At North Sea Beach Rugby, beach rugby is played with 5 players (Beach 5s Rugby). This form of rugby, officially recognised by Rugby Europe and World Rugby, is a straightforward and easy-to-understand contact sport. There are clear and official laws for North Sea Beach Rugby, which are applied by the EBRA. The laws of the EBRA (European Beach Rugby Association) are all about speed and tension. Beach Rugby (Beach Fives Rugby) is becoming increasingly popular with both players and spectators.


There is one important part essential to Beach (Fives) Rugby and that everyone should know
and remember: the 2-second law.

When a ball carrier comes into contact with or is tackled by an opponent, the ball carrier must pass or release the ball within two seconds. The two-second rule simplifies the game, maintains the high speed of the game, and keeps the match lively. It encourages players to be more agile (in their ball handling skills) and quick. For a full explanation see the official laws of Beach Fives.

Rules Beach Rugby short explanation

For a complete overview download the laws of Beach Fives Rugby*.

  • The beach fives rugby field has a total length of 31 meters (25 meter playing field and 2 in-goal areas of 3 meters) and a total width of 25 meters.
  • The teams are made up of 5 ‘in-field’ players, 7 replacements are admitted (so a team is made up of 12 players maximum) and interchangeable at times during the match without any need to call for the referee’s permission, although the interchange must take place only during a standstill of play. In this event, players must enter the field from the centre line. Leaving the field may be done at any place.
  • As soon as the referee becomes aware that a team has more than 5 players on the field, he may disallow any action that has taken place in the meantime, unless the opponent team have gained an advantage
    (Ex. 1: a try is scored and the defending team has 6 players on the field: the score stands. Ex. 2: a try is scored and the attacking team has 6 players on the field: the try is disallowed).
  • Only the recognized captain may report to the referee to ask for explanations or flag serious infringements such as the opponents having 6 players on the field.
  • The try is worth one point and there are no kicks after a try.
  • The ball used in the game shall be a no. 4 type.
  •  It is not allowed to kick the ball.
  • Line-out and scrummage are eliminated and play is reassumed by a free kick.
  • When the player carrying the ball is caught by the opponent, from that point, he must release the ball within 2 seconds by passing it over or leaving it to anybody’s disposal. If this rule is not observed, his/her team will lose possession of the ball.
  • After scoring a try, the ball will be free-kicked from the middle of the field by the team suffering the try. The team that has been suffering by the try may quickly bring the ball to the half way line and resume play. This without a forward pass, otherwise, they will have to wait until the opponents have taken their positions
  • The distance from the ball for penalty kicks or kick-off shall be 5 meters.
    Penalty: If this distance is not observed, the referee will ascribe a further 5-meter penalty to the player.
  • A match consists of two halves of 5 minutes each with a 3 minutes’ interval.
  • In case a match ends in a draw, an additional limitless period will be played under the sudden-death rule, i.e. the fist scoring team is the winner.
  •  In case some teams rank with the same score during qualification rounds, the team with the highest number of tries will qualify.
  • When an attacking player carries the ball into try area that player has three seconds to score a try. Penalty: A free kick is awarded to the opposing team 5 metres from thetry line. The player who made the offense is temporarily suspended for 2 minutes.
  • When a player scores a try, the player must leave the ball where the try was made. If the player fails to do so, the defending side gets a free kick on the half way line. The player who committed the offence gets a time penalty of 2 minutes.
  • All the players shall wear tear-resistant jerseys and not t-shirts with the players’ numbers on the back. Before the start of the game, this is controlled by either referee or other officials for the tournament.

Laws Beach Rugby

The Laws of the Game (Beach Fives Rugby) are in accordance with the EBRA (European Beach Rugby Association). The sport is officially recognised by Rugby Europe and World Rugby.

*North Sea Beach Rugby always tries to be up-to-date concerning laws Beach Rugby but cannot guarantee that the latest changes have already been made on the site. Also the EBRA can change laws ofs Beach Rugby when this is in the best interest of the sport.

For questions or queries about laws Beach Rugby email us.