I want to play Touch, how do I get started?
All Touch Associations in Europe have contacts to affiliated leagues in their country. If you cannot find details locally for a Touch league or team in your area, contact your National Touch Association (NTA). They will be able to provide you with contact details if there is Touch being played in your area. If there is no Touch currently in your area, your NTA will offer advise on how to set up a team, some simple to follow grids and drills for skill development and details of one-day or weekend tournaments in which you can compete.
If you are in a country that does not have a Touch Association, use the contact page on this website and the EFT will get somebody to contact you and offer advise on any aspect of Touch, from playing, setting up a team, setting up a league, right through to Associating with the EFT.
If there is a Touch team in your area, you will find a willing group of people, happy to pass on their knowledge of the game to you.
The non-collision aspect of Touch allows men and women of all ages to play alongside and compete against each other. All you need is a ball and a pitch to play so putting a team together and practising is relatively easy. The pitch can be marked out with cones or the markings can be used on the field of a different sport (half a rugby pitch for example).
How do I improve?
We are told that “practice makes perfect” but if we practice the wrong things we will not improve. After taking up the sport, if you decide you would like to play at a higher level, again your NTA is probably the best place to start. They will be able to put you in contact with the most experienced players and coaches in your country. Most countries in Europe now have at least one club team who travel to tournaments throughout Europe, the more established Touch Nations may have a dozen teams travelling to these tournaments. Even if you do not feel ready for that yet, by contacting one of these teams, you will be able to gain from the knowledge these people have gained from competing at a higher level, possibly playing alongside them at their local league.
If your whole team want to advance and play at one of these tournaments, go to the calendar page of this website for details. Contact the tournament organiser to check the expected standard, playing against the best can improve your game but a day of playing against the best in Europe can also be quite daunting.
What else is available?
The next step from these tournaments is representing your country. There is currently an International tournament every year available to European Nations. The World Cup is every 4 years, the next being in Australia 2015. The European Championships are every 2 years, the next being in Treviso, Italy 2012. In the years with no European championships or World Cup there is a Mainland Cup for those countries in mainland Europe and a Home Nations championship for the England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands and Ireland.
If you are competing at the highest league in your area and/or are travelling to one-day tournaments, if you are considered good enough the likelihood is you will be invited to trial or train with the National team. However, it is worthwhile staying in contact with the national coaches or visiting your NTA website to check if open trials are taking place. The selection process differs for every country so it's important to know what happens in your country.
National coaches have access to the top coaching resources through the coaching network which includes not only coaches within Europe but also coaches from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
What if I want to coach?
You have learnt the game; you have played it; now you want to coach others. If you have received the correct coaching yourself, the likelihood is you will be able to pass this knowledge on to players in your club team, especially at a social/beginner level. If you want to coach a European competitive club side or a national team, you will need to get on the European coaching programme.
Level 1 is an introduction to coaching in general with some specifics to Touch. It focuses on how we coach, organising a session. It is mainly classroom based but with some practical sessions.
Level 2 is probably the minimum level you should attain if you wish to coach at international level. It focuses on specific Touch coaching with game scenarios. It also looks atsession planning and yearly plans, nutrition, injury prevention and hydration.
You should contact your NTA for details on courses near you. If they cannot assist, contact the EFT via the contacts page on this website.