Ninh Explains the Rules of Rugby League
The object of the game is for your team to score more points than the opposing team.
The game is played with two teams of 13, playing on a field that’s: In rugby, you may run forwards with the ball
and you may kick the ball forwards. But what’s interesting about Rugby is that
you can only pass the ball backwards or sideways. You cannot pass the ball forwards and doing
so will result in your opponent being awarded possession.
The idea is to score points, and there are several ways to do this.
1) A Try. You can run with the ball into your opponent’s in-goal area and place the ball
down on the ground. This is a try and is worth 4 points. Unlike in American Football, the
player MUST press the ball on the ground with downward pressure. No downward pressure=no
try. 2) A conversion. After scoring a try, you
are awarded a conversion kick to add more points. The kick is made from a spot 20 metres
from the goal line and perpendicular to the spot where the try was scored. Kicking the
ball between the posts and over the crossbar scores 2 POINTS.
3) A penalty. If you opponents commit a foul, you may choose to kick the ball from the ground
between the goal posts. This also scores two points.
4) A drop goal. You can also kick the ball between the posts at any time during open
play. To do this, you must drop the ball on the ground first before kicking it.
This is known as a drop-goal, and is rarely seen because it only scores 1 POINT.
It doesn’t seem like much, but in close games, this might make the difference between
winning and losing. To stop you from scoring, your opponents will
try and stop you by tackling. Your opponent can grab you below the shoulders
and pull you to the floor or stop you moving forwards. In Rugby League, once a player is tackled,
the opponent MUST let go of the ball carrier, and his team MUST retreat 10 metres.
The ball carrier is allowed to stand up and kick the ball back to a team mate to start
the process over again. You are allowed up to six tackles to score.
That’s right, six. Six is the magic number, and the number of
tackles allowed is 6. If your team is tackled a sixth time, your
opponent gets possession of the ball from the spot of the tackle.
Just like in American Football, a team will usually kick the ball away after the fifth
tackle to make it more difficult for the other team to score.
The game is played in two 40 minute halves. For a combined playing time of 80 minutes.
Team with the highest score after 80 minutes wins.
In summary: A team will run with the ball, get tackled,
kick it back, run forwards, get tackled again, kick it back, run forwards, get tackled yet
again, kick it back run forwards etc. 6 times over and then the other team gets to have
a go. That’s it right? Well, that’s basically the gist of it, but
there’s a few other rules you’ll need to understand before playing or going to a
game. For example:
Knock on: Any player deflecting the ball forwards with
their arms or body is committing ‘knock on’.
Remember, you’re not allowed to pass the ball forwards, so you’re not allowed to
deflect it forwards either unless it’s a kick.
Committing a knock on will result in the other team being awarded a scrum.
Scrum: This is a method of restarting play, usually
after a ‘knock on’ or ‘forward pass’. The forwards of both teams line up and push
against one another whilst the ball is rolled between them.
Possession of the ball is usually won by the team that is awarded the scrum.
In touch: This is rugby terminology for ‘out of the
playing area’. The outer lines of the field are touch lines,
and any ball leaving the field of play is said to be ‘in touch’.
40-20 Kick: If you think you can kick the ball from behind
your own 40 metre line, bounce it on the floor and into touch within the opposition’s 20
metre line, your team is awarded possession. The referee will award you an extra six tackles
and possession of a scrum where the ball has left the field.
This can be a tremendous advantage if kicked correctly as you gain big field position with
a single kick of the ball. However, it’s easier said than done and
should you fail to execute this, your opponents are given the ball where your kick was made.
This is disastrous and can potentially cost you the match if you get it wrong. There are many other rules not discussed here,
but as you watch or play these games, they will be very clear.
Remember, if you can count to six, yes, six, then you understand Rugby League. Ninh Ly, www.ninh.co.uk, @NinhLyUK

The Rules of Rugby League – EXPLAINED!
Tagged on:                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

100 thoughts on “The Rules of Rugby League – EXPLAINED!

  • February 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm
    Permalink

    1:51 I see what you did there…

    Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 6:09 pm
    Permalink

    To be honest, I love both types of Rugby, but I think I like League a bit more. It's faster, stronger, tougher, easier to play (funner), and a not bunch of perks to it. So to all the Unioners who wish to be snobby, weak up, because League gives Union a run for it's money.

    I also wish Aussie was more popular. It's sad how the most boring sports are considered the "world sports", rather than the funnest ones which are less popular. The world sports should be American Football, Aussie Rules, Gaelic Football, Hurling, and Baseball. I also wish League was the more favorited one. It's rather stupid how soccer, cricket, tennis, gold, and land hockey are the most popular.

