RUGBY RULES

Rugby Positions
  • 1. Loosehead Prop
  • 2. Hooker
  • 3. Tighthead Prop
  • 4. Lock
  • 5. Lock
  • 6. Flanker
  • 7. Flanker
  • 8. Number 8
  • 9. Halfback
  • 10. Flyhalf
  • 11. Inside Center
  • 12. Outside Center
  • 13. Wing
  • 14. Wing
  • 15. Fullback

Duration: A rugby match is played over 80 minutes, split into two 40-minute halves generally with a 10 minute half time break.

Number of Players: Each team has 15 players who assume various positions, which play critical parts in the team’s play. Eight players make up the forwards or ‘pack’ (roughly similar to the linemen and line backers in American football) and seven players make up the backs (roughly similar to the backs and “skill positions” in American football).

How to Play: The ball can be moved by carrying it in the hands, or kicking at any time during play, but under no circumstances can the ball be passed or made to go forward by the ball carrier other than by kicking the ball. If the ball is hit or passed forward without it being kicked, it is called a ‘knock on’ and is an infraction which results in a scrum to the opposition. A scrum is used to restart in a number of situations and involves each team’s forwards coming together, binding together by the shoulders over the ‘mark’ and trying to hook the ball back to their team’s side once the ball is placed in the channel. This is similar to a tip off in basketball with each team having a chance at winning the ball. When the ball is being kicked during a kick off or 22 meter drop out it must be drop kicked. If a ball is kicked or taken out of bounds the ball is restarted by a lineout. This is similar to the throw-in in soccer and works on the same principle. If a team is awarded a penalty (meaning the other team committed a penalty against them) they have the same three options at every penalty. They can either:

  1. Kick the ball out of bounds and receive a lineout where the ball went out
  2. Take a free kick. The ball only has to be ‘kicked’ through the mark in this instance. Most teams will typically just tap the ball over the mark to keep better control of it and restart play quickly.
  3. Take a penalty kick at goal (similar to a field goal in American football, but in this instance the defense cannot rush the kicker). In any of these instances, the guilty team must retreat 10 meters from the spot of the foul.

The aim of the game is, you guessed it, to score as many points against your opponent as possible while conceding as few as possible. Points are scored by the following methods:Tries: A try is worth 5 points and is scored by a player touching the ball down into the opponents “try zone” (between the try line and dead ball line). It is the rugby equivalent of the American football ‘touchdown’. Tries can also be awarded as penalty tries when an attacking player is illegally kept from scoring a likely try.

Tries: A try is worth 5 points and is scored by a player touching the ball down into the opponents “try zone” (between the try line and dead ball line). It is the rugby equivalent of the American football ‘touchdown’. Tries can also be awarded as penalty tries when an attacking player is illegally kept from scoring a likely try.

Conversions: A conversion is awarded when a try is scored and allows the attacking team to gain 2 more points by kicking the ball between the posts of the rugby goal. Again this is the rugby equivalent of American football’s ‘extra point’. The conversion is usually taken from the line in the field where the try was scored. This means you can back up as far as you would like so long as you are kicking along an imaginary line which runs parallel to the sidelines through the place the ball was touched down.

Penalty: A penalty kick scores 3 points and is awarded if a serious foul has been committed. The kick is taken from the spot of the foul or any where behind it on a line through the referees mark.

Drop Goal: A drop-goal scores 3 points and is a kick at goal during the run of play, where the ball is kicked just after touching the ground. These can be kicked at any time, from anywhere, by anybody. All that is required is that you literally drop the ball and let it hit the ground first.