How to deflate a rugby ball

Written by joe faulkner-edwards | 13/05/2017
How to deflate a rugby ball
Take care not to damage your ball. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Deflating your rugby ball will save space when storing or transporting your ball. Knowing how to correctly deflate your football will prevent the inner rubber bladder from being damaged and increase the longevity of your ball. Incorrect deflation could lead to a broken needle or a punctured rubber bladder, rendering your ball unusable.

Locate your inflation needle. If you do not have a needle, buy one that's the correct size for the valve on your ball. Most needles are universal in size, but you can take your ball to the shop to ensure the proper purchase.

Find the ball's valve, which is a small hole surrounded by a narrow circle of rubber. It is usually in the centre of the ball just above or below the laces.

Dampen the needle with water or saliva. This will act as a lubricant to make the needle slide in easily.

Insert the needle at a perpendicular angle to the ball. Push the needle in until you hear the hissing sound of air coming out. Hold the ball between your knees or feet. Keep the needle straight and the ball steady to prevent the needle from breaking.

Squeeze gently to deflate the ball.

Slowly remove the needle once the desired deflation level has been reached.


Keep the needle in an easy-to-remember place between uses.

Things you need

  • Inflation needle
  • Football

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