from "Carolina Cobras Preseason Media Guide"
Arena Football League
Rules of the Game
About Arena Football
Graphic of Jack
LB Rule (from the N&O)
Football League Rules of the Game:
An indoor padded surface 85 feet wide
and 50 yards long with eight-yard endzones.
Goal posts are nine-feet wide with a
crossbar height of 15 feet (NFL goal posts are 18 1/2 wide with the crossbar
at 10 feet).
The goalside rebound nets are 30 feet
wide by 32 feet high. The bottom of the nets are eight feet above the ground.
Sideline barriers are 48 inches high
amd made of high density foam rubber.
The official football is the same size
and weight as the National Football League ball. Each ball is manufactured
by Wilson Sporting Goods.
The Players and Formations
Eight players on the field; 20-man active
roster; four-man inactive roster.
Players play offense and defense with
the exception of the kicker, quarterback, offensive specialist (the kick
returner on defense) and two defensive specialists.
Substitution: All non-specialists may
substitute only once during each quarter.
Four (4) offensive players must line
up on the line of scrimmage.
Three (3) defensive players must be
down linemen (in a three of four-point stance). One linebacker may blitz
on either side of the center. Alignment is two (2) or more yards off the
line of scrimmage. No stunting or twisting.
Off ensive motion: Once receiver may
go in forward motion before the snap.
Four 15 minute quarters with a 15-minute
The clock stops for out-of-bounds plays
or incomplete passes only in the last minute of each half or when the referee
deems it necessary for penalties, injuries or timeouts. Each team is allowed
three (3) time-outs per half.
Movement of the Ball and Scoring
Four (4) downs are allowed to advance
the ball ten (10) yards for a first down, or to score. Six (6) points for
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 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 kickoff untouched which its 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 rules in Arena Football are
the same as outdoor NCAA Football in which receivers must have one foot
inbounds. A unique exception involves the rebound nets. A forward pass
that rebounds off of the endzone net is a live ball and is in play until
it touches the Paying surface.
Overtime periods are 15 minutes during
the regular season and the playoffs.
Each team gets one possession to score.
It, after each team has had one possession and one team is ahead, that
team wins. It the teams are tied after each has had a possession, the next
team to score wins.
Statements that Define Arena Principles
There is no fair catch in Arena Football.
One-inch tee may be used on field goal
and extra point attempts.
No punting is allowed.
Forward passes that hit the sideline
barrier goal line to goal line are alive and can be caught if receiver's
feet are in bounds. (Only one foot needed).
Any fumble of backward pass hitting
the boards and rebounding into the field of play remains alive.
When a runner touches the sideline barrier
and pushes off, he is free to run as long as his feet are in bounds and
he wasn't contacted by a defensive man.
A runner who goes down on his own is
eligible to get up and advance. To be legally down, he must have been touched/contacted
by a defensive player.
The Field and Playing Surface
The field is 50 yards long by 28 yards
The two end zones are 8 yarads deep
from goal line to endline.
Uprights of the goal posts are 9 feet
apart. The bottom of each upright is 8 feet above the playing surface,
and the height of the crossbar is 15 feet above the playing surface.
One coach may be on the field, goal
line to goal line. He must be behind the sideline and at least 5 yards
off the line of scrimmage.
The Game and the Timing Elements
The clock does not stop on any out of
bounds or incomplete passes, unless in the final minute of each half.
Clock continues to run after TD's and
during extra points, unless in last minute of each half. It a penalty occurs
during the extra point before the last minute of each half, the clock is
stopped and will not run if another attempt occurs.
In the last minute of the game, if the
offense is leading, they must gain positive yardage on rushes or passes
completed behind the line of scrimmage - If positive yardage is not gained,
the clock will stop, and restart at the next snap.
Players and Substitutes
Eight players on the field for each
All players, with the exception of those
termed specialists, shall only be allowed to substitute once during each
Specialists are the quarterback, place
kicker, wide receiver/kick returner, 2 defensive specialists, designated
snapper, and kick holder.
The Free Kick
All free kicks originate from anywhere
on the kicking team's goal line.
The kicking team can never be closer
than the receiver's 5 yard line, until the ball touches the turf or receiver
after hitting the net.
Once the ball hits the net and touches
either the turf or the receiver, it is treated as a fumble and can be advanced
by the kicking team.
The receiving team must attempt to run
the ball out of the end zone on both free kicks and scrimmage kicks.
Forward Pass, Backward Pass and
An eligible receiver remains eligible
even if he intentionally steps out of bounds on all four boundary lines.
A receiver can be in contact with the
sideline barrier when making a catch goal line to goal line.
A forward pass that bounds off the sideline
barrier is still in play until it hits the ground, goal line to goal line.
After any illegal pass that is caught
by the offensive team, play is dead.
A receiver or defender can catch a pass
even if his first contact is with the sideline barrier as long as his first
contact is with the playing field inbound after the catch.
Intentional pass interference in end
zone, the ball is spotted at the one-yard line.
In the last minute of play in each hall,
only the person who fumbles the ball may recover and advance. even on a
change of possession.
A forward pass that hits the net on
the fly remains in play.
Two points for a successful drop kick
for an extra point. Four points for a successful drop kick for a field
The defense cannot score on unsuccessful
extra point attempts.