At the Emirates American Football League, we strive to provide a fun and challenging environment where our athletes can have an authentic American Football experience, in all aspects. This includes practices, games days, preparation sessions, team activities, and more.

Football is an intense sport. That is part of the appeal.

With that intensity comes responsibility to:

  • ourselves
  • our family
  • our teammates
  • our coaches
  • the administrators
  • the medical staff
  • the fans
  • the officials
  • facility staff
  • and, of course, the League and its Teams


While participating in an EAFL event, it is expected that all coaches, players, parents and spectators abide by the following Code of Conduct:

  • Follow all rules as indicated in the Rulebooks:
    EAFL Flag Football Rulebook
    NFHS Tackle Football Rulebook
    EAFL Tackle Football Format and Adjustments Summary
    USA Football Rookie Tackle Rulebook – 6-Man
    USA Football Rookie Tackle Rulebook – 8-Man
  • Coaches are responsible for the behavior of athletes and parents – if parents/spectators are behaving poorly, the team itself risks being penalized
  • Crowd support is encouraged. However, inappropriate, rude or confrontational behavior by spectators may lead to disqualification of your team from the game, tournament and/or future events
  • Respect the calls of the referees. Coaches may always seek clarification from the Officials if a call or a rule is unclear. Coaches are also learning!
  • Once any dispute or challenge has been settled and play resumes, the situation will not be revisited. If a dispute occurs on the last play of the game, this includes the Official score, this must be settled prior to leaving the field.
  • Refrain from harassing, bullying or engaging in negative behavior towards other athletes, coaches, spectators and/or staff
  • Honor the game by displaying sportsmanship and respecting the rules and officials, staff, teammates, and opponents
  • Resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence. Fighting will NOT be tolerated.
  • Refrain from the use of profanity
  • No possession of alcohol, drugs or weapons of any kind
  • If there are any concerns or issues that arise, please communicate respectfully and calmly with the tournament director of the event
  • Inform staff of any injury or ailment that may affect the safety of the athlete, and refrain from allowing an injured/ill athlete to participant in the event
  • Use social media responsibly and reflect good sportsmanship. Never use it for negative commentary regarding staff, players and/or coaches or to harass/bully others.
  • The Event Staff and Officials reserve the right to interrupt any game which is not operating within the realm of good sportsmanship and fair play.


Football, as we know it, is changing. The way the game used to be taught and played is different from what’s happening today. Player protection and injury prevention are front and center, causing a major culture shift within the sport. Leagues across all levels are adopting new technology, regimes and regulations in an effort to reduce the risk of injury, as researchers continue to focus on the impact of sustained contact in youth sports.

To help parents better understand what’s changed, we’ve highlighted the key developments in football safety awareness.  

Limiting Contact in PracticeIn 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released a study that found concussions are more likely to occur during a tackle football practice rather than a game, with the reason being that there are simply more practices than games. So, to better protect players, leagues across the country began to decrease the amount of person-to-person contact that occurred during practice.One study in particular followed a group of high school football players within the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. After new rules and restrictions were passed defining and limiting the amount of contact allowed in practice, the rate of sports-related concussions decreased by 57 percent. 
New Rule ChangesTo eliminate potentially risky behavior that could lead to injuries, the NFL, the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS) and athletic associations alike have changed several football rules, banning certain drills and enforcing new penalties. For example, full-contact drills, such as the Oklahoma drill, blindside blocks, pop-up kicks, clipping, and targeting are no longer allowed. Additionally, many schools have implemented their own safety precautions by limiting the amount of players on the field and in pads during practice, as well as eliminating contact in two-a-day practices. Coaches and players also receive mandatory training in concussion recognition and management to increase football safety awareness. In fact, concussion reoccurrences across 20 different high school sports have declined over the last decade, likely as a result of better protocols in concussion management. 
Teaching Proper Technique Across all levels of football, coaches are teaching a new way to tackle. Certain coaches used to teach players to put their heads in front of the ball-carrier when making a tackle, essentially using their head as an extra limb to prevent their opponents from moving forward.Today, coaches are employing new strategies that reduce the risk of head injuries, even at the professional level. For example, the Seattle Seahawks teach “Hawk tackling,” which is a rugby-style method that focuses on using your shoulder for leverage while hitting the ball-carrier’s thighs. And in youth football, players learn to wrap and roll instead of going in head first. Even more, the NFL Way to Play is an educational initiative designed to demonstrate proper technique, explain fundamental concepts and share best practices. Football safety efforts are also being implemented in flag leagues where to successfully remove their opponent’s flags, players must square up, bend their knees and align their head exactly as they would in tackle football.As we continue to learn from research—some studies have found adverse mental health and cognitive functions associated with tackle football, while others haven’t—parents and guardians should feel empowered to promote conversations around football safety. Parents should inquire about their league’s strategies in preventing injuries.  Understanding the ways in which a program is trying to protect its players, coupled with reading the emerging research, can help parents and guardians make informed decisions.