Tournament Rules

Purpose

The Tournament Rules serve to codify the rules of the game being applied by the Tournament Director, Field Marshals, Members of Executive Board and Umpires during the USAFL Nationals matches for all games, Men’s and Women’s.

If any club feels they have information about opposing clubs using ineligible players at Nationals, the Tournament Committee must be notified BEFORE the first games played.

COVID-19 Health Policy Attendance Requirements

  • In order to attend 2021 Nationals ALL ATTENDEES will need to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. 
  • Any attendees that are not fully vaccinated, will be required to provide a Negative COVID-19 test result. The Negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained within 72 hours (3 days) of Saturday October 16, 8am. Test must be taken NO EARLIER than Wed 10/13 8am and must be submitted online BEFORE Friday 10/15 5pm or in-person at Meanwhile Brewing 6.30pm-9.00pm Friday October 15. 
  • Only test results from PCR or rapid tests administered by a health professional will be accepted. At home test results will not be accepted.
  • A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second shot of Pfizer/Moderna or single shot of Johnson&Johnson. The last possible date to get your second shot(Pfizer/Moderna or first shot (J&J) for entry on Saturday, October 16 would be October 2. 

Player Eligibility

All players must meet the Attendance Requirements above to be eligible to play at the USAFL National Championships in addition to the following:

  • Must be current on USAFL AND Nationals registration fees and have signed the USAFL COVID-19 Waiver.

  • For 2021, Men's Divisions must have earned a minimum of 2 Nationals Eligibility Points (NEP) by playing in USAFL sanctioned matches for their designated club during the 2021 season or they must have an approved Nationals Eligibility Exemption that has been granted for the division they are playing in. (Excludes Div IV)

  • For 2021, Women's Divisions must have earned a minimum 0 NEPs.

    • A maximum of 2 USAFL game NEPs over any weekend, no matter how many games played.

    • Women players can earn a maximum of 4 metro points.(1 per game)

    • Men players can earn a maximum of 2 metro points.(1 per game)

  • First Year Australian Players:

    • For 2021, must accumulate 2 NEPs.

    • Must be a US resident or show entry in the US by or before August 1st (Passport & I-94 Arriving/Departure record) ***Proof of I-94 Record before Aug 1st not be applied for 2021***

    • Must register and pay USAFL dues AND Nationals Registration fee by October 10.

    • First year Australian Players not meeting the requirement will only be granted Division IV or Reserves Division exemptions.

  • US Nationals players, if not already verified, must present a copy of their Passport or US Birth Certificate. (Via Zoom virtual meeting rooms in the days before or in-person Oct 15 Friday 6.30pm-9pm at Meanwhile Brewing.) 

  • Each player must check in for Nationals by October 15, Friday 9pm.**No Saturday Check-In will be permitted for 2021**

  • All Nationals team rosters must be entered in the USAFL website by Weds Oct 13. The tournament committee will review rosters and work with teams to resolve any eligibility issues before Friday October 15 9pm. 

Player Registration

Eligible players may self check in online starting Wednesday Oct 13.  Players unable to self check in may check in Friday evening October 15th. In person registration will run from 6.30pm to 9pm and will take place outdoors at Meanwhile Brewing located at: 3901 Promontory Point Dr, Austin, TX 78744. .**No Saturday Check-In will be permitted for 2021**

THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS - Walk-ins, people showing up on Saturday or Sunday without completing the safety requirements in the timeline provided herein will not be eligible to play and will be required to leave the venue.

Players are eligible to check in online or in-person if they meet the following criteria:

  • Player has earned correct amount of  Nationals Eligibility Points or has an approved Nationals Eligibility Exemption.
  • Player has declared as a US National and their nationality has previously been verified or has been granted a nationality exemption, or the player has declared as a Non-National.
  • Player has been nominated for Nationals tournament via their club's Nationals Roster entered by Weds Oct 13.
  • Player has paid USAFL dues AND Nationals Registration fee.
  • Player has completed Nationals Covid-19 Attendance Requirements

Exemptions

Men

Any player that has not earned their 2 Nationals Eligibility Points will need to apply for an exemption to participate at Nationals. 

  • Divisions I, II and III
    • Each club will be permitted 8 free exemptions in 2021
    • There will be a $25 fee for any additional exemption requests over 8
  • Division IV
    • Will remain same as previous years with no fees or limit on the number of exemptions

Women

  • Divisions I, II
    • Fees for exemptions will be waived
    • No limit on the number of exemptions

Notes

  • All players must be registered before checking in as only players with 2 NEP or an exemption are eligible to play.
  • Players with eligibility exemptions must be current in their USAFL dues and Nationals registration prior to checking in.
  • All players must present a government issued identification upon check-in.
  • Players whose nationality has not been verified at a previous national tournament, must present a passport or birth certificate (with other ID) to prove their nationality. All players who claim National status but are unverified, will be considered non-Nationals for purposes of the 50/50 rule.
  • Please note that if you created a new account at usafl.com instead of registering under an existing account, you will need to reverify your nationality. Club admins can check on the nationality verification for all players on their club via Club Admin.

Other Tournament Policies 

Game Format

  • Due to COVID restrictions water runners are not allowed.  Games will be played in 4 x 10 minute quarter format.
  • Quarter breaks after the 1st and 3rd quarter will be 2 minutes
  • Half time break will be 5 minutes

Women Participation

  • Women will not be permitted to play in Men's games at Nationals. There will be a full women's competition.

