Top 8 Unusual Facts About Rugby

Rugby is one of the most popular sports. Lots of people don’t only watch matches but also bet on 22 Bet Kenya. Yet, there are some facts that even fans don’t know, and these are 8 of them.

Named After the City

In 1823, 16-year-old William Webb Ellis broke the rules of a soccer match by grabbing the ball in his hands and running towards the goal of the opposing team. It was this impulsive action of Ellis initiated the development of an entirely new sport and defined the basic rules of rugby. Subsequently, the game itself was named after the city of the memorable championship, Rugby.

One of the Most Dangerous Sports

Rugby is one of the ten most traumatic sports. Its level of injuries is almost equal to that of traditional soccer, horseback riding and mountain climbing. But true rugby players are not prevented even by injuries. A striking example is the New Zealand athlete Murray Halberg. Despite a serious hand injury, Halberg continued to play the sport, switching from rugby to athletics. In 1960 he won Olympic gold in the 5,000-meter race.

The Oldest Rugby Competition is Over 140 Years Old

The United Hospitals Cup championship is considered the oldest rugby club competition. Rugby matches in this Cup have been played in England since 1875. During the first championship the teams St. George’s Hospital and Guy’s Hospital reached the final and the game itself was attended by only 400 spectators. Today, the Cup attracts thousands of spectators, and the competitions are held annually, with virtually no interruptions. The only exceptions were during World War I and II.

A Game for Kings and Presidents

Among the most famous rugby players are many prominent politicians, public figures and presidents. The rugby ranks have at one time been seen by British Princes Harry and William, U.S. presidents Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush.

Olympic Sport

Today, rugby matches no longer take place as part of the Olympics. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the last century rugby teams competed in four Olympic Games. And in the first competition, held in 1900, 1908 and 1920, only two teams took part and in 1924 there were three. 

Rugby Is the Progenitor of Basketball

Basketball was invented to keep fit American rugby players who, because of severe cold weather, could not continue training in the stadium. The creator of basketball, James Naismith, coached a rugby team. The game he created was originally intended only for training rugby players in gyms, but later grew into an independent sport.

Strictly by the Rules

The winning team in a match is the one that scores more points than the opponent. Points are awarded by the head referee for committing effective actions. For example, a player may bring the ball into the in-goal – that is, touch the ground with the ball, either with the hand or by pressing it against the body. This is called a try, and is awarded 5 points. Immediately after this, the team that scores the try may take the snap. 

A player must place the ball in front of where it touched the ground and shoot towards the opponent’s goal. If the ball flies between the two posts and over the crossbar, the team gets 2 more points. And of course, while the ball is in play, anyone from either team can try to hit the goal. To do this, the player must drop the ball on the ground and kick it. For a successful goal attack, which is called a drop goal, you get 3 points. For infringements and foul play, a team may be awarded a penalty try or a penalty kick.

Che Guevara’s Favorite Sport

In the second half of the twentieth century, many celebrities were fond of the game. Among them was Ernesto Che Guevara. Despite serious health problems and developing asthma, the famous revolutionary was actively involved in sports and even included in the rugby team.

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