Rules of rugby: How to play, the scoring system and all you need to know

Rules of rugby: How to play, the scoring system and all you need to know

Sospeter Itolondo
April 17, 2023 at 8:57 AM

Rugby is one of the best games in the world and attracts millions of fans. The sport has been played for years and started out mainly as a passing time activity. So, what are the 10 main rules of rugby? Read on to learn more about the rules of rugby.

what are the 5 main rules of rugby
Samantha Bremner in action during the Women's Rugby League World Cup 2021 match at LNER Community Stadium on November 02, 2022, in York, England. Photo: Jan Kruger
Source: Getty Images

Despite its similarity with American football, rugby has been played longer and has different rules. Some rules may be the same such as the tackling and the shape of the ball to be used. Here are the rules of rugby explained in detail.

Basic rules of rugby

The game of rugby is an enjoyable sport for many fans around the globe. It has provided opportunities for world-class athletes to show their strength and talent. It is also governed by rules to keep the game exciting and professional. So, what are the 5 main rules of rugby? Read on for more.

The five main rules of rugby include that the ball cannot be passed forward from one player to another, which would lead to a foul. Second, all players on the same team should be behind the player with the ball; otherwise, they would be offside and cannot receive the ball if they are passed to.

rules of rugby explained
Tevita Tatola in action during Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool D match between Tonga and Cook Islands at Riverside Stadium on October 30, 2022, in Middlesbrough, England. Photo: Stu Forster
Source: Getty Images

Third, players are not allowed to charge opposing players when their teammate who is in possession tries to score. They are also not allowed to push or obstruct them when in motion unless they are shoulder to shoulder. Repeat infringements by a player may concede a caution, a yellow car meaning they have to stay out for 10 minutes and a red card if the play persists.

Finally, dangerous plays such as picking up a player and dumping them head first are prohibited as they can harm the opponent. Misconduct is also punished heavily. This involves plays such as hitting an opponent or tracking late when a player has already given up possession.

rules of rugby concerning the scrum
Spain's Ignacio Martin tackles Kenya's Humphrey Kayange in the men's rugby sevens match between Spain and Kenya at Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 10, 2016. Photo: Philippe Lopez
Source: Getty Images

Other rules of rugby for dummies include no shoulder pads or helmets allowed in the game. Also, you can pick up a fumbled ball when you tackle an opponent if you are on your feet. Any player in rugby is allowed to tackle, unlike in American football.

A scrum in rugby is used to restart play after an infringement or when a ruck happens. Rules of rugby concerning the scrum include it can become uncontested on the referee's orders or if either team needs to field a trained front row. A match organiser can also decide its start.

Basic rules of rugby
Tim Lafai touches down while being tackled by Jack Welsby during the Rugby League World Cup at Emirates Stadium on November 12, 2022, in London, England. Photo: Michael Steele
Source: Getty Images

The scrums can also be played with eight players on each side in case of a send-off or a suspension. Also, a player who causes an uncontested scrum cannot be replaced in case of departure.

So, how do you win in rugby? The team that wins in rugby is the team that has the most points. The two teams play for two forty-minute halves, and a five-minute halftime is allowed.

Rules of rugby league

In the game's leagues, the rules are usually much the same. In a league, for example, whenever there are more than six tackles, the team chooses whether to kick the ball down the field for more territory, else the ball is handed over to the opposing team. The player with the ball can also pass it to their teammate behind them by foot in case of a tackle.

Rules of rugby scoring

So, how is rugby scored? Scoring in the game depends on the method a player has scored. How many points is a goal in rugby? The points are awarded depending on how a player has scored; for example, 5 points are awarded for a touchdown. This is when the opposing player enters the opponent's end zone and places the ball down with your hands.

After a touchdown, a team can acquire more points when kicking. The ball must go through the goalposts, which is called a conversion kick. So, the conversion kick plus the try make 7 points.

rules of rugby
A rugby ball on a rugby pitch in front of the goalposts. Photo: Photo and Co
Source: Getty Images

Three points are awarded for penalty kicks when an opposing team is forty-five yards from the goalpost. The opposing defenders must, however, be at least ten yards from the kicking spot. Another type of goal is a drop goal which is also worth three points. This happens when a player kicks the ball towards the opponent's goalposts once it touches the ground after they have dropped it. So, those are the basics of how to play rugby.

What is the most basic rule of rugby?

The most basic rule of the game is a player is not allowed to pass the ball forward. If a player passes forward to a teammate, who is considered to be offside, a penalty is given to the opposing team.

The rules of rugby are more straightforward compared to other games. One basic rule is to make sure you pass the ball to a teammate only when they are behind you. Also, the goals in the game are award points, with the highest being in a touchdown conceding five points, and the lowest being a kick getting two points.

READ ALSO: Footballers number 9: 10 best number 9's in football history

SportsBrief also published a list of the best number 9s in football history. Number 9 are mostly forwards who are the main strikers in teams. They are known for scoring goals. Most number 9's are usually tall to make sure they are also a threat aerially.

So, who is the best number 9 in football history? Is your favourite number 9 on the list? Click on the link above to find out more.

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