top of page

Information for Players

Members and prospective members can find information and links to information below.

health icon.png

Player Safety Game Day Reporting

Clubs can use the link opposite to record their game day player safety reports.

concussion icon.png

Concussion information and protocols

For more detailed information on concussion symptoms follow this link

Immediate visual indicators of concussion include:

  • Loss of consciousness or responsiveness

  • Lying motionless on the ground/slow to get up

  • A dazed, blank or vacant expression

  • Appearing unsteady on feet, balance problems or falling over

  • Grabbing or clutching of the head or

  • Impact seizure or convulsion

  • Visible injury to face or head (especially in combination with any other signs)

  • Loss of balance/co-ordination

Red Flags - What requires hospitalisation:

If no qualified medical professional is available, consider transporting by ambulance for urgent medical assessment.

  • Player complains of neck pain

  • Increasing confusion or irritability

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Seizure or convulsion

  • Double vision

  • Weakness or tingling/burning in arms or legs

  • Deteriorating conscious state

  • Severe or increasing headache

  • Unusual behavior change

Concussion protocols for return to play

The following steps can be found in the Protocols Summary document. The steps

that must be followed with the help of a medical professional are:

  1. Recognise the signs of a suspected or potential concussion.

  2. Remove from play if a concussion is suspected and if in doubt ensure you sit them out.

  3. Refer all suspected / potential concussion to a medical doctor for diagnosis and return to play guidelines.

  4. Rest & Recover - All players must have; full, physical & cognitive rest to ensure best recovery can take place if a concussion is diagnosed.

  5. Return to Play - Players should undertake a graduated return to training and play.

For more detailed information on the concussion protocols regarding the return to play

stages follow this link.  The return to play should be supervised by a medical professional

- ideally with specialised concussion training.

Player Safety Responsibilities


The 2023/2024 NZAFF Equipment Subsidy is available to all active NZAFF Clubs & Members.

The subsidy offers a 40% discount off the $NZ landed price for purchases of American Football Helmets, Shoulder Pads & Padded Pants up until the 31st July 2024. 


To take advantage of the subsidy, there are 2 ways you can get access to it.


  1. From NZAFF through your club.

    • NZAFF’s preferred supplier is currently Sports Unlimited.

    • Visit Sports Unlimited Website:

    • Provide your order details to your Club eg. Product Number, Item, Size, Color.

    • Your Club will make the order on your behalf via email to

    • When the equipment arrives, NZAFF invoices the club and delivery is on payment.


  1. Order direct from any supplier

    • You order, and pay, directly from any supplier, presumably in the USA but could be elsewhere, and get the item(s) shipped directly to you.

    • When it arrives, you provide proof of the order, delivery and payment to NZAFF and NZAFF will rebate 40% of the $NZ landed price of the item(s) directly into your bank account.

    • The club President or Chairperson must confirm that they have sighted the equipment.



  1. The NZAFF Equipment Subsidy is subject to annual review. NZAFF reserves the right to adjust/remove this offer at any time.

  2. The NZAFF Equipment Subsidy discount applies to purchases of American Football Helmets, Shoulder Pads & Padded Pants only. Please note the subsidy only applies to standard equipment, not special editions or customized items.

  3. The NZAFF Equipment Subsidy is designed to support clubs & players to access quality safety equipment at an affordable price. Any equipment purchased through the subsidy, should not be done with intent to resell for a profit.

If you have questions or want more information,please contact Russell McConnochie, NZAFF GM |


Requests for Transfers

In general requests for a transfer from one club to another is initiated by the player who fills out the transfer request form which will then be sent to the clubs, and region, concerned.

The approval must be given by:
• The existing club attesting that the member is of good standing with the club.
• The new Club in that they are prepared to accept the member.
• The Regional Body (if applicable) in that the member is of good standing with the Regional Body.
• The National Federation in that the member is of good standing.

Requests for a Loan

Loans require the same approvals as a transfer but are for a fixed time period and are generally for an event after which the player returns to their club.


