Scrum (rugby)

Last updated
Luke Burgess (rightmost player in black) introduces the ball into the scrum. ST vs Gloucester - Match - 23.JPG
Luke Burgess (rightmost player in black) introduces the ball into the scrum.

A scrum (short for scrummage) is a method of restarting play in rugby football that involves players packing closely together with their heads down and attempting to gain possession of the ball. [1] Depending on whether it is in rugby union or rugby league, the scrum is utilized either after an accidental infringement or when the ball has gone out of play. Scrums occur more often, and are now of greater importance, in union than in league. [2] Starting play from the line of scrimmage in gridiron football is derived from the scrum.

Contents

In both forms of rugby, a scrum is formed by the players who are designated forwards binding together in three rows. The scrum then 'engages' with the opposition team so that the players' heads are interlocked with those of the other side's front row. In rugby union the initiation of the process is verbally coordinated by the referee who calls 'crouch, bind, set' as of 2013 (formerly 'crouch, touch, pause, engage', 'crouch and hold, engage' before 2007). The scrum-half from the team that did not infringe then throws the ball into the tunnel created in the space between the two sets of front rowers' legs. Both teams may then try to compete for the ball by trying to hook the ball backwards with their feet.

A key difference between the two sports is that in rugby union both sets of forwards try to push the opposition backwards whilst competing for the ball and thus the team that did not throw the ball into the scrum have some minimal chance of winning the possession. In practice, however, the team with the 'put-in' usually keeps possession (92% of the time with the feed) and put-ins are not straight. Forwards in rugby league do not usually push in the scrum, scrum-halves often feed the ball directly under the legs of their own front row rather than into the tunnel, and the team with the put-in usually retains possession (thereby making the 40/20 rule workable).

Rugby union

The relative body positions of the players in a rugby union scrum Scrum.svg
The relative body positions of the players in a rugby union scrum

A rugby union scrum consists of two teams' eight forwards, with each team binding in three rows. The front row is composed of the two props and the hooker . [3] The two second row forwards (jersey numbers four and five), commonly referred to as the locks bind together and directly behind the front row with each putting their heads between the props and the hooker. Lastly the back row is made up of the two flankers and the number eight. The flankers bind on each side of the scrum — next to a lock and behind a prop. [3]

The two forward packs form a scrum by approaching to within an arms length of each other. The referee gives the command crouch and the opposing front rows then crouch; as well as allowing the front rows to interlock with one another, this crouching action also serves to isometrically preload the muscles, enabling the subsequent drive to be performed more powerfully. The referee then calls touch and props touch the opposites outside shoulder. The referee then issues the set command which indicates that the two packs may come together. When this happens both front rows thrust forward with the tighthead props' heads going between the opposing hooker and loosehead prop. The props then bind by gripping the back or side of the opposing prop's jersey. The scrum-half from the team that has possession then throws the ball in the gap formed between the two front rows. [4] The two hookers (and sometimes the props) then compete for possession by trying to hook the ball backwards with their feet, while the entire pack tries to push the opposing pack backwards. The side that wins possession usually transfers the ball to the back of the scrum — which is done with their feet. Once at the back it is picked up either by the number 8, or by the scrum-half. [5]

Starting with the 2012/2013 rugby season the International Rugby Board has issued trial law amendments, one of which affects the call sequence. The referee will continue to start with "crouch" and "touch", but will now issue the command "set", which replaces "engage" as the indication that the packs may push forward. "Pause" has been removed in order to speed up the scrum and to minimize resets due to collapsed scrums. [6] The command to "touch" was not used before 2007. Instead, the referee called "crouch and hold", at which time each pack crouched and held that position before the referee gave the command to "engage". Starting in 2013/2014 "touch" has been replaced with "bind".

There are a large number of rules regarding the specifics of what can and cannot be done during a scrum. Front rowers must engage square on, rather than bore in on an angle. [7] Front-rowers are also banned from twisting their bodies, pulling opponents, or doing anything that might collapse the scrum. [8] The back row must remain bound until the ball has left the scrum. For flankers, this means keeping one arm, up to the shoulder, in contact with the scrum. The scrum must be stable, stationary and parallel to the goal-lines when they feed the ball; otherwise a free kick is awarded to the non-offending team. By strict letter of the law, the ball must be fed into the middle of the tunnel with its major axis parallel to the ground and touchline; however this is becoming less strictly enforced as the photo in this article illustrates. The ball must be thrown in quickly and in a single movement — this means that a feed cannot be faked. Once the ball has left the hands of the scrum-half the scrum has begun.

Rugby sevens

Scrum in sevens Sevens scrum.jpg
Scrum in sevens

Scrums in rugby union sevens consist only of what would be the "front row" in normal rugby union. They consist of three forwards on each side, plus a scrum half to feed in the ball.

