Definition of play-the-ball in English:

play-the-ball

noun

Rugby League
  • A move restarting play after a tackle, in which the tackled player heels the ball from the ground, with opponents in specified positions in front of him and a member of his team behind.

Origin

1950s; earliest use found in The Observer. From play + the + ball.

Pronunciation

play-the-ball

/ˌpleɪðəˈbɔːl/