There are different ways to score in rugby and one of the rarer ways to score points in rugby is a drop goal. So what exactly is a drop goal in rugby?
What is a drop goal in Rugby? A drop goal is when a player drops the ball onto the ground and kicks it through the goalposts on the half-volley. You can score three points in rugby this way, at any time during open play.
A drop goal is actually one of the simpler ways that you can score points in rugby. From anywhere on the pitch all you have to do is drop the ball onto the ground and kick the ball through the opposition’s goal posts on the half-volley. If the kick is successful your team gets three points.
It sounds pretty simple but a drop goal is actually one of the rarer ways that points are scored in rugby. That is because it is very difficult to find the space on a rugby pitch to kick a drop goal. It is also a difficult and inaccurate kick as the bounce of a rugby ball is not a given because of the shape of the ball.
The bounce could go anywhere and so the kick is often inaccurate. It is also incredibly difficult to kick a drop goal if you are not directly in front of the posts because the angle is small for the kick.
But if you do kick a drop goal then it gives your team three points and it is occasionally used, especially when the attacking team can’t get closer to the try line. It also helps when they have a very good kicker who can nail a drop goal from anywhere. Drop goals have been kicked from as far as 50 metres away.
When can you drop a goal in rugby?
You can attempt a drop goal in rugby at any point in open play. A drop goal does not have to be kicked from a certain place, the important part is that it goes over and between the posts. This does not mean that players will attempt a drop goal from anywhere on the pitch.
Most of the time, the attacking team will attempt a drop goal when they are in front of the goalposts. This makes the kick a lot easier as a drop goal is a difficult kick because of the bounce of the rugby ball. But still, teams do not often use the drop goal.
That is because teams will usually only use a drop goal when there is the space to attempt one. One common time when drop goals are attempted in rugby is after a goal line dropout because the kicker has plenty of time to receive the ball and attempt the drop goal.
Attacking teams will tactically use a drop goal when they are not getting past the gain line in attack. When you can’t get past the gain line, they will attempt a drop goal instead. It has been used in crucial times to win games and created some iconic moments in rugby history.
How many points is a drop goal in rugby?
In rugby, one of the rarer ways that you can score points is by kicking a drop goal. Still, it is used at times when teams really need it.
A drop goal is worth three points in rugby. This makes it the same value as a penalty kick and the second largest way that you can score points in rugby, with only a try being worth more points.
Can you score an own drop goal in rugby?
Rugby was developed from football, so some of the rules in rugby are similar to those of football. This brings the question, can you score an own drop goal in rugby?
No, you cannot score an own drop goal in rugby. That is because if a player kicks a drop goal through their own posts then it will be a five-metre scrum for the other team. That is because the player has taken the ball out of bounds and back into the in-goal area on their own.
So you cannot score an own drop goal, in a very similar way to the fact that you cannot score an own try either.
Does a rugby drop goal have to bounce?
Yes, a rugby drop goal has to bounce. If a player kicks the ball through the posts directly from their hands then this does not count as a drop goal. Instead, they have just kicked the ball dead out the back of the opponents goal area.
In the rule book, it clearly states that you have to drop the ball onto the ground before kicking it otherwise it does not count as a drop goal. The word drop is in the name because you have to drop the ball to the ground before kicking it.
Who can score a drop goal in rugby?
Technically speaking, any player on a rugby team can attempt a drop goal if they are in the right position. As long as you are close enough to the opposition’s goal posts, there is no designated player on a rugby team who has to kick the drop goal, it can be anyone.
The majority of the time you will see the fly-half be the person who kicks the drop goal. This is because the fly half is usually the best kicker on a rugby team. This is not always the case as the fly half is not necessarily the best goal kicker on a team.
It could be that a scrum-half or fullback attempts a drop goal as they are positions who are often also good at goal kicking even in open play.
How much is a drop goal worth in rugby?
In rugby, if you kick a drop goal it is worth three points. As long as the kick is successful then you get three points for your team. This makes it the second biggest way you can score points, tied with a penalty kick. Only a try is worth more points in rugby than a drop goal.
Why is a Rugby Drop Goal not a knock-on?
Seeing as you need to drop the ball onto the ground for it to be a dropkick, you might think that a drop goal attempt would be a knock-on. But a drop goal is not considered a knock-on because the ball is being dropped straight down. As the ball is not being dropped forwards it is not considered a knock-on.