A rugby kick-off takes place when you start or restart a rugby game - know where you kick the ball and why - it`s important!
You start each half with a drop kick from the centre of the ground. You also restart after each score with a drop kick from the centre of the gound. The ball must go at least 10 metres.
In some cases the game is restarted with a drop kick on the 22 metre line. It`s called a "drop out" and can be taken anywhere along the 22 metre line or behind it. The drop kick simply has to cross the line before it can be caught or picked up.
When a kick-off or restart takes place, other players must be behind the kicker when the kick is made.
For the kick-off from the centre of the half-way line you have a number of options
Keep the other side guessing - vary your kick - but make sure your players know where it`s going!
The attacking team knows where the ball is going. The defending team has to guess but is guided by the positioning of the attacking players.
When it`s your kick-off you will tend to kick so as to put the ball in front of the bulk of your forwards. This will improve your chances of regaining possession and reduce the risk of defenders breaking through when carrying the ball back, out towards you.
You also aim to cover right accross the field with your backs. This allows for the odd surprise attack and ensures the opposition have no easy route out of their territory when returning the kick.
All players must be behind the kicker when the kick is made. Then you charge up the field, maintaininng your position relative to your team mates so as to provide a solid defensive pattern.
At the same time you must ensure that you advance at a rate and in a pattern that allows you to guard your own territory from advancing punting or chip kicking opposition players.
Actual player positioning on the ground for a rugby kick-off is normally similar to the pattern of the scrum/backs positioning at scrum time. The attacking team locks will tend to lead the charge for the ball because they are tallest and have the best chance of regaining possession.
A popular ploy is to sent your faster runners after the kick. They leap for the ball and tap it backwards to following support players.
The tap-back can be made at a greater height than an actual catch.
The defending team will tend to mirror the attacking team positioning. At higher levels defenders may be positiond slightly differently so that locks can be lifted to receive the kick.