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British universities & Colleges Sport

American Football

 Supporting Documents: 1. BAFA Field Markings Diagram 



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

AMF ii In the event that these regulations contradict those of the national or international governing body these sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.



AMF 1 Mixed Competition: American Football is an exception to BUCS General Regulations and is recognised as a mixed competition (teams may include both male and female participants).


AMF 2 Registration: All players, coaches and sideline personnel must be included in a roster which is submitted directly to BAFA.


AMF 2.1 Each team must have a minimum of three BAFCA 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 2.1.1 Failure to adhere to AMF 2.1 prevents a team from commencing the season, forfeiting scheduled fixtures until compliant. BUCS General Regulations for forfeited fixtures apply.


AMF 2.2 New additions and alterations may be made to the roster throughout the league season until knock-out rounds commence.


AMF 2.3 Teams proved to have fielded unregistered and therefore ineligible personnel will be subject to disciplinary action under Regulation 17


AMF 3 Protective Equipment: For all fixtures, players participating must be equipped for contact American Football in accordance with the BAFA Minimum Requirements for Equipment (Ref. BAFA Rulebook).


AMF 3.1 The officials shall be the sole judges that all players’ equipment is adequate to requirements.


AMF 3.2 Any player(s) with inadequate equipment shall be refused to take the field, or if already on field, leave field of play.


AMF 3.3 Players and coaches are responsible for the supply and maintenance of their own equipment.


AMF 4 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 BAFA regulations, section 3.


AMF 5 Markings/Field Size: As per BAFRA Rules Section 2, Article 1, the minimum pitch dimensions will be 90 yards + 2x7 yard end zones and 160 feet (53 1/3) wide.

AMF 6 Goal Posts: 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 7 Fixture Confirmation:


AMF 7.1 In addition to the requirements of BUCS Gen Reg 12 (with variations to timescales as listed below) home teams are required to communicate the following in writing to the away team via their respective Athletic Unions or recognised team contact:






AMF 7.1.2 Details of any post-match hospitality that may be provided (hospitality not compulsory).


AMF 7.1.3 For a weekend fixture - to be communicated to away team by noon of the Tuesday prior.


AMF 7.1.4 For a weekday fixture – to be communicated to away team no less than 5 working days prior


AMF 7.2 The away team shall acknowledge receipt of the home team’s confirmation, no later than 48 hours prior to the game. This should include confirmation of the number of people traveling with the away team for purposes of hospitality. This communication should be sent to BAFA.


AMF 7.3 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 5.2 not being met.




AMF 8.1 Appointed Officials: BAFRA endeavours to appoint referees to as many BUCS American Football fixtures as possible. Appointments are based on officials availability geographically and teams are informed as soon as appointments are confirmed throughout the season by BAFRA. The MINIMUM appointment is outlined in BUCS General Regulations Appendix 2.


AMF 8.1.1 Officials provided by BAFRA must be reimbursed in accordance with the BAFRA Terms and Conditions which are detailed in the BAFA Rulebook.


AMF 8.2 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 8.2.1 The coaches proposed to act as officials must fulfil the requirements denoted in section AMF 6.3 with the exception of AMF 6.3.3.


AMF 8.2.2 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 8.2.3 Agreement to begin a fixture under 6.2 must be noted in writing before play commences, this aspect therefore is non-appealable post fixture.


AMF 8.2.4 If agreement cannot be reached or the appropriate personnel are not available to officiate then the game must be abandoned.


AMF 8.3 Interim Officials: If no BAFRA appointed officials are available for the game and the teams have been notified of this at least three days in advance by the appointing body, then the teams must make provision for the game to be officiated by BAFCA registered coaches.


AMF 8.3.1 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 (part of the Insurance Guidance document which is available as a download from and have undertaken the reading of the rules of the game as provided by the Governing Body.






AMF 8.3.2 In situations where there are no BAFRA appointed officials for a fixture and 6.3 is to be applied; unless otherwise agreed in writing by both teams before the start of play, the home team must provide the Head Referee and a Referee for the opposition sideline, the away team the opposition sideline Referee as a minimum.


AMF 8.3.3 In situations where 6.3 is applied, the home team must notify BAFA in writing at least two days before the game is to take place of the coach who is to act as the Head Referee.


AMF 8.3.4 Interim officials will be paid as per agreement with the Home Team.


AMF 8.4 Coaches acting as officials in accordance with 6.2 and 6.3 shall be afforded the same decision finality and respect as appointed referees.


AMF 8.5 Chain Crew and Ball Persons The home team must provide 3 people for the chain crew and at least 1 ball person.


AMF 8.5.1 The away team is responsible for providing a ball person for their own sideline.


AMF 8.5.2 If a team does not have sufficient people to man these tasks they must remove players from the playing squad to cover this.


AMF 8.5.3 Playing squad members nominated to fulfill 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 8.6 Field Captains: At the time of the coin toss each team shall designate to the referee not more than four players as its Field Captain(s).


AMF 8.6.1 Only one designated Field Captain at a time shall speak for their team in all dealings with the officials.


AMF 8.6.2 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 9 Playing Conditions: Should officials (including all denoted in AMF 6), 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 re-inspection by said officials. Alternative fields can be sought and approved by either the officials present and / or BAFA.


AMF 9.1 If agreement cannot be reached as to the acceptability of the conditions BAFA Competitions Director must be contacted (


AMF 9.2 Results of fixtures taking place where officials have previously deemed conditions unsuitable, not found an alternative ground, nor found the original provision favourable upon re-inspection, shall not stand.


AMF 10 Medical provisions

For the most current medical requirements please visit


AMF 11 Postponed/Unplayed League Fixtures  


AMF 11.1 If a fixture is not played for reasons beyond the control of either team then the game shall not be awarded but rescheduled or deemed void. Fixtures not played by the last week of the regular season will be deemed void. All awards will be made at the conclusion of the regular season.


AMF 11.2 The venue for a postponed match shall be the choice of the home team, unless:


AMF 11.2.1 the visiting team has travelled, in which case it will be the choice of the visiting team,




AMF 11.2.2 the visiting team has incurred the cost of travel, in which case the home team will have the opportunity to reimburse the visiting team within one week, to retain their option of venue, else the visiting team will have the choice.


AMF 12 Un-Played Knock-Out Games


AMF 12.1 In the event that it is not possible to complete a knock-out fixture prior to the Monday of the following round due to circumstances beyond the control of both teams, the winner shall be decided by following the procedure in the BUCS General Regulation 13.10.2 on a win/loss/tied record - Set 2 of the ‘Tie Breaker’ document.


AMF 13 League Points


AMF 13.1 American Football shall vary from the normal BUCS allocation of league points and follow the below values:

Win – 2

Draw – 1

Loss – 0


AMF 13.2 Therefore 11.1 dictates that a voluntary walkover shall incur a 2 point deduction when conceded and a 2 point gain when awarded.


AMF 13.3 All fixtures deemed to be a draw require verification by BUCS and BAFA Competitions Director.



AMF 13.4 Separating Teams Tied on League Points: Exception to BUCS General Regulation 9.9.6 – goal variation will not be used. American Football shall utilise average points conceded as a distinguishing factor at this point within the differentiation process. If this process does not produce a definitive team a coin toss shall be conducted.

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