Snow rugby players in Afghanistan
Snow rugby players in Afghanistan

Snow rugby refers to forms of rugby union that are especially adapted to be played in winter conditions, particularly in deep snow. It is played in Canada,[1] the Kashmir region in India,[2][3] the Baltic states,[4] Russia, the northern United States, and Finland. Specific locations of play include the Argentinian Ski Resort of Las Leñas[5][6] and the Boitsfort Rugby Club in Brussels.

Because of the cold, and often subzero, temperatures at which snow rugby is played, players must dress warmly.


Rugby union is predominantly played during the winter months and it has been played in extremely cold conditions. In 1939 a Ranfurly Shield game in New Zealand was played in the snow[7] and in 1978 a game in Russia was played at −23 °C (−9 °F).[8] More recently games have been organised to be played in the snow. In 2009, Gulmarg hosted India's first ever snow rugby tournament in Kashmir[2] and it was included in the 2008 Indian Winter Games as a demonstrative event.[3] During the 2011 Rugby World Cup Mount Dobson hosted a "20 Below Rugby in the Snow" seven-a-side tournament.[9] Tournaments have also been held in Finland,[10][11] France,[12] Latvia,[13] and Argentina.[14]

The first European Championships were held in Moscow from 21 to 22 November 2019. Eight teams of each sex took part in it.[15]

Rugby Europe Snow Rugby European Championship


Year Host Final 2 Semi-finalists
Winner Score Runner-up Winner Score Runner-up
2019 Russia
Moscow, Russia
 Russia 4–2  Romania  Croatia 8–1  Moldova


Year Host Final Semi-finalists
Winner Score Runner-up Winner Score Runner-up
2019 Russia
Moscow, Russia
 Russia 8–0  Norway  Romania 5–1  Croatia

See also


  1. ^ Play Snow Golf and Snow Rugby Archived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b National Snow Rugby Championship begins in Kashmir
  3. ^ a b Snow Rugby tournament
  4. ^ Bell, Angus Batting on the Bosphorus: A Skoda-powered Cricket Tour Through Eastern Europe, Canongate, Edinburgh, 2008, ISBN 1-84767-290-6, p23
  5. ^ Adès, Harry The Rough Guide to South America, p 56
  6. ^ "SNOW RUGBY ARGENTINA-TOTAL RUGBY.mp4". Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  7. ^ The Snow of ’39 | MetService Blog Archived 25 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Cain, Nick & Growden, Greg "Chapter 21: Ten Peculiar Facts about Rugby" in Rugby Union for Dummies (2nd Edition), p295 (pub: John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, England) ISBN 978-0-470-03537-5
  9. ^ Tourism New Zealand (8 July 2011). "Time to slope off and ski New Zealand". Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  10. ^ Snow Rugby Tournament - Tampere Rugby Club Archived 21 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Helsinki Rugby Club
  12. ^ Rugby tournament on snow Wednesday 16 March 2011
  13. ^ THORNTON IN SNOW RUGBY TOURNAMENT, LATVIA - Thornton-Cleveleys Rugby Club
  14. ^ International Rugby Board - Rugby X-treme hits the Andes Archived 26 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine