If you speak to any American football fan or European rugby enthusiast, you'll likely hear vastly differing accounts as to which is the tougher, more enjoyable and overall best to watch. But really, are they all that different from each other?
Though rugby is all the rage in Europe (especially in the UK), there is a sizeable audience for Rugby in America. American high schools and universities have Rugby teams, and Americans enjoy the Rugby World Cup too, although nowhere near with as much ferver as when they gather to watch the Super Bowl.
1. The Origin Of Rugby And Football
Beginning in England during the nineteenth century, British colonists and soldiers in Canada were the first to begin playing what was then known as rugby football.
It quickly became popular amongst universities and prep schools with each team negotiating game rules before each game as opposed to a strict set of generalized rules.
In other words, Rugby and football started as the same sport, but don't tell this to loyal spectators of either sport.
2. Things Begin To Change
While the colonists still enjoyed their laid-back style of play, across the pond a storm was brewing between those who preferred a strict volunteer only roster and those who believe players should be compensated for lost wages during gameplay.
In 1895, the two factions formed two separate leagues. The only difference from one faction to another was how they were compensated. With this division, both Rugby and football were born as separate sports.
3. How they differ
When comparing rugby and American football, two major differences are distinctly noticeable.
The first and most noticeable difference is the ten meter difference in field length. An American football field is 120 yards long with ten yards on either end, each end being designated as "end zone." Goal posts mark each end zone to score field goals.
A rugby field is ten yards larger with each goal post being situated exactly one hundred meters apart on what is called a "try line". The area behind each goal post is known as the "in-goal" area. The end goal areas are typically six to eleven meters in length.
The next most noticeable difference is the gear worn by each league. While NFL teams have much higher safety requirements, (including hard helmets and thick padding), Rugby gear consists of very light and sometimes entirely nonexistent padding, as well as the complete disallowment of any hard helmet whatsoever.
4. The Similarities
The first similarity between the sports is in how players score. Both sports require players to reach the end zone, (or in the case of rugby, the in-goal area) to score. Both also give the option for a point conversion play.
Another major similarity is the leagues' clearly defined seasons. Each season ends in a final game. American Football ends with The Super Bowl, an event held in February.
Rugby's seasons end with the Rugby World Cup. However, unlike the NFL Superbowl, the Rugby World Cup is only held every four years between the globe's top international teams.
5. Where To See Each Sport
This year (2019), the Rugby World Cup will be hosted in Japan. With dates spanning from September eighteenth until November 2, the Rugby World Cup in Japan will undoubtedly be the travel experience of the year for any die-hard rugby fan.
The upcoming NFL Super Bowl LIV will be held on Sunday, February 2nd, 2020 in sunny Miami Florida.
With 2019 Rugby World Cup tickets averaging between two hundred and seventeen hundred dollars for a single match, and NFL ticket packages costing a staggering two
hundred to six hundred dollars per game, it's no wonder that the U.S. alone is expected to earn 69.4 billion dollars in the year 2020 on ticket sales, trademarks and merchandise. It's also no surprise that NFL tickets and 2019 Rugby World Cup Tickets are two of the most sought after sporting event tickets this year.