- Rugby Football




Rugby Football, general name for a variety of football. It was said to have originated when a boy at Rugby School in Rugby, England, picked up and carried the ball during a game of football in 1823. Previously, the rules had only allowed the ball to be kicked. The modern game of rugby dates from the 1860s, when it was adopted and modified by other English schools and universities. In 1871 the English Rugby Union was formed to standardize the rules. The game is played with an oval ball, blunter in shape than the American football so that it may easily be bounced and drop-kicked-that is, kicked on the rebound.

Rugby play begins with a kickoff and is often followed by a scrum, in which the forwards lock shoulders and push against the opposing forwards, as both teams try to hook the ball to their halfbacks with their feet. Once the ball is in play, backs run down the field and pass it to each other to attempt a try, or down, in the opponent's goal.



Rugby Union Football Field

In rugby union football, the objective is to run the ball into the opposing team's goal area or to kick the ball through the uprights of the opposing team's goal. In a rugby match, play rarely stops completely, and players may only advance the ball by running or kicking. They are not permitted to make forward passes.

The form of rugby officially designated as Rugby Union Football played in more than 100 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England, France, Italy, Fiji, and South Africa. The sport's international governing body is the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB), located in Dublin, Ireland. In the United States there are more than 1400 rugby clubs and more than 100,000 players, governed by USA Rugby, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rugby was only played as an amateur sport until 1995, when the IRFB passed a resolution allowing national governing bodies and local rugby clubs to pay their players.

A rugby team consists of 15 players, generally divided into 8 forwards and 7 backs. Seven substitutions of players are permitted during a match in addition to injury replacements. Injured players, once having left the game, may not return. A game usually lasts for 80 minutes and is divided into two 40-minute halves with no time-outs.

A rugby field is not more than 100 m (109.36 yd) in length and 69 m (75.46 yd) in width, and is divided transversely by two lines 22 m (24.06 yd) from each goal and a halfway line. Not more than 22 m (24.06 yd) behind each goal line is the dead-ball line, beyond which the ball is out of play. The uprights of the goal are 5.6 m (6.12 yd) apart. They are connected by a horizontal crossbar 3 m (3.28 yd) above the ground.

Play begins with a place kick and is generally continued by a scrummage or scrum, in which the forwards of each team pack together with their arms across one another's shoulders and their heads down. Thus locked together, the forwards wheel and push against the opposing forwards, while attempting to hook the ball backward with their feet to one of the backs, called the scrum half. Having received the ball, the scrum half has several options: running with the ball until downed or until there is another chance to pass the ball, kicking the ball downfield, or immediately passing the ball to teammates. If the scrum half chooses to pass the ball, the teammates attempt to advance the ball forward and across the opponents' goal line. Once over the line the ball must be touched to the ground to score a try, which is worth 5 points. After scoring a try, a team is entitled to attempt a conversion similar to that in American football. In rugby the conversion kick is taken from anywhere on a line perpendicular to the goal line at the point that the ball was touched down. If the kicked ball passes over the crossbar and between the uprights, the team is awarded 2 additional points for the conversion.

No player on the team with possession of the ball is permitted to move downfield ahead of the ball, and any obstruction of a player not carrying the ball is a foul and is penalized. Thus, there can be no running interference or blocking as in American football. When a ball carrier is downed, that player releases the ball, and play continues.

Although the game appears complex, it is governed by only two major rules: (1) players may not pass the ball forward, and (2) players may not touch the ball while it is in play if it was last touched behind them (nearer their own goals) by players on their own teams. A minor infringement results in a scrummage. In the case of a serious infringement, or a foul, the referee, who is the only judge, may award a penalty kick against the offending team. A goal resulting from this kick scores 3 points. A goal scored from a dropkick (when during play a player drops the ball, lets it rebound off the ground, and kicks it over the crossbar and through the uprights) also counts 3 points. A mark occurs when a player standing behind that player's own 22 m (24 yd) line catches a ball on the fly from an opponent's kick and says, "Mark." The player making the mark may then attempt a free kick.



In a less complex form of the game organized in England in 1895, teams comprise only 13 players (two fewer forwards). A try counts 4 points, and the conversion counts 2. The Rugby League conducts professional, and some amateur, competition in this form of the game in northern England, France, Australia, and New Zealand.



1962: Rugby

England's traditional game had a record season in the United States and Canada in 1962, with more than 200 U.S. and Canadian teams participating in organized competition. The Eastern Rugby Union, begun in 1947 by Princeton and Yale, now includes twenty-one member and four affiliated clubs. Other active groups are the Missouri Rugby Union, Southern California Rugby Union, Rugby Union of Northern California, Alberta Rugby Union, Ontario Rugger Union, and the Quebec Rugger Union.

Three U.S. teams engaged in international competition during the year. At Montreal, the Eastern Rugby Union all-star team lost to the Quebec Rugger Union all-stars, 8-0. Financed by the People-to-People Sports Committee, the Williams College Rugby Football Club was winless in a four-game tour of England, and the Dartmouth College team lost four and tied one in a five-game tour of Ireland.

