Football and Rugby

In life, there are a number of things that can either be compared or contrasted. Comparing involves the drawing of similarities that may exist between two or more things. Contrasting, on the other hand, focuses on identifying the aspects that differentiates the things under consideration. The essay seeks to compare football and rugby. It will discuss the similarities that exist between them which include; the playing field, advancing the ball, and tackles and blocks.

As much as there may be some clear differences between football and rugby, there are obvious similarities. The first one is in the measurements of the playing field.

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Football, especially in America, is usually played on a field measuring 110 meters which is equivalent to 120 yards long by 49 meters in width. On both extremes of the longer side is a goal line, separated by 100 yards. The scoring area is marked 10 yards from each of the goal line. The area is referred to as end zone. The yard lines cross the field at an interval of 5 yards.

Moreover, two rows are marked to run parallel to the side lines and are close to the middle of the field. Two goal posts are found beyond the end zones. The goal posts are usually 18.5 feet apart. However, they are 24 feet in the case of high school games. The two posts are connected by a cross bar which is 10 feet above the ground. In most cases, the goal posts may take the shape of letter ‘H’ or sometimes the letter ‘Y’.

Similarly, for a rugby field, it measures 131 yards (120 meters) in length and about 60 meters in width giving it a rectangular shape. There are lines drawn across the field at an interval of 10 meters. About 6 to 12 meters beyond the goal lines, there is an in-goal region. Just like in football, there are two goal posts at each end and normally takes the shape of letter ‘H’.

Secondly, football shares some similarity with rugby when it comes to the way of advancing the ball. In football, the team holding the ball (offense side) has 4 “downs”, to try and advance the ball 10 yards in the direction of the end zone. If the offense side manages to gain 10 yards, it qualifies for a set of 4 downs. When the offensive side fails to gain the 10 yards, then it looses possession.

Instances which lead to the end of a down include; the player holding the ball is tackled by the defensive side, an attempt to pass the ball forward goes beyond the lines or it touches the ground before it is caught 4 times (results in an incomplete pass), when the player with the ball is pushed out or goes out of the field boundaries, and also, a down ends when a team scores. The method of advancing the ball is closely related to the six-tackle rule in rugby.

The offensive team has 6 chances to tackle before it looses that ball possession. In football, the ball is advanced either by the player holding the ball running (rushing) with it or by passing the ball forwards to a colleague. While rushing, a player can opt to hand the ball over to another player. This is commonly known as a handoff. On the other hand, the ball in rugby is advanced by either running with it just like in football or kicking it to the front and going after it.

Thirdly, football and rugby have similar tactics of tackling and blocking opponents. Both games allow the bringing down of the player holding the ball in order to prevent any advancement towards scoring. Once the player is tackled, the play starts again on the following tackle or down.


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