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So what are the beach rugby competition rules and law variations?

3 months ago By George Shipman


1. Playing Area: Length = approx.31m; Breadth = approx.25m; In-goal = 2m each end.
2. Time: All matches up to and including Semi-finals shall consist of two periods of 5 minutes each with a 1 minute interval. The Finals will be two periods of up to 6 minutes each with a 2 minute interval. Timings may be altered to suit the restraints of the tournament. “Paper, Stone, Scissors” will be used by the Referee to decide first team to kick-off.
3. Clothing: Players shall wear tear-resisting jerseys with the players’ number clearly shown, and suitable shorts for contact rugby. T-shirts are not permitted. Players shall have bare feet or are permitted to wear socks.
4. Ball: The ball used in the game shall be a regulation size 4.
5. Team: Each team to consist of 5 in-field players plus 5 replacements; rolling substitutes are permitted and interchangeable only during a stoppage in play. Players entering the playing area may do so only from the designated Control Area. It shall be the responsibility of the team captain to ensure that only 5 players are on the field during play. All players will be effectively tied to a team once they have played for that team in the tournament.
6. Scoring: Scoring is by means of grounding the ball in the in-goal area only to score a Try. The Try is worth one point and there are no goal kicks after a Try.
7. Restarts: Restarts after a score shall be by a ‘tap and immediate pass’ (free pass) from the centre of the pitch.
8. Kicks: Kicking the ball is not allowed other than a ‘tap and immediate pass’ for starts and restarts.
9. Scrums and Lineouts: these are excluded: for the ball or ball-carrier going into touch or for knock-on or forward passes, play is resumed by a ‘tap and immediate pass’ (free pass) by the non-offending team at the place of the infringement.
10. Tackles: A tackle occurs when the ball carrier is touched by an opposition player on any part of the body below the shoulders. Match organizers may decide to restrict body areas where touches may be made, particularly where there are mixed gender matches. The tackler must not use excessive force when making a tackle.
Sanction: Penalty kick


When players tackle an opponent the word “Touch!” must be called at the same time by that player. If the referee considers that a touch has not taken place the referee will call “Play on!”. Following the sixth tackle, in succession, the opposition team will be awarded a ruck ball.

The tackler must not attempt to pull the ball from the ball carrier’s hands and must not prevent the ball carrier from playing the ball.
Sanction: Penalty kick

If a defending player touches the ball in flight from a pass but does not gain possession, the attacking side retains the ball and the tackle count restarts. If the defending player or team-mate gains possession following the touch, and they are onside, play continue

11. Offside: The offside distance from the ball for all penalties and restarts is 3m. If this distance is not observed, the referee will have the option to play advantage, award a penalty, or move the position a further 3m towards the offending team’s goal line should players not comply.
12. Penalties: All penalties shall be a ‘tap and immediate pass’ (free pass) from the place of infringement.
13. Dissent: Only the recognized captain is permitted to ask the referee for explanations or to bring serious infringements to the referee’s attention.
14. Extra Players: Should a team be found to be fielding more than 5 players, the referee shall immediately stop play. If the offending team have scored with 6 players on the field, that try will be disallowed and the score deducted. The game will recommence with a restart at the centre to the non-offending side.
15. Yellow Card: Temporary expulsion from current game for 2 minutes. Offending players to remain in the Control area and may only rejoin at a stoppage in play.
16. Red Card: Any red-carded player shall not be allowed to take any further part in the current game and must immediately leave the playing enclosure. A Discipline Panel consisting of the Referee Manager plus two Tournament Committee members shall be convened before his team’s next game and will decide sanctions, which may include exclusion from a number of games up to semi-final (number of games to be decided) or at worst, permanent exclusion from the tournament.
17. Pink Card: For minor scuffles and player disagreements (“handbags”), players must make friends and shake hands. Our aim is to encourage a friendly tournament.
18. Team Discipline: Any team which exhibits poor discipline shall be subject to scrutiny by the Tournament Committee and may have points deducted or be excluded from the competition.


You are expected to be at the pitch ready to start your allocated games on time, failure to do this may result in you forfeiting the game, and being excluded from the tournament. Team managers must ensure players are at the pitch at least 5 minutes before kick-off time.

Each team shall consist of 10 players 5 on the pitch at any one time,
Clubs entering two teams shall clearly identify each team separately.
All players will be effectively tied to a team once they have played for that team in the tournament. No player may play for more than one team in the tournament unless ratified for exceptional circumstance by the Tournament Director or Referee Manager in advance. Any club discovered fielding a player in more than one team will be subject to forfeiture of games.

No time will be added for trivial injury; where injury results in stoppage over 2 minutes, however, time will be added. Game timings may be subject to variation due to tournament time constraints.

If points between teams are tied in pool tables, the team with the highest number of Tries scored will be declared pool winners;
If teams are still level, the team who won the game between the two shall go forward;

If this was a draw, the team captains shall take part in a coin toss or similar to determine the team which goes through.
In the event of a drawn game on knockout Day 2, an additional ‘sudden-death’ period will be played where the first scoring team is the winner.

only the 10 team members plus one additional person (water carrier/physio/medic) shall be allowed inside the playing enclosure. All other players, coaches, managers and spectators must remain behind the barrier.

Participants shall not abuse, threaten, intimidate, or use foul or abusive language or gestures towards a referee, touch judge or other match official or spectators, whether on or off the field of play. Your team is not only representing your club, but also your country. Upholding the good name of your club will make you many new friends and contacts for the future, along with laying the foundation for other teams to follow in your footsteps or perhaps a return visit.

Updated 08:31 - 28 Jun 2016 by George Shipman

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RIP Ken Hughes RIP Ken Hughes
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