Touch, also known as Touch Football or Touch Rugby around the world, is a thrilling sport that allows people of all walks of life to achieve their goals; whether that is the thrill of challenging oneself to compete at their best, the thrill of a fast, skilful and exhilarating sport, the thrill of meeting new people or the thrill of being a part of something that can span a lifetime.
It is one of the rare collective sports that girls, boys, women and men enjoy together and against each other, with Mixed competitions making Touch very popular for every age category.
Touch, is derived from Rugby league which used a form of Touch for training purposes. After passing through a development period during the 1960’s, the game became popular during the 70’s and by early in the next decade, was established in all states and territories in Australia as a sport in its own right.
The Federation of International Touch (FIT) is the governing body for the sport of Touch.
Touch started in Australia in the early 1960s as a social game and a training and warm-up technique for rugby league. The first official Touch Tournament was held in Sydney in 1968 and then spread to New Zealand.
From there the game has expanded rapidly, especially in the South Pacific and now all around the world and especially in Europe. Today, in 2011, the Federation of International Touch -F.I.T., founded in 1985, includes more than 50 members.
Basic Rules of Touch
- Fields or pitches should be 70M long by 50M wide with marked scorelines, sidelines and a half-way line.
- Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of 6 players on the field at any time.
- Players may interchange from the side of the field as often as they wish.
- Team Captains toss and the winner starts the game with a tap at the centre of the half-way line.
- Attacking team has 6 attempts or touches before possession changes unless other rules are infringed.
- If the ball is dropped or knocked-on a change of possession occurs and the game starts with a rollball.
- Attacking players may run with the ball or pass the ball sideways or backwards until they are touched.
- If a player passes the ball forward a penalty occurs for a forward pass.
- If a player passes the ball after being touched a penalty occurs for a late pass.
- A tap on the mark is taken by non-offending team for penalties. Defending teams must retire 10M.
- A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender. It must be minimum force.
- After a touch the player performs a rollball, stepping over or gently rolling the ball between the feet.
- Players cannot perform a rollball until a touch has been made or a penalty results.
- Players must perform the rollball at the mark or a penalty results.
- The attacking player who gets the ball after the rollball is the half, who can either run or pass.
- If the half gets touched a change of possession occurs and the game restarts with a rollball at the mark.
- At the rollball all defenders must retire or move backwards a minimum of 5M.
- Penalties are awarded against defenders who do not retire 5M for rollballs and 10M for taps.
- A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the scoreline.
- The team that scores the most touchdowns in the game is declared the winning team.
Teams are made of up to 14 players, with a maximum of six (some local rules allow seven) players on the field at any time with unlimited substitutions. Players are usually assigned the following positions:
Name of the position and players occupying the ‘middle’ of the field. Middles are the most consistent and fittest players in the team.
Name of the position and players positioned between middles and wingers. They are the most deceptive runners and the best ball handlers.
Name of the position and players occupying the side part of the field. They are usually the fastest players in the team, as they have to cover a large part of the width of the field.
Everyone can play Touch and millions of women, men, girls and boys of all ages, body shapes and backgrounds already enjoy the sport across the globe.
It is one of the rare collective sports that girls, boys, women and men enjoy together and against each other, with our Mixed competitions making Touch very popular for every age category.
TRULY A GAME FOR EVERYONE!
Children start playing Touch at school, with Touch being one of the most practiced sports in the school curriculum. Teenagers enjoy it and play together on weekends, on the beach or more competitively during both summer and winter. Adults appreciate having a run with colleagues at lunchtime, play social competitions once a week or simply enjoying the game with their friends or family at any time.
In our social competitions, friends, colleagues, family members or any group of people simply play together. Especially, parents and children (and even grandchildren) can participate in Touch together, which is something FIT encourages as a community sport.
Anyone can join a team to play and that is why Touch is truly a game for everyone!