Atlantis Rugby: 31 years and 32 countries

When invited to top-level international tournaments, Atlantis Rugby assembles teams representing the very best the US has to offer. Atlantis has also included accomplished players from other countries. Besides helping them succeed on the field, they can have an important role in developing less-experienced players and helping them achieve success.

Photo: On February 25, 1990, Atlantis became the first American team to participate in a major New Zealand club sevens tournament. The Taupiri Sevens.

Recently, to further these competitive goals, Atlantis has implemented a program of camps and clinics to be able to develop players in a controlled environment under the tutelage of excellent and experienced coaches. 

Atlantis.  

Atlantis is an invitational rugby team whose specialty is sevens. 

Atlantis Rugby is operated to promote and foster the growth of youth & adult rugby football and to educate the public and players in the game of rugby 7s as played under the laws of World Rugby

The Atlantis Rugby Corporation is a registered nonprofit tax exempt §501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the growth and development of boys and girls high school and the 7s version of rugby in the United States, while promoting an atmosphere consistent with the values of the game.

Background & Goals.

Begun in 1986 as an Eastern US venture (short for “Atlantic Sevens,”) Atlantis quickly became a nation-wide enterprise. The Atlantis women first played in 1992.  In 2014 boys’ and girls’ teams were added.

Atlantis has multifaceted goals. One of our most important is to develop promising players and improve their level of play (and ours) by mixing them with more experienced and accomplished players. 

Atlantis Rugby History: Worldwide Impact.

The Atlantis men’s first tournament was the April 1986 Harvard Sevens, in which they were runners-up, and the women first played at the 1992 Benidorm Sevens (Spain), which they won.  

In 30+ years of existence – from April 27, 1986 through December 31, 2016 - 246 Atlantis squads have played in 160 tournaments in 32* different countries.  In February 2015, at just one tournament – the Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) - Atlantis added 10 squads!

* Atlantis has played in (chronologically by first appearance): USA, England, Scotland, Spain, New Zealand, Ireland, No. Ireland, Uruguay, Bulgaria, UAE (Dubai), Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Netherlands, Portugal, Venezuela, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Brazil, Singapore, Thailand, Paraguay, Malaysia (Borneo), Italy, French Polynesia (Tahiti & Bora Bora), Mexico, Laos, Barbados.

2014 saw the first-ever boys’ and girls’ U-19 and high school teams; in 2015 we welcomed both boys’ and girls’ U-18s and U-16s.

150 male squads have played in 115 of the 160 tournaments and 96 female squads in 72.  In 27 of those – 11 in the US, 10 in Trinidad & Tobago, and one each in Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba and Barbados – Atlantis has fielded both male and female teams at the same tournament.

As of Dec. 31, 2016, Atlantis’ overall record was 862-385-13: the Atlantis men/boys are 472-268-9 and the women/girls 390-117-4. Among these groups they have won 52 championships.

Ambassadors.

Atlantis tries to be a good ambassador of our program wherever it competes and also of the US and of USA Rugby wherever it travels abroad.  We look forward on every foreign tour to meet fellow rugby people from another part of the world and to benefit from exposure to the culture of our hosts and the other participants. A byproduct of their good ambassadorship is all the friendships that have been formed between Atlantis players and administrators and our competitors from all over the world.

Atlantis Alumni/ae.

Through December 31, 2016, 1269 players – from throughout the US and beyond – have represented Atlantis: 758 men or boys and 511 women or girls. We are particularly proud of the many US national team players that have played for us and of Atlanteans that have gone on to represent the US: 221 US Eagles (123 men and 98 women) have played for Atlantis.  More than half of them represented Atlantis prior to the US. 

Atlantis players have played for 13 national teams other than the US

Argentina, British Lions, Canada, England, Fiji,  Hong Kong, Ireland, Philippines, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, USSR, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia.

Atlantis US Players and All-Americans

With the beginning of our U19, U18 and U16 programs we now have several Atlanteans that have played for national age-group and All-American teams.  11 Atlantis girls were named to the US Women’s Junior All Americans in Dec. 2016.

Atlantis Birthplace

Based on birthplaces, hometowns and/or residences when they played for Atlantis, our alumni/ae represent 48 US states (all but MS and WY), plus DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.  

Likewise (birth or home), they represent 46 foreign countries: 

Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, England, Fiji, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Japan, Laos, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, No. Ireland, Paraguay, Philippines, Russia, [W.] Samoa, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, USSR, UAE [Dubai], Uruguay, Wales, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe.

Atlantis is proud of its alumni/ae that have become coaches; more than 25 have coached national teams or national age grade or school teams.

Recent Events.

From 2014 through December 2016 we participated in 19 tournaments, 14 domestic and 5 foreign. Competing for Atlantis at these tournaments were 14 men’s squads, 8 women’s squads, 12 boys’ squads and 14 girls’ squads. 

Camps and Clinics.  

In 2014 Atlantis Rugby Corporation began running camps and clinics for various age groups from Under 16 to adults, for boys and girls, men and women. The goal of these activities is to prepare to learn to play skilled, winning rugby in a safe, controlled environment.  Through our camps, clinics and training we can help support individuals who might otherwise not be able to learn and participate in the in the game

Atlantis Teachers.

Atlantis' founder and "Emperor" Emil Signes, a 2015 inductee into the US Rugby Hall of Fame, was US National Men's Sevens Coach from 1987-90. During this time the US men had a winning record and won the Hong Kong Plate in 1988. He was the first-ever US National Women's Sevens Coach and served from 1996-2005; the US women were 57-19-4 (4-time runners-up to New Zealand in Hong Kong) during his tenure. 

Emil has coached the majority of the Atlantis teams, complemented by more than 40 extremely well qualified coaches. A partial list of Atlantis coaches through the years includes – among many others – 18 current or former national team, national age grade and/or Olympic Development coaches. 

Atlantis Family / Families.

Metaphorically, we are a large global extended family. Also, literally, Atlantis has comprised many actual family groups: we have 3 groups of 3 siblings that have represented Atlantis as well as 14 sibling pairs. There are also 6 parent/child pairs that have graced the rugby field for Atlantis.  

- Emil Signes (Creation date: 1/7/17 updated 1/9/17 2:27 PM)
emilio7@pobox.com