A Tournament Like No Other

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If you found yourself at Infinity Park on the third weekend in August during any year other than 2020, you’d find yourself at the RugbyTown 7s tournament.

If you found yourself at Infinity Park on the third weekend in August during any year other than 2020, you’d find yourself at the RugbyTown 7s tournament.

2020 is no normal year though, and thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ninth version of the RugbyTown 7s will have to wait, but we will still be able to enjoy some of the best rugby sevens that you can catch in the United States when Infinity Parkrebroadcasts the 2019 tournament in its entirety, starting Friday, August 21.

To prepare you for the 2019 RugbyTown 7s rebroadcast, it’s important to understand how the tournament originated and how far it’s come in the eight years since.

The tournament began in 2012 and was a spin-off of a fifteens tournament that was already being played by the five branches of the United States Armed Forces. This tournament was played on a military base, so it was closed to the public. That was until Gary Helfeldt, a member of Air Force Rugby, pitched the idea to Glendale’s current City Manager Linda Cassady.

“He knew about RugbyTown and the City of Glendale and came to us and pitched the idea of changing it to an International Defense Sevens that would feature military teams from all over the world and be a sevens tournament instead of a fifteens tournament,” Cassady said. “He really felt with the Olympics gearing towards a sevens model that sevens would be the predominant sport. He also liked the idea of a tournament being played in the public where the public could come see it instead of on a base somewhere.”

After taking a liking to Helfeldt’s idea, the 2012 Internation Defense Sevens tournament kicked off on August 18 and 19 and featured the United States Army, Air Force, the Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Marines, while also including the British Army, Royal Air Force, Australian Army, and the French Armed Forces while the Serevi RugbyTown Sevens Tournament took place the following weekend and featured teams from all around the world competing over three days for a $10,000 cash prize. Playing in a rugby tournament for a cash prize is pretty rare, but it’s something that has existed at the RugbyTown Sevens since day one.

Instead of having two different tournaments, the International Defense Sevens combined with the RugbyTown 7s tournament the following year, and the format has remained the same ever since. The five branches of the United States Armed Forces remain together in one pool of the tournament, with the top two teams playing for the U.S. Armed Forces Championship on the second day of the tournament, while simultaneously competing for the RugbyTown 7s cup as well.

The U.S. Armed Forces Championship is one that has been dominated by Army. Army used a 33-5 victory over Air Force in the 2019 championship match to pick up their seventh-straight Armed Forces title.

When there is money on the line, the quality of rugby improves, and anyone familiar with rugby sevens will acknowledge how good of a tournament RugbyTown 7s actually is. David Barry is the CEO of the Ramblin’ Jesters, who are competitive international sevens teams that play in some of the top competitions all over the globe. After participating in the competition three times before, the Jesters defeated Marlborough Compeed 7s to win their first RugbyTown championship and take home that $10,000 cash prize.

Barry knows sevens inside and out, and he has been very outspoken about how much he enjoys the weekend that RugbyTown has become.

“It stacks up right on top of the pile,”Barry said of how the tournament compares to others around the world. “It is a fantastic tournament.”

From the pitch to the organization of the tournament itself to the fun that the teams have, Barry likes every aspect of the tournament.

“First of all, the venue is amazing. Some of our players have played in Rugby World Cups, some of our players have played on the World Series, and when they run out on the RugbyTown field, many of them comment that it is the nicest pitch they’ve ever played on and they’ve played in some great places,” Barry said of the tournament. “So it starts with that, and then the organization is just extraordinary. I think the community of Glendale and being relatively small in scale, means that you’ve got this buzz around the whole town and city for that period when RugbyTown is on and then the organization that is done by (Glendale City Manager) Linda (Cassady), (Director of Facilities and Stadium Operations) Kieran (Nelson), and Director of Rugby Mark (Bullock) is just brilliant. It’s very welcoming. It’s friendly. It’s fun. They take the refereeing seriously. They take the medical stuff seriously. As a squad of players and coaches, you feel really well supported. The crowd is engaged. It’s just a great place.”

Another person who is extremely familiar with the game of rugby sevens is Dallen Stanford. Stanford is currently a commentator for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and spent a few years of his playing career on the circuit as a member of the USA Sevens team. Stanford also played in the first RugbyTown 7s competition, so he knows firsthand the quality of the competition.

“It’s the best competition around outside of the Sevens World Series and that’s a big, bold statement because there is a lot of tournaments and events that happen around the world,”Stanford said of RugbyTown. “You take away the Sevens World Series, and there are thousands of tournaments that happen everywhere but this one has the highest caliber of players playing for all the different teams. I think that’s the one thing that I really love about it.”

Stanford isn’t wrong about the caliber of players. In 2017, Fiji Savu Water entered the competition with a team comprised primarily of players that helped Fiji win the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 2016 marked the first time since 1924 that rugby was a part of the Olympics and was also the first time sevens rugby had ever been a part of the Olympics. Fiji Savu Water defeated the Ramblin’ Jesters 31-14 in the cup final after dropping their opening match of the tournament 26-21 to the Jesters.

