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touch footy competition rules

Be Active Melbourne follow the NRL Touch Football 8th Edition rule book. However, be mindful that we are a social league, and there may be slight adjustments to rules which will be specified on the day.


Player Registration

  • All teams must have all players registered on the SPAWTZ portal prior to their first match. Any player that joins throughout the season must be added to the SPAWTZ portal prior to first match.

  • In the event of injury, our Insurance provider has the ability to void any claim made by a participant who registered after participation.


  • Unlimited substitutions are allowed, as long as they do not interrupt play, or are used tactically as determined by the referee.

  • Game is not paused to make substitutions. All subs are rolling substitutions.


  • Games are played with 6 players on the field (unless otherwise specified).

  • Mixed teams can have a maximum of 4 males on the field at one time.

  • Open teams are not restricted to minimum/maximum male or female requirements.

  • Men's teams consist of 6 players but can include female players.

Match Times

  • Games are played between 11am – 3pm each week.

  • Games consist of 2 x 13-minute halves, with a two-minute half time break.

  • Official time is kept by the referee/venue manager.

  • Teams must start on time as per the draw and be ready.

  • Late teams: 1 goal awarded to the opposing team for every 3 minutes late, up to 12 minutes, after which the team forfeits. Late start cuts into the first half.

Short on Players

  • Minimum of 4 registered team players needed to take the field.

  • Less than 4 registered players results in an official forfeit. A Friendly match can be played with players from another team, which will not count for competition points.

  • If playing with 4 registered players and using players from another team, agreement from the opposing team captain is required to count the match for points.


  • Notify Be Active Melbourne on 0422 690 910 by latest 10am on the day.

  • The opposing team receives a 4-0 forfeit win.

  • On the third forfeit, the team may be withdrawn from the league without refund.


Preliminary Matches

  • Win: 3 points

  • Draw: 2 points

  • Loss: 1 point

  • Forfeit: 0 points

Ladder positioning

  • Based on points, point difference, most goals scored, least goals conceded, most wins, least losses.

  • In case of drawn grand finals, drop-off procedure applies. For semi-finals, the higher-placed team on the ladder goes through if the match is drawn.

Drop-off Procedure

  • 2 minutes overtime, then 1 minute thereafter.

  • Drop off Sequence: 1 Player from each team (same gender), dropped off after each minute of play.

  • In the first set of six, if the starting team scores, the opposing team has the opportunity to score.


  • Touch Blades are okay, but no metal studs. Referees will check at the start of the game.

Touch Definitions

  • Onside: Player may become involved with play; referee will call "on."

  • Rollball: Bringing the ball into play after a touch or change of possession.

  • Penalty: Tap awarded by the referee for rule infringements.

  • Tap: Commencing/recommencing match or after a touchdown.

During Play

  • Defending team players must be in line with referee (5 meters from rollball mark).

  • Half cannot score touchdowns and loses possession if touched.

  • Change of possession follows the sixth touch or any other loss of possession.

  • Ball dropped results in change of possession where it first pitches or is dropped.

Fouls and Misconduct

  • Decided by the referee with no arguments. Possible actions include:

    • Verbal warning or 2-minute sin bin, with substitution allowed.

    • Sending off for swearing, dangerous play, unsportsmanlike conduct, or aggressive behaviour.

    • Serious incidents must be reported to venue staff.


  • Captains are responsible for team discipline and should address player behaviour issues.


  • The clock does not stop for injuries to maintain schedule.

  • Players may substitute for injured players, and opposing teams can adjust positions.

  • Referee discretion for players leaving the field due to blood. No recovery time for halted play.

  • Major injuries: If beyond half-time, score stands; if not, the venue officials will decide on potential replay.

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