British American Football Association BAFA Rules Committee

BAFA Rules Committee

Competition Regulations (small-sided football)

Some administrative rules allow competitions to stipulate in their regulations what course of action is to be followed. (See here for 11-a-side competitions.)

The following table lists those Rules, plus the regulations most recently notified to us by the relevant competition:


Rule no. Rule Default action if competition does not specify BAFA NWFL
(as of June 2021)
2a The game shall be played between two teams of no more than 7 players each. The minimum number of players in a squad and the number of those permitted to be in uniform may be specified by the competition authority No restrictions The NWFL has no minimum or maximum number of players permitted on a gameday
4a (i) The field of play (area between the goal lines) shall be a rectangular area of length 50 yards and width 35 yards. So long as the field remains a rectangular area, competitions may:
(i) permit fields to be shortened by up to 10 yards if necessary to fit in the playing enclosure
Field shall be 50 x 35 Given the problems with venues this year, for 2021, pitches will remain at the 40 yard length as specified in the 2016 rule book. For the 2022 season, this will be removed and pitches will move to a 50 yard length standard.
7 The ball shall be that mandated by the competition authority and shall be appropriate for the participants of the competing teams. Teams may use their own footballs when they are in possession, provided that they are legal. No mandate - any ball can be used NWFL clubs should use the Wilson TDY sized footballs in leather or composite surface
12a The maximum total playing time (excluding extra periods) shall be 40 minutes divided into two halves of 20 minutes each. The half-time interval shall be 5 minutes. Competitions may adopt regulations to reduce the maximum playing time provided the two halves are of equal length. Playing time will be 40 minutes NWFL timings will follow the 40 minutes split into 2 halves of 20 minutes.
31 If the score is tied after two periods, leagues or tournaments may mandate the use of extra periods. If not, the game is over and the result stands as a tie. Extra periods shall be based on the NCAA tiebreaker system detailed in Rule 3-1-3 with the following modifications. Do not play extra periods - result is a tie NWFL regular season tournaments will not utilise extra periods and games may result in a tie.