Touch rugby
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Touch rugby refers to games derived from
rugby football Rugby football is the collective name for the team sports of rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated at Rugby School in the first half of the 19th ...
in which players do not tackle each other but instead touch their opponents using their hands on any part of the body, clothing, or the ball. A formal, competitive variety, known as
Touch In physiology, the somatosensory system is the network of Nervous system, neural structures in the brain and body that produce the perception of touch (haptic perception), as well as temperature (thermoception), body position (proprioception), ...
, developed from
rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league and sometimes football, footy, rugby or league, is a contact sport, full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular Rugby league playing field, field measur ...
and now exists as a sport in its own right. In addition, touch rugby games are played as training activities for rugby league and rugby union; as safer variants of rugby, particularly in schools and junior clubs, and as an informal social sport.


Features

Touch rugby has a number of differences from the traditional games, including its simplicity (it requires very little equipment or goalposts), its ease of learning, and the decreased likelihood of injury. As a result, it is a popular social game; mixed-gender and women-only games are also very popular in the UK, where Touch Rugby is played in many popular centres around
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...

England
and
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast ...

Scotland
. Touch Rugby League is a growing competition in
Brisbane Brisbane ( ) is the capital and most populous city of the states and territories of Australia, Australian state of Queensland, and the list of cities in Australia by population, third-most populous city in Australia and Oceania, with a populati ...

Brisbane
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...

Australia
. Touch rugby is also gaining popularity in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
. The USA Touch association hosts an annual national championship. In 2019, 27 clubs from cities across the USA registered teams into 6 competitive divisions. The sport is known as "Touch" in many parts of the world. Beach touch is also popular. Social touch games in
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by of coastline that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the ...
are played barefoot, while 1-touch or six down is played with cleats that have no more than 10 studs on each foot. Since 1988, the Federation of International Touch has organized 9
World Cup A world cup is a global sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain, or improve physical ability and Skill, skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in ...
championships. Typically, Australia and New Zealand have dominated as champions and runner-ups in each of the now 11 competitive divisions. Every 4 years, a member country is selected to host the tournament. In 2019, the World Cup was hosted in
Kuala Lumpur , anthem = ''Maju dan Sejahtera'' , image_map = , map_caption = , pushpin_map = Malaysia#Southeast Asia#Asia , pushpin_map_caption = , coordinates = , sub ...
, Malaysia and welcomed 28 participating nations. The 2023 FIT World Cup host has yet to be announced.


Rule variations

The most popular, codified form of touch rugby is derived from
rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league and sometimes football, footy, rugby or league, is a contact sport, full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular Rugby league playing field, field measur ...
and features two teams of six players. Played under the auspices of the Federation of International Touch (FIT), it is officially known as
Touch In physiology, the somatosensory system is the network of Nervous system, neural structures in the brain and body that produce the perception of touch (haptic perception), as well as temperature (thermoception), body position (proprioception), ...
, and is also called touch football, particularly in
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...

Australia
, and sometimes 'six down' or 'sixes' in
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by of coastline that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the ...
. FIT rules have become the most common rules used both in FIT-sanctioned competitions and informal games of touch rugby. A version of the FIT rules known as one touch in South Africa features a change of possession after a single touch rather than the six in the league-derived game. League tag is a semi-contact version of rugby league. It was used initially as a coaching aid to get players new to rugby league in Ireland used to the play-the-ball, retreating to an onside line, and upperbody tackling that stops the ball being passed in the tackle. It was formally codified in 2008 at
University College Cork University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork (UCC) ( ga, Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh) is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland, and located in Cork (city), Cork. The university was founded in 1 ...
, it allows ball carriers to hold off defenders, and defenders to grab the ball carrier in their bid to touch the ball. Touching the ball effects a tackle Other versions of touch rugby are not fully codified. For example, as an activity for fitness and skills training, and to reduce the risk of injury, rugby players will sometimes play touch rugby based on modified rugby rules. One common variation is that a fair touch must be below the waist, or, with two hands, or, to encourage rucking, a small non-contact ruck may be formed when a player is "touched". The "touched" player must fall to the ground as he would if he were tackled, and then two players from the attacking team must "ruck" over him within three seconds to keep possession of the ball. A scrum-half then recovers the ball, and play continues. Touch rugby is often played informally, rather like a pick-up
soccer Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 Football player, players who primarily use their feet to propel the Ball (association football), ball around a rectangular field ca ...
or
basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball (approximately in diameter) through the defender' ...
game. In addition to tackles being replaced by ''touches'', the rules of both rugby codes are simplified, removing elements such as scrums, rucks, mauls, line-outs and kicks. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, Touch Rugby is usually played following pre-1967 rugby league rules, minus kicking. Players being touched with two hands must place the ball down or play the ball at the spot of the "tackle," and the defensive team must retreat 5 yards or meters. There is often no tackle count, meaning that almost the only way that the defence can obtain the ball is through offensive mistakes. Whenever an offensive infraction occurs (ball into touch, knock-on, or forward pass), the defence receives a tap-kick at the spot of the infraction. Teams switch sides after each try is scored, and the team scoring the try kicks off from the half point. Until 2003/2004 the English RFU in its junior development program called ''The Three Stages of the Rugby Continuum'' encouraged the playing of ''Non-contact/touch rugby'' in its under-eights competition, although now promotes Mini Tag instead.


See also

*
Touch football (rugby league) Touch (also known as touch football or touch rugby) is a variant of rugby league that is conducted under the direction of the Federation of International Touch (FIT). Though it shares similarities and history with rugby football, rugby league, i ...
*
Tag Rugby file:Tag.Rugby.Belt.jpg, Tag-rugby belt Tag rugby, or flag rugby, is a non-contact team game in which each player wears a belt that has two velcro tags attached to it, or shorts with velcro patches. The mode of play is based on rugby league with ...
* League tag


References


External links


Federation of International Touch (FIT)European Federation of Touch (EFT)O2 Touch (RFU)
National Associations
Touch Football AustraliaTouch New ZealandEngland TouchTouch Switzerland WebsiteGerman Touch Website
{{Team Sport, state=collapsedt Rugby football Variations of rugby union Variations of rugby league Sports originating in Australia