Part Two: Game Play, Position, Physiotherapy

How does a game of Rugby start? Well, the two teams line up:


Before the game starts a coin is flipped to decide which team will ‘kick off’. Let’s say that Team B are kicking off. They are given the ball and one of their players kicks the ball to the other team.


So, the Team B kicker kicks the ball to Team A, a member of team A (hopefully) will catch the ball and team A will then have possession. The game has begun! Let’s see what that looks like:

Did you see how everyone always passed backwards? Did you see how they kicked forward? Did you see how players lined up behind the ball?  It’s all there! So, in that clip Team B (England) kicked the ball to Team A (New Zealand). New Zealand gathered the ball and kicked it back, England than gathered the ball and began trying to build an attack. You’ll have noticed that regularly when a player is tackled with the ball lots of players pile in and the game slows, when players do this it is called a ruck if the ball is on the ground, or a maul if the ball is still in a players arms and he is standing up. When a player goes to ground they have to let go of the ball.  The ball then emerges and is passed out to players who have stayed away from the maul or ruck. The players who go in to the maul or ruck, and the players who stay out, are very different. It’s time to introduce you to forwards and backs. 


So, generally, the forwards go into the rucks and the mauls and try and win the ball, they then get it out and pass it to the forwards who try and move forward again, hoping to eventually get to the other teams goal line. Sometimes, when there is a foul or if something happens, the game will stop and recommence with a scrum which is like an organised ruck, lets have a look at that:

If the ball goes off the pitch the team who had possession loses it and the other team gets to throw it back in, this is called a line out. In a line out, the team throwing the ball in have to throw it straight, so not back or forward. The forwards of each team line up, and try and win the ball:

So that’s kick offs, rucks, mauls, scrums and line outs. But the most exciting part of rugby is the try! Lets look at a good ones shall we?

Not bad! More next time!

P.S Thanks to the guys over at The Treatment Table for getting me back on the pitch!


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What Is Rugby? Part 1

Rugby is a sport that has been played literally for about 100 years or something. There are 15 players on each team. There is one ball. You can touch the ball with any part of your body. The pitch is a large rectangle split into two half’s and at the beginning each team is assigned their own half. Both teams want to get the ball through the other teams half and put it down in a space beyond the other teams half. If they manage to get through the other teams half and put the ball down on the other side they score points. In the game you can kick the ball in any direction, but you can only pass it with your hands backwards, meaning that to move forward you have to either kick it and try and run and catch it, or run with it past their players and through their half.


So at the beginning of the game the teams start in the green area on either side of the middle line. The team on the right want to get the ball into the red area on the left, and the team on the left want to get the ball to the red area on the right. The next question is: How do they do that?

How do they do that?

Well now it’s time for some rules. So, when moving the ball from one player to another, whether with your hands or your feet, at the point that one player passes or kicks it, the player they are passing or kicking too must be behind them, as in, closer to the red area they are trying to defend than the the person passing or kicking. So, let’s look at the picture above and first, say that the team on the left is called team A and the team on the right team B. Team A are attacking Team B’s Goal Line, and visa versa:


So, in the next picture Player 1 from team A has the ball and wants to get it too player 2:


Whether he wants to kick it or too pass it with his hands, he has to make sure that when he kicks it or passes it, player 2 is behind him, which he is in the picture above. If player 2 was in front of him, like this:


Then player 1 cannot pass the ball too him. In this picture player 2 is on the wrong side of the ball, he is ahead of the ball, and this means he is offside. If you are offside, between the ball and the goal line of the other team, you cannot interfere with play. So, let’s say that player 2 is back where he was before this last picture, behind player 1, in a position where they can receive the ball from player 1. Player one can either pass it with their hands or kick it with their feet, there are different rules for these two ways of passing. When you pass with your hands, the ball itself cannot move forward, toward their goal line, you have to pass the ball flat or backward. So in these directions:


But not forward. So, for a pass from Player 1’s hands to Player 2 to be legal we need both A) Player 2 to be behind Player 1 and B) The pass itself to not move forward. With kicking, it is different. With kicking, A still applies, Player 2 still needs to be behind Player 1 when player 1 kicks it, but B does not apply, you can kick  the ball forward.


If player 1 kicks the ball forward, and player 2 wants to catch it, player two has to have been behind player 1 when they kicked it (like he is in the picture above) and then has to run forward and try and get to where the ball will land and catch it. Player 1 may also kick the ball forward to get it out of a dangerous situation, simply giving possession of the ball to the other team. So, to move the ball forward a team will attempt to pass, kick, and run the ball into the other teams half and eventually to their goal line. If they can get to the goal line and put the ball down with their hands in the red area beyond it they have scored a Try!

That’s passing, and that’s part 1!

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