kicks off from the middle of the field (the spot on the middle of the halfway line) and the ball
must be drop kicked (the ball must touch the ground before kicking it) at
least 10 meters forward. The receiving team will then aim to catch the ball and
begin open play by carrying the ball forward - you can only pass the ball
to your teammates by passing backwards or sideways, never forward.
Here is a quick video which explains some of the basics of rugby - we've also outlined them below.
There are four ways to score
points in a rugby game.
• Try – When the ball is grounded over an
opponents’ goal line in their ‘try zone’ it is worth 5 points.
• Conversion – After scoring a try the scoring
team gets an attempt to kick the ball over the crossbar and between the uprights. A conversion is worth 2 points.
• Penalty – If the opposition commits a penalty,
a team can choose to kick at the goal. A penalty kick is worth 3 points.
• Drop Goal – During open play a player may drop the ball so it touches the ground and kick it over the goal, this is called a drop goal. This is worth
Traditional rugby with 15
players on each side consists of two 40 minute halves and a 10 minute half
Rugby is played on a field not
exceeding 100 meters in length (excluding two try zones) and 70 meters
The rugby ball can only be passed
laterally or backwards. Forward passes are not allowed. If a forward pass
is made it is an infringement of the rules and results in a scrum awarded to
the other team.
Rugby is a continuous, full
contact sport. What this means is that once a tackle is made, play continues. A
tackle occurs when the ball carrier is taken to the ground by a member of the
opposition. Once tackled, a ball carrier must release the ball. Once a player
makes a tackle, he/she must roll away from the play.
Once a player is tackled to the
ground and the ball is released, a ruck is formed when one or more players from each team close around
the ball and attempt to drive over the ball and 'ruck' it backwards with their feet. The ball then emerges and play continues.
When the ball carrier and ball are held up by
a member of the opposition and by a member on his/her own team, it is called a
maul. The ball can either be removed from the maul or taken to the ground,
which then forms a ruck.
A scrum is used to restart play after a
minor infringement occurs (i.e. forward pass). The scrum consists of eight of
the 15 players, called forwards. These eight players bind together and engage
head to head with the eight players of the opposition. The ball is rolled into
the middle of the scrum on the ground and the players work with their feet to
hook the ball behind them, making it available to play. The ball is then
collected by the scrumhalf and passed out to the back line.
When the ball goes out of bounds,
play is restarted with a lineout. The lineout consists of two lines, one from each team, with a maximum of eight players standing behind each other facing the touchline at the point wher the ball went out of play. The
ball is thrown into the gap between the lines, usually at a considerable height. Teams will lift
players to contest for the ball.
Number of Players
Traditional rugby consists of 15 players on each
side (8 forwards and 7 backs). Other versions of the game include 10 a side (5 forwards and 5 backs) and the very popular 7 a side (3 forwards and 4 backs), commonly known as Sevens. The 15 a side version of Rugby was an Olympic sport until it was dropped after the 1924 games. However, in October 2009, the IOC voted at its session in Copenhagen to include the sevens version of the sport in the Olympics. Rugby sevens was thereafter played as a demonstration sport at the 2012 London Olympics and the sport was formally added to the Olympic agenda at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.