Two Ball Challenge

A game of quick reactions that promotes the need to switch from attack or defence quickly, and examines both the mindset and the tactics needed to cope with a fast-changing situation.

What you need for this game

  • 20+ Players (10 to 13 per side)
  • 2 Balls
  • 6 Cones


Use cones to mark out a playing area measuring 60m x 40m. Use more cones to mark a halfway line at 30m, as shown 1.


Play two-handed touch rugby.

The ball in possession goes dead on your whistle, at which point the other ball, on the floor, becomes live.

What you do as coach

1. Divide your players into two equal teams: anywhere from 10-a-side to 13-a-side is ideal for this game. Nominate one team to start as attackers and the other as defenders.

On your first whistle, the game begins with the attackers in possession of the ball, taking a tap from their own try line, and with the second ball placed 10m in from the defenders’ try line.

2. On your second whistle, the ball in use becomes dead and is dropped to the ground, and the other ball becomes live. It is then a race to get to the live ball.

3. The first team to gain possession plays on immediately towards their original try line.

You control the game, and on your next whistle, the second ball is left and the teams scramble to get back to the first ball. And so the game continues. There is no stoppage in play, it is up to the players to react quickly.

How you can progress the game

Make the game more tiring for your players by increasing the size of the pitch.

Increase the number of players on each team to add more pressure to the game.

Two Ball Challenge-1

  • On first whistle, attackers tap ball 1 to start.
  • Ball 2 sits 10m from defenders’ line.
  • Observe: Players need to be focused on the game, but also primed to react to your whistle. Look to see who can combine both skills.

Two Ball Challenge-2

  • On second whistle, ball 1 becomes dead.
  • Players race to ball 2, which is now live.
  • Shout out: Let the teams know that when ball 2 becomes live, they must organise and realign quickly to be ready for the next play.

Two Ball Challenge-3

  • The team that reaches the ball play on.
  • Ball 1 becomes live again on next whistle.
  • Note: With ball 2 in hand, do the players who are now attacking communicate and work as a unit to exploit their possession?
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