Laws of Football as played at Rugby School (1846)
LAWS OF FOOTBALL,
AT RUGBY SCHOOL,
SANCTIONED BY A LEVEE OF BIGSIDE
ON THE 7TH OF SEPTEMBER, 1846.
The following book of Rules is to be regarded rather as a set of Decisions on certain disputed points in Football, than as containing all the Laws of the Game, which are too well known to render any explanation necessary to Rugbeians.
R U L E S .
Kick off from Middle must be a place-kick.
Kick Out must not be from more than 25 yards out of goal, nor from more than 10 yards if a place-kick.
Fair Catch is a catch direct from the foot.
Charging is fair, in case of a place-kick, as soon as a ball has left the ground; in case of a kick from a catch, as soon as the player offers to kick, but he may always draw back, unless he has actually touched the ball with his foot.
Off-Side. —A player is off his side, if the ball has touched one of his own side behind him until the other party kick it.
A player being off his side is to consider himself as out of the game, and is not to touch the ball in any case whatever (either in or out of touch): or in any way to interrupt the play, and is or course incapable of holding the ball.
Knocking on, as distinguished from throwing on, is altogether disallowed under any circumstances whatsoever. In case of this rule being broken, a catch from such a knock on shall be equivalent to a fair catch.
It is not lawful to take the ball off the ground, except in touch, either for a kick or throw on.
First of his Side is the player nearest the ball on his side.
Running In is allowed to any player on his side, provided he does not take the ball off the ground, or through touch.
If, in the case of a run in, the ball be held in a scrummage, it shall not be lawful for the holder to transmit it to another of his own side.
No player out may be held, unless he is himself holding the ball.
It is not fair to hack and hold at the same time.
No hacking with the heel, or unless below the knee, is fair.
No one wearing projecting nails or iron plates on the soles or heels of his shoes or boots shall be allowed to play.
Try at Goal.— A ball touched between the goal posts may be brought up to either of them, but not between.
The ball when punted must be within, and when caught without the line of goal.
The ball must be place-kicked and not dropped, and if it touch two hands the try will be lost.
It shall be a goal if the ball go over the bar (whether it touch or no) without having touched the dress or person of any player; but no player may stand on the goal bar to interrupt it going over.
No goal may be kicked from touch.
Touch.— A player may not in any case run with the ball in touch.
A player standing up to another may hold one arm only, but may hack him or knock the ball out of his hand if he attempts to kick it, or go beyond the line of touch.
No agreement between two players to send the ball straight out shall be allowed.
A player having touched the ball straight for a tree and touched the tree with it, may drop from either side if he can, but one of the opposite side may oblige him to go to his own side of the tree.
In case of a player getting a fair catch immediately in front of his own goal, he may not retire behind the line to kick it.
No player may take the ball out of the Close.
No player may stop the ball with anything but his own person.
If a player take a punt when he is not entitled to it, the opposite side may take a punt or drop, without running, (after touching the ball on the ground) if the ball has not touched two hands, but such drop may not be a goal.
That part of the island which is in front of the line of goal is in touch, that behind it in goal.
The discretion of sending into goal rests with heads of sides and houses, or their deputies.
Heads of sides, or two deputies appointed by them, are the sole arbiters of all disputes.
All matches are drawn after 5 days or after 3 days if no goal has been kicked.
Two Bigside balls must always be in the Close during a match or Bigside.
No football shall be played between the goals till the Sixth match.
Three Præpostors constitute a Bigside.
At a Bigside the two players highest in the School shall toss up.
Old Rugbeians shall be allowed to play at the matches of football, not, however, without the consent of the two heads of the sides; but no stranger may have a place-kick at goal.
- The head of the School side in the Sixth match must always appoint at least six deputies.