Just for Beginners

 Rules can be downloaded at Touch Australia


To enter the Cockburn Roar competition you should send a team application form via the Registration page. Normally you will need to pay a Nomination Fee, and then each team member will need to pay an additional fee.

Teams entering the competition will consist of 6 players on the field and a maximum of 14 players who can compete in any one game. The different divisions available are Juniors, Men's, Women's (future) and Mixed. 


It is important to ensure that all players on your team have a correct uniform with a number on the back, and also good footwear as per Rule 3. The wrong footwear can cause a player to slip and injure themselves or other players.

Fingernails should be cut short and jewellery removed prior to the game. If the referee becomes aware of jewellery or fingernails after the game begins, this could result in a penalty for your team.

The referee will call team captains to the centre of the field. A coin toss will decide who will start with the ball and in which direction each team will face for the first half of the game. When the siren sounds, each team should proceed to their starting positions to start the game. The team who starts with the ball (the attackers), will stand at the half-way line facing the defenders who will be standing ten metres from the half-way line, towards their own score-line.


The game begins with 6 players on the field. The team who won the toss will start with the ball. When the referee blows his whistle, a player in the centre of the field will "tap" the ball. A "tap" is when you place the ball on the ground, let go of it with your hands, touch it with your foot and then pick it up with your hands. All other attacking players must remain behind the ball (in an on-side position) until the ball has been picked up.

Once the ball has been picked up, the player can run forward until they are touched by a defender, or they can pass the ball backwards to another player in their team. (Note that the ball must always be passed backwards). This player in turn would run forward until they are touched by a defending player.

Once the defending team has affected a touch on the attacking team, the entire defending team must retire 5 metres in a backwards direction from where the touch was made. The referee will show where the 5 metre mark is. Defenders are not allowed to move forward again until they have made the 5 metre mark. See Rule 6 for more exact details.


Once the first touch has been affected on the attacking player, the first roll-ball will take place. To roll ball, the player must place the ball between their legs and roll backwards. Both feet must be parallel with the sidelines. The ball must not roll more than a metre. They may prefer to place the ball on the ground and to step over it. See Rule 9. One of the other members of the attacking team must pick up the ball as soon as possible. This player is called the "Acting-half" or sometimes incorrectly called the "Dummy-half". The Acting-half must not be touched with the ball or possession of the ball will pass to the other team. Therefore they must pass the ball (once again in a backwards motion) to another player before a touch is affected.

Each team is allowed 6 touches before possession of the ball passes to the other team. The idea, is that during those six touches, you make as much ground up the field as possible, and attempt to score. Important Note: In defence, when affecting a touch on an attacking player, defenders should make it very clear that a touch is made by calling out "Touch" loud enough for the referee to hear. Players should be aware that calling out "touch" without a touch being made can incur severe penalties. See Rule 10.


To score, the attacking team must place the ball over the score-line, between the sidelines, without incurring any penalties, and without being touched by a defending player. Note: Acting-half cannot score.


This is a new rule that has recently been introduced to Touch. When the defending team mounts its defence on the score-line, it is very important to be aware of the play that is taking place. Once a touch is affected within 5-10 metres of the score-line, the defending team will be told by the referee to retreat to the score-line. Both feet must be on or behind the score-line, and must remain there until the Acting-half touches the ball. Once Acting-half has touched the ball, all defending players must leave the score-line and move forward until a touch is made. Defenders are not allowed to move back to the score-line until a touch is made, or is about to be made.


At times a penalty will be called. To take a penalty, the team in favour should move to the mark indicated by the referee and tap the ball from this mark. The defending team will have to retreat ten metres from the mark, and may not move forward until the full ten metres has been made as indicated by the referee. There are several actions that can incur a penalty during the game. Some of them are mentioned below, but for more details always refer to theRule Book.

  1. Late Pass (Touch Pass) - A pass made after a touch has been affected.
  2. Forward Pass - A pass made in a forward direction (remember all passes must be made in a backwards direction).
  3. Involuntary Roll Ball - When the ball is rolled without a touch being made.
  4. Shepherding - Preventing a defender from making a touch by running behind another player.
  5. Off-side - A defender making a touch without retreating the 5 metres.
  6. Mouthing off - Abuse or "backchat" to the referee will not be tolerated and will incur a penalty.
  7. Hard touches - Any hard touches, elbows, straight armed touches etc will be penalised.
  8. Delaying the play - Any refusal to immediately hand over the ball at a changeover of possession will be penalised.
  9. Remaining on the Score-line - Player refusal to leave the score-line during defence will be penalised.
  10. Phantom Touch - Any phantom touches (calling touch when touch is not made) could result in the player being sent to the Sin Bin.
  11. Yes/No Calls - If the player calls Yes, then No - this will result in a penalty and then Sin Bin.


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