We have a new website launching this February so we’ll be displying the new rulebook and local variations on the new site.
- The objective of the game is to be the team that has accumulated the most points at full time by scoring trys.
- A try is scored by the attacking team when they place the ball on ground on or over the try line.
- A try is worth one point. In a mixed game, female tries are worth two points. There are no conversions in Tag Rugby.
- Defenders must remove the ball carrier’s tag to stop their progress. The defender then holds up the tag and drops it to the ground marking where the player was tagged.
- After a tag is made, play resumes by the attacker going back to where they were tagged, placing the ball on the ground and rolling it backwards with their foot. This is called a ‘play the ball’ or ‘roll ball’.
- The defensive side is allowed one marker at the roll ball. The marker is a defender who is allowed to stand directly in front of the attacker within one metre during the roll ball.
- The remainder of the defending team must be back seven metres from the attacking player during the roll ball and in line with the referee.
- A dummy half is the attacking player who picks the ball up from the roll ball and distributes it. The dummy half is allowed to promote the ball whilst having only one or no tags on as long as they only take one step.
- The defensive line – which will be back seven metres with the referee – can only move forward when the dummy half touches the ball. The dummy half can run with the ball and is allowed to be tagged. The dummy half can also score a try.
- The marker must remain square with the attacking player rolling the ball and not move until the dummy half has touched the ball.
- The dummy half has a limited time to pick up the ball after the roll ball. If delayed, the referee will start a three second count. If the ball has not been picked up by the end of the count, a turnover shall be awarded to the defending team and they will roll the ball from the same position. In NO instance is the marker allowed to dive on, pick up the ball or move around during the play the ball process until the dummy half has touched the ball. If this occurs, a penalty will be awarded to the attacking team. The referee may opt to start the 3 second count before the play the ball if the player who is playing the ball doesn”t play the ball immediately when returning to the mark.
- Each team has six tags / plays to promote the ball before a changeover occurs and the defending team becomes the attacking team.
- An attacker must stop and play a roll ball if he or she is caught in possession with only one tag or no tags on.
- Players are not allowed to surrender. Surrendering is a voluntary tackle, which will result in a penalty.
- The ball is allowed to touch the ground as long as it is not propelled from hand/arm in a forward motion.
- The game is minimal contact; an attacker cannot deliberately bump into a defender. A defender cannot change direction and move into an attacker’s path. Whoever initiates contact will be penalised. The onus is on the attacking player to avoid the defender.
- The ball carrier is not allowed to protect his tag or fend off defenders. This is to say move a hand, elbow or the ball over the tags or push/knock away a defenders hand, either accidentally or deliberately, as the defender is attempting to take off a tag.
- If an attacker is tagged simultaneously to releasing the ball, the referee will call play on. (If the referee is unable to decide, the pass is allowed – play on. The advantage goes to attacking team).
- If a player trips/falls and lands on their knees, it will be play on if a defender is not within tagging distance. If a player trips/falls and lands on their knees and a defender is within tagging distance, it will be deemed a tag.
- A player can go down on their knees to score a try over the try line as long as there are no players from the opposing team within tagging distance.
- A player cannot dive to score a try if a defender is within tagging distance.
- An attacking team player cannot dive on a ball if there is a defending team player within 2 metres of the ball.
- A player can on releasing the ball from hands, kick the ball in any direction as long as it is not a ‘drop kick’ and as long as it stays below the height of the referee’s shoulder before bouncing.
- A player can kick a loose ball as long as nobody from the opposing team are reaching for the ball with their hands and the kick goes stays the height of the referee’s shoulder before bouncing.
Differences from OzTag
- Matches are typically played in the 7-a-side format, rather than 8-a-side. Maximum of 4 males on pitch at any time in mixed leagues. Some leagues may be played in the 8-a-side format and some in the 6-a-side and 5-a-side format. Maximum of 3 males on pitch for the latter two.
- Kick offs are taken by the team which scored the try, not the team which conceded the try. As a matter of courtesy, if you score a try, please take the ball back with you as your team will be kicking off next.
- Diving (ball in hands) – A player may dive to score as long as there are no defending players within tagging distance (~1 metre). If a player is within tagging distance, a penalty will be given.
- Diving (on a loose ball) – An attacking player may dive on a loose ball but only as long as there are no defending players within 2 metres of the ball and the dive a deemed safe by the referee. If these two conditions are not met, a penalty will be given.
- If a player goes to ground over the try line whilst attempting to score a try (i.e. knee down) and a defender is within tagging distance, a tag will be counted and the attacking player will play the ball five metres out, or a change over will be given if previously last tag.
- Kicking is allowed on any tag! Kicks in general play no longer need to be placed on the 0 tag, or after tags 4 and 5. You can now kick at any point of the game, including after a changeover.
- A call of simultaneous tag on an attacking player’s kick followed up by another kick before regathering will not be called as a penalty. A tag will instead be counted. Please remember that you cannot kick a loose ball when an opponent is reaching for it.
- Passing over the try line or crossing back over the try line will result in a tag, not a turnover. If a player is trying to pass to a team mate, they must do so before crossing the try line. If they pass to a team mate after crossing the try line (or after crossing the try line and running back into the field of play), the try is disallowed and a further tag is called. A play the ball five metres out is awarded to the attacking team.
- If the dummy half baulks, the referee may say “play on” and the defensive line can move up, however the marker still cannot move until the dummy half touches the ball.
- There is no advantage play when a player kicks above shoulder height.
- Red cards (straight send offs) will result in minus 5 points to the team. Any team which has a player sent off, will be deducted 5 points from their current match score. So for instance if your team is winning 10-6 with one minute to go and your player gets sent off, your team will lose 6-5. There is no points deduction for teams of players who are sin binned (temporarily sent off).
- Compulsory female kick-offs in mixed competitions. It is compulsory for females to take kick-offs in all mixed competition matches (some leagues are exempt from this however). Any player is still allowed to take a line drop out.
Extended Rules (Rotherhithe & East London, Canada Water, Weetwood)
All divisions in the Rotherhithe & East London league play the extended rules. Super League at Canada Water play the extended rules. Weetwood in Leeds play the extended rules.
Some or all of these rules may apply to some grades in one day tournaments.
- 8-a-side (mixed teams play with a maximum of four males on pitch).
- Any player may take kick-offs.
- 50/10s (See rule book for further detail of this rule). 50/10s in open play must be kicked from behind your team’s kick-off line.
- Bonus box. At the Rotherhithe & East London league for a bonus point to be scored the ball must be taken through the front of the box. If the path of the ball in hand goes through the side or back of the box, the try will only count for it’s normal point(s). At the Canada Water league players may enter through any side of the box.
To view match regulations click here .