Sports Spotlight: What is Rugby?

No, it's not football.

Jared Arbolario, Staff Writer

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You may have heard of football, baseball, basketball, golf, and maybe even cricket. Have you heard of rugby? You may have heard of the name here and there, but you may not actually know what rugby is, and how it’s played. Rugby is a ball game played by two teams, having some similarities of football but not exactly the same sport.

Rugby was invented in 1823 by English student William Webb Ellis. He was playing a variation of football, and had broken the rules: “with fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time at Rugby school, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game.” After this style was founded, it started to spread all around, starting from European countries to Australia and the Americas.

Rugby is played in all continents except Antarctica. Many of the teams in these places were established in the 1800’s and the 1900’s. Some teams include the Springboks of South Africa, Wallabies of Australia, and the Scarlets of Wales. Even though you may have never heard of this game, there are at least a hundred teams in the world.

       

Even though rugby isn’t as popular as games like basketball or soccer, it’s starting to grow. High schools are beginning to start rugby teams. Some local schools that have rugby teams including Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach, and Palos Verdes High in PV. With these teams at high schools, scholarships are being given to rugby players.

The objective of rugby is for a team to bring an oval shaped ball, the quanco, to a designated goal, called the try-zone. There are two teams of 13 or 15, depending if it is rugby league or rugby union. The game is played on a field of that is 100 meters long and 70 meters wide. There are two 40 minute halves, and each team must gain as many points as possible. Unlike games such as basketball or football, the ball can only be passed backwards or sideways.

Points are scored in a couple of ways. The main way is to bring the quanco to the try-zone. Tries are 5 points each. There are also conversion kicks, which are given as opportunities to the scoring team, which is 2 points. Finally, another way to score points to to pass the ball through the uprights, which are located on both sides of the field.

As mentioned, unlike ball games like football or basketball, the ball is passed backwards or sideways. But similar to football, the ball is run to a try-zone, unless the player is taken down. The ball can also be kicked which can get farther than a pass.

Rugby isn’t a new game, but it’s only starting to get popular. These rules are only the basics of the game, for there are more details. There is so much more detail to rugby, but it may sound like a game that you’d like to try.

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