Similar to American football, rugby features two competing teams attempting to score points by touching a large, oval ball to the ground inside the opposing goal or by kicking the ball through goal posts. Players run with the ball until tackled, although they may pitch or kick the ball to teammates who are behind them. While the sport can be physically brutal, rugby coaches can use several fun games to help teach the sport’s necessary skills.
In this variation of the Bangladesh game called Kabaddi, two teams of seven players take to a small field no larger than 35 feet wide and 30 feet long. A line divides the field in half. On the whistle, a player from the offensive team carries the ball into the other half of the field and attempts to touch a defender. Once he touches someone, the ball-carrier attempts to race back to his half of the field and touch down the ball before the defenders can tackle him. Each successful return or tackle earns the team a point.
Designate a large square, measuring at least 30 feet by 30 feet, on the field. Place three defenders in the square and four attackers along each side of the square, with the attacking groups named A, B, C and D. Each attacking group has one ball. When the coach calls out a letter, the respective attacking group races into the box and attempts to evade the defenders and score across the opposite side of the square. Attackers may pass the ball, but they can’t kick towards the goal. The three defenders must work together to try and stop them from scoring, with play ending on a tackle or turnover. Once play stops, the coach calls out another attacking group, and the defenders must brace for another immediate assault.
Designed to teach young rugby players evasive skills, tiger tails requires each player to wear a tail, which can be a plastic flag or simple piece of cloth tucked into the back of his shorts. On the coach’s whistle, the players must run around inside a designated area and attempt to collect as many tiger tails as they can. Whenever a player swipes another tail, he must tuck it into the back of his shorts so it’s once again free to grab. The player with the most tails when the coach calls time wins.
Another fun game for young players, rugby tennis stresses the fundamentals of passing, catching and kicking. Players divide into two teams and occupy opposite sides of the field. The game begins with one team passing the ball amongst itself three times, with the third player then firing a pass over an imaginary tennis net to the other team. The ball must be passed waist high to give the other team a fair chance to catch it. If the ball touches the ground, the passing team wins a point. The ball may also be kicked across for added difficulty.