Also attracting wide attention was the New Zealand Rugby Union's Canadian tour. The New Zealanders lost to Vancouver, 3-0, and to British Columbia, 9-6.

In the Commonwealth Cup tournament at Bermuda, Princeton defeated Yale for premier honors, while Virginia and Notre Dame tied for the consolation-round title. Dartmouth College retained the Carling Cup in the annual Canadian-U.S. competition by defeating the Province of Quebec team, 5-3.

The Eastern Rugby Union championship went to Amherst, which also defeated Dartmouth for the Whitton division title. In other ERU championships, Harvard won over Williams in the Lee division, Columbia defeated Army in the Challenge circuit, and Baltimore led Westchester in the Pioneer loop.

Harvard won the fourth annual seven-a-side tournament at New York City's Van Cortlandt Park by defeating the New York 'A' team, 8-5, in triple overtime. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology team finished third among the thirty teams in the competition.

Undefeated in ten games, the Bombers Rugby Club won the Wallace trophy, emblematic of the Missouri Rugby Football Union championship. Paced by high-scoring Bob Meyer and Leo Hyla, the Bombers won nine games and tied one. Second in the six-team league was the Rebels Rugby Club, with a 6-2-2 season record. Roy Gibsen, who scored 28 points for the Rebels, was named the union's outstanding player.

In intersectional play involving Missouri Rugby Union teams at St. Louis, Mo., Harvard defeated Washington University, 24-0, and the Ramblers Secundus, 6-3, but lost to the Ramblers Primus, 10-0. Notre Dame was victorious against the Rebels, 16-0, but lost to the Bombers, 40-0 and 3-0; to St. Louis University, 8-3; and to Washington University, 8-3.

1963: Rugby

This football sport imported from England enjoyed another banner year in North America in 1963. United States and Canadian teams competed formally and informally in well over 200 contests. The Eastern Rugby Union, organized in 1947 by Princeton and Yale universities, now includes 29 active members. Other active North American groups are the Missouri Rugby Union, Southern California Rugby Union, Rugby Union of Northern California, Alberta Rugby Union, Ontario Rugger Union, and the Quebec Rugger Union.

In the Commonwealth Cup tournament, held annually in Bermuda, Princeton, the 1962 winner, repeated its performance by defeating Virginia in the finals.

First Troop, City of Philadelphia Cavalry, won the southeast division championship of the Eastern Rugby Union, while Amherst and Harvard finished in a tie for the northeast division honors.

In an international match, the Quebec President's team won, 10-5, from a representative New York team. Notre Dame came east in the spring, winning from Fordham (N.Y.), 8-0, and losing to Columbia and West Point, 9-3 and 18-14, respectively.

The Old Blues, a team of former Columbia University football players, won the fifth annual seven-a-side tournament at New York City's Van Cortlandt Park, by defeating Fairfield, 11-0, in the final. The Old Blues scored 38 points to the opposition's zero on the way to the title. They defeated MIT, 11-0; Villanova, 10-0; Baltimore Rugby Club, 3-0, and the Boston Rugby Club, 3-0. There were 39 teams participating in the seven-hour tournament. Fairfield's appearance in the final was a surprise since this was its first playing season. In the semi-final, Connecticut scored an 8-3 victory over the strong New York Rugby Club.

1990: Rugby

New Zealand, the dominant power in Rugby Union international play, suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of Australia. In Rugby League, the Australian Kangaroos triumphed in a Test series in Britain.

Rugby Union.

New Zealand and Australia.

Rugby Union's international order had been unchanged for so long that when the unthinkable happened and New Zealand lost to Australia-its first loss in four years-it was an event of epic proportions. New Zealand's All Blacks were last defeated in 1986 by France in Nantes. The following year they won Rugby Union's first World Cup. It was not until the third Test against Australia on August 18 this year, by which time the series had already been won and Scotland had also been beaten, 2-0, that they lost again. It was a great Australian performance, but its significance probably lay in the galvanizing effect the loss is likely to have on the New Zealanders. By 1991, when the World Cup is to be played, they will probably be an even more formidable team.

By their own high standards, 1990 was not a vintage year for the All Blacks. Scotland did better against them in the first Test than a 31-16 defeat in Dunedin suggested, and in the second Test, New Zealand was fortunate to escape with a 21-18 win after the Scots had scored two tries to their one.

Then came the three Tests against Australia. New Zealand reacted surprisingly to the lackluster displays against Scotland by dropping its captain, Wayne Shelford, who was made the scapegoat. The All Blacks had little difficulty winning the first Test, 21-6, in Christchurch and the second, 22-17, in Auckland. But in the third, in Wellington, New Zealand fell, 21-9, in a match in which Australia's prodigious kicker Michael Lynagh accumulated 17 points.

