The game of rugby 7s made its Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio, Brazil. In the men’s tournament Fiji won gold (the first Olympic medal earned by Fiji at any Olympics) Great Britain won silver and South Africa defeated Japan to win the bronze medal. In the women’s tournament, Australia won gold, New Zealand silver and Canada the bronze medal!
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 2019, each of the six regional rugby unions held an Olympic qualification event, where one team from each region qualified for the Summer Olympics to be held in Japan July 27 – August 1st, 2020.
In the men’s & women’s game, Japan automatically qualifies as host, with the top four teams of the 2018–19 World Rugby Sevens Series securing their spots. Afterwards, qualification is determined with each of the six continental confederations determining a representative, and the remaining qualification spot determined through an international sevens tournament. Both the Canadian men and women’s teams qualified this year!