And now for something completely different (at least from Soccer...) Touch Rugby + Sagras!!!

08/18/2009 - 11:21

This evening at 7;00 p.m.; before the Sagra in Carassai; there will be a Touch Rugby Tournament between Carassai; Ortezzano; Montalto and Monte Vidone. The traditional 'Third Half' takes in the Sagra of Carassai.This new event is an initiative of a group of people passionate about Rugby, but unable to find local clubs near enough to play at, plus others who want to try something different from the usual Soccer.This evening's games are the semi-finals of the first ever Marche Touch Rugby Tournament.The Final will be held next Sunday (23rd August 2009) at the Campo Comunale; Ortezzano; at 7;00 p.m. followed by the traditional 'Third Half' at the Ortezzano Sagra.It would be great to meet anyone from the Community who is able to come along, and if you're still able to run around a bit; there may even be a place in one of the teams!



Sorry we missed the rugby Andrew - hope you had a good evening and hope to make it to the next one!  Spent all afternoon/ evening in or outside Villi's shop in Ascoli. An amazing shop if you need keys cutting/ knives/ beautiful kitchen equipment etc including picnic hampers and old fashioned shaving stuff. The good news is that the key cutting man maganed to eventually get our broken bit of key out of our car ignition after several hours. Thank goodness for that - a new ignition was going to be well over £200! So if anyone gets into a similar situation - go to Villi's in Ascoli. Hopefully see you on the 23rd Andrew!

An excellent evening of Touch Rugby at Carassai was followed by a visit to the traditional Sagra della Salsiccia in Carassai; now in it's 37th year.Touch Rugby; the non contact version of Rugby played together by mixed teams of all ages, has found a curious host in the small towns and villages of Ascoli Piceno, particularly near Carassai; Montalto, Ortezzano and Monte Vidon. Running alongside the ever present soccer tournaments, groups of young and less young alike have turned out to enjoy a beginner's guide to Touch Rugby, during which errors are forgiven; friendships created, and children of 8/9 years of age play in the same team as more 'mature' adult players!With the emphasis strictly on fun, fun and more fun yesterday evening more then 40 players - (the youngest Luca - captain of Ortezzano - aged 8 - the oldest Sergio who would prefer me not to state his age)  represented their respective villages hoping to win a place in the final to be held next Sunday (23/08/09) at 7;00 p.m. at Ortezzano.The players then were hosted at the Sagra della Salsiccia in Carassai, where to the players' surprise the organisers had dedicated an entire section of tables to Rugby; complete with waiter service! Together with over 400 local people the 'Third Half' proved to be a great success; in true Rugby tradition with everyone paying their way; and can only bode well for the Ortezzano finals.

Hi AnnecRugby Union is one of the fastest growing sports in the Marche, thanks to the higher profile via 6 Nations; International Rugby on Sky Sports etc. The sponsorship investment in the past few years has meant an increase in the profile of Rugby and of the National squad, unfortunately not accompanied by particularly good results.Following the frequent situations wherein players etc have found dis-satisfaction with the way dirigenti etc run their clubs, in a number of cases there has been new clubs created by breakaway groups of players, as is the case in San Benedetto, Senigallia, Jesi and others. This situation, although creating new clubs can often dilute the strength of clubs, and they tend to scrape together a playing situation rather than have good consolidated organisational structures. That's then a bit of background to Marche rugby. Quite a few clubs, but no real strength in depth.The hightened profile of rugby therefore inevitably creates interest in participation, but not everyone is able or even willing to join a local rugby club that offers only 'contact' rugby. The aternative; Touch Rugby (or Tag Rugby / Flag Football to the Americans) is a way of playing a team game with an oval ball that has some of the rules / Laws and above all comportmental values of Rugby Union, but without the bumps and bruises. The profile of Touch was also hightened recently at a National level when; during a National 'Ritiro' in Valle D'Aosta the current national coach - Nick Mallett - allowed his players to join in with local rugby teams to play in a Touch Rugby Tournament.In our particular area there has been a recruitment campaign for new referees, and one such guy came forward to take the refereeing course and begin his ref's career. Together with a young man who; although having never played rugby in his life; had a passion for the game; they created the project to involve 4 local comunes in Touch Rugby, aimed at holding a small tournament to complement the Sagras in their villages. Often Sagras will include a few sports events, but only really ever the inevitable soccer, sometimes Tug of War, Volleyball or similar. E.g. In our village the basketball court behind the church is transformed into a beach soccer and volleyball area with the ensuing tournaments during sagra week.Domenico the ref and Marco made posters, distributed flyers etc, and training occasions were offered. Thankfully herd instinct kicked in, and good numbers are now participating in this fun and informal occasion to run with the ball, players including male, female, young and old. In some cases a complete lack of things to do brought people along, in others bravado, curiosity, bar challenges or 'never quite made it as a soccer player'.The plan is to continue offering Touch Rugby to the masses in the small communities, to maybe progress to 7-a-side Rugby, then to 10-a-side, friendly matches with local clubs, and then....Sky's the limit!Needles to say when Italy play Samoa in Ascoli Piceno on 28th November 2009 a certain section of the crowd will be the Touch players!

