Help me learn the rules of rugby so I can referee a game.
December 2, 2009 11:10 AM   Subscribe

RugbyFilter: help me find a resource that explains, in both intricate detail and user-friendly terms, all of the rules of rugby. I've been asked, by a clearly desperate soul, to ref a game in January and need to get into shape (rules-wise) by then.

I am rugby player but haven't played for years nor can I watch it regularly on tv (although I do, clearly, have internet access). As a result the rules are all very vague in my head, as are the associated penalties. Are there sites that you know of (my google-fu is weak) that explain all of the rules, in detail, but not in complete sport-legalese.

And no, I shouldn't be a referee with this clear lack of qualifications but, as I said, this guy is desperate.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The BBC's Sport Page is not bad, but the IRB is the governing body.

Are you in the US? USA Rugby has regular ref training sessions. Their website also has some info about officiating.
posted by electroboy at 11:26 AM on December 2, 2009

Best answer: Got it, Game Management Guidelines, August 2009 (.pdf link). Includes illustrations and all the basic concepts.
posted by electroboy at 11:29 AM on December 2, 2009

You're probably better off with written rules, but my husband used the EA Sports Rugby to learn the rules and flow of play back in college for a rugby club.
posted by bookdragoness at 11:56 AM on December 2, 2009

Best answer: The IRB runs a site exactly for this purpose, with all the rules, associated penalties, quizzes on said rules, etc.

A note: don't forget about the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs, aka Stellenbosch Laws). Over the last few years, the IRB has been playing with the laws in order to create more continuity of play and better flow, and that means that certain rules you may remember from when you played may be different. For example, under the ELVs, all backs must be 5m back from the scrum instead of level with the back foot.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 2:26 PM on December 2, 2009

Wow, just want to say that I would never ever recommend EA sports rugby as a way to learn anything about rugby (I've played the 2008 and 2009 versions and they are both dull and very different to how actual rugby works). If you get bored of reading stuff, I would recommend watching a few games from the last world cup or this year's lions tour. Maybe avoid watching the recent Autumn international tests though, since the refereeing was notably awful across the games.

Being in Asia, the only way I can watch games is to download them from, ahem, less-than-entirely-reputable sources. But you can download a tonne of videos from youtube, sometimes they have highlights of games, or you can just search for the particular play or rule you are interested in.

As to the ELVs, it depends on which level you are playing at. Is this just a friendly, non-competition game, or is it in some sort of league?
posted by theyexpectresults at 6:38 PM on December 2, 2009

Yeah daniel striped tiger is right, this IRB laws site is great. Has clear video for everything The signals section, for example.
posted by theyexpectresults at 6:47 PM on December 2, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all, you are truly awesome. This is all very helpful stuff and will, hopefully, instill the most important ingredient I need - confidence. A good ref needs to be sure of him/herself if nothing else.

@electroboy, not in the US unfortunately (for these purposes) but it's just a friendly little 7's tournament for now. But it might develop into something more later. As someone who loves rugby but has injuries that prevent me from playing full-contact anymore I'm thinking that this could be an avenue for me to go down to continue to participate and keep fit etc.

Thanks again.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 4:58 AM on December 3, 2009

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