Beach Rugby is a sport based on rugby league. There is no centralized regulation of the sport as in Beach Soccer, but leagues are common across Europe, and the sport is particularly popular in Italy. Casual games are played across the world using different sets of rules, but organized leagues use a field that is a fraction of the size of a standard rugby field, far fewer players on each team, shorter matches, and a simplified scoring system.
The size of a Beach Rugby field depends on the decision of the league. The field is between 30-50 meters long, 20-35 meters, wide, and the in-goals are 3-7 meters deep. There are no goalposts on the field, and the lines are usually marked with some sort of tape or rope.
Number of Players
Depending on the league and the field size, either 5 or 7 players are allowed on the field for one team at once. Between 3 and 7 reserves are allowed, again, depending on the league. Substitutions are often done “on-the-fly,” similar to ice hockey or futsal.
A standard rugby ball is used, but many leagues will use a size 4 ball instead of size 5, the size used in all levels of field rugby above youth. A rugby ball is ellipsoidal in shape, made of synthetic leather panels that have small dimples to enhance handling.
Most leagues use a “one try, one point” scoring system, since there are no goalposts on the field. Occasionally, a sudden-death extra time period is used to resolve matches drawn at the end of regulation, but not all leagues use this rule.
Leagues use either two 5 or 7 minute halves (with a 1 or 3 minute interval for halftime) as the length of a single match. Extra time may be played if the league calls for it.
Playing the Game
Often a game of beach rugby is played using standard rugby league rules, with some variations. An offsides distance may be observed, but is no more than 5 meters. When the player carrying the ball is caught by the opponent, he must release the ball within 3 seconds from the halt by passing it over or leaving it to anybody’s disposal. If this law is not observed, his/her team will lose possession of the ball. Leagues may use the “Six-Tackle” rule or some variation, but some do not count tackles at all. Some leagues even play or touch rugby instead of employing a tackle element.
Usually, kicking is not allowed, with the exception of the to restart play.
Usually, a scrum or lineout is replaced with a tap kick, and play usually begins with one of these instead of a kickoff, as well as after every score. The ruck and the maul are usually not a part of the game, either, focusing gameplay on live-ball action instead of strategies from set plays.