The outcomes of place kicks can have a large impact on Rugby Union match results. This study investigated the ball orientations used in place kicking and their potential implications for success. All 416 place kicks from the 2019 Rugby World Cup were grouped into one of three ball orientation categories, and predicted odds of success were calculated for each category using a binomial logistic regression which accounted for situational factors known to affect performance outcome. Kicks taken using a slanted orientation (n = 152) had the greatest odds of success (90.0%) when taken from the mean tournament distance (29.7 m), compared to a near vertical (n = 116) orientation (84.4%), and near horizontal (n = 148) orientation (86.8%). A further investigation into the impact characteristics associated with each ball orientation is required to better understand the relative merits of each.
Jones, Sam; Ball, Kevin; Peacock, James C. A.; Heffernan, Shane M.; and Bezodis, Neil E.
"THE BALL ORIENTATIONS USED BY PLACE KICKERS AT THE 2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP AND THEIR ASSOCIATIONS WITH KICK SUCCESS,"
ISBS Proceedings Archive: Vol. 38:
1, Article 83.
Available at: https://commons.nmu.edu/isbs/vol38/iss1/83