American football, Australian rules football, and rugby appear to be pretty similar at first glance, but then when it comes down to it, they are all entirely distinct sports. The contrast between rugby and soccer, as it is known in the United States, is evident.
However, when it comes to different types of “rugbies,” the distinctions become very blurry. Rugby is, by definition, any sport in which players throw the ball (primarily) backward and sprint to score. Rugby and Australian rules football are confused in Australia. In this article, we will look at the differences between them.
Australian Rules Football Vs. Rugby
Australian rules football, often known as Aussie rules, Australian football or just football or footy, refers to a contact sport played on an oval-shaped field. The field used is commonly an adapted cricket pitch, and the game is between two teams of 18 players.
Kicking the ball between the middle goalposts or between a goal and the back post scores points. The first is worth six points, and the other is worth one point respectively. Aussie Rules has existed in some shape or another since 1841.
This sport is almost entirely played in Australia, and the Australian Football League, the first and only league of its kind, is also based there. Many fans of the sport refer to it as a blend of footy, Aussie rules, football, and Australian rugby.
Here are some of the main differences between rugby and Australian rules football:
The size of the field
There is a slight distinction in the shape of an Australian rules football field and a rugby field. A conventional rugby field is 70 meters wide and 100 meters long, although the dimensions of an AFL field might vary.
The least possible length, which is challenging to define down to the last inch, can range from 135 to 185 meters, with a breadth of 110 to 155 meters. As a result, AFL fields have a larger surface area than typical rugby fields.
The shape of the field
The variation in field shape is one of the very first things that any viewer notices. Unlike traditional rugby, which is played on a rectangular pitch, Australian Rules Football is played on an oval field. One common thing between these two fields is that they are grassy. AFL fields are frequently cricket fields that have been transformed to rugby fields or utilized for these sports.
The number of players
There are 15 players on the field in regular rugby, and seven substitutions are permitted for a single match. In the Australian Football League, every team has three additional players, for a total of 18. Since Australian football has more players, there are fewer substitutions, where only three are permitted.
The shape of the ball
Although a rugby ball can easily be differentiated from an American football ball, the Australian Football League ball is difficult to distinguish from a rugby ball.
Although both have an egg shape, the ball used in AFL appears to have a more visible “hump.” Unlike most other rugby balls, it also features seams that allow it to be grabbed, caught, and sprinted with.
The length of time
The game is divided in different ways for both rugby and AFL, even though the entire time is similar, which is 80 minutes. There is a clear-cut contrast between the two halves in rugby, with each lasting for about 40 minutes.
Quarters in AFL, on the other hand, go for 20 minutes each. The end of the first half can be said to coincide with the end of the second quarter. The length of the game is a significant distinction between rugby and Australian rules football.
Even though the actual time of an Australian rules football rugby match is the same, Australian rules matches are substantially more prolonged because of the longer breaks they have. They also have more frequent clock stoppages.
A standard rugby match can last 100 minutes, counting the stoppages. However, an Australian rules football match can go for over 120 minutes and even up to 150 minutes.
There is a distinction in how Australian rules football teams and rugby teams accumulate points. The ball must be brought into an in-goal area in rugby, and the team that accomplishes this receives 5 points.
Kicking the ball in-between the two vertical goalposts, which is worth two points, is another way to score in rugby. Conversion is the term for this scoring technique. Running with the ball inside the end zone earns no points in Australian rules football.
Kicking is the only way to score instead. There are a total of four goalposts, and precision determines how many points you will get. If the ball is kicked past the outer posts, the team that has kicked it is awarded one point, and the kick is referred to as a “behind.”
Although you can score goals in rugby, they are only used as a supplemental score. Rugby also has a different manner of kicking goals than Australian rules. In Australian rules football, you may kick the ball in any direction.
After your foot has made contact with the ball, this is provided that it travels through the goalposts. To score some points for a kick in open play in rugby, the ball must bounce off the ground before being struck. The ball must not only pass between the goalposts, but it must also clear the crossbar.
Running with the ball
In Australian rules football, you can run with the ball, but you have to bounce it at least once every 15 meters, just like a basketball player. Kicking the ball rather than running is a speedier and much more effective approach for Australian rules players to establish territory and create more opportunities to score.
Rugby players are allowed to run with the ball for as long as possible, which is a significant distinction between Australian rules football and rugby. Players in Australian rules should bounce the ball once in every 15 meters they run. This encourages Australian rules players to kick the ball instead of running.
Passing and tackling
There are minor variances in the passing and tackling rules, in addition to the apparent differences that viewers can observe, the most visible of which is the field’s shape. We are generally aware that rugby does not allow forward passing when it comes to passing the ball, but AFL only allows passing by punching or kicking the ball.
Among the most impressive aspects of tackling in rugby is that a clean tackle by the players on defense does not imply the ball is “dead,” and the game continues. Although the tackles aren’t as tricky, the same is true in AFL because the athlete does not have to be ultimately put down.
In Australian rules, there is no such thing as an offside. Players have complete freedom to explore the field and can begin at any area of the field.
This encourages a dynamic attacking style in which Australian rules players have numerous opportunities to engage with team members and advance the ball upfield, placing them in a better scoring position. Rugby, unlike Australian rules football, has strong offside restrictions.
In rugby, the offensive team has to remain behind the ruck’s last man’s feet. To make a play on the ball when pursuing a kick, the chasing individuals should have been behind the kicker when the ball was kicked.
The absence of offside in Australian rules football means that the game is essentially a kicking competition. You may kick the ball 30 meters up the field to another member of your team.
Running with the ball is a significantly slower approach to acquiring territory and building up opportunities to score than kicking. The Australian rules approach of kicking the ball to obtain much more territory is not practical in rugby.
This is because you cannot kick the ball to the players that are in front of you. Having the kicker behind the player would be considered offside, and the defense team would be awarded a penalty.
We have looked at all the differences between Australian rules football and rugby. Rugby is generally a running sport with the ball in play, whereas Australian rules football is mainly a kicking sport.
In rugby, team players can score by kicking a goal over the try line, whereas in Aussie rules, players score by carrying the ball across the try line. A rugby game is divided into two haves of 40 minutes each, whereas Australian rules games are divided into four 20-minute quarters.
Rugby is played on a rectangular field, whereas Australian rules football is played on an oval-shaped field. A rugby ball is slightly narrower and longer than an Australian rules ball. There is no such thing as an offside in Australian rules football, unlike rugby which has an offside.