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Rugby Basics

The General Principles
The Playing Field
Fifteens Players
Game Start
Rucks & Mauls
More on Running & Tries
Tactical Kicking
Completion of Play
Sevens & Tens

The Playing Field

The field that rugby is played on is called a pitch. The pitch is expected to be 100 metres long by 69 metres wide. The sidelines are called touchlines and there are two in-goal areas which are expected to be 10 to 22 metres deep with a tryline marking the front and a dead ball line at the back. The goal posts are located on the try line and are 5.6 metres apart with a crossbar set at 3 metres. The height of the posts varies according to the club's wishes.


Other important lines on the pitch include the half way mark at 50 metres. A dashed 10 metre line set each side of the the 50 metre line which is used to judge kickoffs and a solid 22 metre line marked 22 metres from each tryline. Other lines include two dashed lines set at 5 and 15 metres marked parallel to each touchline. These lines are used mostly to identify the zones for lineouts.

Rugby union is played in different variations depending on the number of players on the field for each team. The typical game is played with fifteen players per side and lasts 80 minutes, with 40 minutes being played in each half. An abridged version is also very popular but is played with seven players per team over two seven minute halves. A less often played version is called tens and is played with ten players per side.