Defense with Flags
To have players understand the process of playing with flags and execute smart flag pulls.
What to Coach
There is a four step process when making a full defensive flag pull. This process keeps players safe and will help players learn the progressions when transitioning to tackle rugby.
Step 1: Provide a demonstration that walks players through the four steps:
- Defender removes ball carrier’s flag and yells, “FLAG!” to communicate the flag pull.
- Ball carrier can take up to three additional steps after a flag pull before passing to a teammate. Ball carrier then passes to a teammate.
- Defender returns the flag to the ball carrier and then returns to play.
- Ball carrier replaces the flag on their flag belt and then returns to play. Both players are out of play until the flag is returned.
Step 3: Have players work in pairs to practice the process of pulling a flag. Begin by having players remain stationary and then advance to walking and running.
Step 4: After each player practices the progressions play 3 v 3 Keep Away Rugby and have players practice real time flag pulls.
- Have players play Flag Fury and focus on making proper flag pulls.
- Play Freeze Tag, using flag pulls as the way to freeze a player.
- Incorporate flags in games like USA Eagles in order to add a more advanced progression.
- Make sure all flags are clearly visible and worn properly.
- Make sure players are yelling “FLAG!” loud and clear every time they pull a flag.
- Double check to make sure players are putting their flags back on correctly.
- Make sure players always return their opponent’s flag before returning to play and are not throwing flags on the ground.