By Garic B.D. Warner
Special Teams Coordinator
Marietta High School (OH)
The main concept behind the rugby punt is giving your coverage players additional time to get downfield before the kick. Not every high school team is blessed with a punter with great hang time. The rugby punt allows you to get those precious seconds during the snap to kick interval. The punter must have a consistent launch point, as protection is vital for every punt.
The rugby punt formation possibilities are endless. Here at Marietta High School, we believe in winning special teams play with better fundamentals and effort. The only formation variant we teach is the shield punt. We simply move our wing back to the shield and the gunners to tight end. While the coverage rules don’t change, the protection scheme is a bit different and more in line with traditional shield punt concepts. Below is our rugby and shield punt formations.
Here’s a good look at our rugby punt formation. By this point in our season, our punter had improved his accuracy, so we moved our left gunner in closer to the formation.