Touch football was established as a sport in South Sydney in the late 1960s as a non-contact off season fitness regime for Rugby League players. The game today has changed considerably from the original version but it has firmly established itself as a global game with 27 countries attending the 2011 Touch World Cup in Edinburgh, Scotland. In the Southern hemisphere, it has developed into a huge family sport with over 400,000 registered players in Australia alone.
There are leagues for every combination of family unit from husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons to brothers and sisters. The game migrated to Europe in the 1980’s and the first Touch league started in Ireland in 2005. Globally the game is governed by the Federation of International Touch (F.I.T.). See their website www.international-touch.org for more information.
Touch’s philosophy of “sport for all” is well suited as the core strength of the game is the fact that men and women of all ages can play together on an equal footing. Touch is one of the very few field games where this happens at a local and international level.
It can be played all year round and requires minimal expenditure. With access to a field, some cones as markers and a ball, a game can be put in motion very quickly. Because the game rules demand minimal contact it can be played from the cradle to the grave. It is also one of the few sports that you can play from 6 to 60.