Course: Level 200 Coach Development


Welcome! If you are reading this paragraph you have already taken the first step towards becoming a certified rugby coach. The sport of rugby has a long standing tradition of encouraging physical fitness, camaraderie, competitive spirit, and most importantly, fun! You can find people who play and enjoy the game in every part of the world!

The growth of the game in the United States is at an all-time high thanks largely to its induction into the Olympic games. Athletes of all shapes and sizes, from a diverse array of competitive backgrounds, are ready to test their abilities in a new sport. Also, the epidemic of obesity among young people has parents, teachers, and administrators eagerly anticipating new and creative options for kids to pick up a ball and run with it. In order to meet this important demand, we need knowledgeable and enthusiastic coaches to help make a difference in the lives of young athletes.


Course Objectives

We at USA Rugby would like to personally thank you for taking the time to commit to learning how to become a better rugby coach. The educational journey you are about to take will help you to provide the best possible sporting experience for both you and all the members of your team.

After completing this course, coaches will be able to...

  • Understand and articulate the history and origin of the game
  • Understand and accept the responsibilities and expectations of managing a program affiliated with USA Rugby
  • Facilitate proper training and match preparation, teach fundamental rugby skills, and lead sessions that are age and ability appropriate, while featuring a game-like approach to fostering player development
  • Articulate the Coaching Process
  • Understand the Coaching Continuum
  • Understand Key Factor Analysis
  • Demonstrate and coach technical aspects of the game (including safety in the contact area, set piece and kicking)

Course Structure

This is the on-line component of the Level 200: Coaching Rugby Contact course. It will provide you with an understanding of the theory of coaching, videos of technical execution, and prepare you to participate in the in-person/on field certification clinic. During the certification clinic portion you will take the information provided in the on-line component and be able to demonstrate and practice coaching in conjunction with your fellow coaches and a trained USA Rugby Course Leader.

Proper preparation as part of this on-line component will allow you to participate confidently in the clinic and will afford you the best opportunity to improve your coaching knowledge and skills.

Level 200 Coaching Certification Clinic Schedule

Session 1: Review

  • Introduction
  • Review of Online Course Content

Session 2: Principles of the Game

  • Principles of Offense and Defense
  • Evasive Running
  • Catch and Pass

Session 3: Contact Skills

  • Going to Ground and Ball Placement
  • Tackle

Session 4: Team

  • Scrum

Session 5: Review

  • Review
  • Questions

Overview of the Game

Rugby is a fun, fast-paced game that anyone can enjoy. It is one of the world’s most popular sports as millions of people play, watch, and support the game. At the heart of rugby is a unique style, which it has retained since it originated over two centuries ago. Through diligence, composure, and mutual respect, all rugby enthusiasts play according to and within the spirit of the laws. Fellowship and a sense of fair play define the game at all levels from the playground to the Rugby World Cup and the Olympic games. A basic understanding of where the game came from and how it is played aids all coaches in comprehending the first unit of the Coaching Rugby FUNdamentals course. Gaining an understanding of the origin of the sport of rugby is essential to communicating how and why athletes should play the game. So where did rugby come from?

Congratulations! Now you know the basic elements of the sport of rugby but remember there is much more to learn. This was a basic recap of the fundamentals of the game; we encourage all coaches to research more, learn the IRB laws and continue their coaching education.


Coaching Management

Coaching has a lot to do with your technical knowledge of the game, but a majority of being in the coaching role is being able to effectively and efficiently manage your team. Everything from parents to practice plans, a coach’s job is never done. USA Rugby is committed to creating better-rounded coaches by providing resources in each avenue of the coaching process. Below you will find some helpful information that is key for coaches to consider as they begin to plan their rugby seasons.

What are the roles and responsibility of the coach?

  • Season team goal setting
  • Individual goal setting
  • Game day organization
  • Risk management
  • Referee interaction
  • Parents
  • Logistics

Interaction with Parents

How do we best utilize our enthusiastic and supportive parents?


Risk Management


If something happened at practice or at a game, would you be prepared? Being aware of your surroundings at all times, knowing your players, being organized and being educated is all part of being a prepared coach. Below are some things to think about, resources and tips for preparing for risk management at all levels.

Things You Should Know

  • Do you have an emergency action plan for all practices and games?
  • Have all players submitted a physical and have a doctor’s clearance to play?
  • Are you and all your coaches certified, registered and insured with USA Rugby?

Tips & Resources

Recognize that as a contact sport, rugby has inherent risks. Be prepared and well versed in the following areas:

  • Coach/Administrator Preparation
  • Player Preparation
    • Fitness, agility & skill level
    • Click here to view a Medical Release Form
    • Click here to view a Medical History Questionaire
  • Potential Safety Concerns
    • Contact with other players and the ground
    • Click here to view an Injury Incident Report Form
  • Other Risks
    • Weather/field conditions

Please feel free to print out any of the clickable resources.