2018 Rule Changes
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
As the new season approaches its time for all to take note of the changes to the rules.
7th February 2018
The BAFA Rules Committee has announced the tackle football rule changes that
will be brought into play on 1st March (except for the remainder of the BUCS
season). The BAFA changes reflect changes made by IFAF.
As usual, the most important changes are to do with player safety. There is now
a general rule that prohibits altering equipment to reduce its effectiveness.
If such equipment is worn, the player will be sent to the sideline until it is
replaced. The rule about mandatory knee pads now requires them to cover the
knees (amazingly some players didn't think that was what they were for!); they
must also be at least ½-inch thick.
Leaping in an attempt to block a field goal is also restricted for safety
reasons. Only players lined up within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage can
legally leap to attempt to block the kick. Players who run up from further
behind the line cannot do so. Previously they could run up and leap provided
they didn't land on top of anyone else. Now it is a foul wherever they land.
A ball carrier sliding feet-first to give himself up is an increasingly common
play. Similar to the NFL, such players will have extra protection because the
ball will now be considered dead when they begin their slide.
To prevent teams fooling around on a kickoff, the kicking team can no longer
run across their restraining line without kicking the ball.
In the past, one form of illegal equipment was treated completely differently
from others - players with cleats that were too long were disqualified.
Although rare, it was thought this penalty was disproportionate, so from this
season illegal cleats will be treated like any other equipment fault - i.e. the
player is sent to the sideline until the problem is fixed.
Advertising is allowed on goal posts.
If a game is played indoors, the roof should be at least 90 feet above the
If played indoors with a retractable roof, there are now rules covering when it
must be closed.
The running clock rule can be delayed until 2 hours 15 minutes have elapsed in
games that are broadcast live (internet streaming doesn't count).
Jim Briggs, Chairman of both the BAFA Rules Committee and the IFAF Rules of the
Game Committee said, "Each year we make improvements to the rules to make
the game safer and to encourage better sportsmanship. While this year's changes
are minor relative to some previous years, we expect that they will make the
game safer for all participants."
There are a number of other minor rule changes. The full list is available http://rules.bafra.info/rulebook/bafa2018/index.htm.
Note that the rulebook on
rules website has been updated with these changes