Rugby union, or simply rugby, is becoming more and more popular in the US. Much like any sport, rugby faces its fair share of criticism and misconceptions. We are going to address some of the most common ones and set the record straight.
It’s Like Football
Though there are some similarities, rugby and football are not the same. Rugby players have less protective equipment. Furthermore, there are 15 players on a rugby team, as opposed to football’s eleven. Rugby pitches are bigger than football fields. Finally, rugby players, despite the lack of protective equipment the football players have, get much more close and personal, averaging about 15 tackles per game.
You Need to Be Big to Play
Well, this is not strictly necessary. The first thing that comes to mind is a group of large and tough men or women ready to run over the opposing team and the person with the ball. However, different positions have different jobs and have to have different levels of fitness. Some are big, others are tall, and there are those that are small and fast. If you are fit, there is a place for you on the team regardless of your body type.
It’s a Sport for Men
Nope. Rugby has been around since 1823. Women have been playing it since 1891. That’s more than 200 years of women playing one of the toughest sports on the planet. There are several rugby leagues for women around the world. It is particularly popular in Singapore. Speaking of Singapore, they play the Rugby Sevens, a variation of Rugby Union where there are only 7 players on each team.
It’s Just Fighting
Rugby actually requires a great deal of strategic thinking and using tactics to get the ball where it needs to go. The kicking, the tackling, the running, and the defense involved are a lot more intricate than you’d think. It is not just thirty people hitting each other over the head while trying to get the ball.
All Rugby Is the Same
There are several different types of rugby. The most common one and the one that is most often mentioned is Rugby Union. However, like we’ve said a while back, there is Rugby Sevens, where there are only 7 players on the team.
There is also Rugby League, where there are 13 players on each team and the scoring is slightly different. In Union, a try is worth 5 points and in League, it goes for 4. In Union, a drop goal and a penalty bring 3 points each. In League, you get 1 and 2 points for them, respectively. The point is that there are a few differences between versions.
It’s an Upper-Class Sport in England
This one confused us a bit when we came across it. For a sport that is usually associated with heavy body contact, there is a surprising number of people that are convinced it is a sport for the elites. The truth is that rugby is a sport for everyone, regardless of class. In fact, the lack of formal equipment makes it so anyone can play.