Rugby Basics
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


Offside is the most common penalty during a match. If a penalty is awarded within goal kicking distance of a team's kicker, the team captain may elect to have the kicker take an uncontested place kick at goal for three points from a spot determined by the referee called a mark. If the kick is successful, play is restarted at the 50 metre line with a drop kick back to the scoring team. After an unsuccessful penalty kick, play is usually restarted by a drop kick (a kick executed by allowing the ball to hit the ground before kicking it) to the kick attempting team from the 22 metre line. This restart is called a 22 metre dropout.

Other common penalties include violent play, barging, not releasing the ball, obstruction (blocking) and diving over a collapsed ruck. Other options available to a team awarded a penalty include restarting play by a tap kick through the mark with the opposing team ten meters away or an uncontested kick to touch which is awarded back to the team receiving the penalty award.

For minor infringements such as a foot up in the scrum, a free kick can be awarded. A free kick is just like a penalty kick except it cannot be taken directly at goal and if it goes to touch, the other team is awarded the ball for the lineout.