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Page last updated on 09/2/2011
The Game 


What is Touch Rugby?

  • Fast moving minimal contact evasive game that is played throughout the world
  • Fun game that is easy to learn and a great way to get in shape
  • Inclusive sport that promotes mixed gender interaction
  • Encourages full participation from everyone with its small sided and informal nature
  • A dynamic ‘catch & pass’ sport that caters to all skill levels and abilities
  • Often referred to as Touch Rugby, but there is no tackling, lineouts, scrumming or kicking involved
  • The sport's main feature is its simplicity

‘Touch is one of the most enjoyable forms of rugby out there.  Not only is it a fantastic way of socialising and increasing team spirit, it certainly helps to keep you fit whilst improving handling and running skills!’ 

Phil Bennett (OBE), Llanelli, Wales & Lions

Touch Rugby, although based on the full contact Rugby (League/Union) is a recognized sport in it’s own right that is widely popular in the Southern Hemisphere and also has a strong following in Wales.  The Wales Touch Association administers the game in Wales.

Leagues have been running in Cardiff since 1991 and attract 100s men and women on multiple nights to play in a variety of leagues (Mens, Womens, Mixed, Over 35s, Juniors).   The game is played on the international stage and Wales’ is regularly represented in tournaments around the world.

How do you play?

Competing on a pitch roughly half the size of a full Rugby pitch, Touch rugby is played by 6 players (mixed teams must include 3 women).  Men and women are able to play in the same teams due to the minimal-contact nature of the game. 

Each team has six chances to score a try before the ball is turned over. There is no kicking, rucks, mauls, lineouts or scrums. 

The ball must be placed on the floor in between the ball carriers legs immediately following a ‘touch’. 

Defensive lines must retreat five metres following a ‘touch’ otherwise they will be called ‘offside’.  This develops the need for players to play with their heads up and work in defensive lines.

Games last for 30 minutes with a short half time break.  Subs are allowed to roll on and off anytime a team is in possession of the ball.

The game is very dynamic and flowing and although the skills needed are closely related to both Rugby Union and Rugby League, there are some subtle differences, particularly in the tactical side of the game.  Speed and evasive skills are particularly important.  The game is not really suited to players that relish contact and running at defenders!

Who plays?

The game can be used as a way to keep fit and burn calories and is a fantastic social opportunity that attracts many teams of people that work together or groups of friends.  Many senior rugby clubs also use it as a useful pre-season training and fitness tool.  Junior teams are attracted to the game as it develops passing, catching, dodging and running skills without the contact aspect of rugby.  It’s not just rugby players that can enjoy playing the game – many Touch players also play other sports such as netball, football or cricket.

In Wales, there are currently leagues in Cardiff, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Tâf, Wrexham and Swansea.

Further information to follow.