Rules

Try Tag Rugby use rules based on the OzTag rules for Tag Rugby. The Basics can be found below. For a more detailed and comprehensive list of rules please download the Try Tag Rugby Official Rule Book.
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The Basics
  • Tag Rugby is a non tackle, minimal contact version of rugby.
  • The objective of the game is to be the team that has accumulated the most points at full time by scoring trys.
  • A try is scored by the attacking team when they place the ball on ground on or over the try line.
  • A try is worth one point. In a mixed game, female tries are worth two points. There are no conversions in Tag Rugby.
  • Defenders must remove the ball carrier’s tag to stop their progress. The defender then holds up the tag and drops it to the ground marking where the player was tagged.
  • After a tag is made, play resumes by the attacker going back to where they were tagged, placing the ball on the ground and rolling it backwards with their foot. This is called a 'play the ball' or 'roll ball'.
  • The defensive side is allowed one marker at the roll ball. The marker is a defender who is allowed to stand directly in front of the attacker within one metre during the roll ball.
  • The remainder of the defending team must be back seven metres from the attacking player during the roll ball and in line with the referee. 
  • A dummy half is the attacking player who picks the ball up from the roll ball and distributes it.  The dummy half is allowed to promote the ball  whilst having only one or no tags on as long as they only take one step.
  • The defensive line - which will be back seven metres with the referee - can only move forward when the dummy half touches the ball. The dummy half can run with the ball and is allowed to be tagged.  The dummy half can also score a try.
  • The marker must remain square with the attacking player rolling the ball and not move until the dummy half has touched the ball.
  • The dummy half has a limited time to pick up the ball after the roll ball. If delayed, the referee will start a three second count.  If the ball has not been picked up by the end of the count, a turnover shall be awarded to the defending team and they will roll the ball from the same position. In NO instance is the marker allowed to dive on,  pick up the ball or move around during the play the ball process until the dummy half has touched the ball. If this occurs, a penalty will be awarded to the attacking team. The referee may opt to start the 3 second count before the play the ball if the player who is playing the ball doesn''t play the ball immediately when returning to the mark.
  • Each team has six tags / plays to promote the ball before a changeover occurs and the defending team becomes the attacking team.
  • An attacker must stop and play a roll ball if he or she is caught in possession with only one tag or no tags on.
  • Players are not allowed to surrender. Surrendering is a voluntary tackle, which will result in a penalty.
  • The ball is allowed to touch the ground as long as it is not propelled from hand/arm in a forward motion.
  • The game is minimal contact; an attacker cannot deliberately bump into a defender. A defender cannot change direction and move into an attacker’s path. Whoever initiates contact will be penalised. The onus is on the attacking player to avoid the defender.
  • The ball carrier is not allowed to protect his tag or fend off defenders.  This is to say move a hand, elbow or the ball over the tags or push/knock away a defenders hand, either accidentally or deliberately, as the defender is attempting to take off a tag.
  • If an attacker is tagged simultaneously to releasing the ball, the referee will call play on. (If the referee is unable to decide, the pass is allowed - play on. The advantage goes to attacking team).
  • If a player trips/falls and lands on their knees, it will be play on if a defender is not within tagging distance. If a player trips/falls and lands on their knees and a defender is within tagging distance, it will be deemed a tag.
  • A player can go down on their knees to score a try over the try line as long as there are no players from the opposing team within tagging distance.
  • A player cannot dive to score a try if a defender is within tagging distance.
  • An attacking team player cannot dive on a ball if there is a defending team player within 2 metres of the ball.
  • A player can on releasing the ball from hands, kick the ball in any direction as long as it is not a 'drop kick' and as long as it stays below the height of the referee's shoulder before bouncing.
  • A player can kick a loose ball as long as nobody from the opposing team are reaching for the ball with their hands and the kick goes stays the height of the referee's shoulder before bouncing.
Differences from OzTag
  • Matches are typically played in the 7 a side format, rather than 8 a side. Maximum of 4 males on pitch at any time in mixed leagues. Some leagues may be played in the 8 a side format and some in the 6 a side and 5 a side format. Maximum of 3 males on pitch for the latter two.
  • Kick offs are taken by the team which scored the try, not the team which conceded the try. As a matter of courtesy, if you score a try, please take the ball back with you as your team will be kicking off next.
  • Diving (ball in hands) - A player may dive to score as long as there are no defending players within tagging distance (~1 metre). If a player is within tagging distance, a penalty will be given.
  • Diving (on a loose ball) - An attacking player may dive on a loose ball but only as long as there are no defending players within 2 metres of the ball and the dive a deemed safe by the referee. If these two conditions are not met, a penalty will be given.
  • If a player goes to ground over the try line whilst attempting to score a try (i.e. knee down) and a defender is within tagging distance, a tag will be counted and the attacking player will play the ball five metres out, or a change over will be given if previously last tag.
  • Kicking is allowed on any tag! Kicks in general play no longer need to be placed on the 0 tag, or after tags 4 and 5. You can now kick at any point of the game, including after a changeover.
  • A call of simultaneous tag on an attacking player's kick followed up by another kick before regathering will not be called as a penalty. A tag will instead be counted. Please remember that you cannot kick a loose ball when an opponent is reaching for it.
  • Passing over the try line or crossing back over the try line will result in a tag, not a turnover. If a player is trying to pass to a team mate, they must do so before crossing the try line. If they pass to a team mate after crossing the try line (or after crossing the try line and running back into the field of play), the try is disallowed and a further tag is called. A play the ball five metres out is awarded to the attacking team.
  • If the dummy half baulks, the referee may say "play on" and the defensive line can move up, however the marker still cannot move until the dummy half touches the ball
  • There is no advantage play when a player kicks above shoulder height.
  • Red cards (straight send offs) will result in minus 5 points to the team. Any team which has a player sent off, will be deducted 5 points from their current match score. So for instance if your team is winning 10-6 with one minute to go and your player gets sent off, your team will lose 6-5. There is no points deduction for teams of players who are sin binned (temporarily sent off).
  • Compulsory female kick-offs in mixed competitions. It is compulsory for females to take kick-offs in all mixed competition matches (some leagues are exempt from this however). Any player is still allowed to take a line drop out.
Regulations
 
