Following the the Atlantic Coast schools setting up their own conference back in 2008 with the first Atlantic Coast Invitational tournament, the competition is changing to a sevens format for 2010, in the wake of 7s becoming a recognised Olympic sport and the recent success of the broadcast of the Collegiate Rugby Championship on NBC. USA Sevens has also expressed interest in the tournament.
Held in Greensboro, NC, teams from schools like Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest will be attending. Although it may feature similar teams, this tournament will not contribute to the Atlantic Coast Rugby League, due to the change to the 7s format.
A wildly different style of rugby, having 7 players per team on a pitch designed for a full 15 a side squad keeps the action fast and frenetic, focusing on speed, athleticism and high scores rather than the brute force seen in the full team sport. Athletes currently playing rugby at this collegiate level will be part of the talent pool available for the U.S. Olympic team.
USA Sevens and the Atlantic Coast Rugby League are also in talks to enter a partnership with the tournament, aiming to bolster the profile of the sport.