Sevens is a stripped-down version of rugby union, with seven players on each side rather than fifteen. Games are much shorter, seven or ten minutes each half, and tend to be very fast-paced. Sevens is traditionally played in a two-day tournament format. However, the most famous event, the Hong Kong Sevens, was played over three days, largely because it involved 24 teams instead of the normal 16.
The IRB announced dates for the 2010–11 events on 1 June 2010, only two days after the final event of the 2009–10 series, the Edinburgh Sevens. The stops remained unchanged from recent years; the only scheduling change for 2010–11 was that the Adelaide event, which moved from its traditional slot of one week after Hong Kong to one week before in 2010, returned to its prior slot for 2011.
This was the last season for the South Africa leg in George and the Australia leg in Adelaide. On 13 April 2011, both countries' national unions announced that their respective legs of the series would move to new sites for 2011–12. The South Africa Sevens will move to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The Australia leg will move to Skilled Park in the Gold Coast; it was initially known as the "International Rugby Sevens Gold Coast", but later rebranded simply as the "Gold Coast Sevens".
|Dubai||The Sevens||3–4 December 2010||England|
|South Africa||Outeniqua Park, George||10–11 December 2010||New Zealand|
|New Zealand||Westpac Stadium, Wellington||4–5 February 2011||New Zealand|
|United States||Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada||12–13 February 2011||South Africa|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong Stadium||25–27 March 2011||New Zealand|
|Australia||Adelaide Oval, Adelaide||2–3 April 2011||New Zealand|
|London||Twickenham||21–22 May 2011||South Africa|
|Edinburgh||Murrayfield, Edinburgh||28–29 May 2011||South Africa|
Before each season, the IRB announces the 12 "core teams" that received guaranteed berths in each event in that season's series. The core teams for 2010–11 were:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United States
The core teams were unchanged from 2009–10.
The season championship was determined by points earned in each tournament. The points allocations for all events were identical to those in the 2009–10 series, reflecting changes that the IRB made starting with that season:
- 16-team events (all except for Hong Kong)
- Cup winner (1st place): 24 points
- Cup runner-up: 20 points
- Losing Cup semifinalists: 16 points
- Plate winner (5th place): 12 points
- Plate runner-up: 8 points
- Losing Plate semifinalists: 6 points
- Bowl winner (9th place): 4 points
- 24-team event (Hong Kong)
- Cup winner: 30 points
- Cup runner-up: 25 points
- Losing Cup semifinalists: 20 points
- Plate winner (5th place): 16 points
- Plate runner-up: 10 points
- Losing Plate semifinalists: 8 points
- Bowl winner (9th place): 5 points
In all tournaments except Hong Kong, 16 teams participated. Due to its place as the sport's most prestigious annual event, the Hong Kong tournament had 24 teams. In each 16-team tournament, the teams were divided into pools of four teams, who played a round-robin within the pool. Points were awarded in each pool on a different schedule from most rugby tournaments—3 for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 for a loss. The first tiebreaker was the head-to-head result between the tied teams, followed by difference in points scored during the tournament.
Four trophies were awarded in each tournament. In descending order of prestige, they were the Cup, whose winner was the overall tournament champion, Plate, Bowl and Shield. The Shield was contested in Hong Kong for the first time in 2010. Each trophy was awarded at the end of a knockout tournament.
In a 16-team tournament, the top two teams in each pool advanced to the Cup competition. The four quarterfinal losers dropped into the bracket for the Plate. The Bowl was contested by the third- and fourth-place finishers in each pool, with the losers in the Bowl quarterfinals dropping into the bracket for the Shield.
The Hong Kong Sevens adopted a new structure effective with its 2010 edition. As in previous years, the 24 teams were divided into six pools of four teams each, with the competition points system and tiebreakers identical to those for a 16-team event. Also as in the past, the six pool winners and the two top second-place finishers advanced to the Cup competition.
- The Plate competition was contested by the losing quarterfinalists from the Cup, as in all other events in the series.
- The Bowl was contested by the four remaining second-place finishers and the top four third-place finishers.
- The Shield was contested by the remaining eight entrants.
