Pittsburgh Harlequins Rugby Football Association

A nonprofit organization

73 donors

The Pittsburgh Harlequins Rugby Football Association (PHRFA) was founded in 1995 as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit youth mentoring organization. The PHRFA uses a volunteer network of nationally certified rugby coaches and players to provide community rugby programs to disadvantaged youth and teen groups throughout Allegheny County, with the goal of instilling the values that team athletics can provide, including self-confidence, leadership, and integrity.

Initial funding was provided by generous donations from the R. K. Mellon, Grable, and McCune Foundations. The Association is in it’s 17th year of program success. The mentoring programs are staffed entirely by volunteers from the Pittsburgh Harlequins Rugby club including active and retired players. Each of four program sites strive to maintain a 1:7 ratio of mentors to children and average approximately 25-30 participants per year.

Coach-Mentors receive training from the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania; and safety, CPR and first aid training from staff at Magee Hospital in Pittsburgh. Volunteers are expected to contribute a minimum of 50 hours per year, though many/most far exceed that number.

A Closer Look

Each program site introduces and teaches a non-contact version of rugby (similar to flag football), a game thatlevels the field for many participants because it is a new sport and everyone starts with the same knowledge level of the game. Unlike many traditionally American Sports where an emphasis is put on individual achievement, rugby requires the participation and cooperation of everyone on the field to achieve success. In this sense, many of the youth also become mentors as they encourage newer participants.


Organization Data


Organization name

Pittsburgh Harlequins Rugby Football Association

Tax id (EIN)



Children & Family




(412) 566-3225