Difference Between Rugby and Soccer

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    soccerRugby vs Soccer

    Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and is commonly known as football. And while rugby (as well as American football) evolved from soccer, the two are different. Rugby is much more similar to soccer than American football, because it is a continuous game.

    The balls

    Rugby (league) uses a ball in the shape of a prolate spheroid, inflated with air. It is of ‘international size’, or ‘size 5’, measuring approximately 27 cm with a circumference of 60 cm , at most. It is pointed at the two ends and weighs about 383 to 440 grams. The soccer ball, on the other hand, is round, and made of 32 panels of stitched leather or plastic, forming 20 regular hexagons and 12 regular pentagons.

    Point of the game

    The point, in both soccer and rugby, was initially similar, which was to earn points by kicking the ball into the opponent’s net. But that changed with rugby, as the goal was changed so that it is now just having to kick the ball over the bar, as opposed to inside a net. Eventually, points were added for placing the ball in the end zone, ultimately eliminating the special stress of kicking in rugby.

    Game play

    The flow of the game, as well as game strategy, is quite similar for both soccer and rugby. Strategy generally involves isolating the defensive players, and picking a place on the field to move the ball forwards towards a goal. However, unlike soccer, in rugby, it takes sheer power to drive the ball across the field through the opposing team.

    Basic skills for the players are also similar, and there’s less emphasis on specialty players. Every player needs to be able to kick, tackle, pass and run fast. There can be a little bit of specialization in soccer (not so much as in football) where specific skills are necessary for given situations in the game.

    In rugby, you basically play the ball by picking it up and making a run with it towards the opponent’s side, while your teammates assist you to move the ball forward, by locking around you and pushing you ahead. This is one of the key differences in game play between soccer and rugby, as it is not possible to be in front of the player with the ball in soccer.


    The rugby ball is prolate spheroid shaped, while the soccer ball is round.
    In rugby, a goal is earned by kicking the ball over the bar, while in soccer it’s placing the ball into the net.
    In rugby, sheer power must be used to drive the ball through an opponent’s side, while in soccer, excessive use of power is not allowed.
    In soccer, you cannot move in front of the player carrying the ball, while it is possible in rugby.
    Soccer requires some more specialty skilled players for some situations, while in rugby every player has a similar set of skills.

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