The 32nd Annual Williams Lake Stampede Rugby Tournament kicks off this Friday, July 1 at the Ottoman Drive Rugby Fields where men’s and women’s rugby clubs from around the province will hit the pitch to do battle for the event’s coveted Stampede belt buckles.
As the largest rugby tournament in Western Canada, the tournament hopes to continue its tradition of strong, competitive rugby in both divisions.
Hosted by the Williams Lake Rustlers men’s rugby club and the Williams Lake Hustlers women’s team, this year’s event will feature a men’s 15-a-side draw and a women’s 10-a-side division.
Also this year, the Rustlers have added an old boys division with an age limit of 38 years old. Each team in the old boys division will be allowed two rookie players aged 35 and up.
All teams on the men’s side will play two games on Friday and then be ranked depending on the outcomes of each game. Entrants will then be broken in championship and consolation divisions.
Both divisions will then play a single knockout on Saturday to earn a berth in the afternoon’s final.
The women’s side will feature a divisional round robin with playoffs Saturday.
Campsites are available around the field on a first-come-first-served basis.
Players and guests arriving Thursday evening are invited to enjoy the music of local band Soupbone, featuring Williams Lake Rustlers member Dean Fulton.
The tournament, always a social gathering, includes a licensed beer garden, concession, music on the clubhouse deck daily and nightly and a team dinner Friday night.
The Lake City Derby Girls will also be on hand helping run the concession.
Everyone in the community is invited to come up to the Ottoman Drive Rugby Fields and enjoy the tournament and entertainment.