Rugby, football game played with an oval ball by two teams of 15 players or 13 players. Both rugby union and rugby league have their origins in the style of football played at Rugby School in England. According to the sport’s lore, in 1823 William Webb Ellis, a pupil at Rugby School. Defied the conventions of the day to pick up the ball and run with it in a game, thus creating the distinct handling game of rugby football. This “historical” basis of the game was well established by the early 1900s.
Different forms of football have existed for centuries. In Britain, football games may have been played as early as the time of Roman occupation in the 1st century BCE. During the 14th and 15th centuries CE, Shrove Tuesday football matches became annual traditions in local communities, and many of these games continued well into the 19th century. These localised versions of folk football gradually found favour within the English public schools, where they were modified and adapted into one of two forms: a dribbling game, played primarily with the feet, that was promoted at Eton and Harrow, and a handling game favoured by Rugby, Marlborough, and Cheltenham.
The growth of the game
Rugby rapidly spread from its elitist origins in England, Scotland, and Ireland to middle- and working-class men in the north of England and in Wales and to the British colonies in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. It also spread to North America, where it was transformed into a new style of football.
Play Of The Game
The main motto of the game is to run with an oval ball dogging all the opponents and touching the ball on the opposite team’s goal line. While handling the ball and hacking set rugby apart from association football in the early days of the sport, further rule changes served to cement the distinctive character of rugby. Most significant, rugby rules enforced an offside rule that required all players in open play to remain behind the ball. The game is perceived as being somewhat rough. Whereas in American and Canadian gridiron football, players wear padding and protection to guard against injury. Injury from contact made with other players, in rugby the wearing of most types of padding and helmets is either looked down upon or illegal.
Field of play
Based on International Rugby Board rules, rugby union is played on a rectangular field not more than 70 metres wide; the maximum distance between the goal lines is 100 metres. And beyond each goal line the end zone, called “in goal,” extends not more than 22 metres. At the centre of the goal, lines are two goalposts 5.6 metres apart with a crossbar 3 metres above the ground. The field also includes two 22-metre lines, a halfway line. And 10-metre lines at that distance on either side of the halfway line. The sideline is known as the “touch” line, and a kick that goes out of play is said to have gone “into touch.”
The inflated ball is oval and less pointed than the ball used in gridiron football. It is 28 to 30 cm long and 58 to 62 cm in circumference, and it weighs 410 to 460 grams. The outside casing of the ball is usually of leather or plastic.
Although the rugby league rules call for a similarly sized field, though the goalposts are slightly closer. The field typically includes lines marking each 10-metre interval, giving the field an appearance similar to a gridiron football field. The league ball is essentially the same as the union ball.
Players wear cleated shoes, socks, shorts, and jerseys numbered 1 through 15 in rugby union. And 1 through 13 in rugby league. The rules now allow the regulated use of light headgear to protect against injury. Also, an increasing number of players wear scrum caps, headbands, and mouth guards.
In early rugby, the only scores came from goals, and the first goal scored won the match. A goal was scored by kicking the ball through the goalposts and above the crossbar. When a player touched the ball down over the goal line, he then kicked out from the goal line to a teammate. Who in turn kicked it toward the goalposts in the face of onrushing defenders. Rugby later developed a more complex scoring system. It included the touch down of the ball over the goal line that resulted in an attempt at goal, called a “try,” and goals, called “conversions,” that could be kicked after a try.
CHANGING OF SCORING PATTERN
Scoring changed by 1890 to the pattern favoured at Cheltenham School. Whereby points were scored for a try, and penalty kicks were introduced. Which allowed teams disadvantaged by illegal play to kick for goal and score points if successful. Thus, goals could be scored from an opposition penalty. Or by dropping the ball on the field of play and kicking it through the uprights. In 1892 a try was worth three points, and drop-goals were worth four points. Penalty goals were introduced in 1894. By 1900 a try counted three points, a goal converting a try added two more points, and a penalty or drop-goal from the field was worth five points. Though the point values have changed, the methods of scoring remain the same today.
In both modern games, the primary scoring method is for players to score a try. Whereas In rugby union these are now worth five points, but they are worth only four points in rugby league. In both codes conversions count two points; penalty goals in rugby union count three points, two in rugby league; drop goals are worth three points in rugby union but only one point in rugby league.
Author: Saransh Gujral