Rugby is a noble and exhilarating game. Rugby is believed to have started in 1845 in Warwickshire, England. It is a form of football and throughout the 19th century it was played at various public schools in the country. Today, it is completely a separate sport and its league is played similar to gridiron football. Lets find out how to play rugby for the beginners.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) was established in 1871, but the sport is considered a professional as well as a amateur game. It is currently dominated by countries like Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England, Wales, South Africa, France, Scotland, Italy, Argentina and Japan. These are first tier unions. In the second tier unions the countries included are Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Georgia, Fiji, Kenya, Hong Kong, Germany, Namibia, Portugal, the Netherlands, Russia, Romania, Portugal, Tonga, Spain, Samoa, Uruguay and the United States.
World Rugby administers the Rugby Union and it is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Rugby is also the national sport in Madagascar, Georgia, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Wales and New Zealand. In 2016, during the Rio de Janeiro games, the sport was introduced in Olympic Games. However, only the seven-a-side version was admitted.
Rugby World Cup was first held in 1987 in New Zealand and Australia. Top twenty teams get the entry to its world cup. In the 2019 Rugby World Cup, South Africa emerged as the winner.
Without Rugby Union, countries such as New Zealand and Wales would be almost unimaginable: it plays an integral role in their national culture and heritage. Efforts are now being made to increase public awareness and participation in the game elsewhere in the world.
Yet to the uninitiated, rugby can appear a brutal and chaotic sport. Too often the ball seems to become lost among tangled bodies as the players become embroiled in what look to be melees and mass pile ups. Players wear very little protective padding, yet the player with the ball runs the risk of being the target of full contact, high speed tackles. To those who don’t understand the game, it seems odd that anyone would want to pull on a pair of boots and subject themselves to a pummeling in the name of sports betting.
Rugby is an Exhilarating Sport
To those who play or understand rugby, the physical aspect of the sport is one of its attractions. Nothing can be more exhilarating than the adrenalin rush of beating an opponent and then sprinting towards the try-line. No other sport demands the nerve, in quite the same way, to take on an advancing opponent and make a full contact tackle.
At the highest level, rugby requires fitness, strength and speed. Like all contact sports, it demands resilience. Knocks are bound to be given and taken, that’s in the nature of the game.
After a frustrating week at work, what can be more enjoyable than letting off steam and aggression in a controlled manner? Rugby encourages energies to be channeled to the commitment to the team. Team spirit is a key element of rugby. After two forty minute halves on the pitch, giving all to the cause of the team, there are those who swear that ‘the third half’ – in the clubhouse or pub after the game has ended – is just as important. Consequently rugby has built a reputation as a good social sport.
The Myths of Playing Rugby
It’s a myth that all rugby players have to be huge brawny specimens of masculinity, though there certainly are players who fall into that category. All shapes and sizes can be catered for on the rugby pitch. The big lads tend to play in the forwards, whereas those with smaller bodies orientate themselves into the backs, where speed, agility and ball handling skills are important. That doesn’t mean that forwards aren’t expected to defend, nor that backs aren’t expected to get forward. The forwards tend to do the pushing, shoving and driving before opportunities are created for the backs to run the ball into a gap, so that a try can be scored.
In most games “a try” would usually mean a failed attempt to score but in rugby a try brings five points. To score a try, players need to run the ball into the opponent’s end-zone, between the try-line and the dead-ball line, and touch it down. The try scoring team can then take a conversion kick to obtain two extra points.
The uninitiated look on at a game of rugby and wonder how two teams of fifteen players can become so animated about the possession of an oval ball. The players push, shove and grunt but, often, the ball appears to not to move. On the field, the players know that they are securing possession and pushing their opponents off the ball.
Running the Ball Forward
Once possession of the ball is secured, players attempt to gain ground. Running the ball forward is permitted, passing it forward is not. Anyone who runs the ball forward is faced with the prospect of attempting to side-step opponents intent on making a tackle or to pass the ball back to a team mate in a better position to move it forward. Failure to pass the ball quickly enough, or a lack of agility in the side-step, can lead to a small mass of humanity congregating around the tackled player and ball.
If the ball is not freed up quickly enough, the referee can call a scrum, in which the forwards from each team crouch and push to secure the ball as a unit. To newcomers, the referee’s signals can be baffling. In contrast to many other sports, soccer for example, the referee points in the direction that a team is coming from and not in the direction it is going.
Rugby is Easy to Learn
Rugby may sound complex but the tactics and laws of the game can be quickly learned. Asking other spectators for an explanation, while watching a local club, is one method of picking up an understanding. Picking up one’s boots and joining in a training session is also an effective means of learning the game.