What is it about rugby that turns its players into crazy evangelizing lovers of the sport?
How is it that a sport becomes a lifestyle for its players? Contrary to what it may look light at first sight, rugby is a sport that exalts the moral fiber of those who practice it and promotes a value system where respect is a sacred principle. Moreover, they have a Charter of Principles with 5 values that are practiced, and they really are applied in each game. Let’s see them!
The very first lesson a rugby player learns when starting in this sport is to have a profound sense of respect for teammates, opponents, referees and every person involved in the game, the match, including, of course, the fans. The referee’s words are law. They are not to be questioned. Tensions are left behind in the field, and if things start getting too hot, a way to solve these situations has to be found. That’s why, just after a match has ended, the winners of the match congratulate the losing team and the losing team congratulates the other team for winning.
Besides this, there’s a tradition called “third half”, in which both teams, after the match ends and everyone has showered, share a meal and some drinks. It’s a time to make friends, chat about the match or about other rivals.
Comradeship and solidarity are, if possible, the most exalted values in rugby. A team is either united or comprised of individualistic players and therefor exposed to external factors that can break the party and the energy of the team. In addition to this, it’s said that friendships forged in rugby last for a lifetime, mainly because they are born in a framework of teamwork and loyalty that transcend any cultural, geographical, political, and religious differences.
Rugby, like any other sport, is all about creating a passionate environment, high emotional attachment among the fans and a profound sense of belonging to a large extended family. However, matches are so extremely physical, emotions can run really high, so rugby players have to tread lightly. It’s through discipline and respect that passion is taken only in the most positive sense of the word, forging camaraderie and giving meaning to fair play.
In rugby, players of different states of fitness, skills, genres, and ages have the opportunity to contribute with their own skills to the whole team. It’s the discipline that guarantees that all participants have great knowledge and understanding of the rules and values of the game.
Integrity is another of the basic principles on Rugby practice, and it’s based on honesty and fair play, seems a little odd to welcome an extreme physical pressure on the opponent to get the ball and be considered fair play, but that’s how rugby is. The main difference is that the strength allowed in a match can’t be used to harm a rival willingly or maliciously. So, from the referees to the players, everybody will be playing by this line of thought, and the success of this attitude will boost the fair play of the sport we all love.