Difference between Rugby and American Football

Rugby and American Football are two popular sports that may seem similar but have some major differences.

The main difference between rugby and American football is the way the ball is handled.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Rugby and American Football:

  • Rugby: Rugby is a sport played with an oval-shaped ball where players can run with the ball, pass it backward or kick it to their teammates.
  • American Football: American football is played with a pointed oval-shaped ball and involves passing the ball forward, tackling opponents to stop their progress, and scoring points by carrying the ball across the opposing team’s goal line.

Rugby vs American Football

Now, let’s move to Rugby vs American Football:

Major differences between Rugby and American Football

Rugby American Football
Rugby players can pass the ball backward. American football players can only pass it forward.
In rugby players can use their feet to kick the ball to their teammates or score. In American football, players can only kick the ball in specific situations, like kicking a field goal.
Rugby players do not wear any protective gear. American football players wear helmets, shoulder pads, and other protective equipment.
In rugby, players can be tackled without the ball. In American football, players can only be tackled if they have the ball.
Rugby has a scrum to restart play after certain stoppages. American football has a kickoff to restart play after every score or at the start of each half.

That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Rugby and American Football”.

Also see:

Final words

In conclusion, while rugby and American football may share some similarities, they are different sports with distinct rules and styles of play. Understanding the differences can help us appreciate and enjoy both sports in their own unique ways.

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