Next up in our History of Football unit is Rugby Football. Rugby came from a version of the game played at the Rugby School in England, where players were allowed to pick the ball up with their hands and run with it. In 1871, the Rugby Football Union was formed.
The sport is new to almost all of our students, and retains a historic rule that is a bit difficult to get used to at first: all players must stay behind the ball. No forward passing is allowed. Not only does this rule require different strategy to advance the ball, but different passing technique as well. A rugby pass is more like an underhand “shovel”, with the ball traveling sideways or backwards.
We play flag rugby with modified rules to avoid most of the rough-and-tumble aspects of the games. Players wear flag belts. When their flag is pulled, they have 3 seconds to pass the ball; no rucks or mauls allowed. Scrums are also uncontested, with players at arms-length distance to prevent close contact.
It’s been a lot of fun introducing a new sport to most of the kids.