For the 2018 season and going forwards, we will be adopting the rulebook used by both BAFA and IFAF, rather than the bespoke Guernsey rules that we have used previously. This helps bring us in line with the UK, which will make life a lot simpler when looking to either play away or bring teams over to Guernsey.
Please be sure to read this through, as there are a number of differences that everyone needs to know to avoid being caught on game day! Links below!
Following our rules training meeting, responses to questions to the questions raised, as well as some of the changes we highlighted are:
1. Field Width – Rules allow for expansion to 30 yards if playing area allows. As we’ve played on 30 wide to this point, we’ll be keeping this width for the new season.
(See page 3, National Changes)
2. Mouth guards and shorts with no pockets – Mouth guard is optional, wear one if you want, but this will not be enforced. No need to worry about shorts with no pockets, just make sure they conform to all other normal rule aspects (all one colour (black) and not white, not too baggy to prevent easy grabbing of the flags etc.)
(See page 3, National Changes)
3. Number of players blitzing – Whilst the wording in the rulebook could be better, we’ve reached out to other teams in the UK for clarification – Max number of players who can blitz is 2. 2 can declare and have ROW, or 1 declared, 1 not, or neither declare and not have ROW. There is no requirement to blitz on any down.
(See page 15, article 4, point d, plus page 6, rule 2, section 2 article 6)
4. Right of Way (ROW) and Right of Place (ROP) and What is the advantage of a blitzer declaring against not declaring:
a. A player who declares their intention to blitz before the snap is given right of way over all other players, a player who blitzes, but does not declare, is not.
b. A player who is standing still, or re-establishes themselves as being stationary has right of place (the right to be stood where they are). Right of Place is greater than Right of
Way and a player with ROW must avoid a player with ROP
c. The general hierarchy of who has priority over who is: Stationary Player (ROP) > Blitzer Declaring ROW > Receiver Running their route > Blitzer who has not declared
ROW/Defender making normal footballing moves > Runner with the football.
(See page 9, rule 2, section 13 articles 1 & 2, plus interpretations on page 28)
5. QB Eligibility – the QB becomes and eligible receiver/runner, after the ball has been touched by another player. It is still the case of only 1 forward pass may be made, but a team may use multiple handoffs/backward passes in the backfield. QB and Passer are not one and the same, other positions may become the Passer, provided they have not received the ball through a forward pass from the QB.
(See page 16, rule 7, section 2, article 5)
6. Contact being made by a tackler on a runner, either after the play, or by standing directly in the way and grabbing both flags, forcing the runner to hit them –
a. The runner does not have right of way over a defender and must make every effort to
avoid contact, even if that means stopping.
b. However, a defender may not initiate contact to make a tackle, such as reaching across a runner’s body and essentially tripping them with their arm.
c. Fault will be with whichever player causes contact
(See page 18, rule 9 section 1)
7. The Snap – For a snap, the ball no longer needs to be between the snapper’s legs. They may be to the side of the ball and snap passed the outside of one leg – Their body position should still be behind the ball however, like all other players.
(See page 15, rule 7, section 1, article 2)
8. Interceptions – Interceptions are still returnable, however the rules now state that the new series ‘shall be awarded to the defense at the dead ball spot after an interception.’ This means that wherever the intercepting player gets tackled, goes to ground or goes out of bounds, this will be the spot at which the new series of downs begins (unless in the endzone, then this is a touchback). A new series following a turnover on downs will still begin from the 5 yard line.
(See page 13, rule 5, section 1, article 1, last line of paragraph)
We also strong recommend that everyone reads the interpretations section, which can be found on page 25 onwards, as this will give everyone an understanding of how these rules are to be enforced on game day.