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. Play is started with one team drop kicking the ball from the halfway line towards the opposition.
Who Invented Rugby
Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
The winners are awarded the William Webb Ellis Cup, named after William Webb Ellis, the Rugby School pupil who — according to a popular legend — invented rugby by picking up the ball during a football game. Four countries have won the trophy; New Zealand have won it three times, two teams have won twice, Australia and South Africa, while England have won it once.
The tournament is administered by World Rugby, the sport's international governing body. Sixteen teams were invited to participate in the inaugural tournament in 1987, however since 1999 twenty teams have taken part. Japan will host the next event in 2019.
Rugby's profile in the U.S. has received a tremendous boost from the International Olympic Committee's announcement in 2009 that rugby would return to the Olympics in 2016. USA Rugby has formally become a member of the US Olympic Committee, allowing rugby players and programs access to Olympic resources.
Attendance at rugby matches and tournaments has grown significantly in recent years. Attendance for the USA Sevens tournament has grown steadily from 15,800 in 2004, to 52,000 fans at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas in 2011. The 2011 College Premier Division national championship match between Cal and BYU drew a crowd of 11,000 at Rio Tinto Stadium. A friendly match between the US and Ireland in 2009 drew 10,000 fans to Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, and a friendly match between the US and Italy in 2012 drew over 17,000 fans to BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. This was followed by 20,000-strong crowds at BBVA Compass Stadium vs. Ireland in June 2013 and Scotland in June 2014; these records were smashed in November 2014 however when an historic sell-out crowd of 61,500 watched the match against New Zealand at Soldier Field; the match also drew an average TV audience of 927,000 on NBC.
Another significant development in the history of U.S. rugby came at the 2015 London Sevens, the final tournament of the 2014–15 Sevens Series, when the US won its first-ever championship of a Sevens Series event.