Be sure to follow the rules below to ensure a safe and fair game!
- There are two options when setting up the field.
- You can have either half a field which is 60m x 35m or a third of a field which is 60m x 25m.
- For players aged 11 and under we recommend using a size three or four ball. For all other ages we recommend using a regular sized ball.
- There is seven players on the field at one time.
- A team can have up to five substitutes.
- Teams can make an unlimited amount of substitutions during play.
- A player being substituted must cross the touch line and tag their replacement player.
- If a player is injured the referee may signal to allow a replacement player to enter the field of play before the injured player has left the field.
- If there is a serious injury the referee should stop play so the player can be treated and leave the field.
- There are two seven minute halves with a two minute break at half time.
- There is no time off for injury or other stoppages.
- If time expires and the ball is still in play, the match finishes upon the next ball place, turnover, or when the ball is next dead. If played in a gala day format, immediate finish mid-play on a central signal is acceptable.
- A try is awarded with five points.
Kick-off and restarts
- All kick-offs are punt kicks. After a try, the scoring team kicks off from the centre of the halfway line.
- The receiving team at a kick-off must be at least ten metres back from the halfway line.
- If a kick-off is unsuccessful (eg: wrong kick, doesn’t reach ten metres, goes dead or in touch on the full) a ball place is awarded at the centre of halfway to the receiving team. In matches with young players or low skill players another chance to kick off correctly may be provided by the referee.
- There is a five metre radius circle ‘exclusion zone’ around a player attempting to field the ball after a kick-off where the ball is kicked above head height on the full. No opposing player can enter this zone until the receiving player has played the ball or the ball bounces (penalty).
- A touch occurs when the player with the ball is touched by an opposing player with a minimum of one hand.
- A player making a touch has the option to call “touch!” if they think the touch may not be recognised.
- Touches are not permitted above the shoulders (penalty).
- Touches with force are regarded as dangerous play (penalty).
- When a player is touched, the player has two options: to offload or ball place.
- The referee will keep count of how many times a team has been touched.
- If the ball or the ball carrier touches the referee and either team gains an advantage, the referee adds one to the touch count and the game is restarted with a ball place.
- After a player has been touched they can pass the ball to a teammate.
- This must happen within two seconds of the touch and the player can take a maximum of two steps before passing.
- If the player offloads the ball, there is no offside line for defending players and general play continues.
- If a player takes longer than two seconds or runs further than two steps, the referee will blow the whistle and order a ball place.
- The third time the referee needs to intervene to order a ball place during a set of seven touches, a turnover will be awarded to the defending team.
- If a player is touched within two metres of their opponent’s goal line, they may offload or ball place on the five metre line but will not be able to score a try themselves.
- They may score if their foot is on the goal line when touched.
The ‘ball place’: attacking team
- After a player has been touched, they can turn and face their own goal line and place the ball on the ground.
- A ball place must take place at or directly behind the mark where the touch occurred.
- A supporting attacking player then plays the ball and play continues.
- If a supporting attacking player doesn’t immediately play the ball, the referee may call “use it! If the attacking team do not use the ball the referee may award a turnover.
The ‘ball place’: defending team
- If a touched player opts for a ball place, defending players must move back behind an offside line five metres from the mark of the ball place.
- Defending players cannot move forward until the ball is played by the supporting attacking player (penalty).
- A defending player who is offside at a ball place can only take part in play after retreating behind the five metres line from the previous ball place (penalty).
- Once a team has been “touched” seven times, the referee should immediately award a turnover to the other team. The touch count restarts at zero.
- That team restarts play with an offload at the place of the seventh touch.
- The opposing team must stand five metres back from this offload.
Knock-on and forward pass
- A knock-on or forward pass by either team results in a turnover.
- If the referee judges that the non-infringing team may gain an advantage from play continuing, the referee should allow play to continue, but call out the infringement and reset the touch count to zero as play continues.
- Any intentional contact with the ball from the defending team where the ball is regathered by the attacking team results in the touch count being reset to zero
- When the ball or a player with the ball goes into touch, play is restarted by a quick throw-in.
