Ground pass

The ground pass is a specialist skill in rugby. It is a long pass used mainly to move the ball from low down behind a scrum or ruck to other players on the field.


You play good rugby and pass with great skill when you have good handling skills.It`s important, you know the passing basics.

A specialist pass for the scrum-half

This pass is usually used in one particular set of circumstances.

These circumstances occur when the ball appears at the base of a scrum or ruck.

The ball must be passed to other players on the field, usually the ball will be removed and passed by the scrum half.

Opponents cannot approach until the ball is "out" of the scrum or ruck.

This means the ball has to appear outside, behind the last feet of the players in the scrum or ruck.

So when you are removing the ball you can take advantage of the situation.

Player shows starting position for a ground pass Ground pass starting position

You get set in this ground pass position and get your hands on the ball while it is still "in" the scrum or ruck.

Until you remove it from behind the last feet you cannot be tackled.

With the positioning shown your arms are already wound up ready for a pass.

Best positioning for your leg facing the direction of the pass is to have your heel on the ground toe pointing upwards.

You pivot over your heel and when you are eventually standing your foot will be pointing more directly at your target giving greater accuracy.

How to make the ground pass

Player shows ground pass finish position Ground pass finish position

You simply whip your arms across your body sweeping the ball off the ground in one continuous, fluid movement.

At the same time you pivot over your heel, rise on your legs and twist your body towards the target.

You release the ball and it is on the way to your target usually the fly-half.

Follow through with arms and fingers for greater accuracy.

Advantages of this scrumhalf pass

There are two main advantages to this type of pass.

  • The positioning of your arms and body "wind" them up like a spring allowing you to make a good long pass
  • The positioning of your arms means it it un-necessary to draw your arms back in preparation for passing

This in turn shortens the time it takes to make the pass and gives the receiver valuable time before being faced by a tackler.

Summary of ground pass

  • specialist long pass
  • most suitable for scrum-half or acting scrum half
  • accurate body positioning needed

  • focus eyes and mind on target
  • for accuracy make arms and fingers follow the ball

Make sure you follow through and develop other passes. Expand your passing toolkit when you follow the link below.