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Effective immediately: tweak to tag laws

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

The recent ITF Tag World Cup in Limerick was a massive success, not least for the eight Irish tag squads who took home medals.

The tournament brought together 36 referees from Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain. Naturally, this mélange of referees presented challenges; different countries interpret the same set of laws differently.

Thanks to the leadership of Ireland's Ultan Ryan, we managed to start the tournament with a shared understanding of how the game would be refereed. One clarification that was of great interest to Irish players and referees concerned the offside line.

The direction from international referees was that in a situation when the try line is the offside line (i.e. a team is defending their own line) a player with one foot on the try line is offside.

In Ireland we have typically allowed a player in this situation to be onside, as an interpretation of the offside law. We're sure you can easily picture a player with one foot on the try line and the other lunging forward, waiting for the ball to be rolled.

Effective immediately, ITRA is instructing referees to enforce offside as follows:

"In all circumstances, a player must have both feet on or behind the offside line in order to be onside"

In addition to a desire to be on the same page as other nations who play according to the ITF laws, ITRA welcomes this development and the positive change it presents in terms of space, contact risk and positive play.

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