BAFA mono

BAFA Rules Committee

BAFA Rules Changes 2010

Jim Briggs, Chair BAFA & BAFRA Rules Committees

March 2010

The following table lists all the rules changes adopted for 2010 (including NCAA changes introduced in 2009). The changes take effect from 1st March 2010 (except for the remainder of the BUAFL season).

It is not intended to produce a new rulebook for 2011, so the changes listed here will be in effect for at least 2 seasons.

Rule Number

Rule Difference


1-1-1-b-2 &
1-4-2-b &

Now limits the number of players in the backfield (4) rather than specifying a minimum number (7) of players on the line.

If the offense has only 10 players on the field and 6 on the line, they are no longer committing a foul.

1-1-7-a &
1-4-5-l &
13-4-9 &

Throughout the rulebook, the word "competition" is used in preference to "league"

Allows for other sorts of competitions, e.g. knockout cups


Changes the procedure when one or both goals are missing from a recommendation to a formal procedure.

This is the process that will now always be followed when one or both goals are missing.


White stripes on the ball are now recommended rather than optional, and will be mandatory in 2011.

White stripes on the ball will be mandatory from next year, so worth planning for now.


Sanction for colour clash can now be applied to either team. Previously it was only the visitors.

Allows a competition to sanction the home team if they are responsible for causing a colour clash.


Black palms on gloves now allowed.

Changed to reflect NCAA change.

Many rules

Change from “runner” to “ball carrier”.

All these rules contain exceptions that usually mean that the rule does not apply to a player who has the ball. Previously they all also included a player who is pretending he has the ball.


Defines the blocking zone as the 10yd x 6yd box around the middle lineman.

Used in Rule 9 when defining when certain types of block are legal and when they are not.


Invalid signal must be a waving signal.

Avoids signals that don’t involve waving, such as holding the hand to shield the eyes, being treated as invalid fair catch signals.


Adds an additional definition of a defensive player who is across the neutral zone and moving towards any offensive player.

A player who is on the offense’s side of the neutral zone is offside automatically. The ball does not have to be snapped. This is similar to the NFL's "unabated to the quarterback" rule.


Defines the terms “series” and “possession series”

Sets out terms used elsewhere in the rulebook.


Three-and-one principle defined.

Defines the principle for enforcement of many penalties.


Tackle box defined as area 5 yards either side of the snapper.

Defines the area used in roughing the kicker and intentional grounding penalties.


Referee may now change play clock status as well as game clock status.

Gives more flexibility in providing an appropriate remedy for unfair clock tactics.


Added violations as something that can be enforced.

Violations can be now be enforced if there is an inadvertent whistle.


Added “try”.

Makes clear that fourth down fumble provisions also apply on try downs.


Added Exception for free kick after safety.

The ball does not have to be exactly on the restraining line when punted or drop kicked.


Kicker’s entire body must be beyond the neutral zone for a scrimmage kick to be illegal.

Clarifies what is meant by a scrimmage kick made beyond the neutral zone.


Intentional grounding exception now uses the tackle box.

Changes to a fixed area from an area defined by how the offense line up.


Limit for ineligible receivers downfield now 3 yards in all circumstances.

Simplifies the rule to a fixed distance beyond the neutral zone.


Additional definition for when a touchdown is scored.

Touchdown scored when the Referee awards a score by penalty.


Added “chin strap” to the rule.

Grabbing and twisting, turning or pulling the chin strap is now a 15 yard penalty.


Added reference to carrying the ball outside the tackle box.

A kicker, who while in possession, carries the ball outside the tackle box, loses his protection against roughing or running into penalties.

Note that a kicker who ends up going outside the tackle box to field the ball but is not responsible for the ball being there, for example, through an errant snap, still has protection.


Removed “in an attempt to gain yardage”.

Batting a backward pass forwards is a 15 yard penalty no matter what the reason for the batting.


New Section for dealing with Flagrant Personal Fouls.

Details how fouls called and not called will be handled under BAFA Rules.


Change to clarify that a disqualified player must always leave the game, irrespective of whether the penalty is accepted or not.



Section rewritten.

This section, which deals with determining the spot for enforcement of penalties, has been completely rewritten.


There are various changes to the Instant Replay rules, but, due to relevance, they are not documented here.



The Referee will take in to account the views of the senior medical and ground staff present if they are available and their input is relevant.

The Referee will collect and utilise as much useful and relevant information as possible when making a decision.


New section detailing how a decision to cancel or abandon a game can be reversed.

Documents the procedures to follow and who is involved in the decision making process.


New section added to define games, controlled scrimmages, participants and requirements for each.



Changed “1 to 11” to “1 to 13”.

Adds the Instant Replay and Game Management rules as defaults in Youth Football.


References to 9-man football have been removed and the “No Goals” rule is now defined in Rule 1.



Section removed, as there is now an IFAF flag Rulebook.

5 on 5 flag will now be played according to the IFAF Rules.

The full text of the rules can be found at

Questions about the changes should be addressed to