Rugby league

A rugby league scrum Rugby league scrum finale elite rugby XIII 2010 FCL PIA.png
A rugby league scrum

A rugby league scrum is used to bring the ball back into play in situations where the ball has gone out of play over the touchline or a player has made a mistake, a knock-on or forward pass, except when that mistake has occurred on the last tackle of a set of six tackles. A scrum is also used in the rare event that the ball bursts or the referee interferes with the movement of the ball.

The scrum consists of six players from each team in a 321 formation. The scrum is usually formed by each team's forwards, though any player can participate. The front row of the formation consists of the open-side prop (8), hooker (9) and blind-side prop (10). Behind the front row are the two second row forwards (11&12), and then the loose forward (13) at the back.

The two "packs" of forwards form a scrum before the ball is put into the scrum. The scrum-half (7) (also known as the halfback) of the team that did not commit the forward pass, knock-on or cause the ball to go out of play over the touch line puts the ball into the scrum through the tunnel formed by the front rows of each set of forwards meeting. When the ball bursts or the referee interferes with the ball, the team that had possession at the time is the one to put the ball into the scrum. Both teams may attempt to secure the ball while it is in the scrum by "hooking" for it or by pushing their opponents off the ball. The ball can be brought back into open play by the scrum-half retrieving it from the rear of the scrum or by the loose forward picking it up after detaching from the scrum. [9]

While restarting play, the scrum serves to keep the forwards in one area of the field for a time, thus creating more space for back play and special plays, an advantage to the side that wins the scrum. It is now uncommon for the team not awarded the scrum feed to win possession "against the feed". Prior to 1983, the loose forward would often stand outside of the scrum, leaving a five-man scrum. In an effort to provide more space for backline play, scrum rules were changed so that in normal circumstances loose forwards must always bind into the scrum. However, if a player is sent off, five-man scrums may occur. In this situation, the rules mandate the numbers of players not bound into the scrum. [9]

While the Laws of the Game continue to provide for competitive scrums, [9] [10] a convention exists that some scrum rules are not enforced. During the 1970s, scrum penalties for feeding the ball into the legs of the second row, packs moving off the "mark" or collapsing the scrum were seen as unattractive. The ability of teams to win a game purely on goals from scrum penalties was also seen as unfair. In an effort to improve this situation, changes to rules and their enforcement were made. The number of scrums was reduced with the introduction of the "handover" after a team has used a set of six tackles, [9] the differential penalty, one which cannot be kicked at goal was brought in for offences at scrums and referees ceased enforcing some rules regarding feeding the ball into scrum. Aided by this change, it is common for professional teams not to fully contest scrums, according to their choice of tactics.

See also

Related Research Articles

Rugby union Team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is played between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at either end.

Rugby league Full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field

Rugby league is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field measuring 68 m wide and 112–122 m long. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

Try (rugby) way of scoring points in rugby league and rugby union football

A try is a way of scoring points in rugby union and rugby league football. A try is scored by grounding the ball in the opposition's in-goal area. Rugby union and league differ slightly in defining 'grounding the ball' and the 'in-goal' area.

Rugby union positions

In the game of rugby union, there are 15 players on each team, comprising eight forwards and seven backs. In addition, there may be up to eight replacement players "on the bench", numbered 16–23. Players are not restricted to a single position, although they generally specialise in just one or two that suit their skills and body types. Players that play multiple positions are called "utility players".

In rugby football, the penalty is the main disciplinary sanction available to the referee to penalise players who commit deliberate infringements. The team who did not commit the infringement are given possession of the ball and may either kick it towards touch, attempt a place kick at goal, or tap the ball with their foot and run it. It is also sometimes used as shorthand for penalty goal.

A rugby league team consists of thirteen players on the field, with four substitutes on the bench. Each of the thirteen players is assigned a position, normally with a standardised number, which reflects their role in attack and defence, although players can take up any position at any time.

Rugby league gameplay

Like most forms of modern football, rugby league football is played outdoors on a rectangular grass field with goals at each end that are to be attacked and defended by two opposing teams. The rules of rugby league have changed significantly over the decades since rugby football split into the league and union codes. This article details the modern form of the game and how it is generally played today, however rules do vary slightly between specific competitions.

The team sports rugby league and rugby union have shared origins and thus many similarities.

The experimental law variations (ELVs) were a proposed set of amendments to the laws of rugby union. They were proposed by the sport's governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB), and trialled games at Stellenbosch University in 2006. In 2008 thirteen of the 23 variations trialled were played globally including; greater responsibility for assistant referees, corner posts no longer considered to touch in-goal, no gain in ground if the ball is moved into the 22-metre line by a player from the same team as the kicker, quick throw ins can travel backwards, no restrictions to players in the lineout, restrictions on where receivers and opposition hookers can stand in a lineout, pregripping and lifting allowed, mauls can be pulled down and players can enter with their head and shoulders lower than their hips, offside line is five metres away from the scrum for the backs and scrum half must be positioned close to the scrum, all offences apart from foul play and offsides are a free kick, and unplayable rucks and mauls are restarted with a free kick. In 2009 the IRB approved ten of the laws, rejecting the laws relating to mauls, numbers in a lineout and the increase in sanctions punishable by free kicks.

