Please note these rules are based on the FEDERATION INTERNATIONAL TOUCH (FIT) - there are a few small changes - it is your team's responsibility to learn the rules.
Reporting team scores
Referees will be keeping track of scores and will report them withing 2 days of game night. Team Captains are encouraged to keep track of their scores so they can double check the website once scores are posted.
Games will be officiated. The referees will be keeping track of time and scores. Without them, there is no league, be respectful at all times.
The Field of play is rectangular in shape and measures approximately twenty-two (22) metres by forty-five (45) metres. The playing surface is field turf, therefore running shoes and turf shoes are the only acceptable forms of footwear.
All participating players are to be registered with the team they represent. Teams playing unregistered or unauthorized players will forfeit such matches.
Mode of Play, Duration and Scoring
Object. The object of the game of Touch is for each team to score trie and to prevent the opposition from scoring.
Mode of Play. The ball may be passed, knocked or handed between onside players of the attacking team who may in turn run or otherwise move with the ball in an attempt to gain territorial advantage and score. Defending players prevent the attacking team from gaining a territorial advantage by touching the ball carrier with TWO HANDS (or the ball in the ball carrier’s possession). Either defending or attacking players may initiate touches upon which, play stops and is restarted with a RollBall, unless other rules apply.
Duration. Each match is eighteen (18) minutes in duration. There is no halftime break – only enough time for the teams to switch ends. Any teams more than five minutes late for their scheduled start forfeit the match.
End of Play. When time expires play stops immediately UNLESS a major infraction was called immediately before the expiration of time. If that is the case, time continues for another minute or until the attacking team loses possession (whatever occurs first).
Scoring. A try is awarded when a player in possession of the ball (without being touched and other than the half) crosses or places the ball over the team's attacking scoreline (for safety reasons, it is not necessary to touch the ball down, only break the plane of the scoreline). A try is worth one (1) point.
Wins & Losses
Game points are awarded in competition matches as follows:
WIN: 3 POINTS
DRAW: 2 POINTS
LOSS: 1 POINT
FORFEIT: 0 POINTS
A team consists of a maximum of fifteen (15) players, with a minimum of five (5) registered players, At least three (3) and no more than five (5) are on the field at any time.
If more than five (5) teammates are on the field at one time, a restart of the touch count occurs (if the offender was the defence) or a change of possession occurs (if the offender was the attacking team) at the position of the ball at the time the offence is identified. Play is restarted with a RollBall.
Should the number of players on the field from one team fall below three (3), the match is finished and the non-offending team is declared the winner by default (score: 5-0).
Players may substitute at any time and as many times as they wish. Physical contact must be made between interchanging players.
If physical contact is NOT made and an unfair advantage is gained, a restart of the touch count occurs (if the offender was the defence) or a change of possession occurs (if the offender was the attacking team) from the where the substituting player entered the field. Play is restarted with a RollBall.
Commencement & Recommencement of play
Toss. The attacking team (decided by a coin toss, rock/paper/scissors (wolf does not beat everything), cowboy/indian/bear, etc) is to start the match with a tap at the center of the halfway line following the indication to commence play. All players of the attacking team are to remain in an onside position until the ball has been tapped. If attacking players are offside, a change of possession occurs at the centre of the halfway line. Play is restarted with a RollBall.
The Tap. The tap is taken by placing the ball on the ground at or behind the mark, releasing both hands from the ball, tapping the ball with either foot and retrieving the ball cleanly. Any player of the attacking team may take a tap and they become the "Half".
Defending Team. All players of the defending team are required to retire a distance of not less than three (3) metres from the mark for the tap. Defending players may move forward of their positions once the ball has been tapped with the foot.
Recommencement of Play. For the recommencement of play following a half-time break, teams shall change directions and the team losing the toss is to start the half with a tap at half.
For the recommencement of play following the scoring of a try, the team against which the score was made is to recommence play with a tap at half.
There is to be a minimum delay between the scoring of a try and the recommencement of play (The team taking the tap does not have to wait for the defending team to be set).
Kicking. The ball cannot be kicked or played with the foot except when taking a tap or a Rollball. The half may use the foot to control the ball. If the ball is kicked, the non-offending team gains possession at the position where the ball made contact with the foot. Play is restarted with a RollBall.
RollBall. A RollBall is done by an attacking player standing on the mark, facing the opponent (defending) scoreline, and will roll the ball backwards along the ground. Any other player of the attacking team may receive the ball from the RollBall and thus become the half.
The half is not to delay picking up or gathering the ball. The player who performs the RollBall is not permitted to obstruct or otherwise prevent the defending team from gaining possession or effecting a touch on the half. The half may pass or run with the ball. However, the half may not score, s/he must pass to a teammate before crossing the scoreline. If the half is touched, the ball is turned over and the team gaining possession will perform a RollBall. If the half crosses the scoreline, the ball is turned over and the team gaining possession will perform a RollBall three (3) metres infield from the scoreline.