- The team who did not last touch the ball before it went into touch will take the throw-in.
Quick throw-in: attacking team
- The throw-in may be taken anywhere from where the ball crossed the touch line into touch, back to the goal line of the team throwing in.
- If the ball is kicked out over the touch line on the full, the throw-in may be taken anywhere from the place in line with where the ball was kicked, back to the goal line of the team throwing in.
- A quick throw-in must travel straight or towards the throwing team’s own goal line.
- The quick throw-in must travel five metres before being caught or played by a teammate of the thrower.
- The thrower cannot throw-in to themselves.
- The referee may award a turnover if the quick throw is taken incorrectly.
Quick throw-in: defending team
- Defending players at a quick throw-in must be behind an offside line ten metres from the place where the quick thrown-in is taken.
- Defending players cannot move forward until the ball is thrown in.
- A defending player who is offside at a quick throw-in can only take part in play after retreating behind the ten metres line from the quick throw-in (penalty).
There are two options with respect to kicking in general play depending on age group and skill set of the participants.
Kicking option one
- No kicking in general play allowed.
- If a player kicks the ball, the referee awards a turnover to the non-infringing team at the place where the ball was kicked.
Kicking option two
- Kicking is permitted at any time during the game.
- Heavy contact is not allowed when trying to regather the ball after a kick.
- If a player from the kicking team regathers the ball, the touch count is not reset and continues.
- If an opponent first plays the ball following a kick and it is regathered by the kicking team, the touch count is reset to zero.
- Any player in front of a teammate kicking the ball must not move forward or toward the ball until they are run onside by the kicker or a player who was behind the kicker (penalty).
- There is a five metre radius circle ‘exclusion zone’ around a player attempting to field the ball after a kick where the ball is kicked above head height on the full. No opposing player can enter this zone until the receiving player has played the ball or the ball bounces (penalty).
- If an opponent charges a kick down, or the ball is touched in flight by an opponent after being kicked, the exclusion zone no longer applies.
- If a player is touched in the act of kicking, the referee should play on unless the touch clearly preceded the kick.
- If a player kicks after clearly being touched, the referee will blow the whistle and order a ball place.
Penalties and advantages
- If the referee stops play for a penalty infringement, play restarts with an offload by the non-infringing team.
- The infringing team must stand back five metres from this offload and the touch count is reset to zero.
- If the infringement occurs before the first touch of a set of seven, the referee may advance the mark for the penalty ten metres up the field from the place of the first infringement.
- The referee will manage the infringing team back five metres from the new mark before allowing the offload to be taken.
- When a penalty infringement occurs, and the referee judges that a team may gain an advantage from play continuing, the referee should allow play to continue, but call out the infringement and reset the touch count to zero as play continues.
- If the ball becomes dead in-goal (except when kicked dead from in the field of play), play restarts with a ball place to the defending team five metres out from their goal line.
- If a team kicks the ball through their opponents’ in-goal and it goes dead, the defending team chooses to have a ball place either five metres from the defending team’s goal line or at the place where the ball was kicked.
- If a player is touched inside their own in-goal, play restarts with a ball place to the team in possession, five metres out from their goal line
- If a player is touched inside their opponents’ in-goal (at least one foot on the goal line) they may ground the ball to score a try.
- Tackling is not permitted.
- Any action intended to bring an opponent to ground is considered dangerous play (penalty)
- When the ball is loose on the ground and being contested, there is to be no heavy contact.
- This includes bumping, pushing or driving another player from the ball.
- The primary responsibility for this is with the team who last played the ball.
- Yellow cards which represent two minutes of temporary suspension and red cards which represent send offs may be used.
- There is no replacement of a player who receives a card.
- Dangerous play, dissent, or any act contrary to good sportsmanship will not be tolerated (penalty) and a yellow card may be appropriate.
- Kicking or throwing the ball into an opponent intentionally is considered foul play (penalty) and a yellow card may be appropriate.
- Time wasting is considered foul play and players who intentionally waste time (including by intentionally or repeatedly infringing) should be strongly sanctioned and a yellow card may be appropriate.