Rules of rugby exist to specify when points are scored through tries or conversions, what clothing is allowed for rugby players, what contact such as tackling is deemed acceptable, what criteria rugby equipment should meet etc.
These Laws of the Game are governed by World Rugby (formerly known as the International Rugby Board (IRB)) which looks after all aspects of the sport, including organising the Rugby World Cup held every four years.
What is rugby? LineoutCoach can help with our quick guide to all the basic rules.
- We can tell you about the basics such as the rugby field and rugby ball.
- Explain the rules and laws of the game.
- Give you a guide to the rugby positions and explain the terms used
- Tell you the best players and teams to watch
- Recommend the competitions and tournaments to follow
All this plus rugby coach tips on match tactics and the technical aspects of the game to improve your performance. Awesome.
Rugby Rules: Rugby 101
Rugby Rules: What is Rugby
Essentially it is a game in which two teams of 15 players carry, pass or kick an oval ball with the aim of scoring points by touching the ball down or kicking it between the posts while the opposing team tackle them to prevent their progress and regain possession. Unlike American Football the match play is constant, all players are on the field at all times and play offence and defence as required. Matches last 80 minutes, two halves of 40 minutes each.
Rugby Union has a long history, shared in part with Rugby League and American Football but the rules vary at key points. It also has traditions such as the Haka.
Rugby terminology is a language unto itself and can be difficult to understand but the LineoutCoach explanations of rugby positions and rugby gear, the field of play and basic rules should help. So if you have ever asked ‘what is rugby?’ we should provide all the information you need. Soon you’ll be able to talk about ‘rucks’, ‘mauls’, ‘scrums’ and ‘lineouts’ like a professional.
Rugby Rules: Field of play and the Rugby Ball
The rugby field or pitch is slightly larger than an American Football field and has markings denoting areas of play. Points are scored when the ball crosses the try line either in a players hand (touch down) or when kicked between the posts. Rugby rules state that the ball used is slightly rounder than its American cousin to give a more even bounce when kicked. Kicking in open play is a key part of the game to gain advantage and ground on your opponent.
Rugby Rules: Rugby Games
Rugby is played at junior, senior and international (Elite) level by both men and women. In addition to the traditional 15 man format, rugby sevens is becoming increasingly popular. Variations exist in the rugby rules for U19 and Sevens games to allow for the physical and numercial differences at key points.
Under rugby rules, scoring is the same across all formats of the game. A try earns 5 points (ball touched down in or over the goal line), a conversion 2 points (kick between the posts after a try), a drop goal or penalty kick 3 points (ball between the posts).
Rugby Rules: Rugby Positions
There are specialist roles for the 15 players and names for each position. Unlike some sports the numbers on the jersey reflects the specific position they play, so a hooker is always no2. There are two ‘packs’, the Fowards numbers 1-8, the powerhouse, who aim to win the ball and contest the set piece plays such as lineouts and scrums. The Backs 9-15 are typically smaller and more agile as they run, kick and carry the ball like running backs in American Football.
Substitutes have numbers higher than 15 and are brought on to replace injured or tired players as required or to change the strategy of a game under rugby rules.
Rugby Rules: Rugby Gear
Rugby rules allow for a full contact sport, so the correct rugby gear is essential for players safety and optimum performance. Rugby jerseys, shorts, cleats and protective gear such as scrum caps and mouth guards are all designed to perform in the rough and tough environment. The governing body have set out rugby rules for all rugby equipment and a team’s kit must meet this criteria before a match can proceed.