Rugby: The Correct Way to Pick Up the Ball

Rugby: The Correct Way to Pick Up the Ball

Dick Moss, Editor

Incorrect Technique for Picking Up the Ball: Head Down, Bending at the Waist, 
Hands at the Side of the Ball
Incorrect Technique for Picking Up the Ball: Head Down, Bending at the Waist, Hands at the Side of the Ball

You'll often see beginning rugby players attempt to pick up the ball while facing their opponents, bending at the waist, and using one hand on either side of the ball. Unfortunately, this puts them in an unbalanced position and makes the ball vulnerable to opponents. Here's a better way.

Picking Up the Ball
    There are several key points to follow when picking up the ball:

  • Players should assume a crouched position, with at
    Better Technique for Picking Up the Ball: Head Up, Bending at the Knees and Hips. Hand Position in Top/Bottom “Scoop” Position
    Better Technique for Picking Up the Ball: Head Up, Bending at the Knees and Hips. Hand Position in Top/Bottom “Scoop” Position
    least one, but preferably both legs straddling the ball.
  • They should position their body so they're sideways to the nearest opponent (not facing the opponent). This protects the ball and provides better stability if they are hit by the opponent.
  • To pick up the ball, players should keep their head up and lower themselves by bending their knees and lowering their hips. This provides more stability than bending forward at the waist and lowering the head.
  • Instruct your players to use one hand to scoop beneath the ball while placing the other hand on top of the ball for support and protection from opponents. The less desirable method of using one hand on either side of the ball leaves much of the ball exposed to opponents, increasing the chance of the ball being dropped due to contact on either arm.
  • Once the ball is in their grasp, your players should bring it into their chest with both hands and determine their next move.


References:
1. Mathew Brown, Patrick Guthrie, Greg Growden, Rugby for Dummies, 3rd Edition, For Dummies Publishers, 2011.
2. “Skill-Handling: Picking up the ball.” and “Common individual skill faults.” From the International Rugby Board Home Page, World Wide Web (http://www.irfb.com/a1.htm).



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