There are several types of passes in rugby but for this Instructable we will learn the most common and the most important of the passes. Usually when throwing the ball you are trying to move the ball fast and accurately across the field. With this Instructable and some practice you should be able to complete a beautiful pass that hits its target.
Note: In these instructions there are pictures that show both throwing to the left and right. The directions will explain how to throw the ball to the left.
Step 1: Hand placement
The first step in determining your hand placement is deciding which way you are going to pass. For people who are right handed, throwing left will be the easiest direction because your dominant hand will be delivering the power. Your other hand, the left hand, will be used to guide the ball.
When throwing the ball to the left your back hand, the right hand, should be placed on the back third of the ball. Your left hand should be placed on the front third of the ball. Notice in the picture how the back hand is on the outside of the ball and the front hand is on the inside. This hand placement allows you to have a firm grip on the ball at all time so that if you are hit just before attempting to pass you will be able to hold onto the ball.
Step 2: Having a strong base
Your stance should start with your feet shoulder width apart and directly underneath you. As you pass the ball from a stand still your feet will stay in place. Your back foot will pivot in place as your hips and torso twist. Allowing your back foot to pivot will allow your hips and torso to follow through your pass.
If you are having troubles getting distance out of your throws there are a few simple drills you can do to increase your pass distance. This first drill is to do simple sit ups and crunches. This will increase your core strength. Other drills that will increase your pass distance include working your oblique's and hip flexors. This will increase the velocity of your pass.
Step 3: Spinning the ball
Placing a spin on the ball allows the ball to move through the air with more accuracy. Beginners should focus more on their swing and hitting the target instead of the spin. The spin will naturally develop as you get better at swinging the ball and hitting your target.
As you swing the ball from right to left you will see that your right hand started at the back of the ball and on the outside. As you begin to swing the ball across your body your right hand will begin to rotate from the outside of the ball over the top and into the inside of the ball. This natural twist will begin to put a spin on the ball.
At the end of your swing just before you release the ball you should be able to rotate your wrists to add extra spin to your ball.
Step 4: Throwing to a target
When starting your pass you want to start with the ball on the side opposite of the direction you are passing too. Then swing the ball across your body using your torso, hips and shoulders.
As the ball crosses your body you want to keep the ball as parallel to the ground as you can. If the balls path is at an upward angle the ball will float through the air and have a good chance of being intercepted. Your arms should be slightly bent at the elbows as you swing across your body and be fully extended when you release the ball.
When your body twists to throw the ball your back foot should pivot on the ground. This will allow your hips and torso to follow through with your pass.
Most passes thrown in rugby will be to someone who is running forward. This means that when you pass the ball you will have to lead the runner so that they can run onto the ball without slowing down.
Step 5: Releasing the ball
As you get to the end of your swing and are about to release the ball your right hand should be providing most of the throwing power and spin on the ball. The left hand is only there to guide the ball in the direction you desire.
To practice your release you can hold the back of the ball with your hand of choice and practice throwing the ball with one hand to a partner. Your partner should stand about a yard or two away and practice spinning the ball with your wrist. For this drill most of the throw should come from the wrist and not from your arm. This drill will help build up the muscles in your wrists and also help your coordination.
Like with anything the more you practice the easier it will be. Start with shorter passes until you have an accurate pass and good form.