It’s not exactly best practice, and no rugby coach will ever teach passing like this, but sometimes it’s necessary to throw something of an unorthodox pass to get the result you want.
While none of these players would ever be considered for the NBA draft – with the possible exception of Wales’ Tomos Williams who played basketball when he was younger – the basketball pass has become a skilful way of finding space on the field.
YouTuber Andrew Forde has compiled some of the best basketball passes from across the globe which, in most cases, are last-case scenarios where no other pass could be deployed.
The great thing about the basketball pass is that it traps defenders who would otherwise have shut down the attacking play. In normal play, it’s not the sort of pass which works as the player is often in a less favourable body position.
Examples of when to best use the basketball pass comes in the first clip, as Elliot Daly passes back inside for Jonny May to score against France. The pass is deliberately sent beyond Daly, who jumps into the air before throwing it back to May, who runs into the space of the last defender Baptiste Couilloud to touch down.
This method is used quite often with these types of passes, where the attacking player is about to be pushed into touch and it’s a fantastically effective way of keeping the ball alive.