any match that could potentially lead to a National Championship.

All courses will be offered in Helena, Montana on 17 September 2016 (the coaching course runs through the 18th). Rooms at the Great Northern Hotel have been blocked for those who need to stay the night.

This is one of the best opportunities to advance your rugby education. Sign up and reserve your spot!

Fall 7s – It’s Coming!

To all those who have wondered….

Fall 7s is coming to Montana. If you are a high school student, you can experience the fun of the newest olympic sport here in the Big Sky State.

More information inbound….

Press Release – Rugby in Montana


Montana Parents, Youth and Communities:

Last October a decision was made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that has the ability to affect every child in the United States. It was decided that rugby will return as an Olympic sport for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. We can now make a statement that we have wanted to make for years:

Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s rugby Olympians

In your role, you have the unique opportunity to introduce the youth of America to the newest Olympic sport. You may be thinking, “That’s great, but how does a kid start playing rugby?” The answer may be simpler than you think.

There are grassroots rugby communities all over the country that are motivated to help new programs and talents emerge in order to grow the sport they love.

As you know, sports are an incredible outlet for kids. Sports show kids that through hard work and dedication, anything is possible. Team sports develop social and leadership skills that are necessary to become a positive member of society. Rugby is, in many ways, the ultimate team sport.

Rugby is played by four million athletes world-wide and is filled with fast-paced action, decision making, strategy, inclusiveness, and fun! Kids all over the United States are becoming involved in both the non-contact and contact forms of rugby in schools, after-school programs, community organizations, summer leagues, camps, and backyards.

This is how you can get involved today…

Step 1: Learn what rugby is all about. Visit www.usarugby.org to learn all about rugby and download various resources for any level of Rookie Rugby (Non-contact, Co-ed) through High School and College. Here you will find curriculum for P.E. and athletic programs, posters, guidebooks, and much more. You can also check out some educational rugby videos at www.rookierugbyclub.com/videos.

Step 2: Get in touch with a local representative who can help you get a program off the ground by introducing rugby into your classroom, program, or organization. These individuals have vast rugby experience and are well-versed in introducing rugby to novices. These experts will help you feel comfortable with the game.

  • Your local contact is: Montana Youth Rugby Association

Step 3: Pick up the ball and run with it!

Thank you for your time and I hope that you will see rugby as an excellent opportunity to change a child’s life through sport. We look forward to working with you!


Misty Zahn, Administrator, Montana Youth Rugby Association



Web: www.MontanaYouthRugby.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/montanayouthrugbyassociation

Twitter: @MTYouthRugby