NGL Announces New Rule Changes For 2020

by NGL Personnel

ATLANTA, GA--  The National Gridiron League (NGL) made its rule changes for the 2020 season official on Wednesday.

There are four categories of rules going into effect: the implementation of sidelines, roster limits, adjustments to the playing surfaces for player safety, and removal of coach's ability to challenge a play. All but one of these changes -- the one addressing coach's challenges -- had not been publicly reported prior to Wednesday, but now they are all locked in.

Here's a breakdown of each rule change.


This is the big one that will grab the headlines. 

All playing fields, both indoor and outdoor, are required to have a 48" sideline barrier surrounding the playing surface. The only exception teams will granted are through a league written exemption of the rule. 

The sideline barrier will differ from traditional indoor and arena football barrier mechanisms, as traditional indoor and arena football use sideline barrier walls or dasher boards.

The main effect of this rule will improve the safety of game officials, as fan interference with sideline games officials will be eliminated. 

An additional and just as beneficial effect of this rule will be on player safety; barrier walls or dasher boards have been synonymous with the sport of indoor and arena football for thirty-five plus years. Fortunately, advancements in medical health have allowed sports leagues to make workplace improvements in player safety. 

The rule could also impact and improve spectator safety as many indoor and arena football spectators have suffered contusions and lacerations from players crossing the barrier walls.  

The sideline barrier minimum rule goes into effect immediately.


There are two parts to the roster limits rule change:

21-active man rosters -- Teams' active rosters are being increased from 20 to 21 players for the regular season and during the postseason competition. Teams are required to carry a minimum of 2 active quarterbacks.

Smaller overall rosters -- NGL is adjusting the size of team rosters from 28 to 24 players, including a max of 1 kicker.

Previously, teams would be allowed to carry 28 players on the overall roster, with eight players designated inactive. 


All teams are required to have an adequate and safe playing surface with preference being giving to Field-turf ahead of AstroTurf.

The friction between shoes and surfaces is higher on AstroTurf than on Field-turf surfaces, which can affect rates of ankle and knee injuries. Ankle, knee, and head injuries can be exacerbated on AstroTurf, which is a harder surface than Field-turf.


Coach's will not have the opportunity to decide to challenge a plays. As the implementation of the Coach's Challenge has been eliminated to prevent extended dead-ball periods and the duration of games.

For the latest news and information, continue to visit