1st & Goal®

The ultimate football board game
SKU: 650
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1st & Goal is a head-to-head football game played in two halves. Players select offensive and defensive plays from cards held and roll the dice to advance the football. All of the excitement of a football game is here: breakaway plays, sacks, penalties, and more. With two players, each coach one team, either Home or Away.

Playing with 3 or 4 players

Play either 2 vs. 1 or 2 vs. 2. On teams with two players, designate one player to play the Offense cards and the other player to play the Defense cards. Decide before the kickoff whether these two ‘coaches’ can or cannot discuss the plays they will choose.

In general, the lack of color and more black footballs on the cards mean the result of the play will favor the Defense. Lots of color means the results favor the Offense. Red, ivory, and brown tend to mean less yardage; yellow, blue, and green mean greater yardage gains. Plays at the top and the bottom of the cards tend to have great potential for yardage gains if the wrong defense is chosen, but also great loss potential if the correct defense is chosen. Plays in the middle of the card are more conservative on the yardage gains/losses. 

Expansion Teams

Adding the dice for an expansion team allows you to have a team that has a different balance than the basic team that comes with the game. Choose between teams with stronger passing or stronger running or better defense, etc. There are 24 RFL expansion teams available, with 6 divisions containing 4 unique teams each. Check on for league play aids. Expansion teams also allow you and your friends to set up season play that can culminate in the 1st & Goal Bowl!


The players decide between them who will be Home vs. Away. Flip the RFL coin (AWA Y calls Heads or Tails) to decide which team will start on offense and receive the first Kickoff. (Note, the other team starts with the ball at the beginning of the second half of the game). 

  • Place two clear disks next to each scoreboard.
  • Place the remaining two clear disks on the “3’s” of the two Time Out charts.
  • Place the Referee and Penalty Dice on their spots on the board. 

Each player gets one Fake/Kick card. Give the football, Offense deck, and First Down Marker to the Offensive Player, and the Defense deck to the Defensive player. Each player shuffles their deck, draws a hand of 8 cards, and places the deck facedown on the table. Each card represents one play and shows the possible dice to be rolled based on the opponent’s play. 

  • After each play, the cards used are discarded faceup into Offense and Defense discard piles next to the decks. 


The numbers on the dice reflect yardage (lines) gained. So rolling a total of five is a 5 yard gain (5 lines). 

RED IVORY BROWN - Yardage Dice: These are mostly for running plays. 
YELLOW BLUE GREEN - Yardage Dice: These are mostly for passing plays. 
BLACK - Defense Die: This die is rolled by the Defensive player on every play. It’s usually a negative amount that subtracts from the positive total of the Offensive dice. If a play shows multiple black die rolls, only count the single best roll of that die for the defense. 
Play Die: This die is rolled with every play to determine if anything special happens in the play. Referee Die: This die is occasionally rolled in response to rolls of the Play die. 
Penalty Die: This die is rolled with the Referee die on plays when P or T is the Play die result.


1. Defense will kick off to receiving team (Offense). 
2. Both Offense and Defense players select a card from their hand and reveal them simultaneously. 
3. Resulting dice from the card matchup is rolled. The play-die result is resolved, then the ball is advanced up the field by the total yardage rolled to a new yardage line. Move right one column to indicate the next down. Cards played are discarded face up and each player draws a new card. 
4. Offense has 4 attempts (downs) to move 10 yards. If successful, they get 4 more downs otherwise the ball is turned over to the Defense. 
5. Repeat until Punt, Turnover or Score occurs. At that point, players shuffle their hands into their deck and switch decks with their opponent. Each player draws a new hand of 8 cards from their new deck.


Kickoffs happen at the beginning of the game, at the beginning of the 2nd half, and after either team scores. 

The receiving team decides to either take a touchback or run the ball out. Once they choose, place the ball as follows: 

1. Touchback. Place the ball on the 20-yard line. -or
2. Run the ball out. Roll these dice. Starting from the goal line at your endzone, move the football a number of yards equal to the numbers on your dice. The Play Die (pg. 6) may affect this roll. 

Whether starting on the 20-yard or elsewhere, place the football on that line in the leftmost column. The left column indicates 1st down. Place the red 1st down marker so one flag pointer indicates the yard line that the ball is on and the other indicates the 10 yards needed for 1st down.


1. Both players choose one card from their hand and place it face down or calls a TIME OUT. 

If either player called a TIME OUT, then both players are permitted to do one of the following: 

A. Secretly search their discard deck for the play of their choice and add it to their hand. 
B. Shuffle their hand into the deck, then take an equal number of new cards. 

