The aim of the game is to score touchdowns by getting through the opponent team’s part of the field and placing the ball down in the touchdown zone.
Teams are made of up to 14 players, with a maximum of six (some local rules allow seven) players on the field at any time with unlimited substitutions. The game lasts 45 minutes, divided into two 20 minutes halves and a five minute half-time break. Just before the game, team captains gather with the referee/s for the toss. The winner gets the ball and chooses which direction they want their team to run.
The game starts with a ‘tap’ on the half way line.
The rules are quite simple, and even if it’s your first time playing, you will pick up the basics in no time and enjoy the game with your teammates, no matter what everyone’s skill level is.
You can have a look at generic explanations by following this link to a video explaining some of the basic Touch Football rules.
- Basically, while attacking, you have to run forward and pass the ball backward; that means the ball carrier is up front, with his teammates on the same line or slightly behind them, so they can pass the ball to them.
- Defenders only need to ‘touch’ the ball carrier to stop the attacking team; the rules of the game stipulate that the ‘touch’ has to be made ‘with the minimum force necessary’. It can be done on any part of the body, including the ball or clothing. The ‘touch’ can also be made by the ball carrier on a defensive player.
- After making a ‘touch’, the defending team has to go backward behind an imaginary ‘defensive’ line, approximately five metres away from where the touch has been made; the referee will show you where they expect you to be. The ball carrier has to perform a ‘rollball’, on the exact mark where the ‘touch’ was made. Be careful not to be ‘over the mark’ when performing a roll ball.
- Your team will have six ‘touches’ as your opportunity to score. The sixth ‘touch’, dropping the ball or any infringement to the rules result in a changeover and the attacking team then becomes the defending side.
The rules of the game are easy to understand and suitable for everyone to enjoy Touch Football.
For a complete version please visit https://touchfootball.com.au/volunteer/8th-edition-rules/
The Touch Football Community
Touch Football is often referred to simply as ‘Touch’, or ‘Touch Footy’. It can be played everywhere across an extensive affiliated network within Australia. Touch Football Australia is the National governing body for the sport of Touch Football, recognised by the Australian Sport Commission.
Playing within an affiliated competition ensures that you are covered with insurance and you enjoy the best ‘Touch experience’, with quality fields, organised draws and dedicated volunteers to make sure the games flow smoothly and people enjoy their time down at the field.
An Evening Down At The Field
Usually, players arrive between 10 and one minute before the start of the game. The warm up is pretty casual; you simply start playing as soon as both teams are on the field, with a referee ready to officiate, and after the Competition Coordinator has started the clock. The game lasts 45 minutes, divided into two 20 minutes halves and a five minute half-time break. In just an hour, you can have a run, a good time, a work out while having the thrill that Touch Football brings to players.
What Parents Want To Know
Touch Football is an accessible sport, played by both boys and girls from three years old with equal fun and opportunities. After discovering Touch Football, most children continue playing through their entire childhood and adolescence.
Perfect For Your Child’s Development
There is no other sport more conducive to child activity than Touch Football. It’s a minimal contact sport that actively encourages fitness, communication, team spirit, coordination, and decision making; it contributes positively to your child’s development. Medical and sport doctors describe Touch Football as a low injury physical activity, perfectly suitable for kids in their phase of physiologic awakening and acquisition of movement skills.
Perfect For Busy Parents
Parents like Touch Football firstly because it’s a great sport for their children but also because it doesn’t require a lot of equipment to buy and wash! Competitions have convenient scheduling of times without a formal requirement to train, which suits busy parent’s lifestyles.
Children Love It Too
Children love Touch Football for many reasons including:
- It’s a sport they can start and enjoy immediately at any age;
- Size and shape plays little influence on how competitive a child can be;
- Touch Football is fast and dynamic, and it’s all about chasing each other;
- It combines well with multiple sports, and can be played similarly with other football codes;
- Boys and girls can play together and have fun around a commonly appreciated activity.
A Family Bonding Activity
Touch Football can also be a passion for you, or simply an activity that you share with your children. Because age is not a barrier in Touch Football, you and your family members can play together and it becomes an occasion to spend quality time together.
Volunteers play a major role in the delivery of sports and children activities. Parents and volunteers are the cornerstone of the Touch Football community, and your involvement will be greatly valued by your child and all members of the community.
To get involved with your local club, simply contact your Competition Coordinator – he or she will tell you how you can contribute to the sport and form part of the Touch Football community.
Touch Football proposes an entire pathway for players from learning as a kid to represent Australia in international competitions.
Children from the age of three are often exposed to Touch Football through school based clinics or events. School competitions are fantastic experiences for all participants, with the main ones gathering up to 5000 children in a great carnival atmosphere. School participation has a representative pathway with opportunities to link to Touch Football Australia’s (TFA) High Performance Program.
Touch Football affiliates also run junior competitions as a complement to the school pathway. From those competitions, various regional or state junior teams are selected to play in the National Youth Championship (NYC), which again links to the TFA High Performance Program.
Uniquely in Touch Football, the community and school Touch Football community combines at the National Youth Championship level. This event is the main talent identification event for youth athletes to transition into High Performance athletes.
Talented young players can also play in the National Touch League (NTL), in the ‘Under 20’ or ‘Open’ divisions. At these national events (NYC and NTL), Australian Youth teams are selected from the Australian Youth Squads (under 18 and under 20) and compete in the Trans Tasman Test Series against New Zealand.
For national youth players, gates are wide open to make the Australian team and play in the World Cup against the best players in the world.
The Number One Sport In The Australian Sport System
Touch Football is the most popular sport in the Australian school sport’s system, praised by physical education teachers, with thousands of kids playing all across the country.
Parent’s Tips for Children to Play More
Parents can positively impact their children’s sport life in many different ways. Below are some tips that will encourage your child to enjoy their experience in Touch Football.
Constant support, encouragement and praise
One of the main positive outcomes children get by playing sport is self-esteem. That is not necessary linked to winning and children can learn a lot by being defeated. Particularly in younger age divisions, it is important to encourage and praise effort and attitude. This is important when commenting on officials and oppositions performance.
As the first role model for your child, you are their best supporter. Encouragement from you as their parent means a lot and positive praise is needed. Your support will lead your child to a better involvement in the sport, therefore learning and enjoying it more.
Hydration, Nutrition and Sleep
Nutrition and hydration are important for any active child. Playing Touch Football can be very demanding in some cases. To prevent any dehydration risks, ensure your child has a water bottle with them when they go to play.
A balanced diet providing a solid amount of fruit and vegetables, carbohydrate and proteins will maintain your child’s good health, optimise their performance, ensure adequate growth and development occurs and help them to continue to enjoy their sport by maintaining energy levels and staying well hydrated.
Sleep is also a dimension to take into account; before and on the day of any particular physical activity, an early bed time is encouraged.
To get more information about nutrition, you can visit the nutrition section of the Australian Institute of Sport website – Nutrition.
After discovering Touch Football, most kids continue to play as they grow up. They engage in a dynamic and healthy lifestyle, and take part in the Touch Football community for a lifetime.
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