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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need any rugby union, league or touch experience to play Tag?

No. Tag is an easy game to learn, It is a game for ‘Every’ Body for people of all shapes and sizes, and fitness levels, and there are many players taking part in our game who have never played any form of rugby union/league or touch before. New players and teams are able to learn the game with our ‘Have a Go’ programs which show you the fundamentals of the tag football. You can also learn by playing in our schools or social grades at our module. Very experienced Rugby Union, League and Touch players do also play the game, and if you are one of these players most of our modules provide you a platform to participate in a fun but competitive environment.

Do I need to be super fit or experienced to play Tag Football?

No. Tag can be played by players of varying levels of fitness. You can play social or elite level depending on what you wish to do in the game. Although games are between 30 or 40 minutes long, rolling substitutes are permitted allowing you to come off the field for a breather as many times as you want! Regardless of your starting fitness level, playing Tag is a great way to improve your fitness and stay healthy.

What is the difference between Tag and Touch?

Tag is the closest thing to actually playing full contact Rugby League or Union. You run the exact same lines and defensive patterns as you would in League or Union only you don’t have to make a tackle.You simply have to pull the tag off the tag shorts to stop the attacking team. It is a minimal contact game. You can grubber kick at anytime when in possession of the ball. Tag can be played by players of all skill levels, shapes and sizes. Backline play is actively encouraged and the ball is allowed to touch the ground if knocked back. A lot of Union/League and touch players are enjoying Tag during summer as the gaps you can run through give Tag a closer resemblance to the contact forms of the game so bad habits are not picked up during the off-season, in essence as you do in Union and League, you run at spaces not faces.

  1. There are 8 players on the field not 6. All players must have regulation tag shorts to play
  2. You must pull the tag off the attacking players tag shorts to constitute a ‘Tag’
  3. You can score from dummy half
  4. You cannot ‘fend’ a defending player with your arms or hands, the ball or your shoulders
  5. Tag games start with a Place Kick ‘Kick Off’ to start and restart games if a try is scored
  6. There is a ‘Drop Out’ drop kick restart that must go 10m if the ball bounces in the field of play then goes over the try line from a kick off or grubber kick in the field of play
  7. If you drop the ball back and it touches the ground the ball is still in play
  8. If you knock the ball forward, the advantage rule applies and it is play on
  9. You must play the ball with your foot where the tag was made when you were on attack
  10. You are allowed a dummy half marker
  11. On the 5th tag, you can grubber kick downfield for territory or to touch to restart play
  12. There is a 50/10 in Tag as they have with Rugby Leagues 40/20 rule. But must be done with a grubber kick only.
  13. You can grubber kick anytime when your team has possession if you wish.
  14. A try is worth 1 point and you must have both tags on when you score
  15. There is a 2 point try zone at the centre of the try lines 5m apart marked with cones.
  16. A defender cannot impede the attacking players running line and make contact in the process of making a ‘Tag’. The same rules of basketball apply when defending.
  17. The attacking player cannot run directly into a defending player as this will be deemed an ‘Offensive Foul’ and a penalty will be awarded to the defending team.
  18. The game of tag uses a size 5 Ball and for year 8 and down it is a size 4 Ball.

Isn’t Tag just for kids like ‘Ripper Rugby?

No. Tag caters for all ages from 5 to 55 years for both male and female. It has defined sets of rules at the play the ball and is a very easy game to understand. Ripper Rugby is designed for Years 1 to 6 and is designed more for participation in the non contact version of rugby union.

Whilst Rippa Rugby is the game for New Zealand rugby and Kiwitag is the game for Rugby League for teaching the basics of union/league to children at primary school level, the rules of junior/adult Tag are very different, providing a more enjoyable sport that has clearly defined rules that can be easily referee’d. New Zealand Tag Football Modules use SAS custom made Tag shorts at all our affiliated modules as opposed to Tag belts. This make for a far cleaner and safer game. Tag Belts are only used at school and introductory tag clinics that introduce new players to the game of tag football. It is highly recommended to purchase official regulation tag shorts from your local module coordinator or online at

What should I do if I want to start my own Tag team?

Ask your mates: Tag is a great team building exercise and an excellent way for you and your friends to get out during summer for a bit of fun and socialising and some healthy sporting action. Please email or check out the website for further information on starting your own team at the nearest NZTFI affiliated module.

Ask your friends and family: Tag is a great way to meet up with old friends from school, club or work on a regular basis. And because you are taking part in an outdoor, social activity, you will all benefit from a fitness point of view as well! Plus you can stay at the bar at your module venue after the game to discuss the match and catch up on old times!

Ask your teammates from other sports: Various players from sports teams such as Rugby League, Rugby Union, Touch, Football, Netball and Basketball have played Tag to keep them in shape during their off-season or as an alternative sport once or twice a week in the afternoons during the summer months.

Put a message on your Facebook or email everyone in your contacts: With people drawing friends and colleagues from many different social networks, with a little bit of effort it’s not hard to find enough players to form a team. If one or two of your new team mates also contact their networks, you’ll have a team in no time!

Can I play Tag if I don’t have a team?

Yes you can register as an individual by clicking here New to Tag Football and we will find a place for you in an existing team or try to create a new team for you and other individually registered players. Playing in a team of individually registered players is a great way to meet new people. Many individually created teams last for years, with team mates becoming friends for life.

Can I try Tag before signing up?

NZTFI offers ‘Have a Go’ Days on occasions throughout the year, with many scheduled for September and early October heading into the busy early summer season that normally starts the week after Labour Weekend. Free ‘Have a Go’ Sessions are run by our experienced NZTFI Referees or your local tag module coordinators, taking you through the basics of the tag before heading into a game or season. For details of upcoming ‘Have a Go’ sessions, click here.

If you have a whole team looking to play but wish to have a ‘Have a Go’ training session before signing up, please email This often works well with new social teams where you can publicise the free  session through your mates, or on your work or Facebook page.

Most NZTFI modules offer Free sessions before the season starts so that you can run as a team and learn the basic fundamentals of the game.

If you can’t make a FREE ‘Have a Go’ session but would like a go at the game, this can sometimes be arranged by emailing

How many players on a Tag team?

In all New Zealand Tag Module competitions, a team is made up of 8 players on the field. In local mixed competitions, you can have three females and five males. At National or International Level it must be 4 x Females and 4 x Males. The number of players on the field for each module is noted in their local tournament details. Depending on which module you play at, You can have as many players as you want in your squad but only 8 take the field at any one time.

Each field is issued 8 sets of tag (16 in total) for each team. The referee supplies the game ball and tags. One set is fluoro green the other set is fluoro orange. All players must have regulation tag shorts to participate in the game. At the conclusion of the game, your team is required to return the game ball and tags to the half way mark sideline in a neat pile for the referee to issue to the next team that may be playing after your game.

Where can I purchase Tag Shorts and Tags?

You can purchase new tag shorts from all tag coordinators at our NZTFI sanctioned modules click here or you can go to  and order online or go to an SAS uniform outlet nearby.