Field, Time & Teams

Field Dimensions


The field of play does not exceed 100 meters in length and 70 meters in width. Each in-goal does not exceed 22 meters in length and 70 meters in width. The side-lines are referred to a touch-lines.

There are numerous other markings in a rugby pitch. Two important ones are the 5 meter line (which runs parallel to the touch line and is important for line-outs – see below) and the 22 meter line which is parallel to the goal line (this marks a defensive boundary; a player between his own 22 m line and his goal may kick the ball directly off the pitch in defense).

Two 40-minute halves with a five-minute half-time and no time-outs. Any time lost due to tending injured players on the pitch is added to the end of each half.

Fifteen players on each team with 7 substitutions. Once a player is substituted, they may not return to the game unless the substitution was to stop bleeding (i.e. bloddy nose). All 15 players may run, kick or pass the ball (forward passing is not permitted).

The 15 players are divided into two groups (discussed in more detail on the Player Positions page):

  • 8 forwards (generally larger and stronger) who focus on obtaining and maintaining possession of the ball
  • 7 backs (generally smaller and faster) who focus on taking the ball forward and scoring

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