My roommate in college used to play rugby. It is a rough and tumble sport with men in short shorts and “rugby” shirts. After the games, the guys would generally get drunk and/or high, which eventually led to them getting naked at various points. Every time my roommate told me about the traditions that were associated with rugby, they tended to included nudity. I hope I get the terminology right here, if not, let me know. I am doing this by memory. There seemed to be a lot of hazing of new team members. First of all, when a player scored his first try, he would strip naked, right there and then and run around the field. Another tradition was the elephant walk, to show team unity. As I understood it, all the guys would be naked and reach through the guy in front’s leg to grab their dick and then walk around the room. Do any of you have any stories of sports hazing?
So to go along with this post, I thought I would give a little history of rugby for those who might not be as familiar with the sport. William Webb Ellis is credited with inventing rugby in 1823 by picking up the ball while playing football at Rugby School and running with it. The claim is disputed but there is little doubt that rugby developed at public schools out of a large-scale, few-rules, mauling scrum game. Definition of the code began in 1863 when the Football Association was formed and outlawed handling and hacking. Richmond, Blackheath, and some London clubs stayed with the handling code and in 1871 the Rugby Football Union was formed. As in soccer, the balance moved in favor of northern clubs and there were accusations of professionalism. In 1895 St Helens, Wigan, and a number of northern clubs formed a breakaway union, which became the Rugby Football League in 1922. The number of players was reduced from fifteen to thirteen and scrums restricted to produce a fast handling game.
The two codes, amateur and professional, treated each other with disdain for many years. But the advent of television after the Second World War led to a gradual thaw. Rugby union introduced a league system, with promotion and relegation, expenses became ever more substantial, and the ban on players returning after playing rugby league was lifted in 1995. Full professionalism followed, together with substantial restructuring of competitions.