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Thumbs up from Junior Tag Footballers

Thumbs up from Junior Tag Footballers

More than 2,400 children across 175 teams kicked off Day 2 of the NZ Tag Football (NZTFI) 2019 Junior Nationals at Bruce Pulman Park this morning. The 3-day tournament started on Friday and goes through to Sunday 8 December.

Day 1 was played under hot sunny humid with games getting a thumbs up from players. Warm temperatures are set to continue today with the possibility of rain so spectators should go prepared with umbrellas, sunscreen and fans!

Fun is the focus for under 8-year olds to under-12s who all receive participation medals at the end of the tournament. The 14s to 18s play competitively and the top teams in each grade receive gold, silver and bronze medals. The under 12s teams are done for the day around lunchtime and can head away whilst the older teams play on.

This year, the number of teams playing jumped up from 130+ to 175 teams.
“It’s hard keeping up with the demand” NZTFI’s Darryl Bovaird said.

The Under-12s and Under-10s have the highest number of teams, half of them girl’s teams. In the 14s to 18s age groups the mixed teams make up more than half the number of teams.

Representative teams were selected from NZTFI’s Tag Football modules or through school competitions. Teams represented include Auckland, Waitakere, South and East Auckland, Counties Manukau, North Harbour, Hibiscus Coast. Northland, Wellington, Porirua, and Canterbury.

For NZTFI the increasing demand means bigger logistics. The tournament was moved to Bruce Pulman Park to accommodate the number of teams.

Despite a tight budget, NZTFI hosts notably well organised, fun, innovative tournaments. In Administration there’s a small highly efficient dedicated team, supported by the Tag Football community of refs, volunteers, friends, family and various funders. However the sport is still seeking a major sponsor to take the game through to the future.


Tag Football is for all ages, sizes and abilities. Its original tag line – “Play Tag – the Game for Every Body” appears already aligned to Sports New Zealand’s new vision ‘Every Body Active’ 2020-2032 strategic direction.

NZTFI is the governing body for NZTFI Tag Football and a founding member of the International Tag Football Federation. It has well-established links with Oz Tag Australia and provides pathways towards international competitions for young players who continue in the sport. The NZTFI’s Men’s team won the Gold Medal at the ITFF 2018 World Cup held at Coffs Harbour, Australia.


NZTFI Junior Tag Nationals - December 6-8, 2019, Pullman Park, Takanini
Facebook: New Zealand Tag Football Inc @NZTFI; Instagram

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