• John Coumbe-Lilley

Chicago United (Chicago North Shore & Chicago Women) completed their first week of virtual online practice. 22 members called in for the first practice, and 24 joined the second session. The team is making the best of a tough situation using technology to facilitate player education on mental skills training, positional requirements, match analysis, and systems briefings.

Even though health, safety and social distancing is uppermost in our minds, we love rugby, and learning a little bit about the game is useful for new players, and good reminders for seasoned players too. Club members can access materials on the club’s YouTube channel and shared drive.

Let’s talk diet and conditioning. We all need to monitor the quality of our food intake and our eating patterns. It is tough to not become comfortable with life as it is, on the other hand flexibility, mobility, intake regulation and hydration are all things players and coaches alike need to be careful about. Good nutrition, sleep, fluid and workout habits are good for rugby, and good for life. Be healthy for life!

Check in on a friend, look after your pets, connect with someone you love, and look after yourself.

Go CU!


  • John Coumbe-Lilley

COVID-19 has us in its grip now, but it is not a time to be too discouraged. Our board has responded with authority and clarity always communicating with good intention and care to all our club stakeholders. There are many people in our neighborhoods and cities like health, education, logistics, retail professionals, first responders and our neighbors who are making sure good things happen, problems are solved, and we progress to the other side of this difficult moment.

Competition might have stopped, but this is a great time for learning, development and mental skills training. To meet the challenge of this time, we are producing player education videos, presenting webinars for player education, running on online work out groups (keeping our social distance), connecting and making sure we maintain our connection and community.

Spring has been tricky for our lives outside our game so far, but in difficult moments we can find new solutions, and take on new responsibilities and see the world differently. We can adapt ourselves to help others and ourselves, and we can progress differently, not less, toward our club goals. Things might be tough right now, and they might continue more than we hope or expect, but in dark times, look for the bright spots where you can find them, seek out opportunities for good moments and positive experiences.

Go shopping, support your local stores if you can, check in with your team mates, call your friends, chat with your family and look after yourself with the best body, mind and spirit conditioning you can do at this time.

Go NS!


  • chicagonorthshore

As you should know by now, CARFU has called for a 30-day moratorium on rugby activities to pursuit of everyone's individual and collective wellness. The two clubs that make up Chicago United Blue + Green (North Shore & Chicago Women) are adhering to that guideline while continuing to monitor and evaluate the best steps for our clubs and team members.

What a buzzkill. Stay safe, everyone.

In the meantime, we'll still have ways to continue to grow as players- physically and mentally. Look for workouts and game tape assignments from JCL and virtual training sessions led by your captains (more below).


  1. The game against Lindenwood is cancelled (obviously).St Louis has not yet cancelled their Ruggerfest, but it seems unlikely that we as a team would travel there. I believe the boards are continuing to monitor the situation.DC Ruggerfest has officially been postponed. They hope to reschedule it for later in the year, but that's moot for the moment. if you arranged travel, contact your airlines to get those refunds or credit towards future trips.The status of the remainder of the season happening in late April is currently unknown. We will let you know updates as we get/determine them.


  1. With the entirety of the spring season in flux, we will evaluate our operating budget needs and adjust accordingly. Obviously, it will be tough to schedule any fundraisers while we are all social distancing and the economy is in turmoil. As a partnership board we have not yet discussed this in light of the latest turn of events, but know that we will consider a variety of situations and send out instructions as we develop them.


This week we want to re-affirm that we are adhering to protocols and will not be meeting in person for practice over the next few weeks. We will reassess as need be at that time. In the meantime we will be having online sessions. Tuesday/Thursday 7-9pm. Link to come. The expectation is that everyone attend these online sessions. Each session will be on a different topic, from mental readiness, to basic skills, to big game picture. Players are expected to communicate with their captains if they are unable to attend.


While we all try to settle into a new normal and make sense of what's happening in the world today, we are a community of support who take care of each other. If you need anything- help making ends meet, an extra roll of TP, or a shoulder to cry on- reach out to your teammates!! Let's not let physical distancing lead to social isolation or anxiety. Check in with each other and was your hands.