GO MAMMOTH TOUCH RUGBY RULES & POLICIES TEAM SIZE 6 players are allowed on the field at any one time At least 2 females on the pitch at all times. A team can play a legal game with 4 players, with 1 female. A minimum of 3 players from that team must be on the field at all times. Teams may have as many players in their squad as they want. SUBSTITUTIONS Substitutions can be continuously made at any time from one side of the field. The substituting players must make contact with each other behind the sideline. TIME A game is played in two, 17 minute halves (as a minimum) separated by a short half time. The referee maintains a running clock throughout each half. The clock will only be stopped for injuries. PLAYING RULES: For the purposes of this guide, the attacking team or attackers are the players in possession of the ball, the defenders or defending team, do not have possession of the ball. Play starts and restarts at the centre with a “tap”. A try is scored by grounding the ball on, or behind, the try-line. One point is awarded in men’s, women’s and mixed leagues. A legal touch is on any part of the body, clothing and ball. A player must claim a touch by raising a hand and shouting, “Touch”. If “Touch” is not called, a touch pass may possibly not be given as a penalty. The referee is the sole judge of the touch and has the discretion to overrule a claim. (Play to the whistle). When touched, the player in possession must place the ball on the ground at the exact point beneath them when they were touched. This is known as “The Mark” Play is re-started when the scrum-half or dummy-half touches the ball. There is an exception to this if a player is touched less than 5 meters from their attacking try-line, in this instance they must bring the ball back to the 5 meter line. This is the same with their defending try-line however it is not mandatory that it be played from their 5 meter line. Turn overs: A turn over occurs if the ball is dropped. 6 touches are made. The scrum half or dummy half is touched after ‘the mark’ with no other attacking player having had possession of the ball. A player runs out of bounds. Restarting from turn over: One member of the team will either place the ball down at the marked spot, or if the ball is already on the ground, step clearly over the ball. Once the ball has been either placed or stepped over, that player may move away from the ball and receive a pass from the scrum/dummy half. Play restarts when the scrum/dummy half touches the placed or stepped over ball. Once the ball is placed or stepped over, and the defending team is onside, the attacking team has 5 seconds to play the ball. This timer is reset if a defender advances before an attacker has handled the ball. After 5 seconds the defending team may advance and either rob the ball or attempt to touch the attackers. This is rare and will only be announced by the referee counting down. Should a defender steel the ball, they are not considered to be a dummy runner. They can score or be touched without it being a penalty. However the now defending team is considered to all be onside as long as they were behind or inline with the ball before it was stolen. Onside: The entire defending team must drop back 5 meters every time a ball is placed or 10 meters for a penalty. As often as possible the referee will mark this with a hand gesture and call onside verbally, it is the defending teams responsibility to position themselves on side, and check with the ref if needs be. Defenders may advance when the ball has been handled Penalties: Taking a penalty The referee will stand with their hand up wherever the penalty is to be taken from and place the ball on the ground. The defending team must QUICKLY retreat back 10 meters or to their try line (whichever is first). It is the responsibility of the defenders to make 10 meters and clarify with the ref, not the other way around. The ref can choose to mark onside as well or let the attacking team take the penalty fast. In either scenario the attacking player waits for the ref to blow the whistle, once this is done they may pick up the ball and tap it to their foot and continue play. As soon as the tap has been made the defending team may advance. The player who taps the ball can both score and get touched. Forward pass A forward pass is when a player throws the ball in a forward direction relevant to the pitch and the players orientation in the pitch. Meaning that the ball can (and often does) move forward despite the direction of the pass being aimed backwards. This is due to the momentum of a player moving forward. Therefore it is possible for a player to throw a pass before the try line, and have it caught legally over the try-line and score. A forward pass needs to be caught for there to be a penalty. Otherwise it is just counted as drop ball, and is a turn over. If a player catches and then deliberately drops the ball it is still a penalty, if a player attempts to catch but fails, it is not a penalty. Touch Pass If a player is touched and then passes the ball this is a touch pass and is a penalty from where the player was touched. At recreational level if it is deemed that a player had already started the motion of the pass the referee may choose to continue play. At intermediate level if the ball is in hand at the point of touch, then regardless of how committed they are to the pass it is considered a touch pass. This includes if a defender has a hand on an attacker who is about to receive a pass, and the attacker chooses to slap the ball on to another attacker. Dummy runner/Scrum-half runner After a player places the ball down on the mark, an attacker will pick the ball up, this player is now temporarily known as the dummy runner or scrum half. They can run and pass, but cannot score, and if touched it is a penalty. If a dummy runner feels they