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"Rugby may seem a bit complicated, but in the end, all it takes to enjoy the game is time.  Be patient and you’ll pick up on it, it’s very similar to enjoying a football game. There will be great tackles as well as beautiful tries scored through wonderful teamwork, passing, and aggressive running. There is no blocking in rugby!"


Rugby is governed by laws, not rules. First and foremost, the referee is called a Sir…and everyone must respect the Sir! The laws of the game are designed to produce an entertaining and free-flowing contest for possession in an attempt to score the most points. The laws of rugby are constantly evolving and are the same all over the world, wherever the game is played. In general, the laws governing play are straightforward about what’s allowed, but three crucial parts can be somewhat confusing: the tackle situation, advantage, and offsides. 


  •  The tackle situation: In a nutshell, when a tackle is made in rugby the requirements are that the tackler releases the tackled player, who then releases the ball so that players who are on their feet can use it. You’ll often see a ruck form after this happens (learn more about a Ruck on the reverse of this page)

  • Advantage: Advantage simply means that when one team makes an error the other team can try to capitalize on it, instead of the referee immediately stopping the action. If the players can’t capitalize on the error, play restarts where the original mistake took place.

  • Offsides: Specific offsides laws exist for different phases of play, but essentially players can’t be involved if they’re in front of a teammate who last played the ball, nor can they be behind the ball when the opposition has it. The last foot in the ruck sets the offsides line.




A 7’s rugby team has 7 positions. There are no specific numbers for their positions. The main difference between 15’s and 7’s (besides the number of players on the field) is that 7’s matches are only 7-minute halves with a 1-minute halftime. For developing teams, such as middle school level, a full-field pitch is split in half to condense the playing area.


A 15’s rugby team has 15 positions. Each one wears a specific number and has individual responsibilities 


  • One group is collectively referred to as the pack or the forwards. This group’s main goal is to win possession of the ball. These players are usually the heavyweights of the team, using their bulk and strength to try to overpower their opponents.

    • 1 and 3 are props

    • 2 is the hooker

    • 4 and 5 are the locks

    • 6 and 7 are the flankers

    • 8 is, conveniently enough, the eightman

  • The other group is collectively referred to as the backs or back line. 

    • 9 is the scrumhalf

    • 10 is the flyhalf

    • 11 and 14 are the wings

    • 12 and 13 are the inside and outside centers

    • 15 is the fullback 




  • Try – 5 Points: Similar to a touchdown in football, a try is scored when the ball carrier touches the ball down in the opposing players try-zone.

  • Conversion kick – 2 Points: This kick is worth an additional two points and is taken after a try is scored from a spot in line with where the ball was originally grounded. This is why you may see players wait to touch down until they are in the center of the try zone – to gain a better positioning for this kick.

  • Penalty kick – 3 Points: Penalties for various infractions can be used to take a kick at goal, which is worth three points. For instance, offsides, high tackle, hands in the ruck, etc

  • Dropped goal – 3 Points: A dropped goal, which occurs when the player drops the ball on the ground and then kicks it just as it bounces, is worth three points if it goes through the uprights.

  • Penalty Try – 7 Points: A penalty try is awarded when a major infraction occurs on the way to the try zone or inside the try zone.



  • Lineout: A lineout looks somewhat like a jump-ball in basketball, with both teams lining up opposite each other. One player from each team is hoisted in the air to gain a better advantage when the ball is thrown down the center of the lineout. Lineouts occur after the ball, or a player carrying the ball, has gone out of bounds and are done to determine possession.                                                                                                                                                                                

  • Maul: A maul occurs when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents, and one or more of the ball-carrier’s teammates bind on the ball-carrier. All the players involved are on their feet and moving toward a goal line. Instead of going down with the ball when tackled, the player stays on their feet while their teammates push them forward.



  • Ruck: After a tackle, while the tackled person is on the ground, they must release the ball. A ruck forms when one or more players from each team, who are still on their feet, close around the released ball. Once a ruck has been formed, players can’t use their hands to get the ball, only their feet. This looks like a small huddle of players standing above and around a tackled ball carrier.


  • Scrum: A contest for the ball involving three or eight players who bind together and push against the other team’s scrum. The Scrum Half rolls the ball down the center of the scrum and watches for it to be moved out by a player’s foot. A scrum looks like a giant moving huddle, but the players are actually trying to use their combined strength to push the other team further from the ball. Scrums restart play after certain minor infractions such as a forward pass, or a knock-on. A forward pass is a pass that goes to a player running in front of the ball carrier. A knock-on is similar to a fumble…the player mishandles the ball and it drops forward onto the ground.                                                                                                     

Rugby Perry Panthers vs Columbus Warrior
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Perry Panthers  vs Canton Bulldogs 4-4-1
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