Are you an avid rugby fan? Perhaps it’s a game you’ve always wanted to try and never had the opportunity to do so? Or maybe you want to add some light-hearted exercise into your daily routine and rugby sounds appealing to you? If the answer to the above questions is yes then you may be interested in a game of Walking Rugby. It’s one of the latest sporting activities to be added to the wide range on offer at Warner Leisure Hotels and it’s becoming more popular by the week. Intrigued? Read on for everything you need to know about Walking Rugby.

What is it and what to expect

Walking Rugby is a fun team game that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Whether you are an established player or you’re new to the game, Walking Rugby is a much simpler version of the traditional rugby game. Less physical than a standard game of rugby, the aim is to participate, compete and most importantly, enjoy yourself. Experienced match officials will help to maintain fairness and inclusiveness for all players. Sporting enthusiasts will enjoy the pace and competitiveness of the game, while former rugby or netball players will welcome the flexibility walking rugby offers. Unlike traditional rugby, forwards and sideways passes are allowed in walking rugby – and as the name suggests, players must walk, not run.
  • How many players are on each team? Depending on the venue and the ability of the players, there are normally between five and 10 players per team. 
  • How long does a game last? Each match is played in four quarters, each lasting up to five minutes, with one-minute breaks in between to allow for rehydration and to encourage team coaching. 
  • Are teams mixed? Yes, teams will be a mixture of men and women. 
  • Is a normal rugby ball used? Players will use an international rugby ball, size 3, fully inflated. If playing indoors, a hard foam ball or a beach rugby ball may be used. 
  • Is Walking Rugby played indoors or outdoors? The game can be played indoors or outdoors depending on the facilities available at the location. 
  • What surface is Walking Rugby played on? Walking Rugby can be played on grass, hard court or sports hall surfaces.

Top tips and basic techniques

New to the game? Here’s what you’ll need to know
  • Scoring. Players must walk over the try line into the scoring area to score a try. Unlike traditional rugby, there’s no need to touch the ball down. In Walking Rugby, the emphasis is on having fun and participation so scores are merely announced for bragging rights
  • Handling. Players must hold the ball in two hands once it has been caught until it is passed to another team member
  • Passing. Players can pass the ball in any direction but passing above head height is not permitted. Passing single-handed, behind the back, and fake passing is allowed
  • Walking. Players must walk at all times during the game, both with and without the ball and during substitutions
  • Travelling. Players may walk in any direction for 10 metres across the pitch but must not walk for more than five metres while holding the ball
  • Possession. Players must pass the ball to another team member within three seconds at the referee’s call
  • Blocking. Blocking the path of an advancing player is permitted
  • Contact. Physical contact is not permitted between players (apart from a steal)
  • Steal. Players can ‘steal’ the ball only by grasping it with two hands. It is not permitted to knock the ball out of another player’s hands, and the ball must not hit the ground
  • Turnover. Possession is awarded to the opposing team by the referee if the ball makes contact with the ground during passing, if the intercept is incomplete or if an opposing player tries to steal the ball once the carrier has held it for longer than three seconds. If possession is awarded, the offending team must retreat three metres
  • Restarts. Once a try has been scored, the scoring team must retreat to their half of the pitch. The opposing team is then given five seconds to reorganise within their half and awarded possession to restart by the referee
Referee A Warner Leisure Hotels’ team member will act as referee. Players must agree that the referee’s decision is final before the game starts. 

What is classed as a foul? 
  • Physical contact (other than stealing the ball) 
  • Throwing the ball above head height 
  • Running 
Can players get sent off the pitch? Consistent fouling could result in a player being sent off the pitch. 

How is the winning team determined? The team with the most points at the end of the game will be crowned the winners. However, the emphasis is on fun and not winning or losing.

Safety tips

Players are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to move around in. Slip-resistant footwear such as trainers should be worn and jewellery must be removed before play begins. To distinguish between teams, each team is given a different coloured bib.
Are there any health requirements? Walking Rugby is played at a pace that suits people of all physical abilities and limitations but as with any physical activity, doctor’s advice should be sought prior to participation if in doubt. Walking Rugby has been adapted from traditional rugby to meet a wide variety of fitness levels, which is part of the reason it is so popular among guests at Warner Leisure Hotels. To play comfortably, you need to be able to walk easily, throw and catch a ball
So now you know more about Walking Rugby, what are you waiting for? Get all of your friends together to take part in a game on your next visit to Warner.

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