Everything you need to know about Rugby

Rugby is the most popular sport in the US and some other countries. It is also known as American football. This sport requires teamwork. In order to play it well, we need a lot of element such as: rules of the game, health, weather conditions, gear,… How specific are those, let’s find out with me

What is Rugby?

  • Rugby is a team sport. It is most popular in America. American rugby and Canadian football are quite similar. They are just different in gameplay.
  • In the United States, football is divided into several categories such as: high school football, college football, and professional football.
  • Rugby is a sport that greatly impacts to health, intelligence and agility. Because it requires a good physical strength, quick reflexes, and a smart mind to control the situation.

Read more: Top 8 Best Rugby Cleats

Essentials for the sport of rugby


In oder to play rugby, we need a large space:

  • The playground of rugby length 100 yards.
  • It is divided into 20 sections of 5 yards each.
  • It is marked by 19 long white lines across the width of the field.
  • Between the long lines are four rows of short lines, 4 lines each 1 yard apart.
  • The last part at each end of the field is called the end-zone. It is length 10 yards.
  • Red diagonally is separated by a long white line called the goal line.
  • The end of the end-zone is the end line, followed by goal posts.
  • The goalpost is planted in the center of the width of the course, 10 feet high, on the north side a crossbar 18 feet 6 inches long, the ends of the crossbar are two vertical bars 30 feet high.
  • In total, the entire football field is 120 yards (360 feet) long and 53 feet wide, which is 1/3 yards (160 feet).
  • From the goal line, every 10 yards, the field will be marked with the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40 until the middle of the field is 50.
  • After that, the field is marked back 40, 30, 20 and 10 until the opponent’s penalty area.


About what kind of ball to play. This ball has an oval shape. It is weighs from 400 to 430 grams. It is made of leather. Balls used for competition are often waxed and sprayed against moisture to increase adhesion.


The Rugby helmet consists of a lightweight synthetic shell, inside with foam padding or inflatable padding for head protection, steel mask for face protection, 2 jaws on each side for jaw protection, ear vents, chin strap and anti-glare polycarbonate glass. Players use helmet to protect their heads from strong impacts during competition. The helmet has a fairly sturdy construction that can withstand the weight and power of impact.

In addition to protecting the head, the helmet also has a decorative effect and creates a unique highlight for each team. Therefore, helmets are often drawn with team logos, motifs, stripes or numbers for easy identification from a far distance.

Competition Uniforms

Rugby uniform includes 1 shirt and 1 pants. Shirts is marked numbers on the chest, back and shoulders; The name of the team or city is usually written on the chest, the shoulders are attached with the team logo or color stripes and the player’s name is printed on the upper back. Pants are made of durable, close-fitting material, with inner pockets to insert foam to protect thighs and hips.

These competition uniforms are usually designed to be very sturdy and durable. When the player wear it, they will feel comfortable. And it is good for the competition.

Protective Armor

Like helmets, protective armor is made up of a hard plastic outer layer and thick breathable padding inside. The armor pieces that wrap around the player’s shoulders, chest, and back are secured by a plastic strap that wraps around the ribs.

Protective armor is usually worn over moisture-wicking underwear and under competition clothing. This armor helps protect the player from strong impacts and injuries.

In addition to the protective effect, protective armor also has a high aesthetic value. It is not only nice, but also helps players when wearing it to look like real warriors. And this thing greatly affects to the spirit of the game.

How to play Rugby

In oder to play, A rugby team that can be up to 40-50 people. Each team needs to have 11 players on the field at any time

It will be divided into 3 small teams. Includes:

  • Offensive team
  • Defense team
  • Mixed team or special team.

Players are generally divided into 2 groups

  • Defensive player
  • Offensive player

They can only choose to play for one in two teams: offence or defence



  • Center (C): 1 person.
  • Offensive Guard (OG): 2 persons
  • Offensive Tackle (OT): 2 persons
  • Quarterback (QB): 1 person
  • Half Back/Running Back (HB/RB): 1- 2 personss
  • Full Back/Set Back (FB/H-Back): 1 person
  • Wide Receiver (WR): 2- 4 persons
  • Tight End (TE): 1- 3 persons (this position is a combination of Midfielder and Wide Receiver

Offense midfield: stand at the horizontal lines on the field. 5 person of offensive line include: Center standding in the middle, Guard on both side, the outermost has two Midfielders ( they usually is the tallest and bigesst on that team). Tight End will be combined into tactical formations (this combination depends on the match situation). Midfielders have two main tasks: protect the main Midfielder and create a running path for the Midfielder to run.

