In November 2019, the inaugural Oceania Deaf Rugby Sevens tournament was held in Suva, Fiji as part of, and integrated into, the Oceania Sevens programme. Though this inaugural Oceania Sevens Deaf component included only a small number of Deaf rugby teams, it successfully set the scene for an “equal playing field” in international rugby participation, provided a unique opportunity to showcase Deaf Rugby Sevens to the world and established a powerful precedent for the future.
During the week of this event, attendees from various Pacific/Oceania countries met to discuss setting up a Pacific/Oceania Deaf rugby organisation to promote the growth and development of Deaf rugby in the region through regular Pacific/Oceania Deaf Rugby Sevens tournaments.
The outcome of these discussion was agreement to establish a Pacific-Rim Deaf Rugby Union (PRDRU) to hold two-yearly Pacific-Rim Deaf Rugby Sevens (PRDRS) tournaments in the region.
PACIFIC-RIM DEAF RUGBY UNION (PRDRU)
The PRDRU purpose is to promote, develop, improve skills and grow Deaf Rugby Sevens across Pacific-Rim countries by holding two-yearly PRDRS tournaments in the region. This will also contribute to the spread and quality improvement of Deaf rugby in developing countries.
PRDRU membership is open to all Pacific-Rim nation Deaf Rugby Associations, with a limit of one Association per country.
Each Member country can nominate two official delegates to represent them and respond to PDRDU communications. Official information exchanges will be by email.
Non-Pacific-Rim countries can request to join the PRDRU. Such requests will be considered and decided by the PRDRU official delegates.
The PRDRU & PRDRS official languages are:
- International Sign and the sign language of the country hosting the tournament
- English and the spoken language of the country hosting the tournament
PRDRU official meetings will be held as face-to-face meetings at the conclusion of each two-yearly PRDRS tournament.
The PRDRU Chair will be elected for a two-year term at the PRDRU official meetings held at the conclusion of each two-yearly PRDRS tournament. Mr Hino, President JDRU is the inaugural PRDRU Chair for a period of one year from November 2019.
The PRDRU/PRDRS Facebook Page will provide a vehicle for sharing information about the PRDRU and PRDRS tournaments amongst Member Deaf communities and the wider World Deaf Rugby country Deaf communities.
PACIFIC-RIM DEAF RUGBY SEVENS TOURNAMENTS (PRDRS)
PRDRS tournaments will be held every two years. The first tournament will be held in November 2020.
The host country & venue for PRDRS tournaments will be decided at the official PRDRU meetings held at the conclusion of each tournament. The host country for the first tournament in November 2020 is Fiji.
PRDRS tournaments will include both Men’s and Women’s competitions.
A Points-Based Hearing Loss Qualification Policy has been adopted as the criteria for determining eligibility to play in PRDRS tournaments. This will ensure that the majority of players in a team have a substantial (moderate to profound) hearing loss, but will also provide an opportunity for a small minority of lower hearing loss players to participate.
A predominance of moderate to profound hearing loss Deaf players in each team is necessary so that the Deaf culture and identity of Deaf rugby is preserved and reflected in the way the tournament is conducted on and off the field, and that there is a clear distinction between standard “mainstream” rugby events and Deaf rugby events.