Rugby union gameplay

Rugby union is a contact sport that consists of two teams of fifteen players. The objective is to obtain more points than the opposition through scoring tries or kicking goals over eighty minutes of playing time. The play is started with one team drop-kicking the ball from the halfway line towards the opposition. The rugby ball can be moved up the field by either carrying it or kicking it. However, when passing the ball it can only be thrown laterally or backward. The opposition can stop players moving up the field by tackling them. Only players carrying the ball can be tackled and once a tackle is completed the opposition can compete for the ball. Play continues until a try is scored, the ball crosses the side line or dead-ball line, or an infringement occurs. After a team scores points, the non-scoring team restarts the game at the halfway with a drop kick toward the opposition. The team with the most points at the end wins the game.

Rugby union is a team sport played between two teams of fifteen players. It is known for its rich terminology.

This list of rugby league terms is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of rugby league football. The sport has accrued a considerable amount of jargon to describe aspects of the game. Many terms originate from the Laws of the Game. A number of aspects of the game have more than one term that refers to them. Different terms have become popularly used to describe an aspect of the game in different places with notable differences between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Scrum (rugby union) means of restarting play after a minor infringement in rugby union

In rugby union a scrum is a means of restarting play after a minor infringement. It involves up to eight players from each team, known as the pack or forward pack, binding together in three rows and interlocking with the free opposing teams forwards. At this point the ball is fed into the gap between the two forward packs and they both compete for the ball to win possession. Teams can be penalised for intentionally causing the scrum to collapse, and for not putting the ball into the scrum correctly. A scrum is most commonly awarded when the ball is knocked forward, or passed forward, or when a ball becomes trapped in a ruck or maul. Because of the physical nature of scrums, injuries can occur, especially in the front row.

Rugby union equipment

A traditional rugby union kit consists of a jersey and shorts, long rugby socks and boots with studs. The other main piece of equipment is the rugby ball.

Tom Arthur Welsh rugby union player

Tom Arthur was a Welsh international rugby union lock who played club rugby for Neath and was capped 18 times for Wales. A tough second row forward with a strong physique, Arthur was often criticised for being over-vigorous. Though his style of play was fairly typical for Welsh rugby at the time.

A penalty in rugby union is the main disciplinary sanction available to the referee to penalise a team who commit deliberate infringements. The team who did not commit the infringement are given possession of the ball and they may either kick it towards touch, attempt a place kick at goal, or tap the ball with their foot and run. It is also sometimes used as shorthand for penalty goal.

In rugby league football, the Laws of the Game are the rules governing how the sport is played. The Laws are the responsibility of the Rugby League International Federation, and cover the play, officiating, equipment and procedures of the game.

Hooker (rugby league)

Hooker is one of the positions in a rugby league football team. Usually wearing jersey number 9, the hooker is one of the team's forwards. During scrums the hooker plays in the front row, and the position's name comes from their role of 'hooking' or 'raking' the ball back with the foot. For this reason the hooker is sometimes referred to as the rake.

Laws of rugby union

The laws of Rugby Union are defined by World Rugby and dictate how the game should be played. They are enforced by a referee, generally with the help of two assistant referees.

The 2017 Pacific Challenge was the twelfth World Rugby Pacific Challenge. Four teams featured in the tournament which was hosted in Fiji. The format was a round-robin competition without additional finals play-off matches. The hosts Fiji Warriors finished the tournament undefeated to claim the title, with  Junior Japan as runner-up.

References

  1. Scrum, abbreviated form of scrummage, Oxford English Dictionary Online crouch bind sit Archived 2008-01-11 at the Wayback Machine .
  2. Nick Mulvenney and Peter Rutherford (4 April 2011). "Rugby-Cat calls greet scrummaging's return to league". uk.reuters.com. Archived from the original on 16 March 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  3. 1 2 "Forming a scrum". bbc.co.uk. 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
  4. "Feeding the scrum". bbc.co.uk. 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  5. "Hooking the ball". bbc.co.uk. 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-10-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "The laws of scrummaging". bbc.co.uk. 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
  8. "Law 20 - Scrum". planetrugby.com. 2007-01-22. Archived from the original on 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  9. 1 2 3 4 Australian Rugby League Rule Book, February 2008
  10. "ARL International Laws of the Game" (PDF). New South Wales Rugby League www.nswrl.com.au. 3 April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-26.