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What is Rugby? -/- Who can play Rugby? -/- History of Rugby -/- Player positions -/- Rugby social life -/- Rugby dictionary -/- 10 Commandments of Rugby


advantage - When the non-offending team, following an infringement, takes the opportunity to develop play and gains some of their opponent's territory (a tactical advantage) or scores.

agility - The ability to move quickly from one position to another, for example, moving from the ground to your feet or nimbly changing your direction of running.

attack - The action of the team in possession of the ball who are trying to score.

back five - Players who wears numbers 11 to 15. They are five of the players generally known as the backs (together with the scrum half and fly half).

back row - Players who normally wear numbers 6 to 8 (the two flankers and number 8) whose role it is to destroy the opposition's attacks and create opportunities in attack for their own team.

backs (also known as three-quarters) - The players who normally wear numbers 9 to 15 and play outside the scrummage and line-out.

back three - Players who normally wear numbers 11, 14 and 15 and whose role is to defend against kicks, initiate any possible counter-attacks and act as strike runners in support of the mid-field attack.

ball carrier - The person carrying the ball.

bind - To wrap arms around other players and grip tightly. Players normally bind in scrummages, rucks, mauls, and line-outs.

blind side - The narrow side of the field between the set piece/ruck/maul, usually the area with least defenders.

body composition - The relative proportions of muscle, bone, fat and other vital parts in the body.

box kick - A punt, normally by either scrum half or fly half, that flies over and beyond a scrummage or line-out for teammates to chase.

breakdown - The moment in time when a sequence of activity (passing, running in attack, etc.) stops due to the actions of the defence or the inability of the attack to maintain continuity.

centre - The player who makes space for the winger.

channel - A narrow practice area or a relatively narrow strip of pitch running up and down the playing field.

chip kick - A kick that floats just over and behind a close opponent for either the kicker or a teammate to catch.

continuity - Maintaining possession through a series of phases of play.

conversion - A kick at goal after a try has been scored.

dead ball - A ball becomes dead when the referee blows his or her whistle to indicate a stoppage of play or when an attempt to convert a try is unsuccessful.

defence - The actions of the team without the ball, who are trying to prevent the opposition from scoring.

drift defence - A type of defence used by backs, who gradually move from the immediate opponent to tackle one or more players farther out. Drift defence can happen only if the attackers pass the ball too early or run at angle toward the touch line.

drive - To bind together and push opponents back; to run powerfully in a close group toward the opponents' goal line. An action normally associated with forwards.

drop goal - A drop kick that crosses over the crossbar and between the goal posts to score 3 points.

drop kick - A kick in which the kicker drops the ball point first and kicks it as it makes contact with the ground.

drop-out - A drop kick awarded to the defending team that may be taken anywhere along or behind the 22-metre line once the ball has been made dead by the defence in the in-goal area.

dummy pass - A way of fooling the defence by setting up to pass, going through the passing movement but retaining the ball.

fair catch (mark) - A defender makes a fair catch (mark), when in the 22-metre or in-goal area, cleanly catches the ball direct from an opponent's kick (other than kick-off) and at the same time calls "Mark!". A fair catch may be made even though the ball on its way touches a goal post or crossbar.

field of play - The area between the goal lines and touch lines. The lines are not part of the field of play. See also playing area.

first 5/8th - The Southern Hemisphere name for the fly half.

flanker - The player who wear number 6 or 7 who acts as a link and continuity player between the backs and forwards in attack and defence.

flexibility - Increased joint mobility, that helps to prevent injury. Flexibility is improved by stretching the muscles and connective tissue around a joint.

fly half - A key decision maker in the team who wears number 10. This player is the key tactician who receives possession from the forwards via the scrum half.

forward pass - A pass that travels toward your opponent's goal line which results in a scrummage or counter-attacking opportunity to your opponents.

forwards - The players who normally wear numbers 1 to 8 and who take part in scrummages and line-outs.

foul play - Any action by a player that is contrary to the letter and spirit of the game, including obstruction, unfair play, misconduct, dangerous play, unsporting behaviour, retaliation and repeated infringements.

free kick - A kick awarded for a fair catch or to nan-offending team as stated in the laws of the game. A goal may not be scored from the free kick.

