Understanding Game Sequence

Start and Restart of Play in Rugby

team sport, code of rugby football

Team sport, code of rugby football.

Rugby, like any other sport, has a specific set of rules and procedures that dictate how the game starts and restarts. Understanding these rules is crucial for players, coaches, and fans alike. This article will delve into the kick-off procedures, half-time and second half kick-off, restart after scoring, and drop-outs.

Kick-off Procedures

A rugby match begins with a kick-off. The team that wins the coin toss decides which team kicks off to start the game. The kick-off takes place at the center of the halfway line. All players from the kicking team must be behind the ball when it is kicked. The ball must travel at least 10 meters towards the opponent's side. If it doesn't, the opposing team has the option of a scrum at the center or a re-kick.

Half-time and Second Half Kick-off

At half-time, teams switch ends, and the team that did not kick off in the first half does so in the second half. The rules for the second half kick-off are the same as the initial kick-off. The ball must travel at least 10 meters, and all players must be behind the ball when it is kicked.

Restart After Scoring

After a team scores points, whether it's a try, penalty goal, or drop goal, the game restarts with a kick-off by the team that conceded the points. This restart kick-off follows the same rules as the initial kick-off. The idea behind this rule is to give the team that has just conceded points a chance to regain possession and balance the game.


A drop-out is another form of restart in rugby. It occurs when the ball has been touched down by a defending player in their in-goal area, or the ball has gone out of play over the dead ball line after being played by an attacking player. The drop-out is taken from anywhere on or behind the 22-meter line and must cross the 22-meter line. The opposing team can then compete for the ball, providing an opportunity for both teams to gain possession.

Understanding these rules and procedures is essential for anyone involved in rugby. They ensure the game flows smoothly and fairly, providing equal opportunities for both teams to compete and win.