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RULE BOOK


Eligibility/ Rosters:
• Players are placed on team rosters at the discretion of each school/ program based on the school, parish, grade level, and registration process.
• All players must have a parent/ guardian fill out a liability waiver form.
• Players should only appear on one roster and participate on one team for the duration of the season.
• Teams are placed into divisions based on number of teams and grade level (Spring 2016- Under 1st grade & Under 3rd Grade)
• Teams typically consist of 6-10 players. No more than 12 players on a roster is advised.
 

Pre Game:
• Players and teams are designated as home and away based on the schedule. First team listed on schedule is the home team.
• At the start of each game, captains and coaches from both teams shall meet with the refs at mid field for the coin toss to determine who shall start with the ball. The “Away” team will call the coin toss.
• The winner of the coin toss has the choice of offense or defense. Teams may not defer to the second half. The team that begins on offense in the first half will begin on defense in the second half.
 

Player Attire:
• Players are required to wear protective mouth pieces at all all times.
• All players must wear a team jersey or uniform to participate in the game.
• All players must have a flag belt with two flags properly secured at the hips, jerseys tucked in, and no jewelry, wristbands, or towels of any kind are permitted. Shorts/ Pants cannot have open pockets.
• The belts that hold the flags (not the flags themselves) must be secured to ensure they do not hang appearing to be a flag. If the belt is hanging improperly, a penalty may be called.
• Mold and screw in cleats are permitted. No metal cleats are allowed.
• Players may wear tape, gloves, elbow, and knee pads. Braces with exposed metal are not permitted.

Coaches:
• Coaches are typically volunteer parents or family members helping players learn and enjoy the game. Parents are encouraged to support the coaches at all times.
• Coaches should designate themselves to the ref(s) as coaches and are encouraged to wear a staff shirt.
• Coaches are allowed to be on the field to direct players according to their need and age level. However they should move to the sidelines or off the active field of play when the ball is live.
• General spectators (non coaches) are not allowed on the field of play.
• All players should receive playing time for both offense and defense in each game they participate in.
• Coaches are asked to monitor each other and report any infractions that they see.
• Coaches are expected to adhere to good sportsmanship and general coaching guidelines of the AOD.
• Up to 4 coaches per team are allowed.

General Game Rules:
• The game is played with five (5) players. However, a minimum of four (4) players must be on the field at all times. In the event of an injury, a team with insufficient substitute players may play with four players on the field, but no fewer than four.
• For each possession the offense has three plays to obtain a first down at midfield. Once a team crosses the midfield marker, the offense has three more downs to reach the end zone.
• If the offensive team fails to cross mid field or score, the result is a turnover, and the possession of the ball changes to the opposition.
• A first down is only obtained by crossing midfield marker or an enforced penalty resulting in an automotaic first down.
• Upper level games will be played on the full width of the field. The ball will be spotted on the 40 yard line and the midfield marker is the 20 yard line.
• The ball must be snapped with a center/ QB exchange between the centers legs. Shot gun snaps are permitted.

Scoring:
A touchdown = 6 points.
PAT (Point after Touchdown) 1 point is attempted (5) yards from the goal line. 2 points is attempted (12) yards out from the goal line.
Note: 1 point PAT is pass only, 2 point PAT can be run or pass. An Interception on PAT or normal play stops the play and the ball cannot be advanced.
Safeties: On a one way field, there are no safeties.
MERCY RULE: At the start of the second half, if one team is winning by 24 points or more, the losing team gets one offensive series to continue regulation play. If they do not score, the game goes into scrimmage mode (game technically ends scoring wise). The losing team has the option of continuing to play offense and defense in a game situation or play offense for the remainder of the game. Scores do not count after entering scrimmage mode. The game continues until the clock expires.

Timing:
• Games are played with a 40 minute continuous clock with two 20 minute halves and a two minute halftime.
• In the final minute of each half (unless the mercy rule is in effect) the clock will stop on an incomplete pass, out of bounds play, penalty, first down, or timeout.
• The official will keep the official game clock.
• Each team is allowed 1 (30 second) timeout per half. Unused timeouts do not carry over to the second half.
• Official(s) may stop the clock at their own discretion (example- injury)
• Each time the ball is spotted the offense has 45 seconds to snap the ball. Delay of game penalties will be enforced.

Overtime:
There is no overtime during regular season games. Games will end in a tie.
• In the playoffs, if the score is tied at the end of regulation, teams will move directly into overtime.
• A coin toss determines possession. The team that did not call the opening coin toss will call the overtime coin toss. Each team gets at least one possession; all regulation rules and penalties are in effect, there are no timeouts.
• The team that wins the coin toss has the choice to take the ball first, or defend first. Each team will start from the 12 yard line. They will have two plays to score. If a team scores, they may attempt either an extra point or two point conversion.
• If the game is still tied after the first overtime, the team that did not have the choice of possession in the first overtime will make the call for the second and this pattern will continue beyond 2nd OT. If after two overtimes the teams are still tied, both teams will have to go for two points from the 12 yard line in the 3rd OT.
 