Australia also achieved success when it was host to France. It won the first Test in Sydney easily, 21-9, and scoring records tumbled when it took the second in Brisbane, 48-31, to clinch the series, with Lynagh scoring 24 points. France came back to win the third Test, in Sydney, 28-19. Australia returned to its winning ways by trouncing the United States, 67-9, in Brisbane-the worst defeat ever for the Eagles.

Five Nations Championship.

In the northern hemisphere, 1990 was notable for Scotland's performance in winning the Five Nations Championship against England, Wales, Ireland, and France. It beat all four, with the concluding match against England in Edinburgh being the deciding one. England, too, went into the last game unbeaten, but though the Scots were considered underdogs, they proved superior strategically and tactically on that day and thoroughly deserved their 13-7 victory and their Grand Slam. (England's hangover continued when the team toured Argentina and succeeded only in splitting a two-match series.)

Scotland had not been especially impressive in its earlier games, whereas England had thrashed the other teams; its 34-6 win over Wales was a particularly fine record-breaker. For Wales there were four defeats in four games, the first time this strong rugby country had been whitewashed.

Furor in France.

France was a huge disappointment, both in the Five Nations Championship and later in Australia. Coach Jacques Fouroux's obsession with muscular strength at the expense of the élan and style which had previously characterized French rugby caused a ferocious debate, which culminated in Fouroux's resignation in September. The preference for brawn over brain was most visible in Australia, where France had two players sent off during the Test matches. In the last home match Fouroux coached, France lost, 12-6, to Romania in Auch, his hometown. It was the first-ever Romanian victory on French soil.

Rugby League.

The highlight of the Rugby League year was the visit of the 1990 Kangaroos to Great Britain and France. The Australians hoped to continue the proud tradition established by their predecessors in 1982 and 1986 by going through both countries undefeated.

Going into the first Test at Wembley, the visitors, who had won their first five matches against English club and county opposition emphatically, were the firm favorites. But an inspired home performance of great concentration and control, in which Ellery Hanley and Garry Schofield were outstanding, led to a British win of 19-12, the first Australian defeat in Britain in 12 years. For the second Test at Manchester, Australia made no fewer than six changes. In the event, a much better balanced Australian side deservedly won, 14-10. In the third Test, at Leeds, Australia continued the improvement, while Britain never remotely resembled the decisive and controlling team of Wembley. The Kangaroos won, 14-0, to secure the series, 2-1.

A notable development in 1990 (and possibly a contributing factor in New Zealand's defeat by Australia at Rugby Union) was the number of All Blacks who switched to Rugby League midway through the year. John Gallagher, Frano Botica, John Schuster, Paul Simonsson, and Matthew Ridge all joined professional clubs in England or Australia. Ridge, having joined Manly as a full back, found himself pressed into international service within weeks of his switch.

Even with Ridge's presence and his considerable goalkicking prowess, however, New Zealand was unexpectedly beaten, 2-1, by an inexperienced and largely experimental British touring party. Mike Gregory's youthful side had started inauspiciously by dropping a Test in Papua New Guinea, but it beat New Zealand, 11-10 and 16-14, in Palmerston and Auckland, and might have won all three Tests if Martin Offiah had not uncharacteristically bungled a touchdown in the 21-18 defeat in Christchurch.

Elsewhere on the international scene, New Zealand won, 36-4, in Papua New Guinea, where the game's development was threatened by civil unrest. Australia recorded comfortable victories over New Zealand and France, but despite its loss, the very presence of a French team in Australia was an encouraging sign after the near collapse of international Rugby League in France two years earlier.The best evidence of a French resurgence had, however, been provided earlier in the year with the team's magnificent 25-18 victory over Great Britain in Leeds, just a month after France had lost, 8-4, to the British in Perpignan.

1991: Rugby

Australia triumphed in both Rugby Union and Rugby League play, with Australian teams winning the second-ever World Cup competition and League series against Great Britain and New Zealand.

Rugby Union.

World Cup 1991.

Cofavorite Australia, having emerged in the previous 15 months as the most consistent challenger, became Rugby Union's new world champion, defeating England, 12-6, in the final in November. Succeeding New Zealand, who won the inaugural 16-nation tournament in 1987 for the Webb Ellis Trophy, the Australians (known as the Wallabies) were the outstanding all-around team in the 1991 competition, which was staged in Britain, Ireland, and France.

The Wallabies, led by scrum half Nick Farr-Jones for the fourth year in succession, beat Argentina, Western Samoa, and Wales in their group matches to qualify for the quarterfinals. In the knockout section - the last eight - Australia accounted for Ireland and New Zealand's All Blacks (so called because of their black match attire) to reach the final, which was televised live in 40 countries.

