Abbreviated Playing Rules

  • Game duration: Two 15-minute halves with a 5-minute half time.
  • Six players are allowed on the field at any one time, with unlimited substitutes off the field. Reserves can be continuously substituted at any time from one side of the field
  • Play starts and restarts at the centre with a “tap”. This is performed by moving the ball on the ground with the foot, free from the hands, and then picking it up. Penalties are performed using the same procedure. On both a re-start and penalty the defending team must retreat at least 10 metres.
  • A try is scored by grounding the ball on, or behind, the try-line. One point is awarded for a try
  • A touch is legitimate and minimal contact between a player in possession and a defending player. A touch includes contact on the ball, hair or clothing.
  • The referee is the sole judge of the touch and has the discretion to overrule a claim.

  • When touched, the player in possession must place the ball on the ground at the exact point of the touch. Play is re-started by stepping over the ball. It can be controlled with a hand or foot. This is known as a rollball. The ball may not roll more than a metre. A player may not perform a rollball unless touched.
  • After six touches with no score, possession changes. The attacking team begins play with a rollball.
  • A penalty is awarded for infringements including: forward pass, offside play, performing a roll ball over the mark, claiming a touch when none was made, using more than minimum force to make a touch, interfering with the roll ball and passing the ball once touched. When a penalty is awarded, the referee will give the mark where the tap must be taken and set the onside line for the defence (at least 10m). Play cannot re-start until the referee is ready.
  • If the defending team unsuccessfully intercepts the ball or it is intentionally knocked down, the attacking team restarts their possession (‘six again’) with a zero touch.
  • If the interception is successful then the next touch of the ball carrier will be ‘zero touch’
  • No obstruction, excessive contact, verbal abuse or foul play will be tolerated – the referee is sole judge. A penalty will be awarded in such cases and players can be removed from the field. Serious or continual foul play of any nature will result in the player being sent off without a replacementNote: all matches will be friendly, not competitive. There will be no winners or losers, no champions team, the result is something that has no relevance during the World Masters Rugby Festival.

To register your team and reserve a place for October 2024, please click here