A friend that lives in NYC recently mentioned that they had seen a flyer that there was going to be a Rugby team in the city as part of the UK leagues, so I thought I would make a post explaining the Sport(s) of Rugby. (I say sports as there are two different codes of Rugby played).
Rugby is similar to American Football in that the ball is carried, thrown, and punted/kicked when in play, however, protective equipment is not worn, apart from padding on the head, sometimes. The two main forms are Rugby Union, the code used during the World Cup, and Rugby League, the code that will be used for the NYC team and the most similar to American Football.
In Rugby League the teams are made up of 13 players, with the objective is to carry/pass the ball to the goal area to make a 'Try' (a touchdown). When passing the ball has to be played sideways or backwards. Once a try has been made the team has a chance to "convert" it by kicking the ball over the crossbar of the goal.
The opposing team has the objective of stopping the attacking team from making a try, by tackling the ball carrier. Once the tackle has been made, the ball is uncontested, meaning the attacking team keeps it, re-starting the attack from where the tackle was made. After 6 tackles, the ball switches sides, and the roles are reversed.
This handy video explains why the history of the sport, and also the differences between Union and League