Monday, April 21, 2008

A New Position!

I guess it's only fitting that, with a lot of the rest of my life in flux, my rugby position is too! Over the past few weeks I've been starting to learn scrumhalf. It's been very interesting so far to feel the difference between it and my previous positions. Since I started on the wing (with the directive "pass backwards, hit anyone with the ball, and run like hell when Ruth kicks"), I've been steadily moving inwards--I'll be in the front row yet!

In theory, at least from my perspective, it didn't seem like it would be too much of a change. Obviously there are huge differences too, but a lot seemed like it would be pretty similar. Scrumhalves have to read the field to know whether to run a forward punch or get it out to backs or scoot; flyhalves read the defense to call a play that exploits its holes. Scrumhalves follow forwards around; flyhalves follow scrumhalves around. Scrumhalves have to pass the ball; flyhalves should but sometimes don't feel like it :)

There is definitely a huge amount to learn--like how to direct forwards, look for the 10, make sure the ruck is stable, figure out where the defense is lined up, make sure no one is in the channel, and oh right, dig the ball out! It's a little overwhelming, but now that I've played about 1.5 full games there, I think I'm understanding it better. I think I need to be more deliberate and a little less worried about getting the ball out right away. It's all multi-tasking!

One thing that really surprised me is how low to the ground I should be--I guess I play really upright when I'm in the backs. Webby, my scrumhalf sensei, has me doing this knuckle-dragging orangutan thing before I pass off the ground to get me used to getting lower, and Slitty has been giving me lots of little ways to improve my pass. This young grasshopper will learn...and will start watching more rugby DVDs!

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