Rugby started 150 years ago, when William Webb Ellis caught and ran with the ball during a game of football at Rugby School, Warwickshire. Since then it has grown into a huge global sport.
The Rugby World Cup is the third biggest sporting event on the planet. This success globally is due to the success of school, university and club competitions worldwide. One of the reasons for rugby’s rapid growth is that regardless of size, shape, age or gender, there is a type of rugby and a level of competition that is right for almost everyone.
Types of Rugby: 15-a-side, Sevens, Tag and Beach
Rugby is a game which is a team game that is full-contact, territorial. It suits anyone from a 20stone prop to a small fast footed winger.
Games last for 80 minutes – broken down into to 40 minute halves. There are two teams of 15 players and 6 substitutes. It is refereed by a main referee and two touch judges. The aim of the game is to score more points than the opposition. To score the ball must be placed anywhere between the try line and the dead ball line – behind the H on either side.
Each team of 15 players is divided into eight forwards and seven backs, each with defined roles in the team. Essentially, the powerful, hulking forwards are ball-winners who also play a major part in retaining possession when a player on their side is tackled. They take part in set pieces – the scrum and the lineout – and secure possession. The fast backs receive the ball from the forwards then run and pass to create space.
The team lines up with numbers which correspond to their position. Numbers 1-8 are forwards and 9-15 are backs.
Winning the Game
The object of the game is to score more points than the opposition. Points are gained through scoring a try (five points), a penalty (three points), a drop goal (three points) or conversion (two points). The
The attacking team tries to move forward by kicking, passing or running with the ball in hand, but when the ball is being passed, it may not travel forward. If it does then a scrum is awarded to the opposition.
A scrum is one of rugby’s set pieces. It is awarded to the opposition if a player loses control of the ball and propels it forwards with their hands or arms, resulting in contact with the ground or another player. The exception to this rule is when a player charges down a kick. In this case open play continues even if the ball rebounds forward off the hand.
When a team is defending, they will try to stop the opposition advancing toward their try line by hauling to the ground players who are carrying the ball.
If successfully tackled, the player carrying the ball must release it once they are on the ground. This allows a ruck to form. A ruck is when a group of players from each team (most likely the forwards) tries to push the other over the loose ball and move it back to their own side with their feet.
When a ball-carrier is tackled, but held up rather than pulled to the ground, then a maul is formed. Here forwards from each side bind onto the ball-carrier and each other and try to work the ball back to their side using their arms and hands.
Rucks and mauls may look like a free for all, but there are strict rules governing them. For example, once a ruck has formed, players may not touch the ball with their hands until