How to Know Positions and Basics of Rugby

Five Methods:Forward PositionsBack PositionCommonly Used TermsRules, Regulations, and GameplayPenalty Plays


Rugby is a sport that is very popular in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other Pacific Island regions. It is not played in the U.S. to the extent that it is in the latter countries. However, it is a sport that is rapidly increasing interest for potential players, and spectators alike. It is a very fast paced game full of hard hits, tackles, ball handling, and lots of running.


"RUCK! MAUL! SCRUM! LINE-OUT!" These are terms you have more-than-likely heard watching a rugby match. To understand the basic rules of the game and know a little bit about all 15 positions, this is the article to read.

Method 1
Forward Positions

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    A rugby team is comprised of 15 players, which are divided into forwards and backs. One of the easiest ways to identify a forward from a back is by their number; it indicates their position. The forwards are also the stronger ones on the team and are responsible for getting mauls, rucks, and comprising the scrum. The forwards wear numbers one through eight and the backs wear nine through fifteen
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    Numbers one and three are called “props”; they are usually the biggest and/or strongest ones on the team. A prop’s role is to “prop” up the number two position, which is called a “hooker”.
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    A hooker is usually one of the smaller players and their job is to “hook the ball” back for the scrum-half during a scrum.
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    Numbers four and five are “second rows” and are usually the taller ones on the team. Second rows go behind the front three during a scrum and provide support.
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    Numbers six and seven are called “flankers” and they attach to the scrum next to the second rows. They help drive the scrum forward when it is in motion. They are also usually the first ones out of the scrum and are the faster forwards.
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    The number eight position is called “eight man” and that player is allowed to act as the scrum-half and get the ball when the offense is winning the scrum.

Method 2
Back Position

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    Number nine is the “scrum-half”. The scrum-half is generally the fastest player on the team. They are responsible for getting the ball out of the scrum once it has reached the back of it and also putting the ball in once a scrum has been called.
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    Number ten is called the “fly-half” and they are usually the ones who do the kicking if the ball is in a certain area.
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    Numbers eleven and fourteen are “wings” and they are exceptionally fast. During kick-offs, they usually receive the ball and they do most of the scoring.
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    Numbers twelve and thirteen are “centres”. The centres are involved in most of the back line passing and are also very fast.
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    The last position, number fifteen, is called the “full back”. The full back is behind the defense and near the back of the field. They are usually the ones who catch the ball when the other team’s fly-half has kicked it during play.
    • To see a photo of rugby positions in relation to the field, use the following link: [[1]]

Method 3
Commonly Used Terms

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    Maul = when the ball carrier is tackled, but not brought to the ground. Members of both teams may join to try to pry the ball out and bring it back into play. If it is held up for a period of time, a scrum is called.
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    Ruck= when the ball carrier is tackled and brought to the ground. Members of both teams may join. Hands are not allowed to get the ball out, only feet. The ball may be picked up when it is out of the ruck.
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    Scrum = occurs after a minor penalty has occurred. Both teams of forwards comprise the scrum and try to regain possession of the ball.
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    Line Out = occurs when the ball is either kicked, thrown, or a player is tackled and the ball goes out of bounds.

Method 4
Rules, Regulations, and Gameplay

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    The rules and regulations of rugby may be confusing. A regulation rugby match lasts 80 minutes with a 5-minute halftime. Injury time is also added on to the clock when necessary. Since it is not native to the U.S., the field measurements are metric.
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    The game begins when the “sir” (referee) blows the whistle. Similar to football, there is a kicking and receiving team at the beginning of each half.
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    Once the ball has been kicked and received by the offensive team, play will begin. Once the ball is in play, it may be passed or kicked to other members of the team; however, kicking is usually only used when the ball is on the ground or to advance on the field.
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    Unlike football, the ball can not be passed forwards; only backwards.
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    The backs do most of the ball handling, as they are the faster ones on the team. Likewise, the forwards do most of the tackling, as they are the stronger or bigger ones on the team.

Method 5
Penalty Plays

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    A scrum is called when something occurs within a ruck or maul, or it is offside. The scrum-half of the team the penalty was not called on puts the ball in the scrum once it is in formation. Once the ball is put in, the hookers from both sides use their feet to try to hook the ball back for their team to get possession of the ball. Once it reaches the eight-man, the scrum-half or eight-man may pick up the ball and resume play. However, if the ball goes out of bounds, a line out occurs.
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    Usually the hooker is the one that throws the ball in from the touchline. The pods vary in size (there may be only one or multiple) and the offensive team chooses how many they wish to do; the defensive team has to match. During a line out, the hooker (or whoever throws the ball) calls the play and the specific pod, comprised of two lifters and a jumper, will jump up to try to knock the ball down to their team’s side. Once the ball is knocked down, the game resumes as normal.

Tips

  • Don't be afraid to ask someone how to do something; it's confusing at first and people will be willing to explain it.
  • Although playing is the best way to learn how to play, watching a few games to get a better understanding of it may help.

Warnings

  • Rugby IS a fast-paced and hard-hitting sport. Injuries are likely to occur, even with proper playing skills.

Things You'll Need To Play

  • Rugby ball
  • Rugby field
  • Cleats (Soccer cleats are fine, but avoid those that have studs/blades in the toe section due to regulation reasons)
  • Mouthguard (Optional though recommended)
  • Scrum cap (Optional)
  • Padding may be used but non-rigid ones only

Article Info

Categories: Rugby