Beginner's Guide To Rugby - How to play Rugby.

How to Play the Game of Rugby Union

Welcome to my beginner's guide to rugby with 2015 being such a huge year for British rugby, I've noticed influx and people wanted to understand what is seemingly a complex sport which Actually, when broken down is not so confusing, as you might think, I'm here to take you through everything, from the history of the game, the players, their positions on the field, the playing of the game scoring match officials and much more.

So let's get started. History of rugby has always been something of a legend and it ' S believed that in 1823 a young boy by the name of William Webb Ellis at a game of school football, picked up the ball and started running toward the opposition's.

Goal line was at this moment the sport was born. Although this story was never officially told until after Williams death, he's, recognized as the founder of rugby and a statue was erected in his honor in the town of rugby in 1997.

Where is a game played by people of all shapes and sizes? Making incredibly accessible sports as a result, in 2003, a set of core values were developed to enable people to understand the character of the game and what makes it different to other sports.

The core values identified were integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect. Rugby Kip for players is pretty simple: let's start at the bottom and work our way up. Rugby boots differ slightly from football boots, in that they have better toe protection, higher ankle support and for those using screwing studs as opposed to molded blades.

Getting Involved in the Game of Rugby Union

You have the option to increase the length of your studs slightly for better traction, depending on position. You're playing moving up, we have knee-length socks like football. Shin pads can be worn, however, it is less common and certain not mandatory.

It's, part of the game. We move up to the shorts and onto the shirt. Nothing special to really tell you here. What you might be surprised to know is that there's, actually body protection available to rugby players.

It goes under the shirt depending on things like the position you play and maybe, if you're carrying a slight injury, you may choose to wear this. We then come to the gun shield, and this is probably one of the most essential pieces of equipment for the rugby player being tackled constantly clashing heads with one another, tackling others all put you at risk of getting a knock to the face.

So a good quality gum shield is absolutely essential and finally, we come to the scrum cap. I've, been such a physical sport through constantly taking knocks on your head and are asked to put your head in difficult contact areas so as Cronkite offers.

You some protection from this as well as protecting you against the dreaded. Cauliflower is so let's, have a look at who's on the team and how the formation works. A rugby union team is comprised of 23 players, 15 on the field and 8 subs one thing that is unique about rugby.

Then it takes all shapes and sizes to make up a team, and often this will help determine the position you play within the team. The 15 players can we split into two categories: the four woods and the banks.

Numbers 1 & amp, 3 to 8 are the forwards and 9 through to 15 other backs. Each number represents unique positions within the field, so let ' S. Have a look at those positions we'll start with numbers, 1 & amp, 3 players wearing these shirts are known as props.

Their primary role is to anchor the scrummage and provide lifting strength and support for the lineout jumpers. They are also pivotal in rocks and moles as a prop. You need upper body strength to provide stability, the scrum endurance, ability and safe hands to maintain continuity of play.

The number 2 is known as the hooker. These guys have two very unique roles on the field. The first as the player who wins, possession the scrummage and the second is the player who usually throws the ball into the lineup.

In this position, great strength is needed to withstand the physicality of the front rope covered with a speed to get around the pitch. The good throwing technique - numbers 4 & amp 5 - are the locks it's, the locks job to win the ball from line outs and restarts the drive for momentum in the scrum rocks and malls providing a platform for attack a key characteristic.

These players is height, the locks are the Giants of the team and combine their physicality and mobility. Number 6 and 7 are your flankers. Their key objective is to win possessions, return overs using physicality in the tackle and speed to the breakdown.

How big do I need to be to play Rugby Union

These guys have no fear in their approach to winning the ball when going into a tackle combination of speed, strength, endurance and handling is essential to play in this position. Finally, for the forwards, we have what is known as the number eight number eight must secure possession at the base.

The scrum carry the ball and open play, provide the link between the forwards and backs in the tackle phases and defend aggressively. They must have power and pace over short distances to be able to gain territory and fill position for quick release the backs during an attack.