are about to be touched and drops the ball before they are touched this is just a turn over. Deliberate knock-ons and blocked passes If a defending player either intentionally or unintentionally touches the ball while it’s being passed directly to a player, either the touch count returns to 0 if the ball is still caught by the attacking team, or it’s a restarted set for the attacking team. If the ball is thrown at a defender or if fumbled/ knocked on and touches a defender before hitting the floor, this does not count, and the defending team now gains possession. If the defending team catch a knocked on ball, the referee may choose to play advantage whereby the now attacking team gain 1 extra touch. While not punished with a penalty, a failed attempt at an interception or deliberate knock on will still count as a penalty at full time. Meaning play will restart if it is full-time and “last passage barring penalty” has been announced. Offside If a defending player does not retreat the full five meters after a touch is made this is called offside and is punished as either a restart of the touch count, AKA a “new 6”, advantage or a penalty. The difference coming from whether the offside defender interfered with the attackers play or not, and the severity of interference. Defenders may move backwards in any direction but may not actively block an attackers path. Visa versa an attacking player cannot forcibly run through a defender. Defenders may keep a hand on an attacker as a point of contact to cause a touch when they become onside, but there cannot be any resistance to the attacker. This would be a penalty. Defenders must continue moving backwards at any speed until they made the 5 meters. Leeway may be given to players that are nowhere near the ball, but must still make the full 5 meters if the ball is moved closer to them. Shepherding and blocking defenders If an attacker breaks though the defensive line and defenders are giving chase, the attacking members of the team cannot block the path of the defenders to the player with the ball. They may run in natural supporting lines of any kind, but if it is believed that they are speeding up/slowing down or changing channels with the primary goal of impeding the defender, this is a penalty from where the defender was blocked Unsportsmanlike conduct Verbal, or physical abuse will not be tolerated to referees or players on both sides. Excessive contact, verbal abuse or foul play will be tolerated – the referee is sole judge. A penalty will be awarded in such cases and a player can receive 2 minutes in the SIN BIN. Serious or continual foul play of any nature will result in the player being sent off without a replacement. To ensure the game is played in the correct spirit and to not affect the playing experience for both teams a referee may ask a team captain to permanently ‘substitute’ a player whose conduct represents serious or consistent foul play rather than sending them off. This decision is at the sole discretion of the referee. FORFEITS If your team forfeits a match during the season, the following rules apply: 1st Offence: Loss of game and warning issued. 2nd Offence: Loss of game and staff reserves the right to remove team from playoffs. If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, we encourage you to call our office so as to help us schedule your opponent a game or to support us in finding further players to fulfill the game as a friendly. Teams have until ten minutes past the designated start time to field a full squad (minimum 2 females). If at that time one team is unable to field a full team, it will be up to the referee and the opposing captain to determine what is allowable. They have the choice of making the team play short handed or forcing a forfeit. We always strongly encourage the former, and look to play a game in all circumstances. STANDINGS The updated standings will be posted weekly, displaying each teams rank within its skill level. PLAYOFFS All eligible teams make the playoffs (teams that have not abused any policies are eligible). In certain situations teams at or near the bottom of the standings may not advance to the playoffs. Check with GO MAMMOTH league coordinators to see if this applies to your league. Playoffs are single elimination. Ringers used during play offs/finals must be agreed by both sides before the games begin- if a team does not permit another team to use ringers they will have to play short-handed. Teams may play more than one match per day. Any questions regarding policies, rules, or eligibility must be addressed before the start of the match. In play offs/finals where the score is tied at full time the game continues in sudden death until the next score is made. The scorer of the first points in sudden death are deemed the winners. WAIVERS In order to participate in the league, each participant must complete a the team waiver from by registering their player details, these must be completed before playing in the league. Team Captains/Organisers are responsible for ensuring that their teams players complete registration appropriately and understand that they play at their own risk. SPORTSMANSHIP GO Mammoth run social sports leagues with the intention for players to have fun. We hope that all participants keep that in mind when becoming involved. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good levels of sportsmanship and conduct. As Nigel Owens says ‘this is rugby not soccer!’ Any behaviour deemed unacceptable by staff or referees may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league. STAFF AND REFEREES To coordinate and run the league, our refs and/or staff will be available at all times to help the league run as smoothly as possible. If you have questions regarding schedules, policies, rule interpretations, directions to the bar, etc. please ask.