Friday Night Legends
Rule Book


Welcome to the magic of Friday Night Lights! You are the coach and you make the decisions that will determine if you win or lose the big game! Do you kick the field goal or go for it on 4th and short? Do you blitz to shut down the passing game? Do you take the timeout? It’s all up to you!!

Friday Night Legends (FNL) is a high school football replay/simulation board game. Team sheets have been prepared for teams using the actual statistics for that team and year. Each sheet reflects their real life performance.


  • One set of Play Cards – 6 offense and 6 defense cards
  • Rule Book
  • X-Sheets – charts containing special teams and other situational plays
  • Playing Field
  • Football Marker
  • Yards-to-go marker
  • 24 sided game dice (d24), 20 sided game dice (d20) and 12 sided game dice (d12)
  • Score Pad
  • Play Checkoff Sheet
  • Team sheets – statistically accurate representations of that team’s real playing style and results. Each standard game box comes with 10 Team Sheets. To order additional teams, go to


The Football Marker is used to locate the current line of scrimmage or position of the ball. The yards-to-go marker indicates the yard line needed for the next first down. The score, quarter, time remaining, down, and timeouts are recorded on the Score Pad.

There are 12 minutes in a quarter in high school play. After each play, the proper number of timing squares are blacked out on the scorepad. Each box equals 10 seconds, and each set of boxes equals one minute. The blank boxes then show the time remaining at the start of the next play.

Each team receives 3 timeouts per half. These can be called after a play to reduce the duration of that play to 10 seconds. There are no two minute warnings in high school football. Each team has only a set number of each play and when used, they are marked off the Play Checkoff Sheet


These charts contain special teams plays and any other special plays like turnovers. The Special Charts are as listed:

    • Big Plays OFF & DEF
    • Penalties
    • Fumbles/Interceptions
    • Sacks/Tackles For Loss (TFL)
    • Extra Points & Field Goals
    • Kickoffs/Punts
  • Special Plays


Each team sheet has the number of coaching points a team has. Each coach can spend up to that number of points for the game. They are not required to use any if they do not want to. The Home team (if applicable) gets +2 added to their Coaching Points total.


  • 1 point – add or deduct 10 seconds on the clock (may be done only once per play – offense has the first option to use)*
  • 2 points  – add/subtract 1 from your roll on a kicking play 
  • 3 points – ignore penalty against your team
  • 5 points – add or subtract 1 yard from a play (may be done only once per play – offense has the first option to use)*

* If defense chooses to spend these points, offense can overrule and use their points instead. If so, defense points are not spent.


The easiest way to learn how to play is to play the game. There will be situations that come up that you may be unsure of. When in doubt, us the high school rules. Another source of good information and answers about playing FNL is our Facebook Group

The first major decision is to pick which team you want to coach. Find that team’s sheet and put on your coaching headset!

Next find out how many of each rushing play and passing play that team has and mark through the plays on the Play Checkoff Sheet that are not needed. There will be more rushing plays if the team ran the ball a lot. The same for passing. To find out how many of each play each team has just look at the team chart. If there are 15 plays listed of a particular play then mark through the plays higher than 15. A quick glance at the upper left hand corner of the offensive team sheet will show the number of running and passing plays.

Example: Your team page shows that your team has 16 plays of each running play and 8 of each passing play. Your Play Checkoff Sheet consist of 24 of each play. (There are some teams that will only have 3 runs or passes in their deck). Mark though the run plays that have the #’s 17-24 and through the pass plays that have #’s 9-24. The plays marked off are not available on that team sheet so will not be used during the game.

There are 24 potential plays of each of the 6 offensive and defensive sets. So Inside Run can be run 16 times in the example above.  Once you have run every play for that set, then you cannot run that set anymore for the game.


There are 6 different offensive plays (3 passes and 3 runs)  – The offensive coach will use these to select which play to run.

  • RUNS
      • Inside Run
      • Outside Run
      • Draw
      • Roll Out
      • Drop Back
      • Screen


There are 6 different defensive plays (3 passes and 3 runs)  – The defensive coach will use these to select which play to run.

  • RUNS
      • Run Inside
      • Run Outside
      • Run Blitz
      • Zone
      • Man
      • Pass Blitz


Yes! Here is a chart that shows the strength and weaknesses of each play type.

