THE OBJECT OF THE GAME: is to score as many try’s as possible and prevent the opposition from scoring any. Each try is worth one point and there are no other means of scoring. The winning team is the one with the most try’s at the end of the game.


  • Only six (6) players allowed on the field at any one time.
  • There must be a minimum of two (2) members of either sex on the field at all times for the mixed Competition.

POSESSION: A team retains possession for a set of six consecutive touches. Possession (or a Turnover) transfers to the opposing team:

  • after the sixth touch
  • after a try;
  • if the Dummy Half gets touched;
  • from an intercept;
  • a player passes the ball after being touched – “touch pass penalty”;
  • a player doesn’t not play the ball in the correct spot after being touched, ‘one step’ is given as leeway
  • from a dropped ball, forward pass or other failure to maintain possession;


  • From the tap for the start of game, or from a penalty, the defending team must be at least 10 metres from point of the tap.
  • After making a touch, the defending team must retreat the distance the referee marks, at least five metres from the mark where the touch occurred and stay there until the Half touches the ball. If a player does not retreat the entire distance the referee has marked, or they leave before the Half has touched the ball, they are 'offside' and may be penalised. They must retreat backwards from the touch point or play the ball area, not sideways.
  • If a penalty is conceded, the defending team must retreat at least 10 metres from the mark of the penalty. If a player makes an attempt to defend whilst still inside the 10 metres, they will be penalised.

SCORING: A point is awarded when an attacking player places the ball on or over the opposition’s scores line. Each try’s is worth one point. Female scoring a try is worth two points. The dummy half cannot score a try. Diving on the try line is strictly prohibited.

THE DUMMY-HALF is subject to a number of restrictions that do not apply to other players: If the Half is touched with the ball, the attacking team loses possession. The Half cannot score a try, attempting to do so results in a change of possession. If the Half takes too long to retrieve the ball, or the ball rolls more than a meter in the play the ball, the referee can call play on and defenders are allowed to move forward before the Half has touched the ball.

THE TAP: Play is started by a tap at the beginning of each half, following a try and when a penalty is awarded.

  • The tap is performed by an attacking player placing the ball on the ground, touching the ball with their foot, then picking it up and playing. NB: The ball must be released from the hands and come into contact with the ground after the or a change of possession occurs.
  • The defensive team must stay at a minimum distance of 10 metres from the mark during the tap, unless they are positioned on their own scoreline.
  • The defensive players can move after the ball carrier has touched the ball with his foot.
  • The player who has performed the tap may be touched without losing possession.
  • The attacking side must be positioned behind the ball when it is tapped.
  • The attacking side may move the ball up to 10 metres directly behind the given mark when taking a penalty tap. In this case, the defending side must still remain 10-metres from the original mark, not the new mark.

A PENALTY is granted to the non-offending team if:

  • the ball is passed forward.
  • a "touch and pass" is committed (a pass after being touched). This is often called a "late pass"
  • a player does not perform the rollball at the mark (overstepping).
  • an obstruction is committed.
  • a player is offside.
  • a defending player does not retreat in a straight line to an onside position.
  • a player acts contrary to the rules or spirit of the sport (e.g. time-wasting, using excessive force to make a touch, phantom touch (calling a touch when they clearly didn't make one), disputing decisions, etc.).

SUBSTITUTIONS can be made any number of times throughout the match. However, the game remains continuous and does not stop to allow substitutions. Players coming onto the field must wait until the player they are substituting with has come off the field.

GAME DURATION Games consist of 2 by 20 minute halves with the half time break not exceeding 5 minutes. No clock stoppages will be made except under exceptional circumstances. Such circumstance will be at the sole discretion of the UR Rep.

WINNING TEAM The winner is the team with the greater number of try’s at the end of the game. A draw will be awarded if both teams have an equal amount of try’s. For the competition ladder, the winning team receives 3 points, 1 point each for drawn game and no points for a loss

FAIRPLAY SYSTEM Each league night you will have an Event Host onsite, but these guys are not official referees. Urban Rec is a recreational league which practices a fair-play and fun-first policy, meaning you should be making your own calls on the game. The Event Host will be there to make the calls not made by individuals, keep time, and help guide the games within the game play rules. The Urban Rec Event Host has the final say on any issue that cannot be self-resolved.

SPORTSMANSHIP All Urban Rec participants have read and agreed to the Urban Rec Code of Conduct. We also exercise a strict Disciplinary Policy. If you are seen to be rude in any way or not playing within the respect of the rules and Code of Conduct, you will be asked by the Urban Rec Staff to sub out of the game. If after returning to the game your attitude does not improve you will be asked to leave the venue, and an assessment will be made if you can play again. We do not tolerate idiots. Play fair.

Note that the above details are generic Touch Football rules. The rules for each specific league may differ.