Burnside Battlers
Golden Oldies

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The spirit of Golden Oldies, epitomized in the motto of Fun, Friendship and Fraternity is the central theme of every Golden Oldies Festival.

Golden Oldies rules do not permit offside play, over vigorous play, unsportsman like behaviour and have been designed to increase the enjoyment of the game while minimising the chances of injury.

The normal rules of Rugby as set down by the International Rugby Board (IRB) shall apply with the following variations:


  • All 8 forwards must remain bound in the scrum until the ball has been cieared.
  • The halfback must not follow the ball around the scrum.
  • There must be no pressure scrummaging.
  • There shall be no striking against the head by the hookers.
  • Players may kick the ball only in their own 22.
  • In lineouts all 8 forwards must take part.
  • T earns scoring a try shall also restart the game by kicking the ball to the non scoring team.
  • Substitution of any player is permitted at any time and a player substituted may return to the game at any time.
  • Players must observe the offside rule, particularly that of remaining behind the hindmost foot rule at rucks, mauls and scrums, lineouts to a minimum of 10 metres.
  • The game shall be three x 20 minute periods.
  • All players are to observe the restrictions on tackling "older" players. These are identified by coloured shorts as described below.

Coloured Shorts

The following shorts are to worn during a World Festival. The coloured shorts system was

devised some years ago and has proven to be the most satisfactory way or recognising players of various ages. It will only work effectively if treated with respect and little common sense.

Club Shorts.... Players 35-59 years

Red Shorts....Players aged 60-64 years
The red shorts can also be worn by any player under 60 who has an injury or handicap and does not want to be tackled - providing the reason is genuine and reasonable. Whilst these players can not be tackled! They can be claimed.

Gold Shorts....Players aged 65-69 years
Not to be tackled

Purple Shorts.... Players aged 70-84 years
Not to be tackled

Special Shorts.... Players aged 85+ years
These shorts are provided by the Organising Committee
Not to be tackled


"Claiming" can best be described using this example:

The player with the ball (a wearer of red shorts) cannot be tackled but may be "claimed" or held by wrapping ones arms around his body to prevent further forward movement .

He must not be thrown to the ground, and he must be able to free the ball to play it. In other words, you can hold them (or "hug" them gently) but do not tackle them.

The defender can stand in front of the player with the ball (the red short player) with outstretched arms to prevent further forward movement, again allowing the player to play the ball.


Please Note :

Wearing of specified coloured shorts does not give a player the right to tackle other people wearing similar coloured shorts.