Rules Of Rugby Play
Mike Schmid (Director of Rugby, Esher RFC) gives expert video advice on: What are the basic objectives of play?; How long does each match last?; How big is the pitch? and more...
What are the basic objectives of play?
The basic objective of play is obviously to finish the game with more points than your opponent. In order to do that there's a variety of methods, but essentially we're trying to retain the ball, put it through as many phases as need be, and score underneath the post.
How long does each match last?
There are two halves of 40 minutes in rugby union totalling 80, but the referee can at his discretion add injury time on, which could make the game last longer.
How big is the pitch?
The pitch measures 100 meters in length by 69 meters in width. That is the maximum length and width of a pitch. It can vary accordingly to whatever the club deems necessary.
How high are the goalposts?
The goalposts themselves actually vary in height. The crossbar is generally 10 feet from the base of the post, but they extend infinitely upward when you're kicking conversions. That's why you have the touch judges there with the little flags, making sure that the actual conversion or penalty kick goes through those extended uprights.
What is a kick off?
Kick-off is a means of restarting play. It's generally taken with a drop kick. It has to travel ten meters for it to be a valid kick-off.
What is a tackle?
A tackle occurs when a defending player wraps his arms around a ball carrier taking him to the floor, forcing him to release the ball on contact and stopping his forward momentum.
What is a pass?
A pass up occurs when one player passes a ball from his hands to his supporting player, in a backwards or sideways direction, generally to avoid an oncoming defender, or put somebody else in space, with the slight exception is you're not allowed a forward pass in the game of rugby.
What is a Try?
A Try occurs when an attacking player carries the ball into the opposition's in-goal area which starts from the Try Line, and grounds the ball on the floor which results in a Conversion, which is the possibility of getting 2 extra points. The Try itself is worth 5 points.
What is a conversion?
Conversion occurs after a try is being scored. The conversion kick has to be taken in line with where the try has been scored. The kicker can take the ball as far out as he deems necessary to get the proper angle to kick the conversion. Whether that is 10 metres or 13 metres. The kicker then has the chance to gain 2 extra points for his side.
What is a drop goal?
A drop goal can occur as a game happens, where any player that wants to try and gain three points for his side takes the ball, drops it from his hands, it has to scrape the floor very briefly before it is in contact with his foot, and then it must travel between the uprights to gain three points.
What is a scrum?
A scrum is wherever you're starting play after there's been an error in general play. The error could be anything from a knock forward, a forward pass, or a handling mistake. Two packs of eight players come together. Both packs will consist of front rows, second rows, and back rows. They will come down, approach each other, engage, to the point where the scrumhalf will put the ball in for the attacking side. Both teams will try to push each other backwards to try and win possession.
What is a ruck?
A ruck occurs when an attacking player takes the ball into a contact situation, then finds himself on the floor. The ball is there to be competed for and the attacking side will send players in and try to secure that possession and maintain possession. The defending side will send players in to try and compete, disrupt or steal possession of the ball.
What is a maul?
A maul is a contact situation which is upright, so the ball is not out on the floor. The attacking side are trying to drive the defending side either towards the goal line or trying to create an attacking advantage, while the defending side are trying to stop them.
What is a line out?
A line out is a means of restarting play when the ball goes out of the sidelines or the pitch. The hooker from the attacking side lines his players up in any combination so that they are going to win the ball with the defending forwards competing to try and secure possession as well.
What is a 22 metre drop out?
A 22-metre drop out occurs when the attacking team advances the ball into the defending team's in-goal area, but the defending side ends up touching the ball down. When that happens, the defending side get a free kick out on their 22-metre line and the restart of play has to be done by a drop kick.
What does it mean when a player calls mark?
A mark is a fair catch, which occurs when the attacking side kicks a ball to defending side and a defending player catches a ball inside his own 22, and as he catches a ball, he shouts "mark". The referee will give him a fair catch, which means he can then kick the ball out of play or tap in play from free possession.
What are uprights?
Uprights are just another term for the goal posts which are at each team's dead ball line.