    This is coming from an Irishman, lads.

    I like Union too, though. No offense from earlier.

    Reply
  • March 27, 2015 at 11:25 am
    Permalink

    Well the nrl season is already started and I hope paramatta eels win the next cup. I hope they can still play good without their best fullback Jared Hayne.

    Reply
  • April 30, 2015 at 10:30 am
    Permalink

    1:53
    Illuminati confirmed
    Six
    Six
    Six
    (666)

    Reply
  • May 4, 2015 at 7:17 am
    Permalink

    Rugby league sucks

    Reply
  • May 31, 2015 at 11:30 pm
    Permalink

    You didn't mention the zero tackle rule during tackles

    Reply
  • June 1, 2015 at 1:35 pm
    Permalink

    Sorry to keep commenting in your stuff mate… But just a note that the 40/20 rule description here implies that you hand the ball over from where you kicked it if you 'get it wrong' – you can get it wrong and kick it straight to the fb or winger, and it's okay on. I guess what I'm trying to say is my specify if it goes out on the full?

    Or is that too detailed for a beginner vid?

    Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 5:24 pm
    Permalink

    @Ninh Ly I love your videos especially The Difference between Rugby Union & Rugby League and The Rules of Australian Rules Football videos, especially the latter, the comment section with the various debates on whether or not Gaelic Football influenced Aussie Rules Football were great. I'm Irish and to be honest I prefer Rugby Union. That's just my own personal opinion on the matter and I'm not knocking Rugby League. I've seen a few matches on Sky Sports anyways I have a quick question for you. Are there any differences between the ball used in Rugby League and the ball used in Rugby Union? sizes, dimensions etc.

    Reply
  • September 4, 2015 at 4:37 am
    Permalink

    Tekken music in the background?

    Reply
  • September 10, 2015 at 5:05 pm
    Permalink

    This video has helped a lot as I am starting rugby soon in school in PE and I didn't know anything about league but now I can understand. Thanks for the video

    Reply
  • October 11, 2015 at 9:36 am
    Permalink

    Just a devastated Brisbane fan passing through. After all the hard work this season… Thanks a lot JT.

    Reply
  • October 12, 2015 at 3:29 am
    Permalink

    So rugby = US Football + UK Football + original ideas. Ok

    Reply
  • November 7, 2015 at 4:29 pm
    Permalink

    I played rugby in high school back in Zimbabwe. I now see we were playing by rugby union rules. Rugby league is interesting too. I wish they taught us both forms of the game. Thanks for the video

    Reply
  • November 11, 2015 at 1:14 pm
    Permalink

    this is retarded…why would anyone play this REAL rugby is so much better.

    Reply
  • January 6, 2016 at 4:57 pm
    Permalink

    Hey Ninh, as a fan of selected sports I am well impressed that there is an encyclopaedia on youtube with this type of thing. If only other channels were as professional as yours.

    Reply
  • January 27, 2016 at 3:47 am
    Permalink

    what about a video of rugby 7?

    Reply
  • February 9, 2016 at 12:11 am
    Permalink

    excellent video

    Reply
  • February 22, 2016 at 11:28 am
    Permalink

    Drop goals are worth it ( Cowboys vs Broncos 2015 grand final). UP THE COWBOYS!

    Reply
  • March 29, 2016 at 3:22 am
    Permalink

    this is great if might have to show the girlfriend it seeing that she is from the only town in Yorkshire that doesn't have a professional rugby league team hahaha

    Reply
  • April 3, 2016 at 1:26 am
    Permalink

    damn I can't count to six

    Reply
  • April 21, 2016 at 8:10 am
    Permalink

    What about the sheppords?

    Reply
  • May 27, 2016 at 6:41 am
    Permalink

    how about a line dropout?

    Reply
  • June 10, 2016 at 2:50 am
    Permalink

    +ninh ly when my dad used to play professional (bradford ,leeds and Wigan) he had to compete in the scrum but they changed it because it wasted alot of time in the game and they were very very messy anyway I don't think there is nothing wrong with this video and I do appreciate you spreading the word of the great game rugby league keep up the good work buddy

    Reply
  • June 19, 2016 at 5:05 am
    Permalink

    Does rugby have a designated conversion kicker or is the kick made by the player who scored the try?

    Reply
  • June 22, 2016 at 9:14 pm
    Permalink

    This is sooooo useful to me because I'm actually just joined a rugby league team and I wasn't so good at understanding the rules of the game, because I'm only 12 but because of this video, I will be able to play brilliantly the next time I play

    Reply
  • June 23, 2016 at 10:33 pm
    Permalink

    #TheScrumIsALie #OurScrumIsBetterThanYours (damn right, it's better than yours)

    Reply
  • July 6, 2016 at 11:29 am
    Permalink

    Great explanation! Very handy when I want to explain the game to some mates who don't know the rules!

