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What Is Rugby

  What is Rugby, you ask?

Rugby: More than a game, it's an experience:

The sport of rugby is a fast-moving, physical, mentally demanding and competitive contact sport.



 Download a Spectators Guide to Rugby

 What is Rugby?

The second most popular team sport in the world (played in more than 110 countries), rugby is a fast-paced, ball-handling game. Running, kicking, passing, catching and tackling are prominent, and all rugby players handle the ball.

Is Rugby Dangerous?

Rugby is no more dangerous than any other similar contact sports. In fact, injury rates and insurance costs are comparable to soccer.  Contrary to many collision sports that involve equipment and padding (i.e. football and hockey) many rugby players enjoy careers lasting into their 40's and longer.

Do I Have To Be Big To Play Rugby?

An empathic NO! Rugby is every person's game. Because of the variety of positions and skills demanded in the game, athletes of all shapes and sizes can find a position. From the small, quick and wily scrumhalf, to the rugged prop, to the towering second row player, there's a position for all athletes.

Who Plays Rugby?

You may be surprised to find out! High school boys, high school girls and midddle school boys. As adults many clubs have players, who are lawyers, doctors, students, teachers, firefighters, restaurant owners, small business, salespersons, laborers, engineers, police officers, and accountants.

RUGBY: The Technical Aspects

The purpose of rugby is to score in roughly the same manner as football, but that's where the similarities end. Play in rugby is open and does not stop after a tackle. The ball is advanced by running or kicking. There are no forward passes and blocking of opposing players is not permitted.

Teams consist of 15 players, usually divided into eight "forwards" and seven "backs." With fewer stoppages in play, the opportunities for flowing, open-field running are many. Any team member can score, tackle, kick, pass or run the ball. A single referee, addressed by only the captain of each team, is responsible for penalties, other infractions, and time keeping.

The skilled rugby team creates a flow of play from the forwards to the backs, with the ball passed quickly along the lateral backline, while the backs read their opposition and look for the opening to break through. Sidesteps, fakes, scissors-plays, fierce running, and adept ball handling are all the skills backs strive for, in addition to being sure tacklers on defense.

Forwards must be fit to follow speedy backs, to provide defense, and to support the drive toward the goal line (or TRY LINE as it is called in rugby). Should the backs lose possession, it is the forward's job to regain it. LINEOUTS (where two opposing groups of forwards line up facing one another to restart play from an out-of-bounds throw in) and scrummages (or SCRUMS, where forwards restart play from other stoppages by grouping together and pushing on the opposing team's group) call for different sets of athletic skills, including strength, endurance, fitness, jumping ability, timing and teamwork.

Points are scored one of four ways:

1. A TRY (similar to a touchdown in football) in which the ball is carried over the goal or TRY LINE and touched down, is worth five (5) points;

2. A CONVERSION attempt is rewarded with a TRY, which s worth two (2) points, if successful. Conversion kicks are attempted from a spot directly opposite to where the ball is touched down for a TRY, meaning if a TRY is scored in the corner of the TRY ZONE, the angle of the conversion kick will mirror that spot;

3. Penalty kicks at goal earn three (3) points; as do

4. Drop kicks during live play.