The game of rugby 7s made its Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio, Brazil.
Rugby 7s features seven players a side, three-man (rather than eight-man) scrums and is a faster and easier game to follow than the full team version. Games take place for seven minutes each way, with a one-minute halftime break. A tied game goes to “sudden death” extra time that ends when a team scores the first “try”.
The point system is based on five points a try, two for a conversion and three for penalties and drop goals.
From June–September 2015, each of the six regional rugby unions had an Olympic qualification event, where one team from each region qualified.
In the men’s game, the USA, Argentina and France joined the top four World Series finishers – Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand and England – in confirming their spots for Rio in 2016. The final spot was determined by a repechage tournament. It was comprised of 16 teams from the regional qualifiers: 4 from Europe, 3 from Africa, 3 from Asia, 2 from Oceania, 2 from North America and 2 from South America. Canada lost to Russia in the cup semi finals and Spain went on to win the tournament and qualify for the Olympics. Fiji went on to win the gold, Great Britain the silver and South Africa the bronze.
In the women’s game, Canada currently ranked 3rd won bronze with Australia winning the gold and New Zealand taking home the silver.