Skill positions are usually responsible for scoring on the field including: Wide receiver, Running back, Tight End, and Full Back. These players participate in the attack by receiving the ball from the main midfielder and running (back, center back running), or catching the handball from the main midfielder and running (all possitions). The main midfielder position also belongs to this group because the main midfield has the right to hold the ball to run and score.

Main Midfielder: The main midfielder position (Quarterback) is the most important player on the attacking team in particular, and the whole team in general. The main midfielder holds the position of captain because he controls the distribution of the ball during the game by throwing the ball (to the skill group) or serving the ball to the running centre-back. The main midfielder is always behind the central midfielder to receive the ball, the distance between him and the server depends on the characteristics of each tactical formation.This position requires a lot of players. That player needs to have a good vision, an accurate throw and leadership qualities.



  • Defensive End (DE): 2 pesrons
  • Defensive/Nose Tackle (DT/NT): 1- 2 persons
  • Outside Linebacker (OLB): 1- 2 persons
  • Inside Linebacker/Middle Linebacker (ILB/MLB): 1- 2 persons
  • Cornerback (CB)
  • Safety (S)

Defensive midfield: Consists of 3 or 4 Defensive Midfielders lined up parallel to the attacking Midfielders, we call this the Defensive line. At the end of the row are two Defensive end, inside are one or two Defensive tackle depending on the defensive formation. The main task of the players playing in this position is to prevent the opposing team from shortening the distance to the Endzone by blocking the run and putting pressure on the opponent’s center.

Defensive midfield: Including 2-4 defensive midfielders. They supporting the midfield (“backing up the line”). The work of the linebackers is similar to that of midfield, combined with blocking short throws from the center.

Defensive defender: Defensive defender preventing the striker’s throws from reaching a group of skilled players, the defender can clear the ball with his hands or block the ball and help his team gain the right to attack. Corner Defenders usually line up opposite the Striker to catch the ball and engage in man-to-man defense or zone defense. The Safety is the deepest position in the defensive team, similar to the Sweeper position in football, their task is to participate in the regional defense organization, intercept the deep passes along the touchline (in cover 2 and cover 6 defenses) or throws down into the midfield (in cover 1, cover 3 and cover 4)

Deep Defenders include 2 types: Plug Defender and Strong Safety (Back Defender). Defender Plug regularly participates in intercepting the ball while Back Defender will help prevent the run along with the Centers & Midfielders in running situations.

Defensive formation: Base (Regular) 3-4-4, 4-3-4; Nickel 2-4-5, 3-3-5, 4-2-5; Dime 4-1-6, 2-3-6… In which the first number represents the number of midfielders, the middle number for the midfielder and the last number in bold indicates the number of defenders.

Special team/ Mixed team


  • Long Snapper (LS)
  • Punter (P)
  • Placekicker (K)
  • Holder (H): (usually is Substitute Midfielder or a Long Striker)
  • Gunner
  • Upback

Server: The server (Long snapper), will replace the Center Midfielder in the case of long shots and point shots. The midfield in the above situations will be reinforced with 2 players (shot) or 4 players (point shot) because the skill group is no longer participates in the attack. At the signal of the striker, the server will bounce the ball from the squat position to the Holder, the ball is placed upright for the Placekicker to get the momentum to score (field goal kick); or, the ball will be bounced directly to the hand of the Punter so that he can flip the ball on the field in case the ball is outside the maximum range of the Scorer.

Shooter: in case the attacking team gets to the last ball (4th Down), the Placekicker will be sent to the field and try to score 3 points (field-goal try). The average maximum distance for a scorer to score is between 50-55 yards from the goalpost. If the attacking team has reached the last ball and the ball is beyond the maximum distance to score 3 points (field-goal range), the Long Striker will be sent out to the field to give the attack power to the opposing team by kicking towards your team’s penalty area, or towards the returnee. The purpose of the action of Punt is to increase the distance between the opposing team’s attacking team and the home team’s possession. The kicker is also assigned the responsibility of kicking the ball in the opening half of each period, or after the home team has scored.

