You can be forgiven for not knowing much about Touch. It’s a game that’s grown from being a bit of a kick-around for rugby players, into a huge international sport with massive leagues, a World Cup and rulebook!
Here are 7 facts you may not know about Touch.
1. It’s not just non-contact rugby
Touch Rugby is not just a non-contact version of Rugby – it’s a sport in its own right, derived from both Rugby Union and Rugby League. Officially called Touch, you’ll probably also hear it be called Touch Football, Touch Rugby or Touch Footy. Six players are on the pitch at any one time, opposed to 15, ten, or seven in rugby. The game has its own rules and governing bodies: the Federation of International Touch is the global organisation, and Touch Singapore is the local one here.
2. You can play in mixed teams, of all ages!
Quite unique for a sport, Touch can be played as women- or men-only, but also mixed. On the same team you can have a 60 year old ex-rugby player, a mum keeping fit, and teenagers as young as 13. All add value to the team, and it’s still safe because of the minimal contact between players.
3. We don’t tackle, we don’t ruck and we don’t kick
Instead of a tackle, a touch is used to defend the try line. The player who is touched places the ball between their legs and the ball is passed on – this is in place of a ruck. After six touches the ball is turned over to the other team.
4. …but we do score tries!
A score in Touch for your team is called a try, just like in rugby! The difference in Touch is that a try is worth one point, and we don’t don’t kick for conversion points. Just like Rugby League, you get six touches before a turnover, where the ball is given to the opposition team. You have to try and score within those six touches.
5. Touch players run backwards – a lot!
Touch players boast some solid glutes and hamstrings on account of running back five metres in defence after every touch – ten metres if a penalty is awarded! If you don’t make it back, you’ll be called offside and advantage will go to the other team.
6. Size matters
Like Rugby Union, Rugby League, Aussie Rules and American Football, Touch uses an oval ball. A Touch ball is specific to the sport, and smaller than a size 5 standard rugby union or rugby league ball. Touch is also played on a specific pitch size of 70 x 50m.
7. You can take Touch further
What’s awesome about Touch is that there are now so many opportunities to play in Singapore and beyond. Old Centuarians (OCs) are playing around the world for universities, their countries, clubs and on international tours. Current Centaurians will be playing in the 2018 Youth World Cup in Malaysia.
People might get involved in touch for fitness or during injury recovery from contact, but many of them fall in love with the sport and play forever.
If you want to start playing touch, or think it’d be perfect for your child, why not give Centaurs a try? Find out more about touch for kids and adults here and come down for a free trial – we think you’ll love it!