Have you heard people use the term ‘conversion’ when talking about rugby? If you’re not sure what that is, we’ll help explain. Today we’ll discuss what a conversion is, how to maximize your chances of successful conversions, and how they compare to extra points in football.
What is a conversion kick in rugby?
One of the key aspects of rugby is the ability to convert points after scoring a try. Converting a try involves kicking the ball over the crossbar and between the two uprights.
Conversion kicks are worth two points. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at conversions in rugby, including how they work and what strategies teams use to maximize their success.
The basics of conversions
When a team scores a try, they are awarded five points. To add to their score, they have the option of attempting a conversion kick. To be successful, the kicked ball must pass between the two posts and over the crossbar. If successful, the team that scored the try will be awarded an additional 2 points, bringing their total score to 7 points.
The conversion kick is taken by a designated kicker on the team, usually the player with the best kicking skills.
Location of conversion kick
The conversion kick is taken from a spot perpendicular to the point where the try was scored. The exact location of the kick depends on the position of the try-scoring player when they touched the ball down.
If the try is scored in the middle of the field, the conversion kick is taken from a spot in line with the spot where the ball was touched down. If the try is scored closer to one of the sidelines, the kick is taken from a spot parallel to the try line and in line with where the ball was touched down.
Drop kick vs place kick
A drop kick is where the ball is dropped onto the ground and kicked on the bounce, while a place kick is where the ball is placed on a tee and kicked from a stationary position. The choice of kick depends on the preference of the kicker and the conditions of the pitch.
Maximizing conversion success
Converting a try is an important part of rugby, and teams will often develop strategies to maximize their chances of success.
Touching the ball down in the middle of the field
Touching the ball down in the middle of the field after scoring a try can help with the conversion kick in rugby because it allows the kicker to take the kick from a more favorable position on the field.
As we mentioned earlier, the conversion kick is taken from a spot perpendicular to the point where the try was scored. If the try is scored in the middle of the field, the conversion kick is taken from a spot in the center of the field.
If the try is scored closer to the sidelines, the kicker may have to take the kick from a difficult angle, which reduces the odds of making the kick.
In addition, scoring a try in the middle of the field also means that the kick will be taken from a point closer to the posts, which can increase the chances of a successful conversion.
One strategy is to have a dedicated kicker who is responsible for all conversions. This player will spend extra time practicing their kicking skills and will be prepared to take the kick as soon as a try is scored.
Another strategy is to have multiple kickers on the team who can take conversions. This provides more flexibility and allows the team to choose the best kicker depending on the conditions of the pitch and the position of the conversion mark.
Teams will also practice their conversion kicks from different parts of the field and in different weather conditions to prepare for any situation that may arise during a game. This includes practicing in windy conditions, which can make the ball more difficult to kick accurately.
The Rugby Law that dictates conversions
The rugby law that dictates the conversion kick in rugby is Law 8: Scoring. This law defines the ways in which points can be scored in rugby, including the conversion kick after a try.
A couple detailed rules that are included in this law:
- For any goal to be successful, the ball must be kicked over the crossbar and between the goal posts without first touching a team-mate or the ground.
- If the ball goes over the crossbar and over the height of the goal posts, the kick is successful if it is deemed that the ball would have gone between the goal posts had they been taller.
- If the ball has crossed the crossbar and the wind blows it back into the field of play, the score stands.
These scenarios don’t usually come into play, but it’s always good to know just in case!
Rugby conversions vs extra points in football
The rugby conversion kick and the extra point in football (also known as American football) are both attempts to score additional points after a team has scored a touchdown or try. However, there are some key differences between the two.
Firstly, the value of the kicks is different. In rugby, a successful conversion kick is worth 2 points, while the extra point kick is worth 1 point. Also, in football the team also has the option to attempt a 2-point conversion by running or passing the ball into the end zone.
Location of the kick
Another difference is the location from which the kicks are taken. In rugby, the conversion kick is taken from a spot perpendicular to the point where the try was scored, while in football, the extra point is kicked from the 15-yard line.
Additionally, the style of kick is different. In rugby, the conversion kick is taken using a tee or a drop-kick. In football, the extra point is kicked while another player holds the ball in a vertical position.
Overall, while both the rugby conversion kick and the football extra point are attempts to score additional points after a touchdown or try, they differ in value, location, and technique.
We wrote a whole article on Rugby vs American Football to explain the similarities and differences between the two sports.
Conversions are an important part of rugby and can make a significant difference in the outcome of a game. Teams that are able to convert their tries consistently are often more successful than those that struggle with their kicking.
By developing a strategy for conversions and practicing their kicking skills, teams can maximize their chances of success and gain an edge over their opponents.