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Patrick Leahy

University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge Collegiate Institute

Rugby Skill Test: Catching

Basic Skill Being Assessed​​: Catching/Receiving a Rugby Ball

Grade Level Appropriateness​​: 7-12

Individual or Group Based Assessment​​: Individual

Equipment Required​​: Rugby Balls x 6

Drill Set Up​​: This assessment can be structured into any lesson as a type of learning activity.

One of the benefits of this assessment in particular is that multiple students can participate in the

activity at any given time. One student will be doing the primary activity, catching, but the others

involved will be throwing passes and developing skills at the same time. To set up the activity,

break students into groups of 7 (7 is a good floor number, you could potentially go as high as 12

or 13 if needed). The easiest way to structure the drill is to have one student, the receiver, start

straddling a line. The other 6 students will each have a rugby ball in their hands. Starting 10

yards away from the receiver, the first of the 6 will be standing 5 yards to the left of the line,

facing forwards, ready to perform a lateral pass. 10 yards further ahead, the second student will

be standing 5 yards to the right of the line in the same forward facing position. This pattern

continues of alternating student passers left and right for as many passers are in a grouping.

Diagram included below. The best place to observe this activity from would be on the opposite

side of the gauntlet compared to the runner- have the runner complete the activity running

towards you.
Patrick Leahy
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge Collegiate Institute
Patrick Leahy
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge Collegiate Institute

Assessment Focus Points​​:

1. Students should keep at least a 80% of maximum pace when running the drill.
2. Students should turn their head and track the ball with their eyes throughout the catching
3. Students should extend arms away from the body with fingers and elbows slightly flexed,
absorbing the impact of the ball and bring it into the frame of the body.
4. Students shouldn’t “clap” the football, instead, the catch should resemble a gradual
squeeze between the fingers.
5. This assessment could be focused on several factors, but drops are a clear indicator of a
pattern somewhere along the movement chain.


4 3 2 1 Total
Pace Student maintains Student Pace Student briefly Student does not
80% pace or higher wavers slightly reaches 80% achieve 80% pace
throughout gauntlet below 80% at pace but cannot during the
times maintain gauntlet

Tracking with Student tracks every Student tracks Student tracks Student rarely
Eyes and Head ball into their hands most balls into half the balls into tracks ball into
with head and eye their hands with their hands with hands with head
positioning head and eye head and eye and eye position
position position

Arm and Finger Student extends Student extends Students extends Student catches
Extension arms and fingers arms and fingers arms and fingers ball against body,
away from body for away from body away from body fails to extend
catch every time for catch most for catch half the arms and hands
times time

Catch Mechanic Student cushions Student usually Student claps or Student claps and
ball into hands, no cushions ball into slaps the ball into slaps at the ball to
audible slap is heard hands, occasional hands about half complete catch
slap my occur the time

Drops Student drops no Student drops no Student drops Student catches

more than 1 more than three half of catchable less than half of
catchable pass catchable passes passes catchable passes

Patrick Leahy
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge Collegiate Institute