Tag Rugby Rules




· Tag Rugby is a non-contact form of rugby where a "tackle" involves removing a "tag" which is attached to the shorts of the ball carrier. Each side has six "tags" to score a try.

· After each "tag", the tagged player stops, places the ball on the ground and rolls it backwards with the hand to a team-mate standing behind. This is called a ruck ball. The team-mate standing behind is called a scrum-half. If the Scrum-half is Tagged without passing the ball, it will result in a turnover - the opposition will be awarded possession. 

· A Try is scored in the same way as in other forms of rugby i.e. by touching down the ball on the ground over the try line while retaining control of the ball. The Try scorer must have both feet on the ground for a try to be awarded, i.e. Tries will not be awarded if the scorer dives.

· If no try is scored after the sixth "tag", the opposition shall gain possession of the ball and they shall restart play with a ruck ball.

· Again, as with other forms of rugby, the normal ruling for pass being behind or lateral with the player being passed to applies.

· A match shall consist of 2 halves of 20 minutes and such injury time as may be played at discretion of the referee. The game will start on a hooter with half-time and the start of the second half being indicated with a hooter. The game will end when the ball goes out of play, a knock-on occurs or the ball goes dead due to max of six tags, after the final hooter has sounded. An infringement or tag before the sixth tag will not result in a game finishing. Injury time may be played at the referee's discretion.

· At the start of the game the referee tosses a coin and the winner of the toss decides whether to kick-off or to choose an end.

">· The field of play will be a maximum of 70 metres long by 50 metres wide.

· The law of advantage takes precedence over most other laws and its purpose is to make play more continuous with fewer stoppages for infringements. When the result of an infringement by one team is that there opponents may gain an advantage, the referee does not whistle immediately for the infringement, the referee allows play to continue with the option to return to the original offence.


· A team must have no more than 7 players on the field at any time. There can be any number of authorised replacements. The maximum number of players per squad for any given match is 13. Any players not playing in at least 3 matches prior to the playoffs/semi-final/finals may not play in those matches.

· The maximum number of male players on the field at any time is 4.

· If a player has an open or bleeding wound he/she must leave the playing area immediately. The player may not return until the bleeding has been controlled and the wound has been covered. A player may not wear any item that is contaminated by blood.

· A player must not wear any item that is sharp or abrasive. A player must not wear jewellery or glasses. A player must not wear gloves.

· All players must wear approved Tag shorts when participating in matches and if a player is not wearing approved Tag shorts the player shall not be permitted to play in the match.


· Scoring will be on the basis of age and gender, as follows:- 

   Veterans (Aged 35 years or over)  : 3 points for Men and 6 points for Women (All 60 years or over 6 points).

   Seniors (Aged 18 - 34 years)  : 1 points for Men and 2 points for Women

   Youths (Aged 14 - 17 years)   :  2 points for Boys and 4 points for Girls

· A player may not dive to score a Try; both feet must be in contact with the ground after a try is scored.

· If a player dives to score a Try it will result in the defending team receivng a penalty on the five metre line.

· If a player falls or slips in scoring a Try, it will result in the attacking team receiving an additional ruck ball on the 5 metre line.

· In order to score a Try after a ball has been kicked a player must regain possession of the ball prior to carrying it over the Try line.

· In games, a male player cannot pass the ball to a female player after crossing the tryline nor can he run back into the field of play to pass the ball to a female player.

· When a Try is scored the scoring team shall restart play with a drop-kick from the halfway line.


· When a tag is removed, the defender must hold it in the air where the tag was made, drop it at that point and assume a marker position (i.e. a position 1 metre directly in front of the player who has been tagged), or return to the defensive line.

· At a ruck ball all defenders must be at least 7 metres from the ruck ball and there may only be one marker.

· A player may defend with 1 or no tags, however if he/she receives the ball he/she must play the ball immediately i.e. pass or kick it taking not more than 1 step.

· A defender must not deliberately obstruct a ball carrier or a member of the other team who does not have the ball.

· At ruck ball situations the defensive line (except the marker) must be at least 7 metres back from the ruck ball. The defensive line must be at least 10 metres back at all penalty and kick-off situations.

