Chapter 1. rugby

Chapter 2.rules

Chapter to play

Chapter 4.where it came from

Chapter 5.famous people

Chapter 6.movies

Chapter 7.where u can play it


chapter 3. You start each half of the game with a drop kick. You also restart in the same manner after each score.

All players must be behind the ball when it`s kicked - so always stay behind the kicker!

If you`re the kicker, be sure all players are behind you before you kick.

These kicks are taken from the middle of the field

  • kick-off at the start of the game
  • kick-off when the game is resumed after half time
  • re-starts after each occasion points are scored

The 10m line indicates how far the ball must travel when the kick is taken. Read about the 10m line on the rugby field page

If the ball is blown back it still counts.

The opposition may choose to play the ball even if it hasn't travelled the required distance.

When the ball has been 'made dead' in the ingoal area the game is restarted with a drop kick on the 22 metre line.

It`s called a 'drop out' and can be taken anywhere along the 22 metre line or behind it and all players must be behind the kicker.

For a '22 drop out' the drop kick simply has to cross the line before it can be caught or picked up.

For the kick-off from the centre of the half-way line you have a number of options

  • Long kick-off. Kick deep into the opposition half - good gain in ground but little chance of getting possession when the ball lands. Opposition can kick the ball back or run it back before you get there. Your initial gain in ground may be reduced. You may even find the ball back, deep in your own half.
  • Short kick-off. Kick the minimum permitted distance - not much gain in ground, you risk the ball not going the required 10 metres but you have a real opportunity to re-gain control of the ball before the opposition can catch it
  • Kick to around opposition 22 - reasonable gain in ground, not much chance of regaining possession but in a good position to start applying pressure by keeping the opposition pinned in their own 22 metre area
  • Kick to the side where the forwards are massed - safest option but exactly what is expected by the opposition
  • Kick to the less defended side - hoping to catch the opposition off guard allowing fast team mates to scoop up the ball and take advantage of a defensive lapse. Risky, used fairly rarely, maybe when a quick score is needed

Keep the other side guessing - vary your kick - but make sure your players know where it`s going!

Player positioning for a rugby kick-off

The attacking team knows where the ball is going. The defending team has to guess but is guided by the positioning of the attacking players.

When it`s your kick-off you will tend to kick so as to put the ball in front of the bulk of your forwards. This will improve your chances of regaining possession and reduce the risk of defenders breaking through when carrying the ball back, out towards you.

You also aim to cover right accross the field with your backs. This allows for the odd surprise attack and ensures the opposition have no easy route out of their territory when returning the kick.

All players must be behind the kicker when the kick is made. Then you charge up the field, maintaininng your position relative to your team mates so as to provide a solid defensive pattern.

At the same time you must ensure that you advance at a rate and in a pattern that allows you to guard your own territory from advancing punting or chip kicking opposition players.

Actual player positioning on the ground for a rugby kick-off is normally similar to the pattern of the scrum/backs positioning at scrum time. The attacking team locks will tend to lead the charge for the ball because they are tallest and have the best chance of regaining possession.

A popular ploy is to sent your faster runners after the kick. They leap for the ball and tap it backwards to following support players.

The tap-back can be made at a greater height than an actual catch.

The defending team will tend to mirror the attacking team positioning. At higher levels defenders may be positiond slightly differently so that locks can be lifted to receive the kick.

Players about to receive kick-off

Above, player numbers have been added to the original image

This gives a clear indication of how team members are allocated positions at the kick-off, offering defence over the whole field.

Players tend to be positioned at the farther limits of their area as it is always easier to move towards the ball and catch it.

At this high level of rugby several potential pods of players have been positioned, each with a tall jumper and a stockier lifter/supporter.

They are 3(prop) and 5(lock) for the shorter kick-off. For the longer kick, 1(prop) and 4(lock). For a kick down the centre, flankers 6 and 7.

Players adjust to landing spot

When the ball has been kicked and the landing spot can be predicted, players adjust their positions and roles.

In the above image it has become clear the ball is going to the players on the 22m line so players in front are moving to support and assist.

Players at the centre and far side of the field adjust their positions so as to be behind the ball and able to assist in moving the ball.

They will also be 'on-side' and able to chase if a clearing kick is made.

Players combine to catch kick-off

In the above image the player going to catch the ball is now also assisted by the lifter no longer needed in the 3,5 player pairing.

Other players continue to fall back in support.

Chapter 2. " Who controls the rules of rugby"

The International Rugby Board (IRB) controls rugby and how it's played.

They control the "Laws of the Game - Rugby Union"

"what are the basic rules"

Some rules are simple and necessary and easy to include.

Some rules are necessary to know but very complex and technical. So it's best to include just the most important parts of them when getting together basic rules.

On this page get to know the basics. For some rules the basics are just a few words.

Where there is a link, click to get what you need to know. For full details of rugby rules, follow this link to the IRB Laws.

No rules specifically mention the rugby sidestep.

