Published 10/06/2014 | 05:40
Sligo is in the grip of Tag Rugby fever again as a new season gets into full swing at Hamilton Park.
Thirty-two teams are battling it out for the various titles with the action coming thick and fast over the next two months.
Over 400 players are taking part this year, with about 10% of them trying the game for the first time.
"Interest in Tag Rugby is phenomenal," reports tournament co-ordinator, Rodrigo Frayde.
"The tournament gets more popular every year. Players get great enjoyment from taking part in the tournament and there's great craic on the social side of things as well.
"It's been going now for a few years and this season promises to the best to date."
Participants range in age from 18 to 51 years.
Many players have some experience of rugby while others are getting their first introduction to the tag code.
A number of teams are sponsored by local businesses while other teams represent various workplaces around the county. There are also many 'teams of convenience', made up of friends and colleagues who've come together to enter a squad.
Grading competitions were held over the last three weeks.
Teams had a welcome break from competitive action when they took part in a novel fancy dress tournament last Friday.
Now it's back to serious business.
There are two leagues - the Conference for beginners and the more competitive Intermediate section for seasoned players.
"Some teams will be very serious and competitive while others are just out to have some fun," says Rodrigo.
There's a hectic social programme lined-up in conjunction with the tournament.
Among the highlights this year is a Six Nations Cup night.
The famous trophy will be on display as the tag teams celebrate Ireland's memorable victory in the Championship.
A special sports day, involving schools sports, is also on the agenda for the 'taggers' and this innovative idea is bound to prove highly popular.
A beach tag rugby competition organised by Sligo RFC will also take place during the summer.
"There's something for everybody so it promises to be an exciting summer of tag rugby," Rodrigo points out.