While closely related to futball (aka soccer) and American football, rugby has its own set of rules that make it unique. With its growing popularity, many are curious about how the sport is actually played. Here are the basics to know before you go out and play.
The basic rules are the same as say, American football or soccer, you and your team have to drive down the field and try and score for your team. Similar to football you can have the option of either scoring a try, penalty kick, or drop kick. A try is like a touchdown where you have the ball enter the teams end zone while a person is in possession of the ball. A penalty kick and drop kick are similar in that one person has to drop and then kick the ball in between the uprights. Unlike football you can drive the ball down the field by either running or kicking the ball. What happens once a player is tackled depends on what type of rugby you play, which will be covered soon. The scores start at zero and the team with the highest score wins. The clock also starts at zero and goes up, like in soccer. One concern that might freak out football watchers is the lack of helmets and other padding. While head injuries do happen in rugby, it is just as dangerous if not less than football due to the fact that high speed collisions from multiple directions aren’t as common as football. There is more tackling, but it is at lower speeds and the tackler is almost always ahead of you. Hence, there is less head injuries. However, rugby is still not that completely safe due to the fact that it is a physical sport, precautions should be taken. In fact some more professional players are starting to wear padded head caps to lower head injuries, but the majority of players don’t.
Rugby Union vs Rugby League
- The two types of rugby that are officially played. They rival each other in popularity with rugby union being just slightly more popular. While both are similar in terms of general rules, they each have some unique differences. The main differences are that,
- Rugby league has 13 players per team with 10 substitutions, while rugby union has 15 players per team with 7 substitutions allowed
- One team is allowed to be tackled six times before they must give possession of the ball to the other team in rugby league, whereas in rugby union once the player is tackled the person must let go of the ball and a giant fight for the ball ensues, and whoever grabs it can pick it up and start charging down the field until they are tackled
- For scoring, a try is worth 5 points in union but only 4 in league. A penalty kick is worth 3 in union but only 2 in league. And finally, a drop goal is worth 3 in union but only 1 in league.
- Due to the history of how the 2 leagues were started, rugby league is considered higher class than rugby union although the class separation isn’t as big as it once was
Although rugby isn’t as internationally popular as International football and American football, it still has its own dedicated following across many parts of the world as well as shows its history in some of the earliest games played by civilization. In fact rugby, American football, and international football all have a common ancestor. The ancient Greeks had a game called Episkyros andRoman civilization had a game called harpastum that had a mix of tackling, kicking, and running.This type of sport continued to progress across Europe throughout the centuries until the 19th century where many important changes happened.
Little Known Rugby Facts
- 1845 The first official rugby rules are established at the rugby school in Rugby, Warwickshire, England
- 1863 The Football Association is formed that officially separated the civilized football and the more violent and physical rugby
- 1871 Rugby Football Union is founded separating Rugby League from Rugby Union
- 1898 Professional Rugby is officially established
- 1900 Rugby is hosted at the Summer Olympics and continues until 1924
- 1954 First Rugby League World Cup where Great Britain beat France
- 1987 First Rugby Union World Cup where New Zealand beat France
- 2016 Rugby Sevens is introduced at the Olympics where Fiji beat Great Britain
Rugby of Today
Many countries today participate in both forms of rugby, however here are just some of the countries that have a huge rugby following…
- Australia- Played all across Australia, especially in Queensland and New South Wales, and considered one of the national sports. They have a union team called the Wallabies that have competed in all 8 Rugby Union World Cups and have won two in 1991 and 1999. They have a league team called the Kangaroos with 11 League World Cup wins, the most of any country. Not to mention that almost all world cups are hosted or co-hosted with Australia.
- New Zealand- New Zealand is the other big dog of rugby. They are often the co-host to Australia for the world cups. Their union team called the all blacks have won the most union rugby world cups with 3 and they won the League World Cup in 2008. Rugby union is even the official sport of the country and is obviously popular across the whole country.
- France- France is the most populous country with a dedicated rugby following. Sadly, they have no league or union cup championships. But, south France considers league rugby to be the nations sport rather than football.
- South Africa- South Africa’s love for rugby and football came directly from Great Britain when South Africa was a British colony. South Africa’s union team, the Springbok’s, hosted and won the 1995 Rugby Union World Cup. This was considered as one of the greatest sporting victories in the post apartheid country, helping to bring unity. They won the union cup again in 2007. Rugby League isn’t popular.
- England & Great Britain- The country that founded the sport has one of the biggest followings of rugby that is played everywhere by everyone. They have only won one union world cup in 2003, but have won 3 League World Cups
One thing is for sure, youmay never know how much yu enjoy either playing or watching rugby until you give the sport a try. With sister sports like football taking most of the recognition it is easy to see how this great sport could go seemingly un-noticed. Once you get a taste of the sport of rugby we are pretty sure you will be a huge fan!
Welcome to our site dedicated to the sport of Women’s Rugby! We look forward to sharing our love for Rugby and all things pretaining to it. From workouts that get you in great playing shape, nutrition, and the sport itself to name a few we hope to showcase all aspects of playing both competitively for fun. We hope you enjoy our content and encourage our readers to actively share what we are about and our vision! Stay tuned for our first ful post coming soon!