Word Hoard

Sunday, September 16, 2007


In addition to the start of the American football season, the International Rugby Board (IRB) is staging the Rugby World Cup in France. Rugby is among my favorite sports to watch, so I took advantage of the DirecTV free preview weekend and then ordered Setanta, the station that carries rugby, Australian Rules Football, and the various soccer leagues.

Having watched a bunch of the Six Nations matches a couple years ago, I am getting more familiar with the jargon.

My favorite from the commentators is the use of "pace" for speed. "Mauger has the pace to get the try."

A try is rugby's touchdown and more literally so. You have to touch the ball down, just crossing the try line won't do it.

The competition between two teams is a test, and like soccer, it takes place on a pitch.

Instead of out of bounds, the ball is "in touch."

And then there are the various masses of men, the maul, ruck and scrum.

A maul is when the player with the ball is stopped by the opponent, but not tackled to the ground, and then supported by a teammate. The three players are now a maul and any players joining the maul cannot enter from the side, or they will be penalised.

A ruck is when the player with the ball is tackled to the ground and must relinquish the ball. Opposing players lock above the ball, and you have your ruck.

A scrum is when each teams 8 forwards lock and meet and one team's scrum half releases the ball into their half of the scrum where it is then kicked to the back.



  • At June 20, 2009 6:32 AM, Blogger Ben said…

    Glad to hear you're interested in Rugby. 'Pitch' isn't a word I've normally heard associated with a Rugby field or ground. Usually pitch is the word we use for the particular area of cricket field where the ball is bowled. A test is not just any match but actually matches played between nations. Australia plays against England to the right to hold the ashes. This was the first I heard of 'pace' seeming as an unusual word for you guys.


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