Rochester Aardvarks Game|
Rugby Union has many laws. Some are complicated but it is essentially an easy game to
follow and understand. Below is a guide to the main components of the game. They are presented simply and there are some generalizations
especially in the player section. Additional clarification on terms is available in our
Length 280-300mm Circumference (end on) 760-790 mm Circumference (in width) 580-620 mm Weight 400-440 grams
Jersey, shorts and undergarments, socks, and boots. Boot studs to be maximum 18-mm long,
13-mm diameter, 10mm diameter (top), and 20mm integral washer.
Before the start of the match captains will toss a coin for the right to choose ends or to
The referee is appointed under the authority of each union.
Each side consists of 15 players and usually 6 replacements. Each player has a
position. These are:
- - A loose
head prop is at the front of each scrum. They are traditionally very
strong, sometimes quite short and squat. They possess very good neck,
back, leg and arm strength, as they are the foundation of the scrum.
- - A hooker is the
person who packs down in the middle of the front row of the scrum.
They traditionally throw the ball in at the lineout, and like props
are very strong in the neck, back, legs and arms. However, hookers are
normally slightly smaller than props and have to be flexible because,
as their name implies, they hook the ball back with a leg or foot when
the scrum half puts the ball in to a scrum. This takes considerable
flexibility in the hips and shoulders.
attributes as the loose head but packs down the tight head side (right
hand) of the scrum, which requires different scrummage technique to a
loose head (left hand)
position is referred to as the "engine room" second rows
provide the push in the scrum and generally are the persons who jump
for the ball in the lineout. Second rows are normally tall, very
athletic and have an excellent standing jump along with good strength.
- - Considered the position where the player should have
all round attributes, speed strength fitness handling skills amongst
other skills. Flankers are always involved in the game, as they are
the real ball winners once play has commenced. Flankers can be broken
down into open side and blind side. The open side being normally
smaller faster and more mobile as he starts play nearer to the
potential action and needs to be the first person to arrive. The
blindside being larger as he has a more physical role to play at the
lineout and may well be used as a jumper.
- - Packs down at the
rear of the scrum and therefore controls the ball out of the scrum. A
very influential position and is often used to attack with a pickup of
the scrum. Normally tall and athletic and used as an option to win the
ball in the lineout.
- - The person
who is the link between the forwards and the backs. Normally acts as
the 'General' for the forwards and is always in the hub of the action.
A scrum half is normally quite small but with a high degree of vision
and speed off the mark, and pound-for-pound is very strong. They have
to able to react to situation very quickly. A key player in any side.
- - Often
considered the most influential person on the field the fly half is
the person who makes the key decision during a game. Responsible for
deciding whether to kick or to run the ball, the fly half should be
very fast, able to kick off both feet and operate in pressurized
- - Centres
provide the cutting edge to a side. They are the "Rapiers"
that are given the ball normally via the fly half to make breaks
through the opposition backs or can also act as decoys for other
attacking options for the backs. A Centre should be very strong fast
and able to pass with pinpoint accuracy.
- - The
wingers are the finishers of the game. The idea being that the space
should be created by the forwards and backs inside the wingers so once
they receive the ball they have a clear run to use their speed and
agility to score tries. Need to be very fast and able to side step to
finish off scoring situations.
- - This player
should posses great courage as he is likely to be the person who will
be required to catch the high kicks referred to as "up and unders"
or "bombs". The Full Back is also an essential part of any
side's attacking option; a full back will appear in the back line as
an extra man or as a decoy to provide space for the wings. Like all
backs, the Full Back should have good speed and kicking skills.
Are normally appointed by the Union, however if this does not happen, it
is the responsibility of the two sides to provide them. The touch judges
now play a much more active part in assisting the referee, as well as
signaling where the ball left the field of play.
The match is started by a kick off.
