Rugby is a very British sport. In US, however, this high impact game has a long way to go to work its way into the hearts of the public.
The basics of the sport are the same as those of American football: with some variations, players tackle, run, pass, and make touchdowns through goal posts. The field is slightly larger, and the ball slightly fatter.
But a big difference between rugby and football is protective gear… rugby players don’t wear any, which has heavily contributed to the sports reputation for being rough.
However, rugby is far more than just rough and tumble. Unlike many other team sports where players sometimes stand on the field idly, rugby is a fast-moving game with few pauses, and every one of a team’s 15 players are on the field.
Rugby’s growing popularity comes in part from more exposure in the media and from its appeal to younger Americans, many of whom start playing in junior high. Its enhanced image is all to the good. There’s not a very big forum for publicizing the sport, and it has a somewhat negative stigma from people who don’t know the game. If there’s anything I’d like to do it’s to put it in a better light with the general public.
Fortunately, Americans have ample opportunity to learn more about rugby, both by watching and playing the game. For newcomers to rugby in the US, watch it on cable TV, view DVDs and reading. Then if you’re still interested, search for local clubs and get involved in some training sessions.