Updated: December 2017
To the casual observer, Rugby League can look like a complicated game. However, with a little background knowledge, it's a sport which can be enjoyed by everyone.
The principle of Rugby League is very simple, score more points than the opposition, which is the same as other sports, such as the NFL. The match lasts for 80 minutes and consists of two halves, of 40 minutes each. There are a total of 13 players per team allowed on the pitch, at any one time.
Each team has six tackles and when a player in possession of the ball is tackled and stopped, one tackle is removed. After the sixth tackle has been counted, possession of the ball passes to the other team.
Using an oval ball, the team in possession must pass the ball backwards in order to move forwards. It's also within the rules to kick the ball and this is a tactic that many teams will employ during a game, as it's possible to kick the ball forwards. If a pass is seen to go forward, the referee will stop the game and award what is called a 'scrum', to the opposition. There are a number of ways a team can score points in Rugby League. The maximum number of points awarded is 4 and that is for a try. A try is scored when a player touches the ball down over the goal line of the opposition team. This is similar to the NFL but the player much apply pressure to the ball, when it's in contact with the ground.
Following the score of a try, the attacking team then get to kick at goal, with the ball stationary on the ground. By successfully kicking the ball over the crossbar and between the posts, the team are awarded an extra 2 points. A penalty, which comes as a result of an infringement, is exactly the same as a kick at goal and is worth 2 points. Lastly, a drop goal, which can occur at any point during open play, is worth 1 point. A player must drop the ball and allow it touch the ground before kicking it over the crossbar and between the posts.
With this basic understanding of Rugby League, it's possible to sit back and enjoy a match. There are further details we have not covered here, including the finer laws of the game. However, these are easier to pick up when watching a match and now you know the basics, this will be a simple task for you. Also within a couple of weeks, there will be a rugby world cup 2017, which will be held in England from Sept. 17 to Oct. 31