Friday, 13 May 2011

Understand Rugby Union - The basics

Rugby Union’s popularity has grown immeasurably over the last decade with the continued growth in the number of new viewers taking an interest in the sport. Often new viewers are confused by the terminology in rugby matches such as rucks and mauls, and do not understand the difference between a prop and a lock. Unlike other field sports like soccer and hockey some of the rules are difficult to understand and most rugby TV commentators are very poor at explaining these rules.

Not to fear this blog's aim is to make it easier for new fans of the game by adding descriptive articles outlining all you need to know about the game of rugby union. These articles will start off very simple by giving a basic understanding of the game from the number of players on each team, to the positions players play on a rugby pitch. In time these articles will be expanded to include more in-depth analysis on subjects such as the rugby offside rule (not to be confused with the offside rule in soccer) and the laws at the breakdown.

In today’s article we will start off simple by looking basics of the game. Firstly Rugby Union is a full contact team sport. This means players can get tackled when they have the ball in hand and is what makes the game great. It is played on a field about 100 metres in length from goal to goal and is about 70 metres wide. In addition to this there are in-goal areas behind each goal measuring anywhere between 10 metres at each end to 22 metres at each end at the largest stadiums. If any of you are familiar with American Football the pitch layout for rugby is very similar to that of an American Football pitch.   

The game is played by two teams of 15 players, made up of 8 forwards and 7 backs. Each team defends an in-goal area and tries to prevent the other team grounding the ball in their in-goal area. The game is based on running with the ball in hand towards the other team’s in-goal area, but the ball can only be kicked forward, as a forward pass from the hands results in a scrum to the other team.  The objective of the game is to score more points than the other team to win. 

For a more in-depth understanding of the game of Rugby Union click one the pages below:

The Basics
The Pitch

Gameplay and Rules
The Breakdown
Ruck and Maul
The Scrum
Passing from hand

Playing Positions
The Forwards
1. The Loosehead Prop
2. The Hooker
3. The Tighthead Prop
4. Lock/Second Row
5. Lock/Second Row
6. Blindside Flanker
7. Openside Flanker
8. The No. 8

The Backs
9. Scrumhalf
10. The Outhalf/Flyhalf
11. Winger
12. Inside Centre
13. Outside Centre
14. Winger
15. The Fullback

Rugby Union Videos