Catching the high ball

Catching the high ball is a very useful skill, vital for the full back and wings. You do it well and you are more confident on the field.

It's coming down from the sky!

Some tips are useful for all catches, they are at catching basics.

Catching it is vital

The opposition kicks high to make ground and intimidate opponents.

Their fastest runners are racing towards you to distract you and to regain possession of the ball.

A rugby ball coming down from a good height can bounce anywhere and cause serious problems for your team.

You catch the ball before it bounces to restrict the problems.

This is VITAL!!!

For a long time now you have been reaching out like babies do for things you want.

Just one small change. You reach upwards instead of reaching out.

Eyes open, look at the ball. Really want to hold it.

You will perform well after enough practice.

So do it often enough and you will soon do it well in games and others will consider you are highly skilled.

Practice, practice, and more practice and make sure you enjoy it!

How to catch the high ball?

The ball is kicked high, travels through the air and down towards you.

You have been reading the game so you are well positioned to receive the kick.

As the ball travels towards you, keep your eyes on the ball.

Your brain processes the information combines it with your thoughts of catching the ball and guides you into position.

It does this because, like all those who are highly skilled, you have done it enough previously for your mind to know what is required.

Catching the high ball - reaching up for the ball Catching the high ball

You reach up high towards the ball

  • both hands reaching equally
  • with plenty of time before the ball arrives

  • elbows close to each other in front of your chest to cradle the ball
  • fingers prepared for the catch as developed in handling practice

The instant you feel the ball, you start to "give", taking the shock out of the ball hitting your body.

As you make contact

  • fingers move individualy, forming a cradle
  • arms pull swiftly down towards your chest
  • your chest "gives" because

  • your bending knees
  • turn your legs into shock absorbers

You bring the ball to your chest gripping it with your fingers and enfolding it in your arms.

The only place it`s going now is where you send it or take it.

Time for a counter attack!


You will catch the difficult kicks when you have practiced enough.

Skillful opponents are willing and able to take advantage of any positioning errors.

They kick well and make it difficult to catch the ball before it bounces.

You run hard, you know you will not get there in time but you will be...neeeearly there.

You know if the ball bounces it creates too many problems.

What do you do?

Dive! for the ball.

And catch it ...of course!

If the opposition kicks well you may find chasers (opposition players chasing the ball) put you under severe pressure when you are about to make the catch.

What do you do?

Leap! for the ball

And catch it ...of course!

You`re safe...until you land they can`t tackle you.

It may help if you find out about the rugby mark.

The more you practice the more you will become skillful and it will show!

Kick the ball high for concentrated practice

Sometimes it's a good way to attack and put the opposition under pressure.

Find out how to kick a ball high above the field when you follow the next link.

In rugby it's often called an up and under because you kick the ball high up in the air with your players racing along under it to get to where it will land so you can regain possession.

When you know how to kick the high ball practice this catch by kicking high in your general area and running to catch it.

Until then just hold the ball in two hands, crouch down, then explode upwards, hurling the ball as high as you can - then catch it.

Find other types of catch you can master by following this link...

If you already know all the other catches, maybe you should find out about sidesteps.