TOUCH RUGBY VARIATIONS
When playing touch, condition it to focus on a skill. The variations are only as limited as your imagination. The Variations will make your players think more and become more intelligent players. Some examples are below. The approach is to use games modified (or conditioned) with specific outcomes and objectives in mind. Once set up, the coach lets the players play and observers areas that may need improvement or reinforcement.
Touch games are for skill development, running, passing, support etc, so please referee in context. In other words if a team is barging up the park without strings 2 passes together then award the other team a turnover.
There are several variables that can be manipulated by the coach to condition a game to achieve desired outcomes. Some examples of variables would include:
- Dimensions of pitch
- Position of area that can be scored in
- Banning / compelling kicking
- Numbers of players in attach.defence
- Scoring system
- Number of players in the playing area
- Use of a second ball
- Specific roles for certain players
- Time allowed
- Limit what some players can do (ie: no tackles)
- Full contact or touch
- Method of "touch" - 2 hands, shoulder, grip etc
Whole - Part - Whole
This method builds upon the use of conditioned games. The coach stops the game, and uses quick explanations or drills to work on specific aspects of play that needs improvement, before returning to the conditioned game
Referee to the object of the game
1. NEW IMAGE
- 2 handed touch on waist
- Ball carrier has 3 seconds to keep running before having to pass
- Unlimited / limited touches
- Ball turned over when a try is scored or the ball is dropped, intercepted or pass forward
- Play on narrow pitch to encourage straight running and close support
Key Coaching Points
- Look for support before you pass. Sympathetic passes.
- Do not stop running before making a pass
- Support runners timing of run to hit ball at pace. Anticipate the offload.
- Call from support runner.
2. RUGBY LEAGUE TOUCH
- 2 handed touch (below chest or waist)
- Unlimited touches for team with ball
- Touched player stops and plays ball between legs
- Ball is turned over when a try is scored or the ball is dropped, intercepted or passed forward
- Make sure defenders get back at least 5m every time a touch is made
- As above but after 5 touches ball goes over to opposition
4. FIJI TOUCH
- Ball is turned over to opposition after every touch
This version encourages some deep support players for "escape" passes. Encourage Intercepting, can allow a team prepare for a game as well as some frantic throwing around of the ball. When to use this version? Perhaps when you want to prepare a team to play against opposition that are dominant in contact. Could be useful for sevens as well since it pushes players to provide and look for a deep support player to escape pressure.
- After ball touched ball carrier keeps on running
- Ball carrier has to pass or score before touched by a second defender or ball is turned over
6. STAY ALIVE
- When touched, ball carrier goes to deck and pops ball to supporting player
- When touched, ball carrier has to turn and pass to a support player within 2m
- When touched go to deck, 1st support player steps over the ball and the 2nd support player picks and goes or pops
- When touched the ball carrier stays big, next man in, rips and pops
- 2 teams with even numbers of back and forwards
- Backs can only touch backs and forwards can only touch forwards
11. ALL IN TOUCH
- Play any form of touch but the attacking team can only score if all members of there team are inside the 22m area
13. FITNESS & CONDITIONING TOUCH
- Play any form of touch
- Players get sin-binned for being offside, poor passes, poor decisions etc
- They either spend 2 minutes off the pitch or have to perform a fitness exercise while the game continues
- This creates an advantage for the attacking team
14. 15 METER TOUCH
- 4 touches allowed in 15M channels either side of pitch, only 1 touch in middle area. If touched in middle twice - turnover
- Promotes width play & realignment, role of 1st receiver
15. ROUND THE BACK TOUCH
- If a player steps & passes round the back of defender = play on
- If a player is touched with 2 hands square on the chest = down, ball presentation, Clear & play on
16. NAME THAT TUNE TOUCH
- Start with equal numbers. 1 team constantly attacks for 1 - 3 minutes. Every time there is a touch, the touchier leaves the field!
- When the attacking team score how many defenders are on the pitch?
17. COACHING ON THE RUN TOUCH
- 1 coach on each touchline with 1 coach controlling the game. Identify 2x very specific areas of the game you will concentrate on
- Game continues if player does not perform technique correctly then they're sent to 1 off the coaches on the touchline for remedial work then re-introduced
18. NUMBERS TOUCH
- All teams on both sides are numbered and you can only touch you're opposite number
19. RIB TOUCH
- Put one or 2 players in each team in bibs, these players are not allowed to touch opposition - makes teams attack these players (could simulate weak player etc)
20. SIDE LINE TOUCH
- When a player makes a touch tehy have to go to the nearest sideline before they can rejoin the game - gives attack an extra player
21. JACK KNIFE / OFFLOAD TOUCH
- 2/3 players in each team in bibs. On normal touch players go to deck and jack-knife.
- If touched by a player in a bib player goes to deck and can offload - good for lines of support, awareness etc.
- Combination of Offload and Ruck Touch
- If the touch is 2 handed, then the ball carrier can offload and has 3 paces in which to do this. However, if the defender can make a "square on" touch (ie: get his shoulder into the touch) then the ball carrier must go to ground and present the ball as for a ruck.
22, COUNTER ATTACK TOUCH
- Play touch as normal, coach/ref has another ball which he can throw behind the defending team at anytime and tey turn to retrieve ball and become the attackers - works on regrouping, going from attack to defense and vice versa
23. SCRUM HALF PASS TOUCH
- 6 tackles - ball down - scrum half must pass - defenders back 5m
24. SCRUM HALF BREAK TOUCH
- 6 tackles - ball down - scrum half can break - defenders back 5m
25. NORMAL TOUCH
- Unlimited tackles - no ball down, pass immediately after touch tackle - defenders cannot interfere with pass - turnover iff ball hits deck
26. SCRAG TOUCH
- 6 tackles - ball down if scragged (half tackle - more contact) - attackers can break tackles
27. BALL CARRIER ONLY RUNS 5 METERS
- This promotes support running from non-ball carriers and awareness from ball carrier
28. TOUCHIER/TACKLER OUT OF GAME FOR 3 SECONDS
- This creates space on the pitch encouraging attack to exploit the space and defenders to defend space
29. MUST SCORE IN SET PLACE
- Mark out squares inside the in goal area using different colors, the team can only score. This works on defense and the attacks ability to manipulate and move the defense
30. CROSS FIELD KICK
- A cross field kick must be used in each play. This works on defence and the attacks ability to manipulate and move the defense
31. RUCK TOUCH
- 2 handed touches - ball carrier goes to ground presenting the ball as for a ruck
- Two defenders go their knees either side of the ruck; nearest attacker "clears out" the ruck; next nearest attacker acts as half back and makes pass to 1st receiver.
Key Coaching Points
- Ball presentation - "jack knife"
- Clear out - body position "low to high"
- Realignment and decision making
32. CLUSTER TOUCH
- 2 handed touches - ball carrier places ball on floor where touched
- Player who made the touch goes to his knees and all other defenders run in and place a hand on the defender who is on his knees
- On coach's call, the attacker picks the ball up and makes a scrum hand pass to restart the game; at the same time defenders fan out to defend.
Key Coaching Points
- Communication for a drift defense?
- How to work a drifting defense?