Currently the only national teams program is for Flag Football for the men and the women.  The National Flag Football teams are call the Mako. There will be a tackle Football program developed but this will some time in the future. The National Football team is called the SteelBlacks.

Mako Men's Flag Football

The current campaign is aimed at competing at the 2024 Flag World Championship to be held in Finland in 2024.  Any players interested in being part of the team should watch the news items for opportunities to register interest in being part of the program.

Head Coach - Shiraz Soysa;

Manager - Brendan McGurk;

Mako sponsors and supporters

Women's Flag Football

2022 is the first year that a Mako women' s campaign has been formed.  Like the men the aim is the World Championship in Finland in 2024.   Any Players interested in being part of the team should watch the news items for opportunities to register interest in being part of the campaign.

Head Coach - Ethan Ward;

Manager - Alex Hatwell;

Team Leader - Shernice Henry;


The the national 11 man tackle football team is the SteelBlacks.  The last game they played was against an American Samoan team in 2016. Since then there has not been a lot of activity for the national tackle team but this may change in the future.

National Teams Process

NZ American Football teams, like many other amateur sports in NZ, require the players to pay their own way and contribute to the managements travel costs.

NZAFF may provide some funding but do not have the resources to fully fund national teams.  The commitment involved in participating in a national team process requires players to make time available and to plan their financial resources.

A more detailed explanation can be found in this document - The Process for a National Team Campaign here.


Pathways refer to opportunities for players to go overseas and play and are generally for players that will not qualify for college scholarships.  There are various opportunities but all require that the player has experience playing Football and has shown the desire and determination to excel at their chosen position.

The information below is a guide and is not an exhaustive list of what is available.  Often the opportunities arise through club or personal contacts

Development Camps

From time to time NZAFF will run camps for players that want to learn and develop further skills in the game.  Some of these camps will be by registration and others will be by invitation and lead to further opportunities with Player Pathway camps.  To be aware of these 's opportunities players should watch the news and "What's On" this site and follow NZAFF on social media.


A combine is a series of tests and measurements for players.  These may be run as part of a development camp or separately.  Players who want to pursue pathway opportunities should develop their skills for the combine so that they present their best efforts.  The combine exercises including the 5-10-5 shuttle run, the 40 yard sprint and the 3 one drill are well covered on YouTube.  Do not turn up and expect to do well - these take practice and preparation.

International Player Pathways

The International Player Pathways (IPP) is a program that looks for players around the world that could enter the NFL.  You would need to be an exceptional athlete to get through the selection pathway but there have been several NZ players that have done well.  The opportunities are not just with the NFL.  There is also interest in the program from the European Football League (EFL) and The Canadian Football League ( CFL).

