Cornwall RLFC

Rugby League 101

Rugby League Football, better known as ‘Rugby League’ (or simply ‘League’), is a popular code of the sport of Rugby Football. Its origins date back to 1895 in Huddersfield, in the north of England when the Northern Rugby Union, which later became the RFL was formed. Rugby League is a fast-paced, physical, full contact sport played over 80-minute games, comprising two 40 minute halves with a 10 minute interval. Some of the key rules:

There are 13 players on the field with
4 interchange players on the bench

Each team has 8 interchanges to use throughout the game and players can be interchanged multiple times.

All passes must be backwards or lateral. No forward passing permitted, this leads to a scrum for the other team.

Only players in possession of the ball
may be tackled by defending opponents.
No blocking is permitted.

A ball dropped forwards leads to
a scrum for the other team.

Tries (4pts), conversions (2pts)  & drop goals (1pt) 
are the main scoring methods.m.

Scrums are usually uncontested. The team with the ‘feed’ usually automatically wins possession of the ball and the game restarts much quicker.

The ball carrier cannot be stripped of possession
when more than 1 tackler is involved.

Once a tackle is completed play restarts with the ball carrier “playing the ball” between their legs to the ‘dummy half’.

The defending team must retreat 10m from where the tackle was completed and cannot advance until the player in possession plays the ball between their legs.

There are no time outs. Play is continuous and only stops when the ball goes out of bounds, a try is scored or the referee calls a halt to play when one team breaks the rules.

Perhaps most crucially, however, is that possession of the ball by the attacking team is limited to just 6 tackles before either giving up possession at the on field position of the last tackle, or kicking the ball for territorial advantage as play continues with the other team taking their own attacking 6 tackle set. This encourages teams to play exciting, attacking and free flowing rugby, and prevents one team from closing out the game once they take the lead. In a single game it is not uncommon for players in Rugby League to make more than 30 tackles as well as carrying the ball 20 times, with some elite level players making over 50 tackles and carrying the ball 30 times!

In the RFL, winning teams receive 2 points for the win, the losing team receives 0 points. In the event of a tied game at the end of 80 minutes of regular time, both teams receive 1 point in the standings. Two 5 minute periods of extra time are then played with an additional third competition point awarded to the first team who scores a point during that time period.

For a full list of the laws of the game, click the link below: