Today, we all joined the Al Ain Rugby Club, because B has begun playing rugby on the Under-10 team. This has forced both him and me to learn more about rugby, since we knew so little about it. I have enjoyed watching some of the matches on Sportsnet World, but at first it was really confusing, since I didn't realize that there were (at least) two different varieties, Union and League. I kept thinking, you weren't doing that in the last match, why are you doing it now? At least I was ahead of B; he kept calling the game "rug beat". (Competitive Rug Beating - now that sounds like a fun sport to watch. That will be on the Ocho with Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks.)

But after reading the Union (the version that the Al Ain club plays) rulebook, the Wikipedia entry on Rugby Union, and talking with another American at the kid's practices, I think that I have the basics down. Tonight B and I watched the Ireland-France match and only rarely got confused. I know that I don't get the nuances of the game, and I still don't understand all the penalties, but then the announcers seemed confused by some fo the calls too, so I guess that I'm not alone, at least about tonight's game.

It seems weird that in some ways the kids are learning more about British and Canadian culture (via the hockey that they played for a while last year) here than there are about Arabic culture.

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