Rugby union (aften referred tae as rugby, union or football) is a variant o rugby fitbaw. Rugby union is aye played wi teams o 15 players, awtho thare's rugby sievens an aw, a swippert gemme wi 7 players on baith teams. The name comes fae the the gemme's foremaist owerseein body, the Rugby Football Union. It is ane o the twa codes o rugby, the ither bein rugby league.
The gemme wis developed frae the rules uised tae play fitbaw at Rugby schuil in Ingland. The main differ frae fitbaw is that in rugby the baw is an oval, no a sphere, an that the players is alloued tae lift the baw up an rin wi it. The players is alloued tae fling the baw fae player tae player, but no forrit: the baw maun gang sideweys or back whan flung.
It is a popular gemme parteecularly in Nou Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Wales, Ingland, Ireland, Scotland, Fraunce, Australie, Argentina an Sooth Africae. Rugby union is winnin mair parteecipants in Italie, efter its acceptance intae the Sax Nations, an Japan, mauger thair failt ettle tae haud the 2011 Rugby Warld Cup that gaed tae New Zealand.
The International Rugby Board (IRB), foondit in 1886, governs the gemme an sets furth the gemme's laws an aw. Thare's 95 full members an 8 associate member kintras the nou. Frae IRB feegures, rugby is gettin played in mair nor 100 kintras ower five continents by men an weemen o aw eilds. The IRB haes owerins ower the Rugby Warld Cup, the Weemen's Rugby Warld Cup, Rugby Warld Cup Sievens, IRB Sievens Warld Series, Nether 21 Warld Cup, Unner 19 Warld Cup, an the Super Pouers Cup. It will haud votes for tae wirk oot whaur thir events is tae be be hauden.
Rugby union is played atween tois teams, each ay which starts th' match wi' 15 players oan th' field. Durin' th' match, players main be replaced (fur injury) ur substituted (fur tactical reasons). A player fa has bin replaced mauna rejoin play unless he was temporarily replaced tae hae bleedin' controlled; a player fa has bin substituted main return temporarily, tae replace a player fa has a bluid injury, ur permanently, if he is replacin' a front-raw forward. in international matches, up tae seven replacements ur allowed; in domestic ur cross-border toornaments, at th' discretion ay th' responsible national union(s), th' number main be increased tae aicht, ay whom thee main be sufficiently trained an' experienced tae provide cowre fur th' thee front raw positions. players in a team ur divided intae aicht forwards (tae mair than in rugbae league) an' seven backs. forwards ur generally bigger an' stronger, an' tak' part in th' scrum an' lineit, while backs ur generally smaller but faster, mair agile an' aft th' main points scorers fur th' team.
The field ay play oan a rugbae park is as near as possible tae a maximum ay 100m lang, an' 70m wide. thaur ur several lines crossin' it, notably th' half way line, th' goal line/try line (on which th' goal posts ur located), th' "twenty two", which is 22m frae th' goal line, an' th' deid baa line, which ideally is at leest 10m but nae mair than 22m behin' th' goal line. points can be scored in several ways: a try, scored by groondin' th' baa in th' in-goal area, is worth fife points an' a subsequent conversion kick scores tae points; a successful penalty kick ur a drap goal each scair thee points. th' values ay each ay these scorin' methods hae bin changed ower th' years. th' team which scores mair points wins th' gam. at th' beginnin' ay th' gam, th' captains an' th' referee toss a coin tae decide which team will kick aff first. play 'en starts wi' a drap kick, wi' th' players chasin' th' baa intae th' opposition's territory, an' th' other side tryin' tae retrieve th' baa an' advance it back. if th' player wi' th' baa is tackled, frequently a ruck will result. forward passin' (throwin' th' baa aheid tae anither player) isnae allowed. th' baa can be passed laterally ur backwards, but cannae be throon forward. th' baa tends tae be moved forward in thee ways—by kickin', by