Tactical and technical factors associated with effective ball offloading strategies during the tackle in rugby league.

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Performance analysis examined the attributes of ball offloading in rugby league and the association with try scoring. Every attempted ball offload (N = 5628) during the 2010 National Rugby League season was coded. A ball offload was when an attacking ball carrier while in contact with the defence attempted to distribute the ball to a supporting attacking player. Variables assessed offload type, stability of attacking ball carrier when offloading, proximity to advantage line and offload outcome. Results showed that 57 % of tries were scored as a result of a good offload outcome, where a supporting player did not need to make any postural or line of motion adjustments to receive the ball. Attacking ball carriers were more likely to achieve a good offload when they advanced the ball beyond the advantage line, displayed a stable base of support in the tackle and then used a pop offload to a supporting player. The flick offload technique was an ineffective offloading strategy as it was likely to result in a turnover. The ability of attacking ball carriers to offload the ball in the tackle effectively is an important skill in rugby league and the technical attributes should be emphasised in training.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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