Rugby returned to the Olympic programme at Rio 2016, when the Sevens format provided a captivating showcase for this pacy and thrilling team sport.
The aim of Rugby is to convey an oval-shaped ball to the goal line located at the opposing team's end of the field and earn points for doing so. This is achieved by running with the ball, passing and kicking it. Rugby differs from other ball sports in that the ball must be passed backwards between players as they advance towards their opponents' goal line. Much of the sport's appeal lies in the players' speedy interplay and total commitment.
Rugby's roots can be traced back to the sport of football as it was played in English public schools during the 19th century. During a football match at Rugby School in 1823, a young player named William Webb-Ellis suddenly picked up the ball and ran with it towards the goal. His act marked the creation of a totally new sport.
Rugby School gave the sport its name and developed its first set of rules. The Rugby Football Union was founded in 1871, and the International Rugby Board – now known as World Rugby – was established in 1886.
Today, different types of Rugby are played around the world – Rugby (fifteen-a-side), Rugby League,and Rugby Sevens – with various competitions taking place.
Rugby (fifteen-a-side) was played at Paris 1900, London 1908, Antwerp 1920 and Paris 1924 with men's teams only, after which came a long absence until the sport returned in its seven-a-side format at the Rio 2016 Games. A women's competition was also held for the first time in Rio.
International Federation: World Rugby
- 12-team tournament (Men/Women)
Intense action and crunching tackles
Rugby Sevens is played on the same field of play as fifteen-a-side that dimensions are 100m x 70m. Unlike the fifteen -a-side game, which comprises two 40-minute halves, the period of time for Sevens matches in Olympic games are 30minutes. This includes seven minutes each half and two minutes at half time .
Method of scoring:
- Try, earning five points, when an attacking player is first to ground the ball －in the opponent's in-goal area;
- Conversion Goal, earning two points, When a player scores a try it gives the player's team the right to attempt to score a goal by taking a kick at goal ;
- Dropped Goal, earning three points, a player scores a dropped goal by kicking a goal from a drop kick in general play.-Penalty Goal, earning three points,a player scores a penalty goal by kicking a goal from a penalty kick.
Teams consist of three forwards and four backs, and each team may nominate and use up to five replacements during a game. All players in Rugby Sevens must be skilful in both attack and defence, able to run quickly, pass accurately and tackle effectively to bring an opposing runner to the ground.
Countering the All Blacks' power and passion
A total of 12 teams will compete for medals in each men's and women's competition at Tokyo 2020.
New Zealand, known as the All Blacks, are the sport's traditional powerhouse. They have an overwhelming victory rate winning three our of the eight Rugby World Cups. Fiji rules in Rugby Sevens, having won the HSBC World Sevens Series and various other past competitions more times than any other country. Their playing style attracts Sevens fans from all over the world.
The Rio 2016 tournament provided something of an upset as New Zealand's men failed to win a medal. Gold, silver and bronze were taken by Fiji, Great Britain and South Africa respectively. Their women were runners-up to Australia with Canada finishing third. Will Rugby powerhouse New Zealand regain the top position, or will Sevens champion Fiji capture told again, or will another team emerge as champion? Many teams have a chance to win a medal this time.
As well as Rugby World Cup i2019 in Japan, exciting and competitive games are expected at Tokyo 2020.
As of 1 Dec. 2018
- Tokyo Stadium