How did rugby start?

Rugby became a very popular game over 200 years ago. ©iStock

Rugby became a very popular game over 200 years ago. ©iStock

It is believed that origin of rugby football was when a student, William Webb Ellis, during a throw and catch ball game at Rugby School picked up the ball and ran with it. And so began a game where players could, as well as throwing and catching a ball, also run and carry and kick the ball. The game became known as rugby after the name of the school. By the start of the 1900s, rugby had become popular worldwide in about 120 countries.

Rugby players tackle each other to try to get the ball. ©iStock

Rugby players tackle each other to try to get the ball. ©iStock

Rugby is played in different ways, using variations to rugby’s rules. The two main ones today are rugby union and rugby sevens.

The aim of the game: score more points than the opposing team

When a player kicks for a goal, the ball must pass between the posts and above the crossbar. ©iStock

When a player kicks for a goal, the ball must pass between the posts and above the crossbar. ©iStock

The aim of each team is to try and get the most points by trying to score points in the other team's half of the ground. The try zone for scoring is a 10 metre area at each end of the playing field. The ball can be passed between players backwards and sideways, but never forward of the play. However, the ball can be carried or kicked forward by a player. Players also score points by kicking the ball between the goal posts.

Read a guide to the rules of rugby here:

https://m.wikihow.com/Play-Rugby

Rugby at the Olympic Games

Rugby union teams have 15 players per team and has been an Olympic sport four times: in 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924. A game is played in 40 minute halves. The field of play is 100 metres long and 70 metres wide.

Rugby sevens is a faster, shorter game of rugby. There are seven players on a team. They play seven minute halves. Rugby sevens will be on the programme at the Tokyo Games in 2020 for both men’s and women’s teams.

Watch a video guide to Olympic rugby

 https://youtu.be/Tm6m5QhZ-Mg 

Watch a video about rugby sevens NOTE: if there is no sound choose CC for captions

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhmj72KBRTY