Australia's run of six Rugby World Cup wins in 30 days culminated in its victory in the final, against European champion England, at Twickenham, outside London, on November 2. The Wallabies' triumph ended an era of New Zealand supremacy the likes of which international Rugby Union had not known previously. After losing to France in 1986, New Zealand had been unbeaten in three years and 24 matches until it fell to Australia in a Bledisloe Cup game in August 1990. England, having suffered defeat in its opening World Cup match by the All Blacks in October, had recovered strongly to post group wins over the United States and Italy, followed by sterling away victories over France, in Paris, and Scotland, in Edinburgh.

The beaten semifinalists, New Zealand and Scotland, played off for third place, victory going in Cardiff, Wales, to the All Blacks. Their forceful attacking was wearing down a mighty defense when, in the final seconds, Walter Little escaped for a try to set up a 13-6 win. The 1991 world rankings were thus: first, Australia; second, England; third, New Zealand; fourth, Scotland.

The Rugby World Cup, played every four years, attracted an income in excess of £40 million in 1991. The sizable profits have been earmarked for the development of Rugby Union worldwide. The 37 competing nations were also to receive a share of the surplus, which was unofficially estimated at around £16.5 million. The total television audience in 70 countries for the 32 World Cup matches was estimated at more than 2 billion viewers.

1995 Tournament.

New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and Argentina applied to host the 1995 tournament. Assuming South African rugby became racially integrated, South Africa seemed most likely to be named host country, not least because its application was backed by Australia, the champion. South Africa, though remaining a member of the International Rugby Board (IRB), the game's controlling authority worldwide, had not played any international rugby of consequence since hosting England in 1984 and had not played overseas since 1981.

The IRB received a preliminary report on the 1991 World Cup and continued to discuss a relaxation of regulations governing amateurism, under which players cannot be compensated for their participation, but regulated expenses payments are permissible. The issue, which caused the split between the amateur Rugby Union and the professional Rugby League around the turn of the century, was still the focus of arguments, disputes, and petty jealousies. The sport has few paid officials worldwide and is bound by regulations that have little relevance - or justice - in an age in which Rugby Union is still discovering its vast, mostly untapped, commercial appeal.

Five Nations Championship.

Away from the cut and thrust of the committee room, England won the 1991 Five Nations title, the Grand Slam, and the Calcutta Cup - the Slam being an unbeaten run against France, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The last victory, in January, was England's first in Cardiff in 28 years and left the team in such a state of bemused silence that the players declined to meet the media afterwards. In a sport which fondly believed itself still amateur, that was presumably each player's prerogative. However, Australia - whose rugby public relations would win prizes in its own right, besides highlighting the uphill struggle the team faces to win media attention from Aussie Rules and Rugby League - could not believe such foolishness, and even dour New Zealand, no longer assured of an admiring, receptive audience at home, expressed surprise.

France, though, probably talked too much. Coach Daniel Dubroca had to resign in disgrace. Following France's October defeat by England, he had grabbed World Cup referee David Bishop (a New Zealander) by his jersey lapels and repeatedly called him, in English, 'Cheat, cheat, cheat .'

Rugby League.

The international scene in 1990-1991 was dominated by more Australians, whose League rugby had been the best in the world for many years. They lost only twice in 16 matches - defeats by Great Britain (at London's Wembley Stadium), and by New Zealand (in Australia), being swiftly avenged in both series. A last-minute try by Mal Menings ensured a 14-10 victory for the tourists in the second match in Britain, at Old Trafford (Manchester), and the deciding match of the series was an anticlimax, Australia winning, 14-0. It had been 21 years since Great Britain's last series victory over the world champions. Though one down in the series with New Zealand, Australia came from behind strongly to thrash New Zealand, 2-1, winning the deciding match much as it pleased.

Great Britain enjoyed wins over France, winning a World Cup-rated match, 45-10, in Perpignan and gaining a record 60-4 success in the return match at Headingley, Leeds. Attempts to establish the game in the Soviet Union met with limited success, as did similar efforts in South Africa.

Among the British clubs, Wigan was supreme, as it had been in 1990, retaining the Division One title and the Challenge Cup. To achieve these successes, Wigan played its ten League matches in 31 days. It won nine and drew the other to take the division title by two points from Widnes. In the cup final, Wigan beat St. Helens, 13-8.

1992: Rugby

Australia, for the second straight year, dominated both codes - the paid 13-a-side Rugby League and the unpaid 15-a-side Rugby Union. Besides retaining the League World Cup by beating Great Britain, Australia again defeated the leading Union-playing nations.

Rugby Union.

The world rankings established by the 1991 World Cup in Europe - a competition played every four years and next due in South Africa in 1995 - were reconfirmed during 1992. Australia, the 1991 winner, underlined its status with record victories over Scotland, South Africa, and Ireland plus a two-matches-to-one Bledisloe Cup series win over New Zealand, which had won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 by beating France.

Off the field, the return of South Africa to international competition, after it had been shunned for eight years, pushed the continuing radical relaxation of previously rigorous regulations governing amateurism aside as the sport's most controversial topic. Arguments still raged late in the year as to the true extent of racial integration in rugby union in South Africa; nevertheless, at its annual meeting in Wellington, New Zealand, in April the International Board unanimously agreed to hold the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa - partly in compensation for years of isolation and in recognition of the efforts of some sections of the South African rugby community to dismantle apartheid (the policy of separate development for the white, black, and Coloured populations).

