Field, Players, and Equipment:
The Instructional division field is 50 x 25 with 5 yard end zones and Freshmen division games are played on a 60 x 30 field with 5 yard end zone. The Junior Division is played on a 60 x 35 field. The Senior Division is played on an 80 yard field with 10 yard end zone, with a 35 yard width, lined at 10 yard intervals.
||Number of offensive and defensive players
Players must wear a flag belt and game jerseys that are tucked in at all times. Rubber cleats are required. No jewelry, watches, necklaces, casts or other objects may be worn. Mouth guards are mandatory. Football pants (or baseball pants) are required. There are NO HOODED Sweatshirts or clothing that sticks out of the neck area allowed during any games. No hats with visors are to be worn during games. Both are safety issues.
A) Coin Toss: The visiting team captain calls the coin toss and the winner of the toss shall elect to receive or defend. If winning team defers, officials will outline procedure with coaches.
B) Possession: Possession at the start, half, or after a touchdown is at its own 10 yard line.
C) Snap & Formation (for Offense): Instructional & Freshman can use side snaps and require at least 3 players on line of scrimmage. Junior & Senior divisions are shotgun or under center and require - 4 players on line of scrimmage for Juniors, 5 players on line of scrimmage for Seniors at the snap. No player on the line of scrimmage can be in a 3-point stance. The ball must be received from center where the player takes possession of the ball. All offensive players are eligible receivers. Only one man in motion, all other players must be in a set position. Offense can “shift” but then must be set for 1 full second before any other movement.
Junior & Seniors, once ball is spotted Offense can run “Hurry-Up” offense, Defense does not need to be set or ready for offense to snap the ball or run the play.
D) Rush: All counts are out loud so they can be heard by the referees. It is required that the words used to count be consistent across teams. The league accepted wording for counting is one Mississippi, two Mississippi, etc. Instructional & Freshman, 5 count; as long as the quarterback is in the pocket (between tackles). Once the quarterback leaves the pocket, hands off, or play-actions, defenders can rush. In Junior and Senior divisions there is a 3 Count, with the same rules as stated above about the quarterback leaving the pocket.
Defensive Rushing Rules:
||Number of players that can rush after counting
Defenseman (nose-guard) lining up over the center must be at least 2 yards off the line of scrimmage.
E) First Downs: First downs are granted at the “Line to Gain”. The “Line to Gain” is the marked yard line in advance of the ball at the start of the series, subject to certain penalties discussed in the penalty section. The mark is where the flag is pulled and NOT the location of the ball. EXCEPTION: Rushing Touchdowns will be defined as when the ball crosses the goal-line, not the flag. "No hurdling or diving rule" applies, however. Seniors using 10 yard markers.
F) Passing: To be considered a pass, the throw must be forward, overhand; but not necessarily past the line of scrimmage (i.e. a screen pass). Shuffle, backward, or underhand throws are permitted but will be considered a “run”. Only one forward pass is permitted per play. Receivers must have at least one foot in bounds for a completion.
G) Must Pass: The offensive team must have a complete or incomplete forward pass on all remaining downs in a four down series, once rushing yards are gained on two downs. A rush where yardage is lost, or there is no gain, is considered an “open” play. For example:
1st down – rush loss / no gain
2nd down – rush loss / no gain…Offense can run the next two downs
1st down – running gain
2nd down – running gain
3rd & 4th – downs are “must pass”
1st down – running gain
2nd down – running loss / no gain
3rd down - "open"
1st down – incomplete pass
2nd down – running gain
3rd down - running gain
4th down - "must pass"
1st down – incomplete pass
2nd down – running gain
3rd down - running loss / no gain
4th down - "open"
Touchdown – 6 points
Conversion Pass (three yard line) – 2 points
Conversion Run (three yard line) – 1 point
Safety – 2 points
Defensive return of conversion – 2 points
Players must have possession of ball to be deflagged. When a player loses his or her flag without being legally deflagged, play reverts to one hand touch. Defenders CANNOT wrap 1 arm & then, pull the flag. Referee will issue one warning to each side then will call, “Defensive” holding the rest of the game. 10 yard penalty, automatic first down. Any player removing a flag & throwing it away or slamming it to the ground will be given a15 yards unsportmanship penalty for taunting.
