Tag football is a popular alternative outdoor recreational team sport that has competitions running throughout New Zealand. Eight players in each team are on the field at anyone time. Players wear shorts with a Velcro patch on each side. A strip of cloth is attached to the Velcro, known as a tag. The object of the game is to score tries. Defenders prevent this by tagging the ball carrier, removing the tag from the shorts. Field dimensions are 70 metres x 50 metres. Two fields will fit on one rugby or soccer field.
In Tag football the attacking team has six plays or tags to try and score a try or promote the ball down field as close to the line as possible. The game is exciting due to the fact of the tagging situation which can be difficult to remove. The invention of the tag also prevents phantom calls.
All skills are utilized in tag football including kicking. Passing becomes an attacking weapon, and if a player is put into a gap, there is a high probability they will make a clean break. When attacking the line, fancy moves such as around-the-corner passes work well, often making the defender stoop low to remove the tag.
The game is non-contact and the rules are designed to encourage this - you cannot as an attacker run straight at a defender, you must run at the gaps. A defender cannot impede the progress of an attacker, so if you try to get a tag and bump the attacker you may well be penalised. The rule is whoever initiates contact will be penalised.
The rules allow for the ball to go to ground with the advantage rule applying - this results in a lot of broken field play. Teams kick off to commence play and restart play after a try has been scored. Line drop-outs are taken from the centre of the try line. Kicking in general play is allowed but it must be below shoulder height of the referee.
Games are usually played over 40 minutes, two twenty minute halves. Times may be varied to suit age groups and conditions.
NZTFI Code of Conduct
As a player, I understand that I must follow the code of conduct rules to stay in good standing:
1. Respect the game, play fairly and follow its rules and regulations
2. Show respect for authority to the officials of the game and of the league
3. Demonstrate good sportsmanship before, during and after the games
4. Help parents and supporters understand the Tag Football philosophy so they can watch and enjoy the game
5. Be courteous to opposing teams and treat all players and coaches and supporters with respect
6. Be modest when successful and be gracious in defeat
7. Respect the privilege of the use of public facilities, Teams using the nominated field must clean up after the game/s and tournaments.
8. Refrain from the use of drugs at all times
9. Refrain from the exessive use of alcohol/drugs around the game and venue of tournaments.
10. Refrain from the use of abusive language
11. Refrain from any fighting or violent behaviour. This will not be tolerated.
12. Respect NZTFI policy about drinking by the playing fields
13. It is the Team Managers/Coaches and players responsibility to communicate the code of conduct to their all that play the game.