GTAI 2023

SEASON 2 By Laws  

By-Law 1 – Rules of Play, Teams and Officials 

a) The Grafton Touch Association Inc. (hereafter known as “GTAI”)  Season 2 (Summer) Competition (hereafter known as the “Competition”) will be conducted under the Touch Football Australia (TFA) Rules, 8th Edition, and Amendments. Subsequent sub-sections specify supplementary competition by-laws and procedures to be applied by GTAI. All teams participating in any TOUCH competitions agree to be bound by TFA and GTAI rules and procedures. The Competition will be administered by the GTAI General Committee (hereafter known as the “Committee”).  

b) The competition will be based on a Team concept and all players that participate must be a member of one of the GTAI registered teams.  

c) All teams MUST have a nominated Team Contact who is over the age of 18. The Team Contact is responsible for Team Nomination, Player Registration, and all matters relating to abiding by the provision of these By-Laws.  

d) The Team Contact will be the first contact regarding any matter relating to the administration of the competition, including disciplinary matters  

e) All members of the Association are to abide by these By-Laws and the playing rules of TFA  

f) In addition to the penalties outlined in the TFA Playing Rules for breaches of playing rules the  following penalties will apply:  

Third Forced Substitution in any Season Automatic one-match suspension from playing in any  Division  

Any further forced substitution after the third forced substitution. Automatic 2 match suspension from playing in any division. Citation/Report 

Second period of time removal in season. Automatic 1 match suspension from playing in any division. Any further Period of Time removal. Two-match suspension from playing in any division. Citation/report


By-Law 2 – Competition Structure, Rounds and Finals 

a) The Divisions in the Competition will be:  

  • U10’s  
  • U12’s
  • U14’s
  • SOCIAL Mixed

b) A minimum of four (4) teams is required to constitute a Division. Where a Division contains less nominated teams by the close of nominations, the Association may choose to combine that Division with the closest Division of a similar age/ability. The Association will determine the format of finals for all  Divisions. 

 c) Where a Division contains more than 10 teams then that Division may be further divided into Grades. Teams will be allocated into Grades at the discretion of the Committee.  

d) Where a Grade contains more than 10 teams then that Grade may be further divided into Pools. Teams will be allocated into Pools at the discretion of the Committee.  

e) The Association reserves the right to move teams within Grades/pools. Any points accumulated by a team prior to the move will be carried into the new Grade/pool.  

f) The number of competition Rounds shall be determined by the number of weeks of the competition and no catch-up matches shall be held.  

g) Competition dates and Finals date for 2023/24 Season 2 are as follows:  

Commencement of Competition: 9/10/23 Semi-Finals: 19/02/2024 Grand Final 26/02/2024 

h) All Semifinals and Finals will be played on the Finals dates 

i) Only teams who make the Semi-Finals and the Grand Final will play on Finals nights, except juniors who will all play.

j) A player must have played a minimum of four (4) matches for a team to qualify to play in that team for the finals series. 

k) ‘Byes’, ‘Wash-Outs’ and ‘Forfeits For’ can also count as matches played provided that the player has played at least one match for that team prior to the ‘Bye’ or ‘Wash-Out’ occurring. 

l) Match duration:  

Division / Game duration / Half time. 

Seniors / 2 x 20 minutes / 5 minutes. 

U14’s / 2 x 18 minutes / 5 minutes.  

U12’s & U10’s / 2 x 15 minutes / 5 minutes .


m) The Committee reserves the right to alter match durations and time slots as required.  

n) In the case of a final series match where a decision is required if the match is drawn at the time of the stoppage when the final siren sounds a drop-off will occur. TFA Edition 8 Drop-Off rules will apply.


