Sports and FitnessAthletics

Rugby is: history, rules, modernity

Rugby is not a very popular game in Russia, although in the West it has a huge number of fans. In addition, this sport is included in the program of the Olympic Games, and it is worth at least about to imagine its rules.

History of the game

This sport has a huge number of names and varieties. He is also often confused with American football, perhaps because of very similar rules and the ball. Nevertheless, rugby is a completely separate sport that originated in England.

Although ball games were popular in Foggy Albion back in the Middle Ages, the official date for the appearance of this sport discipline is April 7, 1823. It was on this day during the festivities to celebrate the victory at Waterloo 16-year-old resident of the town of Rugby, in violation of all the rules of the game grabbed the ball in his hands and rushed to the enemy "base." William Webb Ellis not only became the founder of a new sport, named after his appearance, but also introduced his first rule - limited the number of players in one team to ten.

True or not, it is difficult to judge, but it was this legend that was fixed in the minds of people, including those who are members of the rugby community. Later, specific rules were created, the ball acquired a modern form that it was comfortable to hold in hand and throw away, and in 1900 this sport was even included in the program of the Olympics. However, for a short time - already in 1924, during the Games, rugby competitions were held for the last time, and at the moment the main championship in this sport is the world championship, held every 4 years. However, in the summer of 2016, fans will witness the triumphant return of one of the versions of the game at the Olympics in Brazil.


Rugby is a sport that can be called quite young. Nevertheless, having separated from football and following his own path of development, he already himself has acquired a huge number of varieties. Basically, the differences between them relate to the amount of time or players on the field. The most successful form is rugby-7, which was included in the program of the 2016 Olympic Games. Above all else, the game can be played on the snow or the beach, and this will be considered a separate sport.

Also, many non-specialists often confuse rugby and American football. The latter, like its Canadian variety, developed on the basis of the early forms of the English game, but now it is a completely independent sport. So, in American football special helmets and other hard equipment are used, which is not in rugby.


The first attempt to codify the game was made all in the same town of Rugby. This happened in 1846, and the first official international match took place in 1871. Modern rules of the game are as follows:

  • The match takes place on a field of not more than 100x70 meters. On the edges there are gates of two vertical pillars with a horizontal bar. The field is marked in several zones, in which the rules provide for certain features of the game.
  • The main task of the player is to score the ball into the goal of the enemy team or move it to the space behind them with the touch of the ground. For this, as well as for some other effective actions, points are awarded.
  • Passes forward are forbidden - you can pass the ball parallel to the goal line or the players from behind. Forward to send the projectile can only be kicked or run with it.
  • Grips of the player with the ball are allowed. The goal - to knock the opponent off his feet, while he must pass to his teammate. Grips are allowed for any parts of the body, except the neck and head. In this case, you can not substitute the footrests or push the opponent.
  • The time of the match is 80 clean minutes, divided into two halves. The winner is the team that scored the most points during this time.

Obviously, the rules of the game are not so complicated, but there are several special elements, such as pier, cancer and contraction. The first term implies a situation where a player with a ball is blocked by one or more opponents, while maintaining contact with teammates. In the second case we are talking about the contact of athletes when the projectile is on the ground between them. Finally, the fight is one of the most spectacular and recognizable elements of this sport. When she is appointed by the referee, the players line up according to a special scheme and enter an open confrontation in order to take possession of the ball. And although there is an opinion that rugby is a very traumatic game, in fact, when observing the rules, the risk of suffering is minimal.


In the classical variety, each team consists of 15 main and 7 reserve players. Those who are on the field are divided into 8 attackers and 7 defenders. Each player, both from the first and the second category, in his position performs specific functions, both during the normal course of the game, and in special situations. And although it may seem that rugby has nothing to do for those who can not boast of growth and power, this is not so. Dexterity and mobility can sometimes prove to be decisive factors, especially when it is necessary to take possession of the ball during the bout.

Finally, the fact that there are so many different kinds of this game, adapted for people even without special physical preparation, suggests that rugby players are not necessarily mountains of muscles.

Modern distribution

Rugby is the second most popular game in the world after regular football. It is played in more than 100 countries around the world, and in several states it is even recognized as a national sport. In 1886, the International Rugby Board (IRB) was formed. This body deals with all matters relating to the conduct of games.

Regular tournaments are held. The largest of them is the world championship, but there are also separate championships for the teams of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In parallel with the men's are often held and women's tournaments. Until recently, rugby was not included in the Olympics because of the rules governing the week-long break between games for teams, which is impossible in the conditions of the 16-day competition.

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