What is the Pacific Northwest Football League?

The Pacific Northwest Football League, or PNFL, is an open registration full contact football league for adults. Full contact means tackle football – no flags or two hand touch. Anyone age 18 and over is welcome to sign up and play. Games are on regulation fields, full 11 on 11, and 12 minute quarters.

What exactly does ‘open registration’ mean?

Open registration means anyone is allowed to sign up and play – no tryouts, practices, or coaches required. This feature is what makes the PNFL different from semi-pro football, which requires weekly practices, a coaching staff calling the shots, frequent traveling for games, and in some cases tryouts just to make the team. The registration process in the PNFL will operate just as it does with any other recreational sports league in the area in that anyone, regardless of experience or skill level, can sign up and play.

How much does it cost?

The fee varies each season, but early payers for the upcoming Winter 2018 season will only owe $140 for the player registration fee. This fee includes all costs associated with the league – no additional player card required or other hidden fees on top of the registration fee. It will be just one flat fee each season for each player.

Do I need to buy my own pads?

Not necessarily. If needed, the league will do its best to provide players with helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys, pants, belts, and leg pads. However, inventory is limited so we can't guarantee any particular size or piece of equipment requested. The only piece of equipment players are required to provide on their own is a mouth guard (less than $5) and shoes or cleats (no metal spikes). For players providing their own gear, helmets and facemasks don't need to match your team's league provided equipment - they can be any color you want.

When does registration open up?

Registration for the winter session officially opened on September 13th, 2017, and it will remain open until January 13th, 2018.

How does registration work? Do we sign up as a team and pay a team fee? Do we sign up as individuals?

Registration will occur through the league website, by clicking on the 'REGISTER' page on the left navigation bar. Payment is done on an individual basis (rather than paying a team fee), but players have the option of either signing up for a particular team, or as a free agent. If signing up for a particular team, you just need to select your desired team from the dropdown menu of available teams in the registration form. Players who sign up as free agents will be placed on a team toward the end of the registration process which best suits their skill level, desired positions, and location.

What kinds of features are included with the league?

Aside from providing the basics – equipment, uniforms, fields, referees, etc. – the league will also provide a number of extra features, at no extra cost. These features include team and player stats, player bios, box scores, full game videos available on the league’s YouTube site, weekly and season awards, all league teams, and more.

Where will the games be played?

Games will be played throughout the Portland metropolitan area, including Vancouver, Hillsboro, Gresham, etc., as well as the Eugene metropolitan area. And all games will be played on regulation sized football fields at local schools and parks.

What are the rules?

The PNFL will mostly follow standard high school rules recognized in Washington and Oregon, but with a few exceptions. Some notable rules to mention are 12 minute quarters, no two minute warning, running clock for first downs and when a player runs out of bounds (except in the last two minutes of a half), 40 second clock between plays, and less than strict rules on celebrating after touchdowns and big plays (coordinated team dances are encouraged). The league will, however, be strict on any sort of dangerous play or misconduct from any player or team. See the 'Rules' section on the left navigation bar for more info.

How long are the seasons?

The season will consist of six regular season games for each team, plus a four team playoff at season's end between the top four teams. Thus, each team is guaranteed at least six games, with the potential to play as many as eight for those who reach the championship game.

How many seasons will there be each year?

There will be two seasons each year - a winter season, and a summer season - with at least a three month break between each season so players have time to recover before the following season begins (should they decide to play again).

I’ve never played football before. Can I still play?

Absolutely! The beauty of an open registration league is that anyone can play, regardless of experience. Players with no football experience will be responsible for understanding the rules, but the league will do its best to accommodate anyone with limited experience, and put them in the best situation that allows for an enjoyable football experience.

Can I bring my own gear?

Yes, you may provide your own gear if you already have it, so long as it is safe to use. Safety is a top priority for the league, and allowing players to provide unsafe equipment could compromise the health and well being of its players.

Can we use ‘drop in’ players?

No, no fill in or ‘drop in’ players may play. Only players which have been officially registered are allowed to play. Ineligible players are strictly prohibited, and using an ineligible player will result in an automatic forfeit for that team.

What about coaches?

If your team wants coaches, then by all means, have coaches! The goal of the league is to provide the players with all of the power and freedom. That means, as with other adult recreational leagues, coaches are not required. Whether you want nine coaches on the sideline or none, it’s entirely up to the players. Registered players may coach themselves as player-coaches, or may bring in anyone they want to coach them up, call plays from the sideline, etc. The choice is yours!

How many teams will be in the league?

That depends entirely on how many teams registered. For the upcoming winter season we are hoping to have between six and eight teams.

Do you charge admission to watch your games?

Nope! Our goal is to be an affordable football option to everyone in our community, not just the players. That means admission will not be charged at any games, so family, friends, and community members can come support their favorite players and teams for free!

I signed up, but I'm not sure I'll be able to play. Is there any sort of refund policy?

Absolutely! For any player registered, if for some reason you are not able to play we will issue you a full refund anytime prior to the day the first games begin. However, once games begin no refunds will be issued. That means, if you play in the first week but for some reason are unable to play again after that, you will not be entitled to a refund or a prorated fee.