What are the main rules of rugby?

There are several rules of rugby to protect players

The purpose of the game.

A game of rugby usually involves two teams competing against each other. The main common games of rugby are 7-aside and 15-aside. This means that the teams can either have seven players or 15 players each. For the 15-aside match, each team usually has seven substitutes on the bench. The main aim for each team in a rugby match is to ensure that they score more points than their opponents. Teams can only earn points in the game through tries, drop goals, conversions, and penalty kicks. In this article, I am going to discuss about the most common rules of rugby.

Game time

The total normal time for playing a rugby match is 80 minutes with an additional mandatory halftime break of 10 minutes. Each half usually runs for 40 minutes, after which the players go for halftime then change sides for the second half. The field is usually rectangular, with the game being under the control one referee together with two touchline officials who offer assistance. The referees are usually undergo training on the rules of rugby, so their decisions are usually final in a game.

Rules Of Rugby That Govern Kick-offs

Rules of rugby that regulate kick-off

Every single game of rugby usually starts with a dropkick. One team has to drop kick the ball from the middle of the pitch, and it must travel a minimum of 10 meters from the halfway line. In case the ball does not cover this minimum distance, the team on the receiving end has three options to choose from. They can either request for a re-kick, scrum, or a line out on the halfway line with the advantage of the feed or throw-in. When a team scores, then their opponents are the ones who will restart the game with a dropkick.

Equipment needed

A rugby ball is usually oval. Initially, the ball was made of hand-stitched leather. However, this type of ball became extremely hard to handle during rainy and muddy conditions during a game. This prompted game organizers to adopt more advanced tech to make this game more effective during such conditions.

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The management opted for balls made of synthetic fibers, which proved to be very useful during such conditions. Every player usually needs a full jersey in order to participate in the game. This jersey usually comprises a shirt, shorts, a pair of socks, a mouth guard, football boots, and a head guard upon request. The colors of the jersey of opponent teams are usually different for easy identification.

Rules of Rugby

The International Rugby Board usually formulates the rules that are applicable in any rugby game. These rules are usually present so as to ensure the safety of the players since rugby is usually a physical game. The most common rules involve the passing of the ball and tackling during the game.

When passing the ball, a player can only pass it to a team member sideways or behind him but never a forward pass. When tackling an opponent, your main aim is usually to drag the player to the ground. You are not allowed to tackle a player above the shoulder. Also, you cannot use your legs to trip or tackle a player, as this is also a foul. Other rules of rugby are:

Recurring Fouls

Everybody is usually happy when a game plays out in a fair manner. Unfairness usually comes in when players begin committing fouls or making irrational decisions such as time-wasting. Some fouls are usually unintentional, so the culprits receive caution from the referee. However, some of them are usually irrational such as deliberately kicking the ball out of play and time-wasting. The referee is usually strict on such culprits where in some cases, they receive a yellow card.

The main focus is usually on repeated fouls. When a single player or even the whole team consistently fouls their opponents, the referee will show them a yellow card. This means that they will have to sit out the game for ten minutes at a spot outside the pitch known as the sin bin. When they continue to make these fouls after returning to the pitch, then the referee will have no choice but to issue them with a red card. This means that culprits will have to leave that game immediately.

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Passing and Knock ons

One of the most common rules of rugby touches on the passing of the ball. A player cannot pass the ball to a teammate who is in front of them. They can only pass the ball sideways or to a player who is behind them. They will have to do this until they make a try at the other end. In the event that a player will make a forward pass, the opposing team will get a scrum.

Whenever a receiving player messes up a legal pass, then the ball is pushed forward and then hits the ground, or another player catches it, it will be considered a foul. That type of foul is known as a knock-on.


Players can only shove an opponent on the shoulders but not charge at them when the player is running for the ball. We can classify a foul as an obstruction when a player crosses in front of a teammate carrying the ball. This is because by doing so, the player will be preventing the opponents from tackling the player with the ball. The player that can only be tackled is the one with the ball.

A player cannot stand in a position or make moves that will prevent an opponent from playing the ball. When you have the ball, you cannot pass it to a player who is in front of you. Also, a scrum-half should not be blocked during any scrum. All these fouls are obstructions, and it results in the opponents getting a penalty.

Unruly behavior

Infringement of one of the rules of rugby

There are usually certain actions that are classified as dangerous play. They include kicking, punching, stamping, tripping, and trampling an opponent. Also, you cannot tackle a player above shoulder height, an airborne player, or ‘spear tackling. This type of tackling, where the player is thrown into the air, hits the ground head first. When you make a late charge- tackling a player after they have already released the ball- it is also under dangerous play.