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Is Touch Rugby League?

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As Touch seems to be taking off, its links to rugby league are not often mentioned. The international touch website does not mention the origins of the game.

The Catalan rugbipensador website has a couple of articles on Touch, with a link to the Rugby Union International Board

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As Touch seems to be taking off, its links to rugby league are not often mentioned. The international touch website does not mention the origins of the game.

Does it have limited tackles? I know the Union lot don't play the ball, they just roll it back or step over it

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Does it have limited tackles? I know the Union lot don't play the ball, they just roll it back or step over it

The version i played with the mighty cardiff cavaliers was limited tackles. No kicking, a step over like you say, five metre retreat by the defence and the dummy half would concede possession if tackled. We even used a steeden ball!

Great game but knackering. You end up literally chasing the defenders so that you get touched and they fail to make the 5, conceding another set. Old buggers like me get targetted for that. Only passed (tactically speaking) near the opponents line.

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As Touch seems to be taking off, its links to rugby league are not often mentioned. The international touch website does not mention the origins of the game.

The Catalan rugbipensador website has a couple of articles on Touch, with a link to the Rugby Union International Board

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Touch wants nothing to do with RL. The game is clearly RL with the physicality and kicking taken out, but it's a different sport in its own right now and there's nothing we can do about it.

But Oztag, or whatever you want to call it, is even closer to RL. And it's maintained its RL links too. Here women play "league tag" alongside the men's RL sides in local competitions. I also went to a junior league carnival today where the bos played RL and the girls played league tag. The CRL has taken ownership of this tag game and is using it to promote RL. There's nothing stopping RL doing this across the board.

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THIS IS A COMPLETE LIE. Touch Footy started as a training tool for South Sydney Rugby League. Touch is an off shoot of Rugby League and how dare rugby union come in and claim it as their own. I am here to remind everybody that touch football has never ever been associated with rugby union. It is born and bred from Rugby League just like TAG. Both are non contact forms of RUGBY LEAGUE. All you union fans trying to claim touch, go and tell your ###### somewhere else you pack of liars. I know touch has broken away as its own sport but for union to come out and claim it as its own product is just another lie and a big F U to league in my opinion. The worse thing is all these union tossers around the world will go forth and spread the lie, leaving league fans like myself to try and tell people the truth. So annoyed right now am going to the pub for a beer to calm myself down.

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THIS IS A COMPLETE LIE. Touch Footy started as a training tool for South Sydney Rugby League. Touch is an off shoot of Rugby League and how dare rugby union come in and claim it as their own. I am here to remind everybody that touch football has never ever been associated with rugby union. It is born and bred from Rugby League just like TAG. Both are non contact forms of RUGBY LEAGUE. All you union fans trying to claim touch, go and tell your ###### somewhere else you pack of liars. I know touch has broken away as its own sport but for union to come out and claim it as its own product is just another lie and a big F U to league in my opinion. The worse thing is all these union tossers around the world will go forth and spread the lie, leaving league fans like myself to try and tell people the truth. So annoyed right now am going to the pub for a beer to calm myself down.

:lol:

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Touch Footy started as a training tool for South Sydney Rugby League.

Ballacks.

Me and Ripken invented it on a tennis court in mid Wales.

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Union lies no limits. I hate Union and the way it thinks it can claim everything. The people running it have no honesty!

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Union lies no limits. I hate Union and the way it thinks it can claim everything. The people running it have no honesty!

Union claims everything as its own, Touch is an offshoot of union, as is League, thats the way they work.

They also invented professionalism and the cloud...

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So the union version (roll the ball back without it touching the foot)is directly copied from Super League.....until the refs clamp down on it, that is.

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So the union version (roll the ball back without it touching the foot)is directly copied from Super League.....until the refs clamp down on it, that is.

Training Touch can reduce the risk of injuries in training. In Swindon there is a summer Tag Rugby 'League' but apparently play unlimited tackles & roll the ball between their legs (trying to emulate a 'ruck & maul'?) rather than PTB.

