Host City: Paris, France
Venue(s): Municipal Velodrome, Paris
Date Started: October 14, 1900
Date Finished: October 28, 1900
Format: Round-robin tournament.
|Silver:|| Great Britain
Unlike soccer football, rugby football definitely had a small round-robin tournament scheduled. According to the Official Report, there were to be three games between the three entered teams, as follows: 14 October: France vs. Germany; 21 October: Great Britain vs. Germany; and 28 October: France vs. Great Britain. All three teams competed but the match between Germany and Great Britain on 21 October did not take place. The reason given was that the British and German teams were not able to stay in Paris for the entire 15 days that would have been required for them to play both matches.
The scoring system in 1900 was a bit different than in previous years, and also different than that used today. At the 1900 Olympics, a try was worth 3 points, as was a penalty goal. A conversion was worth 2 points and a dropped goal was worth 4 points. This scoring system was apparently devised by Coubertin, a rugby enthusiast and referee. We are indebted to Ian Buchanan (GBR), former ISOH President, who discovered this system and the scoring in the two matches which took place.
Rugby was interesting in that it attracted the biggest crowds of any event at the 1900 Olympics. As many as 6,000 spectators watched the second match of the tournament between France and Great Britain. In addition, the first known black Olympic athlete competed in the 1900 rugby tournament. This was Constantin Henriquez de Zubiera, who was likely of North African origin, and later became a doctor. A picture of him exists in the German sporting magazine from 1900, Sport im Bild.