BetAmerica Rugby Union

Rugby Union

Rugby Union is what most people know as ‘traditional’ rugby. Origins of Rugby Union are based on the lore of William Webb Ellis from Rugby, England. Allegedly during a football (soccer) game at school, William ran towards the other team’s goal line after picking up the ball.

Integrity, Passion, Solidarity, Discipline and Respect were adopted in 2009 as the core values for the spirit of Rugby. These laws are described as the World Rugby Playing Charter and World Rugby Laws of the Game.

To score points, Rugby has a unique ball which will cross the opposing team’s goal line and touch the ground. Forward momentum is maintained by passing the ball to teammates and kicking the ball forward, however, teammates must be behind the ball in both scenarios.

Rugby Union Play

Scoring Points:

  • Try = 5 points
    • When the ball is grounded over the opposing team’s goal line, in the in-goal zone
  • Conversion = 2 points
    • Following a Try score: Kicking the ball over the crossbar, and between posts, from the location of the Try score
  • Drop Goal = 3 points
    • Kicking the ball from the ground on the half-volley, while in open play

Rugby Open Play:

  • Kick off
    • Rugby matches begin with a drop kick from center field at the half way line. The receiving team will be 10 meters away from the ball and the kick must travel 10 meters toward the receiving team prior to touching the ground.
  • Handling
    • Passing
      • Passes must be made laterally or behind. If a forward pass is observed, referees may signal for a scrum and the penalized team could lose possession.
    • Knock-on
      • If the ball is dropped or mis-handled, such as bouncing off an arm or hand, then a knock-on is called and a scrum results.
  • Tackle
    • Ball carriers are the only players who can be tackled by opposing team members. Once the ball carrier and tackler hit the ground, the ball must be dropped and both parties move away from the ball, which allows new players to become involved and a new phase of play to begin. A tackle is the result of one, or both, knees touching the ground, sitting on the ground, or ending up on top of a player who is on the ground.
  • Ruck
    • When the ball is on the ground, players near the ball use their feet to move the ball, or dive over the ball, to reach the hindmost foot of a team member. The ball can then be picked up. Players in the ruck are not allowed to handle the ball.
  • Maul
    • When one or more opposing team members hold the ball carrier in tandem with the ball carrier’s teammate binding (holding) onto the ball carrier and the ball remains off the ground.  The ball can be passed backwards between players to move forward, such as a player not in the maul, or a player can leave the maul carrying the ball.


  • The Rugby Championship
    • International organization by SANZAAR for the Southern Hemisphere
  • American Rugby Championship
    • International organization by the IRB for North and South America
  • South American Rugby Championship
    • International teams for South America
  • Regional Rugby Championship
    • International teams for Europe
  • Asian Rugby championship
    • International teams for Asia
  • NACRA Women’s Rugby Championship
    • International teams for Caribbean women
  • ARFU Women’s Rugby Championship
    • International teams for Asian women


  • Canadian Rugby Championship
  • RFU Championship
    • Competition in England, second tier
  • Rugby Championship of Yugoslavia
  • Norway Rugby Championship
  • All Japan University Rugby Championship
  • Rugby Championship of Serbia
  • Rugby Championship of Czechoslovakia
  • Campeonato Brasileiro de Rugby
    • Brazil
  • World Wheelchair Rugby Championships
    • Organized by the IWRF

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