Beach Rugby Australia will present its second ever International Beach Rugby Festival at Kirra Beach this weekend, and the association believes the sport is ready to go further.
Beach Rugby Australia’s event director Peter Hickey said beach rugby had a great future in store.
“Beach Rugby has the potential to be recognised as a national sport in Australia,” Mr Hickey said.
“It is fast paced, explosive and action-packed, and has so much adrenalin in one sport,” he said.
“We’re excited to see the future of beach rugby.”
Mr Hickey said beach rugby was based on modified rules taken from rugby league, touch football and rugby union.
Teams play with five players per side and up to five substitute players per team.
Each half of the game lasts for just five minutes with a one-minute break between halves, which means players play at full throttle.
Play takes place on a beach arena that is 30 metres long and 25 metres wide.
Mr Hickey said beach rugby was a straightforward and easy-to-understand contact sport that was a huge hit for both spectators and players alike.
The sport has been gaining interest around the world, especially in places like Rio, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, France and England.
This weekend’s International Beach Rugby Festival will be televised, airing on Fox Sports Australia, 2 Sky New Zealand and 3 Fox/Star International to 50 countries across the Asia Pacific region.
Mr Hickey said beach rugby was the future of rugby.
“We hope next summer to run a national tour that will be all televised, Queensland versus New South Wales, from September to February during the rugby league off season,” Mr Hickey said.
“We have also had requests to run beach rugby outback in Dalby in late November,” he said.
“The local council will deliver 180 tons of quality beach sand after it is distributed to local kindergartens.”
“Townsville is also locked in on the 21st and 22nd of February on the Strand Beach, which will be a twilight event with Magnetic Island as the backdrop.”
This weekend’s International Beach Rugby Festival will feature a total of 30 teams, including open men’s elite, men’s social, masters (over 35s), colts men’s (under 21), youth men’s (under 17), open women’s, colts women’s (under 21) and youth women’s (under 17).
The event also features appearances by international rugby league and rugby union great, Lote Tuqiri, and New Zealand great, Christian Cullen, who are the official ambassadors of the festival.
The International Beach Rugby Festival runs from Friday September 6 to Sunday September 8 at Kirra Beach.
For more information on the event or to book tickets visit the Beach Rugby Australia website.