The Phoneographer Explores: Beach Rugby

Beach rugby is a sport that can be based on either of the rugby codes, union or league as, unlike beach football or beach volleyball, there  is no centralised regulation of the sport.

Leagues are common across Australia, South Africa and Europe, but I found it quite bizarre that the sport was particularly popular in the Spanish island of Majorca – not exactly a traditional Rugby stronghold.

Casual games are played across the world using different sets of rules, but organized leagues use a field that is a fraction of the size of a standard rugby field, far fewer players on each team, shorter matches, and a simplified scoring system.


All phoneographs captured on a Nokia Lumia 1020, using my 1MinutePhoto technique.

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Field Dimensions

The size of a beach rugby field depends on the decision of the league. The field is between 30–50 metres long, 20–35 metres, wide, and the in-goals are 3–7 metres deep. There are usually no goalposts on the field, and the lines are usually marked with some sort of tape or rope.

Number of Players

Depending on the league and the field size, either 4 or 7 players are allowed on the field for each team at any one time. Between 3 and 7 substitutes are allowed, again, depending on the league. Substitutions are often done “on-the-fly,” in a similar manner to ice-hockey.

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The Ball

A standard rugby ball is used, but many leagues will use a size 4 ball instead of size 5, the size used in all levels of field rugby above youth. A rugby ball is oval-shaped and made of synthetic leather panels that have small dimples on the surface to enhance handling.


Most leagues use a “one try, one point” scoring system, since there are no goalposts on the field. Occasionally, a sudden-death extra-time system is used to resolve matches drawn at the end of regulation, but not all leagues use this rule.

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