Laws Of Tag Rugby

Tag Rugby Laws



The Tag Rugby Laws provide an overview of the rules of the game for venues in Cork and one day tag rugby blitzes. They also provide an overview for both beginners and intermediate players to ensure the smooth running of each game.

It is essential that players play the game in accordance with the tag rugby Laws and are mindful for the safety of themselves and others.

It is the responsibility of the Captain to ensure compliance with the Laws of the game and in accordance with safe practices.

Below is a quick overview of the basic Cork Tag Rugby Laws:

  • A match shall last 40 minutes divided into 2 x 20 minute halves. Games may also take an alternative format where teams play 2 games a night, games lasting 20 minutes each.
  • For our Spring/Summer leagues, a team must not have more than 7 players on the pitch at any one time, with a minimum of 3 girls on the pitch at all times. All team members must sign the team sheet. A squad can be made up of 14 players.
  • For our Autumn/Winter leagues, a team must not have more than 6 players on the pitch at any one time, with a minimum of 2 girls on the pitch at all times. All team members must sign the team sheet. A squad can be made up of 14 players.
  • Only 2 international players are allowed on a squad/pitch.An international player is defined as a player who has played for their country at least once in the past 3 years.
  • A minimum of 5 players is required to start the game, one of which needs to be female.
  • A minimum of 5 players is required to start the game, one of which needs to be female.
  • A team has 5 tags to score a try. On the 6th tag, the ball will be turned over to the opposite team. A male player’s try is worth 1 point and a female player’s try is worth 3 pts.
  • Accelerator rule can be called by a team if they are playing more than 3 girls. In this case if 4 girls are on the pitch then a girl try is worth 4 pts and so on. The referee needs to be informed once the 4th girl comes on the pitch otherwise the extra point will not be rewarded if a girl try is scored.
  • When a try is scored the scoring team shall take a restart-kick to restart play from the center of the half way line. Only girls are allowed to take kick-offs.
  • The ball carrier may spin 360° to avoid being tagged. However if contact is initiated in an attempt to spin, then a penalty will be awarded to the opposing team.
  • The ball can be rolled back by either foot or hand.
  • No Diving. Players are not allowed to dive for tries.
  • The ball carrier may stop and “surrender” their tags.
  • The ball can only be kicked from the hand in the field of play, no fly-kicking allowed.
  • Any players not having played at least 3 games in the league cannot play on Finals night-no ringers allowed!
  • A player may only play for 1 team per venue per night.
  • A player must not wear any item that is sharp or abrasive. No jewelry or spectacles are allowed on the pitch.
  • All players must wear approved tag shorts. If a player is not wearing approved Tag shorts the player shall not be permitted to play in the match.
  • In group matches the game shall be won by the team scoring the most points. If the score is equal or if both teams fail to score, then the game shall be a tie/draw. In the event of a tie in play-off games extra time will be applied.
  • Extra time: In the event of a playoff match being tied at the end of normal time an extra 5 minutes will be played. If there is no try scored within the 5 minutes of additional time, the team that scored first in the match will be declared the winner.

The Game

  • 7 players on the pitch, with a minimum of 3 girls at one time.
  • In any case where a team does not have the required number of players to start the match (minimum of 5 players, 4 guys and 1 girl) that team may forfeit the match. The result will be recorded as a 10 points to 0 victory for the opposition. Only then may a player or players from a different team or teams be used to make up the numbers to play a game.
  • The referee organizes the toss. The winner of the toss decides whether to Kick-Off and to choose an end.
  • A match is started by a kick-off. Kick-off must be taken by a girl.
  • A minimum of 5 players (4 male + 1 female) is required to start a game.


  • The Attacking Team has 5 “tags” in which to score a Try. A Turnover occurs after the sixth tag from where the tag happened. These are called by the referee as Tag 1, Tag 2, Tag 3, Tag4, Tag5(final tag)
  • When an attacker is first to ground the ball over the opponents try line, a try is scored. A try scored by a male player is worth 1 point and a try scored by a female player is worth 3 pts.
  • Players cannot dive to score a try. If a player dives to score a try, a tag will be called 5 meters out from the try line if this occurs.
  • A try shall not be awarded where from a kick by the attacking team if the attacker dives on a ball over the try line or grounds the ball without having carried it over the try line. From a Kick an attacker must collect the ball before crossing the try line and ground the ball in order to score a try. A tag will be called 5 meters out from the try line if this occurs
  • A player cannot pass the ball to another player after crossing the try line nor can he/she run back into the field of play to pass the ball to another player. A tag will be called 5 meters out from the try line if this occurs
    The Ball Carrier may be tagged by Defenders in order to prevent him/her from running with the ball, or kicking or passing the ball to his/her team mates.
  • A player not in possession of the ball cannot be tagged or obstructed during the game.
  • The Law of Advantage takes precedence over most other Laws and its purpose is to make play more continuous with fewer stoppages for infringements. Players are encouraged to play to the whistle despite infringements by their opponents. When the result of an infringement by one team is that their opponents may gain an advantage, the referee does not whistle immediately for the infringement, the referee allows play to continue with option to return to the original offence. The referee is the sole judge of whether or not a team has gained an Advantage and has wide discretion when making decisions. When the referee is playing Advantage he/she shall shout “advantage”. When the referee determines that an advantage has been gained he/she shall shout “advantage over”. Advantage is determined by a Tactical or Territorial Advantage.


  • The progress of the ball carrier is halted if a member of the defending team removes one or both of the ball carrier’s tags.
  • When a tag is removed, the defender must hold it in the air where the tag was made, drop or place it at that point and assume the marker position .The attacker must return to the point where the tag was removed, conduct a ruck ball and then replace his/her tag(s). The defender must not throw the tag away from where the tag was made.
  • The marker must stand directly in front of and 1m away from the player conducting the ruck ball. The marker and the defensive line can only move forward when the ball is touched/played by the Scrum Half. The scrum half has 3 seconds to play the ball otherwise possession will be turned over.
  • A defender can remove tag across the body as long as they do not make contact or interfere with the ball carrier.
  • A player may defend with one or no tags, however if he/she receives the ball he/she must immediately play the ball – i.e. pass or kick the ball and may not take more than one step in doing so. If he/she does not play the ball immediately a tag will be called.
  • If a Defender calls a phantom tag, a “tag” without physically removing the tag, play may continue, but a Penalty may be awarded if no Advantage is gained.
  • A tagged player may if there is no Marker replace both of his/her tags, tap-kick the ball and play on. If the tagged player is missing one or both tags he/she may only tap-kick the ball and then pass or kick the ball taking no more than one step.


  • There are only 3 situations where by kicking the ball is allowed:
    (A) Each kick-off and restart-kick.
    (B) A drop-kick may be ordered by the referee from a kick-off if the ball bounces in field and goes over the opposition try line from the kick-off
    (C) A grubber-kick is permitted in general play.
    In open play the ball may only be kicked from hand and not while it is on the ground or while it is in the air, having hit the ground.
  • From a kick-off the ball must travel forward at least 10 meters. The kicking team may not take possession of the ball or obstruct a player from the receiving team until it has been first played / touched by the receiving team, or until the ball has bounced in the Field of Play having gone at least 10 meters.
  • If the ball does not go 10 meters, the opposition team can gather the ball and play on.
  • If does not happen a penalty will be rewarded to the opposition if the attacking team gathers the ball. Also if the ball is kicked straight out from a kick off without bouncing in the field of play a penalty from the half way line will be rewarded to the opposing team. If the ball is kicked and bounces in the field of play and is not gathered by the opposing team, a drop out kick will be rewarded