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Rugby, Men

Date14 – 28 October 1900
LocationVélodrome Municipal de Vincennes, Paris
Participants47 from 3 countries
FormatRound-robin tournament.

Unlike soccer football, rugby football definitely had a small round-robin tournament scheduled. According to the Official Report, there were to be three games between the three entered teams, as follows: 14 October: France vs. Germany; 21 October: Great Britain vs. Germany; and 28 October: France vs. Great Britain. All three teams competed but the match between Germany and Great Britain on 21 October did not take place. The reason given was that the British and German teams were not able to stay in Paris for the entire 15 days that would have been required for them to play both matches.

The scoring system in 1900 was a bit different than in previous years, and also different than that used today. At the 1900 Olympics, a try was worth 3 points, as was a penalty goal. A conversion was worth 2 points and a dropped goal was worth 4 points. This scoring system was apparently devised by Coubertin, a rugby enthusiast and referee. We are indebted to Ian Buchanan (GBR), former ISOH President, who discovered this system and the scoring in the two matches which took place.

Rugby was interesting in that it attracted the biggest crowds of any event at the 1900 Olympics. As many as 6,000 spectators watched the second match of the tournament between France and Great Britain. In addition, the first known black Olympic athlete competed in the 1900 rugby tournament. This was Constantin Henriquez, who was of Haitian origin, and later became a doctor. A picture of him exists in the German sporting magazine from 1900, Sport im Bild.

1Union des Sociétés Français de Sports AthletiquesFRAGold
A. AlbertVladimir AïtoffLéon BinocheJean CollasJean-Guy GautierAuguste GirouxCharles GondouinConstantin HenriquezJean HervéVictor LardanchetHubert LefèbvreJoseph OlivierAlexandre PharamondFrantz ReichelAndré RischmannAndré RooseveltÉmile Sarrade
=2Frankfurt ClubGERSilver
Albert AmrheinHugo BettingJacob HermannWilly HofmeisterHermann KreuzerArnold LandvoigtHans LatschaErich LudwigRichard LudwigFritz MüllerEduard PoppeHeinrich ReitzAugust SchmiererAdolf StockhausenGeorg Wenderoth
=2Moseley WanderersGBRSilver
Frank BaylissHenry BirtlesJames CantionArthur DarbyClement DeykinL. HoodM. L. LoganHerbert LoveittHerbert NicolValentine SmithM. W. TalbottJoseph WallisClaud WhittindaleRaymond WhittindaleFrank Wilson

Round-Robin (14 – 28 October 1900)

Round-robin pool.

Match #1 FRA 27 – 17GER
Match #2 FRA 27 – 8GBR