FOOTBALL RULES AND INTERPRETATIONS 2023 EDITION

Original material BAFA 2023 ISBN: 97 8-1-4478-5505

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 2023. (Exception: Competitions that began before 1st March 2023 will continue to use 2022 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 31st August.

Dr 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) Tom Blakeson Amir Brooks Alan Christopher Daniel Coles Erik De Boeck (Belgium) Steve Egan James Ford-Bannister Ignacio Galasso (Argentina) Flavio Garlaschi (Italy) David Gutteridge Dan Harries Davies Thomas Hofbauer (Austria) Radek Janhuba (Czechia) Chris Jarvis Mark Looi (Australia) Andrea Lopez Rubio (Spain) Richard Madge Gerry Mellough Gerry Mellough Paul Mercer (Australia) Richard Moger Dave Moore Russell Newton Asbjorn Rohold (Denmark) Hubert Romanczyk (Poland) Owen Samuels Norval Scott Ian Sneddon Paul Sutton Marcin Szczepanski (Poland) Pete Thom Frank Thomson Pamela Tuft (Australia) Simon Waterfield

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...............................................63 Rule 3 -- Periods, Time Factors and Substitutions...................83 Rule 4 -- Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds...................105 Rule 5 -- Series of Downs, Line to Gain............................111 Rule 6 -- Kicks....................................................115 Rule 7 -- Snapping and Passing the Ball............................130 Rule 8 -- Scoring..................................................147 Rule 9 -- Conduct of Players and Others Subject to the Rules.......157 Rule 10 -- Penalty Enforcement.....................................180 Rule 11 -- The Officials: Jurisdiction and Duties..................189 Rule 12 -- Video judge.............................................190 Rule 13 -- Standards for Game Management...........................195 Summary of penalties.................................................211 Officials' Signals...................................................223 Appendix A -- Guidelines for Game Officials for Serious On-Field Player Injuries226 Appendix B -- Guidelines for Game Officials and Game Management To Use Regarding Lightning227 Appendix C -- Concussions............................................229 Appendix D -- Field Diagrams.........................................231 Appendix E -- Equipment: Additional Details..........................238 BAFRA Terms and Conditions...........................................244 Index of Rules and Interpretations...................................251


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