Re: Rugby Balls
Rugby, among other things, is a common subject for experimentation in US universities. Football players who have spent their childhood and teenage years throwing around a "pigskin" particularly seem to like to dabble in rugby because of the commonality in the sports. As I understand, rugby is faster and easier to play as "pick up" game because you don't need 50lbs of armor to play it, though US football players sometimes need a pre-game warning to tackle differently.
Unlike soccer, rugby hasn't picked up the same pre- and post-university following and professional clubs, but someone at a US university is more likely to be aware of it than elsewhere in the US.