Rugby league

Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league or simply league, rugby, football, or footy, is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field measuring 68 metres (75 yards) wide and 112–122 metres (122 to 133 yards) long.[1]

Rugby league
An attacking player attempts to evade two defenders
Highest governing bodyInternational Rugby League
NicknamesLeague, RL, rugby, rugby XIII (used throughout Europe)
League, footy, football (used throughout the Oceania regions)
First played7 September 1895, Yorkshire, Northern England (post schism)
Team membersThirteen
TypeTeam sport, Outdoor
EquipmentRugby league ball
VenueRugby league playing field
Country or regionWorldwide (most popular in Oceania, northern England and southern France)

One of the two extant codes of rugby football,[2] it originated in Yorkshire in 1895 as the result of a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to the players.[3] Its rules progressively changed with the specific aim of producing a faster and more entertaining game to appeal to spectators, on whose income it depended.[4]

In rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing team's goal line; this is called a try, and is the primary method of scoring.[5] The opposing team attempts to stop the attacking side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball.[5] In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. Field goals can be attempted at any time, and following a successful try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points.[5] Kicks at goal may also be awarded for penalties.

The Super League in Europe and the National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia are the world's premier club competitions. Globally, rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European, Australasian, and Pacific Island countries, and is governed by the International Rugby League (IRL). Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea,[6][7][8] and is a popular sport in countries such as England,[9] Australia,[10] New Zealand, France, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and Lebanon.[11]

The first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954, the first World Cup of either Rugby code; the current holders are Australia.[12]

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