SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. – The largest rugby tournament in North America, which has seen several generations of players and their families dating back to 1974, is inviting those ground-breaking pioneers to “Come home to the Can-Am” this summer in Saranac Lake.
Now in its 44th year, the annual Can-Am Rugby Tournament in Saranac Lake is set for July 28-30. An event that began with a modest eight teams, now invites over 100 sides. Organizers will employ 13 pitches predominantly in Saranac Lake, with additional sites in Lake Placid. It is considered the Grand Daddy of Rugby Tournaments in North America.
A total of 3,000 players, families, extended families, officials and vendors converge every summer in this Adirondack mountain setting that offers its attendees much more than a sporting event.
“For decades, we’ve seen so many of the same players and their families coming back to participate,” said Cameron Moody, President of the Saranac Lake Mountaineers Rugby Football Club. “It’s very similar to what we experience when all of us return to our alma maters. In 2017, we want to give the rugby tournament the feel of a college reunion, because in essence, that’s what our yearly event has started to feel like. And there’s nothing better than a reunion in the Adirondacks.”
Organizers plan to add more competitions to the three-day event.
“We are also exploring adding international or select games to the weekend and sometimes people forget that we have staged five USA vs Canada games in the last 36 years,” said Can Am Tournament Committee President Nichole Meyette.
Over the first 43 years, Can-Am Rugby Tournament Director Jay Annis has researched some interesting analytics of this time-honored event:
- 74 percent of players and fans weren’t even born when the tournament began
- 53 percent are under the age of 35 (yet 80 percent of the 100-plus teams registered yearly are in under-35 divisions)
- That might mean that the 47 percent, who are over the age of 35, are dreaming of the tournament and the Adirondacks, yet only 20 percent are lucky enough to make the trip
- 37 percent of the players are women
- The approximately 3,300 teams that have registered in 44 years translates into 66,000 player visits
- 66,000 times that players were made at home here in the Adirondacks at the grand master of club rugby tournaments
- How many of those 66,000 visits were yours?
Additionally, it is one of the only tournaments that spouses want to attend especially in the middle of a hot summer in the city. So come and see us, come watch your friends whom you played against, and watch their kids play.
Isn’t it time to come home to Saranac Lake and the Can-Am Rugby Tournament? We’re still here after all these years, getting better with age. Will you be with us this year?