By-Law 3 – Team nomination, Player eligibility, and registration. 

a) Team nominations must be received no later than one (1) week prior to the commencement of the Competition season. Team Contacts must inform the Committee of their team colours.  

b) Players must be registered before the commencement of their first game in the Season.

c) All players must register and pay online. Player registration costs must be paid online at the time of registration by credit card. The online bank fee will be added at the time of payment and must be met by the player. No other method of payment for player registration will be accepted. 

d) Player eligibility for each Division is as follows:  

Division Eligibility 

Seniors Must be entering High School in the competition season  

U14’s Must be in Year 7 or 8 at the beginning of the season  

U12’s Must be in Year 5 or 6 at the beginning of the season  

U10’s Must be in Year 2, 3 or 4 at the beginning of the season  

Year 3 Must be in Year 3 or under at the beginning of the season and must be a minimum of 5 years old at the beginning of the season.  

e) Junior players are able to play in one junior division team AND 1 senior division team. Separate registration and payment must be made for each team provided that they satisfy the age requirements. They must register in the junior competition first, and then contact Grafton Touch and we will email a unique discount code voucher, which can only be used ONCE within 7 days of issue, for their senior registration.

f) Seniors who would like to play in the Women’s/Men’s AND Mixed competitions, must register in one competition first, and then contact Grafton Touch and we will email a unique discount code voucher, which can only be used ONCE within 7 days of issue, for your second registration.

g) Players wishing to transfer between teams must provide a request to the Committee via email before playing with a new team. Players are not to play with the new team until approval has been given  by the Committee  


By-Law 4 – Playing uniforms and Attire  

a) All teams will be recognised by their team colours.  

b) Each senior team is to supply their own uniform to their players (juniors, will be given a playing shirt in their registration if they did not purchase one when playing last season). Playing shirts must be uniform and numbered. No tape or drawn numbers will be allowed. From Round 5, each player out of uniform will result in a ‘bonus touchdown’ awarded to the opposition (by the referee)

c) Shirts, singlets and bodysuits must have numbers that are to be regulation size. Regulation size is 16cm for a number on the back of a shirt.  

d) Teams must be in uniform before the commencement of Round 5. Teams without a uniform by round 5 may not take the field and will forfeit the match.

e) All players must wear shoes as per TFA rules. Footwear with screw-in studs are not permitted. Molded soles are permitted so long as the studs/cleats are no longer than 13mm (measured from the sole).  

f) Players and/or referees may wear prescription glasses, hats, and/or medical supports if they do not create a danger to other players. The Committee will have discretion over what constitutes a danger to other players  

g) Any fibre-glass, plaster-of-Paris, or solid fixtures of a medical nature cannot be worn while playing or refereeing.  

h) Players are not to participate in any match while wearing any items of jewelry which includes watches. If items of jewelry are unable to be removed then the item must be taped and secured.  

i) Long or sharp fingernails must be trimmed or taped. 


By-Law 5 – Number and Combination of players 

a) Maximum number of players:  

Division / On the field / Registered to play in the team / field size

Seniors / 6 / 18 / full

U14’s / 7 / 14 / full

U12’s & U10’s / 6 / 12 / half

b) Combination of players:  

Division / On the field  

Mixed Open At least one (1) male and one (1) female player on the field always. No more than FOUR (4) males on the field at any time 

U14’s / Any combination of player  

U12’s/ Any combination of player  

U10’s / Any combination of player  

c) The minimum number of players required by a team to start a match is four (4).  

By-Law 6 – Byes, Forfeits, and Withdrawals  

a) Teams on a bye will be counted as a match played and normal rules will apply to the players in that team as if the match had been played.  

b) Teams should attend their playing field, five (5) minutes before the commencement of their match. Any team that cannot field a team with at least the minimum number of players after five (5) minutes of the siren going will be required to forfeit. During the five-minute periods, a score of one touchdown will be added to the opponent’s score for every minute there is not the required number of players on the field, up to a  maximum of five touchdowns. The score for a Forfeit match shall be 5-0 against the forfeiting team  

c) A Forfeit must be communicated to GTAI before midday on the day of the competition. 

d) Any team that forfeits two (2) matches shall be required to “show cause” to the Association as to why they should not be removed from the competition.  

e) Any team that forfeits three (3) matches without good reason shall be immediately removed from the competition.   

f) In the case of a forfeit the non-offending team will be counted as a team on a bye and any rules associated with a bye team will apply. Non-offending teams will not be required to mark their team sheet if the forfeit results in no match being played. However, all registered players will be recorded as playing. 

