Knowing a Ruck from a Maul in Rugby

Part of Rugby Union For Dummies Cheat Sheet (Australia/New Zealand Edition)

Sometimes it can be tricky for rugby players — and spectators! — to understand the slight difference between a ruck and a maul. But here’s a simple explanation that should help:

  • In a ruck, the ball is on the ground.

  • In a maul, the ball is generally in the hands of a player.

To put it simply: Off the ground, it’s a maul; on the ground, it’s a ruck.