“Yes, there will be results where teams get blown out by 50 points, but if you actually look at who is playing on those sides, it’s pretty remarkable to see,” Stanford said of the tournament. “When you get to the top six or eight teams, the contests are epic. You have these international stars from all over the world come to play, many of them are featured on the Sevens World Series in the current season or recently, and then you’ve got the local stars coming through too. The likes of Perry Baker and Madison Hughes, they played in those first few years of the tournament before they went on to become superstars on the world stage.”

Whether you’re looking to learn about sevens rugby, looking to see some of the best players in the world, or are searching for the next sevens superstar, you can find it all at RugbyTown 7s when the tournament returns.

The RugbyTown 7s has survived changes to the format of the tournament and changes to the name. It will survive the COVID-19 pandemic and rugby will return to Infinity Park when it’s safe.

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Applicants must be 21 years of age or older. The City of Glendale shall have at least one business day after receiving application to review. The City of Glendale reserves the right to take additional time to review any application.

Full payment of rental fees and required deposits are required at the time of application. A deposit will be required prior to your event and will be returned within 30 days after your event as long as no damages are incurred. An employee from Infinity Park and/or the Glendale Public Works department will report on any damages or cleaning charges before your deposit will be returned.

Rental fees are charged for the entire reserved time which is to include set-up and tear down/clean up. Your group will be expected to vacate space promptly at end time listed on permit. Additional fees may apply based on the size and scope of event.

The City of Glendale reserves the right to: 1) amend the rental rules as needed to serve the best interest of the City; 2) relocate any meeting/activity based on unforeseen circumstances; 3) have a designated employee visit any activity site or require that the Glendale Police Department enforce the terms of this rental agreement; 4) terminate the permit at any time in the interest of public safety without refund of rental fees or deposit.

The City of Glendale assumes no liability for lost or stolen property on park premises or for personal injuries sustained on the premises during the permit holder’s activity.

Permits will be issued upon approval of application. Reservation notices will be posted on the day of the event.

Changes to date or site may be charged $25.00 per permit change.

Applications

Applications should be submitted at least 10 business days prior to requested date of use. Applications received within 24 hours of event/activity may be charged a $25 service fee. Payment and all applicable documents must besubmitted at least 5 business days prior to permit date. Depending on the nature of the activity, “applicable” documents may include an Athletic Organization Information Form, Waiver of Liability and/or Insurance Agreement.

All applications will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis and will be accepted via mail, fax or email. Payment must accompany application before being considered. Any application submitted without complete information and/or without payment will not be reviewed.

Mailing Address: Infinity Park Operations, 950 S Birch St., Glendale, CO 80246
Email: Park@InfinityParkatGlendale.com
Fax: 303-639-4611

Payment

By mail: Applications must be accompanied by payment: check (made out to “City of Glendale”), money order or Visa/MasterCard.

By email or fax: A credit card authorization form must accompany application.

Rental Guidelines, Terms & Conditions

1. Daily Park Hours: The Synthetic Turf Athletic Field at Infinity Park is available to reserve from 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM. The volleyball courts, as well as the pavilions and fields at Creekside and Mir Parks, are available to reserve from 8:00 AM until 9:00 PM. Use of all spaces may be limited to certain months of the year and select days of the week

2. Park Permit: A permit is required for any group activity (“group” is defined as activities with 10 or more people). The permit must be in the possession of the group while the site is in use. Permits are non-transferable and non-refundable. The City of Glendale reserves the right to change and/or revoke any permit and restrict activities in the park at any given time. Any violations of City of Glendale policies, rules, regulations, or guidelines may result in immediate revocation of permit. Use of any of the facilities described in this document without the appropriate authorization may result in fines and possible loss of future scheduling privileges.

3. Usage Priority: If a site has been permitted, the permit-holder has priority over other users. Contact Park Operations (number listed on permit) for any site issues.

4. Fees: Fees are due in full; deposits or partial payments are not accepted. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, check, and money orders (made payable to City of Glendale) or Master Card or Visa Credit Cards.

5. Attendee Conduct: The permit-holder is responsible for his/her actions as well as the actions of gathering attendees.

6. Restroom Facilities: Restroom facilities are taken on an “as is” basis and are not part of any reserved space.

7. Vehicular Access: Motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited. Roadways and parking areas are clearly marked and established. Driving beyond designated boundaries to load and unload equipment or transport goods is prohibited. Vehicles will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

8. Site Clean Up: It is the permit holder’s responsibility to clean up after each use. Trash must be properly disposed of in dumpsters or trash barrels (depending on the size and scope, certain permit holders may be required to provide additional trash receptacles/dumpsters). Ice may be placed in barrels or spread out on hard surfaces. Grills of any type are prohibited. Trash is not to be left in flowerbeds, on grassy areas, under/in trees, shrubs, vegetation, buildings, or structures. Excessive trash removal on the part of Infinity Park or the Glendale Public Works Department may result in forfeiture of deposit, fines and possible loss of future scheduling privileges.

9. Destruction of Property: It is unlawful for any person, other than authorized personnel, to mark, remove, break, or climb upon, or in any way injure, damage or deface trees, shrubs, plants, turf, or any of the buildings, fences, monuments, goal posts, or other structures or property within or upon the park.

