AAF vs the NFL: The rule changes you need to know about

Birmingham Iron
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The Birmingham Iron kick off their first game ever as a member of the Alliance of American football Sunday vs the Memphis Express. One of the biggest differences you’ll see between the AAF and the NFL is rules on the field.

Here’s some of the many rule changes you will see during AAF games:

  • On defense, no more than five players may rush on passing plays.
  • Players that line up on the line of scrimmage are designated as one of the five players eligible to rush, regardless of whether they rush or not.
  • No defensive player may rush from a position of more than two yards outside the widest offensive lineman and more than five yards from the line of scrimmage (defensive pressure box). The exceptions would be play-action or run-pass option plays and if the ball leaves the tackle box.
  • Any player who aligns on the line of scrimmage either prior to or at the snap is designated as one of the five players regardless of whether he rushes.
  • A flag for “illegal defense” carries a 15-yard penalty.
  • Onside kick attempts have been eliminated. Instead, if Team A scores and elects to retain possession, Team A will start at its own 28 and have one down to get at least 12 yards. However, the only time a team can attempt to retain possession is if it is behind by 17 points or more, or if it is behind inside the final five minutes.
  • Following a safety, if the team scored upon wants to try to retain possession, the ball will be placed at the 18 and it will have one down to get at least 12 yards.
  • The ruling of an incomplete pass downfield, as it pertains to a potential fumble, is not reviewable.
  • No field goal attempts are allowed in overtime.
  • There will be a maximum of two possessions in overtime. If the score is tied after that, the game will end in a tie.
  • There will be intervals of three minutes between the first and second quarters, as well as the third and fourth quarters. There will be a 13-minute break for halftime.
  • Charged team timeouts will be one minute.

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