Touch History & Rules

Touch History

Touch is derived from rugby league and is played with two teams of six players. Played under the auspices of the Federation of International Touch (FIT), it is officially known as touch or touch football.
Touch is a fast, skilful team sport, without any of the tackling or contact you see in a game of rugby.
There is a progression pathway to international honours starting at Under 15’s through to Over 55’s. World Cups are held every four years and Euro’s every two years.

The Aim of Touch

The simple aim of Touch is to score a try by grounding the ball over the opposition’s try line. To stop the other team from scoring you must touch the player with the ball.

Abbreviated Playing Rules

  • 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 using the same procedure.
  • Six players are allowed on the field at any one time. Players can be continuously substituted at any time from your sub box.
  • A touch is minimal contact between players, on the ball, hair or clothing.
  • An attacking player may affect the touch by touching the opposition.
  • When touched, the player in possession must place the ball on the ground at the exact point of the touch and stepping over the ball. This is known as a rollball. The ball may not roll more than a metre. A player may not perform a rollball unless touched.
  • The player picking up the ball (the half) may run, but if touched a changeover occurs. The half may not score and a changeover (rollball) will be awarded if this happens.
  • After six touches with no score, possession changes. The attacking team begins play with a rollball.
  • During a roll ball, all defending players must retire to the onside line set by the referee, 7m back from the roll ball. The defending team cannot move forward until play restarts, nor interfere with play while retreating. A restart occurs the moment the ball is tapped (for a tap) or the half touches the ball (for a rollball). Players may not delay the game by deliberately delaying a roll ball.
  • If the ball is dropped or if a player crosses the sideline before being touched, a change of possession will occur.
  • A penalty is awarded for infringements including: forward pass, offside play, performing a roll ball over the mark, claiming a touch when none was made, using more than minimum force to make a touch, interfering with the roll ball and passing the ball once touched.
  • Play cannot re-start until the referee is ready.
  • If the defending team unsuccessfully intercepts the ball or it is intentionally knocked down, the attacking team restarts their possession (‘six again’) with a zero touch. If the interception is successful then the next touch of the ball carrier will be ‘zero touch’. For more information and resources goto –



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At North Walsham Rugby Club, our 1st XV (Vikings) are playing at National 2 level. Mini and Youth Rugby caters for Under 6s to U18s. Three Senior Men’s teams. Senior Women’s in affiliation with UEA ladies rugby. Four Girls teams Under12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.


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