The first OZTAG competitions started in the summer of 1992/1993 at Cronulla with 28 teams and St George with 12 teams. Since then OZTAG has enjoyed an extremely rapid growth throughout the country. The Australian Oztag Sports Association (AOSA) was formed in 1994 as an incorporated association. The AOSA currently aims to provide opportunities for people to participate at all levels, by developing, promoting and managing the game of OZTAG in Australia.
OZTAG is a non-tackling game and the rules are designed to encourage this. Passing, catching, tagging, evasive and kicking are the skills utilised in OZTAG. It is played over two 20 minutes periods with eight players from each team on the field - 70m x 50m (half a soccer/Rugby field).
The object of the game is to score tries. Defenders prevent this by tagging the ball carrier (removing the tag from the shorts). Players must wear official ‘OZTAG shorts’ with a velcro patch on each side and a ‘tag’ (a strip of cloth is attached to the Velcro) – supplied at the venue. Tagging instead of tackling is great for players of all skill levels, size and weight to compete evenly. To clarify the contact rule: an attacker cannot run straight at a defender, it is their responsibility to run at gaps and avoid defenders. A defender cannot change direction and moving the attackers path. Also if a defender causes an inordinate amount of contact when removing the tag, they may be penalised. The rule is whoever initiates contact will be sanctioned. OZTAG is a fast paced exciting sport that can be enjoyed by male, female and mixed teams of all athletic abilities from the ages of 6 – 60. Oztag competitions are currently run in midweek after school/work in both summer and winter. Many friends, family and work colleagues form teams primarily for fun and fitness. The attraction of Oztag is that there is no training, no volunteer duties and team coaches aren’t required. Juniors were introduced in the 1996/1997 summer season and have had substantial growth. Nationally, OZTAG competitions are conducted in NSW, QLD, SA, WA & VIC. OZTAG also offers involvement at a representative or elite level - State Cup and National championships in a range of age divisions. Junior divisions from under 8 to 16, and adult divisions in Men, Women & Mixed Open. Men’s divisions like over 30, 35, 40, 45 & 50 have become very popular at Representative level. Internationally, Australia is leading the way, but countries like New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Ireland, United Kingdom, South Africa, US and Japan are all at various developmental stages in the form of Rugby Tag or Rugby League tag.