Blocking: All blocking is between the waist and the shoulders. Blockers cannot leave their feet. Blockers cannot lock hands or grasp one another. Runners cannot hold onto or grab blockers and a runner cannot be pushed or pulled by a blocker.
Runner: The runner has an obligation and duty to avoid contact with a defender; and in particular, when a defender has “position”. While some contact is unavoidable, runner cannot lower shoulder or run over defender. (Penalty: Personal Foul)
Punts: OffensiveTeam must declare to Defensive team and official whether punting or playing on 4th down.
Offensive & Defensive players must take a knee and remain motionless on the line of scrimmage, before, during, and after a punt. Kicker must be at least 5-7 yards behind line of scrimmage and must receive the snap from the “SHOT GUN” formation & kick the ball immediately. Punter cannot line up behind center & walk backwards then punt. A bad snap (ball hits the ground) on punts will not end the play. Punters will be allowed to punt under all circumstances.
Fair Catch: A single player on the defensive team shall be designated as the punt receiver. Punt receiver does not run with the punt. Receiver cannot swipe or punch at the ball causing it to roll forward, ball is down where it stops, unimpeded by the receiver. EXCEPTION: Ball is placed 5 yards forward from where any punt that is caught clean in the air.
Receiving team comes into possession of ball at the following locations:
Where the punt returner successfully fields the punt in the air PLUS 5 YARDS.
Where the ball comes to a complete rest, or goes out of bounds, or where it is touched by the punt returner—whichever results in the longer punt;
Touchback = 10 yard line
Fumbles: There are NO fumbles. Ball is dead at spot of contact on the ground except where the ball is advanced, in which case the ball is spotted where possession is lost. On bad snaps, or incomplete backward passes, the ball is dead where it hits the ground.
Time: Playing time shall be 50 minutes (Senior & Junior Divisions) in 25 minute halves. Play is extended at the end of a half or at the end of the game for an accepted penalty, double penalty, or for conversion if it affects the outcome of the game. The clock runs continuously for first 23 minutes unless stopped for:
a) Team timeout: starts on the snap.
b) Referee’s timeout: starts on the ready for play.
Play clock is 35 seconds for Juniors & 30 seconds for Seniors.
During the final 2 minutes of each half, the clock will stop for:
a. Incomplete pass – starts on the snap
b. Out of bounds – starts on the snap.
c. Score (touchdown or safety) – starts on the next snap.
d. Team timeout – starts on the snap.
e. First down – dependent on the previous play.
f. Referee’s time out – starts when Ref is ready.
g. Penalty & administration – dependent on the previous play.
h. Change of possession – clock will stop for change of possession. Clock starts at the snap of the ball.
i. Measurement on 4th down – clock starts as soon as official blows whistle.
Time Outs: 2 per half. The referee may declare a timeout for any injury or other circumstance not covered by these rules.( All time outs will be observed regardless of the score & time left on clock.)
Overtime: (Playoffs only) Home team (higest seed) calls toss and winner of toss shall choose offense or defense. Each team will start 1st and goal from the Team B 10 yard line and all possessions are played to the same goal line. If the score is still tied after one possession, successive possessions occur until a winner is determined.
5, 10, 15 yrd Penalties convert to 3, 7,& 10 yrd Penalties.
15 Yard Penalty:
Unsportsmanlike like Conduct: Any act of unfair play including, but not limited to, disrespectful conduct toward an official, coach, or player; inappropriate language or conduct. If called for an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty, the player will be removed for a minimum of one play for his/her coach to discuss the infraction. A second Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalty occurring in the first half, will result in removal for the remainder of the game. If it occurs in the second half, the player cannot play in the first half of the next game.
10 Yard Penalties:
1. Defensive Pass Interference (automatic first down)
2. Offensive Pass Interference 10 yard penalty @ previous spot of the ball. Re-play the down.
3. Illegal Secured Belt
4. Hurdling or diving
6. Personal Fouls:
· Offensive runner colliding with a defensive player who has position;
· Chest bumping on the playing field or in the end zone is not permitted, it is considered taunting & 15 yards un-sportsmanship.
· Roughing the passer;
· Illegal Block;
· Punching, striking, stealing, and/or stripping of ball from offensive player;
· Unnecessary physical contact (i.e. punch, fists, elbow or blows to the head);
· Tripping contact with opponent while on the ground, grabbing or obstructing runner, or throwing a runner to the ground;
· After each personal foul, the player must be removed for a minimum of one play for the coach to ensure the player understands the infraction.
