American Football VS Rugby
You may be wondering what the difference is between American Football and Rugby. Let us talk about the players’ equipment first.
There are more physical collisions in American Football, so players must wear sturdy protective equipment, including a steel helmet, shoulder guards, neck guard, chest protector, and shin guards, etc. Players without adequate protective equipment are not allowed to take to the field. In addition, due to the thick inner lining of the helmet, it is difficult for players on the field to hear the words of their coach and fellow teammates, so the helmet is built with wireless headphones. In contrast, due to the fact that Rugby rules prohibit any deliberate attacks to injure opponents, players only have simple protective equipment and only wear braces, shoulder pads and shin guards, etc.
With regard to the game itself, in American Football, each team sends 11 players onto the field, while Rugby rules allow 15 players onto the field. In American Football, the match is divided into four quarters of 15 minutes, whereas rugby matches are split into two halves of 40 minutes.
The rules of the two sports share both similarities and dissimilarities. In both sports, general rules requiring players to run forward with the ball and to only pass to their rear when tackled are similar, and touchdown scoring rules are almost the same, e.g. three points can be scored by kicking the ball through the posts. As for their differences, for example, in American Football, when a touchdown is scored, as long as any body part of the holder of the ball passes into the touchdown zone, six points can be scored, whereas in rugby, the holder of the rugby ball and the ball must be in full contact with the ground to score five points.
For American Football, although no relevant National Sport Association has been set up in Hong Kong yet, many enthusiasts of this sport form their own teams to play. For details, please browse the Hong Kong American Football League website.
(Information source: Community Sports Club Bulletin Episode 27, LCSD)