I’ve never played Touch is it hard to learn?
Touch is very simple to play. 2-3 games will see you master the basic skills and the more you play the better you will become. As long as you are keen to get involved you will develop the skills to enjoy yourself on the field.
How fit do I have to be to play?
People of all shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels play in social and competitive leagues, you chose the level you wish to play. You will find that over the season your personal fitness levels will increase, Touch is a great way to exercise, improve cardio vascular fitness and help to burn excess fat.
What do I need to play?
All you need to get started is a willingness to learn and have some fun. You can start by simply getting a bunch of friends together, a set of the rules and a ball. The sport is renowned for its social appetite. For those of you that want to really get into the game, there are specialist shoes made for Touch that can give you that extra grip when you need it.
What does it cost to play?
Playing socially with your friends costs nothing, league costs vary throughout the country, but work out to be around £35-£45 for 10 weeks.
How long are the games?
The international standard is 40 mins (2 x 20 mins).
How big is the field?
The international standard is 70m x 50m.
How many people play in a team?
The international standard is 14 players per team, 6 on the field at any one time with up to eight substitutes. who interchange at random. 10-12 players is a good number to allow for that much needed rest during the game.
What is the male/female ratio in a Mixed Team?
The international standard is a minimum of 3 women and a maximum of 3 men on the field. This may vary at Clubs due to local conditions so please check with the Club where you wish to play.
How does the scoring work?
Single points are scored for each try scored in most competitive games although local competition rules may differ.
If I haven’t played before am I able to come down and just watch?
Of course! Feel free to come down to any of the venues and check out how the game is played. Simply turn up at any of the venues where Touch is being played, you’ll find people are really friendly and happy to chat about the game to you.
How far can I go with Touch?
If you have the skill and determination you can represent your country in National and International competitions, with the Touch World Cup being the ultimate test of the World Champs.
Is there an international governing body?
Yes, the Federation of International Touch. For more information on FIT, please visit their website
Glossary of terms
Touch shares many terms in common with rugby league (eg cover-defence, offside, intercept). Below are some Touch-specific terms. The list is not meant to be comprehensive, and there are some regional variations.
- Acting Half, Dummy Half or just Half: the player who receives the ball following the rollball
- Dump or Quickie: a quick rollball to further attacking opportunities from the ensuing play. At levels above beginners these constitute all touches/roll balls.
- Fade or Drag: an angled run forwards and towards the wing/sideline in an attempt to drag the defenders sideways and potentially open up gaps on the open side.
- Link: The position on the field between the middles and the wings (the second player from the sideline).
- Middle: The position on the field in the middle of the players (the third player from either side line).
- Phantom: a defensive player claiming a touch when no touch had in fact been made. Frowned upon by the vast majority of players. A “yes/no” call is also regarded as a phantom. If spotted a phantom call results in a penalty, forced sub or sin bin.
- Open Side: the side of the ball carrier with the most number of players.
- Re-Align: when an attacker moves back into an onside position (behind the ball) after passing or making a touch.
- Rollball: must be performed once a player in possession is touched by the opposition or after a turnover. The rollball is performed by placing the ball on the mark, and either rolling the ball backwards, or stepping forward over it. The ball is picked up by another player on the attacking team (see acting-half). Above a beginner level, players usually never actually roll the ball along the ground.
- Ruck: any attacking move intended to promote the ball down the field rather than specifically result in a touchdown.
- Scoop or Scoot: an attacking move following the dump, whereby a player runs from the half position in an attempt to get past the defensive line.
- Short Side: the side to the ball carrier with the least number of players.
- Snap: to beat (ie run past) an opponent by changing direction suddenly.
- Squeeze: a type of zone defence used to force attacking players to move the ball to the wings to gain and/or take advantage of an overlap (by which time the defence should have had time to re-position itself).
- Switch or Cut: an attacking move where the ball player passes to a receiver in the direction that the receiver has come from, as they run angled lines that cross over with the receiver running behind the ball carrier.
- Touch: the main defensive tactic in the game of Touch, similar to a tackle in some other codes of football. It forces the attacking team to stop and restart play (see rollball). A touch is performed by the defensive team on any part of the body or clothing of the current ball carrier for the attacking team, or the ball itself. At the moment of a touch, it is customary (but not mandatory) for the defensive player who is performing the touch to shout “Touch”, which alerts both the attacking and defensive teams and the referees that the player has been touched.
- Wing: The position on the field at the side of the field (the player next to the sideline).
- Wrap: a variation on the switch move involving where the ball carrier passes after the receiver as run behind them to the side that the receiver is running to.