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Information about rugby101

Published on August 22, 2007

Author: JJMiller


Rugby 101:  Rugby 101 SOCPAC Rugby Football Club (RFC) Key to the Game:  Key to the Game BLUNDER AND YOU'LL SUFFER! Be aware of all the rules Be able to take advantage instantly of any opportunities that may arise Stay alert Never hesitate when you have the advantage Never violate the rules, thus giving the opposition a free kick Major blunders include: holding the ball after a tackle intentionally lying on the ball blocking or obstructing an opponent dangerous tackling methods (you must make a grasp at the person you intend to bring down, and may not tackle him about the shoulders or head). Minor violations of the laws such as a knock-on (fumble forward) or a forward pass result in a scrum. Rugby Terms:  Rugby Terms Pitch: Rugby is played on what looks like a field, is a field, but is called a pitch. Ruck: A ruck is formed when the ball is on the ground and one or more players from each team are on their feet in physical contact and closing around the ball. The purpose of this is that each player involved in the ruck, with his/her feet, tries to retrieve the ball without infringing any rules. Maul: A maul is formed when one or more players from each team are on their feet in physical contact and closing around a player that has possession of the ball. In-Touch: In-touch is when the ball or the player carrying the ball touches the touchline (side line) or beyond it. This is followed by a Line-Out. Line-Out: To get the ball back into play once it is in-touch, at least two players from each team line-up on each of their sides in a line that is perpendicular to the touchline. The two sides have to be 1 meter apart. The line-out stretches from 5 meters to 15 meters away from the touchline. Any player not within that range cannot be involved in the line-out. Scrum: Is usually called after a penalty or when the ball stops advancing resulting from a maul or a ruck. The scrum is a precise assembling of specific players that battle for possession of the ball. The ball is placed between the front line of each team and players try to pass the ball towards the back of their formation using their feet. The Basics:  The Basics Unlike American football, the laws of rugby are few and simple. Rugby action does not stop until: Someone scores The ball goes out of bounds A rule is broken Rugby teams don't huddle to prepare strategy since no platoons for offense, defense, and special teams exist. A good rugby team--or side, as it is called--will respond instantly to a number of defensive and offensive situations. Each member of the team moves independently within his role, but collectively for total effect. Basic Rules:  Basic Rules Offside-Onside: A player can never be in front of the ball, he/she is then offside. Hence, the ball can never be passed forward unless it is kicked. Tackling: An offensive player who doesn't have the ball cannot be tackled. Only the player who is in possession can be tackled. Blocking: Offensive players cannot block or obstruct a defender from making a tackle. Length of a Game: The games are normally 80 minutes long with a 5 minutes half-time. Injury time is also added at the end of each half, although the length of injury time is left to the discretion of the referee. Offsides:  Offsides The scrimmage line is called the offside line, or game line, in rugby. It is an imaginary line that runs across the field through the ball while the ball moves. To qualify to take part in the actions, a rugby player must play from behind the ball, both defensively and offensively. A player cannot chase a ball that has been kicked upfield by a teammate who is behind him: The player must wait until the person that kicked the ball, or someone behind the kicker, runs upfield, passing the others and thus putting them onsides so that they may play. Sound off with 'YOU’RE ON' as you put your players onsides A player may also be put onside if the player catching the ball either drops it or runs at least five meters with it. What the defender cannot do, is play the person waiting to catch the ball until the defender has been put onside either by the actions of his own team or the actions of the person receiving the ball. No Blocking or “Picks”:  No Blocking or 'Picks' At first glance, rugby appears to be the broken-field runner's dream--man for man coverage all around. One slight variation in the game turns a potential dream into a nightmare--no blocking. A runner may beat his opposite, pick up ten, twenty, even thirty yards, then suddenly get clobbered by the covering defense. The absence of blocking, and the loss of possession after a tackle quickly get the most powerful runner looking for more options than just putting his head down and pounding forward Stoppage of Play:  Stoppage of Play Rugby play goes on when American football play stops because rugby has no 'first downs.' Rugby players keep on going until the whistle blows When a ball carrier is tackled (and actually brought to the ground), he must release the ball. Either a teammate or one of his opponents may then gain possession and continue the action. Or the tackled player himself may again play the ball once he has regained his feet. Rugby Pitch:  Rugby Pitch Forwards & Backs:  Forwards andamp; Backs For XV (15) side rugby each side is composed of 8 forwards and 7 backs. For Sevens side rugby each side is composed of 3 forwards and 4 backs Each player on the field, or pitch, may pick up the ball and run with it, pass it, or kick it at anytime. Everyone is also responsible to play defense when the other side has the ball. It is generally the assignment of the forwards to secure possession