Rules of Touch Rugby

Like any competitive (or mildly competitive) sport, Touch Rugby has a set of rules. Matches in the Ardee RFC Summer Touch will be refereed according the the rules set out below. These are the Quick Reference version of the rules, simplified to help you understand the game.

Please Note: As this is a very new competition, we may vary some elements of the rules below to make the game simpler / more enjoyable for people new to the experience. Please see our notes in the quick reference penalty infringements section.

Quick Reference Rules

• Warm up
• Field inspections
• Player inspections – no studded boots, jewellery, etc.
• Supervise the toss – winning captain gets the tap and choice of direction 1st half, plus choice of sub box.


• A touch can be made by either a defending player or by the attacking player in possession of the ball.
• A touch counts on the ball, hair or clothing.
• After 6 touches a change of possession shall take place.


• Ball dropped to ground
• The Half is touched while in possession
• 6th touch
• The Half places ball on or over scoreline
• Incorrect rollball
• Incorrect tap
• Ball on or over boundary


At a change of possession play restarts with a ROLLBALL.


• Position at the mark where the touch was made;
• Face attacking scoreline;
• Without delay roll the ball backwards between the legs a distance of not more than 1 metre;
• The Half must pick up the ball cleanly without delay.
At the rollball the referee shall indicate the touch count.


• Forward pass
Touch and pass (late pass)*
Performing a rollball prior to being touched*
Performing a rollball off the mark*
• Using more than minimum force to effect a touch
Claiming a touch when the touch was not effected*
• Defender offside at rollball – 5 metres
• Defenders offside at tap – 10 metres
• Playing more players than the allowable number
Incorrect substitution*
• Delaying play
• Obstruction
• Misconduct


At a penalty play restarts with a TAP to the non-offending team.


Please Note: Penalty Infringements in Italic and marked with an asterisk (*) may be temporarily ignored in order to simplify the game at the outset.


• Ball must be placed on the ground at the mark.
• Ball must be released from both hands.
• Ball is tapped with either foot a distance of not more than 1 metre.
• Ball must be picked up cleanly.

• Ball must be placed on or over scoreline.
• Ball does not have to be released to score a touchdown.
• The Dummy Half or Scrum Half is not permitted to score touchdowns.
• If a touch is made as the ball is being grounded – the touch counts.
• If a touch occurs in the touchdown zone, play restarts 5 metres infield from scoreline.