Other Sports (Video Link): Australian Touch Footy

Other Sports (Video Link): Australian Touch Footy

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education Update.com

Just as touch football is a non-contact variation of our tackle football, the Aussies have a safer version of their Australian rugby.

The game, known as "Touch Football," "Touch Footy," or just "Touch" can be played in physical education class and would be an excellent addition to your intramural program.

How to Play
The official rules are as follows - you can adapt them to your own situation.

The game is normally played on the 50 x 70 metre (yard) field with seven players per team. The object of the game is to score by carrying the ball over the opposing goal line. The only way to advance the ball is by carrying it. No kicking or forward passing is allowed - only passes to the side or to the rear.

The "Touch" and Changes in Possession
The defensive team stops an offensive rush by touching the player with the ball. However, a touch does not automatically result in a change of possession, because each team gets six touches to advance the ball over the opposing goal line.

To restart play once a touch is made, the defensive players must stand five yards back while the player who was touched rolls the ball between his legs to a teammate (the "acting half"). This player then passes the ball to another teammate and play commences.

After six touches, possession does change, with the opposing team receiving the ball wherever the last touch occurred. Possession also changes if a score is made, with play beginning at midfield.

The action is continuous, with no kicking of the ball allowed and with player substitutions occurring on the fly.


  1. Employ the same rules, but allow one forward pass in every six-touch series, or even allow unlimited forward passes.
  2. You could play "One Touch," in which there is only one touch per possession. Because of this reduced opportunity to score on every possession, there is a greater emphasis on lateral movement and risky passing.

Touch is an extremely popular game in Australia. An Australian touch association exists with over 250,000 registered players and 500,000 schoolchildren playing the game, in addition to leagues involving children, men, women and seniors.

A Federation of International Touch exists, with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji as founding members. The first World Cup of Touch was played in Australia in 1988.

Video Links
Here are some videos that demonstrate Touch Football:

  1. An Introduction to Touch in Schools
  2. Video: Australian National Championships, 2007
  3. Why Women Should Play Touch

References: 1. Federation of International Touch. http://www.alltouchrugby.org
2. Official Rules of Touch Football. http://www.alltouchrugby.org/sections.php?op=listarticles&secid=4
3. One Touch - Description. http://www.in2touch.com/uk/1touch/
4. Touch Football Australia, 2009. http://www.austouch.com.au

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© 2008, Physical Education Update, www.peUpdate.com

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