Quick Rules

  • Tag Rugby is a minimal contact version of rugby.
  • A try is awarded to the attacking team when they ground the ball on or over the try line.
  • A try is worth one point. In a mixed game, female tries are worth two points. There are no conversions in Tag Rugby.
  • Defenders must remove a tag to stop the ball carrier’s progress. The defender then holds up the tag and drops it to the ground marking where the play the ball should occur.
  • After a tag is made, play resumes by the attacker placing the ball on the ground and rolling it backwards with his foot. This is called a play the ball.
  • The defensive side is allowed one marker at the play the ball. That being, one defender who is allowed to stand opposite the attacker within a metre during the play the ball.
  • The remainder of the defending team must be back seven metres with the referee from the attacking player during the play the ball.
  • The game is minimal contact; an attacker cannot deliberately bump into a defender. A defender cannot change direction and move into an attacker’s path. Whoever initiates contact will be penalised. The onus is on the attacking player to avoid the defender.
  • A dummy half is the attacking player who picks the ball up and distributes it after the play the ball. The only person able to pass the ball with one tag on is the dummy half or an equivalent player taking a tap restart (as long as they do not take more than one step with the ball).
  • The defensive line can only move forward when the dummy half touches the ball. The dummy half can run and be tagged with the ball.
  • The dummy half has three seconds to pick up the ball after the play the ball. If after three seconds the ball has not been picked up, a turnover shall be awarded to the defending team. In NO instance is the marker allowed to dive on or pick up the ball during the play the ball process. If this occurs, a penalty will be awarded to the attacking team. The referee may opt to start the 3 second count before the play the ball if the player who is playing the ball doesn’t play the ball immediately when returning to the mark.
  • Each team has six tags / plays to promote the ball before a changeover occurs.
  • An attacker must stop and play the ball if he is caught in possession with only one tag on.
  • The ball is allowed to touch the ground as long as it is not propelled in a forward motion.
  • The ball carrier is not allowed to protect his tag or fend off defenders.
  • If an attacker is tagged simultaneously to releasing the ball, the referee will call play on.
  • If a player trips/falls and lands on their knees, it will be play on if a defender is not within tagging distance. If a player trips/falls and lands on their knees and a defender is within tagging distance, it will be deemed a tag.
  • A player can go down on their knees to score a try over the try line.



  • Kicking on any tag is allowed.
  • Kicks in general play cannot be above the shoulder height of the referee. The attacking team cannot dive on a kicked ball in any situation.
  • A kick off is taken as a place kick from the centre of the halfway line. If the ball lands in the field of play and then rolls across the try line whether touched or not, a line drop out occurs.
  • A line drop out is a drop kick taken from the centre of the defending team’s try line.


For more information on Rules for tag rugby, check out this website.


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