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How To Play 

Abbreviated Playing Rules

  • Each team can have six players on the field at one time. These are usually split into two ‘mids’, two ‘links’ and two ‘wings’.

  • Substitutions can be made continuously from one side of the field.

  • A game is made up of two 20 minute halves.

  • Play starts at the beginning of a half or after a score with a ‘tap’, which is performed by moving the ball on the ground with the foot, free from the hands, and then picking it up.

  • A score is made by grounding the ball on, or behind the try-line. One point is awarded for a score.

  • A touch is legitimate and minimal contact between a player in possession and a defending player. A touch can be made by making contact on the ball, hair or clothing and may be made by a defending player or by the player in possession. The referee is the sole judge of the touch and has the discretion to overrule a claim.

  • Upon being touched, the defence must retreat 7 metres (as marked out by the referee), and the attacking player must place the ball on the ground and step over it at the exact point they were touched. This is called a rollball.

  • The player picking up the rollball is the dummy half, and he can run as much as he wants with the ball, but may not score. If the dummy half is touched before they pass the ball on, then the ball is turned over to the defence.

  • If a defending player does not retreat 7 metres as marked out by the referee, they are offside and may not make a touch. If they do, play can carry on at the referee’s discretion, or the referee can award a penalty to the attacking team.

  • If a touch occurs within 7 metres of the defending team’s score-line or inside the scoring area, the attacking team takes the rollball from the 7 metre line.

  • After six touches, the ball is turned over to the defending team.

  • A penalty can be awarded for any of the following:

  1. Forward pass.

  2. Offside play.

  3. Performing a rollball over the mark.

  4. Calling for a touch when none was made.

  5. Making a ‘heavy’ touch.

  6. Interfering with the rollball.

  7. Passing the ball after being touched.

  • A penalty is taken by tapping the ball from the mark with the defence retreating at least 10 metres as marked out by the referee.

  • A turnover in possession may occur due to the following:

  1. Six touches being made.

  2. A penalty.

  3. The ball hitting the floor.

  4. A player in possession of the ball stepping into touch.

  5. The dummy half being touched.

  • If a defender makes contact with the ball and doesn’t catch it, the attacking team are awarded six more touches.

Field of Play


Full FIT rulebook

Please note that these are a simplified summary of the rules.


To see the full FIT rulebook, click here.

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