Offensive Plays

Does Not Work Well Against

Works Well Against  

Average Against

Run Inside Run Inside Passing Defenses Run Outside and Run Blitz
Run Outside Run Outside Passing Defenses Run Inside and Run Blitz
Draw Run Blitz Passing Defenses Run Inside and Outside
Drop Back Blitz Running Defenses Zone & Man
Roll Out Zone Running Defenses Blitz & Man
Screen Man Running Defenses Blitz & Zone


Each player rolls the 20 sided dice. The highest total has the choice of receiving, kicking off or deferring their decision to the second half. Option: Alternatively, the two can choose to flip a coin, arm wrestle, tractor pull, or roshambo if they would rather do that.


Kicking team places the ball on its 40 yard line, rolls the dice, and reads the kick yardage from the Kickoff column on X-Sheet 3. The number there is where the receiving team catches the ball. The receiving team now rolls the dice and reads the kickoff return yardage from the Kickoff Return column on the X-Sheet 3. That coach then moves the ball this distance back up-field.


To execute an onside kick, the kicking team rolls a d20 and moves the ball d20+5 yards.

Example: If the kicking team rolls a 7, the ball is moved 7+5=12 yards from their 40 (opponent’s 48 yard line) The kicking team then rolls d20 again and consults the Onside Kick chart on X-Sheet 3 to determine who recovers the ball)

Note: If the ball travels less than 10 yards, the kicking team receives a 5 yard penalty and must kick again – either onside again or regular.

There are no returns on an onside kick. The recovering team has possession at the yard line determined by the d20+5 roll from kicking spot.


Watch How to play video

Each player (coach) secretly chooses an offensive play or defensive play as appropriate. When both coaches are ready, they both lay their play cards down so the other coach can see what was played. The offensive coach rolls a d24 to determine which play result to use and a d20 to check if there is a penalty out of bounds play or something special happened. The defensive coach will roll a d12 to determine which defensive play to use. Each coach will find the result of the play on their team sheet and compare to find out what happened on that play.

The d24 roll shows which offensive play is used. (Example: if the coach choose Inside Run, and the roll is a 13, they look at the Inside Run 13 on their team chart.) and then check the column of the defense that was played. The result of that cell is how the offense did that play. If the die roll results in a play that has already been used or the team doesn’t have a play that matches that number, the next play oof that type is used starting at the top of the teams chart.

If there are no more plays of that type available, the result is the lowest ranked of the same type of play – rushing play or passing play.

The d12 roll shows which defensive play is used. (Example: If the coach chose Run Blitz and the roll is a 8, the result is Run Blitz 8 on their team chart.) and then check the column of the offense that was played. The result of that cell is how the defense did that play.  If the die roll results in a play that has already been used or the team doesn’t have a play that matches that number, the next play of that type is used starting at the top of the teams chart.

If there are no more plays of that type available, the result is the lowest ranked of the same type of play – rush defense or pass defense.

The d20 roll will check for penalties, out of bounds or special plays. The results of this roll can be found on the game board under PENALTY ROLL.

Each coach will then mark that play # off their checkoff sheet. In the example above where the offensive coach was running Inside Run 13, after running that play, they would mark off Inside Run 13 from the checkoff sheet. They will not be able to use that play again for the rest of the game. (See example below)


The offensive coach will find the column of the defense that the other coach played. The defensive coach will find the column of the offense that the other coach played.

Example Play: The Offensive Coach played the Run Inside-13 card and the Defensive Coach played the Run Outside-9 defense. The Offensive Coach looks at his offensive charts and finds Inside Run-13 and finds the number in the column for Run Outside defense. The #’s on the card (like Inside Run-13 and Run Inside-9) are only used by the coaches that played them.


If both results from the cards are #’s then the play outcome is determined by adding the two results together. For example, the Offensive Coach had a 9 in his column and the Defensive Coach had a -3 in his column then the play would be (9 minus 3 yards) for a 6 yard gain. On passing plays, if the outcome is a negative number then it is an incomplete pass.

If INC (Incomplete Pass) or BIG PLAY shows up in the columns then Coaches can then ignore the other coach’s results. See below for all the override charts.

After each play, move the ball the proper number of yards and move the yards to go marker if a first down is awarded. Check the Timing Chart, mark off the time required for the play in the scorepad boxes and update the down marker.


30 seconds – Running plays and completed passes that are not first downs

20 seconds – Fumbles recovered by offensive team, sacks and running plays and completed passes    that result in a first down

20 seconds – Penalty plays whether accepted or not

10 seconds – Kicks, Incomplete passes, out of bounds plays, turnovers and scoring plays

0 seconds – Extra Points

Once everything has been settled, each coach puts the play card they used back in their hand.


