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Official Laws

Female Official

The Official Laws detailing all aspects of the game. 

  • The simple aim of Rugby League is to score more points than your opponents
  • A Rugby League match lasts for 80 minutes (two 40 minute halves). Timekeepers monitor this and sound a siren or hooter as a signal to the ref when the game is over.
  • You score tries (worth four points) by touching the ball down over your opponent’s try line. You can convert that to six by kicking a goal. The other means of scoring are a penalty goal (also worth two points) and a drop goal (worth one point). 
  • There are two teams of 13 players with four reserves on the interchange bench. Each team can make a maximum of 12 changes involving any combination of players.  Rugby League players have to be multi-skilled but some players do focus on roles within their teams including carrying the ball into the opposition line (forwards), attacking on the fringes (backs) and distributing the ball (hooker and half backs). All players work together in their team’s defensive formation.
  • The ball has to be passed backwards. It can be passed as many times as you like until a player is tackled in possession.
  • Each team has the ball for six plays (or tackles). After a tackle, the ball carrier plays the ball back along the ground to a receiver standing behind directly behind them. After the six plays are completed the team in possession must handover the ball to the opposition. Most teams elect to kick at this point in order to gain as much ground as possible.
  • Six players form a Rugby League scrum. They are a means of re-starting the game and create a good opportunity to attack. Scrums are awarded for knock-ons (losing the ball forward) or forward passes.
  • You are offside in Rugby League if you are within the gap maintained between the attacking and defensive sides by the referee or if you interfere with play after being in front of a team mate when they have kicked the ball in open play.
  • A 40-20 kick is when a player kicks the ball behind his own 40 metre line and it bounces into touch within the opposition’s 20 metre line. If this happens the side that kicked the ball get the advantage of putting the ball into the resulting scrum. A goal line drop out is taken from under your own posts if you have been forced to touch the ball down in your own in-goal area or put the ball out of play in this area.

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