Defending Team. All Players of the defending team are to retire a distance of not less than three (3) metres from the mark for a RollBall. Players of the defending team are not permitted to move forward of the three (3) metre position until the half has made contact with the ball. If the defending team is intentionally offside, the attacking team is rewarded by having the touches start at zero again.
Voluntary RollBall. A player in possession is not to perform a RollBall unless a touch has been effected. The non-offending team gains possessions at the mark where the RollBall occurred and restarts play with a RollBall.
A “touch” is defined as a TWO HANDED touch (including on the ball) between an attacking and defending player. Players of both defending and attacking teams are to use the minimum force necessary to make a touch. An attacking player may not push off a defending player to avoid being touched with a second hand. More than the minimum physical force to effect a touch will be dealt with severely.
Ball knocked from Hands. If the ball is knocked from the hands of a player in possession during a touch, the touch counts and the player retains possession, and they are required to perform the Rollball. The touch count continues, unless it is the sixth (6th) touch.
Actions Following Touch. After a touch has been effected, the player in possession returns to the mark where the touch occurred and performs a RollBall or if the over-run is minimal the player may roll it back so the half takes it from the mark. The attacking team will be warned to return to the mark, if they do not comply, the ball will be turned over. Defending players are not to interfere with the player in possession or otherwise prevent the immediate RollBall, after a touch is made. When a touch has been effected or for a change of possession following the 6th touch, a player is to perform a RollBall.
Passing after Touch (Touchpass). A player is not to pass or otherwise deliver the ball after a touch has been effected. If it occurs, the non-offending team will gain possession and restart play with a RollBall.
Touched While Scoring. On the rare occasion a player places the ball on the ground on or over the scoreline or the ball crosses the plane of the scoreline at the same time a touch is effected, the touch counts and a try is not awarded.
Touch on Offside Defender. Should a player in possession effect a touch on an offside defender who is making every effort to retire and remain out of play, the touch is to count. If the player in possession is the half, change of possession results.
Claimed Touch. A player must not claim or otherwise call for a touch unless a touch has actually been effected. If the claim gives an unfair advantage to the defending team, a touch count restart is awarded to the attacking team where the touch is claimed
Intentional Contact by Defender. If the ball goes to ground following a defender's attempt to gain possession, the attacking team retains the ball and the touch count restarts. This also applies if the defending player deliberately knocks the ball to the ground. The mark where the Rollball occurs is where the ball first pitches.
Intentional Contact but not to Ground. If a defending player touches the ball in flight and the ball is retrieved by an attacking player, play continues and the touch count continues.
Intentional Contact and Touched again by Attacker. If an attacking player attempts to gather the ball after a deflection by a defender and the ball goes to ground, the attacking team retains possession and the touch count continues.
Rebounds but not to Ground. If the ball rebounds from a defending player who has not made an attempt to retrieve the ball and the ball is regained by an attacking player, play on and the touch count continues.
Touches. The team with the ball is entitled to six (6) touches prior to changing possession with the opposing team.
Changeover procedure. Possession changes due to the sixth (6th) touch or the loss of possession due to any other means, players of the team losing possession are to hand, or pass the ball to the nearest opposition player, or place the ball on the ground at the mark without delay. Attacking players who request the ball are to be given the ball.
Ball to the Ground. If the ball is dropped to the ground a change of possession results. The mark for a change of possession is where the ball first pitches. Play is restarted with a RollBall
Mishandled Ball. If a player mishandles the ball and providing the ball does not go to ground, play continues.
Intercepts. Intercepts by onside defending players are allowed. Following an intercept, play continues until the first touch is effected, a try is scored, or a stoppage occurs as a result of other actions.
Forward Pass. A player in possession is not to pass, flick, knock, throw or otherwise propel the ball in a forward direction. If it occurs the non-offending team is awarded possession at the mark where the infringement occurred. Play is restarted with a RollBall.
Passing into Opposition. A player who passes the ball at or towards a defending player and thereby causes the ball to go to ground shall lose possession. However, if the defending player attempts to catch the ball or play at the ball and the ball goes to ground, the attacking team retains possession. Play is restarted at the mark where the ball goes to ground with a RollBall. The touch count is restarted.
Ball on or over Sideline/Scoreline
On or over Sideline. The ball becomes dead when it touches or crosses the sideline (touches the sidewall) and a change of possession results. The team NOT responsible for the ball touching or crossing the sideline restarts play with a RollBall three (3) metres infield from where the ball touched or crossed the sideline. A player that touches the sidewall is considered out of bounds. If a player in possession of the ball is touched while the ball simultaneously crosses the attacking scoreline the touch counts.
Actions near Defending Scoreline. An attacking team is not required to Rollball within three (3) metres of the defending scoreline. After each touch the player in possession may move forward to the three (3) metre line to Rollball.
Actions near Attacking Scoreline. When a touch is effected within three (3) metres of the attacking scoreline, a player in possession must move directly behind the mark a distance of three (3) metres from the scoreline to restart play with a Rollball. The defending team must stand on their scoreline.
Attacking Team. A player in the attacking team is offside when that player is forward of the player who has possession or who last had possession. In general play, offside attacking players who interfere with play should be penalised (change of possession).
