Basic Rugby Rules

Before playing rugby, people need to learn the basic rules. These are relatively simple and easy to understand.

Pitches and Kits

There are lines all over the pitch where the game is played. These lines are used to separate the field into segments. Each player starts in a specific area, somewhat similar to football.

Each team is allowed 15 players, with a maximum of seven subs. The standard rugby kit is a shirt, shorts and boots. Some teams also ask their players to wear additional padding.

The studs of rugby boots are not allowed to be more than 21 mm long. This is so that they do not damage the pitch or injure people. Players should bear in mind that forwards often end up standing on each other’s feet. Therefore their boots need to offer a good level of protection and grip.


A match is played in two halves which last 40 minutes each. Half time usually lasts 10 minutes. In pro rugby, a referee is in charge of making game decisions. This can include penalising players when they break the rules and stating whether a goal was legal. Match officials work with the referee in this regard.

Penalty goals and drop goals are three points. A conversion is two, and a try/penalty try is five. Whichever team has the most points by the end of the game is the winner. A draw occurs when both sides have equal scores.

During cup matches and similar competitions, extra time may be played until a winner emerges. Each game has its own rules regarding extra time. Unlike football, there are no penalty shoot outs.

Several actions count as fouls. This includes punching, tripping or kicking players. Most foul rules are aimed at preventing injuries. Players found to be fouling are penalised. The severity of this punishment can vary.