Rugby FAQs

View and Download the USA Rugby Spectator’s Guide


Is it okay that I’ve never played rugby before?

Yes, we are a team specializing in developing rugby skills in individuals who are new to the game. Our number one priority is providing you with a safe and rewarding rugby experience. The majority of our players had no rugby experience before joining. Our coaching staff and veteran players are always happy to answer any questions our newer members have. There is also a good general overview of the current rules and technical aspects of rugby union in the 2014 – 2015 USA Rugby Game Management Guidelines.

Can I get hurt?

Yes. Rugby is a very physical full-contact sport. There is minimal padding or protective gear and scrapes and bruises are a routine part of the game. Due to the nature of the sport, you do need to have health insurance to play or practice. Conversely, serious body injuries are fairly rare and are usually the result of poor technique or fitness level. We know a lot about injury prevention and treatment and can address any injury with some sound advice.

Do I have to be gay to play for the Madison Minotaurs?

No. While the majority of our players are gay, many of us are not. If you enjoy playing rugby or would like to learn about it, you are welcome regardless of your orientation.

Is there equipment that I need?

Before your first practice, make sure to get a mouth guard and (ideally) some rugby cleats to run in. Mouth guards are inexpensive and absolutely required for contact or in any situation in which a concussion could possibly occur. Any footwear without a toe cleat is fine and most shoe stores have a section where you can purchase inexpensive soccer cleats to use. In time you may prefer to upgrade to a rugby boot which is specifically designed for the game. Additional equipment you will probably want includes rugby shorts, compression shorts, rugby socks, and a practice jersey. Certain players may also opt to invest in protective gear such as a scrum cap or shoulder protectors. Jerseys are provided by the team on game days. Online retailers such as are often the only resource for rugby gear in the United States.

I’m not as big as some of the guys I’ve seen playing rugby. Can I still play?

Absolutely. Regardless of your size or weight there is a place for you on our team. Generally speaking, the forwards tend to be larger and do more of the tackling and rucking while the backs tend to be smaller and do more ball handling and open field running. Based on your skills and body type, we will find a position for you.

When and where are your practices and games?

This can vary depending on the time of year. Please check the Calendar section of our website for current practice times and locations. Generally speaking, our outdoor practices are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm until 8pm. These are adjusted to a 5:30pm start time when the days become shorter in Fall. Outdoor practices are held at Reynolds Park. During the Winter Practice Season we arrange time at a local gymnasium one to two nights a week for fitness and indoor rugby drills.

Our games are almost always played on Saturdays, usually in the Fall and Spring only. Most home games are played at the Cottage Grove Sports Complex on 513 Clark Street in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.

Find & Get Directions to Our Games & Practices

Reynolds Field – Minotaurs Rugby Practice

View the Reynolds Practice Field in a larger map and get driving directions

Cottage Grove Sports Complex Rugby Pitch

View the Cottage Grove Sports Complex Rugby Pitch in a larger map and get driving directions

Who do you play?

The Madison Minotaurs play other Division III teams in Wisconsin and other IGRAB-affiliated teams from around the world. Every two years we play in the Bingham Cup, the international gay rugby tournament named after United 93 hero Mark Bingham. The next Bingham Cup will be held in Nashville, TN and will feature teams from Australia, Europe, and North America.

I’m HIV+. Can I play?

Yes. Being HIV+ is not something that should stop you from playing rugby. There are some considerations to make for spilled blood, etc., which can be discussed privately with our coach or the club president if you wish. You are not required to disclose your status to join our team or to play.

I keep seeing all these anagrams. What does IGR Mean? MU?

IGR stands for International Gay Rugby Association, of which the Madison Minotaurs are a proud member. The majority of our players are gay but many are not. We welcome players of all backgrounds and walks of life. MU (pronounced like “moo”) stands for Madison United, and is the umbrella organization for all the rugby clubs based in Madison, Wisconsin.

How much does it cost to play?

Outside of the above-mentioned equipment, the only other costs involve some travel expenses (gas, hotel, etc.), registration with USA Rugby (also called CIPPing), and dues. The Madison Minotaurs have some of the lowest dues rates you will find anywhere. Currently the dues are paid twice a year, April 1st and September 1st, $50 each. Registration with USA Rugby currently costs $45 per year and provides many benefits including some insurance coverage in case of injury.

I’d like to support the team financially. What are my options?

The Madison Minotaurs are a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. You can make a tax-deductible donation to our team at any time by visiting our donation page or emailing our general info email address For any sponsorship inquiries, please contact us via email.

I am a woman. Can I play?

Unfortunately the Minotaurs do not have a women’s side at this time and the rugby we play in games is segregated by sex. We do believe in supporting and advancing women’s participation in rugby, however, and are open to forming a women’s side if sufficient interest is expressed. Please contact us if that is something you would be interested in discussing. Otherwise, there are other great opportunities for women to play competitive rugby in Madison! Consider reaching out to UW Madison Women’s Rugby or WWRFC (Wisconsin Women’s Rugby Football Club).

I have a question that has not been addressed here. Who can I send it to?

You can email us any questions or comments at

For more information please also visit these links:


Rugby 101 Instructional Video