Rugby is a fast, rough game played by two teams. Each team tries to score by kicking, passing or carrying the oval ball until they can kick it over or touch it down behind the opponents goal line. The team that scores the most points wins. In South Africa a form of Rugby Union is most popular where fifteen players play on each side. This rugby is supported and followed by the large masses in South Africa.
Rugby involves tackling and other rough play. Rugby players wear only thin shirts, shorts, knee length socks and spiked boots.
The game is divided into two halves of forty minutes each. There is a short rest period of not more than five minutes. The teams change goals in the second half and an extra three minutes can be played for stoppages and injuries. No more than two substitutes per team can replace injured players.
In Rugby Union the field measures 69 metres wide and 144 metres long. The goals (two posts 5.6 metres apart and 3.4 metres high connected by a crossbar 3 metres above the ground) are 100 metres apart. A halfway line and other lines parallel to the goal lines divide the field.
The ball is an air filled oval shape covered with leather. The ball is approximately 29.2 centimetres long and 61 centimetres around the centre. It weighs 439.4 grams.
At certain points in the game the forwards link together and lower their heads to form a scrum. This forms a tunnel that the ball is tossed into. The player in the centre kicks the ball back out of the scrum to his teammate.
In rugby a try and goal can be scored. A player scores a try when the player touches the opponents goal area. This counts 5 points. After scoring a try it can be converted into a conversion. The ball must be kicked over the crossbar from a point opposite the spot where the players team scored the try. This counts 2 points. There are two kinds of goals a dropped goal and penalty goal. Each counting 3 points. A player scores a penalty when place kicking the ball over the crossbar on a penalty kick. A drop goal is scored by drop kicking over the crossbar while the ball is in play.
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