Rugby is a challenging and physically demanding sport with its own set of unique rules and terminology. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned fan, understanding the rules is essential for fully appreciating the intensity and strategy on display.
|Test match||An international rugby union match with full (Test) status.|
|TMO (Television Match Official)||The video referee who assists the on-field referee in making decisions using video footage.|
|Touch judge||An official who monitors the touch-line and indicates when the ball goes into touch and confirms goals scored.|
|Tight Head||The player in the right-hand position of the front row in a scrum, wearing the number 3 shirt.|
|Tunnel||The gap between the legs of the three front-row players in a scrum.|
|Wheel||When a scrum rotates through 90 degrees or more.|
|Try||The primary method of scoring in rugby union, worth five points. It is scored by placing the ball with downward pressure in the opponent’s in-goal area.|
|Own try||This term does not exist. Scoring a try in your own in-goal area results in a 22-meter drop-out or a 5-meter scrum.|
|Turnover||When a team loses possession of the ball to the opposition, often occurring at the breakdown.|
|Truck and trailer||An accidental obstruction that occurs when a player carrying the ball leaves a maul, along with teammates in front of them.|
|Twenty two-meter drop-out||A kick taken from behind the 22-meter line when a team touches the ball down in their own in-goal area without scoring a try.|
|Up and under||A high, short punt kick onto or behind the defending team.|
|Touch||The area outside the playing field, including the touch-lines that define the sides of the playing area.|
|Use it or lose it||A directive given by the referee to the team in possession of the ball in a maul, requiring them to use the ball within five seconds or risk losing possession.|
|Wing||The player position wearing the shirt numbers 11 and 14. They are fast runners with excellent ball handling skills.|
Also Read: Best Rugby players in the world 2023
The Object of the Game
- Score more points than the opposing team within the 80-minute time frame.
- The team with the higher score at full-time wins, with the possibility of a draw.
Players & Equipment
- Each team consists of 15 players, divided into forwards and backs.
- Forwards: Hooker, Prop, Second Row, Flanker, and Number Eight.
- Backs: Scrum Half, Fly Half, Inside Centre, Outside Centre, Wingers, and Full Back.
- The field has three sections: a central playing area and two dead goal areas.
- The field must be 70 meters wide.
- Studded boots, gum shields, head guards, and shoulder and shin pads can be worn.
- Teams wear jerseys of the same color with matching shorts and socks.
- Try :5 points – awarded when a player places the ball down in the opponent’s dead ball area.
- Conversion: 2 points – a kick awarded after a try, passing between the upper posts and the top bar of the goal.
- Penalty Kick: 3 points – awarded for an infringement, kicking the ball between the goalposts.
- Drop Goal: 3 points – a kick made during open play, with the ball bouncing first.
Winning the Game
- Score more points than the opponent within the 80-minute duration.
- Points can be scored through tries, conversions, penalty kicks, or drop goals.
Other Rules of Rugby
- The game consists of two 40-minute halves with a 10-minute rest period.
- Each team starts with 15 players and can have up to 7 substitutes.
- The field must be approximately 100 meters long and 70 meters wide.
- Various markings on the field, including the halfway line, 5-meter line, 22-meter line, 10-meter line, and deadball line.
- One referee and two touch judges oversee the game.
- Play stops for fouls, the ball going out of play, or scoring.
- Tackling must be below shoulder height.
- Lineouts occur when the ball goes into touch, allowing players to compete for the ball.
- Successful conversions, penalties, or kicks at the goal require the ball to pass through the top section of the goal.
- Attacking players must remain behind the ball to avoid being offside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the ball be passed forward in rugby?
No, the ball cannot be passed forward. Players can only run forward with the ball or kick it forward.
How is scoring in rugby determined?
Points can be scored through tries, conversions, penalty kicks, or drop goals. Each method carries a different point value.
What are the positions in rugby?
Rugby teams consist of forwards and backs. Forwards include positions like a hooker, prop, second row, flanker, and number eight, while backs include scrum-half, fly-half, inside center, outside center, wingers, and full back.
What is a scrum in rugby?
A scrum is a method of restarting play after certain infractions. It involves players from both teams binding together and competing for the ball.
What is the role of a referee in rugby?
The referee is responsible for enforcing the rules, keeping time, and making decisions during the game.
Can players be substituted in rugby?
Yes, teams can have substitutes, and players who have left the field due to injury can return after treatment.
Are there time limits in rugby matches?
Yes, rugby matches consist of two 40-minute halves with a 10-minute rest period.
Can players be offside in rugby?
Players must remain behind the ball to avoid being offside and interfering with play.