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What is Rugby?

Are rugby players, crazy? Not really. They simply love physical competition and having fun. Ruggers play because they love the game and enjoy the camaraderie. To newcomers, rugby might appear to be a free-for-all, but with a little understanding of the game, you will begin to see why so many people love it.

Legend has it that rugby began in November 1823 at Rugby School in England, when during a soccer match, William Webb Ellis picked up and ran with the ball. Truth or legend, there is a stone on the school grounds that commemorates the event and the game does bear the school's name.

Today, rugby is played in over 100 countries, by men and women of every race and creed, and by everyone from five to well over 50.

The Object
If you are reasonably familiar with American Football you can follow rugby football. There are two teams of fifteen players each - observing fair play according to the Laws and a sporting spirit - that carry, pass, kick and ground the ball to score as many points as possible. The team that scores the greater number of points is the winner of the match. Actually, rugby is a much simpler game than American football.

Much like basketball, rugby action does not stop until someone scores, the ball goes out of bounds (into touch), or a rule is broken. Squads do not take time in a huddle to prepare strategy and no patterns for offense and defense exist. A good side will respond instantly to a number of offensive and defensive situations, each member of the team moving independently within his role, but collectively for total effect.

Because there are so few rules in rugby, it allows the players to be much more versatile than American football. Each side is composed of eight Forwards and seven Backs and every man on the pitch is a triple threat to run, pass or kick.

Click here for a guide to rugby. It includes scoring, penalties, positions on the field and all the basic inormation needed to make a rugger out of you.