Rugby is an incredibly popular full contact sport. Originally enjoyed only in Europe, it has recently become more popular in the United States. In fact, tournaments are steadily gaining in popularity in America, according to this article from CNN. Rugby can be physically demanding, but it is possible to play it safely. There are many benefits to playing rugby, both physical and mental. This article aims to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the sport.

What are the Origins of Rugby?

William Webb Ellis is credited with inventing the game back in 1823. He was playing a game of soccer (or football, in Europe) and decided to pick up the ball and take it across the opponent’s goal line. This occurred in the town of Rugby, England. Over the years, the rules have slightly evolved but they have remained the same in spirit.

What is the Goal of Rugby?

Like in most sports, the aim of rugby is to use the ball to score as many points as possible. Players can carry, kick, or throw the ball to accomplish this. One important thing to note is that the ball may only be passed backward, never forward. In order to move the ball toward the opponent’s goal, players need to carry or kick it.

How Does Scoring Work in Rugby?

There are a few ways to score points in Rugby.

  • Try: When a team successfully grounds the ball in the opponent’s in-goal area. It is worth 5 points.
  • Conversion: A chance to score 2 more points after a Try. This is done by kicking the ball through the posts and over the crossbar. This must be attempted from a place in line with where the Try was scored.
  • Penalty: If a Try would have been scored if not for a penalty by the other team, there is the option to kick at the goal. This is worth 3 points.
  • Drop Goal: Also worth 3 points, this is when a player drops the ball in the open field kicks it onto the half-volley.

What Ball is Used in Rugby?

The Rugby ball is oval and very similar to an American football. According to Wikipedia, the original balls were shaped like plums due to the fact that they were made from the bladder of a pig. Modern rugby balls are made of synthetic materials that allow them to be water resistant. They are 11-12 inches in length and 23-24 inches in circumference. They weigh between 14 and 16 ounces.

What Else is Needed to Play Rugby?

Proper footwear is important for anyone playing rugby. Most players also choose to wear mouth guards in order to protect their jaw and teeth. Certain types of headgear and pads are approved to wear, although they are considered optional.

How Many Players are on Rugby Teams?

Each team will have 15 players. They are divided into two categories. You will find 8 forwards and 7 backs on each team. When the players line up on the field, it is easy to distinguish the two groups. Each team generally has 8 alternates as well.

How Long does a Rugby Match Last?

Your typical rugby match goes on for 80 minutes. This will be split into two halves. Between the two 40-minute long halves, players get a 10-minute break. Teams will switch ends of the field after the first half is over.

What is “The Pitch?”

The field is referred to as a pitch in rugby. It is rectangular in shape and measures 100 meters (roughly 328 feet) from Try line to Try line. There is also an in-goal area for each team to defend.

Is Rugby Dangerous?

Any full-contact sport can be dangerous. However, rugby can be safe when played properly. Like other sports, it is important to teach players proper techniques to avoid injury. People who are worried about the sport being too dangerous can try touch or tag rugby. Both of these versions are non-contact.

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