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Rugby kicking simulator tee

Image credit: Rugby onslaught / Handre Pollard / SA vs Italy

Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jul 04, 2022
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This is a tool that would allow rugby players to practise kicking off a tee without having to be outdoors or having to fetch the ball after every kick or have access to many rugby balls.
This would be a great time-saving tool for kickers. They would be able to practise a kick and immediately set up the next kick, without having to collect the previous ball. It would also make kick training more comfortable as anyone would be able to use it in their back yard/room/office.
It could also be an entertaining challenge for people who would like to have a go at kicking a rugby ball at the posts, but do not play rugby so never find themselves with an opportunity to do so.
How it works
The contraption itself would resemble an American Football kicking tee, but instead of a football being held in place by the tee, it would have a special rugby ball connected to the boom on top of the ball, with the ball resting on a rugby kicking tee just as it would in a game.
When the ball is kicked, it will remain attached to the boom, simply spinning around the socket. This will allow the kicker to replicate his/her kicking action completely, but without losing the ball.
Sensors in the ball, tee and boom (and perhaps special boots) would then plot the trajectory that the ball would have taken on an app or computer program for the user to analyze in order to adjust their technique accordingly.
This would already be a great tool for kickers to gather data on their kicking action, but I'm sure that once the mechanics of the tool have been figured out, it'd be easy to program the system to simulate different obstacles like wind and altitude as well, which would make the tool even more useful.
I did find some research being done into a similar idea for NFL kickers, but their simulation required a lot of equipment to track and analyze the kicker's movement, and as far as I could tell, in their system the ball was actually still kicked away, albeit in a closed environment. Apart from that, I also found these soccer games and this rugby kick simulator which works on the same basic concept, but I'm not sure how accurate those are for training purposes, they do however present an additional market for the rugby kicking simulator idea as a game. Finally, this simulator claims to be accurate enough for training purposes, but still seems to require a fully mobile ball, actually being kicked as well as a lot more setup than the proposed idea.
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