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!