American Football regulations for 2019 - 20 | Published 1 September

AMF i The BUCS American Football Championships shall be conducted in accordance with the following BUCS sport specific regulations, the BUCS general regulations, and the rules of BAFA (British American Football Association).

AMF ii In the event that these regulations contradict the BUCS general regulations these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

AMF iii In the event that these regulations contradict those of rules of BAFA (British American Football Association), these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.


AMF 1 Mixed competition BUCS American Football is recognised as a mixed competition, i.e. teams may include both male and female participants.

AMF 2 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start or continue The minimum number of players required for a fixture to start or continue will be 11.

AMF 3 Affiliations All institutions/Playing Entities, players, coaches and sideline personnel must be affiliated as per the requirements of the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document. Failure to affiliate by the deadlines stated in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document will result in sanctions being imposed as outlined in the BUCS Sport Specific Affiliations Document and the possibility of further disciplinary action.

AMF 4 Roster All players, coaches and sideline personnel must be included in a roster which is submitted directly to the referees each matchday. All individuals on this roster must meet the requirements of AMF 3.

AMF 4.1 Each team must have a BAFCA Level 1 qualified coach who is on the sideline at all times for a game to start or continue.

AMF 5 Goalposts All Premier Tier league and Championship knockout matches shall be played with goalposts as a minimum standard. In all other matches, teams can agree to play without goalposts.

AMF 6 Fixture confirmation In addition to the requirements of REG 9.5 (with variations to timescales as listed below), the following must be adhered to:

AMF 6.1 As well as communicating fixture confirmation information to the away team’s Athletic Union (or equivalent) in writing, via their own Athletic Union (or equivalent), home teams should also ensure that this is communicated to any recognised team contacts, BAFA and BAFRA.

AMF 6.2 For weekend fixtures, confirmation should be communicated by 12:00 on the Tuesday prior to the match.

AMF 6.3 For weekday fixtures, confirmation should be communicated in accordance with the deadlines of REG 9.5.

AMF 7 Match officials and personnel

AMF 7.1 Appointed officials BAFRA (British American Football Referees Association) endeavours to appoint referees to as many BUCS American Football fixtures as possible. Appointments are based on the availability of officials geographically and teams are informed as soon as appointments are confirmed throughout the season by BAFRA. The minimum appointment is outlined in Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

AMF 7.1.1 Officials provided by BAFRA must be reimbursed in accordance with the BAFRA Terms and Conditions which are detailed in the rules of BAFA. 

AMF 7.2 Non-arrival of appointed officials If BAFRA referees assigned to a fixture do not arrive in due course the game will be postponed unless both teams’ Head Coaches agree to the game taking place with coaches acting as officials.

AMF 7.2.1 The coaches proposed to act as officials must fulfil the requirements denoted in AMF 7.3.

AMF 7.2.2 If agreement cannot be reached or the appropriate personnel are not available to officiate then the game must be abandoned.

AMF 7.3 Interim officials If BAFRA are not able to appoint officials for the fixture and the teams have been notified of this in advance by the appointing body, then the teams must make provision for the game to be officiated by BAFCA registered coaches.

AMF 7.3.1 Fixtures refereed by interim officials must have a minimum of three BAFCA Level 1 (or above) qualified coaches who; have valid coaching insurance, have undertaken the field audit, and have undertaken the reading of the rules of the game as provided by BAFA and the BUCS sport specific regulations.

AMF 7.3.2 Unless otherwise agreed in writing by both teams before the start of play, as a minimum, the home team must provide the head referee and a referee for the opposition sideline, and the away team a referee for the opposition sideline.

AMF 7.3.3 Interim officials will be paid as per agreement with the home team.

AMF 7.4 Coaches acting as officials in accordance with AMF 7.2 or AMF 7.3 shall be afforded the same decision finality and respect as appointed referees.

AMF 7.5 Chain crew and ball persons

AMF 7.5.1 The home team must provide three people for the chain crew and at least one ball person.

AMF 7.5.2 The away team is responsible for providing a ball person for their own sideline.

AMF 7.5.3 If a team does not have enough people to man these tasks, they must remove players from the playing squad to cover this.

AMF 7.5.4 Playing squad members nominated to fulfil chain crew and ball person duties are interchangeable at appropriate times throughout the fixture but must be wearing clothing other than the playing uniform.

AMF 8 Playing conditions Should officials (including all denoted in AMF 7), deem the game unplayable due to the conditions, then the game must not take place on that field for the remainder of the day pending a favourable reinspection by said officials. Alternative fields can be sought and approved by either the officials present and/or BAFA.

AMF 9 League points In a variance from REG 8.3.6, two points will be awarded for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss. Should a voluntary walkover be awarded/conceded (REG 13), two points shall be given to the non-offending team and two points deducted from the offending team.

AMF 10 Separating teams tied on league points In an exception to REG 8.3.7, where either REG 8.3.7.3.2.1 or REG 8.3.7.4.2 are required to be utilised, average points conceded of fixtures played shall be considered, not goal difference. If this does not separate the tie, then the process will move straight to the coin toss as per REG 8.3.7.3.2.5 or REG 8.3.7.4.6.

AMF 11 Knockout competition draws

AMF 11.1 Championship For the Championship knockout competition, the Quarter-Final draw, involving the top four teams from the Premier Tier North and South leagues, will be determined based on league positions. There will be no seeding and teams will progress through a pre-determined bracket draw with the first named (home) team hosting the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final matches.

AMF 11.2 Trophy For the Trophy knockout competition, the Round of 16 draw involves the top two teams from each Tier 1 league, plus the two best performing 3rd placed teams from the three ‘North’ leagues and the two best performing 3rd placed teams from the three ‘South’ leagues. The best performing teams shall be calculated through the application of REG 8.4.3.1.1, with the exception of average points conceded based on fixtures played being used before points difference. Teams will progress through a pre-determined bracket draw, split ‘North’ and ‘South’, with the first named (home) team hosting the Round of 16, Quarter-Final and Semi-Final matches. Within these brackets, the initial draw will be based on ‘seedings’ calculated using the application of REG 8.4.3.1.1 across first placed teams, then second placed teams and then third placed teams, with the exception of average points conceded based on fixtures played being used before points difference.

AMF 11.3 Conference Cups For the Conference Cup North and South knockout competitions, the Quarter-Final draws will involve the top two teams from each of the respective Tier 2 leagues, plus the two best performing 3rd placed teams from these leagues. The best performing teams shall be calculated through the application of REG 8.4.3.1.2, with average league points and average points conceded used as appropriate performance indicators within the mini-league tables created. Teams will progress through a pre-determined bracket draw with the first named (home) team hosting the Quarter-Final and Semi-Final matches. The initial draw will be based on ‘seedings’ calculated using the application of REG 8.4.3.1.2 across first placed teams, then second placed teams and then third placed teams, with average league points and average points conceded used as appropriate performance indicators within the mini-league tables created.

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