WHAT IS RUGBY?
Rugby is a game that originated in 1823 on the playing fields of Rugby, England. The game is said to have started when a rugby school student named William Webb Ellis, playing soccer, picked up a ball and ran downfield with it rather than kicking it. Other English schools and universities later adopted this style of play in the mid-19th century and in 1871 the English Rugby Union was formed to standardize the game. In 1875, rugby was introduced to the United States and flourished for the next 50 years. However, negative views about the game's rough and rowdy nature forced rule changes, which led to the sport now known as American Football.
While the sport has grown worldwide since its inception, it wasn't until the 1960s that rugby began a rebirth in the United States across college campuses. Now, over 40 years later, rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. It has gone from mostly college teams to countless Men's and Women's Club teams in almost every city in the nation, and many high school teams, U-17, U-15, U-12 Boys and Girls teams. As of now, USA RUGBY boasts over 50,000 members!
As a final note, in 1987, the Rugby World Cup was first held with teams from all over the world competing for a spot in the tournament and a shot at the William Webb Ellis Cup. Rugby has seen an explosion in players, fans, and supporters since the inaugural World Cup with the fall 2003 Rugby World Cup being the 3rd most watched event in the world behind the Soccer World Cup and the Olympics!
THE BASICS TO KNOW
Rugby is played for two 40-minute halves, with continuous play like soccer. It has 15 players per team, on a field 100m long and 70m wide, with "Try Zones" (end zones), which are 20m deep on either end. Much like American Football, scoring in rugby can take place with a Try (5 points by running the ball into the Try Zone and touching the ball down to the ground...hence the term "Touchdown" in American Football), an Extra Point Conversion (worth 2 points), a Penalty Goal (3 points, very similar to a Field Goal), and with a Drop Goal (3 points). Players may run, kick, or pass the ball in order to advance down the field, though all passing must be either laterally or backwards. A team is penalized for a forward pass in rugby (be it 1m forward, 1 foot, 1 inch)! While tackling is a huge part of the game, other common rules of American Football are forbidden...i.e. blocking, tackling without wrapping up, tackling above the shoulders, etc.
Oh, one thing...there are no football pads in rugby! Only a mouthguard and an attitude!
1. Loose Head Prop
3. Tight Head Prop
4. Second Row
5. Second Row
6. Blind Side Flanker
7. Open Side Flanker
8. Number 8 (original isn't it)
11. Weak Side Wing
12. Inside Center
13. Outside Center
14. Strong Side Wing