Skip to main content

Rugby, a sport deeply rooted in tradition and camaraderie, comes in many forms, and one of the most exhilarating and fast-paced variants is 7s rugby. While traditional rugby union involves 15 players on each team battling it out on a full-sized field, 7s rugby takes that intensity and packs it into a smaller team and an even smaller field. If you’re a newcomer to the world of 7s rugby, this guide is your ticket to understanding the basics of the game and joining in on the excitement.

1. The Basics of 7s Rugby

7s rugby, also known as sevens rugby, is a modified version of traditional rugby union. The primary difference is in the number of players on each team – as the name suggests, there are only seven players on the field for each side. This reduction in player count drastically alters the dynamics of the game, making it faster and more open, with plenty of space for electrifying plays.

2. The Field

A standard 7s rugby field is smaller than a traditional rugby field. The dimensions are roughly 100 meters in length and 70 meters in width. This compact field size ensures that the action remains intense and fast-paced, leaving little room for players to catch their breath.

3. The Objective

The objective of 7s rugby is the same as traditional rugby – to score more points than the opposing team. Points are scored by grounding the ball in the opponent’s in-goal area, which is similar to a touchdown in American football. A try (worth 5 points) is scored when a player successfully grounds the ball over the try line in the opponent’s in-goal area. After a try, the team has the opportunity to kick for a conversion, which is worth 2 points.

4. Game Duration

A 7s rugby match is typically divided into two halves, each lasting 7 minutes, with a short halftime interval. In knockout stages or higher-level tournaments, game durations may be extended to 10 or 14 minutes per half.

5. Rules and Gameplay

While many of the fundamental rules of 7s rugby align with traditional rugby union, there are some notable differences:

  • Scrum: In 7s rugby, scrums involve only three players from each team (instead of eight), and there are no contested scrums. This speeds up the game and reduces the chances of prolonged scrum battles.
  • Lineouts: Lineouts also involve fewer players, typically only three players from each team. This makes lineouts quicker and more dynamic.
  • Kick-offs: Unlike traditional rugby, the team that scores kicks off to the opposing team. This ensures that the team that has just conceded points gets an immediate chance to regain possession.
  • Sin Bin: Yellow cards result in a player being sent off for two minutes instead of the traditional ten minutes. This temporary suspension can have a significant impact on the game due to its short duration.

6. Strategy and Tactics

Due to the smaller field and reduced player count, 7s rugby demands exceptional speed, agility, and endurance. Teams often focus on quick ball movement, exploiting spaces, and utilizing their pacey players to break through the opponent’s defense. Effective teamwork, accurate passing, and the ability to read the game are key to success.

7. Global Tournaments

The pinnacle of 7s rugby is the Rugby World Cup Sevens, held every four years. In addition to the World Cup, there are various prestigious tournaments like the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which features multiple legs in different countries, showcasing the world’s top teams in thrilling matchups.


7s rugby offers an exciting blend of skill, strategy, and lightning-fast action that captivates both players and fans alike. With its unique rules, dynamic gameplay, and global tournaments, it’s no wonder that this variant has gained immense popularity in the world of rugby. Whether you’re a seasoned rugby fan or a newcomer to the sport, 7s rugby promises an adrenaline-fueled experience that’s sure to leave you hooked on the thrill of the game. So, grab your jersey and get ready to immerse yourself in the fast-paced world of 7s rugby!