Hi to all and any rugby fans. After 20 years on the sidelines I have just taken up playing again for the 'Allupins' based in Prato. OK it is quite a distance to training from Lucca but well worth it. Our team do play touch but I prefer the full contact version, even though recovery time is a little longer than I remember. We have just finished 2 tournaments, one in Rovigo and the other in Mugello. At Rovigo there were 20 teams, the games were 20 mins long and the oldest players were still striding out at 68 years old. A number of rules are obviously changed such as uncontested scrums and special dispensation for the less young team members. The over sixties wear different coloured trousers and depending on what is agreed by captains before the game can only be held, be blocked without touching or must be left alone. They can only cover a max of 10m if they are untouched. The whole reason for going through the pain is for the '3° tempo'. A great bunch of people and growing all the time. Nick

In reply to by Abitalia2

Hi Nick Great to read your reply even after all this time; I'm involved with the club in Ascoli Piceno (Marche), and they too have an 'old' section; the 'BeerBanti' supported by their respective ladies; the 'Badanti'. Formed only a few months ago, they have already competed in Livorno at the tourny run by the Pirates, and yesterday played in Jesi at the tournament to celebrate 40 years of Jesi Rugby. They are very active also in the promotion of Rugby, particularly as many are parents of children in our junior section in Ascoli Rugby. I occasionally run them a guest coach session (I'm; for my sins; an IRB Coach Educator), although they have a good coach who actually played for me when I coached San Benedetto del Tronto Rugby many years ago. Having won our division with a game in hand our 1st team were over in Tuscany recently; we played Siena in the first of a 3 team playoff for promotion to 'B' division. Although we beat the other team in the 3-way from Ancona (division above us) Siena simply out-muscled us, and at times it resembled Mike Tyson vs. Heidi. Fair play to our lads however; they fought hard for 80 minutes and scored as consolation try in the last minutes. Siena were hard but fair, and the match was a good example of clean tough Rugby. I must say that I always enjoy the company on and off the field of our 'Beerbanti', and they certainly know how to run a 'third half'. They try also to persuade me to play, but I try to tell them that I'm too young (I'm actually 58) but I think pretty soon it will be boots on, gumshield in, and car keys to the missus to drive home after the 'third half'. If you manage to get along to any Cavilieri Prato games, the coach - Andrea di Rossi - is a great mate. We spent a good bit of time together when I was involved with the Italian national team for RWC 1999/2000, and he is truely a brill bloke. If you meet him a big 'Ciao!' from Jeppo. I also placed a lad with Firenze in 'A' division - Seb Moss - and as far as I know he's signed for next season also. So, who knows; maybe we'll meet up at some event in the future; if you're travels bring you to our neck of the woods there's always a cold beer or three ready! Ascoli Rugby successfully staged the international between Italy and Samoa; and have been asked to host another international, so there's another excuse...(as if we need one...); All the best Andrew