By Ada Poh (21S03F), Captain, Shannon Ng (21S06N), Vice-Captain, Tang Shih Ann (21S06I), Quarter Mistress, and Wang Zhipei (21S03O), Treasurer
Others look at us in awe
U can’t help but
Cheer for us as we
Happily sprint forward, bringing the ball
Right to the Scoreline!
Underestimating us is dangerous, and
Games are our speciality
But most importantly
You know we are having fun!
You might think Touch Rugby is as rough as the guys’ Rugby sport, but hey no!
A game of Touch Rugby 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. A unique part about Touch is that the attacker can dive towards the scoreline to score the touchdown! Unlike other ball games like captain’s ball, 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, where another player from the same attacking team picks up the ball and continues with the game. At the same time, defenders have to move 5 metres backwards. The game progresses forward by passing or running with the ball, until 6 touches are made, or until a team scores, after which there will be a changeover in possession of the ball.
While fitness is important in a game of Touch, teamwork and communication are actually the most crucial parts of the sport. Bringing the ball to the scoreline requires effective 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. Hence, each player has to be nimble and agile, and learn how to adapt to situations and take advantage of certain opportunities to score a touchdown!
We usually train on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4.30pm-6.30pm at the school field. Training includes warm-ups, ball-passing drills, and learning and practicing defence and attack strategies. We also learn how to dive safely to score a touchdown. Diving on the field might seem daunting, but after learning how to do it properly, it is actually very fun! Occasionally, after training, we also go for team dinners together.
As we were unable to train physically together due to COVID-19 this year (2020), we had weekly CCA sessions online where our coach, Coach Marli would plan and teach us drills on agility, speed and strength. To enhance our fitness, our coach would also set weekly fitness challenges for us, which include runs or strength and speed training. Although training was conducted online and we were unable to play a physical game with one another, we still had tremendous fun working out together behind screens, knowing that we were in it together! We also met up outside of eCCA sessions to celebrate team members’ birthdays, or just to bond over a meal!
If you are worried that you won’t fit into our CCA, don’t worry, as one does not need to have a sports background to join our CCA! Touch Rugby is a developmental sport and many of us were not previously from a sports CCA. In fact, all you need is a willingness to learn and the determination to train hard and play hard—the skills and agility needed can be trained over time, so don’t worry about that! Ultimately, we all get closer to one another through suffering and training as a team and making fond memories together. Above all, it’s not about the failures we inevitably encounter, but rather, the close friendships forged and special memories made.
At Touch, we learn, play and dive in the sweltering heat together. It is a place where you can learn not only the beauty of this sport, but also values that you will keep with you for the rest of your life. If you are someone who enjoys running across the field, diving in the grass and throwing around rugby balls, you will be sure to love the game of Touch! In Raffles, Touch is so much more than just winning. Touch is a team that trains together, laughs together and learns together. If that is the kind of environment that you envision yourself to be in, join us! Even if you are uncertain about your ball handling skills or your physical fitness, fret not! Alongside help from your seniors and peers, you will be sure to improve, slowly but surely. Look no further and join us at our trials! See you!