front five - Players who wears numbers 1 to 5 and occupy the front row and the middle row two positions of the second row in the scrummage.

front row - Players who wear the numbers 1, 2 or 3 and who make direct contact with opposition at each scrummage.

full back - The player who normally wears number 15, is usually the last line of defence and is used as a penetrative runner in attack.

gain line - An imaginary line between the two teams designating the line that the attacking players would need to reach in order for the ball to be ahead of the forwards.

grubber kick - A kick that is deliberatly struck so that it rolls along along the ground.

gut pass - A pass that does not leave the passer's hands until the ball is pushed up and into the receiver's middriff; normally used by forwards in close contact situations.

half backs - The collective name for the scrum half and fly half.

hooker - The player who normally wears number 2, whose roles usually include throwing the ball into the line-out and hooking the ball back in the scrummages.

infringement - An action that violates the laws of the game.

in-goal - The area between the goal line and the dead-ball and between the touch-in-goal lines. It includes the goal line but not the others.

inside - The direction or place from which the ball has just been passed away from the forwards.

infield - The position away from the touch line and toward the centre of the field.

inside centre - The centre playing next to the fly half.

International Rugby Board (IRB) - The association of national Rugby Unions, whose role is to promote, foster and extend the game and to alter and develop the laws of the game.

kick - A kick is made by striking the ball with any part of the foot (except the heel) or leg from toe to knee, including knee.

kick-off - (a) A place kick taken from the centre of the half-way line by the team that has the right to start the match or by the opposing team after half-time interval. (b) A drop kick taken at or from behind the centre of the half-way line by the defending team after the opposing side has scored.

knock-on (throw forward) - A knock-on occurs when the ball travels toward the direction of the opponent's dead-ball line after a player loses possession ot it; a player strikes or propels it with the hand or arm; or it strikes a player's hand or arm and touches the ground or another player before it is recovered by the player.

lay-off-pass - A soft pass into the space created by the ball carrier.

line of touch - The imaginary line at right angles to the place where the ball is thrown in from touch.

line-out - A formation of at least two players from each team lined up in single lines, parallel to the line of touch (i. e. at right angles to the touch line) in readiness for the ball to be thrown in between them after the ball has gone into touch.

lock - A player who usually wears number 4 or 5, plays in the middle row of the scrummage, jumps for the ball in the line-out and at kick-off situations.

loop pass - A pass that puts the receiver into a space in the defence. The receiver has normally just passed the ball and run around and behind the ball carrier to receive the return loop pass.

loose forwards (loosies) - A Southern Hemisphere name for the back row.

loose-head-prop - The player who wears number 1, packs on the left-hand side of the front row, support the jumper in the jump-and-catch sequence in the line-out and at kick-offs.

mark - The place where a free kick or penalty is awarded. See also fair catch.

maul - A formation, which can take place only in the field of play, of one or more players from each team on their feet and in physical contact closing around the player who is in possession of the ball.

middle five - The half backs and back row forwards.

mid-field - (a) The fly half and two centres. (b) The middle of the playing field.

miss pass - A lateral pass which deliberately misses out one or more support players in order to reach a player more appropriatly positioned to make best use of the ball.

no side - The end of the match.

number 8 - The player who wears number 8, normally packs down in the third row of the scrum and is usually the extra jumper at the rear of the line-out.

offside - In general play, when a player is in front of the ball after it has last been played by another player of the same team; from a set piece or ruck/maul, when player remains or advances in front of the hindmost feet at line-out if a player advances within 10-metres of the line of touch before the line-out is ended.

onside - Means a player is in the game and not liable to penalty for offside.

out of play - When the ball has gone into touch or touched or crossed the dead-ball line.

outside centre - The centre normally wears 12 or 13 and always plays next to the winger on either side of the field.

overlap - An attacking sequence that normally results in attackers outnumbering the defenders and leads to an attack around the defence.

pass - The movement of the ball from one player's hands to another's.

peel - The act of collecting the ball from the back of a line-out and driving around the end toward the mid-field, normally done by the forwards.

penalty kick - A kick awarded to the non-offending team as stated in the laws of the game. A players may take a kick at goal from penalty kick.

