Rules & Basic Gameplay

Basic Gameplay

The object of the game is for each team to score touchdowns by putting theoval shaped ball on the ground behind the opponent‘s score line. To move forwards the attacking team may run forwards, but the ball can only be passed backwards or in a straight line to other team players.

Defending players can prevent the attacking team from gaining grounds by touching the ball carrier. After a „Touch“ is made, the the ball carrier must put the ball on the ground immediatly. The ball is then picked up by another player from the same attacking team (taking the role of „acting half“) and the game continues. The defending team must retreat 5m backwards from the mark where the „Touch“ was made.

A touchdown is worth 1 point; after a team scores, the play begins again with a tap in the middle of the field by the non scoring team.


Teams and number of players

The teams can be male, female or mixed. One team can consist of up to a maximum of 14 players per game, 6 on the field at anyone time. Since Touch is a very fast and exhausting game players interchange from the side of the field as often as they wish (similar to Icehockey).


Duration of game

The standard duration is 40 minutes (two x 20 minute halves) with a 5 minute halftime. At our local competion in Austria we frequently use shorter time frames of 24min (two 12 minute halves) with a 1 minute halftime to suit local conditions.

Simplified Touch Rules

(Download the full official 4th Edition of Touch Rules at the Policies & Documents section.)

  1. There are 6 players on each team. The field should be 50m x 70m.
  2. The attacking team must start with a tap from the middle of the field. The defending team must be back 10m for the start of play and after each score.
  3. The attacking team continues play until they have had 6 touches. A touch can be on any part of the attacker’s body or the ball itself. Only 1 hand is required to make the touch. After being touched 6 times the ball is handed over to the other side.
  4. After being touched, the player touched must put the ball on the ground and step over the ball. The Half who waits behind them, then picks the ball up and usually passes it (This is called ROLL BALL, but in reality the ball should NOT be rolled, rather it should be placed on the ground and stepped over).
  5. After touching the attacking player with the ball, all defending team members must retreat back 5m. When the defending players have not retreated 5m and they touch an attacking player, this is a PENALTY.
  6. The person who takes the role of half can cross the score-line but not score. NOTE: The Half is the person who stands behind his/her team-mate to pick up the ball after his/her team mate has been touched. The half picks the ball up after the other player has performed a roll-ball.
  7. If the half is touched by a defender while possessing the ball, the defending team gets the ball. ROLL BALL (NOT a penalty).
  8. If a player drops the ball to the ground or misses a pass, the defending team gets the ball. ROLL BALL.
  9. When someone is penalized their team must then retreat 10m. The ball is tapped and the player can run forward without using a half.
  10. A PENALTY is given for the following:

    - Offside: When the defending players have not retreated 5m and they touch an attacking player

    - Forward Pass: When the ball is passed in front of the player who possessed the ball.

    - Touch and Pass: When the person who is touched then passes the ball.

    - When the player who was touched performs the roll ball past the point where they were touched (i.e runs past the touch point and fails to come back to where they were touched).

    - If a touch is considered to be too strong/aggressive

    - Voluntary Rolled Ball or No Touch: When the player is not touched and performs a roll ball.