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MacBatman31's avatar

Rugby or American Football, which requires more strategy, athletic ability, and which is harder to play?

Asked by MacBatman31 (2038 points ) July 25th, 2011

Now, I’ve dabbled in American Football, and am currently a rugby player. I have gotten into this debate many, many times, but which sport requires more strategy? Of course, I have my own opinion of the question, but I would love to see other people’s perspective. Along with which is more strategical, which sport is harder to play, and which requires more athletic ability?

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12 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Rugby is far more entertaining to watch than American football. I can’t really comment on the technical aspect, but I can say that much.

rooeytoo's avatar

I grew up in USA so watched and understand American football. I have lived in Australia for the last 13 years and occasionally watch rugby league and union. Seems as if rugby is more physically demanding but it appears to me that there is more strategy in football. Rugby has less padding on players so probably more dangerous, those spear tackles are hellish. Perhaps more ball handling ability in football buth more athletic ability, strength and stamina in rugby.

They all depend too much on brute strength for my taste, soccer requires more finesse and less brutality so I prefer that over all.

What country are you in, where do you play?

MacBatman31's avatar

I am from Minnesota, and that is where my American Football dreams ended, and my quest for Rugby greatness began! I do like your view on each sport, the only thing I have to say (for the sake of debate only) is in football you are in the same positon every play right? In rugby you could be anywhere on the field at any given time, so wouldn’t that require more strategy?
I DO have respect for soccer though, soccer doesn’t allow something we Ruggers (rugby players) thrive on, and that is brute force. Also, rugby players don’t look down soccer players as much as we do American Football players. If a Rugger wanted easy, we would join LaCrosse or American Football.
I would like to add that when I say “we” I’m not trying to generalize ALL Ruggers, I’m just representing what I was taught by my teammates and coaches. I do not try to speak on behalf of all Ruggers.

ucme's avatar

Rugby is the more strategic of the two & certainly breeds the tougher individuals.
I mean, the ball must be passed backwards, excluding line-outs & the kicking aspect of the game. That alone allows for a more technical approach. Throw in the offside rule mauls & rucks & you have a pretty solid argument over the “pussys in pads” brigade.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I agree that rugby is the “tougher” of the two. That’s why I prefer to watch it, quite frankly. It’s a little more hardcore, that’s all I’m saying.

wundayatta's avatar

Clearly American Football involves more interesting strategic thinking. The athletes are more fit and more talented. They are just all around better.

If you disagree, let me ask you a question: how much do Rugby players get paid? The best players go where the money is. How many Australian rugby players are in the NFL? I’ve only ever heard of one. They just can’t cut it in the big leagues.

MacBatman31's avatar

@wundayatta HAHA that is funny, let me ask you this, how many 300+ lb. players in football, how many players break for a long run and need oxygen? You are right about not cutting it in the big leagues, but you have it backwards. Rugby came before American football, and are we talking about salaries? Without Rugby, you wouldn’t have you precisous sport they call “football” where you use your foot once in a while.
As for more strategic thinking, the players in American Football line up where, every play? Oh! The same place they did the last 30 plays! In rugby, the only time you are required to be in the same position is a scrum or line out. Also, how many breaks do you get in football, well, let us see, three timeouts each team per half, a two minute warning per half, any injury timeouts, oh and the beloved TV break. NOT to mention the wonderful 40 second time limit they get when a play stops.
And can you please tell me how many breaks you get in rugby? It’s okay, I’ll wait… That’s right. Running time of 45 minutes, plus stoppage time. If there is an injury, the player gets to lay there until it is safe for medics to come to him, there are phases, not plays, and play doesn’t stop when a man is tackled. So more fit and talented? Yes! Ruggers take the cake! Name one time a Rugger breaks for a crazy run and needs oxygen on the sideline. OH, again, they don’t go to the sideline because they play offense and defense. Football you get continuous substitutions, and Rugby, you get seven all game.
You’re right, your American Football players just can’t cut it in the big leagues.

wundayatta's avatar

I can’t help it if Rugby is too dim-witted to add anything more interesting that a bunch of guys piling on top of each other up and down the field. Oh wait. They can’t help it. They are so winded from all this endless running that they can’t even think! And what kind of idiots don’t try to get their injured taken care of as soon as possible?

If you think American footballers line up in the same place for every play, then you must be blind. It’s complicated, which is why the players get caught out from time to time. And of course, they move all over the field and field position is a major strategic issue.

Let me ask a question, because I really don’t know. Is Rugby played in places with 100 degree heat and 90% humidity? My impression is that it is not, but I don’t know for sure.

In any case, if a Rugby player tried to play in the NFL, he’d end up running backwards into the other team’s end zone. I doubt he’d be able to understand the rules even if he did have a middle school education. If you put a rugger against a football player in any competition of skill and endurance, not one person would bet on the rugger. Ok, maybe his mother would.

American Football Rulz and don’t you forget it! ;-)

MacBatman31's avatar

Let me ask you, does South Africa or New Zealand get to 100 degrees heat with 90% humidity? Rugby is Global. It’s not called European Rugby is it? Simple, your sport is limited to one country and then one game in London per season. You have a variation to the north, in Canada, but is American Football followed globally?
And as for being blind, are you? Didn’t you notice that there are five down linemen in the same spot? Or maybe the quarterback who lines up in two different spots? Maybe its the runnning back who is always behind the quarterback? No, it’s the wide recievers that are split out and the required seven people on the line of scrimage.
Piling on top of each other? Too winded? Need I remind you that Ruggers pass their conditioning tests. Albert Haynesworth ring a bell for conditioning? Or when Pat Williams recovered a fumble and ran for a nice chunk of yardage, but was then on the sideline huffing from an oxygen mask.
I can guarantee you that a rugger would run circles around any, any, any NFL player. There is not one football player who could handle rugby. Strength, ruggers win. Endurance, NO QUESTION, rugger.
And skill. Let me see here. Do linemen get to carry the ball, kick the ball when they please? How about running backs, can they throw when they want, or kick when they choose? Oh! Your kickers, dead on straight kicks. Maybe a little angle from the hash marks. Research what rugby kickers do when they kick. Do they master drop kicks in rugby? As I recall, Doug Flutie did it once, other than that? Negatory.
You might want to research the sport before you speak those words. Especially the tempeture one. THAT one was funny. Oh and me being blind, that was too. Thank you for the good laugh.

wundayatta's avatar

@MacBatman31 “Thank you for the good laugh.”

We aim to please. ;-)

MacBatman31's avatar

Please don’t make me mention the fact that anyone who touches the ball in your sport also is too scared of the other team and has to hide behind BLOCKERS! Is there blocking in rugby? NEGATORY.

MacBatman31's avatar

@wundayatta well your aim was dead on! :-)

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