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Tackle Football League Rules

Modified Rules for Youth Tackle Football Programs

Any rule not specified within these guidelines will follow the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rulebook.

*Substitution Rule
All players must play one-half (1/2) of the total amount of time per game. If a player is a nonstarter, he/she    must start the next scheduled game. For the safety of all players, rotate substitutes frequently throughout the game. Substitutions will be made without interfering with the flow of the game. Have players ready to substitute and not running around looking for them. Head coaches who do not carry out the substitution rule in full will be subject to disciplinary action stated in your manual. With the exception being if a child continually misses practice or never comes to practice, then coaches can decide to play or not to play the individual. However, this needs to be made clear beforehand to the players, parents, and Programs Director. The time a player is actually in the game is the amount of time he is credited for playing. Please do not play players only on kick-offs and punts. Each player should have a designated position for each game.

*Scoring-Margin Rule

If the scoring margin becomes 25-points or more, it will become a running clock that only stops for injuries or called timeouts. The team with the 25+ point lead cannot throw the ball; however, they may run the ball under any formation. (Previous rule made team run in between tackles) Once the mercy rule has been crossed it will remain in effect even if the team behind brings the score under 25-points. Please use this opportunity to play a lot of different players at different positions and try to avoid running up the score.

*Weather

When weather conditions are hazardous to the participants, the Cañon City Recreation District staff is authorized to cancel, delay or suspend the game. GAMES ARE ON unless cancelled by the Recreation District! Check the website www.ccrec.org, or check our Facebook page if the weather is in question. In all practices and games please be aware that we are in lightning season and if it is within five miles of your area, please look for cover and get off the field.

*Weight Limit Rule

No player over 120-lbs. will be able to carry the ball in the tackle league. This includes interceptions or fumbles. Players who recover a fumble or intercept a ball, must not advance the ball. The play will be blown dead when someone over 120 –lbs. intercepts or recover a fumble. The official weight for each child will be the weight at check out. If they are five- pounds over or under the 120-lbs. limit they will be weighed again before the first game. No players over the weight limit may be in motion before the ball is snapped. However, on defense, players over the weight limit can line up in the defensive backfield. Lineman over the weight limit may pull after the ball is snapped. Players over the limit must have a black or red X marked on the front of their helmet. This will be done at equipment checkout. If the tape falls off during the course of a game or the season it is the coach’s responsibility to get it re-taped. The Field Supervisor on Saturdays will have extra tape.

*Time

Tackle League: Four, 15-minute running quarters.
Halftimes: 5-minutes, 1-minute between quarters

All teams are allowed 3 timeouts per half, 1-minute in length. Successive charged time-outs may be granted during the same dead ball period. There will be a 30-second play clock. Action or inaction that prevents promptness in legally snapping the ball in 30-seconds after the readyfor-play signal is a delay of game. Delays will not be called until later in the season. There will be a four-minute warning in the 2nd and 4th quarter of tackle games.

The clock will stop after scores until the ball is snapped on the next possession, during penalties, injuries, timeouts, halftimes and in between quarters. The clock will stop according to high school rules in the final two-minutes of the first half in the tackle league and in the last two minutes of the 4th quarter if the point differential is 8-points or less.

*Coin Toss

The team that wins the toss to start the game has four options:

1. Kick
2. Receive
3. Defend a Goal
4. Defer to the second half.

*Kick Offs

No Kick Offs. The ball will be placed at the 25-yard line. After completion of P.A.T. teams will be given 1 minute before ball is placed and ready-for-play whistle will be blown.

SAFETIES: the ball will be kicked from your own 30-yard line.

*Punts

Before a punt is kicked, each team must declare its intent to do so. The head coach must declare, prior to the ball being marked ready-for-play, the option of kicking the ball or calling a fourth down play. If the offense does not declare in a timely manner, then a delay of game penalty will be called. If the head coach chooses to punt, both the offensive and defensive teams must stay relatively stationary. The defense may jump and wave their arms. The offensive team must long snap the ball to the punter. The punter must kick the ball from at least 5-yards behind the line of scrimmage and inside the tackle box. There is no such thing as a fumbled snap. The punter can pick it up and kick it.

FIELDING A PUNT: A player may catch the ball in the air but cannot advance the ball from where it was caught. A punt cannot be muffed or fumbled. You can let the ball bounce and it will be placed where it stops or goes out of bounds. If the ball is punted into end zone it will be a touchback. If the ball is dropped in the end zone, it is a touchback. In either case, the ball will be placed on the 25-yard line. No more than three- players may be back to receive the punt.

