USA Rugby Release
As part of its commitment to deliver a robust and inclusive talent identification and verification system, USA Rugby will present an annual Women’s National Development Invitational Tournament (NDIT) in sevens featuring academy and invitational sides as well as the Collegiate All-Americans (WCAA).
The tournament will be hosted at American Rugby Pro Training Center on August 17 and 18 with one spot still remaining for the eighth participating team. Applications may be submitted here by June 21. Full schedule and broadcast details will be confirmed later.
Previously known as the Academy Tournament, the now NDIT was hosted by Dartmouth Rugby in 2017 and at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in 2018.
Alongside the WCAA Sevens and the final team to be selected, the 2019 tournament features American Rugby Pro Training Center, Scion Rugby, Northeast Olympic Development Academy, Armed Forces, Stars Rugby and Santa Barbara Academy.
Players from all teams have the opportunity to be selected for a September high-performance camp where inclusion in the senior Women’s Sevens Residency Program for the Olympic year is possible. Alternatively, athletes can also be chosen for an Extended Squad that will assemble for camps through the year, competing for 2020-2021 residency spots.
The NDIT is the final tournament where national team staff will evaluate sevens players for residency and Extended Squad selection; with the first two being the Las Vegas Invitational and Club Sevens National Championships. Coaches and staff are looking for consistent and dominant performances across all three tournaments.
Hosts for the NDIT will be selected at the beginning of each year through a tender process arranged by USA Rugby. The union will also host a National Team Development Camp for participating teams before the start of each event to help Academy programs prepare and build alignment with high-performance training.
General Manager for Women’s High Performance, Emilie Bydwell said: “Although we have rebranded the tournament, this is the third year of this program and we are excited to continue to fortify it as part of our W7s Pathway, with some minor adjustments.
“Serving a very similar purpose to the 15s All-Star Week, this tournament allows us to have another opportunity for what we consider ‘club plus’ competition, player identification and verification and coach development.
“Last year, this tournament identified Kristi Kirshe and Nikki Kenyon, who have both been part of our residency program this year. It also provided valuable playing experience for players like Alena Olsen, Kasey McCravey and Ashlee Byrge. We are also excited to open up the final spot to the community.”
For more information about standards and criteria for invitational teams and host venues, click here.