Touch, commonly referred to as Touch Football or Touch Rugby, began in Sydney in the 1960s as training for rugby. Since the establishment of the Victorian Touch Association and Australian TA in 1978, Touch is now amongst the highest participant sports in Australia, and was recently ranked the highest participant sport in Australian secondary schools.
The concept of the game is to score a try or touchdown by advancing the ball downfield without being “touched” by a defending player. A Touch ball is carried and passed, by hand, between players in an effort to score a touchdown whilst avoiding being touched. The defending team, in an effort to stop the attacking team from scoring a touchdown, initiates a touch, with minimal contact, on the player with the ball.
Each team has six touches within to score a touchdown before the other teams gains possession of the ball. The ball must be passed backwards, similar to the Rugby codes, and cannot be dropped or kicked in any instance. The team with the most touchdowns at the end of the game is
declared the winner.
Now played in countries across the globe, including Great Britain; the United States; South Africa; Japan; New Zealand; and Canada, the sport of Touch truly is an international phenomenon!
The Field of Play
The Field of play is rectangular in shape and measures seventy (70) metres in length from scoreline to scoreline and fifty (50) metres in width. If you include the try areas the field is eighty (80) metres in length. In park competitions a shorter length field is acceptable but a full width of 50 metres is essential.
Modern Touch has six players on the field for each team and each team can have up to eight substitutes who are allowed to interchange at almost any time (though it is not recommended to sub off when defending). As Touch can be physically tiring, substitutes should be made regularly and to ensure everyone has an equal share of playing time. Mixed Touch sees 3 male and 3 female on the field, to start a game there must be at least 4 players present.
There are positions in Touch, however players should be versatile to take on the various roles during each game, or even within a short period of play. The positions, as they line up are:
Wing Link Middle Middle Link Wing