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Touch Rugby - Rules

Oman Rugby Touch Rules:

These are the rules that we implement within Oman Rugby authorised events. If the rule is not detailed in these, we follow the guidance of the most recent FIT rule book edition. 
Our Cue sheet and Abbreviated rules can be downloaded by clicking on the PDF icons below.

Tournament Touch Rugby laws (Abbreviated form)
  1. Play starts and restarts at the centre with a “tap”. This is performed by moving the ball on the ground with the foot, free from the hands, and then picking it up. Penalties are performed by the same procedure. 

    1. On both a re-start and penalty the defending team must retreat at least 10 metres.

    2. The player taking the tap can run and be touched. The touch count will then be "one". From then on, the dummy half must receive the ball from a rollball. 

  2. A touch is defined where 1 hand contact is made by a defending player on any part of the attacking player's body, clothing or ball. 

    1. An attacking player may affect the touch by deliberately touching the opposition to initiate a touch.

    2. A defending player must claim a touch by raising a hand and shouting, “Touch”. The referee is the sole judge of the touch and has the discretion to overrule a claim. (Play to the whistle). 

    3. Diving for a touch is allowed

    4. A deliberate ankle tap is illegal, and will be penalised unless it is in a one to one chase for the touchdown zone, in the act of a diving lunge by the last defender to stop a try and the touch is in a downward motion not swiping side to side. The referee's discretion will be the final decision.

  3. When touched, the player in possession must place the ball on the ground at the exact point of the touch. Play is continued by stepping over the ball by the player that was touched. This is known as a rollball. 

    1. It can be controlled with a hand only

    2. The ball must not roll more than 1 metre from the mark of touch. 

    3. A player cannot perform a rollball unless touched. 

    4. The player taking the rollball cannot be dummy half on the same rollball.

    5. Once stepped over the player does not have wait in position and can move out into an attacking position

    6. The player picking up the ball from a rollball (the dummy-half or acting half) may run, but if touched a changeover occurs. 

      1. The dummy-half cannot not score and a changeover (rollball) will be awarded if this occurs. 

      2. The opposition will restart with a rollball on the referee's mark 7metre from the tryline.

  4. Dummy Half / Acting half is a nomination given to the player that first plays a ball from a rollball situation. Once they have passed the ball from a rollball, the nomination of dummy half disappears until another rollball occurs.

  5. A rollball can take place within 7 metres of the defender's try line, but the player with the ball can choose to go back to 7 metres from the try line if they wish to.  

    1. The defending team is not obligated to come off of the try line unless the attacking team plays the ball away from the 7 metre line. If that occurs the ref will indicate by saying “come off the line” to which the defending team will have to come all the way up to the 7 metre in defence.

  6. After 6 touches possession changes. The attacking team begins play on “touch zero”, starting with a rollball.

  7. Defending players must be 7 metres back from the rollball. If not the referee has the option of calling off side and returning the attacking touch count to 0, or to play on if the attacking team gains an advantage. 

    1. The defending team cannot move forward of the 7 metre line until the ball has been played by the dummy half, not the roller. Nor can they interfere with play whilst retreating

    2. The attacking dummy half has a maximum of 2 seconds to play the ball or the defending team can move up.

  8. A try (touchdown) will be scored when a player with the ball places it on the ground under controlled pressure, on, or behind, the try-line. One point is awarded per score.

    1. Diving is allowed for scoring

    2. If a player is touched prior to the ball being grounded, the try is not allowed and a rollball is to occur. The referee's decision will be final. 

  9. After the touchdown/try has been scored the game will recommence with a tap from the middle of the pitch, if there is time left to play.

  10. A knock on constitutes the ball being dropped or knocked to the ground in any direction. When this occurs the ball is dead, and possession goes to the team not responsible for the infringement. Play restarts with a roll ball.

  11. A deliberate knock down by the defending player will result in a penalty being awarded to the non offending team. 

  12. TOUCH AND PASS (Late pass)  If a player passes the ball after a legitimate touch has been made, they will automatically lose possession to the defending team. This can be  a difficult judgement to make by the referee. Their decision will be final, and dissent will be penalised.

  13. Intercepts are allowed provided the players were on side at the roll ball and the ball has not touched the ground.

  14. If a player runs into touch (OUT OF BOUNDS), or passes forward, possession goes to the defending team, (play re-starts with a roll ball) - A restart from out of bounds is taken 7metres infield at the point of exit

    1. If the out of bounds occurred within 7metre of the tryline by either team, the rollball will occur at the 7metre infield and 7metre from the tryline.

  15. If the attacking player, when making a quick start, is touched by an off-side defender, play is allowed to continue. If an attacking side gains no advantage, a penalty tap for the first down will be given, back at the mark of the infringement

    1. Retiring (defensive) players must not interfere with play whilst returning on side. Likewise attacking players should not run towards a retiring player looking to instigate a penalty - Known as shielding.

  16. A team can only replace or sub players from the 'sub box' area 10m either side of the half way. The retiring player must leave the field by the ‘sub box’ before the replacement enters the field of play. After a try has been scored, substitutions just run on provided there are only 6 players on the field at the restart of play.

  17. A restart to play post either team scoring (not kick off at the beginning of a half) can be taken, without waiting for a referee whistle, but once 4 players of the defending team have retired past the 10 metre line from halfway.

    1. A penalty tap in open play can be taken immediately without hesitation unless the referee determines the need to halt the play for any reason 

  18. When a penalty is awarded, the referee will advance 10 metres from where the infringement occurred. The referee must give the exact mark from where the Tap Ball must be taken. The defending team must retire 10 metres from the mark or behind the try-line.

  19. An attacking player may not deliberately pass a ball into a defensive player searching for a reset of the touch count. If the referee believes this to be the case a penalty shall be awarded from the point the ball hit the floor.

  20. Foul play of a severe nature will result in the player being sent off. (The referee being sole judge of fact and time) without replacement for the rest of the match. The said player will be suspended for a minimum 1 game, and more if deemed necessary by the tournament director.

  21. For other offences, (e.g. bickering with the ref, leg trips, shouldering, repeated infringements) the offending player will be subbed off and not allowed back on  for a period of time. If the extent of the offence is deemed worthy the player will be sent off without replacement for a period of time.  The offending player will stand behind the touchdown zone at the end their team is playing towards until recalled into the game by the ref. Further foul play may result in the player being sent off.

  22. The progression of sanctions

    1. Penalty

    2. Penalty and sub offending player  (player goes to his teams sub box and is replaced so that team retain 6 players on field.

    3. Penalty and sent for time (Player goes to behind the dead ball line of his opponent's end. Their team plays with 5 players till (s)he returns. Player comes back into play when invited by the referee.

    4. Penalty and sent for the rest of the match.  Player leaves the field and the team must play with only 5 players for the duration of the match.

    5. Players may be removed from a period of games or the tournament - Tournament directors discretion.

Full FIT 5th Edition rules are found here: English Rules

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