"It's not really all that dangerous; you just got to be willing to take a hit," said rugby player J.D. Shannon.
Shannon is a junior at Pekin High School.
He plays on a rugby league with Peoria area students and says it rolls his favorite sports into one.
"I used to play soccer since I was about four years old and I wrestled in school and I decided I'd like to try something with a little more contact," said Shannon.
That's why he and his team spent Saturday at McClallen Park in Morton.
They're playing against other area teams, and there's a lot on the line.
"It's our biggest game of the year, because if we can win this we go to playoffs. If we lose this, we're done," Shannon explained.
The thrill of the game tends to draw large crowds.
"There's a lot of mom's and we get up and we scream and holler and yell and they hear us so they, they feel that energy from us," said J.D.'s mom Danette Eubank.
At first, Eubank says she wasn't too wild about her son playing rugby.
"It was so intense, and so rough, and I thought I don't want him to do this."
But she says, it's grown on her.
"He loves it. It gives him something to do. He gets to be rough and tumbly in a controlled setting."
And the hope is, it'll grow on more Central Illinois schools too.
"It's a great brotherhood out there," said Shannon. "Everyone's just right connected to the hip to each other everyone's there for each other no matter what."
The winning team will return to the field in a few weeks where they'll duke it out for a spot in the state finals.
The Illinois Rugby Association offers many different leagues.
For more information or to join, log onto: