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Under the rules of the Mutant Football League, a team must present a certain minimum lineup to the field when required. If unable, the team is forced to forfeit the game to the opposing team. Mutants may only play the position they are named to on the roster (excepting punters and kickers). Teams may therefore not circumvent the rule by putting a reserve from a different position into the empty role.

Forfeits can only occur when the game is set to preserve deaths; automatic resurrections prevent this.

The offense must present at least a quarterback, a guard for an offensive line, and a receiver for passes. A team can lose all their running backs and still play, but they lose all normal running plays and can only pass or use the quarterback for a scramble.

The defense must present at least a blitzer to attack the quarterback and a line basher for a defensive line. A team can lose all their cover backs and still play, but they lose all pass coverage plays.

There are no requirements for a team to present a dedicated kicker or punter. Should the usual kicker or punter die, a reserve player will replace them, albeit with severely limited abilities. Similarly with burn returners. Should a team's burn returner die, a reserve player will return kicks in his place.

Note that if a team fails to meet a necessary condition at the point they switch roles (ex. a team loses its last quarterback when an interception is thrown), the team doesn't forfeit the game until such time as the affected side is forced to return to the field.

Winning a game by forfeit unlocks the "Massacre" achievement/trophy. In the PC version, this achievement also used to unlock the Mile High Chronic (as of the Dynasty Update, this is no longer necessary).