*Extra Points

The ball can be run into the end zone from the two-yard line for one-point or passed for twopoints. A pass that is caught behind the line of scrimmage and then ran in will count as 1 point. It can also be kicked for two-points. It is a free kick, similar to a punt. It is an un-timed play and can be run with no time on the clock. A bad snap can be retrieved and set down to kick with no rush. However, once ball is snapped, the kicker has 3 seconds to start his motion towards the ball. The umpire will make the 3-count signal and if the kicker has not started his approach, then the play will be blown dead resulting in a failed attempt.

*Field Goals

Same as an Extra Point Attempt. No rush allowed. The ball is dead when snapped. If the kick is missed, ball is placed at original line of scrimmage except if the line of scrimmage was inside the 25, then the ball is placed on the 25. Same 3-count applies as in extra point attempts.

*Offenses

League will play 11-man football. Offensive sets must have a minimum of 7 players on the line of scrimmage. The interior lineman must all be in a three-point stance. If a tackle or guard is the last person on the line, then they DO NOT have to report as eligible. However, if they are to go out for a pass they must be under the weight limit.

*Defenses

There is no bull rushing the center. Anybody lining up on the center must be shaded to either shoulder and may not line up heads up.

*Blitzing

Will be discussed at Coaches Meeting.

*Coaches

Please have a parent orientation meeting before the season starts. Introduce yourself; go over rules, schedules, etc. An open line of communication will ease the process for both coach and parents.

One Coach will be allowed on the field to orient their players during the first game only. However, they must not interfere with play. Coaches may not yell instructions to their players after the ball is snapped. First offense will be a major penalty. Second Offense will bar the coach from being on the field for the remainder of the game.

Only four-coaches are allowed on the team’s sideline, which is the west side at Rouse Park. All parents, family and spectators are to remain on the opposite sideline. Any coaches on the sideline must have passed the USA Football concussion testing and heads up certification. All those that complete those processes will be given a lanyard and certificate that must be worn on the sidelines on Saturdays. Coaches without proper certificates will not be allowed as coaches on the sidelines.

Home team must supply the chain gang if it is not supplied for your game. Chain gang must follow same sportsmanship rules as coaches and are subject to the same policies.

Coaches must remain inside their coaches' box. Each box extends from one goal line to the opposite 40. Coaches must remain inside of their box and not cross over the opposite 40!

DO NOT let the players practice in their game jerseys.

NO other stickers on the helmets other than that provided by the District for sponsors.

*Overtime

Captains will meet for a coin toss to determine which team will start on offense. Ball will be placed at the opposing teams 10-yard line. Offense will have four downs to either score a touchdown or kick a field goal. Both teams will each get one possession per overtime. If after the first overtime the score is still tied, then a new overtime will start until a winner is decided. Teams will alternate who has the ball first with each overtime. Each team has 1 timeout in OT, no carryovers.

*Types of Penalties (there are only 5 and 10 yard penalties, no 15)

MINOR PENALTIES (5 YARDS) FROM LINE OF SCRIMMAGE
DELAY OF GAME, ENCROACHMENT, ILLEGAL MOTION, ILLEGAL FORMATION, ILLEGAL MAN DOWN FIELD

MINOR PENALTY AND LOSS OF DOWN
INTENTIONAL GROUNDING, ILLEGAL FORWARD PASS

MAJOR PENALTIES (10 YARDS) POINT OF INFACTION OR FROM SCRIMMAGE
ILLEGAL USE OF HANDS, ILLEGAL BLOCKING, AIDING THE RUNNER, CLIPPING, OFFENSIVE BUTTING, ILLEGAL BALL CARRIER.

MAJOR PENALTY, AUTOMATIC FIRST DOWN, POINT OF INFACTION OR FROM SCRIMMAGE
PASS INTERFERENCE, ROUGHING THE PASSER, UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT, BLITZING THE QUARTERBACK

MAJOR PENALTY, POINT OF INFRACTION, FIRST DOWN
HEAD TACKLING, SPEARING, FLAGRANT FACE MASKING, ILLEGAL TACKLING/ TRIPPING

MAJOR PENALTY, EJECTION FROM GAME
2ND UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT, EXCESSIVE BLITZING