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Ten Things You Never Knew About the Sport of Rugby
Although rugby has never been televised in the same way as football, it seems to have become more popular in recent years. A lot of people remember rugby and shivering in the rain at school and praying the big guy doesn’t come anywhere, but it’s a great game to watch from your front room! As Rugby seems to be getting more and more attention on TV these days, for those who may be new to watching rugby, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about the game.
1. Is it called an experiment?
A try is called a try, because when the game was first played, no points were awarded for catching the ball in your opponent’s end of the court. What you gained, however, was the attempt, or attempt, at the goal.
2. The game is named after the British school where it was created
When football was played in English schools in the 1800s, there were no rules governing the game and each school drew up its own rule book. It is believed that a young man named William Webb Ellis, who attended Rugby School, started the game of rugby when he decided to pick up the ball and run towards the goal in a football match. The Rugby Union World Cup is still called the Web Ellis Cup to this day.
3. Rugby balls were first made from pig bladders
Rugby balls and soccer balls used to be made using a pig’s bladder inside. Unfortunately, the pig’s bladder is poorly treated and often rots. The wife of the man, who made rugby balls at Rugby School in the 19th century, died from smoke inhalation from the balls.
4. The dominant force at the Olympics is the US
Based on the history, the current Olympic leaders in rugby are the USA and they have been holding this position since 1924. Therefore, it is because Rugby was dropped as an Olympic sport in that year.
5. There are two types of Rugby that are played
Just to make it even more confusing for non-professionals, there are two forms of rugby, rugby league and rugby union. The game is very similar but the rules are very different including a different scoring system.
6. Big goals
One difference between soccer and rugby that anyone new to the game will notice is the big goals. The biggest difference found in the international game was in the match between Australia and Namibia, where Australia won by 142 points for a goal.
7. World Cup Centenary Whistle
At the start of every rugby world cup, the competition starts when the referee blows the century whistle. It is the same whistle that was used in the 1924 match between England and New Zealand at the Paris Olympics.
8. The rugby world cup has never been retained by a team
The New Zealand team is the favorite to win the 2015 rugby world cup and if they win it will make it the first rugby world cup because the competition has not been hosted by a team since the competition started in 1987.
9. A rugby coach invented basketball
James Naismith, the New England Rugby coach, is credited with inventing the game of basketball. It is said that he invented basketball so that his rugby team could train indoors when the weather was too bad to train outside.
10. Playing the national anthem at sports started with rugby
The traditional playing of the national anthem before the start of a national rugby match. It started when Welsh rugby supporters approved the New Zealand Maori team’s war dance and their own national anthem in 1905. Singing the national anthem before matches was officially sanctioned.
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