Rugby Illinois is the governing body for Rugby Union in the state of Illinois at the high school and younger level under the national jurisdiction of USA Rugby and the global jurisdiction of World Rugby.
Rugby Illinois is organized exclusively for fostering national and international amateur rugby competition, combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency and contributing to the health of the youth of Illinois through sponsoring and conducting programs dedicated to the promotion of physical activity and fitness purposes.
Rugby union football (often referred to as simply rugby or union) is an outdoor sport played by teams of 15 players with a oval-shaped ball. It is one of the two main forms of full-team rugby, the other being rugby league. There is also a quicker seven-a-side sport called rugby sevens, which exists in both rugby union and rugby league derived forms.
The game was developed from the rules used to play an early form of football at Rugby School in England, hence the name. The crucial differences from association football (soccer) are that in rugby the ball is a prolate spheroid instead of a sphere and the players are allowed to pick the ball up and run with it. The players may kick the ball, and also are allowed to throw (pass) the ball from player to player, but unlike in American (gridiron) football they may not throw it forward, the ball must only go backwards or laterally when thrown or passed.
Rugby union has established itself throughout the world as a highly popular sport, particularly in Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Romania, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga, Uruguay and Wales. Rugby union is also gaining popularity in Italy, following its acceptance into the Six Nations, and Japan, which will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
World Rugby (formerly the International Rugby Board or IRB), founded in 1886, governs the sport worldwide and also publishes the game’s laws and rankings. There are currently 95 full members and eight associate member countries. According to World Rugby figures, rugby union is being played in over 100 countries spanning six continents by men and women of all ages. World Rugby controls the Rugby World Cup, the Women’s Rugby World Cup, Rugby World Cup Sevens, World Rugby Sevens World Series, Under 21 World Cup, Under 19 World Championship, and the Super Cup. It holds votes to decide where all of these events shall be held, except in the case of the Sevens World Series. For that competition, World Rugby contracts with several national unions to hold individual events.