Forfeits:
• In order to keep the games on time, teams arriving more than 10 minutes later than originally schedule start time will forfeit the game. However, when said team does arrive, though the game is officially over, both teams may agree to play a scrimmage with the remaining allotted game time.
• Teams are required to have a minimum of four players to play a game, if a team is unable to field at least four players, the game will be forfeited.

Sportsmanship:
• The league promotes good sportsmanship with players, coaches, refs, and spectators.
• Trash talking, taunting, and offensive language from anyone is not tolerated on or near the field of play.
• If league personnel or officials witness any act of rough play, including but not limited to tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, or any other unsportsmanlike act, the game will stop and that player may be ejected. Further disciplinary action may follow including league expulsion.
• Flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct or personal fouls may include, but not be limited to tackling, charging, pushing, fighting, intentionallty tampering with equipment, yelling at the refs and general bad sportsmanship.
• At the discretion of the official, a player, coach, or parent may be ejected from the field for unsportsmanlike conduct or any flagrant violation of the rules. To eject a player, coach, or spectator, the referee will call an officials timeout and get the league director/ game manager to make this call.
• Any coach, player, or spectator ejected may be put on probation with possible suspension, depending on the severity of the incident.
• After the game, coaches and players are expected to form a line at midfield and shake hands regardless of the outcome of the game.

Flag Football Rules:

Live Ball/ Dead Ball:
• The ball is live at the snap of the ball and remains live until the official whistles the ball dead.
• The official will indicate the neutral zone and line of scrimmage (LOS). The offical may give both teams a “courtesy” neutral zone notification to allow their players to move back behind the LOS.
• Substitutions can only be made during “dead ball” situations.
• Any official can whistle the play dead.

Play is ruled dead when:
a. The ball hits the ground (fumble, bad snap, or incomplete pass).
b. The ball carrier’s flag is pulled.
c. The ball carrier steps out of bounds.
d. A touchdown or PAT is scored.
e. The ball carrier’s knee or arm hits the ground.
f. The ball carrier’s flag falls out.
g. The receiver cathces the ball while in possession of one or no flags
h. The 7 second pass clock expires.
i. Inadvertent whistle.
j. A penalty.

NOTE: There are NO FUMBLES. The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s feet were at the time of fumble.
• In the case of an inadvertent whistle, the offense has two options. Take the ball where it was when the whistle blew and the down is consumed or replay the down from original line of scrimmage.
• A team is allowed to use a timeout to question an official’s rule interpretation. If the official’s ruling is correct, the team will be charged a timeout. If the rule is interpreted incorrectly, the timeout will not be charged and the proper ruling will be enforced.

Running Game Rules:
 The ball is spotted where the runners feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball carrier has the ball. Forward progress will be measured by the player’s front foot.
 The QB cannot directly run with the ball. The QB does have the ability to scramble in the back field, but cannot advance the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. The QB is the offensive player that received the snap.
 Only direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. Handoffs may be in front, behind, or to the side of the offensive player, but must be behind the line of scrimmage. The offense may use multiple handoffs.
 Sweeps and laterals behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. However, if the ball hits the ground, it is dead and the ball will be placed back at the original line of scrimmage.
 The player that takes a handoff can throw the ball, as long as he does not cross the line of scrimmage.
 The QB can run the ball ONLY if he hands the ball off first and then received a diect handoff back from another player who has not crossed the line of scrimmage.
 It is the responsibility of the ball carrier to avoid colliding with defenders that lie in his path. Unintentional contact will not be penalized, provided the ball carrier makes an effort to avoid it.
 Runners may not jump or dive to advance the ball. An offensive player may jump over a defensive player on the ground to avoid collision.
 Spinning is allowed, but players may not charge into defenders. Lateral moves to the right or left are permitted.
 Once the ball has been handed off, all defensive players are eligible to rush.
 Defensive players cannot pass the line of scrimmage until the ball is handed off.
 Defensive Players must start 1 yard from the ball/ line of scrimmage.
 No Blocking or “screening” is allowed at any time. Down field blocking is illegal.
 Deliberately obstructed flags while running will be considered FLAG GUARDING and is a penalty.

Passing Game Rules:
 All passes must be from behind the line of scrimmage, thrown forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage. Shovel passes are permitted, but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage.
 The QB has a seven second “pass clock”. If a pass is not thrown within the seven seconds, play is dead, the down is consumed and the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage. Once the ball is handed off the seven second rule is no longer in effect.
 There is only one forward pass per down.
 There is no rushing the passer.

