Rugby vs. Football

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Difference between Rugby and Football

For all their apparent similarities, rugby and American football are actually quite different from one another. For lay people however, those similarities are precisely what make it difficult to make a distinction between the two sports. One thing is for sure though–you will be able to tell the difference once you see each game in full swing. For those who aren't lucky enough to have access to a game nearby, here then is a comparison of both remarkable games.


Players And Playing Field

Rugby and football use similarly sized playing fields, with measurements of 110 meters by 51 to 55 meters, although the rugby field is often slightly wider than the field used in football. The fields in both sports are marked with lines drawn at ten-yard intervals, demarcating the different zones. Both fields also have lines marking the goal zone, which in rugby is known as the "try-line." There is also an end zone that stretches out 9 meters behind the goal line. The key difference is that the scoring zone in rugby ends right at the goal posts, and players who go over this mark while in possession of the ball are penalized by a turnover. Rugby teams are made up of 13 players, all of which may play offense and defense at any given time. This is in contrast to football teams, which have 11 players with specific tasks.

Advancing The Ball And Blocking

Getting the ball down field differs slightly with both sports, although both rugby and football players use a series of passes in order to accomplish this. The main difference is that rugby does not allow direct forward passes, and is restricted only to sideways and backward passes. Rugby players are also prohibited from intercepting opponents that are not in possession of the ball, although American football players have no such restrictions.


Scoring is another area where the two sports differ, with rugby requiring players to touch the ball to the field, thus scoring four points. In American football on the other hand, players can score with a touchdown or a kick over the goal posts. Also in rugby, successful goal kicks are awarded double the points.



  • Is played on a 110 meter by 51- to 55-meter wide field.
  • Field is a bit wider than that used in football
  • Has a "try line" that signifies the start of the goal zone
  • Scoring zone ends right at the goalposts, with the ball considered "outside" when the player goes past this point
  • If the player goes beyond, the ball is out.
  • Comprise of a league of teams with 13 players each


  • Similar measurements as the field used in rugby
  • Also has a sort of "try line" that shows the start of there goal zone
  • Comprised of teams with 11 players, each of which has specific roles to play in the game
  • Played with helmets with a face-guard 

Which sport came first?
  • Rugby
  • Football

Discuss It: comments 1

  • Guest
  • sahquish wrote on December 2017

lol thx

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