BRITISH AMERICAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL RULES AND INTERPRETATIONS 2016 EDITION

BAFA 2016

Foreword

The rules are revised each year by IFAF to improve the sport's level of safety and quality of play, and to clarify the meaning and intent of rules where needed. The principles that govern all rule changes are that they must:

IFAF statutes require all member federations to play by IFAF rules, except in the following regards:

  1. national federations may adapt Rule 1 to meet local needs and circumstances, provided no adaption reduces the safety of the players or other participants; BAFA takes advantage of that to allow (for example) 90-yard fields and reduced end zones that are our solution to using rugby pitches and the like;
  2. competitions may adjust the rules according to (a) the age group of the participants and (b) the gender of the participants;
  3. competition authorities have the right to amend certain specific rules (listed on page 35);
  4. national federations may restrict the above so that the same regulations apply to all competitions under their jurisdiction.

These rules apply to all contests involving BAFA-affiliated teams and take effect from 1st March 2016 (Exception: Competitions that began before 1st March 2016 will continue to use 2015 rules until the end of their competition).

For brevity, male pronouns are used extensively in this book, but the rules are equally applicable to female and male participants.

BAFA has established a mechanism for discussing and deciding future changes to this book. Each organisation affiliated to BAFA has a voice on the Rules Committee. You may make suggestions for changes to your organisation's representative(s). Suggestions may be made at any time, but to eligible for consideration for the following year they must be received by 1st October.

Jim Briggs, BAFRA (Editor) on behalf of the BAFA Rules Committee

Those who find it necessary to write to the editor for interpretations of rules or play situations will receive prompt replies if they number their questions and email them to rules@britishamericanfootball.org.

The editor would like to thank the following people who assisted in the production of this edition of the rulebook (GB except where stated):

Stuart Alger Jaeson Bennett Ellis Bowyer Amir Brooks John Burns Phil Clarke Steve Egan Roger Goodgroves John Griffin Rob Hill Barbara Jacquin Lee Johnson David Knight Lewis Lebolt (Sweden) Richard Madge Russell Newton Tim Ockendon Peter Parsons Ian Sneddon Frank Thomson Paul Todd Liam Wooton

Cover image by Kyle Hemsley Photography www.kylehemsley.co.uk

Table of Contents

Rules changes..........................................................4 Points of emphasis.....................................................7 The Football Code.....................................................10 BAFA Regulations......................................................13 1 Basic principles...................................................13 2 Registration.......................................................17 3 Code of conduct....................................................19 4 Regulations on organisations.......................................26 5 Game regulations...................................................28 6 Competition complaints and appeals.................................30 7 Procedures for regulatory cases....................................30 8 Procedures for appeals.............................................33 Rules and Interpretations.............................................35 Rule 1 -- The Game, Field, Players and Equipment....................37 Rule 2 -- Definitions...............................................53 Rule 3 -- Periods, Time Factors and Substitutions...................72 Rule 4 -- Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds....................91 Rule 5 -- Series of Downs, Line to Gain.............................96 Rule 6 -- Kicks....................................................100 Rule 7 -- Snapping and Passing the Ball............................114 Rule 8 -- Scoring..................................................130 Rule 9 -- Conduct of Players and Others Subject to the Rules.......139 Rule 10 -- Penalty Enforcement.....................................159 Rule 11 -- The Officials: Jurisdiction and Duties..................168 Rule 12 -- Instant replay..........................................169 Rule 13 -- Standards for Game Management...........................178 Summary of penalties.................................................190 Officials' Signals...................................................201 Appendix A -- Guidelines for Game Officials to Use During a Serious On-Field Player Injury204 Appendix B -- Guidelines for Game Officials and Game Management To Use Regarding Lightning205 Appendix C -- Concussions............................................208 Appendix D -- Field Diagrams.........................................210 Appendix E -- Equipment: Additional Details..........................216 BAFRA Terms and Conditions...........................................220 Index of Rules and Interpretations...................................227


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Editor: Jim Briggs, BAFA/BAFRA Rules Committee
rules@britishamericanfootball.org