Three Important Rugby Terms for Players and Fans

A resident of Sydney, Australia, Tim Hornibrook holds 14 years of experience as a finance management professional. Prior to working in finance, Tim Hornibrook played professional rugby in Japan while obtaining his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Rugby is a high-intensity sport that requires dedication and specific knowledge to play well. To begin to understand rugby, new players and enthusiasts must be familiar with the following terms:

The scrum is the means through which a rugby match is started, as well as how plays are reset. In order to perform the scrum, the two teams face each other while assembling eight players into three rows, with the rugby ball between them. When the referee calls for the match to begin, the teams push against each other in an effort to hook the ball with their feet and pass it backward, claiming possession.

When the ball goes out-of-bounds, a lineout is performed in order to put it back into play. The two teams face each other, forming vertical lines. A player from the team in possession strategically throws to the receiver, who can be lifted into the air by two teammates in order to facilitate better reception.

When the player in possession of the ball is tackled, he or she must release the ball. A ruck occurs when at least one player from each team closes around the rugby ball after its release. The tackler’s team may only use their feet to recover the ball once the ruck is formed, while the team of the tackled player may use their hands, as long as they are standing on their feet.


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