By Celest Teo (20S03J), Captain, Bliss Lee (20S03R), Vice-Captain, Charmain Yap (20S06I), Quarter-Mistress, and Cherie Lim (20S06A), Secretary
Have you ever felt the adrenaline rush from running on a field? Or the excitement from diving into the muddy soil? If you like getting down and dirty, and are looking for something fun and new to try, Touch Rugby is the sport for you!
“Touch Rugby? Isn’t that a really rough sport?” Whenever we mention “Touch Rugby” to outsiders, we are often greeted with baffled looks and shocked expressions. But fear not! Although people often confuse our sport with Rugby, Touch has its own unique gameplay (for starters, it’s one that does not require tackles to the ground!).
A game of Touch involves 6 players per team, and the aim of the game is to bring the ball to the scoreline at the other end of the field and score a TOUCHDOWN! But here’s the catch—attackers can only pass backwards, and defenders can make touches on attackers. When a touch is made by the defender, the attacker with the ball has to “dump” the ball, while defenders move 5 metres backwards. The game progresses forward until 6 touches are made, or until a team scores, after which there will be a changeover in possession.
As much as fitness is important in a game, teamwork and communication is actually the most crucial part of Touch. Getting the ball to the scoreline requires a great amount of communication among players—not only does each player play an important role in every strategic move, spontaneous play is also common when there is an unexpected touch made or a change of possession.
We typically train on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4.30-6.30pm, under our Coach Marli, whose presence can be known from afar when we hear her shouts (e.g. “YOU GUYS ARE RUNNING AROUND LIKE HEADLESS CHICKENS”). Although Coach may sometimes seem fierce on-field, she is actually very friendly and often jokes with us! Training focuses largely on developing our ball-passing skills and our attack and defence techniques on field (we named our moves after food! Like “popiah” and “ice cream”), with our Coach incorporating fitness drills to help us improve our agility and fitness.
At this point, if you’re a little hesitant about joining our CCA, fret not! Touch Rugby is a developmental sport and many players in our batch were not previously from a sports CCA. All it takes is a mindset that’s willing to learn and determination to train hard—stamina and agility can be trained over time. After all, it is the shared experience of learning a new sport and bleeding/sweating/suffering together as a team that makes training enjoyable and really brings us all closer together. At the end of the day, it’s the close friendships forged that will hold a special place in our hearts in the future, not the number of dropped balls or failed attempts to score a touchdown.
As a team, you will get to go through many fun and exhilarating experiences, including friendly matches such as RI’s Gryphon Recall and tournaments such as the Pan Pacific All Schools Touch Championship. The most important match for us is the Inter-JC League held in April/May, where your teamwork, skills and on-field chemistry will be put to the ultimate test!
So, if you are interested in throwing an oddly shaped ball or diving in mud towards a scoreline, do consider joining us at our trials! And even if you aren’t the most confident in your ball handling skills or agility, do join us anyway! Because we’re all here to learn the new, exhilarating sport that is Touch, alongside a team that dives, gets bruises, trains in the hot sun, yet laughs, works hard together and loves the sport nonetheless.