On the field, South Africa, denied top international competition since 1984 (other than an unofficial visit by the New Zealand Cavaliers in 1986), struggled. New Zealand (officially this time) and Australia each made short tours of South Africa in August 1992, winning all their matches - Australia impressively, New Zealand less so.

Australia's 26-3 win in Cape Town was a triumph, too, for the behind-the-scenes diplomacy that made the match possible in the first place. The African National Congress (ANC) - South Africa's leading anti-apartheid organization - objected to the breaking of an agreement not to play national anthems before the matches. Before the New Zealand Test the stadium authorities in Johannesburg ignored the South African Rugby Football Union's instructions not to play the anthems, and immediately Australia's tour (the two visits overlapped) was in the balance for 48 hours. The ANC relented at a final meeting, no anthems were played in Cape Town, and Australia won handsomely.

Though the political controversy arose again for South Africa's four matches in England in November, South Africa's October tour of France passed without major incident. It was a reasonably heartening playing visit, too, in that four defeats could be set against an encouraging test win in Lyon on October 17. France, recovering strongly, expertly squared the series, 29-11, the following week in Paris.

Five Nations Championship.

Unbeaten England, scarcely stretched beyond a canter, wrapped up the European title for the second year in succession - a feat last achieved 68 years previously, also by England. Given the intense rivalries created by the tight confines of the competition, England's accomplishment was possible only because of an emphatic statement of consistent excellence in the four matches: 25-7 over Scotland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh; 38-9 over luckless Ireland at England's Twickenham home base; 31-13 over France in Paris; and 24-0 over Wales, also at Twickenham, to record the first back-to-back Grand Slam since 1924.

England's 118 points in the 1991-1992 championship season surpassed the previous record of 102 by Wales in 1976. England's fullback Jonathan Webb, the only fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons playing international rugby, contributed 67 of those points to set an individual record, a total that also took him to 246 in 27 matches, another record.

France, Scotland, and Wales each won two and lost two, finishing (unofficially) in that order on points difference, for and against. Though official records showed a triple tie for second place, there could be no question that Ireland, without a championship win for the second season in succession, was resoundingly at the bottom of the table.

In 18 matches between autumn 1991 and winter 1992, Ireland won only three times - over Japan, Zimbabwe, and Argentina - a grisly statistic that prompted the resignation of coach Ciaran Fitzgerald on November 2 following a further record defeat by Australia in Dublin (42-17).

Rugby League.

Australia was crowned world champion for the fifth successive time after defeating Great Britain, 10-6, at Wembley Stadium, London, on October 24. Attendance was 73,500, a record for an international.

Seven Brisbane players on the Australian side, the Kangaroos, illustrated the dominance of the Queensland club at all levels. Brisbane took the domestic championship (Winfield Cup) for the first time, thrashing the St. George, New South Wales, club in the Grand Final, watched by a capacity crowd of 41,000 in Sydney.

What Brisbane did in Australia, Wigan matched in England. Wigan, a Lancashire cotton town long resigned to being the butt of comedians, swept to a spectacular championship-challenge cup double for the third consecutive year, finishing with a victory over Castleford, also at Wembley.

St. Helens, runner-up to Wigan, lifted the Lancashire Cup but was beaten in the Premiership final by Wigan in Manchester before another capacity crowd. The only other club to disturb Wigan's monopoly was Widnes, which beat Leeds in the final of the Regal Trophy.

The season was also notable for two record transfer deals. Within four months of Leeds paying £250,000 ($400,000) for the services of Ellery Hanley, Great Britain's captain, Wigan bought Martin Offiah, a former Rugby Union wing three-quarter, from Widnes for £440,000 ($704,000).

1993: Rugby

In the 37 amateur internationals worldwide in 1993, Australia, winners of the 1991 rugby World Cup, faltered, losing to France and New Zealand before squaring the autumn series in Paris. England, the 1991 finalists, accounted for New Zealand, the 1987 Cup champions, at Twickenham in November to complicate further world rankings. The World Cup is held every four years; the next tournament will be in South Africa in 1995. In Rugby League, a professional sport, with 13 players per side, Australia remained in the forefront, ahead of Great Britain.

Rugby Union.

In a so-called amateur sport, administrators around the world continued to stretch the financial boundaries while balking at paying players to play. Fundraising activities by sponsors in Britain, ranging from celebration 'gold plate' dinners in Australia to fee-paying of players attending business functions, permitted the pretense that Union (15-per-side) competition remains an unpaid leisure activity even at the sport's highest level.

In the more honest surroundings of the pitch, New Zealand continued to climb toward their previously undisputed world number one spot. Their year included victories over the sport's leading nations, including Australia, Western Samoa, Scotland, and Great Britain - playing as the British Lions, a composite selection from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Only England interrupted that New Zealand run.

