Touch Rugby

Variations on Touch Rugby

Three second

My personal favourite is “three second” touch. Here the tackled player has three seconds to pass the ball once touched. The referee counts down after every touch and a turnover is awarded if the ball is not released in time. A touched player cannot score a try.

There is no offside once there has been a turnover. This encourages support, passing in the tackle and also gives slower forwards the opportunity to play a more active part in the game when taking the ball forward.

It makes the players take up better body positions through a potential contact situation.


Double touch

In a game not unlike “three second” touch, a player is allowed to be touched once, but if they are touched again then the ball is turned over to the other side. A touched player cannot score.

Again this promotes support running, but also cover defence. Players who face the chance of being tackled twice in quick succession will learn to move the ball away effectively from danger very quickly


No mistake touch

This game is better for forwards, since it allows them to rumble up the pitch.

Once touched, the player must put the ball through their legs at the point of tackle (no stealing of yards). All the opposition must retire 5m. There is a turnover when either the ball is dropped, goes into touch or a forward pass. There is no limit to the number of touches. The ball is not allowed to be restarted from any situation within 5m of the try line.

So if a tackle is made in the 5m gap in front of the try line, the ball is placed on the 5m line. The same goes for a turnover ball. I would say the main downside of this game is the potential poor body positions it encourages, since there is no need to recycle the ball quickly.


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