Match Rules


1. Playing Field
The World 9s will be played on a full sized rugby field, using rugby posts as the goals. There are no behind posts.

2. Teams
A. Teams shall consist of 9 players on the field and a maximum of 6 reserves.
B. Interchange of players may take place at any time.
C. Teams shall consist of 3 forwards, 3 midfielders and 3 defenders.
D. At the start of play and after each goal, the midfielders must line up in the centre of the playing field.
E. At the start of play and after each goal, the forwards and defenders must line up in their respective zones.
F. Apart from (D) and (E) players can go anywhere on the field and there is no off-side.

3. Playing Time
2 x 12 minute halves.

4. Start of Play
A. The game shall be started by a jump ball between two players in the centre of the playing field.
B. A player may not grab the ball at the jump ball and play on. They must attempt to knock or tap the ball to another player.
C. After a goal, the ball is taken to the centre and restarted as in (A).
D. After an unsuccessful shot at goal by the attacking team, a member of the defending team shall bring the ball back into play via a kick, from directly in front of the posts.
E. At each jump ball, either at the start of the game or after a goal, midfielders are not permitted to have a shot at goal. They must pass, or attempt to pass, the ball to a teammate. Once the ball touches a teammate or opponent, the ball is ‘live’ and a goal can be scored by any player on the field.
F. The purpose of (E) is to ensure that, on a smaller field, scoring does not become so easy that it dilutes the excitement of the game for both players and spectators.

5. Out of Bounds
A. When the ball goes out of bounds by either foot or hand, the nearest opponent shall kick the ball in.
B. If there is doubt as to which team forced the ball out of bounds, the umpire shall throw the ball up.

6. Tackling
A. When a player is tackled by an opponent, they must dispose of the ball by handball or kick. If the player fails to dispose of the ball, possession will be awarded to the other team.
B. If a player has had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball when tackled, it is holding the ball and a turnover will occur.
C. Excessive tackling, such as driving or slinging an opponent, is not allowed.

7. Marking
Any player catching a ball directly from the kick of another player, provided it has traveled at least 10 metres and not be touched in flight, shall be awarded a mark.

8. Bouncing the Ball
A player in possession must bounce the ball after running with it for 10 metres.

9. Kicking Off the Ground
A player is not permitted to deliberately kick the ball off the ground.

10. Scoring
A. Goals are scored by kicking the ball through the posts.
B. If the ball hits or is touched by any player on the field, whether a member of the attacking or defending team, prior to passing through the goals, a goal shall not be scored.
C. If the ball hits any part of the posts and continues through the posts, it is a goal.
D. If the ball hits any part of the posts and comes back into the field of play, play will continue.