Four Ball Chaos

This game, which is very simple to set up and play, but quite tricky to master, puts many of the basic skills of rugby to the test, which is what makes it such a great warm-up exercise.

What you need for this game

  • 12+ Players
  • 4 Balls
  • 4 Cones

Set up

Use cones to mark out a playing area measuring 15m x 15m, as shown 1.


Play begins and ends on your whistle.

Allow 5 minutes per game.

All players must carry the ball in two hands.

What you do as coach

1. Divide your players into four groups and get them to stand behind the cones at the four corners of the playing area. At the start of the drill, the lead player at cone A has the ball.

On your whistle, the ball carrier runs and passes to the lead player at cone B. After making the pass, he remains at cone B, while the player from cone B runs and passes to the player at cone C, and so on from cone to cone in an anti-clockwise direction.

2. After 1 minute, introduce a second ball at cone C. This ball should travel around the grid in the same manner but in the opposite direction (clockwise).

3. After a further minute introduce a third ball at B. This ball is taken diagonally across the grid to D and handed on to the front man who returns it in the same manner.

Then, after a further minute, introduce a fourth ball at cone A, which is taken diagonally across to C and handed on to the front man who returns it in the same manner.

How you can progress the game

Make the game even more chaotic by decreasing the size of the playing area.

On diagonal runs, allow the ball to be rolled to receiver.

Four Ball Chaos-1

  • Ball moved around area anti-clockwise: A runs and passes to B, B to C, C to D…
  • Brief: Let your players know that although this game seems simple, it won’t work without concentration and communication.

Four Ball Chaos-2

  • After 1 minute, introduce a ball at C and repeat but in clockwise direction.
  • Examine: This game offers a good examination of your players’ core skills. See if those skills hold up as the pace gets frenetic.

Four Ball Chaos-3

  • 1 minute later, introduce a ball at B who runs and passes to D.
  • Repeat from A to C.
  • Note: With many players running in different directions, timing and awareness are key for survival. Note how players cope with the chaos!


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