Teams may interchange players at any time. Players coming on to the field may not do so until the player being replaced has come off. Substitutions must occur at or within the team's substitution box - this is on the sideline within 10 metres either side of the halfway line.
Possession of the Ball
A change of possession shall occur when:
At a change of possession play is restarted with a rollball.
A player may pass, knock, throw or otherwise deliver the ball to any onside player in the attacking team. The pass must be backwards. If a pass goes a forward, a penalty be awarded to the opposing side.
Play is started by a tap at the beginning of each half, following a touchdown and when a penalty is awarded.
When a player/team is penalised the non offending team shall restart play with a tap. The tap is taken at the mark and the defending team must retire ten metres from the mark until the ball has been tapped. Play restarts with a tap when the following infringements occur:
A means of restarting play. Players must perform the rollball on the mark while facing their opponent's defending scoreline and rolling the ball backwards between their legs a distance of not more than one metre. Players must not delay performing the rollball.
Players from both teams are permitted to effect the touch. A touch is contact with any part of the body, ball, clothing or hair. A minimum of force is to be used at all times. The team in possession is entitled to 6 touches.
Touch and Pass
A player is not to pass the ball after a touch has been made.
The Acting Half
The Half (a.k.a previously dummy-half) is subject to a number of restrictions that do not apply to other players:
After a touch has been made all defending players must retire 5 metres from the mark. Defenders cannot move forward until the dummy half has touched the ball.
If a player with the ball touches or crosses the sideline s/he is deemed to be out of play and a change of possession occurs. Play restarts with a rollball 5 metres in from where the player went out. If a touch is made before the player goes out, the touch counts.
Players of the attacking team are not to obstruct defending players from attempting to effect a touch. Defending players are not to obstruct/interfere with attacking players supporting the ball carrier.
The Field of Play
The field is 70m long (scoreline to scoreline) and 50m wide. Associations may alter the size of the field to suit their particular requirements. Substitution boxes measuring 20m in length shall be situated on both sides of the field at halfway. The Touchdown zone is the area beyond the scoreline.
The captain winning the toss shall receive possession of the ball and a choice of direction and substitution box for the first half. The Referee will supervise the toss.
The standard duration is 40 minutes (two x 20 minute halves) with a 5 minute halftime, though other time frames are often used to suit local conditions and competitions
Extra Time and the Drop Off
When a match is drawn and a single winner is required, extra time is played and teams drop off players every two minutes until down to 3. The first team to score a Touchdown wins the match.
All team members must be correctly attired in team uniforms. Footwear with moulded soles are permitted. Bare feet, spikes and footwear with screw-in studs are not permitted. Players are not permitted to wear any item of jewellery or any item the referee may deem unsafe. One point will be deducted for teams not in full uniform and it is at the Referee's discretion as to whether the player(s) not in uniform is allowed on the field.
The referee is the sole judge on matters of fact and is required to adjudicate on the rules of the game during play. The referee may impose any sanction necessary to control the match. All officials, players and coaches involved in the match are under the control of the referee.
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