The Rules

Please see below for the simplified Touch rules.

A good introduction to the game, and summary of the rules, can be found in a document 'Touch for Dummy (Halves)' produced by Touch Deutschland. The pdf document can be downloaded by clicking on the link 'Touch for Dummy (Halves)'.

If you want to study the rules in more detail, click on the links below to download a copy of the full F.I.T playing rules, and playing rules with explanantions (pdf format).

F.I.T Playing Rules, 3rd Edition

F.I.T Playing Rules with Explanations and Interpretations, 3rd Edition

Simplified Rules

1  Scoring: A touchdown will be awarded when a player places the ball on or over the scoreline prior to being touched. A touchdown will be worth one point. The Dummy Half is not permitted to score touchdowns.

2  Substitution Box: Teams may interchange players at any time. Players coming on to the field may not do so until the player being replaced has come off. Substitutions must occur at or within the team's substitution box. In the Bristol leagues the substitution box is between the 10m lines, marked with red cones.

3  Possession of the Ball: A change of possession shall occur when:-
*the ball goes to ground.
* the Dummy half is touched while in possession.
* the Dummy half places the ball in the Touchdown zone.
* the 6th Touch occurs.
* the player in possession steps on or over the boundary of the field of play.
* a rollball is performed incorrectly.
* a tap is performed incorrectly.
At a change of possession play is restarted with a rollball.

4  Passing: A player may pass, knock, throw or otherwise deliver the ball to any onside player in the attacking team. Passing forward is NOT permitted.

5  The Tap: The tap is taken by placing the ball on the ground on the mark, releasing the ball from both hands, tapping the ball with the foot a distance of not more than one metre and retrieving the ball cleanly. Any player from the attacking team may take the tap.

6  The Penalty: When a player/team is penalised the non offending team shall restart play with a tap. The tap is taken at the mark and the defending team must retire ten metres from the mark until the ball has been tapped.
Play restarts with a tap when the following infringements occur;
* Forward Pass
* Touch and Pass
* Rollball performed off the mark
* Performing a rollball prior to a touch being made
* Defenders offside at the rollball (5 metres)
* Defenders offside at the tap (10 metres)
* Deliberately delaying play
* More than six players on the field
* Incorrect substitution
* Falsely claiming a touch
* Using more than the minimum force to make a touch
* Misconduct

7  Rollball: A means of restarting play. Players must perform the rollball on the mark while facing their opponent's defending scoreline and rolling the ball backwards between their legs a distance of not more than one metre. Players must not delay performing the rollball.

8  The Touch: Players from both teams are permitted to effect the touch. A touch is contact with any part of the body, ball, clothing or hair. A minimum of force is to be used at all times. The team in possession is entitled to 6 touches.

9  Touch and Pass: A player is not to pass the ball after a touch has been made.

10  The Dummy Half: The dummy half is the person who picks up the ball after a team-mate has performed a rollball.

11  Offside/Onside: After a touch has been made all defending players must retire 5 metres from the mark. Defenders cannot move forward until the dummy half has touched the ball.

12  Sideline: If a player with the ball touches or crosses the sideline s/he is deemed to be out of play and a change of possession occurs. Play restarts with a rollball 5 metres in from where the player went out. If a touch is made before the player goes out, the touch counts.

13 Obstruction: Players of the attacking team are not to obstruct defending players from attempting to effect a touch. Defending players are not to obstruct/interfere with attacking players supporting the ball carrier.

14  The Field of Play: The field is 70m long (scoreline to scoreline) and 50m wide. Substitution boxes measuring 20m in length shall be situated on both sides of the field at halfway. The Touchdown zone is the area beyond the scoreline.

15  Team Composition: A team may consist of up to 14 players. A maximum of six (6) are allowed on the field at any one time. A minimum of four players are required for the match to be played.

16  The Toss: The captain winning the toss shall receive possession of the ball and a choice of direction and substitution box for the first half. The Referee will supervise the toss.

17  Duration: The match length in the Bristol leagues depend on the season. The summer leagues run with the standard 40 minute games (2 x 20min with a 2 minutes break). The autumn and winter leagues are 32 minutes (2 x 16min) for standard league games.

18  Extra Time and the Drop Off: When a match is drawn and a single winner is required, extra time is played and teams drop off players every two minutes until down to 3. The first team to score a Touchdown wins the match.

19  Player Attire: All team members must be correctly attired in matching coloured tops. Tops should be sequentially numbered. Footwear with moulded soles are permitted. Bare feet, spikes and footwear with screw in studs are not permitted. Players are not to wear any item of jewellery that might be dangerous.

20  The Referee: The referee is the sole judge on matters of fact and is required to adjudicate on the rules of the game during play. The referee may impose any sanction necessary to control the match. All officials, players and coaches involved in the match are under the control of the referee.

21  Foul Play will Not be Tolerated: Any foul play (the referee being the sole judge) will result in the offending player being penalised, sent to the sin bin for a period of time, or being sent from the field for the remainder of the match, depending on the severity of the offence.

22  Mixed Teams: A mixed team is made up of a ratio of male/female players. In the Bristol leagues teams are not permitted to field more than four male players or not less than one male player at any time.

Logon