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Rugby and football: Why one can be a fan of both at the same time?

There is a common belief that if you are following one sport, you must deny others, especially when they exhibit similarities, as is the case with rugby and football. However, many people are fans of both because they understand that football and rugby offer enough differences to bring unique experiences but also similarities that make them go well together.

A short history of football

According to historical evidence, football goes as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. However, the game’s modern version originated in England, where it quickly spread worldwide. In 1863, The Football Association was founded there, which helped standardize the rules of the game. International competitions followed suit, and the first official World Cup was held in 1930.

Today football is the most followed sport globally, and the game has changed quite a bit throughout its history. Yet, what has remained consistent is the interest in this sport by fans and as an industry. Analyst firm Allied Market Research projects that the football market will grow to over $3 bln. in 5 years.

One notable change in the sport has been the influx of interest and use of data analytics. It’s having a steady impact to on-field performances and how teams decide which coaches and players to hire and buy. Harnessing the power of analytics has been common practice for sportsbooks and their football betting market, setting the odds for outright, outcomes before games and ongoing events during the games too. Now, though, it’s being tapped into by clubs and fans.

The continuing upward trend in market valuation is naturally caused by the ongoing growth in several revenue streams. These include merchandise, advertising rights, licensing, and top teams expanding into other ventures such as eSports and media.

A short history of rugby

The famous legend says that rugby has been around since the 19th century after William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a friendly football match and ran with it. Other players started doing the same, setting the beginning of what we today call rugby.

Like football, the new game spread fast throughout Europe. It made its way to New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, where it’s still one of the most popular sports. In 1871, the Rugby Football Union was founded in England, which helped set universal rules of the game and led to international competitions.

Differences between rugby and football

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key ways these two sports differ.

  • Rugby is played with an oval-shaped ball that can be kicked and carried. Football is played with a round ball that can only be kicked.
  • Rugby players can tackle opponents who have the ball and block opponents without the ball. Football players can only attack opponents who have the ball.
  • Rugby is a full-contact sport. Football is not.
  • Rugby games are divided into two 40-minute halves. Football games are divided into two 45-minute halves.
  • In rugby, there are 15 players on each team, and there are 11 players in football.

Similarities between rugby and football

Now that we’ve looked at some of the key ways in which rugby and football differ, let’s look at some of how they are similar.

  • Both sports are played with a ball on a grass field.
  • Both sports are physical and require a high level of fitness.
  • Both sports involve two teams trying to score points by getting the ball into the other team’s end zone or goal.
  • Both sports are fast-paced, and the game can quickly turn the other way.
  • Both spread from England and are the most popular sports there, as well as in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.

Why do some people like both sports?

Some people like rugby and football because they enjoy the physicality of both sports and the unique strategies and tactics involved in each one. Others might like both sports because they are fast-paced and may offer unexpected turns of events. And finally, some people might like both sports because they have a deep appreciation for the history and tradition of both sports.

In conclusion, there are many reasons why someone might be a fan of rugby and football. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. However, one thing is for sure, both sports offer something unique to fans worldwide.

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