Rugby

KEY STAGE 1

BEGINNER

Movement and Dodging

In rugby, it is important that a player is able to evade a tackle from their opponent. This section includes activities based on this skill.

Introduction
Place several balls on the floor and other obstacles, such as cones. Ask the players to move around the hall and avoid the obstacles. Demonstrate different foot movements the players can make, for example side to side.

Rugby - beginner Key Stage 1

Game: Tails
Pick two players to be chasers. These two players will wear bibs to stand out. Then give everyone else a 'tail' (this can be a bib or preferably a tab belt with tags). When the game starts, the players with the tails must avoid losing their tails when the chasers are trying to catch them. If a player loses their tail, then they are out. The player left at the end is the winner.

INTERMEDIATE

Ball Carrying

As a rugby ball is a different shape to what many players would be used to seeing, it is good to get them used to handling the ball.

Introduction
Firstly, show the players the importance of holding the ball close to the body, to prevent another player from hitting the ball out of their hands. Give each player a ball and arrange them into two relay teams. Each player will then run for their team when it is their turn. Place a hoop at the end of each run so the players get used to placing the ball down for a try.

Rugby - intermediate Key Stage 1

Game: Touch Rugby
Pick one or two players to be the 'tacklers'. Give everyone else a ball each. When the game starts, the players will need to avoid the two players who are 'tackling' them. A tackle in this game consists of just touching the player, with either one or two hands. The player left at the end is the winner.

ADVANCED

Game

Players have practised dodging and carrying the balls. The game below introduces the players to running from one side of the pitch to the other while holding a rugby ball and avoiding the 'tackle'.

Rugby - advanced Key Stage 1

Game: Octopus
Divide the group up into three or four teams. Each player in the teams will wear a tag belt. Give each team a different colour of tag to wear. Set out two zones at either end of the area using cones. These zones are safe zones and the players must be able to get from one end of the hall to the other without losing a tag. Nominate one team to be the catchers. The players in the other teams will have to run up and down the hall in runs and avoid losing their tails. After three runs, ask a different team to be the catchers. Each time, count how many tails the catcher team have caught. The team that catch the most tails are the winners.

Make it inclusive!

Use a flat, hard playing surface.
Ensure the adult to player ratio is appropriate so that every player has a chance to be involved.
Divide players with difficulties evenly between teams.
Remind players that there is a mixture of abilities on the court and it is important not to run into each other.
Allow wheelchair users and those with difficulties and impairments more time.
Make sure that tackling is restricted to appropriate players and make a rule that others can only hold onto the ball for a certain length of time.
Ensure inclusion by introducing a rule that every player must receive the ball before the team can score a try.

Reduce the size of the pitch for players with mobility difficulties.
Lower the cross bar, if necessary.
If several wheelchair users are playing, they may need to use a bigger ball.
If a player is a wheelchair user, place a belt around the side of their wheelchair (use two belts, if necessary, to fit round) then place the tags on the belt.
Ensure cones do not impede wheelchair users; use flat cones.
Give a player with mobility difficulties more tags as this will give them more chances.
Use a smaller ball or beanbag if players find it difficult to hold the rugby ball.
Use a different shaped ball or beanbag, if necessary.
Introduce a rule that the players are not able to run at certain times, walking only, to ensure some players have a chance.

Demonstrate the game using sign language, such as Makaton.
Pair up with a ‘hearing’ player or an adult who will guide the player with hearing difficulties.
Use a large countdown clock or visual sign to show that game time has started or stopped.
Hold up a sign to show the game has started/ended.
Use visual cues to indicate different events during the game, e.g. half time.

For players with minor visual impairments use a brightly coloured ball that contrasts with the playing surface.
Ensure that team bibs clearly contrast with each other.
Make sure that cones and equipment marking the boundaries of the playing area are brightly coloured and clearly contrast with the playing surface itself.
Use an audible ball (ball that makes a sound) with players who have a serious visual impairment.
Allow an adult or ‘seeing’ player to guide them around the pitch using directions or a hand on their shoulder.
Ensure it is safe for players to make a tackle by removing a tag if a player has a severe visual impairment.

