Questions about the sport of rugby which span both union and league. Please use the code-specific tag if the question applies to only one code.
Rugby football developed from a version of football played at Rugby School and was originally one of several versions of football played at English public schools during the 19th century.
The game of football that was played at Rugby School between 1750 and 1859 permitted handling of the ball, but players were not allowed to run with it in their hands towards the opposition's goal. With no limit to the number of players per side, hundreds would participate in an enormous rolling maul, sometimes resulting in major injuries. The innovation of running with the ball was introduced between 1859 and 1865. The popular myth of the sport's origin states that Rugby pupil William Webb Ellis broke the local rules by running forward with the ball in his hands in 1823. Rugby School produced the first written rules for their version of the sport in 1845. In the result that the teams were still tied at the end of the match, a drop goal shootout was held. The selected kickers of the two teams would have one shot at the goal each and would take turns shooting at the goal until one of the kickers missed.