Rugby ball

All about the rugby ball. Including dimensions, pressure, weight and how to hold the ball and handle well so you catch, pass and kick the ball skillfully and confidently.

All about the rugby ball

Image of a rugby ball Rugby ball

Make it bounce your way!

I know - It's oval, it bounces strangely, it's unpredictable - or is it?

You can tame it!

If you can, get your own good quality ball because it should

  • feel better
  • look better
  • last longer

  • be more enjoyable to play with
  • be more like the balls in games


Information about the ball.

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Official dimensions

Get to know your ball

Play about, experiment

Have a ball


Rugby balls have official dimensions

You`ll find all the Official details at World Rugby (about the ball)

  • length 280 - 300 mm
  • circumference, long way round 740 - 770 mm
  • circumference, short way round 580 - 620 mm

  • weight 410 - 460 gms
  • the air pressure in the ball at the start of the game must be in range 0.67 - 0.70 kg/sq cm or 9.5 - 10.0 lbs/sq inch

Smaller balls may be used by young players.

Experiment with the amount of air in it when you are able to measure the pressure in the ball.

I have a neat little ball pressure gauge with a needle attached that helps me do this (see picture above).

You'll have enough experience to be able to tell if a ball is at the right pressure even when you can't measure it.

Here's why it's useful to know

  • too soft - hard to catch, too bouncy
  • too soft - hard to kick, foot sinks into the ball, can't kick as far

  • just right - easy catching, passing and control
  • just right - easy kicking, rebounds well from your foot

  • too hard - hard to catch, can damage fingers
  • too hard - too much like kicking a brick, poor rebound from foot

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Get to know your rugby ball

To win games you must score points, so you must have the ball. It`s valuable in rugby games.

Once you get hold of it, treasure possession!

Handle the ball as much as you can.

You`ll soon feel much more comfortable holding and carrying the ball and improve your ability to keep hold of it.

When you`ve finished here, you`ll find a great deal on handling and carrying the ball in the section on core skills.

Improve your knowledge with some of these ideas...

  • carry it around at home
  • outside, throw it from hand to hand...practice a normal pass without letting go of the ball

  • throw it in the air and catch it - ready for catching the high ball
  • throw in the air with one hand, catch with the other
  • hold the ball and do stretching and bending exercises

  • run with it
  • run with it and move it from one arm to the other
  • run with it, throw it up in front and run on to catch it (you would not normally throw forwards but this gives some experience catching the ball while running).

You`ll find exact details and more ideas in the section on core skills.

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Play about, experiment with your ball

Yes, it's a bit unpredicatable, but you`ll improve your ability with the ball when you avoid being annoyed and have fun with it.

You can be like rugby players who control the ball, make the ball do what you want.

They weren't born skillful.

They find out what to do, then practice. Isn`t that what you do?

They might not call it practice so don't you.

They may just say they "play about" a lot to see what the ball does in different situations.

Maybe you can catch well already. If not, visit rugby catching basics.

You pass and kick in different ways. Find out how to make it spin in the air, how to make it roll on the ground.

Rugby passing basics may help you make good accurate passes.

You can find out about spinning the ball for the spiral or spin pass

For how to place the ball when you kick, look at rugby kicking basics.

You learn a lot when you experiment and you remember.

Roll the ball evenly on the ground, by hand at first.
Then do the rolling grubber kick so it is easily grounded to score a try.

Avoid throwing the ball in the air when you kick. Place it accurately onto your foot and you will kick well and get good results.

Then you can go on to the different kicks and how you do them all well. Look for "rugby kicking" in the menu, if that`s what you want.

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Rugby - have a ball

It`s great fun when you play with a rugby ball. Do it a lot and you build valuable experience so you can be confident you will put it all together on the field!

Remember... the most exciting thing you can do when you get hold of the ball is to sidestep!

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