Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules gradually changed with the purpose of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators. It is frequently cited as the toughest, most physically demanding of team sports.
In rugby league points are scored by carrying or kicking the ball down the field, until it can be moved past the opponents' designated goal line and touched to the ground; this is called a try, and is the primary method of scoring. The opposing team attempts to stop the attacking side gaining points by preventing their progress up the field by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. After each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may also be awarded for penalties, and field goals can be attempted at any time during general play.
Rugby league is among the most popular sports in England, Australia, New Zealand, France, Tonga and Papua New Guinea where it is the national sport. The European Super League and Australasian National Rugby League are the premier club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European, Australasian and Pacific countries, and is governed by the Rugby League International Federation. The current World Cup holders are New Zealand.
Famous quotes containing the word league:
“Stereotypes fall in the face of humanity. You toodle along, thinking that all gay men wear leather after dark and should never, ever be permitted around a Little League field. And then one day your best friend from college, the one your kids adore, comes out to you.”
—Anna Quindlen (b. 1952)