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British universities & Colleges Sport

American Football

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 The minimum number of players required for a fixture to start will be as per the rules of BAFA.

AMF 3 Registration All players, coaches and sideline personnel must be included in a roster which is submitted directly to BAFA.

AMF 3.1 Each team must have a minimum of three BAFCA (British American Football Coaches Association) Level 1 qualified coaches registered on their roster prior to the start of their first league fixture. All new teams must comply with the BAFA associate process.

AMF 3.1.1 Failure to adhere to AMF 3.1 prevents a team from commencing the season, conceding walkovers for all scheduled fixtures until compliant.

AMF 3.2 New additions and alterations may be made to the roster throughout the league season until the knockout competitions commence.

AMF 3.3 Teams proven to have fielded unregistered and therefore ineligible personnel will be subject to disciplinary action under REG 15.

AMF 4 Protective equipment For all fixtures, players participating must be equipped for contact American Football in accordance with the BAFA minimum requirements for equipment.

AMF 4.1 The match officials shall be the sole judges as to whether any player’s equipment is adequate to requirements.

AMF 4.2 Any player(s) seemed to have inadequate equipment shall be refused to take the field, or if already on field, be required to leave the field of play.

AMF 4.3 Players and coaches are responsible for the supply and maintenance of their own equipment.

AMF 5 Official ball The official football to be used in all fixtures must be the NCAA College type ball made by a reputable manufacturer and as described by the dimensions specified in the rules of BAFA.

AMF 6 Field size and markings The field size and markings should be as per the rules of BAFA.

AMF 7 Goalposts All Premier North/South games shall be played with goalposts as a minimum standard. In lower tiers, teams can agree to play without goalposts.

AMF 8 Fixture confirmation In addition to the requirements of REG 10 (with variations to timescales as listed below), the following must be adhered to:

AMF 8.1 As well as communicating fixture confirmation information to the away team’s Athletic Union in writing (via their own Athletic Union), home teams should also ensure that this is communicated to any recognised team contacts, BAFA and BAFRA.

AMF 8.2 The fixture confirmation should include details of any post-match hospitality that may be provided. (Hospitality not compulsory).

AMF 8.3 For weekend fixtures, confirmation should be communicated by 12:00 on the Tuesday prior to the match.

AMF 8.4 For weekday fixtures, confirmation should be communicated no less than 5 working days prior to the match.

AMF 8.5 The away team shall acknowledge receipt of the home team’s confirmation no later than 48 hours prior to the match. This should include confirmation of the number of people traveling with the away team for purposes of hospitality. This communication should also be sent to BAFA and BAFRA.

AMF 8.6 Any problems with the above procedure must be reported to BUCS and BAFA immediately, in particular in the event of the 48 hour deadline in AMF 8.5 not being met.

AMF 9 Match officials and personnel

AMF 9.1 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 9.1.1 Officials provided by BAFRA must be reimbursed in accordance with the BAFRA Terms and Conditions which are detailed in the rules of BAFA.

AMF 9.2 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 9.2.1 The coaches proposed to act as officials must fulfil the requirements denoted in AMF 8.3 with the exception of AMF 9.3.3.

AMF 9.2.2 The home team must notify BAFA or a member of the BAFRA Operations Team of the situation and provide the names of the coaches who will be officiating before the game can begin.

AMF 9.2.3 Agreement to begin a fixture under AMF 9.2 must be noted in writing before play commences, this aspect therefore cannot be appealed against post-fixture.

AMF 9.2.4 If agreement cannot be reached or the appropriate personnel are not available to officiate then the game must be abandoned.

AMF 9.3 Interim officials If BAFRA are not able to appoint officials for the fixture and the teams have been notified of this at least 3 days in advance by the appointing body, then the teams must make provision for the game to be officiated by BAFCA registered coaches.

AMF 9.3.1 Fixtures refereed by interim officials must have a minimum of 3 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 9.3.2 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 9.3.3 The home team must notify BAFA in writing at least 2 days before the game is to take place of the coach who is to act as the head referee.