- Main article: 2010 Dubai Sevens
|Cup||England||29 – 21||Samoa|| Fiji|
|Plate||South Africa||19 – 12||Australia|| United States|
|Bowl||Argentina||21 – 0||Zimbabwe|| Russia|
|Shield||Kenya||26 – 0||France|| Portugal|
- Main article: 2010 South Africa Sevens
|Cup||New Zealand||22 – 19||England|| Samoa|
|Plate||South Africa||10 – 5||Argentina|| Wales|
|Bowl||Scotland||26 – 0||Russia|| Portugal|
|Shield||Zimbabwe||14 – 5||Kenya|| Namibia|
- Main article: 2011 Wellington Sevens
|Cup||New Zealand||29 – 14||England|| Samoa|
|Plate||Fiji||26 – 12||South Africa|| Argentina|
|Bowl||Kenya||19 – 0||Tonga|| Scotland|
|Shield||United States||19 – 12||France|| Canada|
Papua New Guinea
- Main article: 2011 USA Sevens
|Cup||South Africa||24 – 14||Fiji|| England|
|Plate||Samoa||26 – 15||Kenya|| Australia|
|Bowl||Scotland||19 – 14||Canada|| France|
|Shield||United States||19 – 12||Japan|| Uruguay|
- Main article: 2011 Hong Kong Sevens
|Event||Winners||Score||Finalists||Semi Finalists||Quarter Finalists|
|Cup||New Zealand||29 – 17||England|| Fiji|
|Plate||South Africa||26 – 19||Australia|| Portugal|
|Bowl||Canada||35 – 12||Japan|| United States|
|Shield||Kenya||17 – 12||Spain|| China|
- Main article: 2011 Adelaide Sevens
|Cup||New Zealand||28 – 20||South Africa|| England|
|Plate||Wales||14 – 7||Argentina|| Australia|
|Bowl||United States||17 – 10||Kenya|| France|
|Shield||Japan||22 – 5||Tonga|| Cook Islands|
Papua New Guinea
- Main article: 2011 London Sevens
|Cup||South Africa||24 – 14||Fiji|| New Zealand|
|Plate||Samoa||22 – 12||Australia|| Argentina|
|Bowl||Scotland||21 – 19||Kenya|| Spain|
|Shield||England||22 – 7||Portugal|| United States|
- Main article: 2011 Edinburgh Sevens
|Cup||South Africa||36 – 35||Australia|| Wales|
|Plate||Fiji||26 – 14||Samoa|| England |
|Bowl||Kenya||21 – 14||Scotland|| Spain|
|Shield||Canada||17 – 12||Russia|| United States|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 International Rugby Board (1 June 2010). Dates set for 2010/11 IRB Sevens World Series. Press release. Retrieved on 8 October 2010.
- ↑ International Rugby Board (8 July 2009). 2009/10 IRB Sevens World Series schedule set. Press release. Retrieved on 14 July 2009.
- ↑ South African Rugby Union (13 April 2011). Port Elizabeth named as new host of SA Sevens event. Press release. Retrieved on 29 May 2011.
- ↑ Australian Rugby Union (13 April 2011). Gold Coast to Become New Home for Australian Sevens. Press release. Retrieved on 29 May 2011.
- ↑ "Gold Coast Sevens". Australian Rugby Union. http://www.rugby.com.au/sevens/GoldCoastSevens.aspx. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- ↑ International Rugby Board (2010-12-04). Points system. Press release. Retrieved on 2010-12-04.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "Rules: 16-Team Tournament". International Rugby Board. 2009. http://www.irbsevens.com/rules/rules16.html. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- ↑ "Rules". International Rugby Board. http://www.irbsevens.com/rules/index.html. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- ↑ "Rules: 24-Team Tournament". International Rugby Board. 2009–10. http://www.irbsevens.com/rules/rules24.html. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
- ↑ "Overall Standings". International Rugby Board. http://www.irbsevens.com/standings.html. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
|V T E||IRB Sevens World Series|
|2013-14 events||2013 Gold Coast Sevens | 2013 Dubai Sevens | 2013 South Africa Sevens | 2014 USA Sevens | 2014 Wellington Sevens | 2014 Japan Sevens | 2014 Hong Kong Sevens | 2014 Scotland Sevens | 2014 London Sevens|
|Current Stadiums||Robina Stadium | The Sevens | Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium | Sam Boyd Stadium | Westpac Stadium | Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium | Hong Kong Stadium | Scotstoun Stadium | Twickenham Stadium|
|Former events||Paris Sevens | Singapore Sevens | Shanghai Sevens | Tokyo Sevens | Mar Del Plata Sevens | Punta Del Este Sevens | Kuala Lumpur Sevens | Fiji Sevens|
|Seasons||1999-00 | 2000-01 | 2001-02 | 2002-03 | 2003-04 | 2004-05 | 2005-06 | 2006-07 | 2007-08 | 2008-09 | 2009-10 | 2010-11 | 2011-12 | 2012-13 | 2013-14|