Rugby football refers to the team sports of rugby league and rugby union. Rugby football started about 1845 at Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire, England, although forms of football in which the ball was carried and tossed date to medieval times. Rugby split into two sports in 1895, when twenty-one clubs split from the Rugby Football Union to form the Northern Rugby Football Union, renamed the Rugby Football League in 1922, in the George Hotel, Huddersfield, over broken-time payments to players who took time off work to play the sport, thus making rugby league the first code to turn professional and pay players. It was a hundred years later in 1995, following the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, that rugby union turned fully professional. The respective world governing bodies are World Rugby (rugby union) and the Rugby League International Federation (rugby league).
Rugby football was one of many versions of football played at English public schools in the 19th century. Although rugby league initially used rugby union rules, they are now wholly separate sports. In addition to these two codes, both American and Canadian football evolved from rugby football in the beginning of the 20th century.
Object of the Game
The object of the game is score more points than your opponents in the 80 minute time frame allotted for each rugby match. The team with the greater number of points at full time is announced as the winner. Games may end as a draw.
The team with the ball must move the ball up the field in ‘phases of play’. The ball can never be passed forwards but players can run forwards with the ball or kick the ball forward to chase it down. The opposing team needs to stop the attacking team by tackling and trying to retain the ball.
Players & Equipment
Each rugby team will consist of 15 players. The team is split into two groups known as forwards and backs. There are 8 forwards (positions include Hooker, Prop, Second Row, Flanker and Number Eight) and 7 backs (positions include Scrum Half, Fly Half, Inside Center, Outside Center, Wingers and a Full Back).
The pitch is split up into three sections; one main playing area which must not exceed 100 meters and two dead goal areas which can range from 10 to 20 m. The pitch must then be equal to 70 meters wide. The goal posts are in an ‘H’ shape and are roughly 5 to 6 meters apart with no restrictions on height.
Studded boots can be worn along with gum shields, head guards, shoulder pads and shin pads. Each team must wear the same colored jerseys with matching shorts and socks.
Points can be scored by one of four ways:
A try is awarded when a player places the ball down in their opponent’s dead ball area behind the goal. 5 points are awarded.
A conversion is a free kick that the team is awarded after a try to earn 2 bonus points. A successful kick needs to pass between the upper posts and top bar on the goal.
A penalty kick will gain a team 3 points and is awarded to a team when the opposing team causes an infringement.
A drop goal can be kicked out of the hand as long as the ball bounces first and can earn a team 3 points.