rugby, game that originated (1823), according to tradition, on the playing fields of Rugby, England. It is related to both soccer and American football. The game is said to have started when a Rugby School student named William Webb Ellis playing soccer picked up the ball and ran downfield with it instead of kicking it. Other English schools and universities adopted the style in the mid-19th cent. In 1871 the English Rugby Union was formed to standardize the game. Rugby was introduced (1875) into the United States, but faded as football developed. In 1895 an argument in England over paying players led to a split between groups of clubs and two forms of the sport have existed since: the professional game (now called Rugby League) with 13 players per team; and the more widely played amateur Rugby Union, with 15 players. The rules differ slightly, but the basic idea for both is the same. The rugby field is roughly 160 yd (146 m) long and 75 yd (69 m) wide, with goal lines 110 yd (101 m) apart and two in-goals (corresponding to football's end zones) 25 yd (23 m) deep. A halfway line divides the field, which is further subdivided by other lines parallel to the goal line. The goal posts have measurements similar to those used in American football, and the ball, although larger and more rounded, is similar to the American football. Players may kick, carry, or pass (to the sides or to the rear) the ball; though tackling is permitted, blocking is forbidden. Unlike American football, rugby features almost continuous play; after penalties and out-of-bounds plays, however, a scrum (in which the two opposing lines of forwards kick the ball thrown between them) starts play again. Various points are scored for carrying the ball into the opponent's in-goal (a try), conversions (kicking the ball between the goal posts after a try), field goal kicks, and penalty kicks. A rugby match is in halves of 40 min, and may end in a tie. Sevens is a form of rugby with seven players on each side and halves of 7 min (10 min for a championship or series final), but the field and most other aspects of the game are similar to regular rugby; there are Rugby League and Rugby Union versions of sevens. Since 1987, when rugby World Cup matches were first established, nations have competed for the Webb Ellis Cup, named for the sport's supposed founder; outside the British Isles, the sport has been popular in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, and Romania. It has gained a measure of recent popularity as a club sport in American colleges, sometimes played in the spring by football players.

See R. Williams, Skillful Rugby (1980); K. Quinn, The Encyclopedia of World Rugby (1991).

Rugby is a city in Pierce County, North Dakota in the United States. It is the county seat of Pierce County. The population was 2,939 at the 2000 census. Rugby was founded in 1886.

Rugby is often billed as being the geographic center of North America.


Rugby was founded in 1886 at a junction on the Great Northern Railway, where the spur to Bottineau met the main line. The railroad promoters initially named it Rugby Junction for the famous railroad junction in Rugby in Warwickshire, England in the hope of attracting English settlers. In fact about 80 percent of the population is of North Germanic and Scandinavian ancestry. When the community became a city the Junction was dropped from the name.

North Dakota's first permanent settlers arrived in 1812 from the Earl of Selkirk’s colony in neighboring Manitoba, Canada. As farmers, they were more advanced than many of their contemporaries in the rest of the United States, having adopted sophisticated farming methods and machinery. Many of these implements, including an early McCormick Deering threshing machine, have found their way to the restored Pioneer Village in Rugby.

In 1931, the town of Rugby erected a 15 foot (4.5 m) tall rock obelisk marking the "Geographical Center of North America". This was moved to a slightly different location in or after 1971. According to a listing by the United States Geological Survey, Rugby is actually approximately 15 miles (25 km) from the geographic center of North America (6 mi/10km west of Balta), and even this designation carries no official status.


Rugby is located at (48.367129, -99.995979). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.0 km² (1.9 mi²), all land. Rugby claims to be the geographic center of North America and a monument stands in the city to signify this. The monument features flags of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,939 people, 1,291 households, and 765 families residing in the city. The population density was 588.0/km² (1,520.1/mi²). There were 1,434 housing units at an average density of 286.9/km² (741.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.09% White, 1.02% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.03% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.44% of the population.

The top 6 ancestry groups in the city are German (49.6%), Norwegian (40.5%), Irish (5.3%), English (4.0%), Russian (3.7%), French (3.6%).

There were 1,291 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 37.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 28.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,482, and the median income for a family was $35,745. Males had a median income of $25,885 versus $18,510 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,380. About 9.6% of families and 13.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of those age 65 or over.


The city of Rugby is served by Ely Elementary School and Rugby High School. Little Flower Catholic School is also in Rugby.

Sites of interest

  • Rugby Golf Club - a nine-hole golf course located east of Rugby. It measures from the back tees.
  • Geographical Center of North America - Rugby is located in the geographical center of North America. There is a cairn marking this by the Cornerstone Cafe.

See also


External links

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