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The Basics

 

Gear

Mouthguards are encouraged.

Rugby/soccer cleats are required. Any type of cleat with a "toe" cleat (football/baseball/softball) or metal spikes is prohibited.

Rugby shorts are available for purchase or included with a uniform; they are a more durable material than most athletic shorts.

Game Play

Rugby is composed of two 40 minute halves with a halftime in between. 

You are only allowed to pass the ball backwards or laterally.

Defensive/opposing players tackle players on attack that are trying to score.

When tackled, you must release the ball. 

"Rucks" occur between opposing teams in order to gain or maintain possession of the ball. 

Play continues until there is a penalty or the ball goes out of bounds.

Scoring

Like football, points are scored by getting the ball into your own end of the field. In rugby, it is called a "try" when you score. 

You must place the ball on the ground in the "try zone" to score a try (similarly marked like an end zone in football).

After scoring a "try" 5 points are awarded and a field goal is attempted for 2 extra points. 

The Field

Rugby is played on grass similar to a football field that is typically 100 meters long and 69 meters wide.

There are two "end zones" with goal posts on opposite ends of the field where scoring occurs.

Sidelines mark when and where the ball or a player goes out of bounds.

Kick offs occur at the middle line of the field to restart play.

 

Players

Each team has 15 players on the field at a time.

There are 15 different positions that all play a different role on the field. 

 7 positions are categorized as "backs" and 8 positions are categorized as "forwards" to make up the full 15 on a field.

Penalties

The following actions can cause a penalty to be called: 

- tackling someone above the waste or "dangerously"

- passing the ball forward

- using a teammate as a blocker (running behind them) 

- blocking for a teammate with the ball (running in front of them)

- dropping the ball/"knocking the ball" forward

- setting up offsides

When one of these actions (along with many others) occurs, a "scrum" or a penalty play happens.