Rugby League like other sports has its own "jargon" used to describe certain aspects of playing the game.

Often a number of different names are given to the same action and, of course, many terms have their origin in the rules of the game. It is hoped that through the use of a standard terminology, communication and understanding will be improved between teachers, coaches, players and officials.


Accidental Strike when a ball strikes a player who makes no attempt to play at the ball.

Acting Half Back the person behind the play the ball situation (also referred to as dummy half).

Advantage allowing the advantage means allowing play to proceed if it is to the advantage of the team which has not committed an offence or infringement.

Attacking Team is the team, which at the time has a territorial advantage. If a scrum is to be formed on the halfway line the team which last touched the ball before it went out of play is the attacking team.


Back as applied to a player means one who is not taking part in the scrum.

Ball Back means to form a scrum where the ball was kicked from after it has entered the touch on the full.

Behind when applied to a player means, unless otherwise stated, that both feet are behind the position in question. Similarly 'in front of' means nearer to one's opponent's goal line.

Behind Ball a ball which is passed behind one optional runner to another.

Blindside means the side of the scrum or of the play the ball nearer to touch.

Bomb refers to a high kick.

Breach any accidental or deliberate non-compliance with the rules.


Charging Down is blocking the path of the ball with hands, arm or body as it rises from an opponent's kick.

Chip Kick a short weighted kick usually over the top of the defensive line.

Converting a Try is the act of kicking a goal following the scoring of a try..

Corner Post is a post surmounted by a flag placed at the intersection of each touch line and goal line. The post shall be of non rigid material and shall not be less than 1.25m high. The corner posts are touch in goal.

Counter Attack Transition - the opportunity to launch an attack after a period of defending.


Dead Ball means that the ball is out of play.

Defending Team is the team opposing the attacking team.

Differential Penalty differs in one respect from a Penalty Kick in that a goal cannot be scored from it.

Double Marker the two players allowed to oppose the 'play the balls' situation.

Drag and Drop 'drag' is to run and pull a defender out of position, 'drop' is the pass made to a player running a 'hook line'.

Drift a running line 'drifting' across your opponent.

Drop Goal sometimes referred to as a Field Goal, is a goal scored by propelling the ball over the crossbar by drop kicking it.

Drop Out means a drop kick from between the posts or from the centre of the 20 metre line when bringing the ball back into play.

Dummy is the pretence of passing or otherwise releasing the ball while still retaining possession of it.

Dummy Half the person behind the play the ball situation (also referred to as acting half back).


Face Ball a ball that is passed across the front of one optional runner to another.

Field of Play is the area bounded by, but not including, the touch lines and goal lines

Forward means in a direction towards the opponents dead ball line. As applied to a player it means one who is at the time packing down in the scrum.

Forward Pass is a throw towards the opponent's dead ball line.

Foul Play refers to the various types of misconduct resulting in infringements of the Laws of the Game.

Free Kick is the kick awarded to the team, which kicks into touch from a penalty kick. The kick is taken 10 metres in from touch opposite the point of entry into touch. The ball may be kicked in any manner in any direction but a goal cannot be scored from it, nor can ground be gained by kicking into touch on the full.

Full Time means the end of the game. Also referred to as No-side.


General Play refers to all aspects of play after a match has been started or restarted by a Place Kick, Drop Out, Penalty Kick, Free Kick or Scrum.

Goal is the act of converting either a try or penalty kick.

Grounding the Ball a) Placing the ball on the ground with hand or hands, or b) Exerting downward pressure on the ball with hand or arm, the ball itself being on the ground, or c) Dropping on the ball and covering it with part of the body above the waist and below the neck, the ball itself being on the ground.

Grubber Kick a kick into the ground that rolls point over point along the floor.


Half Time means the end of the first half of the game.

Hand Over is the surrendering of the ball to the opposition after a team has been tackled the statutory number of successive times.

Heel is when a player propels the ball behind him/her with the sole or heel of his/her foot.

Hook is the act of the hooker when he strikes with a foot for the ball in the scrum.

Hook Line a running line to receive the ball inside the ball carrier that is running across the face of the defence.


In-Goal the area bounded by the goal line, touch-in-goal lines and dead ball line.

In Possession means to be holding or carrying the ball.

Inside Ball refers to a pass being turned back inside, opposite to the direction in which the ball was traveling.


Kick means imparting motion to the ball with any part of the leg (except the heel) from the knee to toe inclusive.

Kick-Off the method of starting each half of the game.

Knock On means to knock the ball towards the opponent's dead ball line with hand or arm.


Loose Arm is an offence by the hooker if he/she does not pack into the scrum with both arms around the neck of the prop and front row forward.

Loose Ball is when during play the ball is not held by a player and not being scrimmaged.


Mark is the point at which a penalty kicks or free kick is awarded or a scrum formed.

Mutual Infringement the reason for the stoppage in play is not the fault of either team.


Obstruction is the illegal act of impeding an opponent who does not have the ball.

Offloading passing the ball out of the tackle.

Off Side as applied to a player means that he/she is temporarily out of play and may be penalised if he/she joins in the game.

On Side means that a player is not off-side.

Open Side means the side of the scrum or the play the ball further from touch.

On the Full means the ball is kicked over a given line or is caught by a player without first coming into contact with the ground or another player.

Out of Play refers to a player out of play at the restart of play.

Overload getting more players around the ball than the opposition.


Pack refers collectively to the forwards of any one team. To pack down means to form a scrum.

Pass is a throw of the ball from one player to another.

Penalise is to award a penalty kick against an offending player.

Penalty Kick is awarded upon infringement to the non offending team.

Place Kick is to kick the ball after it as been placed on the ground for that purpose.

Playing Area is the area enclosed by the fence, or other such line demarcation, which prevents encroachment of spectators.

Playing Field is the area bounded by, but not including the touchlines and dead ball lines.

Play the Ball is the act of bringing the ball into play after a tackle.

Pop Pass a short weighted pass.

Prop is the front row forward nearest to the scrum half putting the ball into the scrum.

Punt is a kick whereby the ball is dropped from the hand or hands and is kicked before it touches the ground.

Put-In also known as FEEDING THE SCRUM is the rolling of the ball into the scrum.


Ruck refers to all players involved in and around the tackle and subsequent play the ball.


Scrum - Where a team loses the advantage of the 'Loose Head' and 'Put-In' the scrum is said to be awarded against the team.

Shoulder Charge - is where a defender, without attempting to tackle, grab or hold the ball-carrier (or any opposing player) using the arms or hands, makes direct physical contact with the shoulder or the upper arm (tucked into the side). (Refer Section 15)

Static Passing passing whilst in a stationary position.

Strike as applied to the foot means to attempt to secure possession of the ball, usually by heeling it, in a scrum.

Switch changing the direction of a pass or the direction of play.


Tackle the act of bringing the ball carrier (opposing player) to ground.

Touch Down in the grounding of the ball by a defending player in his/her own in goal.

Touch-in-Goal See section 9 of the laws below.

Touching the Ball in all aspects of play 'touching the ball' refers to deliberately playing at the ball.

Try in the grounding of the ball by a attacking player in their opponents in goal area.

Twenty Metre Restart a kick taken at the centre of the 20 metre line to restart play, the ball may be kicked in any manner and in any direction.


Upright Tackle is where a player in possession is effectively tackled without being brought to the ground.

Unload the Tackle getting off an opponent after making a tackle.


Voluntary Tackle is where a player in possession voluntarily stops play when not effectively tackled.


Zero Tackle means the tackle is not counted in that set of six tackles.