Rugby terms: Or why most people who say “scrum” are wrong

“Oh, and there’s a scrum along the boards,” a hockey commentator might say.

Not likely. A scrum is organized. Players get in specific positions and try to get the ball back to their teammates behind them. In hockey, a faceoff is as close as you’re likely to get to a scrum.

What’s usually called a “scrum” is much closer to a ruck, which happens within the flow of the game in rugby. Any number of players can get involved in the action — if you’re close to the ball or puck, you jump in.

So to keep it straight:

Scrum: Players form interlocking circles with specific positions, and the ball is put into the fray by someone on the outside.

Ruck: The ball is down, during the run of play, and players contest possession. It can get kind of rough.

Maul: Similar to a ruck, but the ball is off the ground.

Darth Maul: Ball is in the air, and players contest possession with light sabers.

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