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The basics of playing rugby
Rugby is a game that has been around for quite some time and is popular in many countries such as England, New Zealand, and Scotland. There has been increasing popularity in the United States as well. If you are new to the sport, there are some basic things to know in order to follow along with the game.
In a game of Rugby, the game is called a match and the duration of the game is 80 minutes, which are split into two 40-minute halves with a 10-minute break between. The field in rugby is called a "pitch". The sidelines are called the "touchlines" and a "tryline" at the front and a "deadball line" at the back designates the goal areas.
In rugby, there are different forms of the game. The most common is fifteens, which is the fifteen-man version. In this version, eight players make up the forwards or "pack" and seven make up the backs. The forward positions include two props, one hooker, two locks, two flankers, and one number 8. The backs include a scrumhalf, flyhalf, two wings, inside center, outside center, and a fullback.
The game begins with a coin toss to determine which team kicks off first. Then the kicking team has their forwards line up on the halfway mark and the opposing team places their forwards spread out behind the 10-meter line in front of the tryline. Any player on the team can be the kicker when the match starts but the ball must go forward at least 10-meters and land within the pitch boundaries.
The ball can be moved by kicking it or by carrying it in the hands but the ball cannot be passed on or go forward by the ball carrier other than by kicking the ball. If it goes forward without being kicked, it is called a "knock on" which results in a "scrum" for the opposition. A "scrum" is used to restart in a variety of situations and involves each team's forwards coming together by the shoulders over the 'mark" and trying to get the ball back to their team's side. This is much like a tip off in basketball. A drop kick occurs when the ball is being kicked off during a kickoff or 22-meter dropout. A "lineout" is when a ball is kicked or taken out of bounds and is restarted. The team that has been scored on always restarts the play by kicking to the team that scored the points.
The goal of the game is to score the most points while preventing the opposing team from scoring points. Points are awarded for a "try" which is when a player touches the ball down into the opponents try zone. A conversion is awarded when a try is scored and the attacking team achieves two more points by kicking the ball between the posts of the rugby goal. A penalty goal scores three points and is awarded if a serious foul has been committed. A drop-goal is awarded three points for a kick at goal during the run of the play where the ball is kicked just after touching the ground. Rugby can end in a tie due to the fact that the time constraints are followed strictly.
Rugby is still a sport that is not commonly played in the United States, but is gaining popularity. By learning the rules of the game, you will be able to begin playing and see why it is so popular in other countries.
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