    Reply
  • July 11, 2016 at 8:45 pm
    Permalink

    Maybe a stupid question… but, A team can win (W), lose (L) but on the league table i often sea (B). What does that stand for. Also… there are 2 league tables…the NRL telstra premier league and the NYC Holdon cup.. what is the difference? The winner from both table play against each other for the league cup? Thnx for the video, greetings from the Netherlands

    Reply
  • August 11, 2016 at 11:31 pm
    Permalink

    2:37 = one of the reason we let Briscoe go⚫️⚪️⚫️⚪️

    Reply
  • August 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks you! Will you be making more vidoes in the future?

    Reply
  • August 28, 2016 at 12:54 am
    Permalink

    Play prop in Union and loose forward in league and I personally think league is better as it's more free flowing and less complicated

    Reply
  • September 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm
    Permalink

    I have used rugby league here in America to turn gridiron fans into Rugby watchers! One fella said he didn't like the game until I showed him League and explained its closeness to gridiron, and he fell in love with the sport. After that, introducing union to him was a piece of cake, (and showing him his first union match as being the '73 Barbarians vs All Blacks game helped a lot!) Therefore, you want to get Americans into Rugby, teach them about League, and maybe we can get something going over here!

    Reply
  • November 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm
    Permalink

    I saw in a game a player kicking the ball forwards and his teammate catching the ball and scoring. Is that legal? If that so, that means that you can pass the ball forwards but only with your feet?

    Reply
  • December 7, 2016 at 3:35 am
    Permalink

    aren't scrums in rugby league uncontested?

    Reply
  • December 9, 2016 at 10:39 pm
    Permalink

    I can see why rugby union is more popular.

    Reply
  • December 20, 2016 at 11:40 pm
    Permalink

    1:52 got to see

    Reply
  • January 23, 2017 at 10:34 pm
    Permalink

    More exciting than union.

    Reply
  • February 12, 2017 at 9:38 am
    Permalink

    cool

    Reply
  • February 21, 2017 at 11:38 am
    Permalink

    AFL is better.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2017 at 8:58 am
    Permalink

    Its funny how you see a soccer video or basketball and its all kids arguing about which sports are bad and which are good.. It seems rugby fans are much more mature and can actually converse about what sports they like around the world! Good to see!

    Reply
  • March 6, 2017 at 5:54 am
    Permalink

    Good job. Thanks. I am now a fan.

    Reply
  • April 9, 2017 at 7:49 am
    Permalink

    in what situations would a six tackle set turn into a seven or four tackle set?

    Reply
  • April 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm
    Permalink

    How come some trys are awarded 6 points?? Is this with the conversion but we don't see it?

    Reply
  • May 6, 2017 at 6:31 am
    Permalink

    SIX SIX SIX SIX SIX

    Reply
  • July 12, 2017 at 11:27 pm
    Permalink

    So far I would say I like and understand Rugby Union Better. Well not understand but definitely like. It's far more interesting JMO!

    Reply
  • July 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm
    Permalink

    You mentioned Six a lot and since Toronto is the 6ix, is this the kind of Rugby the Toronto Wolfpack play?

    Reply
  • August 2, 2017 at 9:27 am
    Permalink

    nice one ninh this really helped
    plus not every part of the body deflecting it will be a knock on other than the the leg if you deflect it forward with any part of your body except your legs than it's a knock on

    Reply
  • August 7, 2017 at 3:31 pm
    Permalink

    I just love rugby league

    Reply
  • August 11, 2017 at 1:39 am
    Permalink

    I notice that players pass the ball underhanded. Why could they pass( throw the ball overhanded as long as it is backwards or sideways? An overhanded bullet pass would really move the ball across the field faster and conceivable open up the play..

    Reply
  • August 22, 2017 at 5:59 am
    Permalink

    Memo – Need to show video to NRL Refs.

    Reply
  • August 22, 2017 at 6:03 am
    Permalink

    Does Super league have the 7 tackle rule where a Team kicks the ball dead in goal?

    Reply
  • September 7, 2017 at 7:57 am
    Permalink

    All the clips are super league……. Why no NRL

    Reply
  • September 15, 2017 at 4:47 am
    Permalink

    Do they really retreat ten meters after a tackle? I was watching some league, and sometimes it looked like after the tackle, the player who was tackled just put the ball on the ground and a teammate picked it up and ran with it, without retreating.

