31 Year History of the Harrisburg 7’s Tournament

• Established in 1987, the Harrisburg Sevens Tournament was established by a committee to encourage sevens rugby at the grass roots level.
• The first tournament was an eight team event held at Penn State, Harrisburg on the Middletown Pitch. In order to promote local sevens the fixture was set for the last Saturday in June to coincide with the Washington Sevens. The desire of the committee was to gather local teams not the elite teams competing for the national championship. To attract local teams the committee offered reasonable prices for entry fees, t-shirts, food & other concessions. Numerous trophies and plaques would be presented to the top four teams as well as the winners of each consolation bracket. Tournament winners would get a large trophy and double their entry fee, and runner-up would get their entry fee returned. The pitches were full sized. Referees were by invitation only and would be enticed to the tournament by offering numerous perks for expenses.
• In 1988 the tournament moved to Shank Park in Hershey for three years, and expanded to 16 teams.
• In 1991 the Harrisburg Sevens Tournament was held at the New Cumberland Army Depot.
• Since 1992 Fort Indiantown Gap Military Reservation has become the site for the Harrisburg Sevens.
• A women’s bracket was added in 1994. The tournament has hosted 16 women sides and 20 men sides over the past few years.
• The first U19 bracket was added for boys in 2005. In 2006 a bracket for U19 girls was added and the number of U19 teams expanded to twelve; six boys and six girl’s teams.
• There is promise of the Army building a couple more fields in 2009, which should allow for more teams to participate in the tournament. In recent years the club as turned away many late entry teams, as many as 11, as a result of lack of fields and daylight.
• For the first time in the history of the tournament, in 2008 the number of teams entering the tournament exceeded 50.
• After 16 successful years at Fort Indiantown Gap, the 2009 tournament temporarily relocated to the Campbelltown Volunteer Fire Company with the reality of the construction of brand new fields purposely built for rugby and ready for business in 2010.
• 2017 is the 31st Edition of the tournament.