what is Rugby?

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“Soccer is a gentlemen’s game played by hooligans, and Rugby is a hooligans’ game played by gentlemen.” - Winston Churchill

Rugby Union, commonly referred to as Rugby, is a contact sport typically played with teams of 15 (with 8 substitutions) in which an oval ball is progressed on a field, commonly called a “pitch.” The game is said to have started at Rugby School in Rugby, Warwickshire (yes, really) when a player picked up a football off the ground and ran with it. The first rules, called Laws, were written at Rugby School in 1845. The basic laws of play are as follows:

  • The ball is carried forward by players on the pitch. The ball is never passed forward, but must always be passed backwards.

  • Kicking is allowed, and is either done to strategically move the ball forward on the pitch, or kicked through goal posts (uprights) to score points based on gameplay.

  • Tackling is allowed and is how progression of the ball is stopped. Gameplay however, doesn’t stop, and a process called “rucking” will typically take place.

  • Rucking is the process by which members of opposing teams contest for the ball.

  • When the Sir (referee) calls a penalty. Depending on the infraction, a scrum or a line out may take place. These “set pieces” are ways for the teams to contest for the ball. The photo above, is of a scrum.

The rugby team is comprised of 8 forwards and 7 backs.

  • Forwards conduct the set pieces discussed above. They tend to be larger built, and tend to be responsible for gaining and retaining the ball.

  • Backs are generally faster, leaner, and more agile than forwards. Their main responsibilities are to create scoring opportunities and move the ball more quickly than a forward would.

The best way to learn more about the sport is by coming to one of our 101s! We all learn from each other, and our coaching staff is pretty awesome too. Before and after our scheduled 101s, we always welcome new players to come to practice and learn in real time. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our events, and reach out to our Player Rep for more information on practices. Hope to see you on the pitch!