The game rules are based on the National Touch Football rules and adapted for the level of competition in the ATFL. Any rules not covered in this rulebook will be ruled as determined by the officials at the game.


- To be eligible for the draft, every player must register and pay in full for the upcoming season. Fees may be e-transferred to ajaxtouch@gmail.com

- The draft order will be determined by random draw by each team rep

- A team rep may select any player on the list, with the exception of quarterbacks and predetermined family & friend combinations

- Draft picks may not be traded

- Player trading may be conducted after the draft is over

- Team reps must contact their drafted players and inform them of the date, location, and start-time of their 1st game


Game times shall be no later than 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:00pm and 1:30pm.

We strongly recommend members of your team to read through the rule book before the season starts. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the refs.


Only registered and paid players assigned by the Executive Committee are eligible to play.

- Maximum 6 players on offense, 7 on defense
- There must be a minimum of 1 rusher on all scrimmage plays
- Maximum 6 players on kickoffs (both kicking and returning team)
- Minimum of 5 players or the game is forfeited. Teams can pick up players in the regular season to meet this minimum requirement.

Players must have played in 1 regular season game to be eligible for playoffs. Exceptions allowed for injured players returning and/or substitutes assigned by the Executive Committee.


League players from other teams may be added to a team with 4 players or less to avoid a forfeit. At least one player from the team must be present.

Permitted replacements will be determined based on the draft position of the absent players. Players drafted in the first 3 rounds may only replace other absent players drafted in the first 3 rounds. Players drafted after round 3 may fill in as a replacement for any other player to a maximum of 5 players for that team.


A forfeit will occur when a team fails to field at least 5 players, per standard rules above. A maximum grace period of 10m will be allowed in order to field the required number of players. The team that doesn’t have the required number of players by the scheduled game-time will incur an automatic 10-yard delay of game penalty on the opening kickoff as well as defaulting the coin flip decision to the prepared team. After 10m has passed, the game is forfeited.
The team winning a forfeit game shall be awarded the average plus-minus for that week; the losing team will be awarded 0 points.


Team game shirts are provided by the A.T.F.L., and will be made available at the field for the 1st game of the season. Game shirts become the property and responsibility of the players.
- Players must wear team game shirts (or a shirt of the same colour - ONLY if necessary)
- Each team must provide their football and tee
- Metal cleats or baseball spikes are not permitted
- We strongly recommend jewelry to be protected by tape or removed
- Only prescription eyewear is permitted


2 to 3 referees will be assigned to each game. Refs are expected to arrive at the designated field in time to set-up for the 1st game. Remember, this is a recreational league - players are expected to accept and respect the referees decision in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Any abuse of officials will not be tolerated and may result in a game ejection, suspension or league expulsion.

A combination of two objectionable or unsportsmanlike conduct infractions will automatically result in the ejection of the offending player.

A Head Referee will be assigned to each game and will be responsible for the following:
- Making any final decisions to settle disputes on game day
- Communicating any issues or major concerns to the Executive Committee
- Submitting the game statistics to the Executive Committee


A referee will conduct a coin toss before each game. The team that wins the toss may choose to DEFER, RECEIVE or CHOICE OF END:

(1) Defer: Gives the choice to the opposing team, postponing the winning teams decision until the second half.
(2) Receive/Choice of End: The choice is either to receive the opening kickoff or to choose the side of the field; the opposing team will either have the choice of what end to kickoff from or they will receive the ball.


The clock will run continuously from kickoff, except for:
- Change of ends to start the 2nd and 4th quarters.
- In the event of an injury.
- Team Timeout. Each team allowed 1 per half.
- Half-Time (3 Minutes).

1st and 3rd Quarter: The clock will start upon the opening kickoff and will run non-stop for 35 minutes.

2nd and 4th Quarter: A 5 minutes to 5 plays message will be announced. Upon expiration of the 5 Minutes a "5 plays remaining" message will be announced and counted down to the last play of the half or game. Accepted penalties will NOT count as a play in these scenarios.

Conversion plays and kickoffs will not count as a play.

Per the ref’s judgment, they can provide a countdown of 10-15 seconds should they feel the offense is taking too long in the huddle.


