Rugby: What Is It?
In a society that’s obsessed with its technology, it’s easy to forget that the world’s most universal sport, rugby, is still going strong. Rugby is a game played by two teams of 15 on a field, which can be made of grass, sand, or any other ground. The game takes place in two 45-minute halves, and during this time, each side can change the way the ball is moved. The team with the ball tries to score a try, which is a score that goes from a player’s feet into the goal area. The team that has scored a try has a short time to attempt a conversion, which is a try from a penalty.
Rugby is the most popular sport in the world, played by more than 100 million people worldwide. And it’s pretty easy to explain. If you’re less than 6 feet tall, you’re probably not suited to play this sport, which requires either a vertical jump or a long jump.
Since the earliest days of organized sport, rugby has remained a game of toughness, endurance, and physicality. The game has changed drastically over the years, but one man, William Webb Ellis, has the credit for creating the modern sport. In 1823, a Welshman named William Webb Ellis decided to form a new sport that combined football and rugby and introduced it to his friends at a local rugby team. He called it “football,” and it was a huge success. Rugby was also very popular around that time, and a few years later, a new sport emerged that made a big splash: football. It would be a few more years before the two sports merged to form what we know today as “rugby football.”
While it may seem odd that the same man who gave the world the first rules of rugby also helped found soccer, it is true that William Webb Ellis, an English school teacher, first became involved in the sport of rugby.
William Webb Ellis, an Englishman who in 1823 was playing the English game of football in Gloucestershire, noticed that his teammates were running into each other instead of kicking the ball. The event is immortalized by the song “Rugby’s a game for gentlemen, good old boys” in the film “The Full Monty.” So, where did this game come from?
Despite what you may have heard from other people and media outlets, rugby did not originate in the United States or Australia. It was born in England, and it’s there where it achieved its greatest heights of popularity. As the sport moved to the other side of the pond, however, its popularity waned, and it eventually went out of style.
Rugby originated in England. We all know the story. The ancient Romans played a form of football on their fields, and the English decided to take this and create a new sport. Hence the first rugby match was played on May 31, 1823, and it has been progressing ever since. The sport was played originally in England in the 1700s, and in the 1800s was played in England and Wales. In the 1900s, the sport started to spread to other countries. In the 1910s, the sport started to spread to North America, and by the 1920s, the sport had become popular in the US. In the 1960s, the sport caught on across the rest of the world.
In the early years of the rugby game, it was called “harpastum,” a term that can be traced back to the time of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire combined the Roman army’s “haruspex,” or “soothsayer,” with the Greek words “harpos” and “stoma,” which means “ant, a kind of soldier with a shield, a kind of a weapon, a kind of a helmet.”
As it was originally called harpastum, rugby was originally played on heathland and grassland areas, and the ball was made out of animal skin. By the 19th century, the sport had spread to the United States and New Zealand and was also known as “football.” Rugby union and rugby league both evolved from rugby- football and shared many similarities with the original sport. However, the rules and the equipment have changed over time.