Rugby Sevens will be played as part of the 2016 Olympics, but has any form of rugby been played in any previous Olympic Games?

  • 2
    Not sure why is answerable (I think we've had the same question on cricket, for example). The second part is.
    – Joe
    Oct 23, 2015 at 21:08
  • @Joe sports.stackexchange.com/questions/2147/…
    – user527
    Oct 24, 2015 at 2:56
  • @Joe: I think it is answerable - traditional 15-a-side rugby requires a lot of recovery time and games are played 6/7 days apart. This means a tournament takes at least 6-7 weeks to run and couldn't fit into the modern (3-4 week) Olympic schedule (the 1924 Olympics ran for 12+ weeks). Sevens is suitable because it has short, less contact-orientated games which allow a tournament to be completed over several days. Sevens has only recently been taken seriously enough on its own to be a sport that's up to Olympic standards, which is why it's now included.
    – Niall
    May 10, 2016 at 14:18
  • @Niall That would probably be a good answer to the closely related What reasons might Rugby not have been an olympic sport or similar, but Why means we need to know the actual reasons the Olympic committee did not include it - short of them publishing something indicating that, we can't know for sure (for example, that it wasn't more a political decision). You're probably right - but 'probably' isn't the aim of this site...
    – Joe
    May 10, 2016 at 14:28
  • @Joe: Fair point, and certainly that middle part would be required for an answer. It likely exists though. Subsequent olympics were 2 weeks long. Such a drastic change (a 12week to 2 week schedule) would have involved a lot of discussion and it's likely that records survive along with something to the effect of "sports that take too long will be excluded".
    – Niall
    May 10, 2016 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


It was stopped back in 1924, but it appears to be back: http://usarugby.org/2016-rio-olympics


15-a-side Rugby Union was included in the 1900 (Paris), 1904 (London), 1920 (Antwerp) and 1924 (Paris) Olympic Games, but as would be expected for that age there was only a men's competition.

The gold medals in 1920 and 1924 went to the United States team.


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