pich - Another term used to describe the playing area or playing field.

place kick - Kicking the ball from the ground after it has been placed there for that purpose.

playing area - The field of play and the in-goal areas. The lines are not part of the playing area.

pop pass - A soft, floated pass that flies slightly upward into space in front of the receiver.

possession - When a team or player has the ball under control.

principles of play - The general strategy of how to play the game: going forward, support, continuity and pressure.

punt - A kick in which the player deliberatly drops the ball and strike it before it touches the ground.

put-in - The act of the scrum half putting the ball into the scrummage conforming to the laws of the game.

recycle - Maintaining and using possession after making contact with opposition.

referee - The official who keeps the time and score and applies the laws during the laws during a match.

roll - Planting the foot firmly at the point of contact and then pivoting around this point to spin out of the contact area.

ruck - A formation, which can take place only in the field of play, of one or more players from each team on their feet and in physical contact closing around the ball on the ground between them.

running line - The direction a player runs in either attack or defence.

screen pass - A pass that uses the passer's body as a screen to prevent the defence from seeing the pass being made, normally used by forwards in contact situations, very similar to the gut pass.

scrum half - Wears number 9 and acts as the links between the forwards and backs.

scrummage (scrum) - A formation, which can take place only in the field of play, of eight players from each team closing up in readiness to allow the ball to be put on the ground between them. It is used to restart the game after infringement.

second 5/8th - The Southern Hemisphere name for the inside centre.

second row - Players who wear numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 and form the second line of players in the scrummage, behind the front row.

set piece - A general term used to describe a scrum or line-out fromation.

sidestep - A sudden change of forward direction by the ball carrier to run past a defender.

spin pass - A pass that spirals as it flies. Normally used by srum halves but may also be used by other players, for speed, length and accurarcy.

sprigs - The Southern Hemisphere name for studs.

startegy - The playing plan a team adopts to make best use of its strengths and the opposition's weaknesses.

strike runners - Players who run into space and attempt to score.

studs - Alloy or rubber attachments to the soles of boots to assist grip. Studs must conform to the regulations contained in the laws of the game.

swerve - A running line that takes the ball carrier toward a defender and then arcs quickly away from an attempted tackle.

switch pass - A pass that hide the ball from the opposition and changes the direction of the attack.

tackle - When a player carrying the ball in the field of play is held by one or more opponents so that, while held, the player is bought to the ground or the ball comes into contact with the ground.

tackle line - An imaginary line between the two teams drawn along the points at which the attack and defence would meet if they all ran toward each other.

tactics - The way a team plays during a match taking into account the influence of the weather, opponents, referee and other factors that might influence play.

tag rugby - A non contact form of rugby that replaces the tackle with the removal of ribbon from the ball carrier.

three-quarter line - Formation and alignement of the backs.

three-quarters - See backs.

throw forward - See knock-on.

throw-in - Throwing the ball into the line-out from touch.

tight-head prop - The player who wears number 3, packs on the right-hand side of the front row, supports the jumper in the jump-and-catch sequence in the line-out and at kick-offs.

touch - The state of the ball when, while not being carried by a player, it touches a touch line or the ground, a person or an object on or beyond the touch line, or when a player who is carrying it touches a touch line or the ground beyond it. At this point the ball is out of play.

touch line - The line which defines the side of the field of play and runs the length of the field from corner flag to corner flag.

touch rugby - A non contact form of rugby that replaces the tackle with a two-handed touch.

try (touchdown) - The grounding of the ball in the defending team's in goal area by a player of the opposing team who is holding the ball in his or her hands or arms, who is exerting downward pressure on the ball with hand(s) or arm(s) while it is on the ground, or who falls on the ball so that it is anywhere under the front of the body, between waist and neck inclusive.

union - The controlling body under whose jurisdiction the match is played.

winger - The player who normally wears either 11 (left wing) or 14 (right wing), is normally on the end of the three-quarter line and is usually one of the fastest players on the team.

wipers kick - A kick that travels diagonally from one side of the playing field to the other, crossing over and behind the opponent's defence to land behind the far winger and roll toward the corner.

zone defence - A form of defence in which a player defends an area on the field and tackles any ball carrier who runs into space.