Rugby Union - Variants

Variants

The game of rugby union has spawned several variants of the full-contact, 15-a-side code. The two more common differences applied to the variants of the sport lie in either fewer players or reduced player contact. Of the variants, the oldest is Rugby sevens (7's, or VIIs), a fast-paced variant which originated in Melrose, Scotland in 1883. In rugby sevens, there are only seven players per side, and each half is normally seven minutes. Major tournaments include the Hong Kong Sevens and Dubai Sevens, both held in areas not normally associated with the highest levels of the 15-a-side game. A more recent variant of the sport is Rugby tens (10's or Xs), a Malaysian variant with ten players per side.

Due to the physical nature of playing rugby, several variants have been created to introduce the sport to children with a reduced level of physical contact. Of these versions, Touch rugby, in which "tackles" are made by simply touching the ball carrier with two hands, is popular as a mixed sex version of the sport played by both children and adults. Tag Rugby, is a version in which the participants wear a belt with two hook-and-loop fastener tags, the removal of either counting as a 'tackle'. Tag Rugby also varies in the fact that kicking the ball is not allowed. Mini rugby is another variant of rugby union aimed at fostering the sport in children. It is played with only nine players and on a smaller pitch. Similar to Tag Rugby, American Flag Rugby, (AFR), is a mixed gender, non-contact imitation of rugby union designed for American children entering grades K-9. Both American Flag Rugby and Mini Rugby differ to Tag Rugby in that they introduce more advanced elements of rugby union as the participants age.

Other less formal variants include beach rugby and snow rugby.

Read more about this topic:  Rugby Union

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