Belmont Shore Landsharks

Est. 1974 - One of the leading women's rugby teams in
Southern California

Getting Started

The Belmont Shore Women’s Rugby Football Club welcomes players of all skill level and experience. Whether you have been playing for years, would like to return to the game after a hiatus, or if you have never even seen a match but would like to give it a try, you are welcome and encouraged to come out and join us. Belmont Shore is a well established rugby club celebrating 32 years in 2006. We have a strong tradition of being both competitive and fun. The sport of rugby is unique in so many ways and we pride ourselves on our ability to balance all aspects. In rugby, we balance strength, speed, endurance, teamwork, and ball handling skills on the field with camaraderie, social gatherings, and fun off the field.

For players who are brand new to the game, we encourage you to grab your cleats (or tennis shoes) and come on out and give rugby a try. Each team is allowed 15 players on the field during a game and due to that large number our practices are always a mixture of rookies and veterans. Any given day you might find someone who is attending their first practice running along side a 15-year veteran. All you will really need to get started is an open mind, enthusiasm, and a willingness to learn. We will provide you with the rest of the skills that you will need and you can acquire more advanced equipment throughout the season as we determine your role on the team.


The first item you will need to obtain is a mouth guard. You can purchase a mouth guard at most sporting goods stores for between $5-$15. Wearing this will help protect you from getting a concussion. Contrary to popular belief, this will not keep your teeth intact. The way you keep your teeth intact is by paying attention at practice and using proper tackling and playing techniques. The next item you’ll want to get is a pair of boots. These can range from tennis shoes with lots of traction to high-top rugby cleats. The most commonly worn boot is simply a pair of soccer cleats (softball and football cleats are not legal due to the toe cleat). Eventually, you will also want to get a pair of rugby shorts and socks. Rugby shorts are extremely durable to withstand many pulls, tugs, and drags. They are frequently purchased at tournament booths or on the Internet. In the meantime you can usually borrow a pair from a teammate. Belmont Shore wears black shorts and black socks. Rugby socks are usually worn up to the knees and frequently come with strings attached to keep them there. These can also be purchased at tournaments or online but standard black soccer socks are perfectly acceptable.

How to Play:

Now that you have a complete rugby kit and are looking sharp we can start working on your skills. General ball handling skills are important. You will be required to catch and pass the ball. Unlike most sports, however, you will only be allowed to pass backwards to your teammates. You may, however, kick the ball forward. Some players will use this skill more than others, but if you have played soccer or are confident that you have good kicking skills you should make the coaching staff aware.

A rugby game is 80 minutes split into two 40 minute halves. The game is continuous and does not stop unless there is a penalty or infraction of the laws of the game. This means you will also want fitness and endurance, as well as ball handling skills. Sprint and strength training is the best way to prepare. Rugby players want to be quick and fast to avoid contact and they want to be strong because they won’t be able to. Weight training programs are available from the coaching staff and will focus on all your major muscle groups. Sprint training programs are also available and your fitness schedule should include a good mix of both. During the season you will be exposed to excellent fitness training in addition to skills training.

The game of rugby can be very fluid and complex. Players must attempt to execute planned plays with a variety of teammates and amidst a totally unpredictable defensive attack. It is important to maintain basic skills during this open play and continue to make good decisions. Our goal throughout the season will be to teach you all the basic skills that you’ll need and make them instinctual. This will free you up to focus on the more complex aspects of the game. If you have played other sports you will be asked to forget about much of what you have learned (running away from someone who is trying to grab you, passing the ball forward toward your goal line) and prepare to learn a whole new set of rugby skills.

Rugby is a fun and exciting sport that has its own language. You will learn what it means to scrum, ruck, maul, and score a try. We will break down each aspect of the game into its individual parts at practice and then put them back together for you in the game. You will slowly learn to appreciate the gracefulness of what used to look like chaos. If you’re looking for something new please come join us for the amazing experience of Belmont rugby.