The rise of Touch and Tag Rugby

Touch Rugby Team
Team Belguim Touch Team

Non contact rugby has seen huge growth over the past 10 years, the sports are played by amateur both men and women from U7’s right up to senior level. There is also big growth among professional athletes, especially rugby players who play the sports out of season to keep fit.

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Touch Rugby

Touch Rugby Team
Czech Junior Touch Team

Touch is a much bigger sport than tag and has a much bigger country participation, and we have seen a lot of teams fundraise on PledgeSports for international events. The sport has associations in Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Austria, Chile, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy Belguim, Czech, Italy, Switzerland, USA, South Africa, Malaysia, Japan and we recently helped fun a Brazilian Team Fundraising to get to the annual Capital Cup.

The game started in Australia in the 60’s and the rules are more similar to rugby league that rugby union. Onside, offside rules result in a lot of penalties and turnovers. Unlike tag (which can often end in collisions and broken fingers) touch is non contact or minimal contact as touches must be made with minimal force. This has made the game very popular with rugby league and union players off season to keep fit, as there is less chance of injury and the sport requires good fitness levels.

Touch has an annual European and World Championship

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Tag Rugby

Tag Rugby
Tag Rugby Team

Tag rugby has the highest participation levels in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The sport has grown at such a pace in these countries that there’s now a Tag Rugby World Cup

Playing Tag Rugby

Tag is a fantastic introduction to the game of rugby and really helps increase fitness due to its fast pace. The rules of the game are more similar to rugby than touch and it’s a fun, fast-moving, non-contact game, ideal for both male, female, children and adults.

Teams are either 7 or 8 players aside and can be mixed or single sex. Each player wears shorts with Velcro tags attached to them. When attacking, teams get 5 turnovers and must attempt score a try before the 6th tag. Attacking players must dodge defenders who are attempting to ‘tag’ them by pulling the Velcro tag from the player with the ball. When tagged, play stops and the ball is rolled back by foot to a scrum half who restarts play.

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Playing tag can result in contact injuries and broken fingers are very common! Also because of the nature of the game there are regular collisions.

There are no plans to make either tag or touch Olympic sports, but if the current grow trajectory remains, this could change in the future.

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