IT is the largest participation sport in the country – and it is going to hell in a handbag.
That’s right, despite all its numbers, despite the amazing appeal it has allowing both males and females to play together on the same field at the same time, Touch Football is (in my humble opinion) just a few short seasons off going the way of ancient Rome and completely burning itself to the ground.
The major reason?
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You know those guys you see pushing opposition players over via a forceful tag, or those guys/girls you hear yelling abuse at referees every second touch and just generally being angry little humans.
Yes those ones – they are killing touch footy.
There is a seldom-used Touch Football Rule I think will help explain.
Rule #171: No Splashing.
Ok so it is not a rule at all, I made it up.
Makes sense though doesn’t it – touch is not played in water, so no real need to splash.
So why is there aggression on a touch field?
Why are the touch fields of the Gold Coast inundated with ‘heroes’ who play touch like they are running out for a state of origin match?
Why aren’t they applying the flawless logic of my well-though-out No Splashing Rule to their hostility levels?
Touch, by its very name, is an alternative to ‘tackle’ footy where there IS contact and where a certain level of physicality is not only encouraged but necessary.
But every week without fail touch players from Palm Beach to Pimpama are being penalised for aggressive play, sent to the sidelines for excessive referee abuse and sent off altogether for actual fighting.
In MIXED touch footy games.
How much of a ‘hero’ do you have to be to see touch footy as anything but a bit of social fun and a bit of fitness with mates on weeknights.
On Sunday I played in a Touch Rugby League carnival at Southport, my first time trying the new sport.
It was amazingly fun.
It was not so much the different rules and tactics (though they were really great as well) but rather it was the fact that in 5 games not ONE player from either side was anything but a good sport.
No nitwits, no nincompoops no ‘heroes’.
It was just like touch footy USED to be, in the before-time, in the long-long-ago.
People were just there to have fun and keep/get fit.
It had been so long since I had witnessed such.
I was touched….
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