Rugby football usually refers to rugby union or sometimes rugby league, which are both team sports. Rugby football (both league and union) is one of many versions of football played at English public schools in the 19th century, along with association football. Although rugby league initially used rugby union rules, they are now wholly separate sports. In addition to the two existing codes, both codes of Gridiron football (American football and Canadian football) have evolved from rugby football, but themselves also completely different sports altogether. The game is played with two teams, each consisting of fifteen players. Each team can carry, pass or kick the ball to the end zone to score as many points as possible. The team scoring the greater number of points is the winner of the match. The two teams compete for two forty minute halves with a five minute halftime. One referee controls the match with the assistance of two touch judges. There are no time outs, except at the referee's discretion where he can allow one minute for an injured player to decide whether or not to continue to play.
In 1871, English clubs met to form the Rugby Football Union (RFU). In 1892, after charges of professionalism (compensation of team members) were made against some clubs for paying players for missing work, the Northern Rugby Football Union, usually called the Northern Union (NU), was formed. Rugby Union is administered by World Rugby (WR), whose headquarters are located in Dublin, Ireland. WR controls the Rugby World Cup, the Women's Rugby World Cup, Rugby World Cup Sevens, HSBC Sevens Series, HSBC Women's Sevens Series, World Under 20 Championship, World Under 20 Trophy, Nations Cup and the Pacific Nations Cup. The Olympic Games have admitted the seven-a-side version of the game, known as Rugby sevens, into the programme from Rio de Janeiro in 2016 onwards. Rugby league is also both a professional and amateur game, administered on a global level by the Rugby League International Federation. In addition to amateur and semi-professional competitions in the United States, Russia, Lebanon, Serbia, Europe and Australasia, there are two major professional competitions—the Australasian National Rugby League and the European Super League.
India began playing rugby in the early 1870s, the Calcutta Football Club forming in 1873. However, with the departure of a local British army regiment, interest in rugby diminished in the area. In 1878, The Calcutta Football Club was disbanded, and rugby in India faltered.
LAWS OF RUGBY
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 or are behind the ball when the opposition has it.
Major international competitions:
Rugby World Cup: The most important tournament in rugby union is the Rugby World Cup, a men's tournament that has taken place every four years since 1987 among national rugby union teams.
Major international competitions are the Six Nations Championship and The Rugby Championship, held in Europe and the Southern Hemisphere respectively.
Rugby union was played at the Olympic Games in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924. In 2009 the International Olympic Committee voted with a majority of 81 to 8 that rugby union be reinstated as an Olympic sport in at least the 2016 and 2020 games, but in the sevens, 4-day tournament format.
Rugby sevens has been played at the Commonwealth Games since the 1998 Games. Rugby union has also been an Asian Games event since the 1998 games. The event is likely to remain a permanent fixture of the Asian Games due to elevation of rugby sevens as an Olympic sport from the 2016 Olympics onwards.