Rugby: Ball Tag

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Eifion, 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

Pressure Ball

Make sure your warm-up area is marked out before the players arrive. Depending on the number of players you have at training, mark out several warm-up grids. The size of your grid is a suggestion, but around 10 meters x 10 meters. The bigger the grid, the easier it is for the attackers - they have more space. The smaller the grid, the easier it is for the defenders. Break your players into two groups, pads and passers. One third of your players will be passers; the rest will be on the pads. Have one team quickly demonstrate the game to the other players. In each grid have four players on pads, and two passers. You could have more passers; I'll leave this to your judgment. The job of the players on the pads is to put pressure on the ball carrier, to surround them and stop them from passing the ball. The players on the pads are also trying to force the passers to make mistakes e.g. drop the ball, throw a bad pass etc. The passers have to move the ball around the grid, avoiding the pads. Passers can pass the ball in any direction. Players on the pads should have a little fun, and within reason push the passers around a little. You can award points for each successful pass, and points to the defending team on the pads for every occasion when a ball carrier is surrounded or the ball carriers make a mistake. Don't forget to change the players around, and to give players on the pads a go at passing the ball under pressure. Law Variations: You could insist that passers have only 3 second to make their pass, or risk losing a point to the defending team.

Warm Up

Scoring Zones

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 defense. 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.The defence must commit three players to every ruck, or risk an infringement which will see tem pushed back ten meters. The ball must be moved from the ruck within 5 seconds. Make sure that the defense is employing your defensive pattern around the ruck.  Throughout the game the coach call the point of attack e,g, attack RED ZONE or Zone 2. The coach can also call the scoring zone, Score At Zone Yellow or Zone 3. As the game progresses have the players call the point of attack, and the scoring zones - but they must do this early and they must committ to that attack for a period of time. 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! On a mistake or after a period of time, turn the ball over so that both teams get time in attack and defence. 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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