Useful Links

Irish Rugby Football Union irishrugby.ie/club/disability_rugby

KEY STAGE 2

BEGINNER

Tackling

In rugby, it is essential that a player knows how to get the ball from an opponent. This section details how this can be done in tag rugby.

Introduction
Give each player a tag belt and two tags. When the game starts, each player will have to move around the area and attempt to remove another player's tag while making sure that a player does not steal theirs. When the time is up, whoever holds the most tags is the winner.

Rugby - beginner Key Stage 2

Game: Octopus
Divide the group up into three or four teams. Each player in the teams will wear a tag belt and a different colour of tag. Set out two zones at either end of the area using cones. These zones are safe zones and the players must be able to get from one end of the hall to the other without losing a tag. Nominate one team to be the catchers. The players in the other teams will have to run up and down the hall in runs and avoid losing their tails. After three runs, ask a different team to be the catchers. Each time, count how many tails the catcher team have caught. The team that catch the most tails are the winners.

INTERMEDIATE

Passing

In rugby, it is important that the players are aware of the rules for passing and also the best way to pass a ball.

Introduction
Firstly, show the players how to hold a ball and the way to make a pass, explaining that it cannot be passed forward. Separate the players into teams of three or four. Each team will spread across the area. Give the player at the end the ball and ask that player to start with the ball. The team will then move across the area passing the ball across the team.

Rugby - intermediate Key Stage 2

Game: Touch Rugby
Set out two safe zones with cones at either end of the area. Using the same teams of players as above, nominate one team to be tacklers and another team to be the passers. The passers start with the ball and attempt to make it from one end of the area to the other end without being tagged while they have the ball. Encourage the players to pass the ball before they get tagged. Remind players of the need to pass backwards or sideways.

ADVANCED

Game

The players have practised how to pass and how to make a tackle in tag rugby. It is now time to combine both these skills into a small game.

Rugby - advanced Key Stage 2

Game: Tag Rugby
Use small numbers of players for each team, only three or four. This will allow players more time with the ball and also give them more space to run into without being tagged. Set out two try zones at either end of the area. Give each team a set of coloured bibs as well as different coloured tags. Encourage the players to pass the ball and call each other’s names while playing. It is important to try and implement the rule of no forward passing, but if the players are having difficulty with this rule it can be relaxed initially. When a player has been tagged then they must place the ball on the ground and roll it through their legs to a teammate behind them, When the team without the ball has made five tags, then the ball will be turned over to the other team. (Use an appropriate number of tags to suit the ability level of the players — two or three tags may be better for the players before turning over possession.)

Make it inclusive!

Use a flat, hard playing surface.
Ensure the adult to player ratio is appropriate so that every player has a chance to be involved.
Divide players with difficulties evenly between teams.
Remind players that there is a mixture of abilities on the court and it is important not to run into each other.
Allow wheelchair users and those with difficulties and impairments more time.
Make sure that tackling is restricted to appropriate players and make a rule that others can only hold onto the ball for a certain length of time.
Ensure inclusion by introducing a rule that every player must receive the ball before the team can score a try.

Reduce the size of the pitch for players with mobility difficulties.
Lower the cross bar, if necessary.
If several wheelchair users are playing, they may need to use a bigger ball.
If a player is a wheelchair user, place a belt around the side of their wheelchair (use two belts, if necessary, to fit round) then place the tags on the belt.
Introduce a rule that the players are not able to run at certain times, walking only, to ensure some players have a chance.
Use a different shaped ball or beanbag, if necessary.
Ensure cones do not impede wheelchair users; use flat cones.
Give a player with mobility difficulties more tags as this will give them more chances.
Use a smaller ball or beanbag if players find it difficult to hold the rugby ball.

Demonstrate the game using sign language, such as Makaton.
Pair up with a ‘hearing’ player or an adult who will guide the player with hearing difficulties.
Use a large countdown clock or visual sign to show that game time has started or stopped.
Hold up a sign to show the game has started/ended.
Use visual cues to indicate different events during the game, e.g. half time.

For players with minor visual impairments use a brightly coloured ball that contrasts with the playing surface.
Ensure that team bibs clearly contrast with each other.
Make sure that cones and equipment marking the boundaries of the playing area are brightly coloured and clearly contrast with the playing surface itself.
Use an audible ball (ball that makes a sound) with players who have a serious visual impairment.
Allow an adult or ‘seeing’ player to guide them around the pitch using directions or a hand on their shoulder.
Ensure it is safe for players to make a tackle by removing a tag if a player has a severe visual impairment.
Give players with severe visual impairment the opportunity to make a tracing a bright line for them to follow on floor using tape and not allowing other players to tackle them.