Mixed/Special Teamer (belong to Special Teamer): Consists of a sweeping midfielder and a blocking midfielder. The sweeping central defender (Gunner) in long shot situations is responsible for cutting down the returnee, in order to minimize the distance to the home penalty area. Midfielder blocks (Upback), performs the task of protecting the long shot if the midfield has an opening.

Return specialist: The return specialist is a position usually reserved for the most skillful and quick defensive defenders or players in the squad. They received the ball from the long shot and the opening shot and then ran into the opponent’s possession. The returner’s purpose is to score points by running to the opponent’s penalty area, or at least shortening the attacking distance for the home team.

What is the rule of rugby?

When a player places the ball behind the goal line of the opponent’s field. That means that team scores. How to calculate points?

  • Bringing the ball into the area of ​​the penalty area (touchdown) and placing it behind the goal line will get 6 points, then kicking the goal from 3 yards will add 1 point or doing a touchdown from 3 yards will get 2 points
  • In a free-kick, when the ball goes over the two standing posts and is higher than the crossbar, it is mean the free kick is successful. After that, the players take turns attacking and defending.
  • The attacking team is made 4 downs to go up to 10. If no points are scored in that attack, it is the other team’s turn to have the ball.
  • Each time changing attack permissions, all 22 players of the two teams will leave the field and change the player. The team that lost the ball will replace all defensive players, and the previous defending team will be replaced with an attacking formation.

How long is a Rugby game?

Each match is divided into 4 halves. Each round is played within 60 minutes, excluding downtime. Therefore, sometimes the total game time is as long as 180 minutes

Some famous rugby teams in the US

In the United States, rugby flourishes in the Western division. And National Rugby League (NFL) is the largest American rugby league in the world and the most commercially valuable sports tournament in the world. There are total of 32 teams participate in the tournament and are divided into two leagues: American Rugby Conference (AFC) and National Rugby Conference (NFC). Each tournament consists of 4 groups and each group has 4 teams. Below, I will introduce you some of the famous football teams in the American Western.


  • Dencer Broncos: located at Devener, Colorado. Mustang was a member of the American Football League in 1960, and after that they joined the NFL after the merger of the American League and the National League in 1970.
  • Kansas City Chiefs: located at Kansas City, Missouri. The main color in this team’s uniform is red. It symbolizes the great passion in rugby. The team’s summer camp is located at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls River Falls Campus. And Currently, Kansas City Chiefs is part of the American Football League (AFC) West in the American National Football League.
  • Oakland Raiders: located at Oakland, California It is a team of the West Division team of the American Football League. But in reality, the Oakland Raiders are run by the Al Davis joint venture. They have won one championship and three district championships in AFL games. The team joined the NFL in 1970, after the AFL and NFL officially merged. After joining the NFL, the Raiders won 3 Super Bowl titles (11, 15, and 18) and 12 division titles, and lost two Super Bowl games. After that, 13 players became members of the Hall of Fame. In 1966, Al Davis was owned by this team and was worth $576 million. After that, this team then moved back to Los Angeles in 2017 and changed its name again. It can be said that this is the most transferred team in the history of rugby .
  • Los Angeles Chargers: located at San Diego, California. In 1960, their name was Los Angeles Chargers. In 1961 the team moved to San Diego and changed its name to San Diego Chargers. However, in 2017, they announced their move back to Los Angeles and changed their name again. Currently, they are the West Division team of the American Football Association.


  • Los Angeles Rams: located at Los Angeles, California (L.A., California). The team has two NFL championships and one Super Bowl championship.
  • Arizona Cardinals: located at Phoenix, Arizona. The representative animal of the cardinal is the northern Arizona Cardinals very common in the United States. This team moved to Arizona in 1987 and is currently one of the West Division teams of the United States National Football Association.
  • San Francisco 49ers: this team joined the NFL was formed by the merger of the American Football League in 1950. The main colors of the San Francisco 49ers are red and yellow. In 2013, the team owner was Denise DeBartolo York, valued at US$568 million.
  • Seattle Seahawks: located at Seattle, Washington. In 1976, the team joined the NFL as an expansion team alongside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And this is also the only team that has qualified for the finals of the congresses of the United States Soccer Association and the National American Football Association.