April 21, 2014
The McGeorge Rugby Annual Alumni/Student Weekend Festival was held April 11-13, 2014. University of the Pacific recently recognized the law school's Rugby Football Team as the "most spirited school organization" across all three University campuses.
Beginning the Academic Year 1981-1982, a group of young law students, possibly inspired by the success of the Cal-Berkley Collegiate Rugby Club, set out to establish a team to call their own. Initially to be called "The McGeorge Bucks" (referencing the colloquial term for money), the team renamed itself "The McGeorge Ducks" the same year, owing to the heavy rainy season, and the many puddles, which had to be navigated to practice and play.
Upon inception, the Ducks primarily ran against other collegiate teams of the day. Over the years, however, the team has scaled back its participation in organized competition, owing in part to the difficulty of rousing 15 law students, plus a minimum of five alternates, to put down their law books, pick up a rugby ball and mouthpiece, and run 80 minutes full contact continuous clock rugby. Another difficulty came when the USAA Rugby Organization began requiring stricter adherence to its rules.
The Ducks simply could not field a full team, week in and week out, for 10 weeks, and instead regrouped to become what is referred to as a "social side." A social side rugby team still plays competitive rugby, for 80 minutes continuously, but the games are run primarily for fun and social atmosphere. Regardless, the games are still taken very seriously, and the team trains very hard to succeed. The Ducks have been co-ed, on occasion, and always welcome anyone with a good attitude, a bit of athleticism, and a desire to escape the stress of the law school experience.
Every April, McGeorge Duck Alumni flock back to Sacramento, dust off their boots, and give the students a run for their money. The organization is 130 members strong, and the group actively networks and shares employment leads with one another. Finally, so as not to be confused as a group of "knuckle-draggers," the Ducks boast a 90% first time bar passage rate, and have judges and highly competent litigators and practitioners among the ranks of their alumni base.
"If you ever complete a task of merit, I encourage you in the spirit of rugby to remove your shoe, fill it with beer, and then drink the contents," says Anthony K. McClaren, '03. "You will be "shooting the boot" and may consider yourself an honorary Duck Rugby Player."