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Can-Am Rugby is back in Saranac Lake

Tom Pillsworth of the Mountaineers Old Boys attempts to shake off a Chesty’s Disciples player during action in the men’s over-50 division of the 46th annual Can-Am Rugby Tournament at the Petrova Avenue fields in Saranac Lake in 2019. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE — One of the largest rugby events in the world is returning to Saranac Lake next week.

The three-day long rugby tournament, which will start on July 30 and end on Aug. 1, will go back to its roots with a smaller grouping of teams, which consist of the Old Boys, Men’s club social and Women’s club social.

Saranac Lake will be the host of every game played throughout the tournament. The fields will be at Petrova Elementary School, Saranac Lake High School and Schroeder field, according to Can-Am Rugby.

Forty-seven years ago, the tournament was created by the Mountaineers Rugby Club. The first event started as an eight-team tournament. Years later, the tournament grew to around 100 teams and became a mid-summer tradition in the Adirondacks.

The tournament has created scholarships for each of the local high schools and colleges in the area. The scholarships are awarded based on financial need, community service, character, and involvement in athletics.

Can-Am Rugby also provides financial support to Pee Wee Hockey, Saranac Lake High School football and rugby, youth basketball and baseball, and the Saranac Lake Summer Youth Program.

The tournament currently does not have any COVID-19 restrictions, but does ask that those who have not been vaccinated wear a mask.

“Remember that it’s Hooligan game played by gentlemen/women and we ask that please act responsible as we look forward to having you back,” the Can-Am Rugby board said in a press release.

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