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Basic Rules

ラグビー特集

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If you don’t know the rules of rugby, then this is what a rugby game looks like: 30 men, some tall and thick like trees, some slim and speedy, spend 80 minutes fighting over an odd-shaped ball. They kick it upfield. When it stops on the ground, they all jump on it and fight to capture it. A player puts it under his arm and bursts through the defensive line, fending off tackles with his hand. The ball gets passed quickly from player to player until finally someone flies through the air and plants the ball on the ground. It’s a try! You don’t have to know the rules to enjoy watching a game. But here are a few things that make rugby unique.

No forward passes

   Throwing the ball forward like in American football is illegal. To gain ground, you run forward and then pass the ball to a teammate who is either behind or beside you. If you accidentally pass the ball forward, the referee can stop play and give the ball to the other side.

Play the ball, not the man

   As in soccer, you can only tackle someone who has the ball. Tackling someone else is illegal. With the ball moving around very fast, it can be difficult to follow this rule.

Scrums

   To form a scrum, a team’s strongest eight players get into a tight group: usually three in the front row, four in the second row and one in the back row. The two scrums lock and get ready. The halfback — a smaller player who is good at seeing the flow of the game and directing his troops — rolls the ball into the scrum and then the scrums push for control of the ball. Bad scrummaging can slow a game down because the referee will ask the scrums to form again and again until they get it right. But at their best, scrums take the excitement in a game and roll it into a tense mysterious minute.

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