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Maggotfest 2012 In Missoula

There are a few key words that you can say to make a Missoulian get instant flashbacks. Testyfest, Foresters’ Ball, Griz tailgating, MAGGOTFEST.


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As much as the organization wants you to focus on the athleticism of the event, most everybody instantly thinks “party!” when you bring up Maggotfest. When you throw a  gathering as epic as the annual Maggotfest get together at the Llama Barn, people are going to remember it, and look forward to it every year, it can’t be denied.

Rugby sides (teams) from all over the world are already arriving in Missoula with the first match on Thursday evening at the pitch at Fort Missoula. Play continues through Sunday, expect to see costumes. In fact, you better get your own obnoxious party wear ready for the ‘secret’ gathering Saturday night at the fairgrounds. Even you hot chicks who insist on wearing club wear & pumps to the muddy, wet gathering can at least throw on a sombrero.


And of course there’s downtown Missoula on Maggotfest weekend. Entire packs of buff dudes dressed up as Smurfs walking in to Red’s, or a team of rugby chicks dressed in nothing but completely clear rain gear. Being an observer downtown on Maggotfest weekend is some of the most fun you’ll have all spring.

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Here’s more from the official All Maggots Rugby Club.

Since 1977, the Maggots have hosted a festival-style rugby tournament, held the first weekend of May. Maggotfest features 36 teams (28 men’s and 8 women’s sides) from throughout the US and Canada, with an occasional team from other exotic places. The emphasis at Maggotfest is on both the competition of the sport and on the fun aspects of rugby. Fest regularly features top first and second division clubs looking to test their skills, as well as more social sides out for some good matches and good times. We match teams that might not ordinarily get to meet each other, and are on a somewhat even level. Teams are encouraged to not only play great rugby, but wear costumes and present creative skits. The small $450 registration fee gives you free beer all weekend and a party Saturday night. Unlike most tournaments, there is no elimination process to decide a champion – everyone gets the same number of matches. There’s plenty of opportunities for additional games, as this is a rugby whore’s paradise. All teams are presented with a Maggoty trophy at the end of Fest, with a special “Best Play on the Pitch” trophy given to the team we observed to have the best playing ability. Equally as important, is the big trophy for the “Most Honored Side”, the team with the best overall rugby attitude, both on and off the pitch.   Past trophy winners are listed here. One of the unforgettable events (but then again, many people claim they can’t remember a thing) of Maggotfest is the Saturday night party, which needs to be experienced to be believed. For a hint of what can go on that weekend, here are some highlights (lowlights?) of past Maggotfests: an insider’s view from Doc the Maggot, and a snappy photo album from Scottsdale’s Joe Loud. We were also the subject of a nice bit of press from the Missoula Independent just before Fest ’98, and written up in the August 2001 issue of Rugby magazine.

Each year the Maggots host a special visiting side and play a “friendly” match on the Thursday afternoon before Fest. Friday, we’ll take that club out for some Big Sky entertainment, such as floating a local whitewater river. It also gives you the inside track for the Most Honored Side trophy. Previous guest teams have been top clubs from exotic locales such as England, Arizona, Ohio and New Jersey. If your club is interested in being hosted at a Maggotfest, let us know as soon as possible, since this slot gets filled early.


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