What's the difference between American Football and Rugby? American Football vs Rugby

What are the differences between American Football and Rugby ?
Rugby and American football are among the most physical team sports. There’s no denying that both rugby and American football are among the toughest team sports in the world. And pretty similar to each other. Modern rugby started in Warwickshire in 1823 and on the other hand American football is relatively new.

In simple words what are the key features that tell them apart ?


Basic differences, Also included is Aus Rugby.


Okay. So this question was an eye opener for me. Before this i always thought that rugby and American football or NFL are the same. However, after this i read a bit about both the sports and tried to understand the difference between the two. I loved rugby before this but now i love NFL more… :stuck_out_tongue:
So the main differences between the two sports which might seem similar are:

Number of Players
In rugby there are 23 players, 15 on the field and 8 reserves. The starting 15, if they once leave the ground cannot come back on the field barring a serious injury or concussion or any other unavoidable emergency.
In NFL or American football a team is made up of three parts, defense offense and a third part which is comes under kicking scenarios. Defense and offense has 11 players each. The offense comes in action when the team has the ball whereas the defense comes in action when the opposition has the ball. The third team comes on to the field on situation such as kicking the ball for extra points or punt balls etc etc.
The rugby is played in two halves of 40 minutes each whereas NFL is played in 4 halves of 15 mins each.

In rugby in the Player who is carrying the ball has been tackled and is brought down to the ground but the defense or even offense passes the ball then the game continues whereas in NFL if the player carrying the ball is brought down to the ground the game stops. And the offensive team or the defensive team gets one more chance.

Ground Length
In rugby the ground is of 100 metres whereas in rugby the ground is of 100 yards where one yard is about 0.91 metres. Nfl ground is divided into 10 equal parts of 10 yards each. The team that is the offensive team or is attacking will get 4 chances to clear one 10 yard parts in four parts, if they manage it it’s called a touchdown and they get another 4 chances to clear the next part whereas if they fail the opposite team gets the offensive and the team attacking defends and the opposite team will get 4 chances to clear one part. This cycle continues.



American football developed from Rugby in the 19th Century but there are some fundamental differences between the games. The object of American football is to score more points than the opposition team by carrying the ball behind the opponents touch line (called a touchdown). Teams can also score points by kicking the ball between the posts which is known as a field goal.
The object of rugby is very similar, but the ball must be carried behind the opponents touch line and then placed down which is called a try.
Rugby teams are much larger than their American football counterparts. Rugby teams have fifteen players on the pitch at any one time whereas American football teams have just eleven
American football is a bit aggressive than Rugby.
If a football player manages to carry the ball across the opponent’s goal line or catches it there, he has scored a touchdown and his team is rewarded with six points. The scoring team now has an opportunity to get an additional point by kicking the ball through the goal posts (conversion) or two points if the ball is again advanced to end zone through run or pass (two-point conversion). In rugby, a touchdown is called a try and it’s worth five points.