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Rules of the Game



Four (4) downs are allowed to advance the ball 10 yards for a first down, or to score.
Six (6) points for a touchdown.
One (1) point for a conversion by place kick after a touchdown, two (2) points for a conversion by drop kick and two (2) points for a successful run or pass after a touchdown.
Three (3) points for a field goal by placement or four (4) points for a field goal by drop kick.
Two (2) points for a safety.

Kickoffs are from the goal line. Kickers may use a one-inch tee.
Punting is illegal. On fourth down, a team may go for a first down, touchdown or field goal.
The receiving team may field any kickoff or missed field goal that rebounds off the net.
Any untouched kickoff, which is out of bounds, will be placed at the 20-yard line or the place where it went out-of-bounds, whichever is more advantageous to the receiving team.

Receivers must have one foot inbounds for a catch. A forward pass that rebounds off the rebound net or sideline barrier is a live ball and is in play until it touches the playing surface.

Overtime periods are 15 minutes for both the regular season and the playoffs.
Each team gets one possession to score. If, after each team has had one possession, one team is ahead, that team wins. If the teams are tied after each has had a possession, the next team to score wins.


BALL IN THE STANDS – When a ball is thrown or bounces into the seats surrounding the playing field, the “lucky” fan that catches the ball keeps it.

DROP KICK – A drop-kicked FG is worth 4 points. A drop-kicked extra point is worth 2 points. Former Milwaukee Mustangs kicker Kenny Stucker is the last man to have connected on a two-point dropkick (1997).

FANS – More than 26 million fans have experienced an AFL game in the League’s 24-year history. Last year, in 2011, the AFL drew 1,338,544 fans in the regular season.

IRONMAN – Signifies participants playing both offense and defense.

“MAC” AND “JACK” LINEBACKERS – “Mac” may rush the QB straight on without stunting, twisting or drop-back coverage. “Jack” must stay within an imaginary box behind the line of scrimmage. Either LB may cover the fullback or tight end.

OFFENSIVE MOTION – Unlike stadium-played football, one offensive back may go into forward motion prior to the snap of the ball.

OVERTIME – Arena Football has a unique overtime rule. If a contest is tied after regulation, teams will play a 15-minute overtime. Each team will have one opportunity to score. If, after each team has had one chance to score, the game is tied, the first team to score is crowned the winner.

REBOUND NETS – Goal-side rebound nets extend outward from each upright. The nets are 30-feet wide, 32-feet high and extend to 40 feet above the playing surface. The bottom bars of the frames are positioned eight feet above the surface. The “scoring area” is nine-feet wide and 15-feet high. Nets are stretched taut so that a missed kick attempt will rebound off the net and back into the field of play. Once the ball caroms off the net, it’s live.

SIDELINE BARRIERS – Similar to the sideboards that surround a hockey rink, the sideline barrier encircles the playing surface. The barrier is made of a high-density foam pad, measuring four inches thick.

STUNTING OR TWISTING – When a defensive lineman is rushing the passer, there’s no “stunting” or “twisting”. In other words, linemen are required to power past offensive linemen.

TIGHT END – One offensive lineman must declare himself a tight end prior to the snap by simply raising his arm and “declaring” himself a tight end. The Mac (rush-eligible) linebacker must line-up on the opposite side of the center from the tight end.

TWO-WAY PLAYERS – One of the most “throwback” features of the Arena Football League is the fact that the game features eight-on-eight football, where at times, some players will play both offense and defense.


ASSIGNED – Player signs with team.

REASSIGNMENT – Player released from team.

RECALLABLE REASSIGNMENT – Team has 48 hours to activate player before he becomes a free agent.

OTHER LEAGUE EXEMPT – Player signs with CFL or NFL.

PATENT AND TRADEMARK NOTICE: AFL, AFL & Design, AFL Arena Football League & Design, AFL Images, AFL Media & Design, Arena Authentic, Arena Flag Football League, Arena Football, Arena Football & Design, Arena Football League, Arenaball, ArenaBowl, Arena Football Get It All, Fire Breathing Football, Football’s In the House, The 50-Yard Indoor War, Football with a Bite, In Your Face Football, Pacific Rim Training Camp, War on the Floor, Don’t Blink, The Fastest Game on Turf, High Scorin! Heart Stoppin! Helmet Poppin!, Brawl Inside the Wall, Wall2Wall Brawl, Real Fun. Real Close. Real Football., There’s a Rumble in the House, and all names, symbols, emblems, logos and colors of the AFL and the AFL member teams are trademarks and service marks owned by Arena Football One, LLC. IRONMAN is a trademark of World Triathlon Corporation, Tarpon Springs, Florida and is under license. The Arena Football Game System and Method of play is protected under U.S. Patent No. 4911443; Canadian Patent No. 1314062, Japanese Patent No. 2654822 and Mexican Patent No. 168556.