Rules of Rugby Union


The object of the game is for your team to score more points than the opposing team.
The game is played with two teams of 15 playing on a field that’s a hundred meters long between the goal lines. In Rugby union, you may run forwards with the ball and you may kick the ball forwards. But what’s interesting about Rugby union is that you can only pass the ball backward and sideways. You cannot pass the ball forwards and do so will result in your opponent being awarded possession. The idea is to score points and there are several ways to do this

Try: you can run with the ball into the opponent’s in-goal area a place the ball down onto the ground. This is a try and is worth five points. Unlike in American football the player must press the ball on the ground with downward pressure. No downward pressure equals to no try.

Conversion: after scoring a try you awarded a conversion kick to add more points. The kick is made from a spot 20 meters from the goal line and perpendicular to the spot where the try was scored. Kicking the ball between the posts and over crossbar scores 2 points.

A penalty: if your opponent commits a foul you may choose to kick the ball from the ground between the goalposts. This scores 3 points

Drop Goal: you can also kick the ball between the posts at any time during open play. To do this you must drop the ball onto the ground first before kicking it this also scores 3 points. To stop you from stoping your opponents will try and stop you by tackling your opponent can grab you below the shoulders and pull you to the floor or stop you moving forward. In Rugby union, once the player is tackled, the ball carrier must let go of the ball. This usually results in players pushing each other away on the ground whilst teammates try to get possession of the ball. Players either team can get possession at this point. This is known as a Ruck and is an important part of the game. To the untrained eye, it looks like a bunch of men rolling around the floor a bit, but in reality, they are trying to push their opponents away so that they can get the ball.

The maul is the other important part of the game. This is essentially a Ruck whilst standing up. Players will push opposing players backward in order to get a better field position. Unlike in American football or Rugby league, there are no set limits for possession if a player can keep the ball for the entire game, they generally will. The game is played in 2 40 minutes halves. For a combined playing time of 80 minutes. The team with the highest score after 80 minutes wins.

Knock on: any player deflecting the ball for words with their arm or body is committing a knock-on. Remember, you are not allowed to pass the ball forward, so you are not allowed to deflected forward others unless it’s a kick. Committing on ok on will result in the other team being awarded a scrum.

Scrum: This is a method of restarting play, usually after a forward pass or knock-on. The forwards of both teams line up and push against one another whilst the ball is rolled between them. In general, any team can win possession of the ball at this point.


In touch: This is rugby terminology for ‘Out of the playing area’. the outer lines of the field are touchlines, and any ball leaving the field of play is said to be in touch

Line out: This is another method of restarting play, usually, when the ball has left field in touch, players from each team lineup one meter apart whilst the ball is thrown into play between them. Players are allowed to lift teammates to try and gain possession of the ball.