The Third Half, The Best Part of a Match
The Third Time is a tradition that plays on the two formal halves that comprise a rugby match. Rugby is a sport where values have prevailed since its start as a sport and haven’t been lost. The old, traditional way of doing things hasn’t faded, but nowadays some values are beginning to be forgotten, which is, of course, worrying to some vets.
Thankfully, one of the traditions that hasn’t been lost is the third time. Rugby is the only sport in the world that has an official third half that isn’t really play in the court. What’s know is Spanish as Tercer Tiempo, and troisième mi-temps in French, is an opportunity for all rugby players to celebrate. Once the the two 40-minute halves of a rugby match are over, all players will meet again to share food, drinks, and anecdotes with friends and players from both teams.
We all already know the iconic saying, “rugby is a sport of villains practiced by gentlemen, while football is a gentleman’s sport practiced by villains”. The Third Half allows the villain in every player to come out and celebrate, as a gentleman, the victory of the team and indulge in the comradery of rugby in a t relaxed environment.
As we know, rugby isn’t just about scoring, but about exalting certain moral values. That’s why rugby players actually never discuss the decisions of the referee, and is also why during this Third Half, there are no individual celebrations. Instead, every player understands that scoring is a collective achievement, so they all celebrate together, as team.
A lot of people keep thinking that rugby is an aggressive and violent sport, which is an understandable mistake. Rugby does look pretty violent at first sight, and the greatness of the sport isn’t necessarily obvious when watching a match. But those same people would probably change their minds if they got to see the players during third time, the moment they socialize, eat, sing and drink, and truly celebrate friendship. In fact, the point of the third half is to recognize that rugby isn’t about victory but friendship, understanding and respect between the teams. All rugby players know that the values apply on and off the field because rugby is a lifestyle, values are respected on and off the field. Being a great player isn’t just doing a good job on the field, a great player has to also be a respectful person in life off the field.
So all in all the third time since to be a pretty amazing tradition that helps rugby stay the way it’s been, right? Well, some modern clubs seem to be undermining the importance of it, because third halves are being excluded from some official matches. Even the last World Cup failed to have them. Outrageous. Third halves are often the most important halves of a match because they really help players express their passion of the sport in a respectful and noble way without causing trouble for themselves or others. And what’s more, it’s an actual part of the rugby code of conduct. If there’s no third time, there’s no time to remember, celebrate and practice the values of the sport with other teams.