The Story of Odd Shaped Balls in Whistler
A guest post by George Weston-Webb
Whistler has a seemingly odd affiliation with rugby, and more recently touch rugby. Given the fact most Canadians have no idea what touch rugby even is, and that Whistler has only one actual rugby-pitch – it’s been a labour of love for those involved. Over the last five years the non-contact, fast paced, “touch” version of the game has taken off in Whistler drawing up to 20 teams of 6-10 players who meet every Tuesday on the high school playing fields.
The Touch Rugby League is predominantly made up of the thousands of Aussies, Brits, and Kiwis that flock to Whistler during the winter for a stint of ski bumming. The current league is co-ed and attracts players of all ages as well as many completely new to the sport. Recently, more and more Canadian’s are playing in the league as its popularity grows.
Although the two 15-minute halves appear short and relatively non-taxing from the sideline, the game is aerobically exhausting and requires rolling substitute players for most teams. There are six people on the field at anyone time, two of whom must be female. Most teams have a squad of 10, including two men and two women subs.
Many of the players and teams come and go but a core group of ex-pats turn up each season for little footy and to live out their fantasies of still becoming an “All Black” or “Wallaby”. This year will be the 6th consecutive summer of organized touch rugby in Whistler. If you haven’t tried it enter a team or sign up as a single. It’s a great way to stay fit and meet a bunch of Whistler people. Après antics are at The Longhorn at the base of Whistler Mountain where players get a plate of free nachos with their first pint – just what you need after a good game of touch.