  • What do aspirants need to do?
    Solidify your academic foundation first. The better your academics are, the more options available to you. This means completing year 13 and trying to get the best marks you can. Next, make sure you’re getting footage of your games and/or your drills and training. Coaches need to see you in action, and this is the only way for them to do that at this time. You need to be in peak physical condition for coaches to truly evaluate your potential. Find out what your family can afford to help you. The chances of having all of your expenses paid by a university are almost not existent. There will need to be some contribution from you and your family financially. Find someone who can support you through the process. A person who went to the States on scholarship is NOT good enough. You need people who have coached, worked in the sport administration world, and have behind the scenes knowledge of the US admissions process for all university sport divisions. They also need to have a direct line to the coaches who will be looking to recruit you.
  • Where can I get additional help with the recruiting process?
    You can contact Jeremy Boyce at with questions. He is a former university gridiron player who has worked as a coach, an administrator, and a recruiter in the US university sport system for over a decade. Now living in NZ, he is a local resource for students wanting to pursue this path.
  • What is the process?
    A knowledgeable company will help you by doing an initial evaluation to determine your ability to play your sport in the US, the strength of your academic profile, and the financial support you would have available to support you. All of this should be done free of charge. Once you’ve made it past the initial evaluation and decided to utilise their services, they will be able to contact coaches directly to determine their interest in recruiting you. The coaches that are interested will be connected with you by the company and the company will be there to help guide you through those conversations and the recruiting process. They should be there supporting you, at a minimum, until you’ve actually decided which university you’d like to attend and signed with that institution.
  • What shouldn’t I do?
    Do not attempt to navigate it on your own. Work with someone who knows what they are doing and understands this process thoroughly. It is not always very straightforward so having someone to help you with the academic, financial, and athletic components will be extremely helpful. There are many pitfalls in this process that can cause you to lose a great opportunity. Do not leave high school after Year 12. To meet the academic requirements for most universities, you will need to do well in your course through Year 13. Coaches are not going to recruit you if they know you do not meet the academic requirements for entry into their university. Do not go to a US university just to play sport. Coaches will not want you. This is an educational opportunity and your commitment to be a successful student will need to be strong as the on to be a great athlete. You’ll work harder as a student and as an athlete than you ever have. You have to want that and go in with the right mindset! Do not let social media ruin an opportunity. Once you’re on a coach’s radar, they will go through your social media accounts to see what type of person you are. Being a great athlete is not just about ability, but it’s also about team chemistry. Obscene, offensive, and/or divisive content on a social media page has caused many student athletes to lose their scholarships. Don’t let this happen to you.
  • 3. Need-based Aid
    These monies are provided based on the financial ability of a student’s family. Money from the US government is not provided to non-US citizens, but each university can decide how much need-based funding they would like to provide international students. To be eligible for this, a student’s family will need to complete the ISFAA or international CSS Profile. These forms will help the university determine what your family can reasonably contribute to your educational costs and then the university must decide if they will cover the rest. The blunt truth is, for most students, the more your family is able to contribute, the higher the likelihood the university will cover the remainder of your costs.
  • What are scholarships?
    A better question to ask would be “What is financial aid?” The reason being is there are multiple sources of funding at a university’s disposal to support student athletes attending their universities. There are three different types: Athletic scholarships, Merit/academic scholarships, and Need-based aid.
  • What does NZAFF do?
    NZAFF organises national competitions and national teams. We assist clubs and regions wherever we can to be effective and efficient. NZAFF can organise events where players can be assessed using standard exercises and measurements (combines). The measurements can be used by players to help applications for scholarships. It is not NZAFF's job to prepare players for scholarships. Nor is it NZAFF's responsibility to make approaches to colleges on behalf of players. As an organisation NZAFF do not have the knowledge nor the contacts to be effective in this area.
  • 1. Athletic Scholarship
    This is what most athletes think about when they hear the term scholarship. Only Division I and Division II schools provide these. It is money provided to a student athlete to attend a university based on their athletic ability and talent in a particular sport. These are very rare, highly competitive, and the lowest percentage of aid provided to student athletes. An athletic scholarship can range from $500 usd to cover books each semester to $60,000+ usd per year to cover tuition, housing, and meals. They are typically provided on a one-year basis and can be taken away for a variety of reasons.
  • Who gets them?
    Any student who has graduated from high school is eligible for university admission and financial aid. But just because you’re eligible, doesn’t mean you’ll get it. Those students who have strong academic profiles (typically having completed year 13) are much more likely to receive the necessary aid to attend an US university. Athletic ability and family resources will also influence this heavily. You do not need to be a professional level athlete. Depending on the sport, there are various universities who can support students in their desire to gain a higher education while continuing their sport across the different levels.
  • 2. Merit/ Academic Scholarship
    This is money provided to a student based on their academic performance in high school. Much more academic money is provided to student athletes than athletic scholarships. These can range widely from institution to institution and by a student’s academic profile. Depending on the university and each student’s academic profile, these scholarships will range from $10,000 to $50,000+ per year. They renew each year for four years as long as the predetermined academic grade point averages are met.

Below you will find links to all the codes of conduct for all NZAFF members, players, coaches, administrators (managers), officials and parents.


When Members register they agree to abide by the appropriate code of conduct for their role or roles. It is important to have these so that we are all protected from the kind of behavior that could bring the sport into disrepute.

bottom of page