Arena Football League 101
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
BALL IN THE STANDS – When a ball is thrown or bounces into the seats surrounding the playing field, the “lucky” fan that catches the ball keeps it.
DROP KICK – A drop-kicked FG is worth 4 points. A drop-kicked extra point is worth 2 points. Former Milwaukee Mustangs kicker Kenny Stucker is the last man to have connected on a two-point dropkick (1997).
FANS – More than 26 million fans have experienced an AFL game in the League’s 24-year history. Last year, in 2011, the AFL drew 1,338,544 fans in the regular season.
IRONMAN – Signifies participants playing both offense and defense.
“MAC” AND “JACK” LINEBACKERS – “Mac” may rush the QB straight on without stunting, twisting or drop-back coverage. “Jack” must stay within an imaginary box behind the line of scrimmage. Either LB may cover the fullback or tight end.
OFFENSIVE MOTION – Unlike stadium-played football, one offensive back may go into forward motion prior to the snap of the ball.
OVERTIME – Arena Football has a unique overtime rule. If a contest is tied after regulation, teams will play a 15-minute overtime. Each team will have one opportunity to score. If, after each team has had one chance to score, the game is tied, the first team to score is crowned the winner.
REBOUND NETS – Goal-side rebound nets extend outward from each upright. The nets are 30-feet wide, 32-feet high and extend to 40 feet above the playing surface. The bottom bars of the frames are positioned eight feet above the surface. The “scoring area” is nine-feet wide and 15-feet high. Nets are stretched taut so that a missed kick attempt will rebound off the net and back into the field of play. Once the ball caroms off the net, it’s live.
SIDELINE BARRIERS – Similar to the sideboards that surround a hockey rink, the sideline barrier encircles the playing surface. The barrier is made of a high-density foam pad, measuring four inches thick.
STUNTING OR TWISTING – When a defensive lineman is rushing the passer, there’s no “stunting” or “twisting”. In other words, linemen are required to power past offensive linemen.
TIGHT END - One offensive lineman must declare himself a tight end prior to the snap by simply raising his arm and “declaring” himself a tight end. The Mac (rush-eligible) linebacker must line-up on the opposite side of the center from the tight end.
TWO-WAY PLAYERS – One of the most “throwback” features of the Arena Football League is the fact that the game features eight-on-eight football, where at times, some players will play both offense and defense.
ASSIGNED – Player signs with team.
REASSIGNMENT – Player released from team.
RECALLABLE REASSIGNMENT – Team has 48 hours to activate player before he becomes a free agent.
OTHER LEAGUE EXEMPT – Player signs with CFL or NFL.