Sport of the Month London Tag Rugby
The latest craze in Rugby has arrived in London. Tag Rugby, is an extremely popular sport in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand where well over 120,000 adults regularly participate in leagues. Now you can take the game up in London thanks to Try Tag Rugby.
What is Tag Rugby?
Tag Rugby is a minimal contact team game in which each player wears shorts with velcro patches with two tags attached to them. The mode of play is similar to Touch Rugby with attacking players attempting to dodge, evade and pass a rugby ball while defenders attempt to prevent them scoring by "tagging" - pulling a velcro attached tag from the ball carrier. Ball movement and back line play is actively encouraged in Tag Rugby, the ball is allowed to touch the ground and kicking is allowed before the first and after the fourth and fifth tackles as long as the ball stays below should height of the referee. Leagues are conducted in mixed, menís and ladiesí formats, with females receiving double points for tries in mixed leagues.
Why should I participate in Tag Rugby?
Participants take part in Tag Rugby for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the game play itself makes for an enjoyable sport. Needing to remove a tag to constitute a tackle is a skill in itself, and the fact that the player must return to the spot where the tag was removed to restart play with a play the ball / roll ball makes for a slower and more skilful game than Touch Rugby. With the defence having more time to get set, back line play, good line running and fine passing are needed to make a break. The added dimension of being able to use grubber kicks makes the game a great tool for improving on many basic skills of Rugby.
It is a social and fun sport played in convenient locations across London on week night evenings. Matches are 40 minutes long and the risk of injury is very minimal in comparison to full contact rugby. There is a great culture within Londonís Tag Rugby scene of socialising over a cold beverage after each teamís weekly fixture. Individual registrations are accepted where Try Tag Rugby places you into a team. With a culture of welcoming new players, and regular weekend festivals where teams are mixed up, the London Tag Rugby scene is fast evolving into a very large social network.
There is also a representative scene for the competitive player. Summer leagues are graded into A grade and social divisions. Representative opportunities exist with the first ever North vs South London match to take place this October. There are also opportunities to represent your nation of origin with regular matches taking place between London Ireland, London Australia, London New Zealand and Try Tag Rugby England. In June 2011 Try Tag Rugby plans to run a mini World Cup featuring the above teams as well as teams made up of Welsh, Scottish, French, South African and other nationalities based in London.
In July Londonís best standard Tag Rugby players will be tested to the max when the touring Australian National side (Oztag) arrive in London for a three game series with the London Residents and a three game series with Try Tag Rugbyís Great Britain representative side. The Oztag side will start strong favourites having 80,000 players to choose from.
Fitness is a big part of any form of rugby and tag is no exception. Improved fitness is a benefit to Tag Rugby as you are always involved in play. Beginner standard rugby players will also develop a lot of skills while playing like passing, catching, side stepping, tagging, communication skills if defence and agility through evading defenders.
Training for Tag Rugby will include fitness drills, patterns of play, ball handling, defensive drills, speed and endurance drills, dynamic stretching and playing an actual game. Tag Rugby will help improve speed, endurance and help build and tone core and hamstring muscles.
How do I get started?
Anyone can start playing Tag Rugby. Improvement in Tag Rugby can be gained by playing more and playing in tournaments. If you are looking to get involved in Tag Rugby, you can go to the events section on the TotallySporty website to find when the latest leagues are kicking off. You can also go to the Try Tag Rugby website to find more details.
How to train?
- Fitness Drills
- Patterns of play
- Ball handling
- Defensive drills
- Speed & Endurance skills
- Dynamic stretching
- Game tactics