« ForrigeFortsett »
the breach of law or irregularity of play occurred, and a scrummage
formed there. 49. That unless umpires be appointed, the captains of the respective sides
shall be the sole arbiters of all disputes, and their decisions shall be final. If the captain of either side challenge the construction placed upon any rule, he shall have the right of appeal to the Rugby Union
Committee. 50. Neither half time nor no side shall be called until the ball is fairly held
or goes out of play, and in the case of a try or fair catch the kick at goal only shall be allowed.
METHOD OF PLAY. The diagram represents a field of play under Rugby Union Rules. It should not exceed 110 yards in length, nor 75 yards in breadtn, and should be as near those dimensions as possible. The ball used should be eggshaped, as seen in the following woodcut :
The object of this is to enable a player to pick it up and run more readily with it than he would be able to do were the ball perfectly round. There are usually fifteen players a side in a Rugby match, who are disposed of as follows: Ten are put forward, two at half-back, one at three-quarters back, and two at back. Before the commencement of the game the captains toss for choice of goals. The winner usually selects that which gives him the advantage of having the wind at his back. The players being drawn up in a line facing each other, the captain of the losing side kicks the ball off from the centre of the ground, none of the opposite side being allowed to advance to within ten yards of it until it has been started. Once in the air, the game has commenced in downright earnest. A player on the opposite side to that which kicked off usually succeeds in catching the ball, and returns it as far as he can into his rivals territory. Here it is again picked up, but probably before the player can kick it back he is seized upon and held. Once fairly held, he must cry "Down," when he is released, and the forwards on either side form themselves into a compact mass, each striving to urge the ball which has been put on the ground in their midst, towards the others' goal. This is what is termed a scrummage. Outside the scrummage are the halfbacks on the alert, so that if the ball emerges from it, one of them can pick it up, and rush towards his adversaries' goal-line. Directly the forwards are aware that the ball is no longer between them they separate. Meanwhile, the possessor of the ball is running to touch it down, which must be done by grounding it behind his rivals' goal-line. But the backs, three-quarter backs, and half-backs on the other side are in the way to arrest his progress, if they can. This is done by catching hold of him in any way; but you must not trip him or catch him below the knee. Before the rules of the Rugby Game were modified, you were allowed to stop a man's running with the ball by
kicking or shinning him, which was known as hacking. This practice is now, however, forbidden. Supposing the player who has the ball is not stopped or collared by any of his opponents, he runs in and trouches it down, as near behind their goal as he can—say at the point F. This secures for him a try (see Rule 6). The mode in which the try is made is as follows : One of the side to whom it belongs picks the ball up at F, and walks towards the goalline BB to G; he here makes a mark with his heel, and then proceeds to the point H ; a nick is then made in the ground, on which he places it, and another player, who has been in readiness, rushes at it and kicks it towards the opponents' fortress. Should it pass over the cross-bar I, a goal is scored (see Rule 5). Another mode of obtaining a goal is when a player in the midst of the game gets hold of the ball and drops it (lets it fall to the ground and kicks it on the rise) over the cross-bar. Until within the past two seasons, a match could only be decided by goals, but in the absence of these, a game can now be won by tries (see Rule 7). It is by no means an easy matter to give hints to players about so intricate a game as that played by the Rugby Union; but we may mention that forwards should always keep their eyes on the ball when in the scrummage, and not go blindly pushing about without knowing whether they are kicking the ball or not.
A scrummage should always be entered with the head well down, as by that means the forwards pack much more closely, and present a more compact body to resist their opponents. Always play together and unselfishly, aiming at victory for your side, and not at individual distinction; use your feet well, keep always on the ball, and back up quickly. Immediately the ball has emerged from a scrummage, break up ; forwards seldom break away quickly enough from a scrummage, out of which the ball has issued. The backs, half-backs, and three-quarter backs have much greater opportunity of distinguishing themselves than the forwards. On them in a great measure devolves not only the task of defending their own fortress in case of an attempt to run in by the opposite side, but they have much more frequent chances of making the attack. A half-back should have plenty of dash, good dodging powers, strength on his legs, and be able to make the drop-kick with either foot. Backs should be able to catch the ball with safety, run well, drop quickly and tackle with promptness and firmness.
The Association Game has fewer rules, and is much more simple than its rival. The ball should be perfectly round, as follows :
The main principle of the Association Game is dribbling or kicking the ball along the ground. The use of the hands is forbidden altogether, except on the part of the goal-keeper, who is allowed to use them in defending his goal. The field of play is the same as with the Rugby Game, except that
there is no touch in goal, and that the object of the players is to kick the ball under the tape instead of over the cross-bar. There are no tries in the Association matches, which are decided by the number af goals obtained. Should a player in trying to defend his goal-line send it behind it himself, he gives his rivals the privilege of a corner kick. The ball is taken to the angle where the goal-line and touch-line meet. The attacking party draw themselves in a line in front of their opponents' goal. One player then kicks the ball towards the mouth of the goal, and the others strive to kick it or drive it between the posts. The following directions are from the pen of a prominent player:-(1) Keep moving throughout the whole game. If you cannot run fast, trot, and, failing that, make the best of your way to reach the ball first. (2) Back up hard throughout the whole game. (3) Shots at goal are more successful when made with the side of the foot, and should be made as hard as possible. (4) Never hesitate. Do at once and quickly what you have to do. Half-backs should charge at the ball with pluck. This will enable their backs to take matters more coolly. They (the half-backs) should take the ball from the opposing forwards and give it to their own forwards, whenever they may be in a good position. Failing this they should so disconnect their enemies that they fall an easy prey to their backs.
