The Game

that combines the rules of

‘Rugby League’

and the Laws of

‘Rugby Union’

Rules of Hybrid Rugby incorporating
the Hybrid “SHOT CLOCK”

The Hybrid game combines the ‘rules of Rugby League’ and the ‘laws of Rugby Union’, with the addition of a number of unique ‘Hybrid Rugby’ rules that will enable a Rugby Union side to play a Rugby League side in a proper contest.


When the team in possession is in their own (defensive) half of the field, the game is played in accordance with the rules of Rugby League (‘Play the Ball’). When the team in possession is in the (attacking) half of the field, the game is played in accordance with the laws of Rugby Union (‘Ruck and Maul’).

The unique Hybrid Rugby rules listed below are applied in conjunction with the rules of Rugby League and laws of Rugby Union, hence an understanding of these codes is required.

Thirteen (13) players are allowed on the field at any single time, six (6) forwards and seven (7) backs, with an additional seven (7) reserves.

A try is worth five (5) points; conversions and penalty goals are worth two (2) points; a field goal is worth one (1) point.

A Shot Clock is used to restrict the attacking side to sixty (60) seconds of possession in each half of the field (no tackle counts are used). NB – The average time for a set of six tackles is (48-50) seconds.

Two (2) referees, one from each code, are to umpire Hybrid matches similarly to the NRL style of refereeing currently used in Rugby league.


  1. The team in possession has sixty (60) seconds to cross the halfway line playing League Rules, at which point the Referees will call the change of play to Rugby Laws and simultaneously, the Shot Clock resets. If the side in possession is driven back after having crossed the half way first, or the ball is passed back across the halfway line after crossing the half way, the Shot Clock and ‘Rugby Laws continue until there is a change in possession, a break down, or an infringement.
  2. Teams in attack are required to score or kick during the sixty (60) second period otherwise a turnover and a penalty against the side caught in possession occurs, resulting in a free kick. NB – The player in possession at the end of the sixty (60) second period is the only player permitted to score a try in this phase unless the ball has been kicked prior to the sixty (60) second period.
  3. The Shot Clock is reset after all penalties, scrums and restarts.
  4. Upon recommencement of play, the rules are determined by the field position of the now attacking side.
  5. Under the ‘Ruck and Maul’ rule whereby a team has gained possession from an infringement the advantage is deemed to have been exhausted after two phases of play. The referee will rule at his discretion to resume play at the place of the original infringement or signal play on. (Advantage Rule).
  6. The team of a player who kicks the ball from within his own (defending) half, into touch within twenty (20) metres from his opponent’s try-line, is awarded the throw in at the line out on their opponents (20) metre line. The ball must first bounce in the field of play before entering touch (50/20 Rule).
  7. If the player who has kicked the ball within his own (defending) half, into touch outside the twenty (20) metres from his opponents try-line, then there will be a scrum with the defensive side awarded the throw in, in line with the point at which the ball crossed the touch line, League Rules. The ball must first bounce in the field of play before entering touch, if the ball goes into touch on the full then play will return to where the ball was kicked with a scrum advantage to the defending team, Rugby Laws.
  8. The lineouts will have a maximum of 6 players from each side with ‘No’ lifting in the throw in.
  9. If the attacking team kick the ball into the in goal area and the defending team touches down or the ball goes dead in goal, then the advantage will go to the defending team and play will resume under League Rules. In all other circumstances, knockons or other infringements by the defending team, then play will resume with a ten (10) metre scrum with the loose head and feed going to the attacking team (Rugby Laws. NB – The in goal area will be at least fifteen (15) metres.
  10. Six (6) players (three in the front row, two in the second row and one lock) are to contest scrums, with the attacking side having the loose head and feed. 1:- The ‘crouch, bind and engage’ system applies, with the ball to be fed into the centre of the scrum. 2:- A team in a scrum must not push the scrum more than 1.5 metres toward their opponents goal line. 3:- A team in a scrum must not wheel/screw a scrum past a 45 degree position. (Scrum challenge for the ball Rule).
  11. All starts and restarts of play require a place kick or drop kick then the ball must travel at least 10m in a forward direction. The ball must not be kicked out on the full. If this occurs, a penalty results from where the ball was kicked and the game is restarted under Rugby Laws.
  12. Substitutions are allowed at any time during stoppages, however a player cannot return to the field during the same half or quarter in which he has been substituted.
  13. Penalty kicks at a goal are not included in the 60-second time frame.
  14. There are four twenty minute quarters.
  15. “In the event of a drawn score at full time” there will be an extra 10 minutes each way to achieve a winner by way of a golden try within that extra time. Footnote… A team can not win with a goal (penalty or field) on golden point unless the ten minutes each way of extra time has expired without either team scoring a try.

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