Essentially it is a game for 15 players who carry the ball in their hands and attempt to to score points by placing it on the ground behind the line at the end of the pitch. In moving the ball up the field, the team with possession is confronted by the opposing team who attempt to stop their progress, take control of the ball or attack the other try-line.
The Ball has to be thrown backwards or parallel to the player throwing the ball. If it is thrown forwards, the opposition is awarded a scrum at the point where the ball was incorrectly thrown from.
The Ball is oval-shaped, leather-covered and inflated. 28-30 cm long, 58-62 cm in circumference and weighing 400-440 gm.
Although body contact is an important feature of Rugby, no real protective equipment or padding is worn.
A Rugby match (game) is played on a field that is 100 mtrs in length (goal line to goal line) and 69 mtrs in width. A goal post stands in the centre of each goal line. The scoring area extends to 22m behind the goal line.
The match comprises of two 40-minute periods of play with a stop of not more than five minutes at half-time.
From the 15 players in each team, there are eight Forwards and seven Backs (see Positions).
Scoring: You can score points via a Try, Conversion, Penalty or Drop Goal.
A Try is scored when the team in possession of the ball places it (with body contact) on the ground over the try-line. It carries the highest number of points: 5. After a Try is scored that team can obtain additional points by kicking the ball over the posts (in line from where the try was scored). This is called a Conversion and is worth 2 points.
The Penalty Kick is taken at the point where the offence was committed. If the ball goes through the goal posts then another 3 points are given.
A Drop Goal is when the ball is dropped onto the floor during regular play and kicked as it hits the ground to go over the posts. Here 3 points are awarded.
A Scrum is a set piece given when either a 'knock on' or forward pass has happened. The team's forwards bind to form a scrum together with the opposition. The ball is then rolled into the middle of the scrum by the scrum half. The hooker then hooks the ball back towards his team with his feet whilst his team attempt to push the opposition back brining the ball to the back between the No. 8's feet.
If the ball is accidentally dropped play continues as long as the ball bounces backwards from the drop. If the ball, however, bounces forward a Knock On is given and a scrum is awarded to the opposing team.
A Ruck takes place when two or more opposing players have arrived at a tackle and are attempting to obtain the ball on the ground. Basically, if the player is still on his standing after the tackle, then this is called a Maul.
When the ball goes out of play (over the side-lines) it is thrown back in via a Line-Out. It comprises of forwards only and a special code/sign is given to someone in the team who is chosen to receive the ball. The aim is simply to get your hands on the ball! The number of players in a line-out can vary from three to eight.
A Tackle is where a player with the ball is held on to by an opposition player attempting to pull that player down in order to obtain the ball. When the supporting players arrive it then becomes a Ruck or Maul.