Touch is a minimal contact sport played on a pitch half the size of a rugby field (ie 50m x 70m). The game emphasises running, agility, passing, catching and communication. Touch is often referred to as Touch Rugby, but there is no tackling, lineouts, scrumming or kicking involved. This makes it appealing to a wide range of ages and abilities, from juniors to masters and from slight to heavy builds. Touch is one of few sports where men and women play together, equally, on a team.
The main aim of the game is for each team to score “touchdowns” and to prevent the opposition from scoring (One touchdown equals one point). Teams are made up of 6 players on the field at any given time, with up to 8 substitute players on the sideline. Teams are categorized into Mens, Womens and Mixed divisions (mixed = 3 male + 3 female players). Mixed is the most common form of Touch, both socially and competitively. Players can substitute anytime during the game and as often as they like.
Attacking players must perform a “roll ball” (between the legs) once they have been touched by a defender. Defenders must retire in a straight line 5 meters from the “roll ball” mark. After 6 touches, the possession changes to the other team for their turn at attack. Penalties are awarded for a variety of infringements including, forward pass, offside, touch-and-pass, roll-ball over the mark and over-vigorous play.”
Very little equipment is required to play a game of Touch, simply a ball and an area to mark out a pitch. Regular sports clothing should be worn, basically whatever you feel comfortable running around in. Footwear should ideally be some form of boot with moulded, or blade type studs. Metal screw in studs are not permitted for safety reasons. If you don’t have a pair then trainers will do to get started.
A summary of the rules can be found on the Scottish Touch Association page.
The last version of the full FIT Playing Rules can be downloaded here – fit playing rules 4th edition 2013 – 16 november 2013