· If a defender makes a tag after the tagged player has passed or kicked the ball, the referee may call "Late Tag, Play On" and allow the attacker to progress with only one or no tags until the next tag is made by the defending team or the ball goes out of the Field of Play. An attacker with one or no tags shall be deemed to have been tagged if a defender comes within tagging distance.

· If it is a simultaneous tag and off load, no action is taken and the attacker must replace the tag before being able to attack again. The referee will call "Ball away".

· If an attacker not in possession is tagged before receiving the ball the referee will call "Early tag". The referee may then play the advantage and penalise the defender if necessary.

· Under no circumstances can the marker run around and retrieve the ball from the scrum half position.


· A player may pass the ball to a team mate by throwing the ball to another player or handing the ball to another player without throwing it. A pass must be lateral or backwards, but not forwards in which case a turnover will be awarded.

· If a player in possession of the ball falls or slips to the ground and a defender is within tagging distance, a tag shall be counted. A Try will not be awarded if the attacker in possession of the ball falls or slips over the tryline. The attacker will be awarded an additional ruck ball on the 5m line to restart the game.

· If a player dives it will result in a penalty to the opposition.

· If an attacker in possession of the ball is tagged in the in-goal area before he/she scores a try, he/she shall be asked to conduct a ruck ball five (5) metres out from the tryline.

· If a player in possession is tagged behind their own tryline, his/her team will restart play with a drop-kick from the centre of their tryline.

· The scrum half can pass or kick the ball with only one tag on as long as they do so immediately (one step).

· If the scrum half is not in position within 3 seconds of the ball being played at a ruck ball, a turnover will be awarded to the defending team.

· A player in possession must not attempt to bump or fend off a defender in their attempts to remove a tag nor whilst chasing the ball.


· Kicking is only allowed in limited circumstances in Tag compared to other forms of rugby.

· Drop-kicks will be used to restart play after scores and at the commencement of each half.

· A tap-kick is used to restart play after a penalty is awarded.

· A grubber-kick (i.e. a kick no higher than 1.5 metres) is permitted in general play.

· No Chip-kicks, Up & Unders/Garryowens are permitted.

· A defender may call a mark from a chip-kick in the field of play and the game shall restart with a tap-kick by the player who caught the ball.

· The players from the kicking team must be behind the ball when it is kicked

· All restart/drop-kicks must go at least 10 metres and the kicking team must stay at least 2 metres back from the receiving team while the ball is in the air.

· If a ball bounces in the field of play from a kick and then rolls over the touchline (without being touched) a ruck ball will be awarded to the non-kicking team 5 metres in-field from where the ball crossed the touchline.

· If a ball is kicked dead or bounces in play and goes over the dead-ball line without anyone touching it, the receiving team will restart the game with a penalty from where the ball was kicked.

· If a ball is kicked, in general play, and a member of the kicking team re-gathers a ball that has not touched a member of the opposing team, play shall continue and the tag count shall continue. If a member of the kicking team gathers or re-gathers a ball that has struck and been played at by a member of the opposing team, play shall continue and the tag count shall be restarted.

· If the ball is kicked and it crosses the receiving team's Try line after it strikes a player from the receiving team who has deliberately played at the ball, a drop-kick from the centre of the receiving team's tryline will restart play.


· A turnover will be awarded to the non offending team in the case of a knock-on. A player may not knock-on deliberately and a penalty may be awarded if he/she does so.

· If a player propels the ball in a backward direction play will continue.


· Penalties are taken by way of a tap-kick in any direction. If a player chooses to use the ruck ball action instead of taking the tap-kick it is still deemed to be a tap-kick.

· The offending team must retire 10 metres from where the penalty is to be taken.

· Further misconduct by the offending team shall allow the referee to advance the mark of the penalty once only, by ten 10 metres.


· In the event of misconduct by a player, the referee shall, at his/her discretion, caution, sin-bin (for 5 minutes) or dismiss the player.

· If a player is sent off he/she shall receive a one week suspension. If the offence is deemed serious enough by the senior referee and the relevant venue manager the matter may be reported to a disciplinary panel established by Gorey RFC and the player may face such further suspension as that disciplinary panel sees fit.


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