The Crippled Crows are a group of passionate and diverse South Australians, who still want to get out and play the sport they love.
In the mix you will find retirees, doctors, plumbers, police officers, lawyers, surveyors, graphic designers, laborers and everything in between — brought together by their love of rugby.
The skill level is as varied as the players’ backgrounds and includes everyone from a former South African representative player to those who’ve taken up the sport for its social aspect later in life. Over the past two years, the group has seen an increase in the number of female players wanting to participate with a hope of being able to hold a female only game in the future.
Rather than playing club against club, team selections are made ahead of each game based on who is available to play. And player restrictions are identified by the colour of their shorts. For example,
- 60-64 years: Red Shorts – Can be claimed, not tackled
- 65-69 years: Gold shorts – Not to be tackled
- 70-79 years: Purple shorts – Not to be tackled or touched and also travel up to 10 meters with the ball before releasing.
- 85+ years: Special Committee Shorts – Not to be tackled or touched and also travel up to 10 meters with the ball before releasing.
Females get to wear red shorts which prohibits tackling the wearer when they are ball carrying. This greatly benefits decision making within the game and moving the ball into space.
President, Fraser Vivian, says "we have people who have been players in the past who come to watch and cheer on, we have spouses, even spouses of members who have passed away continue to come to games just for the social gathering side of things,”
"What we offer as the Crippled Crows is that opportunity on a Sunday to linger a bit, have some time to chat to each other and relive how good we thought we were in the past — keep in mind, most of these guys have been playing against each other for decades at club rugby in SA.”
"Crippled Crows works because it gives those that really should retire a chance a keep to keep playing the game they love."
All players get to run around, throw the ball and have general merriment before retiring to the bar to elaborate on the 20m dazzling run which results in a try.
All enjoy the fun, friendship & fraternity.