Touch Judging

Touch Judging

The following information is provided as an Aide Memoir to assist touch judges:


  • Is it a split kick?
  • Watch the contact not the ball


  • Is there a late/dangerous challenge on the kicker? (keep watching)
  • Where was the kicker?
  • Are chasers or defenders impeded?
  • Is the airborne catcher challenged before he lands?


  • Has the ball crossed the vertical plane of the touch line?
  • Has the ball carrier touched/crossed the touch line?
  • Is the catcher in the field of play?
  • What happened to the ball after it crossed the touch line?
  • Is a quick throw possible/legitimately taken?


  • Has the passer been challenged late?
  • Has a receiver/support player been tackled early/obstructed?
  • Is it a legal tackle?
  • Is a defender being obstructed?
  • Is the referee unsighted when a clear “offence” occurs?


  • Can I prevent this? (if not, I must be able to see it)
  • What exactly did I see?
  • Do I assume wrongly that the referee has seen the same offence?
  • Do I need to advise the referee to stop the game?
  • If play continues, do I watch and concentrate sufficiently?
  • What will I say in my report to the referee? (team (s), number (s), offences (s)) 


  • Is it safe to leave the players at the point of the offence?
  • Are they aware of our 10 metres?
  • Do I need to get deep to judge a kick to touch (especially to the corner post)? 


  • Can I see the ball, the post, my fellow TJ?
  • Whose primary responsibility is the call?
  • Is there anything relevant I can say to player (s), the referee, the other TJ?


  • Am I touch judging or refereeing?
  • Am I duplicating the referee’s view or complementing it?
  • Am I ball watching, ball-carrier watching?
  • Is my body language positive (Relaxed, Assured, Confident)?
  • What are my priorities?