We on the Quake are proud to have a broad range of players, both novice and experienced. The Seattle Quake competes in Division III of the Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union, with two playing seasons each year in spring and fall. We also play friendly matches in spring and fall, as well as compete in tournaments.
Check out our latest schedule for our next match or social events.
The Seattle Quake Rugby Football Club is a non-profit corporation and a gay organization that actively seeks out traditionally under-represented members in our community and encourages them to explore the sport of Rugby Union in a non-threatening and empowering environment. As such The Seattle Quake maintains a developmental rugby program that fosters a love for the sport of rugby regardless of athletic ability. Through positive competitive engagement in our surrounding communities, we hope to directly challenge stereotypes and bigotry in what has historically been the uncommon ground of rugby. Further, we actively participate and are in solidarity with other organizations that share our common goals of mutual understanding and respect for all members of the community.
What’s the Quake about?
The Seattle Quake Rugby Football Club is the Northwest’s first primarily gay men’s rugby team. We are committed to bringing one of the world’s most popular games to new players who may not otherwise have considered playing.
The Quake is growing and always welcomes newcomers to the sport, as well as experienced players, coaches, fans and contributors of all ages, races and sexual orientations.
Want to learn more? Get to know the team or find out how to become a member, friend, or sponsor.
In January of 1997 eight men decided to take part in an epic journey that would bring the only gay-friendly and inclusive club to the Pacific Northwest. Inspired by an email from the president of the San Francisco Fog at the time, these eight men decided to see if they could help with the idea of expanding the number of gay rugby clubs in the United States. At the time, only two such teams existed, the San Francisco Fog and the Washington D.C. Renegades. Following the first meeting at Madison Pub, these eight men armed with determination and excitement about creating a club that would allow anyone, regardless of their background or orientation feel welcome. A second meeting was scheduled for two weeks later, posters where printed and the word began to spread. At the second meeting, the number of interested men nearly doubled and in a few short weeks, 16 men were practicing every Saturday. Inspired by the names of the two existing gay rugby clubs, the Seattle Quake was born.
By March of 2002, this infant club reached two major milestones, their first straight player joined the team and the Quake had found a coach, John Cook. Cook, who had been playing the sport since his early youth was excited to be part of a team that was bringing rugby to gay men. Cook dove head first into his role and Coordinating Coach, a title he chose and insisted upon, he did not want the title of ‘Head Coach’ which could have implied the other members of the coaching staff were less valuable. This example from Cook lives on today, not just in the coaching staff, but to each member of the team. Anyone who plays with the Quake, is just as valued and important as everyone else. Under Cook’s direction and leadership, the team went from a weekly social practice to an intense three-day a week practice schedule. Cook became a member of the board, served as the primary contact for Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union and held each player and board member to the highest of standards.
In June of 2002 the Quake played in it’s first competitive and historical match in San Francisco, at the first Mark Kendall Bingham Cup (in honor of the San Francisco Fog player who died on September 11th, ensuring the terrorists aboard United Flight 93 could not reach their target. The Quake scored just 6 points during their three matches. The young team returned to Seattle,without a win, but a sense of pride, determination and vigor. The teams’ numbers continued to grow, their peformance improved with every practice and every match.
In 2003, the Quake hosted the first “Magnitude 15”, the North American Gay rugby invitational championship. It was during this gathering the Quake won their first match against the LA Rebellion. The team continued to march forward throughout the rest of the season, educating not only themselves, but also showing the other Division III teams of Pacific Northwest Rugby Union that a gay team can play with as much determination and energy as the predominately straight teams.
Even though the team had proven themselves as a contender, it was not all victories from this point on. In early 2004, as they prepared for their second trip to the Bingham cup (this time in London) the Quake suffered a painful loss. Coordinating coach, John Cook had died. Though heartbroken, the team went forward under the coaching of Jerry Gent.
2004 brought increased membership, and community outreach. In addition to regular practices, matches and social outings, the team began to volunteer with various non-profit organizations as a means to further their mission. 2004 also saw the creation of the first annual Quake Rugby Calendar, one of the top selling LGBT sports calendars in Seattle.
Quake had its first of many league wins in April of 2005 against the Kitsap Renegades in a tough-fought match that was down to the wire. 2005 was also the year of the second Magnitude 15 tournament which saw and expanded lineup of 8 teams. Quake bested the San Francisco Fog for the trophy in ridiculously exciting a double overtime, sudden-death match.
In 2006 the Bingham Cup was held in New York. Quake had a strong showing coming in 5th out of 32 teams, playing in the toughest bracket with the top gay teams in the world. 2007 saw further expansion of the Magnitude Tournament (now dubbed Magnitude 15.07 for the year). The tournament was becoming the West Coast’s gay rugby tournament, and was highly anticipated by teams around the country.
In 2008, former team captain and board member Craig Kelly was elevated to Coordinating Coach. The all volunteer board and dedicated players continue to reach out to new players regardless of the experience and invite them to be part of organization. The team was able to bring 23 players to Dublin Ireland for the 4th Bingham Cup where they won the hearts of many of the other teams with their hard playing and gentlemanly conduct on the pitch as well as their fun-loving party antics and camaraderie off the pitch.
By the beginning of 2011, the Quake’s numbers had increased to nearly 70 players (one of the largest in the nation). Magnitude 15.11 expanded to all of North America, and received much support from the community. An active supporters base—individuals who are not on the team, but support recrutiment efforts, fundraising and community outreach—grew greatly. The team also entered the age of social media with a Facebook page and Twitter Feed.
In 2012 the Quake travelled to Manchester England for the 2012 Bingham Cup. They had enough support to field 2 sides and had a strong showing. The A side’s tournament culminated with a triple overtime semi-final match against the Dallas Diablos who won with a penalty kick in sudden death. The weather was very English, very wet, cold, and muddy. The B side made it to the finals in their group and played an amazing final game, but lost by one try.
The Quake remains open to anyone, regardless of background, orientation or ability and continues to further it’s mission as it expands.