Playing Rules for Touch

1) The Ball

The ball must be passed backwards or directly sideways always.  A forward pass results in a penalty to the other team.

A touch and pass, when a touched player passes the ball after the touch, results in a penalty.

2) The Touch

A touch can be made on any part of the body, ball, clothing or hair. Minimum force is to be used at all times. The team in possession is entitled to six touches.

3) Rollball

Restart play from a touch, the player on the mark and facing their opponents’ defending line rolls the ball backwards between their feet not more than one metre. This player may not pick the ball up. The player picking it up is the dummy half.

4) The Dummy Half

The dummy half is the player who picks up a rollball but may not score and must not be touched whilst in possession of the ball, resulting in a change of possession.

5) Offside

An attacking player is offside when forward of another attacking player who either has possession or who last had possession of the ball.

A defending player is offside when not retreating 7 metres for a rollball or 10 metres for a penalty or restart of play.

Defending players cannot move forward until the dummy half has touched the ball unless the dummy half is more than 1 metre away, then defenders can advance immediately.

6) Scoring

A point is awarded when a player places the ball on or over the score line before being touched.

7) The Tap

The tap restarts play from a penalty, the ball being placed on the ground at the mark, where the touch was made, releasing it from both hands and tapping it with either foot not more than one metre before picking it up cleanly. Any player from the attacking team may take the tap.

8) Possession

A change of possession occurs when:

  • the ball is dropped to ground.
  • The dummy half is touched while in possession.
  • The sixth touch occurs.
  • The dummy half places the ball on or over the score line.
  • A rollball is performed incorrectly.
  • A tap is performed incorrectly.
  • The player in possession steps on or over the touchline

At a change of possession play is restarted with a Rollball.

9) Penalty

When a player/team is penalized the opposition, restarts play with a tap taken at the mark, the defending team retiring ten metres from the mark. Play restarts with a tap when the following infringements occur:

  • Forward pass.
  • Touch and pass.
  • Performing a rollball prior to a touch being made.
  • Performing a rollball off the mark.
  • Using more than the minimum force to affect a touch.
  • Claiming a touch when the touch was not affected.
  • Defenders offside at the rollball (7 metres).
  • Defenders offside at the tap (10 metres).
  • Incorrect substitution
  • Falsely claiming a touch
  • Misconduct
  • Playing more than the allowable number of players
  • Deliberately delaying play
  • Obstruction – defending players must not obstruct/interfere with attacking players supporting the ball carrier.

 10)  Substitution

Teams may interchange players at any time but substitutes may not enter the pitch until the replaced player comes off and must start in an on-side position. The only exception is following a touchdown, when players may change over without having to wait for the substituted player to leave the pitch.

11) Defense dropping 10m

The defending team will have to retreat 10 metres, in a straight line, from the team with the ball at the start of the game and after a penalty (tap ball). If the defending team concedes a penalty, the referee will insist they are back the full 10 metres and will call the players back until satisfied.

12) Defense dropping 7m

The defending team will frequently retreat 7 metres, in a straight line, from the team with the ball. This occurs after each touch and subsequent roll ball. When defending players don’t have time to retreat the full 7 metres they must allow the attackers to run unimpeded for 7 metres before affecting the touch. The referee will let the defenders know where the 7 metre point is.

13) Extra Time (The Drop Off)

Tied knockout matches will have an initial two-minute period of extra time with both teams down to four players. If the scores are still tied after the two minutes, then teams reduce to three players with the next try determining the winner. In mixed matches there can be no more than two males on the field at any one time.

14) Squad

14 players are allowed per squad.

Teams must be in a uniform with numbered shirts.

15) Teams late to start of the game

The opposition will be awarded 1 touchdown every 2 mins the other team is late until the score reaches 5-0.  At this point, the opposition will win by default.

However, the opposition team MUST have 4 uniformed players on the pitch to start the match.  If possible, the late team can start with 4 uniformed players on the pitch to avoid the penalty being applied.  In the mixed grade, 1 female must be present with 3 male players.

16) Games

Each try is awarded as 1 point.