featured, Rugby, Sporting Events

Rugby Explained: The Scrum

22 Sep , 2015  

It’s rough and about a team working in harmony against the opposition, but what’s a scrum and why do they happen? Well, I’m about to tell you.

Firstly, the word ‘scrum’ is short for ‘scrummage’ which sounds like a mix between a scour and a rummage and probably isn’t far off explaining it when you’re watching it on the telly.

Here’s the basics:

  • It’s a way of restarting play after a minor infringement or the ball is out of play.
  • It involves the designated forwards of both teams, which is 16 burly players total or 8 apiece.
  • The ball gets put in the middle, and the players in the scrum try to win possession by kicking backwards towards their team mates.

Now, I could explain all the different situations in play that lead to a scrum but this would get boring shockingly fast, so I’m going to skip to the good bits and you’re going to like it.

To cheer you up after that devastating news, here’s a picture of a pretty good scrum.

scrum from above

Great scrummage from above.

So far it sounds pretty easy and looks pretty awesome, but Rugby Union rules make it even tougher by allowing both teams to attempt to push the opposition so they get the ball. This is what makes scrums so amazing to watch and also pretty dangerous.

This is an old style scrum, where the players smash together like the Hulk’s fists.



Scrum, old style.


With rugby trying to decrease the injury rate, a new method of entering into a scrum was brought in. Players must follow a set of orders from the ref that includes their shoulders touching and a pause to prove the players are steady before they engage with that beautiful brute force.

Here’s the new method in all its glory:

safe scrum

Safe to scrum, until it’s not.


The new method of starting a scrum reduces the impact on players and also means the scrum is less likely to collapse. Stats say injuries received during scrums have been dramatically reduced thanks to the clever brains who cooked up this process of engagement.  But as you can see from how that scrum collapses, it’s still pretty rough and just the strength of the players can force it to implode like the bad guy in Antman (spoilers).

There you have it, my scrum-educated fanatic, now go forth and enjoy more rugby.


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1 Response

  1. […] To explain what a scrum actually is we put together this handy guide so that you know when and what to shout down the pub, you’re welcome. Click Here to view.  […]

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