What Are The Lines On A Rugby Field?

What are the different lines on a rugby field? What do they mean? Get ready to learn about the field lines of rugby.

Solid Lines

The solid lines on a rugby field are the center line, touchlines, goal lines, dead ball lines, and the 22-meter lines.

NOTE: Rugby originated across the pond in England, so the lines are measured in meters.

Center Line

The center line of a rugby field divides the field into two equal sides. It is located exactly halfway between each goal line. The center line is used to define each team’s side of the field and to align each time on a different half at each kickoff. The center line is also known as the “halfway line”.

Goal Line

The goal lines are located 100 meters from each other and mark the target zones (known as “in-goal”) for each team to score tries. In order to score a try, a player must touch the ball to the ground in-goal.

In the center of the goal line sits the goal posts. The goal posts are 5.6 meters wide and at least 3.4 meters tall. The distance from the ground to the top of the bar on the goal post must be three meters. Because the goal posts are on the targeted goal line, they often have padding just in case players run into them.

Touch Line

The touch lines run perpendicular to the rest of the solid lines, marking off the sides of the field. These are more commonly known as “sidelines” in most American sports. The touch lines are 68-70 meters apart and 94-100 meters long. The portions of touch lines that extend past the goal lines are known as “touch-in-goal” lines and form the touch boundaries of the in-goal zone.

Dead Ball Line

The dead ball lines form the back of the in-goal zone, and are the farthest lines apart from each other on the field. The dead ball lines are each 6-22 meters behind the goal lines, and the space in between them is “in-goal”.

22-meter Line

The 22-meter lines are located 22 meters from each goal line. They form “the 22,” a space on the field in between the goal lines and 22-meter lines. The 22 is used for restarting play with a dropkick; the dropkick must cross the 22-meter line. A kick for touch from behind the 22-meter line results in a restart where the ball crossed the touch-line, whereas a kick from in front of the 22 has its own set of rules.

Dashed Lines

In addition to solid lines, rugby fields also contain dashed lines. They run both parallel and perpendicular to the center line. The length of each dashed line is 5 meters.

Types of Dashed Lines

  • 10 meters from either side of the center line
  • During kickoffs, the drop-kicked ball must travel past the 10-meter line
  • 5 meters in front of each goal line
  • 5 meters in front of each touchline
  • These three outermost dashed lines form the “scrum zone”. All scrums will take place inside the scrum zone.                        
  • 15 meters from each touchline
  • The line 15 meters from touch designates where players must stand during a line out.