Mark on the board how many TIME OUTS remain for the player who called it. Once a player has zero TIME OUTS, they can no longer call TIME OUT for that half of the game. 

Example: The offense calls a TIME OUT, secretly takes a card from their discard pile, and plays it face down. Defense may play a card from their hand; play a card taken from the Defense discard pile; or opt to shuffle their hand into the deck, take 8 new cards and play one from their new hand.

2. Reveal cards simultaneously and announce plays. If the Offense plays a Running play, immediately burn/discard the top card of the Offense deck. If the deck is empty, the Offensive player discards a card from his hand. Running plays eat up more of the game clock. 

Match the Offense with the Defense to see which dice are to be rolled (A). Offense rolls their colored dice (if any) and the white Play die (see pg. 6 for effects). Defense rolls their black die. Advance the ball the yardage equal to the total of the values on the dice (B). When the ball reaches or crosses the line of the 1st down marker, move the ball to the leftmost (1st down) column and move the 1st down marker so one flag marks the line where the football is and the other marks 10 yards away (C). Otherwise, move the ball to the right one column to show next down. Repeat until the Offense scores, turns the ball over, or punts. 

1st Downs: The Offense has 4 ‘downs’ to advance the ball 10 yards. If successful, they get another 4 downs to advance again. Once the marker reaches the end zone, it is 1st and Goal. The Offense then has only 4 more downs left. Turn the 1st down marker sideways to signify this. On 4th down, the Offense must either punt the ball to turn it over to the receiving team, attempt a field goal, or try one more play to go for it. Failure to reach the 1st down marker after the 4th downturns the ball over to the other team where it rests (in the same column). Place the 1st down marker accordingly to mark the new direction. 

3. After determining the play results, players draw a new card from their decks if they have less than 8 cards.


When the ball changes hands (after a Punt, Score, or Turnover), the players drop the cards held onto the remainder of their decks, shuffle them together, then pass that deck to the other player. The Offensive player always has Offense cards, and the Defensive player always has Defense cards. Each player draws a hand of 8 cards (less if the deck runs out) before play resumes.


When the Play die is rolled, these are the possible results: 

The play is broken up. The colored yardage dice are all ‘0’ for this play. If an ‘X’ is rolled on a KICKOFF RETURN, the result is a touchback and the ball is placed on the 20. 

Breakaway! The player moves the ball forward (or backward) as indicated by the colored dice. Reroll all the dice used, move the ball again, and continue to reroll if the icon appears again. Rerolling stops once any other icon appears. (Ignore any effects of other icons when rerolling). NOTE: If the total is negative, the Offense has the option to stop the reroll, declaring the runner down and the ball dead. 

Potential Turnover! Move the ball forward to the yardage indicated by the colored dice. Then roll the Referee die. If a ‘ ’ is rolled, a turnover (fumble/pass interception) has taken place. Change hands (see CHANGING HANDS, pg. 5) and move the 1st down marker appropriately. If any other result appears on the Referee die, the result is NO TURNOVER. Turnovers in an opponent’s endzone result in a touchback. The new team takes over the ball on their 20-yard line. 

Potential Penalty! Before the football is moved, roll the Referee die and the Penalty die. If shows on the Referee die, the penalty is on the Defense and they will give up yardage. If, the penalty is on the Offense and they will lose yardage. (Either way, the Penalty die shows the result.) If any other result comes up on the Referee die, the result is NO PENALTY, so move the ball the yardage rolled. 

Results of Penalty die:
5 = 5 yards, move the ball 5 yards. 
5A = 5 yards with automatic 1st down if the penalty is on the Defense. Move the 1st down marker to the new ball location. 
10 = 10 yards, move the ball 10 yards. 
15 = 15 yards, move the ball 15 yards.

On penalties, ignore yardage rolled. Do not adjust the down. Return the played cards to your hands and repeat the down. (The one exception to this is the automatic 1st down.) Also, as a Penalty stops the clock, do not burn a card for the Offensive play, even if declined. 

On a Defensive penalty, the Offensive player can decline the penalty. If so, move the yardage rolled and adjust the down. 

On Offensive penalties, if the penalty moves the ball back into the Offense player’s endzone, move the ball half the distance to the goal line (rounded up), but no farther than the 1-yard line. Note that the Defensive player may also decline an Offensive penalty and leave the play as is. 

HAIL/MARY - The HAIL/MARY has no effect except on a Hail Mary play (pg. 10) or on a punt (below).


The Kickoff Return, Field Goal, Onside Kick, and Punt/Return plays are noted on the board under Special Teams.

Kickoff Return

The team receiving the kickoff chooses one of these: 
1. Touchback. Place the ball at the 20-yard line. or 
2. Run the ball out starting at the goal line and moving the total yardage of the dice rolled. 

