Rugby League is an all-action game played by two teams over two 40-minute halves.
Each team has 13 players who are defined as forwards or backs, and four extra players as substitutes. There can be as many as 10 substitutes in one game. The object of the game is to score more points than your opponents. To achieve this, you must score tries and kick goals.
How to Score
A try = 4 points
A conversion or penalty goal = 2 points
A field goal = 1 point
A try is scored when you place the ball on the ground in the opponents’ in-goal area.
A goal is scored by kicking the ball between the opponents’ goalposts and above the crossbar, whether it’s from a conversion, a penalty kick or a drop kick.
A conversion is a kick at goal awarded to you when you score a try. A conversion is taken from any spot within the field of play, directly opposite the point where the try was scored.
A drop kick or field goal is a kick at goal during play. You must drop the ball from your hands to the ground and kick it immediately the moment it bounces, over the opponents’ crossbar.
A scrum is formed to restart the game in many situations. Up to six players from each team may be part of each side’s scrum.
A Penalty Kick
A penalty kick is awarded when an offence has occurred. This could be due to deliberately disobeying the laws, foul play obstruction, offside play or technical offences at the scrum.
The game is started by a kick. The ball is placed on the halfway line and must be kicked forwards beyond the opponents’ 10m mark. All players on the kicker’s side must remain behind halfway line until after the ball has been kicked. The game is restarted in a similar way after points have been scored.
The most common version is when a player of the opposing team starts within 10 metres of the ‘play the ball’ and becomes involved in the play. If this occurs, a penalty will be awarded to the opposition.
A Forward Pass
A player cannot pass the ball forward to a teammate. A forward pass will result in a scrum being awarded to the opposition.
A knock-on means to knock the ball with hand or arm while playing at the (i.e towards the opponents goal line).
Watch a video on the penalties below
You must not tackle any higher than the shoulder as this would be classed as a high tackle resulting in a penalty. Each team gets six tackles (chances) before having to hand it over for the opposition to have their opportunity with the ball.
Obstruction is when a player is hindered from taking part in the game by a player without the ball.
When a kicker kicks the ball from within 40 metres of their own goal line (shown by the 40 metre line), then bounces into touch with 20 metres of the opposition’s goal line (shown by the 20 metre line), a scrum will be called and the feed will be awarded to the kicking team. This rule was introduced to reward excellent kickers in the game.
Watch a video on the rules below: