Rugby Sevens is played on a full-size pitch by teams of seven players as opposed to the traditional fifteen players. The game is shorter in duration, with each half lasting seven minutes during the pool stages of a tournament, and increasing to ten for the final.
Fewer players on a full-size pitch creates a frenetic and explosive spectacle which delivers more entertainment for fans. The Sevens tournaments are traditionally known for having a more relaxed atmosphere than the Fifteens. Fancy dress has become synonymous with Rugby Sevens and the event is traditionally held with a carnival atmosphere.
New Zealand has by far been the dominant force in the HSBC World Sevens Series, winning 12 out of the 15 seasons. However, in recent years, other teams have challenged this dominance. Fiji is currently the defending champion.