Rugby is the largest fraternity in the world,”
says Peter Carmine, former New Zealander and rugby coach at Reed since
What defines rugby Reed-style? For one thing, Carmine says, recruiting
for the men's and women’s squads is done entirely by students. Not
only do upper-class students recruit freshmen, but men recruit for the
women’s team and vice versa. Carmine says that at Reed squads seem
to excel by training against one another, and eighty percent of the training
The Reed women’s squad is currently undefeated in the Pacific Northwest
Rugby Football Union A Division, which includes teams from the University
of Oregon, Oregon State University, Central Washington University, Washington
State University, and Western Washington University. The men’s squad
is a strong competitor in the B Division.
Rugby, they say, is “a sport of ruffians played by ladies, rather
than a sport of ladies played by ruffians.” Perhaps what is most
attractive to Reedies about rugby is that while it is a fiercely competitive
game on the field, it somehow does not incite animosity off the field.
Carmine says that as part of the Reed fraternity, rugby players can go
anywhere and be part of the sport. As it is, Reedies are coaching all
over the world—a remarkable detail when you consider that ninety
percent never played the sport before coming to Reed.