Most people know rugby as the sport where players are totally allowed to act like barbarians. While there is a rough side to the game, when taught properly to your kids, it could become the most constructive way for them to vent out that aggression and extra energy they always have. However, before you give them a ball and the license to have a go at each other, you need to make sure that they understand all the rules and regulations of the game because otherwise, it will be a complete mess. Here is how you can teach your kids rugby in six very simple steps.
1. Teach Them about the Game’s Origins
One of the oldest theories about the origins of Rugby state that the game started at Rugby School in England. Apparently, a student picked up a ball during a football match and ran off with it. Back then, because the game was seen as extremely rough, the teams would take just about anyone who they could manage to convince to play it. However, as the game gained popularity, conditions about joining teams became more and more stringent. Today, it is possible even to have a successful career as a Rugby player.
2. Help Them Understand the Terms
Every sport has its own set of vocabulary that it comes with. While playing the game at home may not be as technical as the professional matches, it is possible that you will be the referee to most of these games, which means that you will might drop a term which will make your little team stop and wonder what you are trying to communicate. A few of the terms that they at least need to know about include:
- Ruck: this is the point where a tackle happened and players are fighting to gain control of the ball.
- The maul: this is a point in the game when players of one team are supporting one player with the ball and protecting him from the players of the other team, who are trying to push the player to the ground.
- Scrum: this is the formation that the players are ordered to make by the referee when an offense has occurred and needs to be resolved.
- A try: this is what is known as a touchdown in football, it is usually worth five points.
Those are just a few of the terms that beginners need to understand when you the referee is yelling out the instructions to them.
3. Understanding the Field
If the kids are going to be great at the game, they need to understand the layout of the field. You can show them photos and sketches of the field but the best way to help them understand the layout is taking them out to an actual rugby stadium. Even the field at a local high school will be enough to help them learn about all the parts of the field.
4. Picking Positions
Rugby matches come in a number of types, there is the seven a side and the 15 a side tournament. The position that a player gets much like football depends on their strengths as a player. There are players who will take up the forward positions while others will take the back. After assessing the positions, the kids will decide where they can play best and adjust with time.
5. A Trial Run
When you have explained the rules of the game and had the kids pick up their positions, you could take them to the field and have them take part in a trial game. You should expect the first few games to be slow and stop very often as everyone does their best to understand the rules. With time, they will get the hang of it.
6. Refining the Skills
When the trial match ends, you will sit down with the kids and assess their performance. Give them constructive criticism which will help them get better at the game. You could even watch a few professional matches with them, just to help them understand the game.
Training kids how to play rugby will be an opportunity to bond and it could also be the start of a lifelong career for most of them as long as you teach them with patience and persistence.