Football vs rugby: Key similarities and differences
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much similarity between football and rugby – other than the fact that both sports are played with a ball. Something you might not know is that rugby actually evolved from football. So, if you’re wondering which sport you should focus on, here’s a quick football vs rugby overview.
Ball and number of players
The main difference between football and rugby is the type of ball the game is played with. Football uses a traditional, spherical ball. Rugby is known for its unusual, elongated ball designed for easier grabbing and carrying. Rugby teams also have more players. During a rugby match, each team can have between 13 and 15 players on the field. In football, there are only 11 players on the field at any given time.
Match length and purpose of the game
Both football and rugby matches evolve similarly. Football has a match length of 90 minutes, divided into two halves of 45 minutes each. Rugby matches are ten minutes shorter, consisting of two halves of 40 minutes each. The purpose of the game is also similar, albeit the way the goal is achieved differs from one sport to another.
In both games, players have the purpose of scoring goals for their team, by either kicking the ball into a goal net (football) or touch the opposing team’s goal line with the ball. However, football players can only touch the ball with their feet and legs during the game. The only player who can touch the ball with the hands during the game is the goalkeeper. In rugby, players can hold the ball, kick it, run with it and do everything necessary to take it to the opponent’s goal line.
Just like the purpose, the flow of the game is quite similar between the two sports. Strategies generally involve isolating the defensive players and advancing the ball into the field towards the goal net or bar. However, football players may need a bit more skills to advance the ball without touching it with their hands.
Rugby players can grab and touch the ball. They often run with it towards the opponent’s field, but they have to struggle to get it there. In rugby, physical force is often involved as players try to block opponents from advancing. Excessive use of power is not allowed in football and players risk elimination should they use it
Wrapping it all up
While the two sports are very similar – after all, rugby evolved from football – the differences between them might make or break the deal for supporters. Nevertheless, they both enjoy huge popularity, with fans and game enthusiasts often following both football and rugby matches. Many fans like reading football predictions online before the big event. Which is the best is ultimately down to you – or you could simply choose to follow both.
The editorial unit