Piranha Bites

“Piranha Bites” is a section that will be devoted to educating all our members on the current rules of Touch. This is a great way to keep up to date with the current rules and any rules that seem to be causing confusion. Not all of the rules of Touch are covered in Piranha Bites - you can also download the current version (7th edition) of the rules of Touch and revise all the rules of the game from the Documents/Rules section above.

DEFENDING YOUR SCORELINE

To be onside when defending your score-line a player must have both feet on or behind the score-line when a roll-ball occurs within 5 metres or a tap occurs within 10 metres of the score-line

ACTING HALF AND ROLL BALL

When the player in possession is required to roll ball without an acting half in position, players may move forward from an onside position as soon as the ball leaves the hands of the player in possession (Rule 9.5)

ACTING HALF – DEFENCE MOVING FORWARD

Players of the defending team are not permitted to move forward from an onside position until the acting half has made contact with the ball after the roll ball (unless there is no half in position) [Rule 9.4] The half cannot delay picking up or gathering the ball. (Rule 9.3 B)

“JUGGLING”, POSSESSION AND THE TOUCH

Should a touch be made on a player deemed to be in possession while the ball may not be physically in the hands e.g. while juggling or trying to maintain control, the touch is to count. Similarly if a defending player attempts an intercept and knocks the ball into the air and is touched before regaining possession, the player attempting the intercept retains possession and the touch counts (Rule 7 player note A)

FORWARD PASS

A pass is deemed forward when the ball is thrown, flicked, knocked or otherwise propelled in a forward direction (Rule 8.2) A pass must leave the hands of a player in possession in backward direction for a pass to be deemed legal.  A penalty must be awarded for a forward pass even if the ball goes to ground or if it is the last touch (Rule 8 Referee note C)

BALL TO GROUND

A player who passes the ball at or towards a defending player and thereby causes the ball to go to ground shall lose possession, however if the defending player attempts to catch the ball or play at the ball and the ball goes to ground the attacking team retains possession and the touch count restarts (Rule 8.3)

TAKING A TAP

The tap is taken by placing the ball on the ground at or behind the mark, releasing both hands from the ball, the tapping the ball with either foot a distance of no more than one metre and retrieving the ball cleanly (Rule 6.3). Failure to take a tap correctly will result in a change of possession.

TAKING A TAP VS ROLL BALL

When re-starting play following a penalty a player may elect to roll ball instead of taking a tap. When this occurs the person retrieving the ball from the roll ball is not deemed to be acting half and may be touched without losing possession.

ROLL BALL

On a change of possession if the ball is on the correct mark a player may step over the ball to bring it back into play. The player does not need to pick the ball up. (Rule 9.2 B) The player performing the roll ball must ensure the ball passes the inside of the supporting foot (Rule 9 player note B) and facing their attacking score-line

MAKING A TOUCH

Unless the referee is sure no contact is made, the referee should acknowledge all claimed touches and the call back the player in possession for a roll ball (Rule 10 referee note D)

PASSING AFTER A TOUCH

Referees should award a penalty for a pass delivered after a touch has been affected even if it is the sixth touch (Rule 10.4 and referee note G) and also when the pass is made by the acting half

ROLL BALL NEAR DEFENSIVE SCORE-LINE

An attacking team is not required to roll ball within 5 metres of the defending score-line. After each touch the player in possession may move forward to the five metre line to roll ball (Rule 11.4)

DEFENDING INSIDE 5 METRES OF THE SCORE-LINE

When the player in possession is further than 5 metres from the score-line and the defending team is defending on or within 5 metres of their defending score-line, the defending team must move forward to make a touch. Defenders may move back beyond the 5 metre line once a touch is about to be made by either the attacking or defending player ((Rule 11 player note C)

“SHADOWING”

A player must take a direct and straight path to gain an onside position after making a touch and may not deviate from this path or make a play at the player in possession until an onside position is gained. A player in breach of this rule is deemed to be taking an active part in the match while offside and should be penalized.

(See Rule 13 referee note B)

VOLUNTARY ROLL BALL INSIDE 5 METRES

A defending player moving forward to effect a touch and who subsequently pulls out of making a touch in an attempt to gain a penalty for a voluntary roll ball is guilty of an offence and is subject to being penalized (Rule 11 player note E)

FORWARD PASS TOUCHED BY DEFENDER

If the ball is passed forward and then deflected or played at by a defending player back to the attacking team or to ground then a penalty for a forward pass will apply (Rule 12 referee note C and Rule 8.2)

MAKING A TOUCH

If the ball is knocked from the hands of a player in possession during a touch, the touch counts and the player retains possession and performs a roll ball. (Rule 10.2) A player should be instructed to re-gather the ball if it is knocked or dropped to the ground following a touch. Players attempting to delay play by deliberate acts are to be penalized (Rule 10 referee note B)

OFFSIDE

Offside defending players must at all times make an effort to retire to an onside position (Rule 13 player note B)

ROLL BALL NEAR THE ATTACKING SCORE-LINE

When a touch is made within 5 metres of the attacking score-line a player in possession may move directly behind the mark a  distance of up to 5 metres from the score-line to perform a roll ball (Rule 11.5)

ACTING HALF – FOOT CONTACT

The half is permitted to use the foot to control the ball – but play must be not be delayed in doing so. Defending players may move forward as soon as the half has made contact with the ball (Rule 9 referee note B)

TOUCH COUNT RESTART AFTER INTERCEPT

If an attacking player attempts to gather the ball after a deliberate deflection by a defender and the ball goes to ground, the attacking team retains possession and the touch count restarts (Rule 12.3)

PENALTY TOUCHDOWN (TRY)

A penalty touchdown will be awarded if any action by a player or spectator deemed by the referee to be contrary to the rules or spirit of the game, prevented the attacking team from scoring (Rule 15.6)

ADVANTAGE

The principle of advantage to the non-offending team is to apply at all times, providing some advantage is readily obvious. This means that even though a penalty could be awarded the referee is allowing play to continue in case the non-offending team actually receives greater benefit (a penalty may still be awarded after this for the original offence). Once a team is given advantage that team does not necessarily forfeit the right to action as indicated by other rules (Rule 16)

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