The Arena Football League’s Rules and Competition Committee wrapped up two extensive days of meetings last Friday evening in Jacksonville, FL.
the meetings, the committee discussed Ironman football, defensive
offside penalties, Jack linebacker out of the box calls, replays,
officials and key dates for the 2013 season.
potential return to Ironman football sparked a major debate. The group
discussed the pros and cons of returning to the true Ironman style of
play. The AFL transitioned from true Ironman football following the 2006
season. When the AFL introduced free substitution in 2006, Ironman
football in the AFL was far more limited. Prior to the change, only one
substitution was allowed per quarter.
took the Ironman discussion very seriously. We owed it to the history
of the League. We owed it to all of the great, former Ironmen players,
coaches and fans. There were a lot of good reasons on the table of why
we should go back to that style of play. It was a heated discussion,”
Chairman of the Rules and Competition Committee and owner of the
Jacksonville Sharks Jeff Bouchy said. “I felt like I was the voice in
the room for the guys in the past.”
major topic included defensive offside penalties. Prior to the 2012
season, new sets of rules were put in place for defensive offside. For
the first infraction, a five-yard penalty was assessed. For a second
call, a five-yard penalty was enforced and the player was removed for
the remainder of the half. In the second half, the first defensive
offside penalty would result in the removal of the player for the
remainder of the game. This resulted in a 35 percent reduction in
defensive offside penalties from 2011 to 2012 while sack numbers
“We are working very hard at cleaning up other penalties much like we did with defensive offside rule,” Bouchy said.
the 2012 season, one of the most prevalent penalties was the Jack out
of the box rule. The Committee made suggestions to tighten rules of the
Jack linebacker and the possibility of eliminating the Jack out of the
replay process was also discussed during the meetings including the
accessibility of more cameras and angles for review. The drop to a
five-man officiating team was also considered.
A final decision on the rulings is expected at the Board of Directors Meetings on September 12 and 13 in Phoenix, AZ.
with Bouchy, Tampa Bay Storm President Derrick Brooks, Sharks Head
Coach Les Moss, Cleveland Gladiators President Scott Woodruff, Iowa
Barnstormers General Manager John Pettit, AFL Commissioner Jerry B.
Kurz, AFL Director of Football Operations Joe Kleinsmith, AFL Manager of
Football Operations Matt Kurz and Pittsburgh Power President Peter Hill
were also in attendance.