Useful Links

Irish Rugby Football Union irishrugby.ie/club/disability_rugby

KEY STAGE 3

Game Development

Introduction

This game can either be played as tag rugby or touch rugby. It is important to ensure the players’ safety at all times. Therefore, tackling is not advised until the players are at an appropriate age and level. To score a try, the team with the ball must reach the other team’s try line and ground the ball within six attempts. One attempt will count as a player with the ball having their tag removed or touched.

Inclusion and Accessibility
While we would like all pupils to be included in Physical Education along with the others in their class, this is not always possible when it comes to playing the full version of the sport.

If a pupil has physical disabilities that mean they cannot safely take part in the game along with the other pupils in their class, then this pupil should be given the opportunity to take part in other physical activity. For example, a class could be split into groups, with some pupils practising the drills and others playing the game. The smaller group could practise the skills needed for the sport, or for the disabled version of the sport, alongside the rest of the class. These smaller groups would work in rotation, giving everyone an opportunity to play the sport and practise their skills.

Alternatively, some pupils may prefer to do a physical activity that they are particularly interested in, for example practising the drills needed for a sport they play outside of school.

Rugby - Key Stage 3

Tips

  • Divide the group up into teams of four or five players, so that the players will have more touches of the ball and more space in the area.
  • Use an area of appropriate size for the rugby pitch, depending on the group’s ability.
  • Remind players that they cannot pass the ball forward, but perhaps this rule could be relaxed initially to allow the game to flow.
  • To include all players, use a rule that all players must be passed to before a try can be scored or allow certain players to start with the ball.
  • Ensure the time set for each half is suitable for the age and ability of the players.
  • Allow players who are of a lower ability to operate in a 'tackle free zone' marked out by cones.

Make it inclusive!

Use a flat, hard playing surface.
Ensure the adult to player ratio is appropriate so that every player has a chance to be involved.
Divide players with difficulties evenly between teams.
Remind players that there is a mixture of abilities on the court and it is important not to run into each other.
Allow wheelchair users and those with difficulties and impairments more time.
Make sure that tackling is restricted to appropriate players and make a rule that others can only hold onto the ball for a certain length of time.
Ensure inclusion by introducing a rule that every player must receive the ball before the team can score a try.

Reduce the size of the pitch for players with mobility difficulties.
Lower the cross bar, if necessary.
If several wheelchair users are playing, they may need to use a bigger ball.
If a player is a wheelchair user, place a belt around the side of their wheelchair (use two belts, if necessary, to fit round) then place the tags on the belt.
Introduce a rule that the players are not able to run at certain times, walking only, to ensure some players have a chance.
Use a different shaped ball or beanbag, if necessary.
Ensure cones do not impede wheelchair users; use flat cones.
Give a player with mobility difficulties more tags as this will give them more chances.
Use a smaller ball or beanbag if players find it difficult to hold the rugby ball.

Demonstrate the game using sign language, such as Makaton.
Pair up with a ‘hearing’ player or an adult who will guide the player with hearing difficulties.
Use a large countdown clock or visual sign to show that game time has started or stopped.
Hold up a sign to show the game has started/ended.
Use visual cues to indicate different events during the game, e.g. half time.

For players with minor visual impairments use a brightly coloured ball that contrasts with the playing surface.
Ensure that team bibs clearly contrast with each other.
Make sure that cones and equipment marking the boundaries of the playing area are brightly coloured and clearly contrast with the playing surface itself.
Use an audible ball (ball that makes a sound) with players who have a serious visual impairment.
Allow an adult or ‘seeing’ player to guide them around the pitch using directions or a hand on their shoulder.
Ensure it is safe for players to make a tackle by removing a tag if a player has a severe visual impairment.
Give players with severe visual impairment the opportunity to make a tracing a bright line for them to follow on floor using tape and not allowing other players to tackle them.

Useful Links

Irish Rugby Football Union irishrugby.ie/club/disability_rugby