of the ball and then either advance it themselves or pass it out to the backs. The ball can be advanced or moved three ways It can be carried forward passed laterally or backward Kicked If the backfield attack breaks down, rugby forwards, unlike football linemen, may handle the ball and become a dynamic offensive force themselves. Forwards & Backs Cont:  Forwards andamp; Backs Cont 'SCRUM' Here are the positions for a XV Side indicated by the numbers Loose Head Prop (solid with good medical insurance) Hooker (small, swift, agile and control-freak) Tight Head Prop (same as #1) Second Row 'Lock' (Hercules-like) Second Row 'Lock' (Hercules-like) Wing Forward 'Flanker' (quick go-getter) Wing Forward 'Flanker' (quick go-getter) Number Eight (skillful and smart) Scrumhalf (experienced [bruised], smart [old])-is both a forward and back. Flyhalf (golden hands and stoic, perfect for late night activities) Wing (runs like the wind) Inside Center (deceptive) Outside Center (deceptively faster) 15. Wing (runs like the wind) Fullback (great kicker, sees all) Forwards Strategy:  Forwards Strategy These are a proud bunch . . . the worker bees, the relentless tide. It is their responsibility to scramble, chase, heave and ho in effort to gain possession of the ball and then take it forward or present it very nicely to the backs to do something with. They are then expected to remain in dogged support of whoever carries the ball. Their work is never done and they are also referred to as the pack or the scrum. A SCRUM is also the name of the formal conglomeration of forwards who bind together in specific positions when a scrumdown is called. It is the basic set formation of rugby and occurs after various minor infringements of the law, when the ball becomes tied up, and other times you'll learn about later. It is a face-off of sorts and a favorite among forwards. Form and timing are more important than brute strength The Scrum:  The Scrum When the whistle blows and the referee calls for a scrummage, The 8 (or 3 in 7s) forwards on each team bind together in a formidable pack and come together headfirst against the opposition, aligned in the same manner. The team that did not commit the infraction is awarded the ball. The scrum-half from that side sends the ball in between the two struggling masses. They push and try to use their feet (but not hands) to heel the ball back through their own scrum. This is done first by the #2 man or 'Hooker' The forwards then move the ball down the 'Tunnel' to the #8 Man The '8-man' will keep the ball from passing his back foot Once the Scrum-Half or Eight pick the ball up or allow it out of the scrum the ball is live and the gain line is at the ball. A penalty is assessed for reaching into the pack for the ball. Once it is out, the scrum-half takes the ball and passes it out to his backfield. This type of scrummage is known as a set scrum or set play since each player assumes a distinct position in the formation. Loose Scrums, Rucks and Muals…Oh My:  Loose Scrums, Rucks and Muals…Oh My The set scrum is not the only scrummage that can occur on the field. When a player is tackled or the ball is free in a crowd of forwards, a loose scrum or loose Ruck occurs. No whistles signal this variation and no set positions are required. Whoever gets to the ball first forms a ruck. Players get to the spot, bind into a pack and attempt to step over the ball to secure possession. The same rules apply to loose scrummages as to set scrums; no hands, the ball must be completely heeled stepped-over before the scrum-half can pass the ball out Maul is formed when a player may also run into the opposition and keep his feet his side will then bind onto him, holding him and retaining the advance. The defense will try to stop the rush by packing against the bound mass or by taking the ball from the person carrying it. Back Strategy-Offense:  Back Strategy-Offense The backline puts its strength on the roomiest side of the field (STRONG SIDE). The other side is logically referred to as the WEAK SIDE. The wings remain on the same side of the field and thus play both weak and strong. If the ball is in the middle the backs can split: Once in possession of the ball, the backs have options galore: They might quickly pass it out to the wing who has fewer obstacles and is generally very fast. The ball might be kicked in various ways and pursued. One of our favorite ways of extending the backline is by LOOPING, which is when an inside player (often after passing the ball out) sprints behind the line bursting through to receive it again somewhere. The backs may SKIP a player along the line in order to get it our quickly or ADD an extra player like the fullback who might come crashing through. You can catch everyone off-guard by changing the direction of movement by REVERSE passing back to the person you got it from, CUTTING back against the grain or SWITCHING with another player. A switch (or scissors) happens when instead of passing to the person outside you, she suddenly cuts back behind you to receive a handoff as you angle a bit. You can also DUMMY the defense by faking a move to a teammate and keeping it yourself. When running downfield, backs want to run STRAIGHT to leave room for outside people to do their stuff. MOST IMPORTANT IS COMMUNICATION: SOUND OFF AND USED THE TERMS THAT ARE BOLD TO LET THE GUY WITH THE BALL KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS. Back Strategy-Defense:  Back Strategy-Defense Defense means never having to say you're sorry. The basic idea is to come at them hard in a FLAT line (a veritable wall of intimidation). The faster you're in their faces, the less time they have to think. You must come up as a unit or a good team will take advantage of the fault in the fabric. Back three come up flat however prepare to cover in a kicking situation and will rotate up and back leaving at least one guy back (wing or fullback) as the 'safety' FLAT!!!!!!! 