Advancing playing and audience experience key to Sevens Shape of the Game evolution

The Shape of the Game forums are a core strand of World Rugby’s strategy to broaden the sport’s reach and appeal

Leading figures from the world of Rugby Sevens have united to consider the future of the playing and fan experience as the Olympic sport springboards into a new Games cycle beyond what promises to be a ‘coming of age’ event at Paris 2024.

With Olympic Rugby Sevens the sport’s biggest shop window on sport’s biggest stage, the Sevens Shape of the Game forum in Madrid determined key actions to fulfill potential as the sport looks towards and beyond the LA 2028 Olympics in a strategically important market for the future growth of the sport.

Aligned with the central premise of growing rugby’s audience share across all continents, the forum brought together fan engagement, broadcast specialists, coaching, refereeing, playing, medical and event organizer experts to determine together how to take the exciting sport to the next level.

Key outcomes include:

  • Working with all stakeholders to enable fans to get closer to the stars of the game online, on broadcast and at events;
  • Evolution of law proposals that enhance safety and spectacle via potential law amendments, while further examining the SVNS competition format;
  • Examine optimal travel and rest periods to ensure that the stars of Sevens are at their best for global events, while embracing Smart Mouthguards

The forum comes after a spectacular HSBC SVNS Grand Final where France’s men and Australia’s women were crowned champions heading in to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said: “World Rugby, supported by its member unions and key stakeholders, has ambitious plans under our 2021-25 Strategic Plan to take the sport to an exciting new level. At the heart of the strategy is the need to grow our audience share to ensure that rugby is relevant and accessible to the broadest possible audience including participants and attractive to new media and commercial partners.

“Sevens, with its energy, action and dynamism, is key to that mission, as we will see at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Sevens ‘coming of age Games’, the first major moment for the expectant French fans and a major opportunity to showcase Sevens to new audiences around the world.

“However, we must always strive to futureproof the sport in an age of unprecedented choice for young people. Like the men’s and women’s fifteens Shape of the Game, the challenge was to understand how we can make moves that will take our sport to the next level, and we have agreed some interesting actions and considerations in that regard.”

The Shape of the Game forums – men’s and women’s 15s and Sevens – are a core strand of World Rugby’s strategy to broaden the sport’s reach and appeal. The strategy, which also majors on unlocking the potential of new major growth markets, optimizing Rugby World Cup hosting,