Now let's, move on the backs, starting with the number nine we have our scrum-half. Their role is to provide the link between forwards and backs at the scrum and lineups a true decision-maker. The scrum-half will judge whether to distribute a quick ball to the backs or keep it close to the forwards.

It's, a multi-faceted position. Scrum heart must be powerful, have explosive speed, will run, handling and kicking skills. Great scrum half is often a highly confident player with excellent game understanding.

Our number 10 is the fly-half. This crucial player orchestrates the team's performance. They receive the ball from the scrum half and will choose to kick past or make a break based upon a split-second interpretation of the phase of play.

It's essential. They have the ability to kick well out of hand, ideally off either foot. They also must have great handling skills, pace, vision, creativity, communication skills, ability to perform under pressure numbers 11 and 14.

Are your wings. They're on the pitch to provide an injection of pace needed to outrun an opponent and score a try, as well as being solid in defense. Wings will often find themselves in open space and their priorities to press forward at speed and run for the line.

Strength and good handling skills are big advantage here, but speed is the key to success. Next, we have the 12 and 13 and they are known as your centers. They're key in both defense and attack in defense.

They will attempt to tackle any attacking players and, whilst an attack, they will use their speed power. Creative flair to breach defenses the modern-day center is lean, strong and extremely quick. The position demands great attacking prowess, coupled with an intensity in contact to either retain or steal possession, and finally, we have our number 15 or food back.

This is your last iron defense. The full-back must be confident under a high ball, have a good boot to clear the lines and not be intimidated by the physicality required to make try saving tackles a fullback must have great handing skills, pacing attack and power in defense.

They need the ability to join the line of pace, to create an overlap and provide try scoring opportunities for the winners. It is very much tactical role with bursts of flair throughout the game. With the team completed, you can see the number of different positions and roles available within the rugby team.

There is literally something for everybody, and each roller has its own set of core attributes that contribute to making up a successful rugby team. So we've. Looked at the history of rugby, we've, taken a quick look at the kit.

You need to play and identify the different roles within the team. Now let look at how the game is played. There are a few terms you will want to familiarize yourself with when understanding the game of rugby, but before we do that, let's.

Have a look at a rugby field itself. A rugby field is typically between 94 and 100 metres in length, from goal line to goal line beyond the goal line, and at each end we have the Tri scoring areas which range from 10 to 22 metres in depth.

A full rugby pitch is typically 68 70 metres in width. The line running down either side of the pitch is known as the touch line and anything outside this line is known as in touch working from the centre.

We have the halfway line. The 10 metre line for 22 metre line and various other markings, such as the 5 and 15 metre line which are used in plays such as scrums and line outs. Now we are familiar with the pitch.

Let's. Take a look at how we play the game. We'll start with a kickoff. Each half the match is start with a drop kick from the center of the halfway line. The non kicking team must be 10 meters back from the ball when it is kicked and the kick must travel 10 meters towards the opposition goal line before hitting the ground from here.

The game moves into open play. The term open play refers to any phase in the match where the ball is being passed or kicked between teammates. Both teams are contesting for the ball in open play. The team of possession tries to get the ball to players in space who can make forward progression towards the opposing goal line.

Alongside running toward the opposition's goal line, there are two main techniques to put the ball into open space passing and kicking. We'll start with passing, as many people find this part a little confusing a player may parcel throw the ball to teammate, who's in a better position to continue the attack.

It must travel either directly across the field or passing them all backwards to advance for words. If a forward pass is made, the referee will stop the game and award a scrum with the throw-in going to the team, which was not in possession at the time of the pass.

In this way, a forward pass is punished by that team. Losing possession of the ball, but we will look at that more when we focus on Scrubs. The second method is kicking a player, may kick the ball instead of passing and the ball can travel forwards, but any teammates in front of the ball at the moment.

The ball is kicked out of play until either they retire behind the kicker or play it on side by a teammate retain the ball after kicking can be challenging. So there are three main strategies with kicking the ball.

The first is kicking into space so that teammates have time to run to the ball or for an opponent can get to it. The second is kicking out wide and an oblique angle to the field, so a wing or outside center can catch the ball.

