INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL FOOTBALL RULES AND INTERPRETATIONS 2016 EDITION

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;
  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 13);
  4. national federations may restrict the above so that the same regulations apply to all competitions under their jurisdiction.

These rules apply to all IFAF organised competitions and take effect from 1st March 2016

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

Roope Noronen, IFAF President

Table of Contents

Rules changes..........................................................4 Points of emphasis.....................................................7 The Football Code.....................................................10 Rules and Interpretations.............................................13 Rule 1 -- The Game, Field, Players and Equipment....................15 Rule 2 -- Definitions...............................................28 Rule 3 -- Periods, Time Factors and Substitutions...................47 Rule 4 -- Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds....................66 Rule 5 -- Series of Downs, Line to Gain.............................71 Rule 6 -- Kicks.....................................................75 Rule 7 -- Snapping and Passing the Ball.............................89 Rule 8 -- Scoring..................................................105 Rule 9 -- Conduct of Players and Others Subject to the Rules.......114 Rule 10 -- Penalty Enforcement.....................................134 Rule 11 -- The Officials: Jurisdiction and Duties..................143 Rule 12 -- Instant replay..........................................144 Summary of penalties.................................................153 Officials' Signals...................................................161 Appendix A -- Guidelines for Game Officials to Use During a Serious On-Field Player Injury164 Appendix B -- Guidelines for Game Officials and Game Management To Use Regarding Lightning165 Appendix C -- Concussions............................................168 Appendix D -- Field Diagrams.........................................170 Appendix E -- Equipment: Additional Details..........................176 Index of Rules and Interpretations...................................180


Next chapter

Back to index

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