Sport preview: Touch
It's an early kick off for Touch and week 2 of competition at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games with the first game scheduled for 8.30am on Monday 15 July.
Seven nations will compete in Men's, Women's and Mixed teams at the spectator-friendly Marist St Joseph's Stadium in Lotopa, host to the Rugby 7s last Friday and Saturday.
Competition runs to Saturday 20 July and entry is SAT$5.00 at the venue.
First introduced into the Pacific Games schedule in 2003, Touch Rugby has been included in three times to date.
In the latest Federation of International Touch world rankings Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands and Samoa were placed 7th, 11th and 13th in Men's Open.
Papua New Guinea and Samoa were placed 15th and 17th in Women's Open world rankings and Guinea 4th and 6th in the Mixed Open world rankings.
Touch Football Papua New Guinea and Samoa were finalists in all three divisions in the last Pacific Games in 2015 with PNG taking 2 out of 3 Gold medals in front of their home crowd.
Touch is derived from Rugby league which used a form of Touch for training purposes.
After passing through a development period during the 1960’s, the game became popular during the 70’s and, by early in the next decade, was established in Australia as a sport in its own right, before expanding world wide.
Touch, also known as Touch Football or Touch Rugby around the world, is a thrilling sport that allows people from all walks of life to participate.
It is one of the rare collective sports that girls, boys, women and men enjoy together and against each other, with the Mixed competitions very popular.