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Rugby Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

#

    15’s - See Rugby Union.

B

    Ball's Out! - Whoever starts the ball moving after a scrum, ruck, or maul will call this out to signal the start of play to his teammates.

    Breakdown - The term for what happens when the ball carrier gets tackled and a ruck is in the process of forming. Usually refers to the brief period of time when players from both sides compete to put their respective sides in a position to get the ball.

F

    Feed - See Put-in.

G

    Grubber - When a player kicks the ball and it rolls along the ground bouncing.

H

    Hospital Pass - When the ball carrier makes an ill-timed or poorly executed pass to a teammate resulting in that teammate receiving a vicious hit from an opposing player.

L

    League - See Rugby League.

O

    Overload - When there are more defensive players around the ball carrier than there are offensive players it's called an overload, which refers to the imbalance in the number of players from each side. Strategically, when an overload occurs the offensive team should recognize it and pass the ball to a teammate at a different part of the pitch, because if there are more defensive players than offensive players around the ball carrier at that point it automatically means that there is the opportunity to have fewer defensive players than there are offensive players elsewhere on the pitch, creating an advantage for the offensive team.

P

    Peeling Off - When a lineout player leaves the lineout formation to catch the ball.

    Pill - Nickname for a rugby ball.

    Pop Kick - A small kick, usually short in distance but several meters high; it’s often used to get the ball past/over a close defender without actually engaging that defender. Also see Up and Under.

    Pop Pass - A pass, usually soft, that only moves a few meters and is mostly vertical in movement.

R

    Raking - When a player is on the ground in the middle of a ruck, it’s likely that player will be raked, as the other players in a ruck aren’t allowed to reach into the middle of a ruck to possess the ball with their hands. It’s not uncommon for members of one team to purposefully and painfully rake their cleats on a player from the other team during a ruck.

    Rugger - Nickname for a person who plays rugby.

T

    Tap Tackle - When a defender attempts to stop the ball carrier by slapping (tapping) one of the ball carrier’s legs into the other, knocking him/her over.

    Tight Five - A term used to describe the first two rows of the pack (consisting of five forwards), as they’re bound more tightly together than the third row.

Z

    Zulu - After a rugger scores his/her first official try, some form of the zulu tradition is supposed to take place. Most commonly, that rugger is responsible for running a lap completely naked around the outside of wherever the post-match gathering is taking place, while observers pour their drinks all over the rugger. Other variations include stripping down in the middle of a match and sprinting the length of the pitch, and jogging a lap around the pitch in similar fashion.

Check out this Rugby glossary to find the sport-specific definitions for which you have been looking. From A to Z, we've got all the words covered.
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