When you switch from Offense to Defense, swap the dice and the offense/defense cards.


Some play results may come up at Big Play (OFF) or Big Play (DEF) You can ignore any of the other results on the cards if these come up. The only exception would be in the case both the offensive and defensive cards come up with Big Play (OFF) or Big Play (DEF)

Big Play (OFF) is a big play for the offense

Big Play (DEF) is a big play for the defense

These results will have things like big gains, turnovers, sacks and tackle for loss on them.

The first thing to do is to determine what the play is. The offensive coach rolls for an Big Play (OFF) result and the defensive coach rolls for an Big Play (DEF) result. He rolls the 20 sided dice and consults the appropriate chart on X-Sheet 2 to determine what happens.

Big Gain – Will be a result of something like (5 yards + d20). This means you roll the 20 sided dice and add that to 5 for your result.

Touchdown – Offense scores no matter where they are on the field.

Fumble/INT – There was a fumble or interception.

For Fumbles: Check the fumble recovery chart and roll the dice. If the ball is recovered by the offense, check the FUM REC (O) table to see where the ball was recovered. If the ball is recovered by the defense, check the FUM REC (O) to see where the ball was fumbled and then check the FUM RET (D) table and see how far the ball was returned.

For Interceptions: Check the INT (thrown) table to see how far downfield the pass was thrown then check the INT RET table to see how far the interception was returned.

Sacks – Check the Sack table to see how many yards were lost.

Tackle for loss (TFL) – Check the TFL table to see how many yards were lost.

FUM/INT RET TD – The fumble was either recovered by the defense and was returned for a touchdown (running play) or intercepted by the defense and returned for a touchdown.


Certain results on the cards override all others.

  • Big Plays override everything but another Big Play. They will override an opponent’s result of any # or an INC
  • INC – overrides everything but a Big Play. They will override an opponent’s result of any #
  • (2) Big Play (OFF) – Roll twice and Combine the 2 results
  • (2) Big Play (DEF) – Roll twice and Combine the 2 results with exceptions – Use FUM instead of INT for the 2nd DEF(X)
  • Big Play (OFF & DEF) –  Roll OFF result first and then DEF. Use FUM instead of INT if that result happens on DEF Average the results


The 20 sided dice is rolled every play. Consult the appropriate chart to see if a penalty occurred. If a penalty occurred, roll the dice 20 again on the appropriate chart (Run/Pass OFF/DEF) to see what the penalty is. The coach who the penalty is not against gets to decide whether or not to accept the penalty.

For defensive pass interference calls – check the INT (thrown) table to see how far downfield the pass was thrown. That is where the penalty occurred. If it is less than 15 yards then that is how many yards the penalty is. If 15 yards or more then it is a 15 yard penalty.


Offensive coach rolls the dice, and reads the yardage from the Punt column on the Special Chart. This is how many yards the ball was punted. If it goes past the goal line, then it is a touchback and the ball goes over to the other team at their 20 yard line. If the ball is not punted past the goal line, then the receiving coach now rolls the dice and reads the punt return yardage from the Punt Return column on the Special Chart. That coach then moves the ball this distance back upfield.


To try a field goal the offensive coach rolls the dice and consults the field goal chart. To determine the yardage add 17 yards to the line of scrimmage. (Example: a field goal try from the 20 yard line would be a 37 yard attempt). If the kick is missed, the defensive team takes the ball over at the place where the kick was kicked from. (The line of scrimmage minus 7 yards) If the kick was attempted from inside the 20 yard line, then the defense would take over at their 20.


The offensive coach rolls the dice and checks the chart. No time goes off the clock for an point after touchdown attempt


The offensive coach can try to go for 2 points after a touchdown. The ball will be placed at the 3 yard line for an untimed play.


If a play gains yardage beyond the end zone it is a touchdown. For example, a 32 yard pass at the opponents 5 yard line is a touchdown.


Offense can choose to run out of bounds or spike the ball to stop the clock. Electing to run out-of-bounds subtracts 5 yds from play result. Spiking the ball is an incomplete pass. Offense can also elect to stay in bounds but subtract 5 yds from play result.

Example: The offense gains 9 yards on a run that is not a first down. That would take 30 seconds off the clock. The coach decides that he wants to run out of bounds. Five yards would be subtracted so it is only a 4 yard gain and the ball goes out of bounds. That takes only 10 seconds off of the clock saving 20 seconds.


Offense can choose to take a knee without running a play from their card deck. This results in a 2 yard loss but it keeps the clock running.


