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ITRA introduces "style points" scoring bonus

In a bid to encourage a fun, social approach to Spring & Summer tag, the Irish Tag Rugby Association (ITRA) is introducing a "style points" scoring bonus effective in all leagues as of Tuesday 4th April 2023.

A bonus of up to three points may be discretionarily added to a score, where in the view of the referee the manner of the finish either:

  • Significantly adds to the spectacle of the game, or;

  • Makes use of novel, specialist or otherwise unusual skills, or;

  • Looks absolutely class

The bonus applies to the "finish" only, i.e. the manner in which the ball is grounded. No additional points are awarded for a well-executed or technically different approach to creating a scoring opportunity.

There is no limit to the number of style points which may be awarded to a team or in a game. Style points do apply during "mercy rule", so as to encourage a dominant team to turn on the style.

In limited circumstances a referee may also award "negative style points", where in their view a score:

  • Represents negative banter (e.g. showboating), or;

  • Comes at the expense of an opportunity to pass to a female team mate, or;

  • They aren't feeling the vibe of the scoring team.

Negative style points are limited to a one point deduction. Referees are instructed to be discerning in the awarding of negative style points, but liberal in the awarding of style points.

ITRA General Manager Jack Leahy said:

"We feel that an emphasis on the spectacular will improve our sport and give audiences what they want to see. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the spectacle of the game will be richly rewarded, with the potential for 11-point scores, if deemed sufficiently stylish and scored in the box by a team of women. That's a game-changer.

"We've seen how other sports have grown by changing in response to the needs of the viewing public, and tag is no exception. We need to embrace and reward the creativity in our game and we feel this approach is a starting point in doing that."

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