10. Damage: Broken fences, seating, goals, or any potential safety hazards such as holes or broken sprinkler heads should be reported immediately to the phone number listed on the permit.

11. Glass Bottles/Containers: Glass bottles and containers are prohibited.

12. Alcoholic Beverages: 3.2% beer is the only alcoholic beverage allowed in the park, except under special licensing. Beer must be served in cans or from a keg in plastic cups. All State liquor laws apply. Alcoholic beverage sales, including purchased tickets, are prohibited, except under special licensing.

13. Dogs: Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Bag dispensers are provided, and dog owners are expected to clean up after their pets.

14. Amplified Sound: Amplified sound (i.e. P.A. systems, music) is prohibited without Assembly Permit or Special Event Contract.

15. Canopies and Tents: Tents, canopies and additional tables and chairs provided by groups using the parks/pavilions will be permitted. Staking is prohibited; weights, including water, lead and sand are allowed.

16. Signage: Signs, banners, party decorations, and canopies may not be attached to trees, shelters, light fixtures, or other park structures. Blocking areas, including sidewalks, parking lots, paths, and roadways is prohibited.

17. Prohibited Activities/Items: included, but not limited to: aircraft, air castles, carnivals, climbing walls, dunk tanks, fireworks, golf, horseback riding, hot air balloons, inflatable games, model airplanes, moon walks, petting zoos, pony rides, and search lights (some of these activities may be allowed with limited hours and Assembly City of Glendale 950 South Birch St, Glendale. CO 80246 Page | 6 permit or Special Event Contract). Weapons, including but not limited to such items as knives, firearms, bows and arrows, martial arts weapons, javelins, shot-puts, discus, and all other projectiles, are prohibited. All Federal, State and Municipal laws apply.

18. Admission: Charging admission or gate charges is prohibited, except under a Special Event or Assembly permit.

19. Gambling: Raffles, gambling, bingo, and games where money buys a chance are prohibited.

20. Grills: Mir and Creekside Park Pavilions: portable gas grills are allowed (permit holders may also use the grills located at the pavilions); Infinity Park: grills of all types – charcoal, gas, portable, etc., – are prohibited. Two (2) stationary, charcoal grills are located west of the pavilion.

21. Event Equipment Needs: The permit holder is responsible for providing all necessary equipment and services, including but not limited to activity-related equipment, canopies, tents, chairs, tables, scaffolding, portable toilets, hand sinks, water or water containers, trash receptacles, trash pick-up, recycling, and clean-up crews. All equipment and fixtures provided by permit holder must be temporary in nature and may not be affixed, attached or permanently change the condition of the playing surface.

22. Insurance: Insurance is required for reservations for 100 or more people. In such cases, permit holder must provide commercial general liability insurance for the benefit of all activity-related individuals and groups, including permit holder group members, participants, attendees, invitees, and the City of Glendale. The commercial general liability insurance shall provide coverage of at least $1,000,000 and name the City of Glendale, its employees, agents and/or assigns as Additional Insured. The certificate of this commercial general liability insurance shall be received by theCity no later than twenty-one (21) days prior to the permit holder’s scheduled use of the site reserved. Permit holder expressly acknowledges and agrees that homeowner’s insurance coverage does not meet the requirements hereof. Certificate must read as follows with this exact language: ADDITIONALLY INSURED: THE CITY OF GLENDALE, ITS OFFICERS, OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES. If you are unable to obtain this insurance, please contact Park Operations at 303-692-5799

23. Permit Revocation: Permits may be revoked for failure to follow guidelines in any way.

ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES SPECIFIC TO SPORTS FIELDS

1. Field Conditions: Athletic field permit holders may be asked to limit field use hours and days as determined by Infinity Park Operations and/or the City of Glendale Public Works Department. In the case of adverse field conditions, such as weather, sprinkler operations, field repairs, etc., athletic fields may be closed. Any use of the athletic fields without the appropriate authorization or when the fields are closed may result in fines and possible loss of future scheduling privileges.

2. Snow Removal: Individuals are not allowed to remove snow from any of the fields.

3. Equipment: All teams, organizations and players are required to provide their own equipment for practices, games and tournaments. All equipment and fixtures provided by permit holder must be temporary in nature and may not be affixed, attached or permanently change the condition of the playing surface.

4. Field Markings: Any field markings not applied by the Glendale Public Works Department may result in forfeiture of deposit, penalty fees and loss of future scheduling privileges.

5. Insurance/Waiver of Liability Options: Option 1. The permit holder provides 1) a roster with player names, addresses and cities of residence listed and 2) proof of insurance on an “Accord Insurance Certificate.” Insurance Certificate must 1) reflect a minimum coverage amount of $1,000,000; 2) reflect a 30 day cancellation period with notice of intent to cancel provided to Infinity Park AND the City of Glendale at the address listed on the permit; and 3) state the Additionally Insured as “THE CITY OF GLENDALE, ITS OFFICERS, OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES.” Binders and pending or blanket policies are not acceptable.

Option 2. In lieu of an Insurance Certificate, permit holder signs waiver form on behalf of all participants (form located next page).