    • BIG PLAYS are more common on the Higher # plays. For Example an Run Inside 10 has a better chance of a big play than a Run Inside 2 does.
    • On dice rolls High #’s are good for the coach rolling the dice and Low #’s are bad
    • Strength Of Schedule  – This is how strong each teams opposition was.  It takes in effect their classification so a Class 6A schedule is a lot tougher than a Class 1A schedule.


These numbers can be used if you want to use classification and the quality of each teams opponents. When playing a normal game, you would be going of each teams statistics.  So a Class 6A team playing a Class 1A team would be playing just using the stats they had during that season. If you want to not use stats and take into effect that a Class 6A team is much better than a Class 1A team then use the strength of schedule rating.  This can be used for any game even Class 6A vs. 6A. Simply subtract the smaller rating from the larger one.

If the difference is less than 50 then no changes are needed. If the difference is between 50 and 99 then the team with the higher rating gets +1 yard added to every offensive play they run and -1 yard to every play their opponent runs. A difference of 100-149 gets +2 on offense and -2 to opponents. 150-199 gets +3 and -3 and 200-249 gets +4 and -4 and 500 and over gets +5 and -5.


This game works well in solitaire mode. In fact, early on 75% of the testing was done playing solitaire.

To pick your offense and defense just shuffle the 6 offense and 6 defense cards and pick one from each pile. Roll the dice to decide what play # to use and proceed from there. For a more accurate offensive selection, separate the (3) passing plays from the (3) rushing plays. To pick if it will be a run/pass roll the 24 sided dice. Check your team sheet and look at the # of run. If your roll is <= to that # then it will be a run. Anything higher will be a pass. Once you determine if it is a pass/run then randomly pick from your run/pass pile.

Special rules have been put in place but please do not limit yourselves to these.

On 3rd and 10 or more, you can choose a passing play if you want and have some available. If offense elects to choose a specific type of play (ie passing) the defense also uses a passing defense.

With 4 minutes or less left in a half, you can choose a running play or passing play if have some available. To do this, simply eliminate any rolls that result in a run when you want pass and vice-versa. This is situational (ie. losing late and need to pass to catch up or winning late and want to burn clock by running) The defense automatically gets to use the same defense (rush or pass) in those situations.

Going for it on 4th down, making decisions on penalties and other decisions are what you think you would do in that situation. This can be left to you when playing solo or you can create your own criteria for deciding when it is appropriate.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is this?Friday Night Legends is a board game where you can play your favorite high school football teams.
  • What kinds of games can I play?The game ideas are limitless  – play matchups that you would love to see, re-play your school’s season, replay the championship games of a certain year, how would this years champions be against the 2016 champions? How about East Texas vs. West Texas Teams, The ideas go on and on.
  • Are all the teams pre-2017No, each year we will create many teams of the current season. So like video games come out with new teams each year, so will we. In addition though, as we find stats on old historic teams, we will be hard at work putting those together as well.
  • Can I get new teams?Yes, any team can be created. Some are a lot more difficult than others because stats on some teams are very difficult to find.
  • Are these only Texas schools?No, we have dozens of out-of-state teams in the works or already created. We can create a sheet for any school we can find stats. Since we are from Texas and run Lone Star Gridiron we know a lot more about Texas schools than any other states.
  • Can you play solo?This is a strength of the game. While it is fun to match wits against other coaches, the solitaire game is very entertaining.
  • Why can’t I just pick run defenses if I know my opponent runs all the time?Pass defenses can still do well against the run.  We changed this a lot during play testing and adjusted the defenses. We tried a system where you had the option of choosing how many of each defense you wanted but it got very confusing.
  • Why can I only run each play 1 time? For example, Run Inside 1.

    This is in the rules to provide statistical accuracy. To show an example of this, let’s take a team that runs 80% of the time. They are pretty good passing though and if you picked their passing plays all the time, they would probably get 300 or more yards. They are able to pass so well because their run sets up the pass. The defense knows you are most likely going to run and will more often than not get caught off guard when you pass. This is why some running teams have such great passing attacks also. Also bear in mind, this is YOUR game and you can play it any way you like. Tournaments and official matches will be played using the rules spelled out here.

  • How long does it take to play a game?

Once you get familiar with the game-play, it is surprisingly fast. Games game be completed in 60-90 minutes depending on how many (if any) statistics you keep.

  • Is the game capable of tracking complete statistics?

Yes, if you are willing to take the time to track each carry, each yard gained, each penalty etc., you will have complete statistics at the end of a game.