What is Robotic Football

Rules and Scoring

Robotic Football is very similar to regular American football, with robots filling in for standard positions such as center, quarterback, lineman, wide receivers, and running back. Each team is allowed up to eight robots on the field at once. It is common for the offense to have a center, two offensive linemen, three wide receivers, the quarterback, and a running back. On defense, the quarterback is usually subbed out for another running back (acting as safeties), and the offensive line is replaced with the defensive line. More details regarding robot design for each role will be explored in another section.

The playing field is 90 feet by 46 feet long, though 94x46 is also acceptable if the game is played on an NCAA basketball court. The end zones extend 12 feet from both ends of the field, and the rest of the length of the field is divided into three equally spaced sections. The offensive team has four downs to reach the next section, which will then reward them with a first down.

While the player positions and the field advancement mechanic is similar to traditional American football, some of the scoring mechanisms are different. Touchdowns are still worth 6 points, successful post-touchdown kicks are worth 1, two-point conversions are worth 2, and field goals are worth 3. Currently, completed passes are awarded points relative to the distance the ball was thrown, due to the difficulty of completing passes. The official rules also state that a pass is caught/intercepted when any part of a player contacts the ball before the ball touches the ground. If that Player retains possession of the ball, the Player can advance the ball. The point reward system is listed in the table provided below.

Scoring Actions Points
Touchdown 6
PAT (Point After Touchdown) (kick) 1
PAT (run or pass) 2
Field Goal 3
Long Pass (10+ feet)* 4 (6 if caught)
Short Pass (0-10 feet)* 3 (4 if caught)
Safety 2

(*) Passes are measured from the line of scrimmage, any pass caught behind the line of scrimmage is awarded no points. No more than 7 points can be awarded from passing on each possession.


There are two primary events that take place each year for robotic football clubs. The first is the Intercollegiate Robot Football Combine, which is an event tailored to demonstrating the abilities of the teams' robots. Robots compete in various competitions such as a QB target practice, weight pushing, 40 yard dashes, obstacle course races, and kicker competition. Schools compete in these events, and are rated in each category. Point totals are then summed together and the winning school of the combine is usually awarded a monetary prize. The second multi-school event is the Robotic Football Playoffs, where teams gather to compete for the Brian Hederman Memorial Trophy.


Check out this recent video for an exciting look into what Robot Football is all about!