- This is a 1 (ONE) hand touch league

- Teams have 3 passing downs from behind the line of scrimmage to gain 20 Yards for a 1st down

- The QB will be afforded 4 steamboats to release the ball before the rusher encroaches (that is crossing the line of scrimmage folks). If the ball hits the ground post-snap or there is a lateral pass to another player in the backfield, the ref will stop counting the steamboats and the rusher can pursue

- The rusher MUST be at least 1 yard back on either side of the center ON EVERY PLAY

- The head referee will count the 4 steamboats (1 steamboat...2 steamboat...)

- If the rusher encroaches before the 4th steamboat, he will be penalized 5 yards. The offense may decline the penalty depending on the outcome of the play

- All passes must be thrown downfield from behind the line of scrimmage

- Backfield in motion by multiple players is legal

- Laterals are legal, but the ensuing pass MUST be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage

- A secured ball is a part of the player, and if touched, the player is touched

- If a player is touched while bobbling the ball, the player is considered touched at the point where initial contact with the ball was made and may not be advanced

- Should a player make a catch on the ground, they are able to get up and advance the ball. The ref may blow the whistle for safety reasons depending on players in the proximity

- After making a catch, the player is not allowed to roll to advance the ball forward. The line of scrimmage will be where the player was on the ground in that case

- A player may not reach the ball forward for extra yards (for a first down or a touchdown). The player will be penalized 5 yards and the player will be down based on their body position as opposed to where the ball is located

- When determining a 1st down or a touchdown, the location of the ball is a factor. The ball must be in the endzone or past the 1st down marker as determined by the referee. As a reminder, reaching the ball forward IS a penalty

- Laterals behind the line of scrimmage, after being touched by the intended receiver, where the ball hits the ground will remain LIVE and the offensive player can pick up the ball. The defense may touch the player or the ball to end the play (if the ball is loose)

- BLOCKING IS NOT ALLOWED BY JUDGMENT OF THE REFEREES - Players attempting to obstruct the pursuit of the ball carrier will be penalized 10 yards from the ball location at the point of the infraction

- Diving forward to gain additional yards is NOT PERMITTED and the ball will be placed at the point of the dive. The player will be penalized 15 yards at the end of the play

- If a player goes out-of-bounds and returns in-bounds during the same play, the player remains eligible IF said player is not the first to touch the ball (Exception: if said player catches a ball in an off-side position, then it will be ruled an incomplete pass)

- If any player makes intentional contact with the goal post, that team will be penalized 10 yards. Incidental or safety-related contact is acceptable

- If an eligible receiver catches a ball first touched by another offensive player in an off-side position, the play will be considered over at the point first touched

- If a pass hits ANY part of the goal posts, the play is dead

- Players are allowed to catch a ball passed the line of scrimmage and punt it. In turn, players are allowed to punt a missed field goal or punt out of the end zone

- If a player makes a deliberate attempt to use their foot or leg to receive a ball kicked to them, the play will be ruled dead where contact was made

- If a player intercepts a ball and the ball becomes dead in the end zone, the team will start at the 20 yard line


- Touchdown = 6 Points

- Passing Conversion = 2 Points - attempted from the 15 yard line
*** An intercepted ball may be returned to the other end zone. 2 points are awarded to the intercepting team

- Kicking Conversion = 1 Point - attempted from the 15 yard line

- Field Goal = 3 Points

- Missed Field Goal = 1 Point if the ball goes out-of-bounds in the end zone
*** The ball is brought out to the 35 Yard Line for the next offensive play

- Missed Field Goal = 1 Point if ball is DOWNED inside the end zone
*** The ball may be brought out to the 35 yard line OR to the point of the kick, whichever benefits the offense
*** A missed field goal that DOES NOT hit any part of the goal post may be returned or punted back out (this would be a change of possession)

- When a field goal is blocked, the ball can be caught by the defensive team in the air and advanced

- A blocked field goal where the ball lands on the ground is turned over where the ball lands

- A blocked field goal or punt that is caught by any offensive player behind the line of scrimmage will result in a live, scrimmage play situation where a forward pass can be made. The ball still cannot be advanced by hand across the line of scrimmage.

