This story originally appeared in Mile High Sports Magazine. Read the full digital edition here.

August might not officially be “rugby month,” but it sure feels like someone made such a declaration in Colorado. After all, the sport has rarely been in the spotlight as much as it will be during the 31 days that wrap up the final month of summer.

First, the sport made a return to the Olympics, seeing countries compete for gold, silver and bronze for the first time since 1924. Then, the momentum generated in Rio will roll right into one of the best tournaments in the country, as the annual Serevi RugbyTown Sevens event returns to Infinity Park (Aug. 26-28) for the fifth consecutive year.

Both showcases will offer sports fans a glimpse of a high-scoring, fast-paced version of the game. Instead of the traditional game, which features 15 players to each side, the games played in the Olympics and at the Serevi tournament will be seven-on-seven, providing more room to roam, score and make plays. It’s the perfect formula for reeling in new fans, as it’s a version of the sport that moves quickly (two seven-minute halves) and highlights the speed of the sport.

That’s just part of the reason why the event, as well as the sport as a whole, continues to grow in popularity. Rugby is the fastest-growing sport in America, seeing a 350 percent increase in participation since 2004. And nowhere is that boom more prevalent that in Glendale, where the game has been embraced in multiple ways, not the least of which is the building of the only rugby-only stadium in America.

“The SRS tournament continues to grow in stature as we enter the fifth year of the competition,” said Mark Bullock, the director of rugby for the Glendale Raptors. “There are more international teams competing and the USA military teams have raised the standard of their play.”

Teams representing each American military branch − the Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard will look to compete for both the overall tournament and military championships. That’s just one of the many cool aspects of the event; there are plenty of others, as the entire city gets behind supporting the 20 teams from countries around the world that visit Glendale in late August for the $10,000, winner-take-all tournament.

The weekend has a festival atmosphere. The highlight of which is the city’s annual beer fest, “Bruises and Brews,” which is held on Saturday during the tournament and features more than 20 local craft breweries and distilleries.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, rugby will be seen in a whole new light in the state of Colorado. That’s because “rugby month” is upon us.