To explain the rules of Chugby, a sport much maligned as more confusing than extreme keyhole surgery, we must first journey to something we all understand, the rules of the most popular sport in the world, football.
Step 1: Firstly, some rummaging around with the pitch markings. There have been a few minor alterations to the traditional association football pitch. The penalty box is much thinner and a few yards shorter. Just outside the penalty box the ‘D’ has been replaced by a small box just outside. This is surrounded by a larger box. A football style goal remains at either end of the pitch. The purposes of all these different boxes will be explained later.
Step 2: The number of players from each team is reduced from 11 players to 9 players. This is designed to make the game more open. Still remains is a goalkeeper who can only handle the ball within the penalty box. The game is shortened from 2 halves of 45 minutes to 4 quarters of 20 minutes.
Step 3: The first major change is that players are able to handle the ball. Players can catch or pick up the ball and may dribble the ball with their hands by bouncing it. Alternatively, players can dribble with their feet or switch between the two. Players are unable to use their hands within either penalty box, otherwise a penalty or free kick will be given. Players are unable to double dribble with their hands until they have lost possession of the ball.
Step 4: The second big change is that there are two ways of scoring. Goals and Touchdowns. A goal is worth 3 points and cannot be scored with the use of the hands. There is no offside in the football sense. A touchdown is worth 5 points plus an extra 2 points conversion chance.
To score a touchdown a player must volley or half volley the ball with their feet from outside the Touchdown box and must be caught by a player within the Touchdown strip. Drop kicks are permitted. Both attackers and defenders must be outside of the Touchdown strip before the initial kick and must not enter the strip from the goal side as labelled by the red arrow (see diagram below). Players outside of the Touchdown strip are able to head the ball on as part of the movement. Touchdowns can also be scored directly from free kicks, but not from kick-ins. The Touchdown chance is not dead until an opposition player catches the ball or the ball hits the ground.
If a team scores a Touchdown then they are offered a sprint conversion in which a nominated player from each team will sprint from the by-line to the halfway line, if the scoring team wins the race then they will earn an extra two points.
Step 5: Throw ins are replaced by a drop kick into play. Corners are taken as a drop kick from any part of the side line. If the ball hits the bar or post and goes behind the goal then a team is given a penalty corner which is similar to that of field hockey.
Step 6: Fouls are effectively the same as football. However, the card system is different as there is an extra card, the orange card which is between a yellow and red card. The orange card gives a player a 10-minute suspension from the game.
Step 7: Teams are offered 4 substitutions opposed to 3 substitutions.
And that’s it. The seven easy steps to Chugby.