One final direction. The eyes must always be fixed on the ball, under whatever circumstances it is played at. Accurate and cffective kicking can only be by sight; therefore at the moment of delivering the kick the eyes must be on the ball.
To give the ball due impetus, the player generally takes a short run: it need not be long-10 yards at the utmost; but in every case where he kicks the ball from the ground, whether it be at rest, or he meet, follow, or cross it, he must use the same form in delivering the kick.
He should specially endeavour to kick equally freely with either leg. The best way to do this is to practise mainly with the weaker leg; the other will take care of itself.
Besides the Place-kick, and the various kicks that take the ball from the ground, there are others that take the ball in the air. These are the Halfvolley, Drop-kick, and Punt.
In the two former the ball is met by the toe just at its rebound from the ground; in the one case from an ordinary kick, and in the other as it is dropped from the hands of the player. The punt is made by meeting the ball let fall from the hands with the instep: it is occasionally a serviceable variation; but the drop-kick, when practicable, is more effective, and certainly more brilliant.
The ball is occasionally met with the foot before the pitch; but, except when the ball is coming with but little force, and time is precious, this method is not to be recommended.
The knack of kicking the ball with the side of the foot, at an angle to the line in which the player is running, is not difficult of acquirement, and is invaluable in actual play, as also is that of “dribbling the ball,” i.e., of patting it along with the feet while at speed, so as to keep it constantly within reach. To do this well, with unabated speed, and yet without offering a chance to the adversary, is the ne plus ultra of fine vlc.;.
HOCKEY This is perhaps, next to football, the best of our open-air winter games, and is strongly recommended to our young readers, as a very efficient substitute for that nobler sport. The spirit of the game is pretty much the same as that of football, the object being to strike a ball through a goal marked by two
uprights, the principal difference being that the instrument of propulsion is a stick instead of the foot, and that the ball is smaller and of a different make,
There is much variety of opinion as to the best form of hockey-stick, nearly every player of any pretensions having his own fancy; but all kinds of hockey may be classed under two heads—those with a small hook and those with a large one, the difference between them being much the same as that between a rapier and a cavalry broadsword. As may be supposed, the better players mostly prefer the lighter and more wieldy though less powerful weapon, just as a first-rate fencer would prefer a light straight sword to a cutlass.
In choosing a hockey, the young player should be careful not to overweight himself: all the real work of the game is done by pure wrist-work; the hockey, therefore, must not be of a greater weight than he can easily manage.
With a good player the hockey is scarcely ever listed above the shoulder, the ball being driven along by a succession of taps, and is guided in and out between the opposing ranks of hockeys by the mere action of the wrist; and it is only occasionally, even where it is necessary to drive the ball, that the stroke is made with the full sweep of the arm. With this style of play it is evident that no risk is incurred of receiving or inflicting serious injury. The following are the present
RULES OF THE GAME OF HOCKEY. 1. A hockey TEAM shall number eleven players, unless otherwise agreed
by the respective captains. 2. THE GROUND shall be 100 yards long, and not more than 60 nor less than
50 yards wide, marked with white lines, and with a flag at each corner. The longer sides to be called the “side-lines," and the shorter sides
the "goal-lines.” 3. The GOALS shall be in the centre of each goal-line, and shall consist of
two uprights twelve feet apart, with a horizontal bar seven feet from
the ground. 4. In front of each goal shall be drawn a line twelve feet long, parallel to
the goal-line, and fifteen yards from it. The ends of this line shall be curved round to the goal-lines by quarter circles, of which the goal
posts form the centres. This line to be called the “striking circle." 5. The BALL shall be an ordinary cricket ball, painted white.* 6. The STICKS shall have no metal fittings whatever, and no sharp edges,
and they must be able to pass through a ring two inches in diameter. 7. No player is to have any metal spikes or projecting nails in his boots or
shoes. 8. The choice of goals shall be tossed for at the beginning of the game,
and the goals shall be changed at half time. The game shall be started by one player of each side BULLYING THE BALL in the centre of the ground, and after each goal and after half time, there shall be a bully in the centre of the ground. The bully shall be played as follows: Each player is to strike the ground on his own side of the ball and his opponent's stick over the ball three times alternately ; after which either of the two players shall be at liberty
to strike the ball. 10. In all cases of a bully, every player shall be between the ball and his
own goal-line. U. A GOAL is scored when the ball has been driven between the goal-posts
under the bar. No goal can be scored unless the ball be hit from a point within the striking circle. A ball struck from without the striking circle, and touching or glancing off the person or stick of a
player on the defending side, cannot score a goal. 12. When a player hits the ball, any player of the same side who at the
moment of hitting is nearer his opponents' goal-line is off side, and may not touch the ball himself, nor may he approach within five yards of it until it has touched or been hit by one of the other side, or, in the case of a goal-keeper, until it has been hit or kicked by him ; nor may he in any way whatever interfere with any other player unless
there are at least three of his opponents nearer their own goal line. 13. The ball may be caught (but must be at once dropped) or stopped
with any part of the body ; but it must not be picked up, carried, kicked, or knocked on, except with the stick. The ball shall be played from right to left only, and no left or back-handed play, charging, kicking, collaring, shinning, or tripping shall be allowed. The goal-keeper (who shall be named by his captain before the commencement of the game) shall, however, be allowed to kick the ball in defence of his goal, so long as it is within the striking circle. Fencing or hooking sticks shall not be allowed, unless one of the players is on the ball. A player shall not run in between his opponent and the ball so as to obstruct him, nor cross him from the left so as to foul
* The ball must be painted white, with ordinary white paint.