Over the years I've taken many overseas journalists to baseball games, and last night I went with a pair of grade schoolers.
In entertaining the two groups, there are many similarities. As I fell into routine explanations, I remembered that scoreboards and programs are outstanding instructional tools. Who is at bat or on the mound trumps the meaning of a walk.
It seems to me that in America's heroic efforts to promote rugby, we have largely forgotten the scoreboard and the gameday program.
Scoreboards are quite rare on domestic rugby fields, and of the top-flight college and club games one might attend, only at Cal would you expect a printed starting lineup and an announcer to identify the scorers.
A handful of other teams afterward send useful match reports, featuring lineups (with replacements) and timed scoring. (Kudos to the Denver Barbarians, whose summaries extend to the second team.) By contrast, the Super League site is woefully behind, and most of programs spend far more time explaining how the game is played. They are really advertising vehicles, of little help come time for kickoff.
If you've been to the USA 7s, you know that lineups and scoring are readily visible around the ground, making it very easy to explain the game to newcomers, while press resources are deep and nearly instantaneous. With the consolidation of college teams and USA Rugby staff this weekend in Albuquerque, one expects (hopes?) information gathering will be streamlined, and therefore game lineups and scoring will begin to San Diego's standard.
Coda: Last night's breakthrough? The scoreboard display of pitch velocity. Far from an example of Americans sportsmen engrossed in statistics for their own sake, the radar gun satisfactorily explained why the batters couldn't hit the ball.