    Reply
  • October 12, 2017 at 10:49 pm
    Permalink

    That's Super Legue in the video, club Rugby League over in England. But the rules are pretty much the same in other countries like Aus and France.
    Some additional rules. The ball can float forward but it has to go backwards out of the hands. You can also strip the ball if you're in a one on one tackle. If you kick the ball past the opponent's in goal the other team starts from their 20 metre line and gets an extra tackle. You can lift players in tackles but their body has to be horizontal or less than that. Any closer and you risk them landing on their neck and you get penalised. Instead of draft picks there's a salary cap on all clubs. If an offside player tackles the opponent before their team is back onside it's a professional foul and they get a 10 minute sin bin. (In Australian club League, which is the NRL) Kicking out on the full means they the other team gets the ball right from you kicked it.

    Reply
  • October 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm
    Permalink

    Very informative. I knew there was Rugby League and a Rugby Union but what the differences between the two were I knew little about. Both look very interesting to watch.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2017 at 9:19 pm
    Permalink

    They don't push at scrums in rugby league

    Reply
  • November 10, 2017 at 5:04 am
    Permalink

    I like football, but I like rugby union better

    Reply
  • December 9, 2017 at 9:03 am
    Permalink

    I wish people would shut up bickering over which code is better. They're both sports and positive things to do!

    Reply
  • December 9, 2017 at 4:39 pm
    Permalink

    So i see the difference between union amd league

    Reply
  • January 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm
    Permalink

    ninh can you do the rules of kronum

    Reply
  • March 17, 2018 at 3:58 am
    Permalink

    I wish rugby union was more popular in Australia. It's been waning in popularity for a while now. I just think it's a more interesting game to watch. Rugbly league (NRL is the name of the top league that teams in Australia and NZ compete in) is too stop and start for me, not dynamic enough.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm
    Permalink

    I just started playing rugby here in the states. I would say union to me is amazing if you have a football background. Hit, hit and hit some more.

    Reply
  • April 24, 2018 at 10:05 pm
    Permalink

    I just watched a rugby league match and one thing I don't understand is offsides. Is that similar to an offsides in soccer? Also, how many players can be on the "sin bin" at once?

    Reply
  • May 22, 2018 at 11:48 am
    Permalink

    Is that 40-20 rule in Australian rugby league

    Reply
  • June 14, 2018 at 9:58 pm
    Permalink

    Does the defending team always have to release the tackled player with the ball. Can't they try to win the ball by a turnover in the ruck?

    Reply
  • June 18, 2018 at 9:26 am
    Permalink

    I hate all the union players talking trash about league. People do it at school and my dad said to me to tell them don't knock it till you try it. Do you agree?

    Reply
  • June 26, 2018 at 12:10 pm
    Permalink

    Actually its 5 metres

    Reply
  • July 21, 2018 at 9:34 pm
    Permalink

    What about being in the air on the wing but not touching the out/touch?

    Reply
  • July 23, 2018 at 5:43 am
    Permalink

    I'm a rugby union player and come to learn league. Thanks for the rules Ninh Ly! I can also see a lot of segregation between League and Union. To be honest, both are rugby and are both great sports. League is pretty popular in Australia (State of Origin, Australia considered the best at international…).

    Reply
  • July 24, 2018 at 12:26 am
    Permalink

    All Leeds aren't we?

    Reply
  • August 5, 2018 at 12:57 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Ninh,
    Love your videos. Just wondering if you have plans to do a video on Touch Rugby? Cheers.

    Reply
  • August 11, 2018 at 7:31 pm
    Permalink

    I prefer rugby union

    Reply
  • August 24, 2018 at 1:41 am
    Permalink

    So, you get to be tackled 6 times, and if you didn't score you lose posession ? Isn't it like American Football that you get a new set of tackles (or downs) after you've gained a determianted amount of meters ?

    Reply
  • August 24, 2018 at 9:17 am
    Permalink

    It’s not a drop goal it’s called a field goal in Australia. Just saying

    Reply
  • September 16, 2018 at 7:03 am
    Permalink

    Just a reminder:

    Rugby League > Rugby Union

    Reply
  • September 27, 2018 at 10:27 am
    Permalink

    The scrum😂😂

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 12:27 am
    Permalink

    Basically league players keep the ball in the field and run with it while Union players get the ball into the crowd and get into a massive orgy.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2018 at 9:39 pm
    Permalink

    Union is a lot better

    Reply
  • October 17, 2018 at 7:37 pm
    Permalink

    I was watching Tekken vids before this and thought I had one still going in the back ground 😂

    Reply
  • November 4, 2018 at 9:20 am
    Permalink

    Thanks , I'm a Liverpool fan off to Anfield today to watch Eng V N.Z. with my RL mad father in law , this has helped me look less of an idiot now hopefully !

