The basics of Rugby, explained

basics of Rugby

Rugby union is played by two teams of 15 players.

The Aim Of The Game

The basic aim of Rugby is to use the ball to score more points than the other team. As we said, we are talking the very basics here. Running with the ball in hand, kicking the ball and passing the ball are all permitted and indeed encouraged, but the ball can never be passed forwards. It can only ever go forwards by it being kicked or carried in hand.
Rugby being a contact sport, the team not in possession of the ball can aim to take possession by tackling an opponent to the ground or out of play. The tackle must be firm but fair and within the rules of the Game, however – which generally means that in the interests of safety, no contact can be made above the shoulders.

There are several ways to score points.

  • A try – five points are awarded for touching the ball down in your opponent’s goal area.
  • A conversion – two points are added for a successful kick through the goalposts after a try
  • A goal kick – three points are awarded for a penalty kick or drop goal through the posts

If both teams score the same amount of points, or no points are scored, then the match is a draw. In some cases, extra time is played to decide who wins.

The Duration

Each Rugby match lasts for 80 minutes, split into two halves of 40 and with a 10-minute break in-between, during which time the players can draw breath and eat an orange. (Note, and this is key, that upon resumption, the two teams will have changed ends.) During Rugby World Cup 2015, matches in the knockout stages will last longer than 80 minutes if the teams are level at the end of normal time. Extra time will only be played if it’s a knockout competition.

The Pitch

The playing area is a pristine-green rectangle measuring 100m from try line to try line. Each team defends an In-goal area that sits behind the goal posts, denoted by that try line, by the dead-ball line and by the two touchlines. Between the two try lines there will be a series of line markings at regular intervals, both solid and dotted. These divide the pitch into zones and indicate where restart kicks are taken from and where players must position themselves during set pieces.


The Kick-Off

Before the Game begins, the referee will toss a coin to decide which team will kick off. The captain who calls the toss correctly gets to choose to kick off or to decide which end he wants his team to attack in the first half. The Game kicks off with a place kick or drop kick from the middle of the halfway line, with the ball required to go forwards.


The Scoring

There are several ways to score points, but not all point-scoring is equal.

Five points are awarded for a Try – which is achieved by touching the ball down in your opponent’s goal area, either by a player hurling himself head-first to cross the line or by him nonchalantly waltzing through the opposition defence to touch it down on the turf. However he scores a Try, it’s always five points.

Once a Try has been scored, two points can be added for a Conversion – the name given for a successful kick that sails over the crossbar and between the goalposts.

A further three points are awarded for any goal kick – awarded for a Penalty Kick or a Drop Goal that again sails over the crossbar and between the posts.

After a Try has been scored and the Conversion attempted, or the goal has been scored via the Penalty Kick or Drop Goal, the scoring team surrenders the ball to the opposition, who restart play via a kick from the halfway line. And away we go again, back and forth until the end of the half and the end of the Game.

That’s it! Hopefully, that clears up The basics of Rugby. You should now have the knowledge of Rugby Game

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