It’s never too early to get your son involved in rugby and the best way to get him started is to teach him touch rugby. Not only is touch rugby a great way to teach young players the basics of the game but it is also a great holiday activity that will keep him and his friends preoccupied during visits and parties.

Touch rugby is also a great way to bond with your children, so why not start a ‘dads and lads’ game, or if you are the adventurous sort of mother you could join a mixed team. For those who are not so familiar with the game, the rules are simple.

1. Field size. The field is usually 70m long and 50m wide but you can make your own size depending on the space you have to work with. The most important thing to keep in mind is to have two equal halves of the field marked.

2. Team size. A minimum of four players and maximum of six players are allowed on the field at any given time.

3. Toss. As in any sport, the best way to decide on who starts the game is to do a coin toss. The winning captain gets possession of the ball and the choice of direction of play.

4. Duration. Generally, each half is twenty minutes each but if your son is small, adapt the game to ten minutes a half or a longer halftime break.

5. Passing. A player may pass the ball to a team member behind him.

6. Touch. The opposing team must try to touch the team with possession of the ball six times in order to gain possession of the ball.

7. Scoring. A try is awarded when it is grounded over the opponent’s try line and is worth one point.

8. Contact. Touch rugby is designed to have as little contact as possible. Anything other than a touch is not allowed.

Allow your son learn the basics the safe way and let him participate in as much touch rugby as possible. By the time he is ready for a full game of school rugby, he will have mastered the basics, preventing him from unnecessary injuries and allowing him to work on the skillset needed to play contact rugby.