AFL MISSION STATEMENT

“To serve our community with pride and passion as a quality example of individual and team excellence on the field, in the office, at the arena and within the community by consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations by demonstrating the highest character, appreciation and respect for our game, customers, teammates and partners as a cost-effective and visionary organization providing a total entertainment experience.”

 

AFL RULES and DEFINITIONS

FIELD
· An indoor padded surface 85 feet wide and 50 yards long with eight-yard end zones.
· Goal posts are nine feet wide with a crossbar height of 15 feet (NFL goal posts are 18-1/2 feet wide with the crossbar at 10 feet).
· The goal-side rebound nets are 30 feet wide by 32 feet high. The bottoms of the nets are eight feet above the ground.
· Sideline barriers are 48 inches high and made of high-density foam rubber.
EQUIPMENT
· The official football is the same size and weight as the National Football League ball. Each ball is manufactured by Spalding, a division of Russell Corporation.
PLAYERS AND FORMATIONS
· Eight players on the field; 21-man active roster; three-man inactive roster.
· Players may play both offense and defense.
· Substitution: Coaches are permitted to substitute players at will.
· Four (4) offensive players must line up on the line of scrimmage.
· Three (3) defensive players must be down linemen (in a three- or four-point stance). One linebacker may blitz on either side of the center. Alignment is two-or-more yards off the line of scrimmage. No stunting or twisting.
· Offensive motion: One receiver may go in forward motion before the snap.
TIMING
· Four 15-minute quarters with a 15-minute halftime.
· The clock stops for out-of-bounds plays or incomplete passes only in the last minute of each half and when the referee deems it necessary for penalties, injuries or timeouts.
· Each team is allowed three (3) timeouts per half.
MOVEMENT OF THE BALL AND SCORING
· 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.
KICKING
· 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.
PASSING
· 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 RULES
· 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.


TIEBREAKING PROCEDURES

If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division are tied with identical won-lost percentages, the following steps will be taken to determine rank.

Division Champions

If two teams are tied for Division Champions

  1. Record in head-to-head games
  2. Record within the Division
  3. Record against common opponents
  4. Point spread in head-to-head games
  5. Point spread in games against common opponents
  6. Coin toss
  7. Head-to-head best won-lost percentage in games among clubs.
  8. If teams split head-to-head games, the next tiebreaker will be the point differential in those two games.

Two Clubs

  1. Head-to-head best won-lost percentage in games among clubs.
  2. If teams split head-to-head games, the next tiebreaker will be the point differential in those two games.
  3. Best won-lost percentage in common games, if applicable
  4. Strength of schedule strength up.
  5. Best net total touchdowns in all games
  6. Coin toss

Three or More Clubs

  • If two clubs remain tied after a third club is eliminated during any step, tiebreaker reverts to step 1 of the two-club format
  • If one team wins multiple-team tiebreaker to advance to playoff round, remaining teams revert to step 1 of the two-club format
  • All teams must have played head-to-head for step 1 to be utilized in a multiple-team tie.
  1. Head-to-head best won-lost percentage in games among clubs.
  2. Best won-lost percentage in common games, if applicable
  3. Strength of schedule strength up.
  4. Best net total touchdowns in all games.
  5. Coin toss

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

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 22 million fans have experienced an AFL game in the League’s 21-Year History. Last year, in 2007, the AFL drew a record 1,887,054 fans in the regular season, and including the postseason, more than 2 million fans attended games for the first time in League history.
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, but double-teaming is illegal.
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.