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The reference to "South Sydney rugby" players is RL players.

In his book, "The Story of Touch", Bob Dyke (one of the Souths men) points to the playing of touch in front of a 47,000 SCG Grand Final (replay) crowd in 1977, along with a spectacular match a year later between the visiting British Lions RL team and a "Sydney Metropolitan" rep touch team, as the primary impetus for the rapid growth of touch footy in the late 1970s.

Significantly, Dyke also makes the point that touch football's founding purpose was to widen and grow the social and recreational appeal of rugby league.

Touch football was being played in Australia at least 15 years before the Souths initiative. Anyone who suggests touch isn't a modified form of RL is kidding themselves.

The problem for RL is that in the 1980s the game (RL) in Aust failed to recognise that touch was becoming a legitimate and very popular sport in itself, and the opportunity to affiliate new Touch associations into the RL bodies was rejected and/or ignored. So Touch went it alone, and who can blame them now for seeing themselves as an independent sport.

Touch is popular in non-RL states in Australia, but it does little for awareness of the RL brand. It is the same around the world, apart where the RFL is doing some good work recently organising tournaments under its banner etc.

Read longer history of RL and touch here:

www.RL1908.com/History/touch-football.htm

None of the above is to suggest that some obscure informal touch RU didn't exist elsewhere (in NZ & SA) in the 1960s and earlier, but there is no doubt that the sport of touch football that has been taken up across the globe (including by the RFU & IRB) is RL.

Dyke's objective that touch be used as a vehicle for the expansion of RL has obviously failed as few understand the game they are playing is RL.

I also wrote a longer article re the question "Is touch footy rugby league?"

In the cross code media and public pereceptions war, rugby league seems to be lagging behind in growth and participant numbers at the adult level, yet, how hard is it to merely point out how many are playing touch footy?

And given the physical demands placed on social players under a 10m in RL, the number opting to get their "RL fix" via playing it in the form of touch or OzTag instead, in our modern time poor world, is only going to grow.

Edited by RL1908.com

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The prople who promote touch wisely aligned themselves with union, they made the right choice

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The prople who promote touch wisely aligned themselves with union, they made the right choice

Understand what you're alluding too & agree 100% with the point your making.

It's probably more the case that RU is seeking out Touch rather than the other way around.

It's obvious to (almost) everyone that much sport in the 21st century will be in a stream-lined form, and yet while RL evolves down the path of being only a game that fulltime athletes can play, it does nothing (in Aust & NZ at least) to ensure mod/social forms of its game are kept on board.

It's too late anyway - the Touch associations want nothing to do with RL, so RL would have to create yet another variant and this time keep it in the RL brand.

Edited by RL1908.com

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Training Touch can reduce the risk of injuries in training. In Swindon there is a summer Tag Rugby 'League' but apparently play unlimited tackles & roll the ball between their legs (trying to emulate a 'ruck & maul'?) rather than PTB.

unlimited makes no sense, as does the union version ive seen where they pass when tackled. concious effort not to be league like imo. touch logically moves towards league rules and no one i played with seems bothered.

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Oh yeah! Thinking about it having unlimited tackles in Touch/Tag Rugby isn't really possible. Oops! :lol:

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It's too late anyway - the Touch associations want nothing to do with RL, so RL would have to create yet another variant and this time keep it in the RL brand.

I don't see why rugby league can't set up a pro touch RL competition, played in summer, to give us the game all year 'round. If the NRL/ARL were smart they could take control of the most popular minimal contact version of the game in one swoop, aligning new leagues with the NSWRL, CRL, QRL etc, all on the back of a televised summer comp which would be heavily branded for rugby league awareness.

If the rules were pure rugby league without contact I really can't imagine the current bastardised form of touch rugby league enduring in the face of the competition.

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What about over 50s 'Masters Rugby League'? Isn't that Touch Rugby?

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Touch wants nothing to do with RL. The game is clearly RL with the physicality and kicking taken out, but it's a different sport in its own right now and there's nothing we can do about it.

