Lob pass

The lob pass is a handy in rugby games. Valuable when surrounded by opponents and support is close but too close and/or too far behind for a conventional pass.


Good rugby skills - build them from the ground up.

You will make good passes with good handling skills

and when you know your passing basics.

When you use the lob

- in very special circumstances.

You have at least one support player fairly close to you but in a position behind you that makes it difficult to reach them effectively with a normal pass or a spin pass.

You make the pass while still moving forwards with your support trailing you and running at roughly the same pace.

The pass is a gentle lob over one shoulder or the other not actually travelling very far.

You can can throw further out to the side but the further you throw the riskier it becomes.

Weigh up the benefits of the pass and the potential consequences.

Lobbing the ball to your only supporter when close to their try-line is probably worth the risk. You may get a try.

It`s very different from attempting it to one of several supporters near your own try-line - you risk giving away a try!

How to make a lob pass

You usually use two hands but it can be performed one handed if needed.

Lob pass of a rugby ball starting position Lob pass, start

Lob pass of a rugby ball finishing position Lob pass, finish

You push the ball out slightly in front of your body around neck height.

Position it so you give yourself the easiest route to your supporting player, bearing in mind how wide and how far behind the ball must go.

Use a combination of arms wrists and fingers to move the ball the required distance with a lob.

In rugby, situations vary to a huge degree. Practice this pass with your own variations and you are likely to find it very valuable.

You can master this pass alone.

Simply make the pass to an imaginary support player.

Then run and pick up the ball and repeat - many times!

It will also do wonders for your fitness, agility and ball handling.

You could also do it with a wall behind you so you can measure your accuracy, get the ball back faster and do more repetitions in the same amount of time!

Perfect example of a lob pass

Several years after creating this page a perfect example played out in the May 3rd 2013 Chiefs vs Rebels clash at 1:50 in this Youtube clip

Tom English(14), surrounded by 3 would-be-tacklers manages to get away a pass to Higginbotham who does well to score - great try!

If you are wondering about a forward pass, look at Law 11. It`s about the direction the pass is made, not the direction the ball travels.

Higginbotham was behind English - why would he throw it forwards! :)

English was judged to have not thrown a forward pass, presumably because his hands directed the ball backwards not forwards.

Surrounded player gets a pass away Surrounded player gets a pass away

Photo Credit - frame grab from YouTube video linked above

Main points

  • short to medium pass
  • ball passed over your shoulder
  • a gentle lob to fall into path of supporter(s)

  • great awareness of target needed
  • wrists and fingers only propel the ball

Be sure to fit out your passing toolbox. Follow the link and master the other passes you`ll be needing.