American football is a game played between two teams and consists of 11 players in each of the two teams, with unlimited substitutions. American football is a game of intense physical play with complex strategy to score points by advancing the ball to the opponent team’s end-zone.
Rugby is best described as a blend of the contact of American football, the running of soccer, and the transition of basketball. It is a game played between two teams with 15 players in each, played on a rectangular field, with the object being to run with an oval ball across the opponent’s goal line or kick it through the upper portion of the goal posts.
Both the games differ in a variety of parameters.
Differences in rules of Rugby and American Football
American football: Each team has 11 players on the field at one time, with unlimited substitutions. Each team gets three time-outs per half. Play begins with a kickoff. Two teams line up opposite each other; they are usually lining up a “play from scrimmage.” Receiving player may run with ball or may pass it. Each team has to move the ball at least 10 yards within 4 downs. If they fail to do so, other team gets the chance. If they succeed they get 4 new tries to move the ball 10 yards further. The main object is to score points by advancing the pointed oval-shaped ball into the opponent’s team end-zone.
Rugby: A Rugby team consists of 15 players, divided into forwards and backs. Forwards are often larger and stronger players of the team having their main job to win the possession of the ball. The backs are usually smaller, faster, and more agile and exploit the ball possessions. The match begins with a kickoff and the teams compete for possession. The player of the receiving team may run with the ball, or kick it, or pass it to any other player laterally or behind him. Opponent player may tackle the ball carrier at any time. Other than tackles, scrummages, rucks, mauls, and lineouts, no other contact is allowed. Even dangerous tackles are not permitted and are penalized severely. Once tackled, the player must release the ball immediately so play may continue. Once a team has crossed the opposing team’s goal line and touched the ball to the ground, a try is scored (five points). After each try, the scoring team has the opportunity to score two more points with a conversion.