AFL 101

Rules of the Game

The 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 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.


  • The official football is the same size and weight as the National Football League ball.  Each ball is manufactured by Spalding, a division of the 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 lineman (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.


  • Four 15-minute quarters with a 15-minute halftime.
  • The clock stops for out-of-bounds plays, incomplete passes, 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.


  • 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 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.