Field Goal 

Each side plays their Fake/Kick cards (see pg. 11) and Offense must discard one card from their hand. If kick is not faked, the Defense then rolls the Referee and Play dice to try to block this kick. If they roll two X’s, then the field goal is blocked and the ball is turned over where it is. Otherwise, the Offense rolls the yardage dice and moves the ball forward that many yards. 

If the ball fails to reach or cross the 0-yard line into the endzone, the opposing team gets the ball from the point of the attempt. If the ball reaches or crosses the 0-yard line into the endzone, a field goal is scored. Score three points, then Kickoff to the other team.

Onside Kick 

A player may kick an onside kick instead of a normal kickoff in order to recover the ball. The ball is placed on their 30-yard line and they roll the Red die, the Brown die, the Play die and the Referee die. Advance the ball the distance rolled. For the kick to be successful, two things must occur: 

1. The sum of the dice must be 10 or more and... 
2. A ‘T’ must appear on at least one of the white dice. 

If both occur, the kicking team gets the ball and remains on Offense. Otherwise, the receiving team gets the ball. 


If the Offense does not wish to go for it on 4th down, they punt the ball away. Each side plays their Fake/Kick card (see pg. 11). If the Punt is not faked, then the Offense chooses to do either A or B: 

A. Roll all the ‘punt’ dice and move the ball forward the yards indicated by the total rolled. The Defense may either roll the return dice, (Green + Play, shown after the slash) and move the ball that distances back down the field OR declare Fair Catch and take over the ball where it lands. (Note the Play die may cause a Penalty, Turnover, or Breakaway on the Defense’s return.) ...OR 

B. Opt to remove one ‘punt’ die of their choice and replace it with the Play die. If so, the Play die has the following Special Effects:

Blocked Punt! Receiving team takes over the ball. 
Extra bounce! Roll the red die and add to the total. 
Roll Referee die. If ‘T’, Offense recovers ball downfield. 
Roll Referee & Penalty dice. If Penalty occurs, adjust ball, then repeat punt attempt from new spot. (Note, a Penalty may give the punting team a new 1st down). 
Ball out of bounds or fair catch. No return allowed. 

Note: A punt that causes the ball to cross the opponent’s goal line results in a Touchback; place the ball on the 20-yard line.


Indicate points scored by placing the clear disks onto the appropriate scoreboard numbers.


On a play, if the ball reaches or crosses the 0-yard line into the opponent’s endzone, the Offense scores 6 points. They then must try for the extra point by rolling the Play and Referee dice. If two ‘X’ are rolled, the attempt is blocked. Any other result earns an additional point for a total of 7. 


If the Offense has at least one down and one card remaining, they may kick a Field Goal. If the ball reaches or crosses the 0-yard line into the endzone, they score 3 points. After any field goal attempt, the Offense must burn one card. 


Instead of kicking an extra point, a player has the option to score two more points after a touchdown. Place the ball on the 2-yard line and try one play to get into the endzone. If successful, score two points; otherwise, nothing is scored. If a Turnover or Offensive Penalty occurs, nothing is scored. 


If the ball crosses into the Offense’s endzone, the Defense scores 2 points. The Offense then turns the ball over to the Defense by kicking a normal punt from their 20-yard line.



If both players have not played a card, waiting for the other to call a TIME OUT, the Offense must decide first. 


The half ends immediately when the Offense has no cards left in hand and deck. Note that once the Offense Player is out of cards, any remaining TIME OUTS become useless. The team who received the ball initially in the first half will kick off to the opposing team at the start of the second half. Reset the TIME OUTS back to 3 for each team.


After two halves of play, the team with the most points wins. If tied, flip the coin to determine who starts on Offense with the ball. Continue playing with a fresh overtime half and 3 new TIME OUTS each. The first team to score in overtime wins.

The ultimate football board game that pits two football teams in a classic gridiron match. You're the coach, calling strategic offensive and defensive plays as you attempt to march into the opposing end zone to score. Fumbles, penalties, interceptions, sacks, deep passes ... it's all here. Whether you're new to football or an extreme armchair quarterback, 1st & Goal is easy to learn and plays just like the real game.


6 different Expansion Sets available!  

Ages 13+  |  2 to 4 players 


Click here for rules in English                Click here for German rules

CONTENTS:  7 Team Dice, 3 Play Dice, 61 Offense Cards, 61 Defense Cards, Magnetic Football, Game Board, Magnetic 1st Down Flags, 1 RFL Coin, 6 Score/Timeout Tokens, Illustrated Rules.


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