Saturday, 22 Jun 2024

Rugby League Nines

Rugby League Nines is a thrilling variation of Rugby league football that features nine players per team, as opposed to the traditional 13. The game is played with a shortened match duration of 15 minutes, divided into two halves of 7 minutes and 30 seconds each. Due to its fast-paced nature, Rugby League Nines is commonly played in festivals and is widely popular in Australia, New Zealand, and England.

One of the unique aspects of this game is the allowance for unlimited substitutions, ensuring teams can maintain their energy levels throughout. Scrums in Rugby League Nines consist of three forwards in the front row and two forwards in the second row, making a total of five forwards involved. If a team scores a point, the opposing team restarts the game. In case of misconduct, the referee suspends the game for two minutes.

Recently, a new addition called Powerplay has been introduced. After scoring a try, a team can choose to go for a Powerplay, which is worth four points, the same as a try. Unlike traditional rugby league games, there is no halftime interval in Rugby League Nines. The teams are given one minute to switch ends.

Rugby League Nines is also known by other names such as Nines, Footy, Football, or League. Its governance falls under the Rugby League International Federation. The inaugural Rugby League World Cup 9s was held in 2019, and it is scheduled to be held every four years.

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Rules in place for the 2019 World Cup 9s

The 2019 World Cup 9s featured several specific rules that added excitement to the tournament. These included:

  • Nine players per side, with nine minutes per half.
  • Unlimited interchange, allowing teams to make substitutions freely.
  • Five tackles per set, as opposed to the traditional six.
  • Sin bins lasting three minutes instead of the standard ten.
  • Conversions are drop kicks, with a 25-second shot clock.
  • Introduction of 20/40 kicks and 40/20s, adding new strategic elements.
  • A try scored in the Telstra Bonus Zone between the goalposts is worth five points, instead of the usual four.
  • Drawn matches are decided by a golden try.

Similar Sports

For those who enjoy Rugby League Nines, there are several similar sports worth exploring:

  • Rugby League: A robust game that involves tackling players to gain possession of the ball, with the objective of carrying it over the end line.
  • Rugby League Sevens: A variant of rugby league featuring seven players instead of the standard 13.
  • Wheelchair Rugby League: Played using a wheelchair, this version of rugby league offers an inclusive and exciting experience.
  • Rugby Union: A football code played on a grass field by two opposing teams, featuring two H-shaped goalposts at opposite ends.
  • 9-Man Football: A smaller team version of American Football.
  • Nine-a-side Footy: A mini version of Australian Rules Football, with three players designated as forwards, centers, and backs.


Q: How many players are there in a Rugby League Nines team?
A: A Rugby League Nines team consists of nine players.

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Q: How long is a Rugby League Nines match?
A: A Rugby League Nines match is 15 minutes long, divided into two halves of 7 minutes and 30 seconds each.

Q: What is the significance of Powerplay in Rugby League Nines?
A: Powerplay is an exciting feature in Rugby League Nines where teams can choose to go for a Powerplay after scoring a try, earning four points.

Q: How often is the Rugby League World Cup 9s held?
A: The Rugby League World Cup 9s is held every four years, with the inaugural edition taking place in 2019.


Rugby League Nines is a dynamic and action-packed variation of rugby league football. With nine players per team and shorter match durations, it delivers an intense playing experience that is popular in various countries. The game features unique rules, including unlimited substitutions and the introduction of Powerplay after scoring a try. Rugby League Nines has its own World Cup, held every four years, showcasing the excitement and skill of this captivating sport. Whether you’re a fan of rugby league or looking for a thrilling new sport to follow, Rugby League Nines is sure to provide entertainment and enjoyment for all. Don’t miss out on the adrenaline-fueled action!