a) Misconduct
 
Abuse of referees or officials will not be tolerated. Referees have the full power to sin bin, send off and suspend players from Try Tag Rugby competitions. Try Tag Rugby will hand out lengthy penalties for violent, unsporting or intimidating behaviour against staff or referees.
 
b) Match results
 
In the case where a match needs to be abandoned due to factors other than what have occurred on the pitch (e.g weather, flood light failure etc) a result stands if:
  • in a regular 40 minute match, half-time has been reached.
  • in a shortened or twenty minute match, at least 75% of match time has been played.
If these conditions are met, the match result will be counted as the score at the time that the match was abandoned. If not, the match will be replayed if possible.
 
In order to avoid a forfeit a team must have 4 registered players present at kick-off time for a result to stand in an official 7-a-side match (3 registered players for 6-a-side, 5 registered players for 8-a-side).
 
c) Ringers (Team regulations):
 
Using ringers, a team is only permitted to have 1 extra player on the pitch over their number of present registered players. i.e. if a team turns up with 4 registered players they may use ringers but can only have 5 players (either registered or ringers) on the pitch at any one time. The others must be on the side lines but may sub with players on the pitch.
 
The definition of a ringer is someone not officially registered as a full-time paying member of a team.
 
A team may use ringers if short of registered players for a match. A team using ringers must comply with the following regulations:
  • Maximum of 3 ringers.
  • In the mixed format the team including ringers can have a maximum of 1 sub of each gender.
  • In the men's or ladies' format the team including ringers can have a maximum of 2 subs.
  • Ringers may not be used that are registered in a higher grade division for that venue on the same night.
  • No more than 1 extra player allowed on pitch than the number of registered players present. i.e. team with 5 registered players present for a seven a side match may only have 6 players on pitch.
  • Ringers should not be of too high a standard for the particular division despite not being registered for a team on that night. Ringers are allowed at the discretion of the competition supervisor and match referee. Please check with the supervisor before your match kicks off!
When not using ringers, you may have as many registered subs as you wish.
 
Competition supervisors may pull players from the pitch that are not allowed to play. A team not adhering to the above regulations for a significant amount of time in the match may be recorded as a 10-0 forfeit by the competition supervisor and 2 competition points will be deducted.  If you believe that an opposing side are not adhering ot the ringer regulations, please speak to the competition supervisor during or before the match as soon as you can.  If the competition supervisor is unavailable, please speak to the referee.
 
If a higher grade player has subbed on uninvited in a lower grade match, then action will be taken against that player. The team however should report this to the venue supervisor immediately.
 
d) Ringers (Player regulations):
 
Due to feedback from teams who often end up playing against the same ringers weekly, we have tightened the regulations regarding how frequently players can fill in or "ring" for teams.
 
Starting immediately, players are only allowed to play in one match as a ringer each night. Any players found to be breaking this rule will be banned from being ringers and or playing in friendly matches. This allows more opportunities for different players to pick up games as ringers throughout the season.
 