    Reply
  • November 11, 2018 at 12:27 am
    Permalink

    I enjoyed the video. 🙂

    Reply
  • November 16, 2018 at 12:18 am
    Permalink

    Thanks a bunch for this. ❤️

    Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 4:53 pm
    Permalink

    I now know more about Rugby League, thanks to this video – I've learned quite a lot! Thanks, Ninh!

    Reply
  • December 29, 2018 at 5:23 pm
    Permalink

    Good quick summary of the game. As a ex-Union player I'm embarrassed to admit that I did not know the six tackle rule.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2019 at 11:43 am
    Permalink

    I prefer league but union and league are actually 2 completely different sports so try them out before you decide do just go off what people say they are both fun to play

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 7:49 pm
    Permalink

    Do you league guys really call THAT a scrum?!?😂😂😂

    Reply
  • January 27, 2019 at 12:40 pm
    Permalink

    I personally prefer rugby union because I’ve watched it most of my life and I prefer when there’s rooks

    Reply
  • January 30, 2019 at 11:55 pm
    Permalink

    One thing that was missed in the video.

    Unlike in Union, Scrums in League don't move and possession of the ball isn't contested. Possession of the ball may only be turned over to the other team if the referee sees a law infringement in the scrum (players not packing properly or not feeding the ball properly) or if a player knocks on the ball when the ball has been fed.

    However call from fans, players and some board members are seeking a rule change to allow contested scrums back into League. In a game where gaining as many metres in the best way possible is vital, having static scrums doesn't make a lot of sense. They where previously in League but die to poor policing and subsequent injuries and incidents, the scrum became what it is today.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2019 at 7:18 am
    Permalink

    this is not a variation of rugby union, this is its own sport

    Reply
  • April 5, 2019 at 11:28 am
    Permalink

    im going to a game on sunday with my bestmate and had no idea of the rules you my friend are a life saver

    Reply
  • May 5, 2019 at 8:31 am
    Permalink

    I am glad that Scotland is part of the Rugby League.

    Reply
  • May 8, 2019 at 1:47 am
    Permalink

    Fun Fact: The normal, improvised running of the ball in rugby with the added stipulation that you can only pass it backward or sideways has a smaller equivalent in American Football, but with a difference. It's called the Lateral play, and just like Rugby it is not executed by design. It is a split-second decision by the ball carrier at any given moment while a play is being run to abandon the playcall and go for broke with the Lateral to another player behind or alongside him. Unlike Rugby, it is usually only done at the end of the 1st half or end of the game as a last ditch effort to score a game-winner, therefore it is usually one long play. Because of the way a Lateral is used in games, being tackled during it rather than scoring is considered a failure. It is a low-percentage move, has a low-probability of success. In the film "The Longest Yard" with Adam Sandler, the Lateral is referred to as "Schoolyard Bullshit" because of its freestyle nature appealing to kids just playing American football without any rules growing up. I guess Americans technically could pick up Rugby rules rather seamlessly.

    The Lateral during real games (both successes and failures): https://youtu.be/YLWOOHUD-28

    The Lateral in "The Longest Yard," skip to 0:40 for the scene: https://youtu.be/IUd0HJf1LhM

    Reply
  • May 10, 2019 at 7:30 am
    Permalink

    As an Australian who knows rugby league and only watched this video out of curiosity I am very impressed. The only wrong information is that a conversion kick can be taken as near or as far from the goals as you like and for a penalty you are allowed to take the kick as far back as you want. Also if the ball comes forward off your legs or other type of body except your hands

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 6:50 am
    Permalink

    Please explain the obstruction rule.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm
    Permalink

    Penalty is 3 points
    Try is 5 points 😉😉😉

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 12:22 pm
    Permalink

    Drop goal is 3 points

    Reply
  • June 23, 2019 at 9:01 am
    Permalink

    Needed this. Watching State of Origin tonight with a few mates. GO MAROONS!

    Reply
  • July 6, 2019 at 3:42 am
    Permalink

    i love nrl

    Reply
  • July 24, 2019 at 1:39 pm
    Permalink

    Scrum makes no sense in rugby league! They should replace this with something else!

    Reply
  • August 15, 2019 at 8:56 am
    Permalink

    bro, only 5 tackles because if it is 6 tackles excactly, then its a handover, handover is handing it over to the other team, bro i know because i play rugby league, i got games on saturdays.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *