WALKING RUGBY – RFU GUIDANCE
Walking Rugby is intended to be a simple version of Rugby suitable for ex-players, injured players and non-players of all ages, abilities and gender who enjoy an active and physical, above all, competitive passing game using a rugby ball.
Hungerford RFC are planning to establish Walking Rugby in Spring 2022. Please contact Rob Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Guidance for Walking Rugby
- Players must not run at any time during a game. Sanction: penalty.
- Object of the game: to score more tries than the opposition by carrying the ball over the opposition try-line from in-field to try area. The ball must be seen to have touched the plane of the try-line for a try to be scored. Indoors, touch the ball to the end wall.
- The ball may be carried any distance and transferred between team-mates by passing. All passes must be backwards or transverse. A pass must leave the hands of the passer before it reaches the receiver.
- A defending player can arrest an attack with a simultaneous two-handed touch to the shorts of the attacker (a tackle) after which the defender should step back or away. When tackled, the attacking player must pass the ball correctly without delay and within one pace/metre. Tackled/touched players are permitted to retreat to point of touch if necessary without delay. Instead of a touch, a defender may attempt to take the ball from an attacker. If not immediately successful, the defender must immediately step back and allow the attacker to pass the ball without delay. If the attacker does not pass without delay, they lose possession (a turnover). If the defender interferes with the pass in any way after the touch or challenge, a penalty is awarded to the attacker. A hand-off is not allowed. An over-robust tackle must be penalised.
- A touch or turn-over sets an off-side line at that point parallel to the try-lines. All defending players must retire behind that line before taking further part in the game. A defending player who is off-side and interfering with play should be penalised unless advantage to the non-offending team applies.
- A penalty should be taken at the point of the offence indicated by the referee and may be taken quickly. At a penalty the off-side line is five metres closer to the offender's try-line and all defenders in front of the off-side line are off-side and should retreat. The penalty taker should tap the ball with his foot or knee and may walk or pass, and on-side defenders may advance. If off-side defenders interfere with the penalty, then further five metre advances may be imposed. No penalty can be taken closer than three metres from a try-line by attack or defence.
- A ball hitting or touching a player and going forward and hitting the ground or another player is a knock-on, resulting in a scrum or turnover. Possession should be awarded to the team not responsible for any breakdown. A deliberate knock-down by a defender should be penalised.
- At the start of a quarter and after a score, play starts with a tap to the foot or knee at the centre of the pitch. After a score the re-start is by the team that did not score. All defenders should be five metres back from the ball at the re-start.
- Three to seven players per team on the pitch at any one time. If extra players are available, then rolling substitutes can be employed so that all can be involved.
- For playing numbers of 6 or more-a-side teams may wish to implement uncontested scrums. Uncontested; two player front row formed by closest players; “scrum half” (the next closest player) feeds ball then passes out or attacks. Off-side line at scrum to be three metres back. Scrum formation frees up space elsewhere on pitch.
- Pitch size: depends on number of players per team. Suggestion: allow 5 to 7 metres width per player, pitch to be square or even wider than long depending on mobility and skills of players. Indoors in winter; a sports hall would be ideal if possible.
- A game consists of four quarters of five minutes duration, unless agreed otherwise beforehand.
- Ball size 4, if available.
- Repeated negative offences could be punished with temporary or permanent exclusion (yellow- 2 minutes’ duration or red cards).
- Where these laws seem unclear or ambiguous consideration should be given to the analogous situation in the 15 a side game with due consideration to the abilities and skills of the players. The referee is the sole judge and can allow advantage if applicable.
During the drafting of this guidance, attempts have been made to make it suitable and appropriate for a typical walking rugby player, perhaps 50 years of age or older. If player numbers permit, a referee is highly desirable. Otherwise, self-refereeing may be necessary. Ideally all players should gain refereeing experience in due course.
Penalties, Scrums, Turnovers
Penalties will be awarded for;
- Illegal pass e.g. handed on or mauled.
- Interfering with the pass after a touch/tackle.
- Hand-off by ball carrier.
- Over-robust touch/tackle.
- Off-side and interfering with play.
- Deliberate knock-on downwards – ball hits ground (but knock up – attempted interception, play on unless touched/tackled).
- After a touch/tackle, not passing within 1 m of point of touch.
Only applicable if playing with at least 6 a side. Otherwise, these offences should be turnovers of possession.
- Forward pass.
- Dropped ball, forwards – knock on.
- Delayed pass after touch/tackle.
Include above scrum offences if playing with less than 6 a side, plus the following:
- Ball hitting the ground backwards, not knock on. Re-start from point where pass made.
- Ball going into touch. Re-start from touchline with free pass.
- Try! Re-start from centre.