BAFA mono

BAFA Rules Committee

BAFA Rules Changes 2011

Jim Briggs, Chair BAFA & BAFRA Rules Committees

January 2011

When NCAA switched to a 2-year cycle in 2009 for the production of the rulebook (and we followed suit in 2010), we did not know whether or not they would make any rules changes for their 2010 season. In the event, they did, citing pressing safety considerations as the reason.

The BAFA Rules Committee has considered these changes (plus one other) and has adopted them for 2011. They take effect from 1st March 2011 (except for the remainder of the BUAFL season).

We never intended to produce a new rulebook for 2011, so the changes listed here should simply be incorporated into the 2010 printed rulebook. The online version of the rules is being updated.

Rule Number

Rule Difference


1-2-1 addition

STOP, REPORT & SANCTION - Under no circumstances may the game commence, nor resume if suspended, if the following lines are missing:

1.    the sidelines

2.    the goal lines

3.    the end lines

4.    (from 2012) yard lines across the field at least every 10 yards

The rules say "The marking of the following lines is mandatory: sidelines, end lines, goal lines, yard lines at five yard intervals, inbound lines".  However the rulebook only permits the officials to report the absence of such mandatory lines, not to cancel the game. Whilst we can compromise around five yard lines and inbound lines in order to get a game played, this should not be possible with sidelines, goal lines or end lines.

The rule is now that a game may not proceed if any of these lines are missing. In addition, from 2012, yard lines across the field every 10 yards (5 yards is the norm) are required.


Injury Timeout

ARTICLE 5. a. In the event of an injured player(s):

1. An official will declare a timeout and the player(s) must leave the game. He must remain out of the game for at least one down. When in question, officials will take a timeout for an injured player. 

2. The player(s) may not return to the game until he receives approval of medical personnel designated by his team. 

3. Officials and coaches shall give special attention to players who exhibit signs of a concussion. 

4. Whenever a participant (player or game official) suffers a laceration or wound from which oozing or bleeding occurs, the player or game official shall go to the team area and be given appropriate medical treatment. He may not return to the game without approval of medical personnel.

It is no longer possible for a team to "buy" a player back into the game by taking a timeout. Also, a team's medical personnel (who may be the medical personnel provided by game management) has to approve a player's return.

By interpretation, a player injured on the last play of a period can return for the first play of the next, including extra periods.

The extra focus on concussion simply requires officials to call on medical personnel to assess a player who exhibits any of the signs or symptoms of a concussion (see appendix).


New rule

Illegal Wedge Formation

ARTICLE 9. a. A wedge is defined as two or more players aligned shoulder to shoulder within two yards of each other.

b. Free-kick down only: After the ball has been kicked, it is illegal for three or more members of the receiving team intentionally to form a wedge for the purpose of blocking for the ball carrier. This is a live-ball foul, whether or not there is contact between opponents.

c. Formation of the wedge is not illegal when the kick is from an obvious onside kick formation.

d. Formation of the wedge is not illegal when the kick results in a touchback.

PENALTY—Noncontact foul treated as occurring during the kick. 15 yards, spot of the foul; or 15 yards, spot where the subsequent dead ball belongs to Team B if this is behind the spot of the foul. If the subsequent dead ball belongs to Team A: 15 yards, previous spot with the down repeated. [S27]

This rule change prohibits the receiving team on a free kick from forming a "wedge" of more than 2 players. If there are more than 2 yards between players, then they are not in the same wedge.

It is intended that the rule be applied as the return develops, not in the later stages of the play. It also does not apply on onside kicks or touchbacks.

The penalty is 15 yards from the spot of the foul or the end of the return, whichever is worst.

Editorial changes

In addition to the changes above, there are editorial changes regarding equipment that mean:

·         Players must wear soft knee pads at least ˝” thick. Beginning in 2011 there is no reference to the pants covering the knees.

·         Socks must be of the same colour and design. Beginning in 2011 there is no reference to length of the socks.

Appendix: Signs and symptoms of MTBI (mild traumatic brain injury), also known as concussion

·         Loss of consciousness (LOC)

·         Confusion

·         Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA)

·         Retrograde amnesia (RGA)

·         Disorientation

·         Delayed verbal and motor responses

·         Inability to focus

·         Headache

·         Nausea/Vomiting

·         Excessive drowsiness

·         Visual Disturbances (Photophobia, blurry Phono/photophobia vision, double vision)

·         Disequilibrium

·         Feeling “in a fog,” “zoned out”

·         Vacant stare

·         Emotional instability

·         Dizziness

·         Slurred/incoherent speech