By-Law 7 – Provision of Referees  

a) The GTAI Director of Referees, or a delegated representative, will prepare the allocation of referees each week. Referees will be allocated to games based on Badge Level and experience. 

b) Any referee that cannot attend the match they have been appointed to referee is required to notify the Director of Referee, or their representative, as early as possible after they are aware they cannot fulfill their refereeing commitments. If no notification is received a penalty may apply. 

c) Each senior team is to nominate and provide a referee. This person must be in their team, OR a non-player (i.e. can not be from another team in any competition, as duties will clash). Accredited referees will be paid to officiate on a scale relevant to their qualified level.  GTAI will conduct a Level 1 course for people to upskill. Novice teams unable to find a referee must contact GTAI to arrange an alternative agreement.


By-Law 8 – Team Sheet and Score Card  

a) Team Contacts must ensure the Team Sheet is completed with shirt numbers and signatures before the commencement of each game.  

b) If players arrive late for a game it is the Team Contacts’ responsibility to ensure those players complete the team sheet before they take the field.  

c) Failure to ensure the Team Sheet is properly presented will result in a warning. 

d) The Team Sheet must be checked by the Team Contact at the end of the game to ensure all players have signed and numbers are correct.  

e) The Score Card must be checked and signed by each Team Captain at the end of the match to verify player numbers, before the sheet can be submitted to administration.  

f) Team Sheets may not be changed after they have been submitted. 


By-Law 9 – Scoring, Competition Points, and Ladder Position 

a) Each touchdown scored shall be worth one (1) point in all divisions. 

b) Each team receives:  

Win/Bye 3 competition points  

Draw 2 competition points  

Loss 1 competition point  

Forfeit 0 competition points  

c) Nominations received after the competition commences will be taken as a Forfeit Team and receive 0 competition points and 0 touchdowns ‘FOR’ and 5 touchdowns ‘AGAINST’ for the matches missed.  

d) In the case of equal points at the end of the round matches the final team will be decided by  ‘FOR and AGAINST’ touchdowns.  

e) In the case of a team forfeiting, the forfeiting team will be allocated 0 points 

f) If a team is not in attendance after five (5) minutes has expired, the match is deemed a forfeit.  

The offending team is penalised one touchdown after the first minute and every minute thereafter up to 5 minutes. 


By-Law 10 – Match procedure for all Teams and Referees  

a) Prior to the commencement of the game the referees are to determine the Team Captain (s). 

b) Referees then check shoes, fingernails, and jewelry of all players.  

c) Team Contacts are to bring to the referees’ attention any doubts they may have with the validity of the opposition team (e.g. not in uniform, illegal player etc.). Referees are to mark on the back of the scorecard any concerns and after the match bring to the administration’s attention.  

d) A coin toss is made (or alternative), players shake hands, interchange players, coaches, and managers move to the interchange box in readiness for the match to commence.  

e) At the completion of the match the captains check each other’s team sheet to ensure that they agree with the players marked. If in agreement both coaches sign the bottom of the team sheet.  

f) If there is no protest on the match, captains are to sign the scorecard.  

g) If there is a protest on the match (e.g. score incorrect, etc.) the protesting Team Contact is not to sign the scorecard. The captain should immediately speak to an official from the Association to obtain a  protest form. The completed form should be submitted as per BY-LAW 12.a). 


By-Law 11 – Interrupted matches  

a) Should a scheduled match be unable to continue due to injury or any other extenuating  circumstance, the following shall be the policy:  

  1. Prior to the first half the – match results in a draw  
  2. After half time – the match score is to stand as it was when play stopped. 
  3. In the case of a final series match where a decision is required if the match is drawn at the time of the stoppage when the final siren sounds a drop-off will occur. The 8th Edition Drop-Off rules will apply.

b) If on a fixture day all matches are abandoned, the replaying of the round will be at the discretion of the Association Executive, though if the round is not replayed then all teams who were to play will receive two (2) competition points and will be allocated ‘For/Against points of 5/5. Bye teams will receive the usual three (3) competition points and be allocated the usual ‘For/Against points of 5/0.  

c) If on a fixture day some matches are abandoned, then the following will apply:  

i. For those matches that could be completed, teams will receive points as per the scorecard;

ii. For those matches that were abandoned during play, BY-LAW 11.a) will apply; 

iii. For those matches that were abandoned prior to starting, points will be allocated as per BY-LAW 11.b).

iv. If a finals match is abandoned the team that was higher on the ladder will be deemed the winner d) Where practical, the decision to cancel matches will be made at approximately 4 pm on match day and if canceled be advertised on the Association social media. 


