Rugby Mark

Knowing and understanding the rugby mark may help you get out of trouble in your own 22 metre area.


You use this rule infrequently - when isolated to get out of trouble.

It would normally be the fullback or winger who catches the ball - but it could be any player

The ball has been kicked ahead by the opposition and has not yet touched the ground.

The player about to catch the ball is usually about to be tackled by opposition players following the kicked ball.

The player about to catch the ball must...

  • be in their own 22 metre area or in-goal area
  • catch the ball cleanly (it's still ok if the ball has touched any part of the goal posts)
  • call "MARK!" at the same time as the catch is made
  • not be catching after a kick start/restart from the centre of the field

What happens after the mark is called?

  • the match official blows the whistle
  • the player calling the mark cannot be tackled

  • opposition players must run back towards their own goal line until they`re at least 10 metres from the mark

  • the "marking" player kicks the ball from the position of the mark or from behind the position of the mark.

Unusual mark situations

If the player is in the air they may still call for a mark - as long as all the conditions for a mark ar fulfilled.

It would be unusual for this to happen but even though a 22 metre drop kick is a restart, it can still be marked because it is not a restart from the centre line of the field.