Tag Rugby Rules

Tag Rugby (FootyTag) first originated in the UK in 1990, and has become a popular alternative to Rugby League. Tag Rugby follows the same rules, yet is a non-contact sport that is considered safer than its counterpart. Similar games, like Flag Football and Oztag, are also played worldwide.

Tag Rugby is ideal for athletes wishing to hone their endurance, running, passing, and footwork. This accessible game can be played anywhere, from the backyard to the beach, and is suitable for players of all ages. #Footytag


  • The goal? Accumulate the most points at fulltime by scoring as many tries as you can!
  • Attacking teams score a try by grounding the ball on or beyond the try line.
  • A successful attempt at the try line amounts to one point. In a game of mixed gender, female players receive double the points for each try. There is no kicking of conversions in Tag Rugby.
  • Defenders must remove the ball carrier's tag to halt their progress. The defender must then raise the tag and place it on the ground, indicating the spot of the tag.
  • When a tag is made, the attacking team resumes play by the original tagger returning to their position, placing the ball flat on the ground and rolling it back with their foot. This is referred to as a 'play the ball' or 'roll ball'.
  • Defenders are permitted a single marker within one metre of the attacker during the roll-ball, located directly in front of the attacker.
  • Defenders must remain 7 m from the ball carrier and aligned with the ref at the time of the roll ball.
  • The attacking player known as the dummy half may pick up the ball from the roll ball and distribute it. Taking a single step is permitted, provided the dummy half is not tagged more than once.
  • Defenders must remain 7 metres behind the referee when the dummy half touches the ball and can only advance forward afterward. The dummy half can both advance the ball and be tagged, and may also score a try.
  • The marker must remain stationary, squared with the opponent carrying the ball, until the dummy half has made contact with the ball.
  • The dummy half must pick up the ball within a prescribed window after the roll ball or the referee will start a three second count. If the dummy half has not retrieved the ball by the end of this count, the defending team will be awarded a turnover, and the ball will be restarted from the same spot. During the play the ball process, no markers may dive on, pick up or move around the ball until the dummy half has touched it. Penalties are allocated to the attacking team if this rule is violated. The referee may also begin the three second count before the play the ball if the player does not act swiftly in returning to the mark.
  • Six plays are available for each team, allowing them to advance the ball before relinquishing possession and becoming the defending team.
  • An offensive player must pause and perform a roll ball if captured while possessing only one tag or no tags.
  • Players must forgo surrendering; otherwise, they incur a penalty for the voluntary tackle.
  • The ball is permitted to contact the ground, as long as it is not propelled forwardly from the hand/arm.
  • Tag Rugby League necessitates minimal contact; contact deliberately initiated by the attacker will be punished. The defender must remain stationary, as changing direction and entering the attacker's path can be penalised. It's the responsibility of the attacker to maneuver around the defender.
  • The ball carrier must not use any body part or the ball to shield their tag or push away defenders. It is prohibited to intentionally or accidentally use body parts or the ball to impede an opponent's ability to take off the tag.
  • If two players tag an attacker at the same time they release the ball, the referee will make a call. If the referee cannot determine what happened, the pass is allowed, and the benefit goes to the attacking team.
  • If a player trips and falls on their knees, playing will proceed if a defender is not within tagging range. If, however, a defender is within tagging scope, the fall shall be regarded as a tag.
  • A player is allowed to score a try on their knees as long as no opposing players are within tagging range of the try line
  • A player is not permitted to dive for a try when they are in close proximity to a defender.
  • An offensive participant cannot dive for a ball if a defending team member is within 2 meters of it.
  • A player can pass the ball from their hands, or kick in any direction other than a 'drop kick', as long as the ball does not exceed the height of the referee's shoulder before striking the ground.
  • A player can kick a loose ball so long as the opposition is not attempting to touch it with their hands and the kick travels shoulder-height before bouncing.