Oztag Rules

The Basics

  • Oztag is a non-tackling version of rugby league.
  • There are 8 players on the at any one time. In 20s Mixed and Mixed open competitions there cannot be more then 4 males on the field. For “mixed” junior competitions there can be any combination of all males, all females or a mixture of both – there are no set limits to the amount of each gender on the field.
  • Teams must have a minimum of 5 registered players to commence the game or the game becomes a forfeit.
  • Defender must remove one or both tags to stop attacker’s progress. He/She then holds up the tag or drops it to the ground marking where the play the ball should occur. Players are not to throw away tags.
  • There is a marker in the play the ball. However in the 6s, 8s and 10s competitions at local competition level there is NO MARKER.
  • Defence must be retreat back to the referee after each tag which is generally between 7-10m.
  • Defensive line can move forward only when dummy half touches the ball. Dummy half can run and be tagged with the ball. However in 6s, 8s and 10s local competitions dummy half cannot score or be tagged.
  • There are six tags/plays to promote ball before a changeover occurs.
  • An attacker must stop and play the ball where they are tagged if he is in possession with only one tag on. If a player catches the ball and only has one tag on a play the ball will be where the player caught the ball.
  • The only persons able to promote the ball with one tag on is the dummy half however the dummy half cannot take more than one step with the ball. The dummy half can also kick out of dummy half with one tag on.
  • If the ball is knocked back, it is play on. A changeover will occur if a knock on occurs and the team that knocked the ball on kills the ball. If a ball is knocked forward the defending team can pick up the ball and play resumes.
  • The game is non-contact the attacker cannot deliberately bump into defender. A defender cannot change direction and move into attacker’s path. Whoever initiates contact will be penalised. The onus is on the attacking player to avoid defender.
  • The ball carrier is not allowed to protect his tag or fend off defenders. If the attacked “touches” their tags at any stage whilst in possession of the ball it will be deemed as a tag.
  • A try is awarded to the attacking team when they ground the ball on or over the try line.
  • Simultaneous tag is play on. A simultaneous tag is when the attacked passes/kicks the ball and a tag is made at the same time. (If the referee is unable to decide, the pass/kick is allowed – play on. The advantage goes to attacking team.)
  • An attacker may pass the ball over his/her try-line to a team mate who may run the ball out. If the ball is dropped, the ball is deemed dead. A player in possession may run behind his try-line and back out into the field of play. When in an attacking opportunity a player cannot pass the ball to another player once they are over the tryline. This will result in a changeover.
  • Players can dive to score a try, however, if this player touches the ground with the knees or arms before the try line or slides across the line and a defender is within tagging distance a try is disallowed and a tag is counted.
  • A player can go down on their knees to score a try  if they are over the try line.
  • In a Mixed competition in the 12s – seniors a female try is worth two points. (This excludes a female try playing in a Mens competition).


  • A team may kick the ball before the initial tag is made. (e.g.: a team picks up the ball in general play from a kickoff, knock- on, loose ball etc.. may kick the ball before being tagged) Once a tag has been made, the ball may not be kicked again till after the fourth tag.
  • Kicks in General play cannot be above the shoulder height of the referee. Attacking team cannot dive on a kicked ball in any situation, but can kick on.
  • Kick offs and line drop outs. If the ball lands in the field of play and then rolls across the try line whether touched or not a line drop out occurs. If the ball is collected in the field of play from a kick off and the player steps/runs over the try line a line dropout also occurs.  Try line becomes the dead ball line for all kicks.
  • If the ball is kicked or passed into the referee, the referee will order a changeover where he was struck.


  • Unsportsmanlike conduct covers the behaviour and attitude of players on the field and may result in penalty, sin bin or suspension.
  • Central Coast Oztag has a serious no strike policy and will hand out lengthy penalties for fighting.
  • Referee abuse from players and spectators will not be tolerated and will also result in suspensions.

Local competition rules for 6s, 8s and 10s divisions

  • 6s, 8s and 10s divisions do not play with a marker.
  • The line of defence cannot move up until the first receiver catches the ball or has an opportunity to at the referees discretion (ie if a pass is thrown behind the first receiver the line of defence may move up).
  • 6s, 8s and 10s divisions dummy half cannot be tagged or score.
  • All players regardless of gender are one point per try.