Rugby is a game which has 15 players on each side and is played on a huge field. It starts off with a kick off and is subsequently carried with the hand and kicked as well until a point is scored by putting it inside the goal.
The history of Rugby is as interesting as the game itself. Although many forms of football were being played across the world, it was not before 19th century that these football games began to be systematized in the society. It is a sport which started in the 19th century in Rugby, England.
Rugby is also sometimes referred to as Rugby Football which essentially means one and the same. It is a sport which is derived from football and was entirely developed at Rugby School in England, United Kingdom. Rugby is also believed to be behind the development of other similar sports like American football and Canadian football
Rugby is derived from a sport which is known as 'hurling' that was played during the 18th century. In ‘hurling’, a ball was thrown up and the players had to catch and carry it to the goal to score a point.
According to popular belief, Rugby was born in the year 1823 when William Webb Ellis first took the ball in his hands and ran with it. This is believed to be the origin of the modern game of Rugby. However, there is very little or no evidence to support this theory of the actual origin of this game. But, it is a very popular view and the International Committee has even named the Rugby World Cup as the 'William Webb Ellis Trophy'.
The first game of Rugby however, was played way back in the year 1175. This was a documented event. A monk who was born in London called William Fitzstephen had documented this game of Rugby. It was at Rugby School where Rugby became a proper sport. There is some proof that Ellis was actually a student at Rugby School from 1816 to 1825. He also appeared in a Rugby School magazine in the year 1875, but it had already been four years since he died.
Slowly, Rugby developed as more and more Schools and Universities in England began to play this new game. The Rugby Union was then formed, in the year 1871 which defines the rules and regulations of the game. It is a debatable topic when handling of the ball was actually permitted in the sport. It is believed that even during the early 1800s, players were allowed to handle the ball to take a mark and then kick it. All this is believed to have taken place long before Ellis arrived at the Rugby scene.
The Rugby Union consisted of 21 representatives who were located in southern England within the London city. During the 1890s, Rugby became a very well-known and popular game that was being played almost all through the southern and northern England Rugby Schools. Rugby was surely taking over soccer as a favorite game.
At present, there are two forms of Rugby namely Rugby League and Rugby Union. They are somewhat similar in nature although the laws and governing bodies are different for both of them. Rugby Union is an outdoor sport that is played with a spheroid shaped ball by two teams. These teams consist of 15 players on each side. The Rugby Union is also known as Rugby, rugger or even egg chasing since the shape of the ball more or less looks like an egg.
Rugby League, on the other hand is a game which is played by thirteen players on each side. This is a very popular sport in countries like Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and France where the sport is played professionally. It is even considered a national game in Papua New Guinea.
So, we see that Rugby is a very popular game all over the world and its history is as interesting as the game itself.