Touch Aussie Rules -Rules



Start of Play


  • A ball-up starts play with 2 opposing players toe-to-toe(tip off style)
  • Rucks jump straight up & tap backward only (not punch) to a teammate without infringing the opposing ruck
  • Only one tap is permitted during the ruck contest, after this tap only midfielders may take possession of the football
  • A free kick is awarded against any ruckman who makes contact with the ball directly after the initial tap (i.e. prior to a midfielder taking possession), or who takes direct possession from the ball up
  • Midfielders start on the defensive side of their rucks, at least 3meters away
  • Midfielders are not permitted to move from their starting positions until a ruckman has tapped the ball
  • After the ball-up players can move freely between all zones
  • The football is permitted to hit the ground after the ball-up, but clean possession must be taken by a midfielder (no fumbling or paddling to advantage)
  • Upon taking possession of the football from a ruck contest, a midfielder who is touched immediately (typically in congested play) is permitted 3 seconds to dispose of it
  • An umpire should call something like “you’ve got 3 seconds, get rid of it”
  • If the midfielder who takes possession runs into open space and is clear of the opposition, or disposes of the football to a teammate who is in the clear, call “clear” to signal that if they are touched they will be penalised for ‘holding the ball’
  • Players who burst through the ruck contest and run into a stationary opponent will be deemed to have initiated contact and a free kick will be paid against them (umpires to be strict on this)
  • After a ruckman taps the footy the umpire is encouraged to call out something like “pick it up, you’ve got 3 seconds”, or “remember you’ve got 3 seconds to get rid of it”
  • When the umpire is unsure which player has touched the ball last after it has hit the ground/gone out of bounds, or which player has infringed during a contest, the umpire should blow the whistle and call a ball up


Possession and Disposal


  • The ball must be disposed of via a handball or kick (no throwing)
  • The ball must be passed to teammates on the full (cannot bounce, no kicking off the ground)
  • Players may run 15m’s with the football but then must pass the ball or take a bounce. Only one bounce is permitted, thus a maximum of only 30 meters is possible by one player
  • Players without the football may intercept the ball in flight, however they must not make contact with an opposing player


The Marking Contest


  • The football must travel 5 meters (on the full) for a mark to be awarded
  • Marks are awarded to players deemed to have caught the football without initiating contact on an opponent
  • The player in the drop zone (where ball is expected to land) cannot be interfered with
  • An opponent may intercept a mark as long as no contact is made in the process
  • Umpires must continually remind players of their duty of care to players in the drop zone



  • Players are permitted to take 2-3 small steps backward only to take the mark (backing into the mark), however they are not permitted to take more than this (especially at speed)


  • If Contact is made after:


Player (A) moves 2-3 steps forward simultaneously as Player (B) moves backward 2-3 steps a free kick will go against Player (A) as it will be deemed that they had the duty of care to avoid the contact.


However, Player (B) will always be penalised if they are deemed to have moved backward more than 2-3 steps, regardless of whether they took the mark or not, and regardless of whether there was contact or not


  • Umpires are encouraged to blow their whistle while the ball is in the air if they see a player wildly backing into a stationary player who is in the drop zone. This is to protect this player before serious injury occurs
  • When the ball is kicked high and the umpire sees potential for a collision, a LOUD call of “Watch Your Contact!” assists greatly in the reduction of clashes


Marking the Intimidation Rule


  • Players may not conduct acts of intimidation to impact a contest


  • For example, players may not aggressively charge at an opponent or vocally threaten another player to put them off (regardless of whether contact is made or not)
  • Umpires are asked to refer to this as the ‘Intimidation Rule’ and are to pay a free kick against any player deemed to have broken it
  • Players are still entitled to try and distract or put opponents off without making contact




  • Turnovers occur when the football:


-       touches the groundafter a kick, handball, or dropped mark (not after a ball-up or intentional kick for goal). Any player can take the free kick

-       goes out of bounds. A free kick is awarded against the team who touched the football last, which can be taken by any opposing playerfrom where the ball crossed the boundary line

-       is kicked over the midfield zone on the full. A free kick is paid where the disposal took place


  • Turnovers in the defending zone result in an “indirect free kick to the attacking team”, no goals can be scored from this kick


  • Defending players can only dispossess an attacking player by touching the player while the attacking player is still in possession of the football and when “play on” has been effected ie after the attacking player has received the ball via a hand pass or after three seconds of taking possession of the ball after a ball up.  In that event a turnover will occur.
  • Players cannot knock or steal the ball out of an opponent’s hands
  • Players cannot shepherd, fend off, or hold onto another player at any stage
  • Players are also not permitted to smother the football off the kicker’s foot. A free kick will be awarded to the kicker if this occurs






  • Only forwards can score, but they must kick for goal from within the forward zone
  • Goals can be kicked in general play, after a mark, or a free kick. Goals cannot be kicked from turnovers
  • Any kick from the midfield zone that crosses the goal line will be brought back to the midfield lineand a free kick will be given to the defending team
  • A forward deemed to be kicking for goal can bounce/dribbleit through and the score will be awarded
  • If a forward kicks the ball through for a behind or out on the full, the defender is to kick the ball back into play from between the goals.The man on the mark may stand at the top of the goal square (approx. 7m)
  • Females are awarded 9 points for a goal in the MIXED Competitions

2 Metre Exclusion Rule

  • After a mark or free kick is awarded NO PLAYER is permitted to enter a 2 meter exclusion zone
  • The exclusion rule is to:


-  keep opposition players 2 meters away from the kicker

- prevent teammates moving in close to the kicker whereby using them as a    screen to shake off opponents with the aim of taking possession




  • Zones: 9 players set up in 3 zones: 3 in the backline, 3 in the midfield, and 3 in the forward line
  • Players who ‘initiate’ contact with an opponent will have a free kick paid against them
  • If the ball is touched in flight, “touched, play on” will be called and no mark will be awarded (if caught)
  • Free kicks must be taken by the player awarded the free kick
  • “Play on” is called when a player runs around/over ‘the mark’ or when the ball has been touched in flight
  • There is a 2 meter exclusion rule to provide space to the player who has taken a mark or been awarded a free kick.




  • Intentional Infringements and Negligent Acts: result in a 20 metre penalty & a warning
  • Creeping over mark after clear warnings from Ump where the mark is (after 2 warnings)
  • Deliberatephysical tackle to restrict player with the ball running free/kicking forward
  • Accidental but significantly reckless/dangerous play (eg running across ground blindly with the flight of the ball and causing incident)
  • Unsportsmanlike conductincluding: throwing/kicking ball away, not returning ball appropriately to opponent, foul language directed at opponents or umpire, arguing with the umpire or showing dissent.
    • o   *These are to be accompanied by an official warning, with a reminder that continued offence may see them sent off
  • Serious Misdemeanour: results in 50meter penalty PLUS player sent off immediately
  • Intentional heavy contact and/or unnecessary rough play
  • A deliberate and heavy speckytaken over unsuspecting player
  • Excessive foul language and/or repeated abuse of an Umpire or other players
  • Striking or assaulting any other person/s at the venue


  • Players sent off may NOT be replaced by another teammate
  • Players sent off are to be reported at the discretion of the umpire
  • Players sent off may be banned after a review between Umpire and Competition Manager




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