Rugby: Ball Tag

Sportplan rugby has played a large role in my team's love for the...
Heather, Rugby Coach

DESCRIPTION

Make sure that you have your warm-up area marked out before your players arrive, it's important that you get them working right away.

  • You can decide to play this game in smaller grids, or a larger playing area with the entire team. If using small grids, they can be 10 meters x 10 meters - and mark out as many as you need depending on the size of your team.
  • If playing in a large area with the entire team, have two players working as taggers. The rest will be attackers - running around the playing area trying to avoid the taggers/defenders.
  • If playing in a smaller area, have 2 defenders/taggers and 6 attackers. Give the taggers/defenders a ball each.
  • Keep your law briefing, brief! It's important to get the players working as soon as possible.
  • Tell the players that the two players with the balls will be chasing and looking to tag the rest of the players.
  • If you get tagged, you join the taggers team. Play the game until all players are tagged.
  • The last two players tagged, become the first two taggers for the next game.
  • The ball cannot be thrown.

COACHING POINTS

You don't need to focus on all or any other the following coaching points; you may have some of your own! If you do decide to use the following, pick the ones that match your training goals for this session.

  • Attackers move, changing direction in order to avoid contact and attack space.
  • Ball carriers carry the ball in two hands.
  • Communication between attackers identifies defenders, their location etc.
  • Attackers work to draw defenders away from attackers that may be getting cornered.
  • Attackers use changes in foot speed, spin, and sidesteps to avoid contact.
  • Defenders work together to isolate attackers.
  • Defenders communicate to identify attackers and close them down.
  • Defenders methods and communication becomes more sophisticated e.g. working in a line, moving up together etc. If using tags, defenders remove tags.
  • There should be evidence of teamwork on both sides.
  • Players respond to what they see and what they hear.
  • Players think about is happening now, but also about what might happen next.

PROGRESSION

Tag Rugby Variation: Play the same game, but make sure all the players have tags. Each player that's doesn't get touched by a ball has two lives - two tags. They keep running until either touched by the ball (they have to remove both tags), or have both tags removed by a defender who has been taged with a ball.

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MORE Warm Up DRILLS

Flip It

Be brief when telling the players the laws of this game, it's important to get them moving quickly. This is not a contact game. Break your players into two teams, giving each team their own colour of bibs if necessary. One team goes to attack, and one to defence. Nominate a Scrum Half for each team. There is no kicking in this game. Normal laws of rugby apply e.g. a forward pass will result in the ball being turned over to the opposition. If an attacking player is touched: they must go to ground, present the ball, two of their teammates ruck over (staying over the ball), and the Scrum Half moves the ball for the next phase of attack. When you start playing this game make sure that the defence is employing your defensive pattern around the ruck. As the game develops consider telling the defenders that they must have one or more players at the back of the ruck, if they are not fast enough to do this - push them back 10 meters. It’s important that defenders are employing their defensive pattern behind the primary defensive line. Have attacking players do what they normally would at the ruck. Depending on your goals decide on the number of touches you wish to allow e.g. unlimited is not a bad option as mistakes will be made! When you feel the time is appropriate, usually during a ruck, blow you whistle and should FLIP IT – kicking in or throwing in a second ball to the back 3/2 defenders on the team currently in defence OR just kick it behind the defenders. The defensive team goes, without hesitation, into attack. The team that was attacking goes into defence and you or an assistant coach remove the other ball from play when you can. Ideally you might have two balls with different markings. Don't hesitate to shape the game to focus on your session goals, and let us and other coaches know what worked for you!

Warm Up

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