Golden Oldies Laws

Fun, Friendship & Fraternity

Fun, Friendship & Fraternity

The spirit of Golden Oldies, epitomised in the motto of Fun, Friendship and Fraternity is the central theme of every Golden Oldies Festival.

All players must be correctly attired for Golden Oldies Rugby at all times including footwear. (Low profile studs or grass sport shoes).

These Golden Oldies rules do not permit offside play, unsportsmanlike behaviour and have been designed to increase the enjoyment of the game while eliminating over-vigorous play and  minimising the chances of injury. eg. there is to be no ‘cleaning out’ around the rucks and mauls.

The normal laws of Rugby as per the International Rugby Board (IRB) – Under 19 laws – shall apply with the following variations;

  • The game shall be three 20-minute periods.
  • All players are to observe the restrictions of tackling “older” players. These are identified by coloured shorts.
  • Players wearing gold, purple, or special festival committee shorts may travel up to 10 metres with the ball before releasing.
  • All the forwards are bound

    All the forwards are bound

    All 8 forwards must remain bound in the scrum until the ball has been cleared.

  • There shall be no striking against the head by the hookers.
  • There must be no pressure scrummaging or movement of the scrum.
  • The half back must not follow the ball around the scrum.
  • From a penalty there shall be no quick tap, & all players shall retire 10 metres.
  • Players must observe the offside rule, particularly that of remaining behind the hindmost foot rule at rucks & mauls
  • Players are to observe the 5 metre rule at scrums and 10 metres at lineouts.
  • Unlimited substitution of players and substituted players may return for injured players.
  • Teams scoring a try shall also restart the game by kicking the ball to the non-scoring team.
  • There shall be no supporting in the lineout.
  • All lineouts shall be set (No quick lineouts).
  • In lineouts all 8 forwards must take part.
  • Players may kick the ball only in their own 22.

Coloured Shorts

Good old fashioned fun
Good old fashioned fun

If a player is wearing red shorts in this category it means they do not want to be tackled to the ground or pushed of their feet. Any player in red shorts may be “held” in the spirit of Golden Oldies Rugby but NOT tackled.

60-64 years – Red Shorts – Can be claimed, not tackled

65-69 years – Gold shorts – Not to be tackled

70-79 years – Purple shorts – Not to be tackled or touched

85+ years – Special Committee Shorts – Not to be tackled or touched

Age Groups

Over 35

Captains are responsible for the behaviour of their players

Other variations can be organised at the discretion of both captains.


“Claiming” (wrap-around) can best be described using this example:

The player with the ball (a wearer of red shorts) cannot be tackled but can be claimed or held by wrapping ones arms around his body (Diagram 1) to prevent further forward movement, but they must not be thrown to the ground and they must be able to free the ball to play it. In other words you can hold them (or ‘hug’ them gently) but do not tackle them.

The defender can stand in front of the player with the ball (the red shorts player) with outstretched arms to prevent further forward movement, again allowing the player to play the ball (diagram 2).

Please Note: The wearing of specified coloured shorts does not give the player the right to tackle other people wearing similar coloured shorts.

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