Sidesteps are special ways you move the ball towards the opposition goal-line when you are carrying the ball.

1 Grounds

Rugby grounds have lines everywhere! Some solid, some dashed. What do they all mean and which are most important?

Get to know more about the basics by learning about the field, also known as the pitch.

Easy, step by step, know the rugby field , some associated rules and additional interesting information.

2 Equipment

It's not round so it's a bit of a weird shape for a ball!

True, but it does make the game pretty interesting.

Get to know the ball so you catch it well or predict where it`s going to bounce and where it will go after it bounces.

You can make the ball do what you want it to do...
...when you know all about the rugby ball.

3 Players

One of the simple rules - maximum of 15 players in a team, with up to 7 substitutes allowed.

4 Clothing and footwear for playing

Rugby gear is shirt, shorts, underwear, socks and boots! - talk to current players for advice on kit. Some minimal padding is allowed.

Boots are probably the most important item. Before buying them, you may like to read this

Safety and comfort are most important. Keep in mind...

  • IRB reregulations state that stud length must not exceed 21mm and studs should not 'burr' (create sharp edges when worn down)
  • forwards play close together and often their feet are stood on by other forwards , sturdier boots offer more protection
  • forwards require good grip for pushing, individual studs may be better than moulded soles
  • if you have boots with individual screw in studs you can have more than one set of studs and use studs suitable for the surface you are about to play on
  • for speed and agility backs may prefer lighter boots with moulded soles
  • before you buy, try on the boots with the same thickness of sock you will be wearing during a game
  • buy from a reputable trader and specify you want 'rugby boots'
  • football (soccer) boots may be suitable but tend to be a lighter construction (offering less protection for your feet)

5 Time - how long is a match

Two 40 minute halves, maximum of 10 minutes half-time break. Use any existing weather conditions, they may change (just my opinion!)

6 Match Officials - uphold the laws (rules)

Referee and two touch judges. Being a match official is not easy, officials provide a great service and deserve support.

Very important. Always remember the spirit of the rules of rugby...

  • We all make mistakes
  • What we think we saw/heard is sometimes not what really happened
  • Just like you, the Match officials are doing their best
  • Play to the whistle; it may be your advantage.                                                                                                                                                                                 

7 Play

Players running all over the place! What's going on?

This law lays out a few details of how to play a match.

In a few lines it explains that any player who is 'onside' can get the ball, run with it, kick, pass or score a try with it and be tackled if they are carrying it.

8 Play on! - even when rules are broken

What's going on! They just broke the rules, but the referee ignored it!Know and understand the "advantage" rule.

9 Points and how you earn them

Why have this team got more points than that one? Why are they trying so hard to get over that line? Why are they kicking at the posts?


Find out how you score tries and kick goals.

Method of scoring                                             Points awarded

Try/Penalty try                                                     5

Conversion                                                          2

Penalty goal                                                         3

Drop goal                                                             3

The team with most points at full-time (when the whistle blows for the end of the game) wins the game.

If the scores are equal it`s a draw.

If a winner has to be found, say for a Cup competition, extra time will be played. Competitions have their own rules. There is no concept of a "penalty shoot-out".

10 Fouls - what you cannot do

Foul play is doing anything in the game which is against the rules of rugby or the spirit of the rules.

This is one of the most important rules. Be fair, play fair! This rule aims to keep injuries to a minimum.

Ignoring this rule is cowardly. It may result in serious injury to yourself or other players.

Improve your game, know this rule

Foul play includes

  • obstructing opponents
  • punching, trampling, kicking or tripping players
  • tackling too early, too late, above the shoulders
  • tackling a player when they are in the air
  • doing anything which is unfair or dangerous.

11 Offside and Onside in General Play

That player is right where the ball is. Why don't they pick it up?

It may be because they are offside. This is important. If they picked up the ball they would give away a penalty.

Here's a basic rule of thumb.

Aim to stay behind the ball.

Make sure the ball and the player in your team playing the ball are ahead of you in relation to the opposition goal line.

If not, avoid becoming involved in play.

12 Knock on or Throw forward

Sometimes you accidentally mishandle the ball and knock it forwards off your hands or arms. You are allowed to try and regain control.

If you catch it again before it touches another player or touches the ground you can play on. Otherwise it is a "knock on" and play may be stopped.

They want to get the ball to the other end, don't they?

Why do they always throw it backwards!

It's because a pass or "throw forward" is not permitted.

Pass straight across the field...Yes, OK

Pass backwards towards your own goal-line...Yes, OK

Pass forwards towards the opposition goal-line... NO, not permitted!

The hands and any movement must direct the ball backwards (or level).

Because of the speed of the player passing the ball, it is possible (and permitted) that the ball travels forward from the point where the ball is released.

If you intentionally knock on or throw the ball forwards you may be penalized. If what you did prevents a probable try, a penalty try may be awarded.

13 Starts and restarts

A coin is tossed before the game.

The captain of the team that 'wins the toss' chooses either to 'kick off'or which direction to play in the first half (which half to defend).

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