An attacking player attempts to evade two defenders
Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.
In rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing team's goal line; this is called a try, and is the primary method of scoring. The opposing team attempts to stop the attacking side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. After each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may also be awarded for penalties, and field goals can be attempted at any time.
The first ever Challenge Cup Final in 1897. Batley are on the left, St Helens are on the right, the Challenge Cup trophy is in the centre. The match was played at Headingley Stadium, Leeds in front of a crowd of 13,492. Batley won the match 10-3.
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||Rugby League was a game whose laws had been codified by workers in the forlorn north of England; miners and mill-workers of Bradford and Wigan, Hull and Warrington, were invaded by that peculiar genius which concerns itself with the serious business of human games, and produced what was the supreme code, a cellular structure composed of thirteen players which mimicked life and art and war so exactly that it became them.
||— A Family Madness by Thomas Keneally|
Hodder and Stoughton, 1986