Touch is played all year round in Austria - including in foot deep snow in the middle of winter. Such is the high level of enthusiasm of the small but dedicated group of Touch players in the traditionally snow-sport focused country.
Touch Austria became an Associate FIT Member country in 2009. Touch was introduced in Vienna by expatriates in 2007, and the regular player base has grown to 120 in 4 clubs. The large majority of Touch players are young native Austrians which bode well for the future of the sport in Austria.
Austria entered a Men’s Open and a Women’s Open Team into the 2011 World Cup with both teams winning the Bronze Medal in the Bowl Competition. The Women’s Team spawned an enthusiastic Women’s development program that actively recruits for and nurtures women’s Touch - all managed and coached by the Austrian girls themselves. The Men’s Team – going by the name ‘Rothirsch’ (‘Red Stags’ in English) – has seen the emergence of young native Austrian Touch players that will hopefully one day take over from the expatriate coaches and senior Players.
One ingredient contributing to the high proportion of Austrian natives in the Touch scene is the highly successful Sports University Touch course – which takes complete beginners and introduces them to Touch. This is in parallel with a small but growing children’s Touch program with a foothold into several Austrian schools.
Austria was placed 5th country (out of 13) in the Mixed Open Division at the 2010 European Touch Championships in Bristol, which reinforced the positive development steps it was taking. Austria also participated in the 2009 Mainland Cup with a Mixed and Men's team and contributed members to a Central Eastern European Barbarians team at the 2008 Euros.
Touch Austria activities in 2011 included a 4-Team competitive Touch League, a 4 team Social League as well as participation in several European tournaments. 2 annual Vienna Tournaments in April and September with 12 visiting European Teams have become a regular fixture in the Touch Calendar.
Austria hosted a regional TFA Level 2 Coach the Coach Course in 2011 and continues to gradually develop its Referee base. We were very proud to have an Austrian Referee adjudicating at the 2011 Touch Cup.
Wir seh'n uns am Spielfeld!