Football vs. Rugby

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For those in the know, American football and rugby are very different sports, but for the inexperienced spectator, the two sports can look rather similar. So what are the differences? For starters, there are two different versions of rugby: league and union. This article refers to the Rugby League, as the union type differs greatly. Union rugby is rougher and the rules are looser, which means the game can turn violent at times. American football and rugby, however, share some common rules that make both sports somehow similar. For starters, both sports are played on a field that is roughly 120 yards (110 meters) long and 54-60 yards (51-55 meters) wide, with the rugby field being slightly wider. Across the field, there are lines painted to indicate the different zones. These lines are about ten yards apart from each other. In American football, there is a line to mark the goal zone, which starts near the goal posts. In rugby, this is called the "try-line." An additional zone, called the end zone, extends 10 yards (9 meters) behind the goal line. In rugby, the scoring zone ends at the goal posts. If the player goes beyond, the ball is out. The goal posts are similar in both sports and consist of two vertical posts with a crossbar connecting them. Rugby league teams consist of 13 players who both attack and defend at any given time; American football teams have 11 players with very specific roles. The ways of advancing the ball are similar in American football and rugby, and consist of a series of passes with the objective of reaching the end zone. In both sports, the round is over when a player is tackled or the ball goes out of bounds. However, direct forward passes are only allowed in American football, while rugby focuses on sideways and backward passes only. When it comes to blocking, players of rugby are also not allowed to intercept a player of the opposite team unless that player is in possession of the ball. In American football, such obstructions are...
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