Receiving Rules:
 All players are eligible to receive a pass. (including the QB if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage)
 Only one player is allowed in motion at a time. All motion must be parallel to the LOS and no motion is permitted towards the LOS.
 A player must have at least one foor in bounds when making a reception.
 In the case of simultaneous possession by both an offensive and defensive player, possession is awarded to the offense.
 A receiver is down where his flag is pulled. Exception: In order to achieve a firstdown, or a TD, the ball carrier’s flag belt and ball, must cross the plane of first down line or goal line. If a receiver’s flag inadvertently falls off even without conatct of another player, that player is ruled down at the spot the flag fell off.
 A receiver cannot run out of bounds and then come back in bounds to catch a ball.
 A receiver may jump or dive to catch a pass.
 If a receiver’s flag inadvertently falls off prior to receiving a ball and later in the same play the receiver catches a ball, the receiver is down immediately at the point of reception.
 Interceptions change the possession of the ball. Interceptions are not returnable.

Flag Pulling:
 A legal flag pull takes place when the ball carrier is in full possession of the ball.
 Defenders can dive to pull flags, but cannot tackle, hold, or run through the ball carrier when pulling flags.
 It is illegal to attempt to strip or pull the ball from the ball carrier’s possession at any time.
 If a player’s flag inadvertently falls off during the play, the player is down immediately upon possession of the ball and the play ends.
 A defensive player may not intentionally pull the flags off of a player who is not in possession of the ball.
 Flag guarding is an attempt by the ball carrier to obstruct the defender’s access to the flag by stiff arming, dropping the head, hand, arm, or shoulder, or unintentionally covering the flags with the football jersey.
 TACKLING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED AND WILL BE PENALIZED.

Formations:
 Offense must have a minimum of one player on the line of scrimmage (the center) and up to four players on the line of scrimmage. The QB must be off the line of scrimmage.
 The center must snap the ball with a rapid and continuous motion between his legs to a player in the backfield, and the ball must completely leave his hands.
 One player at a time may go in motion behind and parallel to the LOS. No motion is allowed towards the line of scrimmage. Offensive players must come to a complete stop before the ball is snapped unless he is the only player in motion.
 Movement by a player who is set or a player who runs towards the LOS while in motion is considered a false start.

Playoffs:
 The end of the season will have a playoff. Tie breaker will be head to head then point differential for top seed if there are multiple ties for regular season first place.
 All 2/3 finals will be played ½ field and full width of field. K/1 at hash marks.
 Trophies will be distributed for 1st place teams, metals for runner up teams.
 It is up to the individual schools to choose if they would like to give participation trophies
 Top two seeds will receive first round bye in the playoffs.
 The highest seed will play the lowest seed in the first round of the playoffs.

Penalties:
 The referee will call all penalties.
 Referees determine incidental contact that may result from a normal run play.
 All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage, (except as noted) spot fouls.
 Only the head coach may ask the referee questions about rule clarifications and interpretations. Players may not question judgment calls.
 Games may not end on a defensive penalty unless the offense declines it.
 Penalties will be assessed half the distance to the goal yardage when penalty yardage is more than half the distance to the goal.

Spot Fouls:
Defensive Pass Interference Automatic First Down
Holding +5 yards & Automatic First Down
Screening, Blocking, or Running with ball carrier -5 yards & Loss of Down
Stripping +10 yards & Automatic First Down
Defensive Unnecessary Roughness +10 yards & Automatic First Down
Charging -10 yards & Loss of Down
Flag Guarding -10 yards & Loss of Down
Offensive Unnecessary Roughness -10 yards & Loss of Down
Defensive Penalties:
Offside +5 yards from Line of scrimmage & repeat the down (dead ball)
Illegal Flag Pull +5 yards & Automatic First Down
Defensive Pass Interference SPOT FOUL, Automatic First Down
Holding SPOT FOUL, +5 yards, Automatic First Down
Stripping SPOT FOUL, + 10 yards & Automatic First Down
Defensive Unnecessary Roughness SPOT FOUL, +10 yards & Automatic First Down
Too many players on the field + 5 yards & Automatic First Down
Improper equipment +5 yards & repeat the down (dead ball)

Offensive Penalties:
Offside/ False Start -5 yards from LOS & repeat the down (dead ball)
Illegal Forward pass -5 yards from LOS & loss of down
Offensive Pass Interference -5 yards from the LOS & loss of down
Illegal Motion (more than 1 person moving before snap) -5 yards from LOS & repeat the down (dead ball)
Delay of Game -5 yards from LOS & repeat the down (dead ball)
Flag Guarding SPOT FOUL, -10 yards & Loss of Down
Too many players on the field - 5 yards & loss of down
Improper equipment -5 yards & loss of down (dead ball)
Defense UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT -15 yards from end of play & Automatic First Down
Offense UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT -15 yards from the LOS & Loss of Down
Coaching Interference (disrupting field of play action) -5 yards & loss of down

Football Ball Size should be specified by age:
K/1-Franklin Sports Grip (see above)
2/3 and above Pee Wee Size.
Flags should be Sonic Type.