Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a full-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is played between two teams of 15 players each, using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field called a pitch. The field has H-shaped goalposts at both ends.
Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014, there were more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million were registered players. World Rugby, previously called the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB) and the International Rugby Board (IRB), has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, and currently has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members.
MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
Rugby World Cup, Regional Tournaments: Six Nations Championship & Rugby Championship
American Football is a game played between two teams and consists of 11 players in each of the two teams, with unlimited substitutions. American football is a game of intense physical play with complex strategy to score points by advancing the ball to the opponent team’s end-zone.
Rugby Union is best described as a blend of the contact of American football, the running of soccer, and the transition of basketball. It is a game played between two teams with 15 players in each, played on a rectangular field, with the object being to run with an oval ball across the opponent’s goal line or kick it through the upper portion of the goal posts.
Both the games differ in a variety of parameters.
- Number of Players
American Football: 11 players per team on the field at any point of time
Rugby Union: Team consists of 15 players for Union
- Object of the Game
American Football: Object of the game is to score points by carrying the ball beyond the opponents touch line. (Each such instance is called a touch down). Also scoring by kicking it between the goal post called a Field Goal.
Rugby Union: Object of the game is to carry the ball and place the ball down on the opponents touch line (called a Try) or kick it between the goal posts.
- Time Limit
American Football: Four 15-minute quarters, with a half-time intermission after the second quarter. The game clock stops frequently between plays.
Rugby Union: Two 40 minute halves with a ten minute half time. Clock only stops for prolonged injuries.
- Game Characteristics
American Football: American football is a game with intense physical aggression with players that have speed, power, and explosiveness that requires helmets and padding to be worn.
Rugby Union: Rugby is a game with intense physical aggression and necessary endurance that only requires a mouth guard for play. Certain possessions require speed and agility, others require strength.
American Football: Unlimited
Rugby Union: Up to 7 substitutions allowed (depending on the tournament rules) Once pulled out cannot be substituted back in unless there is an injury and no other substitutes.
- Average contact per game
American Football: Average tackles per game per player: 4 with highest recorded at 4600lbs (by sports science), consistent contact away from the ball with downfield blocking with contact as severe as a tackle.
Rugby Union: Average tackles per game per player: 16 - Average hit impact: 1600lbs. of force (recorded from members of the LA rugby team by sports science)