The Milwaukee Beer Barons are Milwaukee's first LGBTA Men's Rugby team. We are an all-inclusive group that is dedicated to creating a positive experience for people interested in playing rugby at a non-professional level.
The Beer Barons are part of the Milwaukee Gay Sports Network (MGSN), SSBL Milwaukee, and will compete within International Gay Rugby (IGR). The team plays against both IGR and non-IGR teams.
We welcome individuals of any experience level, age, race, or sexual orientation, who identify as a male.
If you are interested in becoming a Beer Baron, please go to our join page.
Is it okay that I’ve never played rugby before?
Yes, we are a team specializing in developing rugby skills in individuals who are new to the game. Our number one priority is providing you with a safe and rewarding rugby experience. The majority of our players had no rugby experience before joining. Our coaching staff and veteran players are always happy to answer any questions our newer members have. There is also a good general overview of the current rules and technical aspects of rugby union in the 2017/2018 USA Rugby Game Management Guidelines
Can I get hurt?
Rugby is a very physical full-contact sport. There is minimal padding or protective gear and scrapes and bruises are a routine part of the game. Due to the nature of the sport, you do need to have health insurance to play or practice. Conversely, serious body injuries are fairly rare and are usually the result of poor technique or fitness level.
Do I have to be gay to play for the Beer Barons?
No. While many of our players are gay, many of us are not. If you enjoy playing rugby or would like to learn about it, you are welcome regardless of your orientation.
Is there equipment that I need?
Before your first practice, make sure to get a mouth guard and (ideally) some rugby cleats to run in. Mouth guards are inexpensive and absolutely required for contact or in any situation in which a concussion could possibly occur. Any footwear without a toe cleat is fine and most shoe stores have a section where you can purchase inexpensive soccer cleats to use. In time you may prefer to upgrade to a rugby boot which is specifically designed for the game. Additional equipment you will probably want includes rugby shorts, compression shorts, rugby socks, and a practice jersey. Certain players may also opt to invest in protective gear such as a scrum cap or shoulder protectors. Jerseys are provided by the team on game days. Our coaches or veteran players will be happy to point you to websites to purchase Rugby gear.
I’m not as big as some of the guys I’ve seen playing rugby. Can I still play?
Absolutely. Regardless of your size or weight there is a place for you on our team. Generally speaking, the forwards tend to be larger and do more of the tackling and rucking while the backs tend to be smaller and do more ball handling and open field running. Based on your skills and body type, we will find a position for you.
What if I’m not good enough?
Rugby takes a while to figure out. Like anything worth doing, it’s not easily mastered. But if you concentrate on having fun, your joy for the game will carry you through the learning curve. When it finally starts to click, it will feel that much better. We will provide you with a foundation to build upon with each practice and match.
When and where are your practices and games?
This can vary depending on the time of year. Please check the schedule section of our website for current practice times and locations.
I’m HIV+. Can I play?
Yes. Being HIV+ is not something that should stop you from playing rugby. There are some considerations to make for spilled blood, etc., which can be discussed privately with our coach or the club president if you wish. You are not required to disclose your status to join our team or to play.
How much does it cost to play?
Outside of the above-mentioned equipment, the only other costs involve some travel expenses (gas, hotel, etc.), and registration with USA Rugby (also called CIPPing). Registration with USA Rugby currently costs $65 per year and provides many benefits including some insurance coverage in case of injury.
I’d like to support the team financially. What are my options?
The Milwaukee Beer Barons are a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit through the Milwaukee Gay Sports Network. You can make a tax-deductible donation to our team at any time. For any sponsorship inquiries, please reach us via our contact page.
I am a woman. Can I play?
Unfortunately the Beer Barons do not have a women’s side at this time and the rugby we play in games is segregated by sex. We do believe in supporting and advancing women’s participation in rugby, however, and are open to forming a women’s side if sufficient interest is expressed. Please contact us if that is something you would be interested in discussing. Otherwise, there are other great opportunities for women to play competitive rugby in Milwaukee! Consider reaching out to the Milwaukee Scylla.