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AFL Press Release

AFL approves rule changes for new season

Wednesday March 2, 2016

 Officials, Coaches Clinic Concludes as 2016 Season Approaches

LAS VEGAS (March 2, 2016) – The Arena Football League recently concluded their annual Officials and Coaches Clinics in Las Vegas this past weekend as teams prepare for the 2016 season. During the meetings, discussion focused on the approved rule changes and points of emphasis from the Board of Directors and the Rules and Competition Committee for the upcoming season.

“We continually look for ways to improve our game,” said AFL Commissioner Scott C. Butera. “The Rules and Competition Committee has worked diligently and continues to work on elements that focus on player safety and the flow of the game. We are pleased with the collaborative effort by the Board, coaches and officials to make adjustments for the overall improvement of the sport of Arena Football.”

Some of the notable rule changes include:

· Eliminating Booth Reviews During National Television Games: There will no longer be Officials’ Review within the last minute of each half during nationally televised games. Challenges for all games will be controlled by the head coaches, even inside the final minute. Each team gets two (2) challenges during regulation time. If challenge is successful on both instances, the team will earn a third challenge.
· Ball Carrier Loses Helmet, Play Will Be Called Dead: Anytime the ball carrier loses his helmet during the play, the play will be shut down immediately with the ball being spotted at the point where the helmet came off the player.
· Dangerous Plays/Pulling Players Off The Pile: If a player or coach attempts to remove an opposing player off from a pile up, it will result in a personal foul penalty.
· Onsides Kick Blocking: Both teams are allowed to initiate blocks immediately after the ball is kicked.
· Kickoff Alignment: The kicking team is limited to having a maximum of five (5) players on either side of the kicker at the time the ball is kicked. 5-yard penalty for illegal formation if violated.

The AFL will kick off its 29th Season on Friday, April 1 when the Philadelphia Soul travel to Cleveland to play the Gladiators in the first official game of the season. The “War on I-4” adds another chapter to its storied rivalry will also kickoff the season when the Orlando Predators travel to Amalie Arena to play the Tampa Bay Storm on Friday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The ESPN2 schedule kicks off on Saturday, April 2, with a Week 1 matchup between the Jacksonville Sharks and LA KISS, while the CBS Sports Network has the Arizona Rattlers traveling to take on the Portland Steel on Friday, April 1, 2016 (10 p.m. ET).

About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network nationally broadcast AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl on ESPN.