The ball must be kicked ten metres into the opponent's half. The type of
kick to start the game (first and second half) is a place kick (a tee is
usually used to place the ball on). With subsequent kick offs, after a
score a drop kick is used to restart the game. After kick off, a player
may then catch or pick up the ball and run with it. He may than pass or
throw it to another player, kick or otherwise propel the ball, tackle push
or shoulder an opponent holding the ball, fall on the ball, take part in
scrummage, ruck maul or lineout, ground the ball in goal. The ball must
not be passed forward from the hand to a teammate.
A try which is achieved by grounding the
ball in the opponent's goal area.
A penalty try can be awarded where a
side would have scored but for foul play by the opposing team.
There are 2 methods of scoring
A goal is scored by kicking the ball
through the opponent's cross bar and between the posts either
Place kicking (the ball is held using a
Drop kicking (a kick from the hands
during play where the ball touches the ground just before the kick)
Converting (a placed kick is always
awarded after a try, in line with where the try was scored).
Try - 5 points
Conversion - 2 points
Goal (converted try) - 7 points
Drop Kick - 3 points
Penalty Kick - 3 points
Where the ball is knocked, kicked
or thrown into the opposition In-Goal area and a defending player touches
down, then a drop out is taken on the defending side's 22-metre line. A
drop out is a method of restarting the game. The ball must pass over the
22-metre line using a drop kick. Both sides can then compete for the ball
once it has crossed.
This is awarded to a side which
carries the ball over the in goal area and is then unable to ground the
ball for a try.
A player makes a "mark"
when he catches a ball in his own 22 metre or In-Goal area. As he catches
the ball he must claim the "Mark" verbally (calls "
Mark"). A "Mark" cannot be awarded where a player catches a
ball direct from a kick-off.
A knock on occurs when the ball is
dropped or knocked forward and travels towards the direction of the
opponent's dead ball line.
This occurs when a player passes
the ball but it moves forward, towards the direction of the oppositions
dead ball line. With both a knock on and a throw forward, a scrum will be
awarded to the opposing side.
A maul is when at least one player
from each side is bound onto each other and competing for the ball, The
ball will be off the ground.
A ruck is formed normally when a
maul goes to ground. Unlike a maul, the ball cannot be handled in a ruck;
the two sides have to try to drive over the ball to enable them to then
play it from the back of the ruck.
A tackle occurs when the ball
carrier is held by one or more persons and whilst being held the tackled
person goes to ground. The person is deemed to have gone to ground when
one or two knees are in contact with the ground. The tackled player, at
this point, must release the ball.
A Scrum is formed when the ball is
knocked-on, passed forward or is adjusted by the Referee, or does not
appear from a ruck or maul quickly enough. A scrum is contested between
the two sets of forwards normally as eight versus eight. The side who put
the ball in will invariably win the ball. When they don't and the opposing
side "steals" the ball it is commonly called "one against
the head" or "a tight head".
When two sides scrummage against
each other they are both traditionally in a 3 - 4 - 1 formation. When the
front row engages the heads slot into certain gaps. These are called the
"tight head" and the "loose head". They differ as one
player will be pushing predominantly with one shoulder (loose head) and
the other with two shoulders (tight head).
This is where the ball goes out of play over the touchline and as with the
scrum, it is a method of restarting the game. The players line up five
metres and no more than fifteen metres in from the touchline, at 90
degrees to it. The lineout will include 3 to 7 players at any one time.
The side throwing the ball in will dictate the number of players in any
lineout. The lineout begins when the ball leaves the hands of the player
throwing it in.
A player who is off side will be in a position in which he is out of the
game and is liable to penalty. In general play, a player is in an offside
position because he is in front of the ball when another player of his
team has last played it. In play at scrummage, ruck, maul or lineout, a
player will be offside because he remains or advances in front of the
offside line. In the case of a lineout, the off side line is 10 metres
back from where the lineout was formed. In the case of a maul, ruck or
scrummage it is in line with the hind most foot or body of the player on
each side of the maul, ruck or scrummage.