When was Tag Rugby invented? - Evo Sports Co

When was Tag Rugby invented?

As noted by sportswriter Terry Godwin in 1983, tag rugby was innovated in Gibraltar by the Gibraltar Rugby Union in response to a lack of grass pitches. The sport involved tucking a 10-inch cord into the waistband, and removal of it by an opponent with a shout of "tag" constituted a 'tackle'. If the attacking team failed to score by the fourth 'tackle', the defending team assumed possession of the ball.

In 1990, physical education teacher Nick Leonard codified the tag rugby variant following an idea presented by former serviceman Barry Johns. Johns detailed the Gibraltar variant of rugby, traditionally played on board a ship or on hard ground overseas, to Nick. Leonard then designed a ruleset compatible with children, using Velcro-attached belts and colorful ribbons. At UCP Marjons, Plymouth, Leonard inaugurated the first ever schools Tag Rugby festival in 1991, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011.

Tag Rugby Variants

OzTag is a type of rugby league with reduced physical contact, having its origins in British tag rugby. Perry Haddock - halfback for the Cronulla Sharks and St George Dragons - first popularised the sport in Australia in 1992 while coaching the St George Jersey Flegg side. Alongside Chris Parkes, Haddock spearheaded the game's spread throughout the nation, with over 200,000 players now taking part in formal leagues.

Games typically last 20 minutes per half. Fields used are usually 70m x 50m in size. A maximum of 8 players are allowed per team on the field at one time.

The attacking squad has five opportunities to score or drive the ball nearer the objective line utilizing tags. As is customary in tag rugby, the ball-carrier is tackled when either of two Velcro strips, known as tags, is pulled off their shorts.

Players can pass and kick the ball, with tries worth one point and no conversions. Kicking is allowed in general game play, so long as it is lower than the referee's shoulder height on a zero count, with no play-the-ball advantage enabled or after the fourth tag.

When playing a mixed gender game, a maximum of 4 male players per team are allowed on the field, and a female-scored try is worth double with two points compared to one point for a male.

Flag football is a form of American football in which players must "deflag" (remove a flag or flag belt) from the ball carrier rather than tackling them to end a down. With several national and international associations providing sponsorship for various competitions annually, the sport has experienced significant amateur involvement. Originally created in the US, it is most popular there.

The contact between athletes in flag football is governed by strict regulations. The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) oversees the sport worldwide. There has been a proposed for an Olympic event in 2028, with flag football shortlisted as a discretionary event for the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Discover Australia’s biggest range of Tag Rugby Kits here and get your Mates together for a game of Footy Tag anywhere, anytime!
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