When we think of five-a-side, we immediately imagine a group of colleagues kicking a football around the local indoor club. All that is about to change. On 29th October, the brand new Rugby X will make its debut at London’s O2 arena. The new game will see five-a-side teams play 10-minute indoor Rugby X matches on artificial pitches.

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Although the new faster game will retain most of the rugby’s core principles, there are a few major changes to look forward to.

Some New Rules of the Game

– 10-minute games with no half-time
– No change of ends
– Tap and go restarts from goal-line
– Three-man scrums – uncontested
– Off-pitch subs take quick throw line-outs
– Five players per side
– Smaller pitches without posts
– Artificial pitches

It is hoped the new rugby format will not only pique the interest of new players of all ages but new supporters too. As the game is shorter, it’s easier to understand; the fast-paced and exciting new game should appeal to a younger demographic. Rugby has many laws which are difficult to keep up while viewing a game. Some of those rules are explained here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/rules_and_equipment/4200680.stm.

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World Rugby has made plans for five events to take place next year. The inaugural event in London at the end of October will see competitions for both men and women. If the trial events are a success, there are plans to expand to ten further destinations with hopes of expanding the series and creating a league format.

Former England coach Ben Ryan has assisted in developing the format and is keen to introduce the game into state schools. Extra-curricular sport is in decline in schools. If Rugby X is of interest to you, it is possible to learn new skills with rugby drills through Sportplan. You can also improve your fitness with rugby drills and other rugby training.

What Will the Inaugural Event Involve?

– Taking place during the latter part of the Rugby World Cup
– Mainly international 7s players to take part
– Peak-time TV coverage with ITV already in talks to acquire broadcasting rights
– International players no longer in the World Cup rounds could possibly attend

The new game will be both challenging and physically demanding. Those involved in creating Rugby X have high hopes for its success.