The definition of a ringer is someone not officially registered as a full-time paying member of a team.
 
e) Forfeits:
 
Even if your team is struggling to raise a full squad, you should always make an effort to get all available players to show up. If less than the required number of players show up, a social match can still be run.
 
If your team must forfeit, please notify Try Tag Rugby at least 24 hours prior to kick-off so that your opposition can be informed. Teams that forfeit on late notice will be heavily penalised.
 
A team forfeiting will be recorded as a 10-0 loss. Additional penalties will be applied to teams in the following circumstances:
  • Less than 24 hours notice of a forfeit and not providing 2 or more players to play a friendly
    - 1 competition point deducted!
  • Notice after 4pm on match day (Mon-Fri evening leagues) and not providing 2 or more players to play a friendly
    - 2 competition points deducted!
  • Notice on the day (Weekend leagues) and not providing 2 or more players to play a friendly
    - 2 competition points deducted!
  • Giving no notice of forfeiting and not showing up
    - 2 competition points deducted!
If a team forfeits 2 matches in one season "After 4pm on match day in Mon-Fri evening leagues, on the day in weekend leagues or complete no show", Try Tag Rugby reserves the right to remove the team from the league.
 
f) Registration of players:
 
Players are not allowed to be dual registered in two teams within the same division except where it has been agreed first with the competition supervisor with at least one week's notice.
 
If a player is registered in two different teams (whether in different divisions or the same division) on the same night, then we can't guarantee there will be no fixture clashes.
 
Whole teams such as a men's team & a mixed team using the majority of the same players will be guaranteed to have no fixture clashes.
 
In all circumstances if you plan to play in two teams (in different divisions) on the same night and you wish to avoid fixture clashes, this needs to be pre-arranged by emailing info@trytagrugby.com at least 7 days prior to the league start date.
 
Temporary registration of players to avoid forfeit is illegal. If a team is caught registering players to avoid a forfeit the team will have 3 competition points deducted. Try Tag Rugby reserves the right to ban teams that are caught doing this more than once.
 
Team squads for the season will be defined by the registered squad on the system at the time of the payment deadline for the league (generally round 2 or 3). Team squad lists will be printed at this point.
 
Players may be registered after this deadline, however the league supervisor must be notified in advance.
 
g) General advice on obtaining ringers:
 
Try Tag Rugby recommends the following if your team is short of registered players:
  • Team captains should use the “find ringers” option whilst logged into the Try Tag Rugby dashboard. However, when contact is made please check that the player is not registered in a higher grade team at your venue.
  • If your team is generally struggling for players try posting on the wall of our Facebook group. The Try Tag Rugby community is full of players who are happy to help out teams. Alternatively you could try placing a free advert on the Gumtree website or signing up for a sports partners website such as Totally Sporty.
  • If you’re still struggling on match day, contact your venue supervisor who with notice can quickly send an email to teams from your grade playing in a different time slot. If you are generally struggling week to week for players, contact your venue supervisor who may be able to add individually registered players to your squad.
  • If it’s nearly kick-off and you are still short, try and find players from other teams in your grade or a lower grade who may be hanging around, if you are unsure of the grade they play in confirm with the venue supervisor first.
  • As a last resort, ask the competition supervisor whether you can borrow players from a higher grade team.
 
h) Talent Distribution Cap
 
Teams that enter into the top tier of a league or tournament are limited to playing no more than six current or former Internationals in their squad (seven for eight a side competitions). An international is defined as anyone who has played a Test Match for a full International Tag Federation (ITF) member nation such as Great Britain, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand or in an ITF World Cup in the last 24 months.
 
Teams whose regular squads don't meet these criteria are allowed to apply for dispensation for any players who have been regular members of their squad in the previous season.
 
These rules are in place to help spread out the talent so that more teams have a chance of winning a title, so that the top division of each league and tournament features more competitive matches and to stop the top teams poaching players who've recently made International teams.
 
i) Tag Rugby Shorts
 
International Tag Federation approved Tag Rugby shorts or ladies Tag Rugby tights are compulsory for play. Try Tag Rugby sell approved Tag Rugby shorts for £12 at all our venues and shorts or ladies Tag Rugby tights via our online shop. When ordering items in our online shop, you can either have them posted out or choose to pick them up at the venue. The only other brands of shorts we allow are those which meet International Tag Federation approval such as Oztag, NZ Tag Football and the Irish Tag Rugby Association.
 
All players looking to buy shorts should arrive at least 20 minutes prior to kick-off, ideally with the correct change.
 
If you forget your shorts and you need to borrow Tag Rugby shorts, they will be available to borrow for £4 each round.
 
Tag Rugby belts are strictly not permitted in Try Tag Rugby competitions.

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