'Safety' In case of a kick Scrum, Ruck or Maul Line Out:  Line Out When the ball goes into touch or out of bounds, play is restarted by a lineout. A player from the side who did not touch the ball last throws the ball from out of bounds between two parallel lines of forwards standing perpendicular to the point where the ball left play. The nearest player in the line must be at least five meters from the touch line. The thrower attempts to loft the ball to the apex of the leap of his team's best jumper. The jumper does his best to secure the ball and deliver it cleanly to his scrum-half. A well timed transfer assures the players in the backfield of getting a good pass from their scrum-half. A ball that is tipped down or passed sloppily puts the scrum-half in terrible straits, vulnerable to the break-through of charging opposition forwards with malice on their minds. The forwards of a scrambling scrum-half do their best to shield their teammate by binding tightly to prevent an opposition break-through. 9 The Pass:  The Pass A competent rugby side will make a great effort to never allow a teammate to be isolated without someone to pass to: 'SUPPORT' SOUND OFF Even when the open-side wing finally receives the ball, he will be looking back inside for supporting members of his own squad. A well coordinated team will tie the opposition in knots by continually changing the direction of the attack with good passing. It might appear that passing is somewhat limited by the elimination of the forward pass. But the variation in distance, speed and delivery is endless. Good sides will exploit all possibilities, even using the forward pack as a rushing group of huge option quarterbacks. Two types of Pass: Pop Pass: Short pass used in close no spin, flat toss, lead receiver allow him to run/BURST onto the ball Spin/Long Pass: Typically used for passes beyond 5M. Best executed by swing arms straight towards the point in the air you want the receiver to catch the ball; allow the ball to roll off far had (if passing left its your right hand) and use opposing/near hand to guide the ball onto target Receiving the Pass: ALWAYS COMMUNICATE YOUR LOCATION AND INTENTIONS TO RECEIVE A PASS ALWAYS HAVE HANDS UP PALMS TOWARDS PASSER GIVEN HIM A TARGET Kicking:  Kicking The final option of a triple-threat attacking rugger is the kick. It's much easier to boot the ball forward thirty yards than it is to carry it the same distance. The kicking game is the backbone of a rugby side. Good kicks set up the good pass or the good run. The punt (for touch): This is a long kick in American football style. Used by a team defending its own end, it gets the pressure off by advancing the ball from behind the team's twenty-two meter line and out of bounds. The Pop-kick: Here is another method of beating the opposite player. In this case, when the opponent approaches, the ball carrier uses a short stab of his leg and foot to literally 'pop' the ball over the head of the opponent. If the ball isn't kicked too far, the kicker should be able to field it coming down or on one of its first bounces and continue upfield. Kicking Cont:  Kicking Cont Grub Kick: When a player strategically kicks the ball to the ground, allowing it to bounce uncontrollably, but placing it in an area where a teammate can either catch the ball or cause serious problems for the other team. The Up-and-Under: In this kick the player with the ball gives it a tremendous taste of his foot, not for distance, but for height. He aims to drop it several yards downfield from his own forward pack, where they descend with increasing speed and bloody intentions on the hapless soul who parks in the spot to try to field the falling 'red cross.' This kick is often taken by the scrum-half from the line-out or in a penalty situation. The 'Kick-Off': Like American Football; once the kick goes 10 meters it is live and can be retrieved by the kicking team Often kicked high in hopes for a 'muffed' kick or to allow own team to retrieve How to Score:  How to Score Try: When an attacking player grounds the ball in the opponent's in-goal. A try is worth 5 points. Conversion Goal: Following a try, the scoring team has the right to placekick or dropkick the ball at goal on a line through the place where the ball was grounded in the in-goal. The kick is worth 2 points if it goes through the two uprights of the goal and over the crossbar. Penalty Kick: When the attacking team should have scored, but because of foul play by the defending team, didn't. The attacking team gets the chance to placekick or dropkick the ball between the uprights and over the cross bar for 3 points. Goal: A goal can be scored during play if a player placekicks or dropkicks the ball between the uprights and over the cross bar. A goal is worth 3 points. Final Objective:  Final Objective No rugby team will win many games if they rely too heavily on a single facet of the game--the run, pass, or kick. Variety is important. For example, a player that has been passing all day may 'sell the dummy' -- fake the pass and keep the ball, catching his opposite number helplessly off balance. A team that has been going to the open-side of the field consistently may take the ball blindside to the chagrin of their opposition. Once you learn the basics of rugby and give the game a chance, you'll be able to appreciate the finer points. There will be no doubt in your mind, however, that rugby is a delicate true blend of strength, finesse, speed and stamina.

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