Please find below a summary of the Playing Rules of Footy 9s.
For a full copy of the official rules please refer to The Laws of the Game.
1. Playing Field
Regulation American Football field.
A. Teams shall consist of 9 players on the field and a maximum of 6 reserves.
B. Interchange of players may take place at any time.
C. Teams shall consist of 3 forwards, 3 midfielders and 3 backs.
3. Starting Positions
A. At the start of play and after each goal, the midfielders must line up in the central zone – i.e between both 40 yard lines.
B. To prevent congestion, the forwards and backs must line up behind the 20 yard line at the start of play and after each goal.
C. Apart from (A) and (B) players can go anywhere on the field and there is no off-side.
4. Playing Time
4 x 20 minute quarters. This can be varied to suit the age level of the participants e.g. 2 x 20 minute halves.
5. Start of Play
A. The game shall be started by a jump ball between two players on the centre of the 50 yard line.
B. A player may not grab the ball at the jump ball and play on. They must attempt to knock or tap the ball to another player.
C. After a goal, the ball is taken to the centre and restarted as in (A).
D. If the attacking team has a shot at goal and misses, one of the members of the defending team will kick the ball back into play from within the end zone, and directly in front of the goal posts.
E. All other players must be on or behind the 10 yard line when he/she kicks the ball back into play.
6. Moving the Ball
A. When a player has possession of the ball, he/she can dispose of the ball via a handball, kick or forward pass.
B. A forward pass is defined as an overhand quarterback style pass.
C. Other than a forward pass, players are not permitted to throw the ball. Throws include laterals, rugby passes and handoffs.
D. Disposing of the ball illegally will result in a free kick being awarded to the other team.
7. Out of Bounds
A. When the ball goes out of bounds by either foot or hand, the nearest opponent shall kick the ball in.
B. If there is doubt as to which team forced the ball out of bounds, the umpire shall throw the ball up 10 yards from the boundary line.
A. Full tackling is allowed. When a player is tackled by an opponent, they must dispose of the ball by handball, kick or forward pass. If the player fails to dispose of the ball, possession will be awarded to the other team.
B. In School Footy no tackling is allowed. When a player is touched by an opponent, they must dispose of the ball by handball, kick or forward pass within 3 seconds. If the player fails to dispose of the ball within this time, possession will be awarded to the other team.
C. If a player has had prior opportunity to dispose of the ball when tackled, it is holding the ball and a turnover will occur.
A. Any player catching a ball directly from the kick of another player, provided the ball has traveled at least 10 yards and is not touched in flight, shall be awarded a mark.
B. If a player is awarded a mark, they can play on immediately or they can stop and take a free kick.
C. If a player stops to take a free kick they cannot be tackled by an opponent.
10. Play On
Any player catching a ball directly from a handball or forward pass shall not be awarded a mark i.e. play shall continue.
11. Bouncing the Ball
A player in possession must bounce the ball after running 10 yards.
12. Kicking Off the Ground
A player is not permitted to deliberately kick the ball off the ground.
A. Goals are scored by kicking the ball through the goal posts. There are no behind posts or behinds.
B. If the ball strikes a post and continues through the goal posts, a goal shall be recorded.
C. If the ball strikes a post and bounces back into the playing field, play shall continue.