World Rugby launches non-contact T1 Rugby, a game for everyone

World Rugby has launched T1 Rugby, the world’s first non-contact sport that fully reflects the unique characteristics of rugby, to supercharge participation and engagement by making the sport more relevant and accessible to young people.

  • T1 Rugby is the first non-contact sport that fully reflects the characteristics of rugby, including scrums, lineouts and breakdown
  • With an emphasis on fun, fitness, inclusion and time optimisation, T1 Rugby is a game for everyone, played by anyone
  • T1 Rugby to be rolled out globally by World Rugby, regional associations and member unions to supercharge the growth of the sport

With the mantra of ‘a game for everyone, played by anyone’, T1 Rugby has an emphasis on fun, fitness and inclusion and will provide a fun, welcoming, time efficient and safe environment for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, reflecting the international federation’s mission of a global sport for all.

Significantly, it is the first non-contact form of the game that reflects the characteristics of rugby, including lineouts, scrums, kicking and a breakdown, while remaining simple to play. It contains many of the attacking and defending aspects of rugby, requiring players to make the same decisions.

In trials, players have been able to pick up the rules in less than 20 minutes. The feedback from participants has highlighted the simplicity and reinforced the rugby feel of the game.

Every player who has played it has indicated that they would play T1 Rugby regularly if made available. T1 Rugby will be rolled out globally by national member unions and was previewed to the world’s media at the Rugby World Cup 2023 media match in Paris on 17 October.

Member unions from England, New Zealand and South Africa to Laos and Vietnam provided input into the development of T1 Rugby, which is a format for unions across the world to increase reach. T1 Rugby and previous initiatives like Game on Global in our contact game, support World Rugby’s six-point player welfare plan of adapting the rules of the game to cater for those who do not wish to play the full version.

With global participation rates having increased by 11 per cent over the last year, driven by young people in emerging rugby markets, the new flagship non-contact sport will become the cornerstone of World Rugby’s Get Into Rugby programme and it is hoped that it will take off in clubs and schools around the world.

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “We are delighted to bring T1 Rugby to the global game as the first non-contact offering that truly reflects the unique characteristics of the sport. With popularity and participation growing, particularly amongst young people and specifically girls, it is crucial that it will capitalise on the momentum by making the game we love accessible to all to supercharge growth.

“T1 Rugby was developed with significant input from our member unions, including England, New Zealand, South Africa, Laos and Vietnam. Ultimately, it will provide a vehicle for our member unions to expand participation reach in their country. T1 Rugby now completes a portfolio of full contact, modified contact (via Game on Global) and non-contact rugby, a key pillar of our six-point player welfare plan of adapting the rules of the game to cater for those who don’t wish to play the contact version of our game.

“Rugby is truly a sport for all and T1 Rugby will reach a different, younger audience, increasing the reach and impact of the sport as we look to grow beyond our traditional nations, communities and demographics, particularly as we look to men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups in the USA where the opportunity is huge.”

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