In Europe it was the turn of France to command in the ten-match Five Nations Championship, contested from January through March. Though narrowly beaten by England at Twickenham in January, 16-15, the French took the title out-right for the tenth time with wins over Scotland, 11-3, Wales, 26-10, and Ireland, 21-6. England, bidding for a record third successive Grand Slam, a feat never previously achieved, began shakily with its holding off of France. It then succumbed by a point to Wales, 10-9, and after beating Scotland, 26-12, was swept away by Ireland in Dublin in March, 17-3. If victory for the Irish was a shock, the margin of victory was a tremor of Richter-scale intensity.

It came too late to influence selection in March for the British Lions prior to their tour of New Zealand, the 1993 venue in a four-year cycle that involves a combined British Isles team playing a dozen matches in either Australia, South Africa, or New Zealand on a rotating basis. Ireland supplied only two players to the original squad, but because of injuries in the course of the tour two Irish reserves saw play and doubled their country's representation.

The Lions, led by Gavin Hastings, Scotland's fullback, attracted record crowds - and receipts - but flattered only to deceive. Beaten in a controversial match in the First Test in Christchurch, New Zealand, they squared the series with a satisfying 20-7 win in the Second Test in Wellington. Although poised in July to take a test series in New Zealand for only the second time ever, the Lions faltered. After a record defeat by Waikato, they lost, 30-13, at Eden Park, Auckland, in the final match.

France, in contrast, having thrashed Romania, 37-20, in May, won a tight series in South Africa before returning home to achieve another runaway win over Romania. This was followed by a much harder tussle with Australia, in Bordeaux, which ended in a 16-13 win for the French. In this match Philippe Sella, a center three-quarter, won a record 93rd cap (awarded for membership on a national team) for France.

Near the end of the year, England redeemed itself spectacularly with a stunning 15-9 Test Match upset of New Zealand's redoubtable All-Blacks on November 27, thereby taking the luster off the visitors' tour in which the All-Blacks had won every game prior to the showdown at Twickenham.

Off the field, in addition to the ongoing debate about the principles of amateurism, the prime topic was the suitability of playing the 1995 World Cup tournament in strife-ridden South Africa, which was recently readmitted to the international rugby fold following a relaxation of the country's apartheid laws.

In October, having previously declined to contemplate such a move, the International Rugby Football Board asked Rugby World Cup (an autonomous body that had been set up to organize tournaments every four years) to consider contingency plans for a change of venue. Most lobbyists, in the event of a late change, favored New Zealand as the most suitable alternative for the tournament.

Despite concern at the increasing demands the competition makes on the better players, the international board also agreed to continue the Rugby World Cup Sevens, a new seven-per-side event won by England at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, in April. Given scant preparation, England's little-known players were led by Andrew Harriman. In its devotion to sevens, Fiji has so neglected the 15-a-side game that for the present it is not a recognized force in traditional rugby. A second world sevens tournament, under the auspices of the board, will be held in 1997 in Hong Kong, the city that pioneered international sevens competition.

Rugby League.

The rule of 1992 world champion Australia wavered briefly when New Zealand, the hosts, forced one draw in the 1993 three-match series. Australia's answer was two emphatic victories to underline its superiority. New Zealand slipped still further when Great Britain took the first two games in the United Kingdom autumn series.

In a sport that is on sound economic footing only in Australia, little changed on the club scene worldwide. Brisbane took the national championship for a second successive year in Australia while Wigan's stranglehold on the English game was ruthlessly maintained.

Coach John Monie, an Australian, celebrated his final season with Wigan by winning the league title for the fourth successive year and the Challenge Cup for an unprecedented sixth consecutive season. Wigan's only setback came when St. Helens prevented a clean sweep by winning the Premiership final. John Dorahy, another Australian, was appointed Wigan's new coach. Among his recruits during the off-season were Nigel Wright and Gary Connolly, who came at a combined transfer fee of £400,000 ($592,000).

Bradford, having paid £325,000 ($481,000) for Paul Newlove and Paul Dixon, began the new season with five successive wins. Great Britain coach Malcolm Reilly, who also has charge of Halifax, explored the overseas market and brought Michael Hagen (Australia) and former All-Blacks player John Schuster (New Zealand) to England. Warrington signed former Wales Rugby Union star Jonathan Davies from Widnes. But with half a dozen players on the Great Britain squad, plus the expert contributions of Frano Botica (New Zealand), the most consistent goal kicker in the world game, Wigan was set to secure another clutch of titles.

1994: Rugby

In 1994, Rugby Union - a 15-a-side, unpaid sport - continued to debate its status in the face of increasing financial rewards for top players deriving from sponsorship, advertising, and trust funds. Far-reaching changes in mandatory regulations were scheduled for March 1995. On the field, Australia, the world champion, again led the way, closely followed by France and New Zealand. In Rugby League - a paid, 13-a-side sport - Great Britain's challenge to Australia, the standard bearer, improved.

