World Rugby, formerly known as "The International Rugby Board", controls rugby and how it's played. They control the "Laws of the Game - Rugby Union". These rules tell us how to play.
Basic rules to play rugby
- The game is broken down into two 40 minute halves with a 10 minute rest period in between. The game carries no stoppage time and will end exactly on 80 minutes.
- Each team can start with 15 players and up to 7 substitutes. Players that have left the field are only allowed to return if they have been treated for an injury.
- The field must be roughly 100 metres long and 70 metres wide with a minimum of a 10 metre dead ball area. The H shaped goal needs to be 6 metres wide with no restrictions on height.
- The field consist of the following markings; half way line, 5 metre line, 22 metre line, 10 metre line and dead ball line. Also included is a centre spot for restarting the game after a try, penalty or drop goal has been scored.
- The game must have one referee and two touch judges. It’s the referee’s job to time keep, make decisions throughout the game and keep order on the field. The two touch judges can assist the referee with decisions and also notify the referee when players are in touch (out of playing boundaries).
- The game will stop if a player is fouled, the ball goes out of play or a try or drop goal is scored.
- The defending team must tackle a player by grabbing a hold and pulling them to the floor. A tackle cannot be made above shoulder height and doing so will cause the referee to award a foul.
- Once the ball goes into touch a line out is called. Up to 7 players can enter a line out and any of these players can be lifted in order to catch the ball being thrown in. Both teams can compete to win the ball.
- A successful conversion, penalty or kick at goal only occurs when the player manages to kick the ball through the top section of the goal. If a player is unsuccessful the ball is still in play until it crosses one of the playing fields boundaries.
- Attacking players must remain behind the ball whilst active or run the risk of being called offside. Players not interfering with play can be in front of ball but must get back behind the ball before then again interfering with play.