By-Law 12 – Protests, Reports, and Disciplinary Regulations  

a) All protests regarding breaches of by-laws are to be in writing, addressed to the Association  Secretary and are to be submitted by the Team Contact on behalf of the team immediately following the match.  

b) Disciplinary Incident reports are to be submitted by the referee/participant/official immediately following the match.  

c) Further information can be submitted by email to the Association within 48 hours. 

d) Protests regarding by-law violations will be addressed by the GTAI Executive.  

e) Disciplinary Incidents will be addressed by the GTAI Hearings Officer. 

f) In general, reports lodged on match day/night will not be addressed before the next business day.  

g) Protests will only be heard regarding breaches of by-laws and no protests will be heard regarding the decision of referees.  

h) Protest forms, Disciplinary Incident forms, and Supplementary Information forms are available from the competition Administration Centre.


By-Law 13 – Requests for Special Circumstances  

a) Where there arises any special circumstance that is not already covered by these by-laws then a team may make an application in writing to the GTAI Executive Committee to have their situation considered.  

b) All requests must be submitted by the Team Contact  

c) Any requests under this by-law that apply to the finals series must be submitted to the committee by end-of-play two (2) weeks prior to the start of the final series. 

By-Law 14 – Additional Items

a) ALL players, officials, and spectators are to abide by GTAI COVID Safe policy i.e.  social distance, sanitise hands

b) NO animals are permitted to the venue on game day or training times.


Schedule 1 – Penalties for By-Law Violations  

The following penalties exist for violations of competition by-laws by players and teams. Violation/By-Law/Penalty  

Team with players not in correct uniform  

BY-LAW 4.d) Players not in the correct uniform will incur one try per person, not in the kit.  

Team sheet not completed 

BY-LAW 8.a) Match to count as a forfeit by the offending team with the non-offending team counting as a forfeit win 

A player playing for a team when unregistered  

BY-LAW 3.b) Loss of three (3) competition points by the offending team. The game counts as forfeit for the offending team and a forfeit win for the non-offending team. 

Player playing when not qualified for finals  

BY-LAW 2.j) Match counts as a forfeit by the offending team.  

Failure to notify GTAI Competitions Manager of a forfeit by the set time  

BY-LAW 6.h) Loss of three (3) competition points.  

A team that forfeits three (3) matches without good reason  

BY-LAW 6.e) Removal from the competition without refund of the Registration fee  

Bond Third Forced Substitution in any Season  

BY-LAW 1.f) Automatic one-match suspension from playing in any Division  Any further Forced Substitution after the third Forced Substitution  

BY-LAW 1.f) Two match suspension from playing in any Division and Citation/Report the Second Period of Time removal  

BY-LAW 1.f) Automatic one-match suspension from playing in any Division  Any further Period of Time removal  

BY-LAW 1.f) Two match suspension from playing in any Division and Citation/Report  Sent from Field for the remainder of the game  

BY-LAW 1.e) Automatic two-match suspension from playing in any Division and Citation/Report  

Failure to notify of inability to referee allocated game/s  

BY-LAW 7.b) Initial warning followed by removal of three (3) competition points. Another offence results in immediate suspension of the team from the competition until the team has fulfilled an agreed number of duties missed. If the team is reinstated into the competition and fails to provide their duty referee on any one occasion once reinstated into the competition, they will be suspended for the remainder of the season and the committee will consider the team’s future applications to play in the competition. 

Schedule 2 – Competition Dates Summary  

By-Law Date 27.8.2023

Team Nominations close By-Law 3a) 2/10/2023

All players registered  By-Law 3b) Before they take the field for their first game  

Season commences By-Law 2g) 9/10/2023 

Semi-Finals By-Law 2g) 19/02/2024

Grand Finals By-Law 2g) 26/02/2024