2019 Playing Rules
RULES OF THE GAME
· The duration of a game is 12 minutes with an immediate changeover at half time.
· Where venue space allows for it:
The first half of a game will be contested with
each team fielding 5 players.
• The second half of the game will begin
with each team fielding 4 players.
• At 3 minutes into the second half each team will now be further reduced and field 3 players until the completion of the game.
• The organisers reserve the right to administer this rule differently across the different competition sections
• In the event of scores being level at the
completion of the game, a “Sudden Death”
scenario will begin immediately with an immediate
changeover. The first team to score will win the
game. Both teams must have at least one phase of
possession for the game to be completed during
• The “Sudden Death” scenario is not applicable
during the Pro Series Round Robin phase of the
• The game always starts and re-starts from the
half way line. The referee will hand the ball to the
starting team and will signal for play to
commence. Play begins by immediately passing
the ball. A “Touch Down” or “Try” is scored when
the ball is grounded on or behind the try-line
(downward pressure must be applied).
• A touch is on any part of the body, ball or
clothing. It is “claimed” by raising one’s hand and
shouting, “Touch”. The referee will use his discretion
to decide whether the ball was passed or if the
Touch was missed. If unsighted or unsure, the
referee will honour the claim.
PLAY TO THE WHISTLE at all times.
• When touched, the ball must be placed instantly.
FAILURE TO PLACE THE BALL INSTANTLY
RESULTS IN A PENALTY. The attacking side
begins play where that ball is placed. In the case
of a forward pass or a dropped ball, play may
commence where the ball is picked up or stops
rolling. The defending team may not interfere
with a rolling ball.
• The offside line for the defending team is
4 METRES from where the attacking team
commences play. (In most instances, the referee
will position himself as a marker for the defending
team). If a quick pass is taken, the defending
player who is offside must cover a distance of 4
metres towards his own try line from where the
infringement occurred, before being allowed to
affect a valid Touch.
• A defender within the 4 metre “offside” area,
making an effort to retreat and not interfering
with play, will not be penalised. The referee will
use his / her discretion.
• Obstruction by a retreating player doesn’t apply
if the player stays directly on one running line.
• Any holding of players or pulling of shirts will
result in a penalty.
• Behind the defending teams own try-line the
“no touch” rule applies. Once the player crosses
the line the ball is alive. Players may only run back
into the dead ball area once.
• The extra reserves may be continuously substituted
at any time from one side of the field only.
• An intentional knockdown occurs when a player
does not attempt to intercept the ball but knocks
it down (generally with his/her palm facing
downwards). This results in a penalty. After being
warned, an intentional knockdown within 4
metres of the try line will result in a penalty try.
• Procedure for a penalty: The referee MUST
indicate the line / mark on which the offence
occurred. The penalty must be taken from this
mark. The defending team must retreat a full 8
metres before making a valid Touch. On a penalty,
ONCE THE MARK IS GIVEN, the attacking player
may tap and run without passing.
• Play may never be allowed to commence
within 4 metres from the attacking try line.
A defending player does not need to retreat
further beyond his/her try to be deemed on side.
• No referee will accept any verbal abuse. Claims
for forward passes and excessive claims for Touch
will not be tolerated.
· After a warning, players may
be sent to the Sin Bin with a “Yellow Card” for an appropriate “cool off”
time. No substitute will be allowed to replace
someone in the SIN BIN.
· Players will be sent off permanently with a “Red Card” for repeated “Yellow Card” Offences, as well as for violence, inciting conflict and
continual harassment including continuing to question a referee’s
decisions or deliberately and negatively
communicating with the opposition in a manner
that is against the spirit of game.
· These players will also be subject to a disciplinary
hearing and if found guilty will be dealt with in
the strictest possible way.