- A field goal that is deflected, where the ball passes the line of scrimmage, is treated as though the deflection did not occur. Yards still need to be given, the opposing team can advance the ball, etc.

- PUNT = 1 Point if the ball goes out-of-bounds in the end zone
*** The ball is brought out to the 35 Yard Line for the next offensive play
*** If the ball touches any part of the goal post while in-flight, the ball is considered dead and the line of scrimmage will be the 35 yard line
*** If the ball touches any part of the goal post after hitting the ground, the ball is considered dead and the line of scrimmage will be the 20 yard Line


- Kickoffs are initiated from the 45 yard line of the kicking team and are required to travel a minimum of 20 yards to be legal. If the 20 yards is not met, the receiving team has the option of taking the ball at the spot or can request a re-kick from 5 yards backs
- Giving yards is not required on kickoffs
- Onside kick offs are NOT ALLOWED
- The ball is dead if downed by the kicking team
- If the ball goes out-of-bounds in the field of play, the line of scrimmage will be at that point or 20 yards in advance of the kickoff spot (whichever benefits the receiving team)
- If the ball touches any part of the goal post while in-flight, the ball is considered dead and the line of scrimmage will be the 35 yard line
- If the ball touches any part of the goal post after hitting the ground, the ball is considered dead and the line of scrimmage will be the 20 yard Line.


- Punts & field goal attempts WILL be blown dead if a player attempting to catch the ball fumbles it forward. If the ball is fumbled laterally or behind the player THEN the ball can be advanced as is still considered live

- The kicking team players MUST give 5 yards for the receiving team to touch the ball. A penalty of 10 yards will be enforced if the yards are not given. A kicking team member who is inside the 5 yard area who is retreating/exiting and is not making a play on the ball before the ball is touched shall not be penalized

- The play is dead if a kicked ball is motionless for 3 seconds and the receiving team is not making a strong effort to retrieve it

- A kicking team member who touches the ball before the receiving team does (or makes an attempt) will be penalized 10 yards

- Fumbles & laterals occurring beyond the line of scrimmage will be blown dead as soon as they hit the ground and spotted where the ball hit the ground


- Objectionable Conduct: 15 yards. All players warned THEN ejection on 2nd player occurrence (Profanity; obscene or insulting language or gestures to ANY player or referee)

- Pass Interference / Screening: Spot foul. 1st and 20. The advantageous/disadvantageous player position and whether or not the ball was catchable can be determining factors in whether a call is made or not

- Defensive holding: 10 Yards from the line of scrimmage. Replay the down

- Offside: 5 Yards - Replay the down. The non-offending team may choose to decline

- Blocking: A 10 yard penalty from the ball location at the point of the infraction

- Unsportsmanlike: 15 yards from the end of the play. All players warned THEN ejection on 2nd TEAM occurrence

- Rough play: 25 yards from the end of the play and automatic ejection

- Roughing the passer: 15 yards from the end of the play. A player cannot make contact with a QB’s throwing arm during a throwing motion nor make excessive contact with the QB while attempting to tag them. All players warned THEN ejection on 2nd TEAM occurrence

- Illegal Forward Pass: Loss of down and the line of scrimmage will be at the point of occurrence. The two instances are an off-side lateral or a second forward pass attempt on a scrimmage play. The ball is not considered dead until it is caught or touches the ground.

- Illegal ball advancement: Any offensive player cannot advance the ball past the line of scrimmage by carrying the football. If this occurs the play is dead and is a loss of down.

- Reaching with the football: 5 yard penalty from the spot of the reach.

- Intentional Grounding (avoiding a loss): Loss of down. Ball is placed at the point where the quarterback released the ball

- Head-Tag / Strike: 15 yards from the end of the play. All players warned THEN ejection on 2nd penalized team occurrence. If the contact is incidental or initiated by the ball carrier then there will be no penalty

- Offensive Pass Interference: 10 yards back from the line of scrimmage and loss of down. In the event of offsetting penalties, the loss of down would be negated with the line of scrimmage being the point of reference for yardage applications

- Delay of game: 5 yard penalty

- Safety: 2pts awarded to the team without possession. Game restarts at the 35-yard line of the scoring team