a player runnin' wi' it an' passin' it tae a teammate fa continues th' rin, ur within a scrum ur maul. unlike in american fitba, "blocking" isnae allowed, sae only th' player wi' th' baa main be tackled ur rucked. when a baa is knocked forward by a player wi' his/her arms, a "knock-on" is committed, an' play is restarted wi' a scrum. when th' baa leaves th' side ay th' field, a lineit is awarded against th' team which lest tooched th' baa. th' lineit is usually awarded at th' position whaur th' baa left th' field ay play but if th' baa is kicked directly intae tooch frae ootwith th' "twenty-two", ur if a team plays th' baa back intae its ain "twenty-two" an' th' baa is 'en kicked directly intae tooch, th' lineit is awarded at a point opposite whaur th' baa was kicked. tae f'rm a lineit, players frae each team line up in parallel lines, at leest 1m apart an' at leest 5m frae th' sideline; a player (usually, but nae necessarily, th' hooker) frae th' team 'at was awarded th' lineit throws th' baa doon th' gap atween th' tois lines ay players, fa can jump ur be lifted in an attempt tae secure possession ay th' baa. lineoots ur a body ay th' chief differences atween th' tois rugbae codes, as they dinnae occur in rugbae league.
games ur divided intae 40-minute halves, wi' a break in th' middle. th' sides exchange ends ay th' field efter th' half-time break. stoppages fur injury ur tae allaw th' referee tae tak' disciplinary action, dinnae coont as part ay th' playin' time, sae 'at th' elapsed time is usually longer than 80 minutes. unlike in mony other sports, thaur ur nae "time oots". th' referee is responsible fur keepin' time, e'en when—as in mony professional toornaments—he is assisted by an official time-keeper. if time expires while th' baa is in play, th' gam continues until th' baa is 'dead', an' only 'en will th' referee blaw th' whistle tae signal half-time ur full-time; but if th' referee awards a penalty ur free-kick, th' gam continues. tries ur scored atween th' goal line an' th' deid baa line. th' goal line is treated as part ay th' in-goal area an' a try can be scored if th' baa is groonded wi' onie part ay it toochin' th' goal line. th' deid baa line is it ay play, an' a baa 'at tooches ur crosses th' deid baa line, ur 'at is held by a player fa tooches ur crosses th' deid baa line, is it ay play. rugby goalposts ur h-shaped, an' consist ay tois poles, fife.6m apart, connected by a horizontal crossbar 3m abune th' grin. unlike some other sports thaur ur nae goalkeepers, an' th' section underneath th' crossbar has nae special meanin'. th' original park dimensions waur in imperial units, but hae since bin converted tae th' metric system. thaur ur thee match officials: a referee, an' tois assistant referees. th' latter, formerly knoon as tooch judges, hud th' primary function ay indicatin' when th' baa hud gain "intae tooch"; their role has bin expanded an' they ur noo expected tae assist th' referee in a number ay areas, sic' as watchin' fur fool play an' checkin' off-side lines. in addition, fur matches in high level competitions, thaur is aft a tele match official (tmo; popularly called th' "video referee"), tae assist wi' certain decisions, linked up tae th' referee by radio. th' referees hae a system ay hain signals tae indicate their decisions. common offences include tacklin' abune th' shoolders, collapsin' a scrum, ruck ur maul, nae releasin' th' baa when oan th' grin, ur bein' off-side. th' non-offendin' team has a number ay options when awarded a penalty: a "tap" kick, when th' baa is kicked a huir uv a cuttie distance frae hain, allowin' th' kicker tae regaither th' baa an' rin wi' it; a punt, when th' baa is kicked a lang distance frae hain, fur field position; a place-kick, when th' kicker will attempt tae scair a goal; ur a scrum. players main be sent aff (signalled by a red card) ur temporarily suspended ("sin-binned") fur ten minutes (yellaw card) fur fool play ur repeated infringements, an' mauna be replaced.