v7Tag Rugby 2

What is Tag Rugby and what are its advantages?



Tag Rugby is a non-contact rugby variant where the tackle is replaced by 2 tags attached to a belt that must be pulled from the opponent to retrieve the ball.

Similar to Touch Rugby, it is however different!


The origins of Tag Rugby are not very clear, but the most likely origin is this one:

Tag Rugby was first developed in Gibraltar by the Gibraltar Rugby Union. Due to the lack of grass pitches, an alternative variant to rugby union was developed. A 10-inch cord was tucked into the waistband, and its removal by an opponent with a shout of "tag", was classed as a tackle. If the attacking team has failed to score by the fourth tackle the defending team were given possession of the ball.

The codified version of Tag Rugby was created and pioneered by physical education teacher Nick Leonard in England in 1990 following an idea given to by a former serviceman called Barry Johns. He described to Nick how navy servicemen on board ship or whilst playing on hard grounds overseas played the Gibraltar variant of rugby. Leonard then devised a set of rules suitable for children using belts and colored ribbons attached by Velcro and organised the first ever schools Tag Rugby festival at Plymouth in 1991.

Almost 30 years later, this sport has now been democratised to everyone.


Tag Rugby pits two teams against each other with a minimum of 4 players.

There is no set match duration. It depends on the amount of players on the field but also on their level (and their stamina!). 20 minutes per half-time is a good compromise anyway.

It is advised to play with hands instead of playing with feet, wich is very restricted or even forbidden.

The game takes place on a half rugby pitch.

As in traditional rugby, the goal is to score a try. This is done by grounding the rugby ball in the opponent's in-goal area, passing the ball only laterally or backward.

In defence, no tackling allowed! You have to pull the tags attached to the belt from the person who has the ball.

As soon as a player gets one of his tags ripped off, the game stops.

The player must put the ball onto the ground and put back his tag.


When 5 tags have been ripped off, the ball changes sides.

And that's it!

Tag Rugby is cool and easy to understand!


The main advantage of Tag Rugby is that there are no contacts. This makes it possible to make mixed teams of all ages.

It can therefore be played in companies (and even between different companies)!


A rugby ball

Tags with a belt (or shorts designed to hang tags directly on them)

Friends including girls (yes, it's a mixed sport so we try to get everyone involved!)

referee (optional but at least there will be no bickering on the field!)





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