France's Rugby Union team, defeated finalist in the 1987 World Cup (the inaugural competition), regained second place in unofficial world rankings. Victories in New Zealand and South Africa and in Europe over Romania, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales completed a successful year. But for the seventh match in succession, France failed against England in Paris, although England, in turn, lost to Ireland at Twickenham. These upsets allowed Wales to take the Five Nations' European title on points difference despite finishing second to England at Twickenham.

The qualifying rounds for the Rugby Union World Cup, staged every four years, brought a place in the 1995 finals in South Africa to little-known Ivory Coast; Japan, who defeated South Korea, remained Far East champion. Others qualifying to join the seeded nations included Italy, Argentina, and Tonga.

In domestic competition in England, Bath, English league champion for five of the past seven seasons, continued to break all records.

Rugby League, played primarily in Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain, expanded during 1994 after the World Sevens in Sydney in which Fiji, France, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Tonga, the United States, and Western Samoa were represented.

The Rugby League World Cup, slated to be held in England and Wales in 1995, was increased to ten teams with Fiji, Tonga, and Western Samoa taking part for the first time. The United States, which defeated Canada twice, was to join Russia, Moldova, and Morocco in a separate competition for developing nations. Italy and Japan were also invited.

Australia, the dominant force in the sport, warmed up for its European tour by thrashing France in Sydney. Inconsistent Great Britain, having taken the test series, 3-0, against New Zealand in 1993, posted a shaky 12-4 win over France in Carcassonne, France. But in October it squeezed past Australia, 8-4, in a major upset at London's Wembley Stadium.

Led by Martin Offiah, who scored two tries and was named the game's outstanding player, Wigan defeated Leeds in April to become the English champion for the fifth straight year. Wigan went on to produce a major upset in Queensland, Australia, by overhauling the Brisbane Broncos, its Australian counterpart, to take the world club title.

1995: Rugby

Radical changes in both rugby codes, Rugby Union and Rugby League, were agreed to in 1995. Union, previously an amateur, recreational grouping, decided in August that players, referees, and officials could be paid beginning with the 1995-1996 season. Abandoning a basic ethic of the sport, the International Rugby Football Board, which represents 67 countries, said it was time for Rugby Union to be honest and end illegal payments.

Rugby League, in its centennial year, was required to rearrange the playing seasons and administrative setup in order to complete a $550 million five-year television deal. In accepting the offer from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for exclusive television rights in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and France, a breakaway Super League was created. In Europe the game will switch from winter to summer, beginning in March 1996. In Australia the Murdoch contracts were challenged by the Australian Rugby League, which possesses binding contracts until the year 2000 with another television company.

The ongoing legal arguments did not upset Australia's bid to become Rugby League world champion. The Kangaroos lost the opening match to England, but they turned around to beat England, 16-8, in the final at London's Wembley Stadium on October 28.

Rugby Union's world champion was South Africa, competing in the tournament for the first time. The country's apartheid policies ruled it out in 1987, and in 1991 it did not seek an invitation. South Africa, cheered on by President Nelson Mandela, beat New Zealand, the favorite, 15-12, in Johannesburg in June. Extra time had to be played. France, which beat England for the first time in seven years, 19-9, was third. England, whose 25-22 quarterfinal victory in Cape Town eliminated Australia, the previous champion, traveled to South Africa as Europe's Grand Slam champion, having beaten all comers, including France, for the third time in five years.

The leading Southern Hemisphere Rugby Union nations also signed a television contract with the Murdoch organization - a ten-year deal for $550 million involving 12 teams in South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Announced in June, this arrangement prompted the International Board to agree that Rugby Union should be open in future. The ruling was permissive, not mandatory, as the majority of member nations outside the top ten cannot afford to pay players.

Bath remained England's leading club. Toulouse dominated in France; Stirling County won Scotland's league; unbeaten Shannon was Ireland's champion; and in Wales, Cardiff returned to the top.

1996: Rugby

In 1996, Rugby League, a 13-a-side paid sport restricted in the main to Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, and France, was again bedeviled by legal actions in the Australian courts. A previous decision in favor of Australian Rugby League (ARL), the governing body, was reversed on appeal. ARL had challenged a television deal made by Rugby League officials in 1995.

Rugby Union, a 15-a-side worldwide sport in which payment was forbidden until regulations were changed in August 1995, had protracted difficulties in settling to its new status. Most disputes, financial and contractual, were in England, where the amateur game had been founded.

Beyond the committee rooms and the courts, playing standards in both sports improved.

St. Helens succeeded Wigan as England's leading League club. It won the Challenge Cup by beating Bradford at Wembley in April and took the first Super League championship, a summer competition, a point ahead of Wigan. In a third domestic tournament, Wigan won the Premiership to prevent a clean sweep by St. Helens.

