Touch football, or simply Touch, is a derivative of rugby football (also referred to as American football). It is very popular as a social, non-professional game. Its main difference from rugby football is that traditional tackle is replaced with a simple touch of hands. The touch can be performed anywhere on the body or on the ball. In certain regulations touch is considered only if it is made below the waist.
As this sport isn't professional, touch football rules may differ depending on location, local traditions, the category of players and on many other factors. That is why usually, when two teams decide to play Touch, they have to agree on the touch football rules they will respect during the game.
As a matter of fact, people often follow traditional rules of rugby football, simplifying them and adapting to their existing conditions. In fact, touch football is often played by professional rugby footballers on their trainings, especially before serious competitions. It is played with the purpose of decreasing the risk of injury that is very high in traditional rugby football.
It won't be an exaggeration to say that Touch becomes more and more popular every year and in some countries, such as Australia and New Zeeland, it has already been considered to be an important sport.
In 1985, the Federation of International Touch was organized in Melbourne. This institution has already organized five Touch World Cups. Both local and international competitions managed by the Federation of International Touch are proceeding in conformity with official touch football rules elaborated by this Federation. According to these rules there are two teams. Each team consists of 14 touch football players, and only 6 of them are allowed to be playing on the field at any time. Player replacements can be effectuated any time, with no game interruption. The purpose of these teams is to make as many touchdowns as possible. A touchdown is considered when the ball is placed by one of the attacking players on or over the attacking team's score line. The distance between score lines amounts 70 meters.
Speaking about Touch football rules I can't but mention that the playing surface is usually grass, by it is sometimes permitted to play on the beach. The purpose of defending team is to prevent the attacking team from scoring.
The game is started or restarted from the Roll Ball position, when the ball must be on the ground, under the foot of one of attacking team players. The defensive team must be not nearer than 5 meters from the Roll Ball performance. Another player, called the Half, takes possession of the ball behind the one who makes Roll Ball. If the Half is touched when he has the ball, the team looses the possession of the ball and becomes a defensive team. That is why the Half immediately passes the ball to another player. The pass of the ball can not be performed forward. And the ball must not touch the ground. The player who receives the ball next must try to get as close as possible to the score line, without being touched. He can pass the ball any time, only backward. If he is touched while possessing the ball, that certain position is fixed as Mark, and the game must be restarted with a Roll ball. After 6 Touches, if no touchdown is performed, the team looses the possession of the ball.
Thus, touch football basics are quite simple and easy to learn. That is why Touch is considered to be one of the most interesting and accessible games with increasing popularity every year.