ISSFHK Touch Rugby Rules

In the event of any dispute, please remember that the ‘spirit of the game’ is the most important factor in all decisions made.

Additional notes:

Please ensure that your teams are all similarly and appropriately attired.  Referees must be able to identify players (preferably by a number), and easily differentiate between teams.  

All teams please bring cones to mark the scoreline, half way line, 10m from half way and 5m from touch down zone.  

At the completion of play, please agree on the score with the opposing coach, and both teams should email me with the result within two days.  I will then update the google doc with these.  

Please try to start and finish games on time (the referee will be the sole judge of time –2 x 18 minute halves.

If a team is unable to play as per the scheduled fixture, please try to rearrange with the relevant school.  If this is not possible, then the team that is unable to play must forfeit.  There is no penalty for forfeiting, but please remember that it does cause an inconvenience to all the other teams.

If you know that a fixture has been rescheduled, please email me so that I can advise the referees.  I am asking for help from HKTA for referees and these are not as yet confirmed.  I will add a note to the draw on the website once they are confirmed.  If referees are not available, coaches should be prepared to share the refereeing for the game.  

Team will be awarded 3 points for a win, 2 points for a draw and 1 for a loss.  If there is a tie at the end of the pool play for position, then teams will be ranked by the following (in order) – touchdowns scored, touchdowns conceded, the winner of the pool game, a coin toss.

Playing rules:

A touchdown will be awarded when a player places the ball on or over the scoreline prior to being touched. A touchdown will be worth one point. The Dummy Half is not permitted to score touchdowns.

Substitution Box
Teams may interchange players at any time. Players coming on to the field may not do so until the player being replaced has come off. Substitutions must occur at or within the team’s substitution box.

Possession of the Ball
A change of possession shall occur when:

the ball goes to ground.
the Dummy half is touched while in possession. .
the Dummy half places the ball in the Touchdown zone.
the 6th Touch occurs.
the player in possession steps on or over the boundary of the field of play.
a rollball is performed incorrectly.
a tap is performed incorrectly.
At a change of possession play is restarted with a rollball.

A player may pass, knock, throw or otherwise deliver the ball to any onside player in the attacking team. Passing forward is NOT permitted.

The Tap
The tap is taken by placing the ball on the ground on the mark, releasing the ball from both hands, tapping the ball with the foot a distance of not more than one metre and retrieving the ball cleanly. Any player from the attacking team may take the tap.

The Penalty 
When a player/team is penalised the non offending team shall restart play with a tap. The tap is taken at the mark and the defending team must retire ten metres from the mark until the ball has been tapped.

Play restarts with a tap when the following infringements occur: 

Forward Pass
Touch and Pass
Rollball performed off the mark
Performing a rollball prior to a touch being made
Defenders offside at the rollball (5 metres)
Defenders offside at the tap (10 metres)
Deliberately delaying play
More than six players on the field
Incorrect substitution
Falsely claiming a touch
Using more than the minimum force to make a touch

A means of restarting play. Players must perform the rollball on the mark while facing their opponent’s defending scoreline and rolling the ball backwards between their legs a distance of not more than one metre. Players must not delay performing the rollball.

The Touch
Players from both teams are permitted to effect the touch. A touch is contact with any part of the body, ball, clothing or hair. A minimum of force is to be used at all times. The team in possession is entitled to 6 touches.

Touch and Pass 
A player is not to pass the ball after a touch has been made.

The Dummy Half
The dummy half is the person who picks up the ball after a team-mate has performed a rollball.

After a touch has been made all defending players must retire 5 metres from the mark. Defenders cannot move forward until the dummy half has touched the ball.

If a player with the ball touches or crosses the sideline s/he is deemed to be out of play and a change of possession occurs. Play restarts with a rollball 5 metres in from where the player went out. If a touch is made before the player goes out, the touch counts.

Players of the attacking team are not to obstruct defending players from attempting to effect a touch. Defending players are not to obstruct/interfere with attacking players supporting the ball carrier.

The Field of Play
The field is played cross wise on a rugby field.  The sidelines of the touch field will be the half way and try lines accordingly of the full sized rugby field. The touchdown zone is the area beyond the scoreline – the 5m line of the rugby field.

Team Composition
A team may consist of up to 12 players. A maximum of six (6) are allowed on the field at any one time. A minimum of four players are required for the match to be played.

The Toss 
The captain winning the toss shall receive possession of the ball and a choice of direction and substitution box for the first half. The Referee will supervise the toss.

The match shall be 2 x 18 minutes halves.  

Extra Time and the Drop Off – only for finals
When a match is drawn and a single winner is required, extra time is played and teams drop off players every two minutes until down to 3. The first team to score a Touchdown wins the match.

Player Attire
All team members must be correctly attired in team uniforms. Footwear with moulded soles are permitted. Bare feet, spikes and footwear with screw-in studs are not permitted. Players are not to wear any item of jewellery that might be dangerous.

The Referee
The referee is the sole judge on matters of fact and is required to adjudicate on the rules of the game during play. The referee may impose any sanction necessary to control the match. All officials, players and coaches involved in the match are under the control of the referee.

Foul Play will Not be Tolerated
Any foul play (the referee being the sole judge) will result in the offending player being penalised, sent to the sin bin for a period of time, or being sent from the field for the remainder of the match, depending on the severity of the offence.