Football vs. Rugby: Knowing the difference

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As strange as it may sound, there are still people who do not know the difference between American football and Rugby. The similarities between the two sports are fairly obvious. Both are high contact sports, and many players are at an increased risk of injury because of the physical hazards of colliding with one another or falling down. Either sport also involves a group of individuals chasing and tossing a ball across a field.

But this is where the similarities end.

American football is a sport consisting of two teams; each composed of 11 players. The goal of each team is to advance the ball to the opponent’s end zone. Rugby, on the other hand, is a hybrid sport, and can be faithfully described as a fusion of American football, soccer, and basketball. There are two teams in Rugby, with each team composed of 15 players. While the end goal of Rugby is the same (to get the ball in the opponent’s goal line), players of Rugby typically do not wear protective gear and play against each other in standard sportswear. This means that Rugby players do not wear helmets, arm bands, or anything that may restrict their vision or movement.

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The logic behind this seemingly irresponsible decision is that Rugby players need to be more agile than their American football counterparts. While many defensive (and offensive) systems require American footballers to crash against one another, Rugby strategies typically involve being faster than, and running away from, the opponent. However, this also means that Rugby players are more prone to injury.

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Lastly, Rugby is a popular sport and is played worldwide, while American football, as the name suggests, is only played in America.

Will McHale lives, eats, and breathes football; having played for his college team. Learn more about him by subscribing to this blog.


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