We call this cross field kick. The third is kicking the ball to touch or off the field of play, resulting in a line out with the throwing going to the opposition will look more at line outs later, but what's important? Is that, although this concedes possession of the ball, it allows the kicking team to contest the ball in a much more advantageous position on the field close to the try line of their opposition? Now that we have look to open play, let's.

Look at what happens between this. We are familiar with a rugby tackle, but many are not familiar with what can result from a tackle and often why the game is stopped. We'll start by looking at the tackle itself.

Only the ball carrier can be tackled by an opposing player. A tackle occurs when the ball carrier is held by one or more opponents and is brought to ground. The player being tackled must either have one or both knees on the ground, be sitting on the ground or be on top of another player.

Who is on the ground to maintain the continuity of the game? The ball carrier must release the ball immediately after the tackle. The tackler must release the ball carrier and both players must roll away from the ball.

This allows other players to come in and contest the ball, thereby starting a new phase of play. A familiar sight in the game of rugby is a rock, a game of pushing and shoving where both teams are trying to contest and win possession of the ball.

A rock is formed if the ball is on the ground and one or more players from each team. On their feet close around it, players must not handle the ball in the rock, but must use their feet to move the ball or drive over it.


So it emerges a team's, hindmost foot, which point will be picked up and they have taken possession. Another familiar scene is what is known as the mall. The mall needs at least three players. It occurs when the ball carrier is held by one or more opponents, and one or more of the ball carriers teammates holds on or binds as well.

The ball must be off the ground at the time. The team in possession of the ball can attempt to gain territory by driving their opponents back to their own goal line. The ball can then be passed backwards between players in the mall and eventually past a player who is not in the mall or a player can leave them all, carrying the ball and run with it.

We've got to open play and how the team works together to advance the ball or defends when the ball is being advanced towards them. During this open plate, infringement of the laws occur resulting set plays such as the scrum.

The scrum is a means of restarting play after a stoppage which has been caused by a minor infringement. The scrum serves to concentrate all the forwards and the scrum hands in one place on the field provide the opportunity for the backs to mount an attack using a space created elsewhere.

The ball is thrown into the middle of the tunnel between the two front rows, at which point the two hookers can compete for the ball, attempting to hook the ball back in the direction of their team. The team who throws the ball into the scrum usually retains possession, because the hooker and scrum-half can synchronize their actions once possession has been secured, a team can keep the ball on the ground and in the scrum and attempt to drive the opposition downfield.

Alternatively, they can bring the ball to the hindmost foot of the scrum, where the ball is then passed into the back line and open play resumes again. The key player at the scrum is the scrum half this player throws the ball into the scrum, moves the hindmost foot of the scrum and is usually the player, who picks the ball up and passes out to the fly-half, who then distributes the ball to the backline.

As soon as the scrum half picks the ball up, the opposition may can test the ball and attempt the tackle whichever player is in possession. Another option at the scrum is for the number-8 to pick up the ball and either pass it to the back line or carry the ball into the opposition.

Waiting for support to clean the rug. Lineout is another means of restarting play after the ball is going to touch or off the field of play at the side. The line that concentrates selection of forwards in one place near to the touch line, so the backs have the rest of wits.


The field in which to mount an attack, the keeper forwards, is to win possession and distribute the ball effectively to the back line. The forwards assemble in two lines, perpendicular to the touch line.

One meter apart. The hooker throws the ball down the corridor between these two lines of players, because the throwers teammates know where the throw is like to go. That team has an advantage in retaining possession.

However, with the speed of thought and movement, the opposition can contest the ball and the line out. Freaking results are turnover or possession. An important part of the line out is the line out lifters to allow players to catch high throws in the line out.

It is permissible for the catcher to be supported by teammates, while jumping to catch the ball. Safety is a prime concern here, and any player who is off the ground must be supportive. Until that player returns to the ground, a player may not be tackled, while in the air and holding shoving or all offenses punishable by penalty.