Team Combinations

  • Team combinations will be determined in the best interests of the tournament competition and subject to the RVPs and Tournament Director discretion.

Individual Players

  • Players who do not have a home USAFL club must be approved to play and will be assigned to a team at the discretion of the RVPs Tournament Director.

Game Day Process for Clubs

Nationals Game Schedule

  • Will be up to the Tournament Director in conjunction with the UA. Schedule will be available 1 week before the tournament and subject to change.

Team Rosters

Team Rosters & Jersey Numbers must be entered by Wednesday October 13. Adjustments to Team Rosters can be made online in LMS no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of your match.  NOTE: When creating a roster after your first match, it will fill in the players from the previous match. 

Match sheets (combined team sheet for both clubs) will be printed by the tournament admin and delivered to the field prior to the match. The match sheet will list players that are ineligible to play for the following reasons:

  • Player is not checked in for Nationals
  • Player is not current in USAFL or Tournament Dues
  • Player has not had their National status verified
  • Player has not been verified for Full Vaccination or Negative Test status
  • Player has not earned the required Nationals Eligibility Points and has not been granted an Eligibility Exemption for their division.
  • Player has already played a game in that round.  E.g. if this is the team's 2nd match, they cannot play in the 2nd match for any other team.

Rosters can be created and updated at the Club Admin Kiosk located at Tournament Central. Smart phones or tablets with internet access can also be used.

The match sheet displays the player's effective nationality for Nationals.  If the player's nationality has not been verified, they will be considered a Non-National and count against the 50/50 rule. Club Admin lists each player's nationality verification status. Players must verify their nationality by presenting a passport or birth certificate and government issued ID when they check in.

Roster Limits 2021

The following limits are in effect for the number of players that can be added to a roster:

DIVISION PLAYERS ROSTER LIMIT
Division 1 18 24
Division 2 18 24
Division 3* 18 24
Division 4* 16 24
Reserves* 16 24
Women's Division 1 18 24

* Estimated until nationals divisions are set and announced.

  • Division I: 18 players  per side with 6 interchange players (24 players max.)
  • Division II: 18 players  per side with 6 interchange players (24 players max.)
  • Division III: 16 players  per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.) (Coaches/captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified.)
  • Division IV:  16 players per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.) (Coaches/captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified.)
  • Reserves Division: 16 players per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.) (Coaches/captains of each team must be in agreement on the number of players and the umpires must be notified.)

Women’s Divisions

  • Women’s Division I: 18 players  per side with 8 interchange players (24 players max.)  (Coaches/captains of each team if in agreement may choose to run a different number, which must be worked out prior to the games start time and umpires must be notified.)

NOTE: Division IV, Reserves and Women's Division II roster limits are estimates until Nationals divisions are set and announced.

50/50 Participation Rule

All games in every division, are subject to the 50/50 rule (minimum of 50% Nationals, i.e. American or Canadian, on field at any given field)

  • A “Non-National” player is anyone that is not deemed an American or Canadian
  • Nationality ruling to be determined by country of birth on passport.
  • If you play an Australian, an Irishmen, or a New Zealander for example….all these nationalities are all deemed “Non-Nationals” and you can not play more than 9 of these players on the field at any one time.
  • Therefore Clubs will need to have a minimum of "9 Nationals" on the field at all times assuming playing 18 per side.
  • If a player cannot prove "National Status" that player will be deemed a "Non-National". If you area an American or a Canadian, the onus will be on you to prove that status. If you cannot prove that status you will be deemed a "Non-National"
  • The match sheet displays the player's effective nationality for nationals. If the player's nationality has not been verified, they will be considered a non-national and count against the 50/50 rule. Club Admin lists each player's nationality verification status. Players may verify their nationality by presenting a passport or birth certificate and government issued ID when they check in.
  • Non-Nationals must wear black armbands provided by tournament admin.
  • UMPIRES/TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS will be checking players ID’s/nationality (randomly) before games at team tents.

Calling for Player Count During a Match

  • Cheating with regards to the 50/50 rule will not be tolerated. Should a team be found to have too many Non-Nationals on the field – that team will lose entire score up until that point in match, free kick awarded to other team, and a 50 m penalty.

  • The Opposition captain is the only person who can call for a head count. All players on field at that time must come to center and be counted by umpires (Australian players will have on black  armbands).

  • If a player count is called and the accused team is found to NOT be in violation of the 50/50 rule, the captain of the team that called for the count will be given a red card and sent off for the remainder of the game but is replaceable with another player.

Player Movement between Divisions

If a club has multiple teams entered in the tournament, players may move between divisions subject to the following constraints:

  • A player may be moved to a higher division or a lower division, but may not play multiple games in the same round. For example, if a player plays in their Division 4 team's second match at 1pm, they cannot play in their Division 2's second match at 3pm.
  • A player is considered to have played in a match by being on the final roster for the match (30 minutes prior to the game's scheduled start). If a player is not on the roster for a match, they are ineligible for that match.
  • If a player has played 2 games in a higher division they are not permitted to play in a lower division Final.

Division Final Team Rankings

  • Top ranked team from each Division pool will advance to the Championship game. Rankings will be based upon:
    • Total Championship points
    • Percentage (points scored/points allowed)
    • Points scored
    • Goals scored
    • Head to Head
    • Toss of coin

2021 USAFL Laws