But Oztag, or whatever you want to call it, is even closer to RL. And it's maintained its RL links too. Here women play "league tag" alongside the men's RL sides in local competitions. I also went to a junior league carnival today where the bos played RL and the girls played league tag. The CRL has taken ownership of this tag game and is using it to promote RL. There's nothing stopping RL doing this across the board.

Speaking of tag, for anyone coming to London for the Challenge Cup final, we are running a tag festival on the Sunday. For more details see here.

http://www.trytagrugby.com/play/championships

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If anybody wants to see how far touch rugby has evolved they should go to youtube and search either NTL touch or state of origin touch and watch a game or two - the standard is awesome. Rather than RL or RU trying to claim touch as their own outsiders should realise that in Australia there are dozens of touch clubs with pitches and facilities similar to that of conference clubs in this country with hundreds of members. We've just had the european championships in bristol a few weeks ago with many countries playing a high level of touch and we have players who only train and play touch not RL or RU. About 10 years ago the Aussie womens touch team beat the Aussie RL mens team at touch! I represented GB on their first trip to aus in 1996 and played in the new south wales cup. Initial games lasted just 15 mins but I remember getting beat 14-0 by Penrith who at the time were one of the best teams in the country. What people should also realise is that RL and RU players have been playing touch for years all over the country (big in Cardiff and London) and they even have a national touch league developed to allow the best players the opportunity to play each other. In the passed there were usually just 4 main comps in the summer in Halifax, Wigan, Cardiff and Richmond but this has evolved since when I took the game seriously. Alot of RL clubs are running touch comps in the summer but they play more drive and pass with too much contact and don't ref the rules correctly (this frustrates touch players) and therefore most of the touch been played out there is a hybrid of the proper game and what RL and RU clubs have been doing at the end of training anyway. The best way to describe touch is to say that there are as many differences with RL as there are similarites, however, the distinct benefits are fitness and longevity for the older players, social aspect for the mixed sex and age group teams and for the youngsters an opportunity to develop handling skills in the summer months without the fear of been creamed.

For reference

from wikipedia

History

Touch started in Australia in the early 1960s as a social or "park" game and as a training technique for rugby league. It was not then viewed as a sport in its own right. It was formalised into a sport proper by the "Founders of Touch", Bob Dyke and Ray Vawdon of the South Sydney Junior Rugby League Club. On 13 July 1968 the "South Sydney Touch Football Club" was formed and the sport of Touch Football was born. The first official game of Touch was played in late 1968 and the first official competition, organised by Dyke & Vawdon, was held at Snape Park, Sydney in 1969. From these humble beginnings the game quickly became a fully regulated and codified sport. It was first played in Brisbane in 1972 and by 1973 there were representative games[2]. It had spread to New Zealand by 1975. [3][4].

The establishment of the first national body, the Australian Touch Football Association came in 1976. A highlight came after the drawn Sydney Rugby League Grand Final of 1977 when the rematch needed a curtain-raiser and rugby league officials asked the newly formed ATFA to provide the prelude game. With a crowd of 40,000+ this game helped to raise the profile of Touch in Australia and was nothing short of spectacular according to Bob Dyke in the book "The Story of Touch". Another profile raiser came in 1978 when the Sydney Metropolitan Touch Football side played the touring Great Britain national rugby league team in a high-scoring match, with the local team winning with a disputed touchdown on the siren. As more people began to play Touch more organised competitions developed.

The game has also expanded rapidly in recent years, especially in the South Pacific and United Kingdom. Touch World Cups now attract up to 20 nations including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, Lebanon, USA, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, England, Italy, Cook Islands, Fiji, Ireland, Malaysia, Kenya, Singapore, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Scotland, Wales, China, Chile, South Korea and the Channel Islands.

Touch is played in every Australian state, and is particularly popular in the rugby league strongholds of Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT. There are currently over 250,000 registered Touch players, 500,000 schoolchildren, and up to 100,000 casual players playing the sport[8]. The peak body is Touch Football Australia.

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