What is Touch?
The Sport for All
"Touch" (or "Touch Rugby" or "Ohne Kontakt Rugby" or "Touch Football'' in Australia) is a non-contact, fun, simple and fast game similar to rugby but without the tackling. Therefore it attracts both men and women of all ages and skill levels. Touch is easy to learn and is great for fitness. Touch can be a once a week social event amongst friends, or taken very seriously all the way to the Touch Rugby World Cup. It's one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
Tactics, fitness and fun
It incorporates the fundamental skills of running, passing, side-stepping and support play without getting hurt. Beside the tactics this sport trains not only your speed and fitness but also your capacity of reaction. All that while having fun.
Who can Play?
Anybody. We have a wide range of individual experience - complete beginners to rugby players who've played rugby since they were 6. We're always happy to have new players. If you have never played before, don't worry because we will show you the very simple rules and you'll be playing in no time.
Basic sports/running shoes are to be used (preferably with good grip). Players normally wear soft rubber cleated shoes, similar to those used in other grass sports such as field hockey or soccer. Screw-in studs/cleats and metal studs/cleats are strictly prohibited, though moulded-sole soccer boots (such as turf boots) may be worn.
Players typically wear light clothing such as T-shirts or polo shirts. In a tournament / official game all shirts must be numbered on the back to show the player's number in at least 16cm tall letters.
Touch balls are oval and slightly smaller than rugby balls (Size 4 for adults).
Touch is played on a rectangular grass field. The official pitch is 70 meters long by 50 meters wide with marked scorelines, sidelines and a half-way line.
History of Touch
International Touch Development - The Growth of Touch
Touch started in Australia in the early 1960s as a social or "park" game and as a training and warm-up technique for rugby league. The first official Touch Tournament was held in Sydney in 1968. New Zealand started to play the game in the early 1070s. From there the game has also expanded rapidly in recent years, especially in the South Pacific and United Kingdom. The Federation of International Touch -F.I.T., founded in 1985- organised the first World Cup in 1991 and includes now over 30 member countries.
Read the Evolution of Touch - Dennis Coffey (F.I.T.)
History of Touch in Austria
2006 - "The Birth of Touch in Austria"
After playing since 2005 fun touch games in the Viennes "Prater" with expat mates, the New Zealander Dan Travers founded the First Austrian Touch Club "Touch Rugby Vienna", a division of the Rugby Club Stade Viennois.
2007 - "Learning to Walk"
The intensive interaction in 2007 with Touch Deutschland and Rob McGregor helps the club to grow and develop.
May 2007: "Touch Rugby Vienna" plays their first friendly game against Touch Munich.
August 2007: "Touch Rugby Vienna" participates on its first official international Tournament, the Bavarian Open in Munich
September 2007: The first legendary "Sergio Fonseca Tournament" is held.
2008 - "A Taste of International Touch"
April 2008: In Vienna the first International Games - the Vienna International Tournament - takes place. 8 teams or with 120 players from 20 different nations are participating.
May 2008: Hans-Peter Hölwerth becames Austrias first official Touch F.I.T. Level 1 referee.
July 2008: 10 players from Austria are participating together with players from Hungary and Czech Republic in a guest team called "Central European Barbarians" at the European Touch Championship (Euros) 2008.
2009 - "Touch Austria grows-up"
Beginning of 2009: ACC Touch, a division of the Austrian Cricket Club and 2nd Touch Club in Austria, is founded by Brett Barclay.
May 2009: ACC runs the first Touch Training for kids.
June 2009: The ATL - Austrian Touch Liga - starts with the very first round and 4 teams participating
July 2009: Austria sends the first Austrian Touch National teams, a Mens and a Mixed-Team, to the Mainland Cup in Heidelberg Germany.
September 2009: After the third Touch Club "Touch Vorarlberg" was founded, the "Österreichischer Touch Verband - Touch Austria" National Touch Association was founded, and was granted Associate Member status of the Federation of International Touch (F.I.T)
2010 - "Touch Austria Shouts Out"
Austrian National Mixed Team with upset wins over larger Touch countries ends up ranked 5th out of 13 countries in Mixed Division at the 2010 European Championships in Bristol (UK).
The first Womens Team from Austria gets to play a test match against Germany.
2011 - "World Cup and Up"
Austria sent a Mens and Womens Team to compete in the Touch World Cup in Edinburgh, with both Teams earning the Bronze Medal in the Bowl Competition.
United Nations Touch Club formally established.
Read Roman Duffners University Thesis on Touch in Austria (auf Deutsch)
Objectives of the game and basic rules
(For the full rules, download them on the right)
Object of the game
The object of the game is for each team to score touchdowns and to prevent the opposition from scoring. The ball may be passed, knocked or handed between onside players of the attacking team who may in turn run or otherwise move with the ball in an attempt to gain territorial advantage and score.
Defending players prevent the attacking team from gaining a territorial advantage by touching the ball carrier. Either defending or attacking players may initiate the touch.
Duration of game
The standard duration is 40 minutes (two x 20 minute halves) with a 5 minute halftime. Other time frames can be used to suit local conditions and competitions.
Teams and number of players
The teams can be male, female or mixed. One team can consist of up to a maximum of 14 players per game, 6 on the field at anyone time. Players may interchange from the side of the field as often as they wish.
Method of Scoring
A touchdown (worth 1 point) is awarded when an attacking player places the ball on the ground, on or over the defending teams scoreline; after a team scores, the play begins again with a tap in the middle of the field by the non scoring team.
1. There are 6 players on each team. The field should be 50m x 70m.
2. The attacking team must start with a tap from the middle of the field. The defending team must be back 10m for the start of play and after each score.
3. The attacking team continues play until they have had 6 touches. A touch can be on any part of the attackerâ€™s body or the ball itself. Only 1 hand is required to make the touch. After being touched 6 times the ball is handed over to the other side.
4. After being touched, the player touched must put the ball on the ground and step over the ball. The Half who waits behind them, then picks the ball up and usually passes it (This is called ROLL BALL, but in reality the ball should NOT be rolled, rather it should be placed on the ground and stepped over).
5. After touching the attacking player with the ball, all defending team members must retreat back 5m. When the defending players have not retreated 5m and they touch an attacking player, this is a PENALTY.
6. The person who takes the role of half can cross the score-line but not score. NOTE: The Half is the person who stands behind his/her team-mate to pick up the ball after his/her team mate has been touched. The half picks the ball up after the other player has performed a roll-ball.
7. If the half is touched by a defender while possessing the ball, the defending team gets the ball. ROLL BALL (NOT a penalty).
8. If a player drops the ball to the ground or misses a pass, the defending team gets the ball. ROLL BALL.
9. A PENALTY is given for the following:
- Offside: When the defending players have not retreated 5m and they touch an attacking player
- Forward Pass: When the ball is passed in front of the player who possessed the ball.
- Touch and Pass: When the person who is touched then passes the ball.
- When the player who was touched performs the roll ball past the point where they were touched (i.e runs past the touch point and fails to come back to where they were touched).
- If a touch is considered to be too strong/aggressive
- Voluntary Rolled Ball or No Touch: When the player is not touched and performs a roll ball.
10. When someone is penalized their team must then retreat 10m. The ball is tapped and the player can run forward without using a half.
Touch Promo Video 1
Touch Promo Video 2
Touch Video 1
Touch Video 2
Touch Video 3
Euros 2010 Promo
Touch Video Archives
Touch for Dummies
Full Official Rules PDF