In Australia, Manly, a Sydney club, won the national championship for the first time in nine years, overcoming St. George (Sydney). A three-nation European championship was won by England, but it failed in New Zealand, losing the autumn series, 3-0.

There were shifts of power internationally in the Union game. South Africa, winner of the 1995 World Cup, was beaten, 2-1, in a domestic series by New Zealand, which also won the first Tri-Nations tournament in the southern hemisphere. The Super 12 tournament for states and provinces went to Auckland (NZ), which was also domestic champion.

In the northern hemisphere, England again won the Five Nations tournament, in what could have been its final appearance in the event. For selling television rights to a satellite company, England was expelled initially. In a compromise agreement by which TV fees must be shared, England was readmitted in September for the season that runs from the fall of 1996 to the spring of 1997.

Bath's domination of the club scene in England continued unabated. Several clubs were bought outright by wealthy individuals. In late November a long-running dispute between the clubs and the governing body in England about finance and competitive structures was resolved when a new, virtually autonomous governing body was established to run the professional game. In effect, the professional game would be run by the professional clubs themselves.

Scotland and Ireland had no representatives in the knockout (quarter-final) stages of the Heineken European Cup, a revised tournament in which French clubs were the most successful in the early rounds.

1997: Rugby

Rugby Union expanded in 1997, the International Rugby Football Board (the 15-a-side game's ruling body) increasing its worldwide member-ship to 79 nations. Off the pitch, the game that had embraced professionalism in 1995 addressed the organizational difficulties that had troubled its new status. For the first time, moreover, players in Europe legally received fees for appearing in domestic and continental competitions. A new problem, however, was that the specter of bankruptcy resulting from high salaries threatened a handful of Britain's leading clubs.

Rugby League, a sport confined mainly to Britain, France, and the Pacific, continued to suffer politically in Australia, where two rival organizations - Australian Rugby League (ARL) and Australian Super League - were unable to settle their differences during the playing season. In December, however, they agreed to merge into a single National Rugby League, which was to field 20 teams in 1998.

Despite the problems in Australia, Rugby flourished. New tournaments contested by fitter players led to higher playing standards. Pacific nations ruled both codes.

New Zealand was Rugby Union's master. Its international side was unbeaten in the southern hemisphere Tri-Nations tournament, and Auckland, despite ceding its national title to Canterbury, was the southern hemisphere's leading provincial side, winning the Super 12 final.

In the northern hemisphere, France succeeded England as winner of the Five Nations championship, and its clubs won both European tournaments in January. Brive triumphed in the European Cup, and Bourgoin was winner of the Conference final. English clubs featured prominently in the 1997-1998 European Cup competition, which was to reach its climax early in 1998. Wasps, Leicester, Bath, and Harlequins - clubs backed by wealthy sponsors and strengthened by star players imported from overseas - reached the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere in Britain, Melrose collected the League and Cup double in Scotland, while in Wales, Pontypridd and Cardiff were, respectively, champion and Cup winners.

Of the emerging Rugby Union nations, Canada sustained its drive for major status by winning the Pacific Rim round-robin, and Italy underlined its case for admission to an extended Five Nations tournament with away wins against Ireland and France. Fiji, long recognized as seven-a-side experts, beat South Africa in the shortened game's World Cup final in Hong Kong.

Rugby League's spoils were shared in England: St. Helens retained the Challenge Cup in May; Bradford headed England's Super League competition, held during the summer months; and in a third domestic tournament, Wigan kept the Premiership title.

Newcastle won the ARL grand final, and Brisbane, inaugural winner of the Australian Super League title, became the first Super League world club champion in October. This new tournament, comprising 12 European teams and ten from Australia/New Zealand, was dominated by the Anzacs, who regularly posted huge scores in matches against European sides. Australia's supremacy was underlined later in the autumn with its 2-1 Test series success against Great Britain.


Tabel Of Contents:


II.         FIELD

A. Offense
B. Defense
C. Special Teams


V.          EQUIPMENT

VI.     PLAY
A. Kickoff
B. Runing a Play
C. Scoring

A. High School and College Football
B. Heisman Trophy and Other Awards
C. Bowl Games and National Championship

A. National Football League (NFL)
B. Other Leagues

A. Early College Football
B. Rise of the Professional Game
C. New Forces in The 1960s
D. The 1970s
E. The 1980s
F. The 1990s
G. Recent Developments


Tabel Of Contents:




A. 1962:Rugby
B. 1963:Rugby
C. 1990:Rugby
1)Rugby Union-New Zeeland and Australia
2)Five Nations Championship
3)Furor in France
4)Rugby League
D. 1991:Rugby
1)Rugby Union-World Cup 1991
2)1995 Tournament
3)Five Nations Championship
4)Rugby League
E. 1992:Rugby
1)Rugby Union
2)Five Nations Championship
3)Rugby League
F. 1993:Rugby
1)Rugby Union
2)Rugby League
G. 1994:Rugby
H. 1995:Rugby
I. 1996:Rugby
J. 1997:Rugby