Flag Tag Rules


Players:  Nine players per team with unlimited substitutions.   
    NOTE  CHANGE  2015 now 9 players on field per team
                 Maximum of 13 players per team.
Substitutions:  may be made during any break in play, but must be made through the referee.
Match duration: Game is played over two 12 - 15 minute halves. 
Equipment:  Mod-League ball.   
                     Velcro flags / belts.  MUST BE SAME FABRIC & SIZE
                     Two flags per player, positioned on the outside of either hip.
                     Must be contrast color to uniform.
                     Shirts must be tucked in.
                     Shorts without pockets or tape over & cover pockets
Field area:  Approximately 70m x 40m


BDS Flag-tag is a non-contact form of Rugby League, similar to touch football. BDS Premiers are unable to proceed to Division play-offs, however as the skills and strategies are closely related to Rugby League, Flag-Tag players are encouraged to register for and participate in the BDS Rugby League competition later in the year.  Winner of the BDS girls Flag Tag will progress to the SSV Tag finals


All children should be directed to drink water regularly throughout the sport session.

Flag Tags must be worn on outside of hips (=2x).  They must be a contrasting color to the school uniform (pants).  Shirts / tops must be tucked in and or not hide or impede the removal of flags in any way.  Tags must the the same for both teams (fabic & size) e.g. Knights & Buffalo tags.  Nyda are too small & not appropriate for inter-school sport.

The game commences with each team in their own half.

Kick Off  At the start of each half, play commences with a place kick from a tee in the centre of the field.  The kick must travel at least 10m forward. If the kick-off bounces into touch or out side-line, the receiving team shall continue to have possession (zero tag count) at the point where the ball crossed the line.
If the ball ‘s first bounce is beyond the tryline, the receiving team will restart play with a PLAY THE BALL’ 10m out from their tryline.


After a try has been scored, play restarts with a 'tap and run' in the centre of the field, by the non-scoring team.
Players must wait for the 'all clear' from the referee before recommencing the game with the tap & run. 

The team receiving the ball from the kick-off has SIX 'chances' to score a try, by carrying / running the ball
towards their score line. Ball may be passed BACKWARDS from player to player prior to tags. . Balls passed forward will result in a hand-over and loss of possession of the ball (*). The team in possession must make at least two successful passes between tackles. Failure to do so, results in loss of possession (that is complete passes from dummy half and first receiver before being tagged)

A player is tagged when one or both flags are removed by a defending player or his / her knee touches the ground.  After SIX consecutive flags have been removed, the ball is handed over to the opposition team where the 6th tag was made.


( ! ) For safety reasons - players are discouraged from diving to tag opponents or to score tries. 
Players should make every effort to remain on their feet at all times.  
If a player dives for a try, no try is awarded.  Counts as a tackle.  If tackle 1-5, take the ball back 5m & pay the ball.  If tackle #6, it's a hand over play the ball 5m from the try line


The DUMMY HALF is any player on the attacking team who picks up the ball after it has been 'played' by their team-mate.  The DUMMY HALF passes the ball in a backwards motion to the next player, known as the 1st RECEIVER 


When tagged, a player must return to the place where the flag came off, face their score-line, place the ball on the ground and roll it backwards with their foot to a team member (DUMMY-HALF) behind them.  This process is called "PLAY  THE  BALL"  The tagged-player must replace their flag on their belt before returning to the game.


The referee will position him/herself and the DEFENSIVE  LINE  (team) 10m away from the PLAY THE  BALL location.  The referee should call TACKLE  NUMBER each tag.  On the 5th tag the referee shall raise his / her hand in the air with five fingers raised, to indicate this is the 5th and LAST  TACKLE.


The defending team may NOT move forward until the 1st RECEIVER has taken possession of the ball, or the DUMMY HALF starts to run with the ball.


If the DUMMY-HALF or 1st RECEIVER runs with the ball and has their flag removed by an opponent, a hand-over results and the ball is given to the opposition team, where the tag took place.


Defending players may NOT move directly into the path of an attacking player (block) or bump others whilst trying to remove their flag.

The defending player places or drops the flag they removed on the ground at the location where the tag took place. This marks the place for the "PLAY  THE  BALL" to take place. Defenders must not throw the tag. There will not be a MARKER permitted to stand at the ‘PLAY THE BALL’


The attacking players may NOT push, fend off or bump opposition players' hand as they attempt to remove flags.  Attacking players may NOT blind-turn (360 degrees), run directly at, or purposefully make contact with the opponent.


CHANGE  OF  POSSESSION  - A change of possession occurs when one of the following occurs ..  ..
  *  The player with the ball runs on or over the sideline.
  *  The ball is passed forward 
  *  The player with the ball 'KNOCKS  ON" = ball is dropped and travels forward  
  * Dummy half or 1st receiver run with the ball & are tagged
  *  The player kicks the ball before the 4th tag or kicks the ball higher than the referee's head.
A "Play the Ball" shall be awarded to the opposition.
PLUS  *  After one team warning, if the running player blocks, pushes or fends, attempts to remove a tag, performs a full 360 spin or jumps to avoid tag (safety rule) >
Penalty:  Tap & Run shall be awarded to the oppoaition.

AFTER THE 6th TAG has been completed:  It shall be a hand-over or change of possession.  The ball is given to the opposing team.  Play recommences with a "Play the Ball" at the location of the 6th tag.
  *  Kicks are not permitted to travel any higher than the referee's head, if so a change in possession will occur.
  *   No "BOMBS"  or  "CHIP  KICKS
  *  A  "GRUBBER  KICK" may be used only after the 4th flag/tag.  All team members must be behind the kicker. 
 *  If a ball is kicked and rolls into touch (over side line) a change-over will occur where the ball crossed the line. 
 *  If a ball is kicked 'dead in goal' (beyond end line), a turn-over will occur 10m out from attacking team goal-line.

A 'Tap & Run' shall be awarded to the 'other team' when any of the following occurs
 - Unnecessary rough play
 - Poor sportsmanship, swearing or breaches of the Code of Conduct
 - Defending player is offside, not back 10m or leaves defending line early
 - Fending
 - Ingringements of the 'Safeplay Code'

-        SCORING
  *  A "TRY" is scored when the ball is placed on or over the teams score line.  (must not be dropped or thrown)
  *  For safety reasons, players cannot dive when scoring a try.   Refer to rule above ( ! )
  *  FOUR POINTS are awarded for a TRY.
  *  There are  NO  CONVERSION  KICKS or additional points.
  *  The game shall recommence with a Tap & Run, center field, taken by the team that did NOT score.

(*)  MERCY  RULE  UPDATED  2013  and beyond
The 'MERCY RULE' is introduced after a team has established a lead of 20+ points or more. 
The team in deficit may add one player.
The 'Mercy Rule' is applied and removed as required depending on the scores.


An additional 'HALF-TIME MERCY RULE' has been introduced (2013) to address significant score differences, especially if to a zero or nil score. By mutual agreement, if the score is greater than 16 points to nil, the game is declared over / finished. The result and final score will be calculated by doubling the half-time score. School teams will be mixed together to play a social game for the duration of the second half.