Many sports fans around the world are wondering which is the best game to watch. Both rugby union and soccer American football are very similar in that they both involve a ball, but how different are they when it comes to the gameplay?
Soccer and rugby are both very popular sports around the world. For this reason, it can be difficult to choose between these two wonderful games. If you want to learn more about each, read below for a complete guide on soccer vs rugby.
What is Soccer?
Soccer is a game that is played between two teams, each consisting of eleven players. Soccer as association football originally began in England where it was first used as an alternative to the violent sports that were common at the time. Although soccer has continued to grow into one of the most watched sports in the world, this was not always the case and many people who did watch soccer were considered weird for doing so.
Soccer has since gained more and more fans around the world and while it is no longer considered a strange thing to watch, there are still some people out there who aren’t interested or familiar with this wonderful game. You might know someone like this…or you might even be unsure about which side to root for when you attend your first soccer game.
What is Rugby Football?
Rugby is a contact sport that involves two teams playing against each other. Similar to soccer, rugby can be considered strange to watch at first because it also involves a ball and two teams. However, there are some major differences between the way that these sports are played. One of the biggest differences is that while soccer players cannot touch their opponents with their hands, rugby players are allowed to use their hands when on the field. This means that if you are watching a game of rugby for the first time, you might wonder what on earth is going on!
If you have never watched either soccer or rugby before but want to go see a game in person , it’s best to pick one sport and stick to that. Once you see the game for yourself, you will be able to better understand what is happening on the field and then be able to appreciate it even more.
What Are The Similarities Between Soccer And Rugby?
While there are some clear differences between soccer and rugby, these sports do have a lot in common. The main similarity that both sports share is that they both involve balls and two teams. Watching any of the world’s most popular sports leagues such as the English Premier League or Rugby with Friends will show you just how much alike these games can be.
Soccer and rugby are both loved around the world because they can be exciting to watch. Both games involve a teams that tries to get the ball into their own net or goal so that they can score points or goals. If you want to go out and support your favorite team by attending one of their games, there are some things that soccer and rugby share in common which might make either sport appealing.
Soccer Vs. Rugby: Major Differences
Once you decide to go out and watch either a soccer or rugby game, there are some key differences that you will need to understand before making your decision. While these sports both involve balls and two teams, this is where the similarities end. If you don’t know what you’re looking for then you might not be able to appreciate soccer or rugby.
1. Number of Players
One of the most obvious differences between soccer and rugby is that while rugby involves 15 players on the field, soccer only involves eleven. This isn’t always necessary when watching a game, but it can make a difference in terms of getting to know the different positions and their roles in each sport.
2. The Soccer Ball And Rugby Ball
While the game will be taking place on a field, the actual ball is also very different between these two sports. Rugby team players need to use an oval shaped ball that they will carry with their hands while soccer players only need to kick around a round ball. You can’t really go wrong with either option since kicking is involved in both sports. You might like one ball over the other, but it really comes down to personal preference.
Not only are the balls different between these two sports, but so is how they will score points or goals in each game. In soccer, players need to kick the ball into the net in order to get a point. In rugby, they can either score a try or by kicking the ball through the goalposts.
There are some major differences between the positions and roles of players in both sports as well. For one, there is no goalkeeper in rugby like there is in soccer. Instead, each team will have eight forwards and seven backs. This means that each team will have a different strategy and playing style that could be very interesting to watch from the beginning.
In addition to having different positions, rugby players also have more freedom since they can use their hands while association football players don’t get this luxury. In rugby, players need to get used to handling the oval ball which requires a little bit of an adjustment from the beginning. In soccer, players only need to be able to move a round ball with their feet which can make it just a little easier to get into the game right away.
5. The Goalkeeper
Among all of the differences between soccer and rugby, this one is probably the easiest to recognize from watching a game of either sport. All teams will have a player who is responsible for defending their own net or goal which means that they will always be on their toes. In order to avoid letting a goal into their own net, a good goalkeeper needs to stay focused on the opposing team’s goal line and pay attention to what is happening on the field at all times.
6. Physical Roughness
Soccer has a reputation for being a very physical sport which can make it a little bit intimidating for new fans or players alike. Rugby is known to be one of the most physically demanding sports in the world since it is played at such a fast pace and without any breaks. This means that rugby can have more injuries than soccer will but also may be more exciting to watch since players can do some pretty amazing things during the game.
7. Role of The Referee
In both sports, the referees will have a big role to play. Soccer referees need to keep an eye on players and follow the ball as it travels from one end of the field to the other. They also need to be able to see if a player kicks a goal or scores a point. This means that soccer can involve more teamwork between two referees. Rugby referees have to keep an eye on the players as well, but they also need to know what is happening with play since there are no stoppages or breaks in rugby.
8. Fouls And Violations
Soccer doesn’t allow physical contact on the field which means that there are a lot of fouls that can take place during the game. These violations are determined by the referees and can include things like tripping, obstruction, dangerous play, unsportsmanlike conduct, fouls against goalkeepers, handball and many more. Rugby is a game that involves physical contact among players which means that there will be fewer rules or regulations than in soccer. This does not mean that there won’t be any contact though and players might still commit a foul or violation.
9. The Duration And Time Frame
Soccer games tend to last for 90 minutes with each half lasting 45 minutes each, but this can vary depending on the tournament or league. Rugby games can last longer since they don’t have time limits for either half. There are two 40-minute halves during regular rugby games which can be extended if necessary.
10. The Scoring System
Soccer is one of the few sports that will allow players to score as many goals as they can regardless of how long it takes them to do so. Soccer fans know that no goal will be taken off the board so the game can keep going until one team scores more than the other. Some soccer leagues will also reward teams with an extra point when they score in their opponent’s net, but there are no free points in rugby. Rugby games are played until someone scores five points or if it ends in a draw.
11. The Winning Team
The rules when it comes to determining a winner in both sports will vary depending on the league, division or tournament. In soccer, teams can win by scoring more goals than their opponent or if they score during overtime play, they’ll get an extra point which means that the game isn’t over until someone scores. Rugby games are played until one team wins so it is possible to end the game with a tie.
12. Soccer Fan Support And Rugby Union Madness
Soccer fans are known for being energetic and passionate about their sport, but rugby fans tend to be more serious when it comes to supporting their team. Soccer games can involve more alcohol consumption while playing which means that some fans will only show up during half time in order to get their drinks on. Rugby games tend to be more serious and fans will only applaud and cheer for their team making it a more enjoyable experience for players and spectators alike.
13. Spectator Experience
Both sports will involve lots of running, jumping and sprinting so they can be pretty exhausting to watch even if you’re not participating in the game. Rugby games don’t have time limits so they can last hours on end with referees having to blow their whistles if play is taking too long. Soccer referees are known for being lenient so it is possible for a game to last less than an hour, but this depends on the specific league or tournament that you’re watching.
Soccer Vs. Rugby: Which Should You Watch?
Not only are there many similarities between soccer or rugby, but both sports can be exciting to watch once you see them in person. While one game might not necessarily be better than the other, you might find yourself leaning towards one of them depending on what your interests are.
Soccer is probably the better choice since it can be easier to understand without knowing much about either sport. Rugby, on the other hand, might be the better option for someone who wants to go to a game where they can learn about rugby positions and strategy before watching their first game.