AMF 9.3.4 Interim officials will be paid as per agreement with the home team.

AMF 9.4 Coaches acting as officials in accordance with AMF 9.2 or AMF 9.3 shall be afforded the same decision finality and respect as appointed referees.

AMF 9.5 Chain crew and ball persons

AMF 9.5.1 The home team must provide 3 people for the chain crew and at least 1 ball person.

AMF 9.5.2 The away team is responsible for providing a ball person for their own sideline.

AMF 9.5.3 If a team does not have sufficient people to man these tasks they must remove players from the playing squad to cover this.

AMF 9.5.4 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 9.6 Field captains At the time of the coin toss each team shall designate to the referee not more than 4 players as its field captain(s).

AMF 9.6.1 Only 1 designated field captain at a time shall speak for their team in all dealings with the officials.

AMF 9.6.2 Should a previously designated field captain be unable to take further part in a fixture a team may nominate a replacement to the head referee.

AMF 10 Playing conditions Should officials (including all denoted in AMF 9), 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 10.1 If agreement cannot be reached as to the acceptability of the conditions, the BAFA Director of Competitions must be contacted.

AMF 10.2 Results of fixtures taking place where officials have previously deemed conditions unsuitable, not found an alternative ground, nor found the original provision favourable upon reinspection, shall not stand.

AMF 11 Medical provision Medical requirements are as per the rules of BAFA.

AMF 12 Abandoned, postponed or otherwise unplayed fixtures When dealing with abandoned, postponed or otherwise unplayed fixtures, BUCS general regulations should be followed.

AMF 13 League points American Football shall vary from the normal BUCS allocation of league points and instead the following values shall be applied: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss.

AMF 13.1 Should a voluntary walkover be conceded/awarded, the team conceding the walkover shall incur a 2 point deduction and their opposition being awarded the walkover shall gain 2 points.

AMF 13.2 All fixtures deemed to be a draw require verification by BUCS and the BAFA Director of Competitions.

AMF 14 Separating teams tied on league points In an exception to REG 11.9, where either REG 11.9.3.2.1 or REG 11.9.4.2 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 11.9.3.2.5 or REG 11.9.4.6.

AMF 15 Knockout competition draws, seeding and performance calculations

AMF 15.1 Championship For the Championship knockout competition, the Quarter-Final draw, involving the top 4 teams from Premier North and Premier South, will be determined based on league positions, but these teams will be seeded for the purpose of identifying the host institution for each Semi-Final through the application of REG 5.4.1.1.2.1, with the exception of average points conceded based on fixtures played being used before points difference.

AMF 15.2 Trophy

AMF 15.2.1 For the Trophy knockout competition, the Round of 16 draw involves the top 2 teams from each Tier 1 league, plus the 2 best performing 3rd placed teams from the 3 ‘North’ leagues and the 2 best performing 3rd placed teams from the 3 ‘South’ leagues. The best performing teams shall be calculated through the application of REG 5.4.1.1.2.1, with the exception of average points conceded based on fixtures played being used before points difference.

AMF 15.2.2 The draw will operate split ‘North’ and ‘South’ brackets through to the Final. Within these brackets, the draw will be based on seedings calculated using the application of REG 5.4.1.1.2.1, with the exception of average points conceded based on fixtures played being used before points difference.

AMF 15.3 Conference Cups

AMF 15.3.1 For the Conference Cup North and South knockout competitions, the Quarter-Final draws will involve the top 2 teams from each of the respective Tier 2 leagues, plus the 2 best performing 3rd placed teams from the these leagues. The best performing teams shall be calculated through the application of REG 5.4.1.1.2, with average league points and average points conceded used as appropriate performance indicators within the mini-league tables created.

AMF 15.3.2 Each draw will be based on seedings calculated using the application of REG 5.4.1.1.2, with average league points and average points conceded used as appropriate performance indicators within the mini-league tables created.

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