WALKING RUGBY

CLUBS around Devon are being encouraged to considering offering walking rugby.

Walking rugby is a slower, non-contact version of the game, and is particularly suited to retired players, those recovering from injury and illness, and over-50s wishing to stay fit and active.

It can be played by all ages and sexes together and can help keep people involved at a club and even bring in new members.

This has been the case at Topsham RFC, who started a walking rugby programme in January.

It began with a small group of older men and women members. They had about 12 regular players at the end of last season, but now, having continued through the summer, they have a pool of 28 players.

Topsham’s John Carroll said: “It’s competitive and good fun and open to all levels of fitness and skill. It’s also highly sociable, with all games finishing with a well-deserved drink in the bar afterwards.

“As our senior men and ladies also train after us on a Thursday, there is a good opportunity to meet and chat to the other players.

“Previous rugby experience can be helpful, as some of the same rules apply, but is by no means necessary and anyone is welcome to come along and give the game a try.

“We would love to have more people join us for a friendly, but still competitive game and get some good fresh air and fun in our lovely surroundings.”

He added: “We would also welcome members of other Devon clubs to get involved and hope they will launch walking rugby teams of their own. It would be good to have other teams to play with and perhaps establish a local friendly league.”

If any clubs want more information on walking rugby they should contact John Carroll (01392) 876048 or Bee Jenkins (01392) 873651 at Topsham RFC, Bonfire Field, Exeter Road, Topsham, EX3 0LY.

HERE ARE THE MAIN WALKING RUGBY RULES

- The game is played in four 5 minute (or longer by agreement) quarters, with a 2 minute break in between

- Players must not run or jog while the game is in action

- Ball must be passed backwards or transverse (not forward)

- A try is scored by walking over the try line in possession of the ball (indoors by touching the wall)

- Knock-on if the ball is knocked forward and hits another player or the ground (a deliberate knock on is a penalty)

- If the ball hits the ground going backwards it’s available for any on-side player

- A ‘tackle’ is made by a two-handed touch to the player’s upper body

- Alternatively a defender may attempt to strip the ball, but if not immediately successful they must step back and it becomes a tackle

- Tackled player must pass the ball, from the spot they were touched, without delay

- Touch or turnover sets the off-side line at that spot and defenders must retreat behind it

- Penalty, or other re-start must be at least 3m from the touch line and sets the off-side line 3m back

- Ball in touch the other side re-start with a pass from the point where the ball crossed the line

- Turnover, penalty or other in-field re-start: the player re-starting must tap the ball with foot or knee and may then walk or pass, on-side defenders may advance

- Advantage may be played following any infringement

- If playing with a referee, their decision is final.

To get a taste of what walking rugby is about check out their video on Youtube HERE: 

IF YOUR CLUB WANTS TO START A WALKING RUGBY GROUP CONTACT devonrugby@outlook.com FOR MORE DETAILS