BRITISH AMERICAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL RULES AND INTERPRETATIONS 2022 EDITION

Original material BAFA 2022

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;
  1. competitions may adjust the rules according to (a) the age group of the participants and (b) the gender of the participants;
  1. competition authorities have the right to amend certain specific rules (listed on page 42);
  1. 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 2022. (Exception: Competitions that began before 1st March 2022 will continue to use 2020-21 rules until the end of their competition).

BAFA has established a Rules Committee to discuss and decide future changes to this book. The Committee is also our liaison to IFAF on rules matters. You may make suggestions for changes at any time, but to be eligible for consideration for the following year they must be received by 1st September.

Jim Briggs (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):

Sergio Avila (Mexico) Jeff Batzler (Sweden) Michael Bilica (USA) Amir Brooks Arnold Buijs (Netherlands) Charles Davies (Ireland) Adam Durucz (Hungary) Steve Egan Greg Evers (Australia) James Ford-Bannister Flavio Garlaschi (Italy) Tony Hampshire Perttu Hautala (Finland) Thomas Hofbauer (Austria) Radek Janhuba (Czech Republic) Chris Jarvis Richard Madge Gerry Mellough Paul Mercer (Australia) Richard Moger Dave Moore Russell Newton Peter Parsons Euan Paterson Douglas Robinson (Belgium) Ian Sneddon Paul Sutton Frank Thomson

Cover image by David Robinson

Table of Contents

Rules changes..........................................................4 Points of emphasis.....................................................7 The Football Code.....................................................12 BAFA Regulations......................................................15 1 Basic principles...................................................15 2 Registration.......................................................19 3 Code of conduct....................................................21 4 Regulations on organisations.......................................28 5 Game regulations...................................................31 6 Competition complaints and appeals.................................33 7 Procedures for regulatory cases....................................33 8 Procedures for appeals.............................................36 9 Grievance Procedure................................................37 Rules and Interpretations.............................................42 Rule 1 -- The Game, Field, Players and Equipment....................44 Rule 2 -- Definitions...............................................62 Rule 3 -- Periods, Time Factors and Substitutions...................82 Rule 4 -- Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds...................103 Rule 5 -- Series of Downs, Line to Gain............................109 Rule 6 -- Kicks....................................................113 Rule 7 -- Snapping and Passing the Ball............................128 Rule 8 -- Scoring..................................................145 Rule 9 -- Conduct of Players and Others Subject to the Rules.......155 Rule 10 -- Penalty Enforcement.....................................178 Rule 11 -- The Officials: Jurisdiction and Duties..................187 Rule 12 -- Video judge.............................................188 Rule 13 -- Standards for Game Management...........................192 Summary of penalties.................................................207 Officials' Signals...................................................218 Appendix A -- Guidelines for Game Officials for Serious On-Field Player Injuries221 Appendix B -- Guidelines for Game Officials and Game Management To Use Regarding Lightning222 Appendix C -- Concussions............................................224 Appendix D -- Field Diagrams.........................................226 Appendix E -- Equipment: Additional Details..........................233 BAFRA Terms and Conditions...........................................240 Index of Rules and Interpretations...................................247


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