Like any other sport, rugby has rules and regulations. In fact, codes of play and conduct in this sport are quite important because it is much more physical than other athletic activities. Despite being the ancestor to American football, a lot of people still don’t understand how rugby is played. The following summarizes the inner workings of a rugby game.

Regulation Time

The regulation time is eighty minutes, played in halves of forty minutes. Even scores at the end of regulation are dealt with differently in various competition formats. Some might simply call it a draw, while others go into overtime wherein both teams are given five minutes each on offense to attempt a goal. The team who scores first in their extra time has scored the ‘golden point’ and wins the game.

The Offensive Objective: Try and Try until You Succeed

As with most sports, the offensive goal in rugby is to score more points than the opponent. This can be achieved in three ways. The first is the drop goal, wherein a player kicks the ball in between the end zone posts while play is ongoing. The second is the goal kick, which is usually done to score extra points after a legitimate goal or a penalty. The third and most popular form of scoring in rugby is the try. Similar to a touchdown in football, a try is executed when a player reaches the end zone and touches the ball to the ground.

The Defensive Objective: Stop, Look, and Tackle

A defensive player of any rugby league club has but one objective: prevent a goal from being made. Tackling is an accepted defensive move provided that it is carried out within the specifications of the rulebook. Generally, players are only allowed to tackle each other from the shoulders down. Upon tackling an opponent, the defensive players have to give the tackled player time to return to his feet. Play resumes as soon as he is up and about.

Passing and Tackling Rules

There are passing and tackling limitations as well. Rugby league club players can only pass backwards or sideways. Passing forward is considered illegal and causes the teams to change possessions.

Unlike American football, rugby league club tackling is limited to offensive players with possession of the ball. There is a penalty for tackles made to players who do not have the ball in hand.

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