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Rugby sevens (commonly known simply as sevens), formally known as Seven-a-side rugby is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40 minute halves. Rugby sevens is administered by World Rugby, the body responsible for rugby union worldwide. The game is popular at all levels, with amateur and club tournaments generally held in the summer months. Sevens is one of the most well distributed forms of rugby, and is popular in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and especially in the South Pacific.
Rugby sevens originated in Melrose, Scotland in the 1880s; the Melrose Sevens tournament is still played annually. The popularity of rugby sevens increased further with the development of the Hong Kong Sevens in the 1970s, and the World Rugby Sevens Series in 1999—a series of seven to twelve tournaments played each year from approximately November to May. Since 2016, rugby sevens has been contested in the Summer Olympics, and it has also been played in regional events such as the Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games.
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