Kicking Calculator for Distance and Hang Time

Kicking from hand, kicking to touch, a punt, it goes by many names. It's a rugby skill that is essential for backline players, particularly the back three and halfbacks. You can also use our calculator to figure out your kicking velocity/angle based on your measured distance and hang time on kicks.

Enter the initial velocity of the ball in meters per second and click the button to see the punting distance and hang time for every 5 degrees from 0 to 90.

Studies have shown Elite kickers can have initial ball velocities of 28 to 30 m/sec. Amateur and youth players will have numbers less than that. A good way to get an estimate is measure the distance and hang time of your punts and then use the calculator to find the velocity and angle that give similar results. The optimum angle for distance is 45 degrees.


Example of a kick with a 5.4 second hang time and a 65 yard (60m) distance by an elite kicker. Using the calculator it would be estimated the initial ball velocity was around 29 m/sec and the angle was just over 65 degrees.


I asked AI to write HTML/Javascript code to calculate the distance and hang time on a ball given the initial velocity. I asked it to produce a table that made the calculation every 5 degrees from 0 to 90. It took about 30 seconds to generate the code which only needed a minor tweak from a human, me, to get it working properly. I was impressed.

The calculator doesn't factor in real world conditions like wind but gives you an idea in ideal conditions what distance and hang time you can expect given an initial ball velocity in m/sec. Increasing the initial ball velocity on your kick is another subject and includes hitting the sweet spot on the ball, leg speed, leg mass, and technique.

Further Reading

Socratic kicking question

How Rugby Can Benefit from Improved Kicking Technique

Ball Impact Dynamics in the Punt Kick

Quora kicking question

Posted in Front Page, Science.