Bingham Cup Ottawa 2022 concludes after week-long event celebrating Inclusive Rugby

Photo: Ben Gronfors
Rugby 15s Senior Men, Rugby 15s Senior Women

The 2022 Bingham Cup saw a total of 58 teams and more than 1700 players from eight different countries participate in the tournament from August 13-21.

After a long, two-year wait, the Ottawa Wolves Rugby Club hosted the Bingham Cup last week in Canada’s capital city which was originally slated to be played in 2020.

After being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bingham Cup finally got to celebrate the 10th edition of the competition. Since the inaugural tournament was hosted in San Francisco in 2002, the Bingham Cup has grown into the world’s largest amateur rugby tournament while being the world championships of gay and inclusive rugby. The 2022 rendition of the competition saw a total of 58 teams and more than 1700 players from eight different countries.

The tournament hosts, Ottawa Wolves are one of five 2SLGBTQ+ inclusive rugby clubs in Canada. In 2018, the club participated in an extensive bidding process to win the rights to host the Bingham Cup. The Vancouver Rogues, Montreal Armada and the Toronto Muddy York also represented Canada at the tournament.

Prior the competition getting underway on Thursday August 18, the tournament organizers had several events and activities planned leading up to game action. Participants were treated to tours of Canada’s parliament building, a Bingham Cup 2024 bid presentation, clinics for match officials, coaches and players, the Moving the Goal Post summit to discuss transphobia and homophobia in sport and an opening ceremony during which players we greeted by a video message from Rugby Canada CEO, Nathan Bombrys.

“With over 1700 registered participants, the Bingham Cup has now grown into the largest international rugby tournament in the world and we are so proud to be hosting that tournament here in Canada,” said Bombrys, in the address. “I know from my own, perhaps not so distinguished rugby career, having had the opportunity to play against inclusive teams just how important inclusive rugby is to the lives of players from the 2SLGBTQ+ community.”

In the Women’s Bingham Cup, the Ottawa Wolves finished the group phase with a 2-1 record before avenging their loss in the final, beating the New York Village Lions by a score of 14-10 to finish atop the Women’s division. The London Kings Cross Steelers from England claimed the Men’s Bingham Cup. With a perfect 6-0 record throughout the group phase and playoff rounds, the Steelers also allowed only one try all tournament.

The Vancouver Rogues were the lone Canadian vying for the Bingham Cup, competing in the tournament’s top division. The Rogues finished third in their group before eventually falling to the Bingham Cup runners-up, the New York Gotham Knights, in the quarter-finals.

The Montreal Armada captured the plate of the second division after being knocked out of the playoff bracket in the quarter-finals. The host Wolves began their tournament with five-straight victories before falling to the Baltimore Flamingos in the Challenger Cup final, 13-8.

Bingham Cup Ottawa 2022 Results and Standing can be found here

Rugby Canada leads Coaching and Match Officials clinics

Part of Rugby Canada’s role in the tournament involved hosting clinics for match officials, coaches and players on Wednesday, August 17. Those who attended the match officials’ session learned about the new global law trials and Rugby Canada’s concussion ‘recognize and remove’ process, the Blue Card, which was applied throughout the tournament.

Coaches who signed up for the clinics were put through Rugby Canada’s Tackle Smart training, a brand-new workshop designed for helping coach athletes who are new to contact. Rugby Canada staff also conducted a session for coaches on the World Rugby Tackle Ready program.

“The Bingham Cup match officials jumped into the Blue Card content with both feet, they were enthusiastic and engaged,” said Jackie Tittley, Training and Education Manager for Rugby Canada. “It was also great to have a number of match officials visiting from unions where the Blue Card is already in place.”

“Getting the opportunity to pilot some new content with coaches is something we are always grateful for,” added Tittley. “The coaches who attended our Tackle Smart session gave tremendous feedback and I think all walked away with something new in their toolkit.”

The players who attended the clinics had the choice between the advanced session and intermediate session. Both groups participated in activities that focused on decision-making.

“The players at the Bingham Cup came out in full force,” commented Ryan Jones, Rugby Development Manager for Rugby Canada. “The tournament exemplified inclusion and this clinic was no different. Players from across the world joined together to develop their rugby skills and connect with each other. It was a great way to kick off the rugby for the week.”