What is Rookie Rugby

Rugby is a great option to consider for your child. USA Rugby is committed to the safety and well being of everyone involved in the sport. Let us help you learn more about rugby and why it is the best choice for your son or daughter.

USA Rugby is proud to offer both non-contact and contact versions of rugby all over the United States. The Rookie Rugby program is USA Rugby’s non-contact version of the game.  It is the first step in USA Rugby’s player pathway, introducing the newest Olympic sport in a fun, safe way for boys and girls of all ages.

All rugby parents play by the rules – check them out here!

The Rules of Rugby

Rugby is a fun, fast-paced game found all over the world. Similar to soccer and American football, rugby is a game of continuous play using seven to 15 players on the field in either non-contact or contact games.

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Rugby

1. Scoring: Scoring in rugby is done by touching the ball to the ground in the end zone, scoring five points. This is called a try.

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2. Teams: Rugby is played in two primary forms:

  • Seven-a-Side: This version of rugby is found in the Olympic games and is played for 14 minutes in fast-pace, high scoring action!
  • Fifteen-a-Side: A more traditional form of the game is played by 15 players for a total of 80 minutes. Team members range from any shape, size, and skill level.

3. Passing: A unique aspect of the game of rugby is how the ball is passed. Players can only pass the ball laterally or backwards throughout play.

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4. Tackling: Rugby comes in two forms of both non-contact and full contact. Players are allowed to tackle or pull the flag of the ball carrier during play. Tackling and pulling flags does not equal a turnover, emphasizing the continuous nature of the game.

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5. Scrums and Lineouts: Some common terms in rugby include scrums and lineouts, which are set pieces within a full game of rugby.

  • Scrums – This part of play occurs after a minor infringement of the rules. Players will bind together and perform a scrum, allows players to contest for the ball. The act of a scrum is similar to that of a jump ball in basketball.
  • Lineouts – This portion of play occurs when the ball goes out of bounds

Rookie Rugby does not include scrums or lineouts during play. Players can advance to including uncontested scrums or lineouts once they are of the appropriate age and ability.

How to Play Rookie Rugby

For a more in depth look at the rules and flow of the game check out our Guidebook here:

Rugby Safety

USA Rugby understands that safety is one of the primary concerns for a parent about to put their child on a rugby team. We are committed to this concern and have developed a plethora of materials, trainings, regulations, and resources that ensure all player, coaches, and referees remain safe in this great game.

Rookie Rugby is the non-contact version of the game, keeping it safe for all involved. It is a great introduction to the game that helps keep kids healthy and having fun.

For more information on safety in rugby, check out the Medical & Safety Resources on USA Rugby’s website.

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