Rugby vs. Football: A Comparison and Contrast
We have all seen a football game on TV, but not everyone has seen a rugby match. Based mostly in Europe, rugby is not a popular sport in the U.S. These two sports are similar in form, but the rules, equipment, and history behind each are very different.
The rules of these similar yet vastly different games are extremely complex, so only the basics are necessary to distinguish the better sport. In football, the primary rule is that you must advance the ball forward by throwing it or running with it. Once a player with the ball is downed, the entire team lines up again, and the ball is snapped to the quarterback. Reaching the end zone is called a touch down and is worth six points, plus an extra point kick. Kicking the ball through the uprights is called a field goal and is worth only three points. The short pause in between each down may not seem significant, but it definitely takes its toll on the excitement and pace of the game.
In rugby, however, the primary rule is that you can only advance the ball by running with, kicking, or passing it. With passing, though, you can only pass the ball backwards or directly to your side, never forward. Like football, you score by running the ball into the end zone or by kicking it through the uprights. Also, you must touch the ball to the ground for it to count, and it is worth five points. When kicking, the ball can be kicked from anywhere spontaneously. If it passes through the uprights, it is worth three points, as in football.
The equipment for the two sports is quite different, with football requiring much more. In football, players must wear a large set of pads, covering most of their body, and a masked helmet. The ball is made up of an inflated rubber bladder, surrounded by stitched leather, and appears elliptical in shape. Most players now wear cleats or spiked shoes, but flat-soles are often worn for artificial turf surfaces.