After it gained popularity in England, many of the immagrants living in the United States continued to play the game and it was because of rugby that the american game of football began. So rugby, is a combination of soccer and grid iron football.
The next Summer Olympics (2012, more below) in London, rugby will be an introductory sport and a medal sport in the 2016 Summer games in Brazil, but many of you may not know, but the United States is the 2 time defending Gold Medal winner (the 1920 & 1924 Olympics), they beat the host country in Paris in the last game played in the Olympics. Rugby was then dropped from Olympic competition because it required teams for field a roster of 25+ players, coaches, trainers and medical staff making this far to expensive to continue.
The upcoming Olympics will feature rugby:
7's - there are only 7 players on each side on the field. They use the same regulation field and the match is only 14 minutes long (7 each half) with a 1 minute half time. In this version, teams field a roster of only 10 during a match. Therefore you can get many more matches (pool play) in a short amount of time. The championship matches are 20 minutes long (10 each half) with 2 minute half time.
15's - there are 15 players on each side and the matches are 80 minutes long (40 minute halves) with a maximum of a 10 minute half time. 15's Rugby on the International level is more restrictive, meaning a team selects 23 players and the best 15 begin the match, with the 8 other players being reserves for injuries or tactical replacements. The matches we play, are under the same restrictions, except we're free to use whatever player we need at the time we need to make that change. Be it for an injury or tactical substitution. Each team has numbers on their jersey to signify the player and the position he plays. Below are the numbers and the positions:
1. Loose Head Prop 9. Scrum Half
2. Hooker 10. Flyhalf
3. Tight Head Prop 11. Wing
4. Lock (Second Row) 12. Inside Center
5. Lock (Second Row) 13. Outside Center
6. Flanker (Blind side) 14. Wing
7. Flanker (Open side) 15. Fullback
8. Number 8
Reserve players wear 16 through 23, there isn't a hard fast rule for the reserves, it's up to the selection of each team.
Below are some of the terminology of the game:
The Pitch - the field in which the game is played.
Match - the game
Touch or In Touch - the side lines of the field.
Start - Kick Off, the beginning of the match
(Restart - any kick off following a score or the beginning of the second half)
Try - like a touchdown in which a play grounds the ball past his goal line. Worth 5 points
Conversion - like a P.A.T. (point after touchdown) is taken anywhere from where the Try was awarded. Worth 2 points.
Penalty Kick / Drop Kick - like a field goal. Worth 3 points
Penalty - a major infraction of the laws of rugby. The team the penalty was called for must retreat 10 meters from the mark of the referee.
Scrum - a restart of a minor infraction of the laws of rugby. This is where the 8 forwards all bind together and then lock in with there opponents. The Scrum Half puts the ball in the center of the scrum and the team with the best forwards should win possession of the ball.
Line Out - another restart when the ball went into touch. The team that did not force the ball into touch will have the throw in. Meaning they will use a series of calls to designate who or where the ball will be thrown in to restart the match.
Ruck - A ball carrier is tackled and brought to the ground and is engaged by the defender, who has gotten back to his feet and a member of the ball carriers team now engaged with the defender.
Maul - A ball carrier is held by a defender and both are still on their feet and now also by a team mate of the ball carrier. A maul can not be collapsed by the defending side, intentional collapsing of the maul is a penalty, but the ball carrier may if he has the opportunity to go to the ground and form a ruck. If the player chooses this, it is not a penalty.
I'll be posting more on this great game, including laws of the game, positions of the game and what their duties are during a match as well as any other bits of information. As always if anyone has a question about rugby or UT Dallas rugby, feel free to send me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll use those questions for the next topic.