Catching, passing and evasive running with the Ball: Objectives for offense

  • Objectives: to go forward, attack and create space. The ultimate end goal is to score.
  • Responsibilities: organize roles and positioning, pass and catch, run and maintain possession
  • Skills: identify space, identify threats, communicate, field awareness


Coaching tips for offense:

Use the Principles of Rugby to focus your approach; backline play is focused on going forward and the basics of catch and pass.

  • Foster an environment that allows for experimentation and “discovery”
  • All players must have backline skills
  • Build on basic skills and simple patterns
  • Individual backline skills
  • Coach all the players on basics of passing and catching
  • Build the backline by adding other players
  • Add players in roles, create opposition
  • Build into game situation
  • Practice using a small game or game-like situation


Coaching tips for catch and pass: 

  • Run with ball in two hands close to the body. Protecting the ball and maintaining possession are key while advancing down the field toward the try zone. Having two hands on the ball allows for options such as quickly unloading a pass on either side.
  • Appropriate start position for catching or passing is to have depth and distance, outside foot forward so that first step is forward.
  • Pass backwards into space. It is important to follow through with your pass, ending with fingers pointing towards target, extending arms for maximum power.
  • Pass in one motion, reach for the ball (no backswing), pass quickly across the chest. Back hand is all power, front hand is all direction. As you advance into the contact game it is important to pass across the chest this way even if the player is being tackled the ball can still be free to offload.
  • When catching the ball make sure to provide a target, fingers toward the ball providing a target to absorb the pace of the ball. It is useful to have new players receive the ball with their hands in the shape of a W. The W can represent a ‘window’ to allow the receiver to look through their hands or ‘window’ to receive the pass.
  • Make sure you follow through with your pass; a good pass will end with fingers pointing at the target.
  • When receiving a pass remember to run onto the ball and take the pass from space ultimately breaking the gain-line. This is important to go forward down the field.
  • Start with two players stationary practicing a catch and pass, repetition is key. Let them advance to a walk, jog and run progression. After the players are exposed to these key concepts add in more players in a progressive manner building up to a running line.
  • The natural progression from here is to add opposition/defense to allow players to gain understanding of using the basics of passing, catching and running with the ball under pressure.