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Posted on1 Year ago

Touch rugby, rugby without tackling, is one of the only team sports that can be played in mixed competition. Touch rugby has specific rules that are unique to this sport.


The main characteristic of touch rugby is its softness compared to XV or XIII rugby. Touch rugby does not allow any contact such as tackling. This particularity allows the mix of this sport. Often confused with 5-a-side or Five-a-side rugby, touch rugby is quite different with its own international federation and rules.


Touch rugby is played by teams of 6 players on a part of the field (size 70 x 50 meters) with a maximum of 14 players including substitutes.

The objective of Touch is to score more tries than the opponent. To stop the opponent's progression, it is enough to "touch" the opponent in possession of the ball. The players of a team can stop their opponent's run and therefore the action by touching them with one or two hands or even on the ball. The team has 6 touchdown attempts to score their try. No kicking is allowed.

The ball (size 4) is smaller than a traditional rugby ball (size 5). The playing time is 40 minutes (2 halves of 20 minutes). One point is awarded for a try scored with the particularity of the mixed mode where when a girl scores a try, it counts 2 points.


The tapball is the kick-off at the beginning of the match, after a try or after a penalty. It is a precise and technical gesture: the player must place the ball on the ground in front of him, kick it with his foot and send it a maximum distance of one meter to be able to pick it up. Opponents must be within 10 meters of where the player is tapping the ball. Defending players may not move until the tapball player has touched the ball.

The act of touching the opponent or the ball stops the ball in its tracks. The touching player must shout "touch" when he has touched. The touch must never be made violently or it will be penalized. It can be done with one or two hands. A team has 6 "touches". At the 5th touch, the referee announces the last touch. If the players of a team are touched a sixth time, the ball is given to the opposite team.

After being touched, the touched player must roll the ball back into play at the point of touch. The rollball is made on the zone of the touch. The opposing team must then remain at least 5 meters from the throw-in.

In touch rugby, there are penalties that can only be played by doing a tapball. They can be called for a number of reasons: a forwards, a rollball made outside the exact spot of the mark or behaviour contrary to the rules of touch. A penalty can lead to a temporary exclusion of 2 minutes or even a permanent exclusion if the referee considers that the behavior of the player is aggressive.

Photo credit: Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash