EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Using bonus points

To encourage good passing and receiving, introduce bonus point rules. This works particularly well with younger players.

Start with a point for a particular aspect of the skill. For example, hands out early to receive the ball. Run the game, with three points for and try and a bonus point for the skill until you reach 20 points. Then add in the next stage.

This is my six-stage plan, but you can easily keep to just two or three stages.

StageScore a point for
1The receiver takes the pass early with their hands out.
2The receiver calls for the ball and has their hands out early.
3The passer putting the ball in front of the receiver.
4The receiver calls for the ball, has their hands out early and runs onto the pass, plus a further point for the passer for putting it in front of the receiver.
5All of the above and the ball does not touch the chest/body of the receiver.
6All of the above, plus the passer’s hands point towards the receiver on the pass.

AGE GROUP ADJUSTMENTS

Depending on the age and experience of the players, points can be awarded even if the pass is dropped. The intent was there. Dropped passes are likely to be prevalent when players are working hard to run onto the ball.

With older/more experienced players, say aged 12/13+, you might consider a turnover to the opposition at each of those stages instead of a bonus. So if a player doesn’t call for the ball or put their hands out, it is a turnover. Or you might combine some of the stages. An alternative is to add or take away the number of touches before a turnover.


Time to test this game against my nine questions.

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