Published: Sunday, 28 October 2018 00:36
Written by Paul Bergman
Why Should Football Players Play Rugby in the Spring!!
Of course we in the Rugby community think it is the greatest of team sports. We are clearly biased. Here’s why, as a football player, you should use Rugby as your Spring athletic activity:
Ball handling skills – The rugby ball is generally the same shape as a football. Every practice session and game will give you multiple opportunities to pass and catch the ball, because….
In rugby, (offensive lineman and defensive players take note) EVERY player gets to run with the ball. On the football field, this will help you to be more secure in ball carrying and contact situations.
Evasive running - As a ball carrier in rugby, you will be challenged to evade would be tacklers and be given plenty of opportunities to attempt to break tackles.
Hone your tackling skills - Conversely, you will get plenty of practice making close quarter and open field tackles. See below for details on how the coaching and officiating of rugby makes the tackle situation as safe as possible.
Outstanding conditioning – High school games consist of two 35 minutes halves of near continuous play. No huddles. Games are challenging. So are practices to get you ready to play the game well. This will get you in remarkable shape for your summer football camp. Far better than any other spring sport. According to former Hersey All-Conference Two-Way lineman Spencer Krueger, “Rugby 100% improved my conditioning for football as well as improving my tackling technique.”
Driving an opponent backward – This is an important aspect of both football and rugby. It’s one reason football players adapt quickly and perform well in rugby and an why football players improve after a season or two of rugby.
It’s competitive – Teamwork, discipline and performance in pressurized situations characterize both sports. Any ambitious athlete should be looking for any opportunity to develop these character traits.
Click here to hear from a high school football program that benefited greatly from relationship of these two great sports:
Become a successful multi-sport athlete - Some of the most successful college football coaches recognize the benefit of playing multiple sports, Nick Saban of Alabama and Urban Meyer of Ohio State to name just two: http://footballscoop.com/news/value-multi-sport-athletes-hs-coaches-share-players
And you can play rugby in college! Stallions Alumni have gone on to play at these colleges/universities: Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, Iowa, Colorado, St. Mary’s (CA), Illinois State, Wisconsin, Louisville, Davenport, Washington (St. Louis), Charleston, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, Lake Forest and Wisconsin/Platteville.
Sign-Up Day for the 2019 Spring season in January 12 at Camelot Park in Arlington Heights from 9 AM to Noon. Indoor practice starts on January 13th. Call or text 847-845-4982 if you have any questions.
Published: Sunday, 14 October 2018 21:44
Written by Paul Bergman
RUGBY IS NOT FOOTBALL WITHOUT PADS
In 1823, during a soccer match at the Rugby School in England, William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it toward his opponent’s goal. Little did he know that he was about to invent a new sport, Rugby, which would be played around the world and eventually morph into American Football…And little did he know that he was going to get tackled!
History is just a small connection these sports share. Reality is that there are numerous and significant differences, not the least of which are the tackling techniques utilized in American Football and Rugby.
We frequently hear the cliché “Rugby is just football without pads”. This is usually attached to further statements about the level of sanity of those who have taken up our great sport.
There is no debate about the contact nature of rugby. The coaching and officiating of the fundamental elements of the game have served to minimize the risk of injury. It is not the mayhem the novice observer perceives. Here is a summary of these elements:
Head-to-Side tackling technique – The primary core skill in granting a rugby coach certification is his/her ability to teach this skill. The tackler leads with the shoulder with the head directed to the ball carrier;s side and behind the hip, thus taking the head out of harm’s way.
Shoulder drive and arm wrap - The tackler is not allowed to “cross body block” to make the tackle. The arms must wrap the ball carrier to complete the tackle which requires a shoulder and leg drive to be effective.
Legislation of high tackles – Tackling a ball carrier above the upper chest is penalized. Blatant and/or repeated will lead to the guilty party being removed from the match.
Continuity of play – The continuous nature of play in rugby (no huddles) induces a level of fatigue that reduces the speed of players engagement in tackle situations.
Dump tackling is illegal – Picking up and “dumping” the ball carrier is illegal and punished as severly as above the shoulder contact.
No off-the-ball contact – There is no blocking or contact away from the ball carrier. Therefore, there are no blind hits, away from the play, on an unsuspecting player.
Despite these differences, there are similarities and carryover skills and activities that make American Football and Rugby a great combination for the contact sport athlete.
Look for future articles: The Scrum is Not a Mess, How Rugby Improves the Football Athlete and Football, Wrestling and Rugby: A Combination for Success