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Football Rules

SportSpectator guides were created to fill the educational needs of the novice fan. Unlike a rulebook, they are clear and concise; taking only about 10-minutes to read. You can order our guides by clicking:
SportSpectator Football Fan’s Guide

If you are looking for the official rules to football, you can find links to good resources below.

Organization Level Description Link
NFL Pro The National Football Leauge (NFL) governs professional football. The rulebook is not available online, but you may purchase it through Amazon by clicking the link to the right.
NCAA College College football is governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Its rule book is available online for free. Online
NFHS High School The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is the national governing body of high school sports. Its rule books are not offered online, but can be purchased from the website for $6.75. Purchase
AFL Pro The Arena Football League (AFL) is a professional indoor football game with different rules than the NFL.


CFL Pro The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the professional football league in Canada. Its members play with slightly different rules. Online
Pop Warner Youth The online version for this youth football league requires a password that you have to request from a league administrator. Online
TBD Youth Other youth rule links will be available soon.  

If you are trying to learn the basics of football, we recommend the following page instead of a rulebook:
Tips for the New Football Fan

Football books relating to football rules on
Football for Dummies
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Football
Football Made Simple: A Spectator's Guide
Snot Bubbles! A Football Primer for Moms, Wives, and Significant Others
Get Your Own Damn Beer
The Chicks’ Guide to Football

You may also be interested in our lists of the following:
Best Football Movies List
Best Football Books List

We also have rules links to the following sports:
Baseball Rules
Basketball Rules
Field Hockey Rules
Football Rules
Golf Rules
Men's Lacrosse Rules
Women's Lacrosse Rules
Soccer Rules
Softball Rules
Swimming and Diving Rules
Tennis Rules
Track and Field Rules
Volleyball Rules
Water Polo Rules
Wrestling Rules