Attacking Player Offside at Tap. Attacking players are to remain onside at a tap until the ball has been tapped. If this occurs, change of possession at the mark.
Defending Team. A player of the defending team is offside when the following rules are infringed:
(a) At the commencement and recommencement of play.
(b) At the RollBall.
(c) At the tap for a penalty.
(d) Offside at a quick RollBall or tap.
A count restart is awarded to the attacking team in accordance with the above rules when offside occurs.
Attacking Team. Players of the attacking team are not to obstruct defending players from attempting to effect a touch. A player in possession must not run or otherwise move behind other players in the attacking team in an attempt to avoid a touch. Obstruction here is defined as a deliberate attempt by an attacking player to gain an unfair advantage by preventing a defending player from effecting a touch. If this occurs, possession is giving to the defending team and play is restarted with a RollBall.
Defending Team. Players in the defending team are not to obstruct or otherwise interfere with the attacking players supporting the player in possession. If this occurs, a restart of the touch count is awarded at the mark of the infringement providing the stoppage is not to the disadvantage of the attacking team.
Discipline & Player misconduct
Any player may be dismissed for a period of time, the remainder of the match or the remainder of the season following any misconduct. The organizers may choose to allow the offending team to replace the dismissed player or have them play short. The severity of the penalty is up to the discretion of the organizers.
Frequent Infringements. A Player who continually breaches the playing rules is liable for dismissal. Team captains are responsible for the conduct of players in their respective teams and should be aware that undisciplined players are disruptive to the spirit of the game.
Dismissals. Any player may be dismissed as follows:
(a) Period of Time. A player dismissed for repeated infringements or any offence requiring more than a penalty is to move from the field of play. The dismissed player cannot be replaced.
(b) Remainder of match. A player dismissed after any previous `Period of Time’ dismissal, or for an offence such as gross misconduct or a dangerous act is to take no further part in that match and is to move to and remain not closer then ten (10) metres from the scoreline. The dismissed player cannot be replaced and that player shall receive an automatic two (2) match suspension and may incur further penalty as deemed necessary by the organizers
Penalty Try. A penalty try will be awarded if any action by a player or spectator deemed by the organizers to be contrary to the rules or spirit of the game, prevented the attacking team from scoring a try.
Misconduct. Players guilty of misconduct will be penalised and could be excluded from the match. Misconduct includes:
- Continual breaches of the rules;
- Bad sporting behaviour;
- Using physical force in making a touch;
- Attacking the head of an opponent;
- Any other action which is not in the spirit of the game.
The Tie Breaker Drop-Off: For play-offs only
When the match is tied at full time, the game goes to sudden death (that is, the first team to score a try wins), each team will reduce their playing strength by one on-field player.
At the conclusion of five (5) minutes of extra time, each team will then reduce their on field strength by another (1) player. Once the teams have been reduced to only three (3) players each, the match will continue until a try is scored (at 10 minute halves).
Should a player be sent off for the remainder of the match when teams have only three players each, the offending team will forfeit the match.
Unless the contrary intention appears, the following definitions and terminology apply to the game of Touch:
Attacking Team is the team, which has possession or is gaining possession of the ball.
Attacking Scoreline is the line on or over which a team has to cross (break the plane) to score a try.
Behind means in a position or direction towards a team's defending scoreline.
Dead Ball means when the ball is out of play and includes the period following a touch until the ball is brought back into play at a Rollball, the period following a try or penalty, until the match is recommenced, and when the ball goes to ground and/or outside the boundaries of the field of play.
Defending Scoreline is the line, which a team has to defend to prevent a try.
Defending Team is the team without possession of the ball.
Deliver means to part with the ball.
The Half is the player who takes possession of the ball behind the player who performs the Rollball or a player who performs The Tap
Field of Play is the playing area bounded by the sidelines and Try Zone lines, both of which are out of bounds.
Forward means in a position or direction towards a team's own attacking scoreline.
Full Time occurs at the expiration of the normal time allowed for play.
Mark (For a Touch) is the position where the attacking player in possession of the ball is at the time of the touch.
Mark (For a Tap) is the centre of the halfway line for the commencement or recommencement of play, or the position where a tap is awarded as a result of an infringement.
Offside means in a position forward of the ball for an attacking player and in a position liable to penalty for a defending player.
Onside means in a position whereby a player may legitimately become involved with play.
Rebound occurs when the ball deflects from or makes contact with a player other than the player who first had possession.
Rollball is the normal act of bringing the ball into play following a touch or a change of possession.
Scorelines are the lines separating the Try Zone from the field of play.
Sidelines are the side boundaries of the field of play.
Tap is the method of commencing the match, recommencing the match after half time and after a try has been scored. It is also a method of recommencing play when a penalty is awarded.
Touch is contact on any part of the body between a player in possession of the ball and a defending player. A touch includes contact on the ball, hair or clothing and may be made by a defending player or by the player in possession.
Try is the result of an attacking player, except the half, placing the ball on or over the team's attacking scoreline or crossing the plane of the scoreline.
Try Zone is the area bounded by the sideline, scoreline and Try Zone Line.