Kick we've spoken about various plays positions and restarting the game. The most important aspect of rugby is scoring a try scoring and rugby is actually pretty simple and there are four key numbers to remember.

If you score a try, you get five points. If you score a conversion from that, try, you score an additional two points and if you score a drop goal, you score three points and if you score from a penalty, you score three points.

Let's. Take a look at each one of these scoring methods a try, it is scored when the ball is grounded over the opponent's, goal line in the goal area, a penalty try can be awarded if a player would have scored a try, but for Foul play by the opposition, he was stopped.


A try is only scored when the ball is put down over the line with downward pressure. If a player loses control of the ball and there is no try after scoring a try, that team can attempt to add two further points by kicking the ball over the crossbar and between the posts from a place in line with where the try was scored.

A drop goal is scored when a player kicks for goal in open play by dropping the ball onto the ground at kicking it on the half volley as it bounces from the ground when awarded a penalty after infringement by the opposition at may, choose to kick a Goal to secure three points before the match, the referee will usually speak to the front row: players, the props and hookers, from both teams to run through the scrum engagement procedure.

This helps to focus the minds of all concerned on this essential phase of the game. The referee then organizes the coin toss with the captains prior to the match, to the side who kicks off during the match itself.

The referee is the sole judge of fact and of law. It is essential that all players respect the referees decisions at all times to judges, one on either side of the field of play assists the referee in matters of when and where the ball goes into touch and any other issues, as required by the referee, such as Foul play the touch.

Judges also adjudicate on the success or otherwise of kicks at goal. Foul plays anything a player does, which is contrary to the letter and spirit of the laws of the game, including obstruction, unfair play, dangerous play and misconduct.

The referee must sanction appropriately for foul play advantage can be applied to either minor infringement, such as a knock on, for example, or fences which would result in a penalty. So something like offside.

The decision has to be made by the referee as to whether there may be more benefit to the non-offending team. If play continues, if no advantage occurs, the referee will blow the whistle and bring play back to the place at the original infringement which occurred prior to advantage being played, sometimes an attack which seems to be heading towards a trial and will be stopped by the referee's whistle the pass has gone forward where hand the error has resulted in a knock on a scrum will have been awarded to the non-offending team.

You will often hear when players are handling the ball. The term knock-on. This is where a player mishandles the ball, so it may drop it while they allow it to rebound off a hand or arm and effectively the ball travels forward.

This is punishable by scrum to the opposition and therefore a turnover of possession rope is offside. Rule restricts where players can be on the field to make sure there is space to attack and defend, meaning that players are given a fair chance to play.

The ball in general, a player is in an offside position when that player is further forward than a teammate who is carrying the ball or in front of the hindmost foot or a breakdown in play. Ie a rock or a mall.

After a tackle, the tackler must immediately release the ball carrier and Karen must immediately release the vault failure on either of these counts limits. A fair contest for possession if release does not occur within a reasonable timeframe.

The referee will award a penalty, the non-offending team, any players on the ground when a rut or more what is formed must immediately roll away from the ball so as to allow continuity of play for the team in possession.

Failure to do so will result in an award of a penalty to the non-offending team when joining a ruck or mall. All players must do so from behind the hindmost foot of their hindmost teammate. We call this going through the gates if they join from the side.

They are in an offside position and taking part in the game, and this will immediately be penalized with the award of an a'penalty. If the ball becomes unplayable iraq, for example, under players who are on the ground, the referee will award a scrum to the team going forward before the ball became unplayable for a mall.

The scrum goes to the team, not in possession when them all began when saving for a scrum, the referee will form a scrum with his hands and point either left or right to which team has possession for minor infringement.

The referee will award the team a free kick, they have three options available to them. They can either form a scrum, they can either tap and go or they can kick the ball out on the fall or kick the ball in play.

If they kick it out. On the full, the opposition will get the ball. I hope you ' Ve enjoyed my beginner's guide to rugby and got a better understanding of this amazing game. Please comment below and if you have any questions, then contact us using the email address info at James Haskell comm.

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