5 Yard Penalties:
1. Flag guarding (loss of down); Runners shall not flag guard by using their hands, arms, or the ball to deny the opportunity for an opponent to pull or remove the flag belt. Flag guarding includes:
· Swinging the hand or arm over the flag belt that is an unnatural running motion;
· Placing the ball in possession over the flag belt;
· Lowering the shoulders in such a manner which places the arm over the flag belt to prevent an opponent from de-flagging;
· Stiff arm
2. Illegal forward pass (loss of down);
3. Delay of game;
5. Illegal motion;
6. False start;
7. Defensive encroachment;
8. Illegal formation;
9. Intentional grounding (loss of down);
10. Not passing on "must pass" down;
11. Coach(es) on the field or outside the Coaching box -The coaching box is between Mid-Field & the 10 yard line. Only 3 total coaches allowed on the sideline. - (loss of down).
Referee: The referee has authority to rule in the spirit of good sportsmanship and safety on any situation not specifically covered in these rules.
ENFORCEMENT OF PENALTIES:
Opposing team has option of accepting or declining a penalty.
“All - But - One” Enforcement Principle: Enforcement philosophy is based on the fact that a team is given the advantage of the distance which is gained without assistance of a foul. It is assumed that the only foul which would give this aid is a foul by the offense behind the basic spot. Therefore, all fouls except a foul by the offense behind the basic spot are penalized from the basic spot. This one foul is penalized from the spot of the foul.
Live Ball Fouls: Any live ball foul is penalized according to the all-but-one enforcement principle except a foul which occurs simultaneously with the snap and is penalized from the previous spot.
A non-player foul, unsportsmanlike foul, or dead ball foul is penalized from the succeeding spot; the spot where the ball would next be snapped if the foul had not occurred.
Establish Zone Line-to-Gain: Except for a dead ball foul, mark off the penalty yardage first, and then establish the zone line-to-gain. However, with a dead ball foul, establish the zone line-to-gain first, and then mark off the penalty yardage.
Double Foul: It is a double foul if both teams commit fouls; other than unsportsmanlike, the penalties cancel out and the down is replayed.
When a live ball foul by one team is followed by a dead ball foul by the opponent, the penalties are administered separately and in the order of occurrence. When the same team commits a live ball foul followed by one or more dead ball fouls, all fouls will be penalized.
Multiple Live Ball Fouls: When two or more live ball fouls are committed by the same team, only one penalty may be chosen except when a foul for unsportsmanlike conduct occurs. In such cases, the penalty/penalties for the unsportsmanlike conduct are administered from the succeeding spot as a dead ball foul.
Multiple Dead Ball Fouls: Penalties for dead ball fouls are administered separately and in order of occurrence. Dead ball fouls are not coupled with live ball fouls or other dead ball fouls to create double or multiple ball fouls. Penalize all unsportsmanlike fouls separately.
a. Half the Distance to the Goal Line: A measurement cannot take the ball more than half the distance from the enforcement spot to the offending team’s goal line. If the penalty is greater than this, the ball is placed halfway between the enforcement spot and the goal line.
b. Safety/Goal Line: If the offensive team throws an illegal forward pass from its end zone or commits any other foul for which the penalty is accepted and measurement is from on or behind its goal line which is now the basic spot, it is a safety.
c. Foul on a Score: If there is a player foul on the offensive team (other than unsportsmanlike) during a down which results in a successful touchdown or try, the acceptance of the penalty nullifies the score. If there is a player foul by the defensive team (other than unsportsmanlike) during down which results in a successful touchdown or try, the offensive team must decline the penalty to accept the score.
d. Foul Prior to a Conversion: When a foul occurs after a touchdown and before the ball is ready for play for the try, the enforcement is at the succeeding spot where the ball will be next snapped for the conversion.
There is no blocking or hitting above the neck. If a player intentionally hits a player above the neck or in a manner not consistent with our rules, then the referees have the discretion to have a player ejected from the game. If a player is ejected from a game, then the Director of the Junior or Senior Division along with President of the League will make a determination if the player should be suspended for the remainder of the season.