for an informative video that offers a brief introduction to rugby.
for a (pdf) spectator guide to rugby.
Much like soccer, rugby is safer than other team sports like hockey, football and lacrosse. Because they don't wear heavy "protective" equipment, rugby players are more aware of their physical position, particularly their head, neck and shoulders. By playing for possession of the ball, not yardage, and the rule of no blocking, players are less likely to be injured by other players. For more on rugby safety, read this short article written by Dr. Lyle J. Mitchell, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine:
Many historians believe that rugby derived from the many ball-in-hand games of ancient cultures. But popular legend has it that rugby was "invented" in 1823 during an intramural soccer match at a private boarding school in Rugby, England. Student William Webb Ellis became so frustrated by his inability to kick the ball that he picked it up and ran towards the goal. His fellow players liked the new rules and Rugby football was born. Rugby football is now played internationally and is far more popular than American football overseas.
Youth Rugby is rugby played by boys and girls entering kindergarten through ninth grade. In most areas, Youth Rugby is played with a two-hand tap replacing the tackle. Scrums are uncontested and lineout is contested. A loose ball on the ground is contested. Many countries around the world have used variations of this program starting ages of five years old and up. Australia and New Zealand have adult leagues using a variation of Youth Rugby, since without tackling; women can play on a competitive level with men.
REALLY, really basic rules: With fifteen players on the team, the game is played nonstop with a short break at half. No forward passing is allowed. A player must release the ball when tackled and touch the ball down on the ground to score. A good detailed explanation of rugby rules is online at:
The rugby ball is shaped like a football. Teammates will run with the ball in their hands, passing the ball among them, looking to run between or around the opposition to score in the end zone. The skills learned are similar to soccer, lacrosse, and basketball, only you don't dribble with the feet or your hands or carry the ball with a stick. This allows you to work on space (spreading out the offense) and pace (controlling your speed to provide good support, then bursting to score).
Rugby is excellent preparation for any team sport. The game will get you in excellent shape. You'll improve your ability to read defenses. Your passing will be vastly improved in your other sports, whether it's with a tick in lacrosse, your feet in soccer, yours hands in basketball, or your tackling skills in Pop Warner Football.
No! Because there are no downs, the ball keeps moving around the field. Everyone touches the ball! Everyone runs with the ball! Everyone passes the ball! Everyone can be a Running Back!
No. Youth rugby laws are amended to provide a fun safe opportunity for youths to learn the sport.
Positional kicking allows you to kick the ball behind the defense to continue the attack. It also allows the defense to get themselves out of situations when their back is against the wall. You'll learn a range of kicks during this program.
Luckily, there's been Rugby Union shown on the International Channel. That's the type of rugby that Youth Rugby is based on. There is a different type of rugby shown at times called Rugby League. In that game when a ball carrier is tackled, play stops like in football. In Youth Rugby, play does not stop if you're tagged or tackled. The ball changes sides when the offense makes a mistake. Sometimes, on TV, you'll see teams playing "crash ball", driving into the opposition. In Youth Rugby, you'll learn how to attack space. Coaching and training will involve passing and running with the ball to go between or around the defense, or kick past them.
No special skills are necessary to begin. If you can pass a little bit and catch a ball while running, you'll be a star. You will concentrate on the skills of tackling, passing, running, kicking and positional play. For our U10 and U8 teams, they will be playing non-contact (two hand touch) rugby. These two teams are learning the fundamentals of rugby.