By day a Business Consultant in a black suit. By night a writer incognito, pink slippers and cat fluff tracky dacks.
Published October 10th 2011
A long, long time ago I was watching Touch and was invited to join the eager mob on the lawn. A few years later and I've finally realised how to score while playing Touch. Here's a short guide to making this happen.
Offside There is a fine art to defending your realm. Fire at will but be sure to be behind the battle line first. Basically you must retreat 5 metres to your lot before attacking the other lot. To the adjudicators this is merely a guide, a wonky reference point on the green to them, us and the others in the spirit of fair combat.
Rucking the Ball
Sounds weird huh? Luckily there's a perfectly reasonable explanation. Rucking is you moving forward while the ball moves backward to engage the defence. Yes, forward but backward is correct.
Dummy Half It's okay to be a dummy half but not okay to be caught as a dummy half. Most importantly if you're asked to be a dummy don't act like a dummy. Let's sum up. When you're a dummy don't be a dummy or you'll remain a dummy.
Half Caught This is related to the above concept. If you are basking in the wilful freedom of being a dummy half, bask quickly. To end your mission successfully you must find a way to offload the goods to your lot who will deliver to the final destination. Failure will mean termination of operations and instant discharge or half caught.
A Phantom A masked guy in purple tights but equally as disturbing a call made without actual contact with the others. This is considered to be poor form so it's best to call it when it happens. Not before it happens, not if it doesn't happen, not long after it happens. Timing is everything.
Roll Ball This happens when the others make contact but it is not rolling the ball. Rolling the ball is placing the ball on the grass and stepping, hopping, cart wheeling or moon walking over it. That's rolling the ball when not rolling the ball.
Not Square Apparently geeks are now chic and you can be penalised for being not square enough. Aside from personal style this means your feet parallel to the side line when the ball is rolled (remember not rolled – see above).
Over the Mark
When rolling the ball while not rolling the ball you must do this on the correct patch of green or the mark. Failure will result in handing the goods to the others, again on the right green bit. To find the mark (quickly) add up all the blades of grass and divide by the field length. If this isn't working out well wait for the adjudicator to identify the mark. I'm not sure if they know where it is exactly but they do know where it isn't.
Sub Box Sounds like where your sandwich comes from but there's no feeding the animals on the grass. Combatants can be rotated on the grassed area because they are stuffed, aggravated or aggravating others. These are called substitutes and the box is where they are stored for later use. They can be called up whenever the need arises but be warned. Generally it's not a good idea to substitute under hostile enemy fire.
Forced Sub Displaying independent vigour in life is mostly beneficial but not out here on the grassy stuff, especially if you're feeling shirty. If fists fly, the fur flies or insults freed you may be ordered to Siberia where there's no scoring. Once you've passed inspection and the temperature has lowered you can make the long trek home. As they say 'Don't vent and play'.
So finally we get to the scoring bit. It involves a pass being made, a great catch running, chasing, sweating and a swift descent. That is how you score while playing Touch.