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:

9-a-side

See here for 9-a-side competitions (since they are closely related to 11-a-side competitions).

7-a-side

Rule no. Rule Default action if competition does not specify BAFA NWFL Regional
(as of April 2024)
BAFA U19 Division 2
(as of April 2024)

2a

13-8-6

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 minimum.

Minimum of 14 players registered to that team.

Minimum of 3 coaches registered to that team.

Minimum of 14 players registered to that team.

Minimum of 3 coaches registered to that team.

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. Field shall be 50 x 35. Field shall be 50 x 35.
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. 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. Playing time will be 40 minutes. Playing time will be 40 minutes.
12g Competition authorities may adopt regulations for either normal game timing or a running clock (as defined in (a) to (e) above) for the entirety of the game. Normal game timing. Running clock (as defined in 12a-e. Running clock (as defined in 12a-e.
28 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. Do not play extra periods - result is a tie. Do not play extra periods - result is a tie.

5-a-side

Rule no. Rule Default action if competition does not specify BAFA
(as of April 2024)

2a

13-8-6

The game shall be played between two teams of no more than 5 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 minimum.

Minimum of 10 players registered to that team.

Minimum of 2 coaches registered to that team.

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. No mandate - any ball can be used.
11a The total playing time (excluding extra periods) shall be 30 minutes divided into two halves of 15 minutes each (unless varied according to Article 11-a). Playing time will be 30 minutes. Playing time will be 30 minutes.
11h Competitions may adopt regulations for either normal game timing or a running clock (as defined in 11 c. to f. above) for the entirety of the game. Normal game timing. Running clock (as defined in 11c-f.
26 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. Do not play extra periods - result is a tie.