How to Play

Touch rugby is the non-contact version of rugby league, a popular version of rugby played professionally in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. Given the game is a non-contact sport, it is suitable for men and women of all ages and skill. Touch also allows players to make moves, passes and runs that would be considered too risky in games of full-contact rugby. Its fast-paced play makes for a fun time and excellent workout!

The group typically introduces the rules to anyone new to the game before we start. A few basic rules include:

Attacking team:

  • Must pass the ball in backwards direction
  • Team holds ball for 6 touches before turn-over, or until ball is dropped
  • When touched, player must roll ball under their legs where the touch was made
  • Each time ball is rolled, a receiver (“dummy half”) must be present to pick up the ball
  • The half can run with the ball, but not be touched or score. If the half is touched, it is a turn-over
  • Team’s objective is to score a “try” by touching the ball on the ground in the try-zone

Defending team:

  • A touch includes contact to the opposition’s body, clothing or ball
  • After touch is made, team must retreat 5 yards from where the touch is made, otherwise will be considered offside
  • Defending team must retreat 10 yards if a penalty is awarded to the attacking team

More information on rules can be found here. Full touch rules governed by the Federation of International Touch (FIT) can be found here.

13 thoughts on “How to Play

  1. Hey! I haven’t played in years but I’ve been looking for a league, how often do you guys play pick up and are girls welcome??? 🙂 I played 4 years varsity in high school.

  2. Hi Michelle, yes you’re more than welcome to join us! All skill levels are welcome! We usually play every Saturday on the mall at 10AM but check the blog around Thursday to see if the game is on as sometimes it can change/cancel due to bad weather. See you soon!

  3. HI DC TOUCH.. This is Tony from Columbia.. No doubt you have seen the announcement about the WILD GEESE TOUCH Tournament 14 June. Are you interested in getting together for a few Touch sessions in the coming weeks?
    Please chat it up and send me an email at

  4. I never played rugby. I am overweight and have bad knees but I want to try rugby . I work every other Saturday . Luis

  5. Tried to play full go last fall for the first time in awhile but old injuries caught up to me. Love the sport and looking to play forward to playing a little touch!

  6. Pingback: Tales from my Youth –

  7. I am headed to DC this week until March and would love to come out and play some touch. I play in SC but will be there for military duty. Need to get some sort of practice in while I am there. I assume by checking the “Notify me of new posts via email” will keep me up to date on days/times?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s