2018 LAKE AREA JUNIOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE TACKLE RULES

GENERAL RULES AND REQUIREMENTS

  1. A player participating in the 4th and 5th grade league may not be 12 years of age before September 1st or is ineligible to participate at that level. A player participating in the 6th grade league may not be 13 years of age before September 1st or the player is ineligible to participate at that level.
  2. Players are the coach’s responsibility. A coach should be present at the scheduled practice time and stay until the last player is picked up. Under NO circumstances do coaches leave a player unsupervised.
  3. There will be NO outdoor practice on days when the temperature has reached 95 degrees at any time before 6 pm or (100 degree heat index) whenever the weather is unfavorable for practice (hard rain, high heat index, lightning in area).
  4. Players should be allowed water freely. A 5 minute rest/water break should be given for every 30 minutes of practice time.
  5. Player safety should be a priority in dealing with weather conditions.
  6. Weather cancellations shall be decided Friday night for a Saturday game. The host team and visiting team coaches shall be in contact with each other. Cities with more than one team at the same level should be in contact with each other for game play also. If more than one home game is scheduled all games will cancelled if one will be cancelled. The host team’s decision is final.
  7. No player will be allowed to practice or play in games with an injury or illness. This includes stitches, casts, or splints. Medical authorization to return after an injury should be received and kept by the coach.
  8. Heads up Certification - Each town is encouraged to have one (1) person that is Heads Up certified and trains at least 1 coach per team in Heads Up tackling.
  9. Emergency Management Plan - Each town is encouraged to have an Emergency Plan in place for their locations (practice and games).
  10. Injuries - Injuries should reported by each town representative to the league president to analyze for trends, awareness, and prevention
  11. Insurance - Insurance for liability of facility and secondary medical for each athlete is highly suggested by each town individually.
  12. League Commissioner shall hold the position for a 2 year term. After the 2018 season the Town Representatives shall select a new commissioner from a different town. Therefore, every two years there will be a new commissioner from a different town allowing leadership to rotate with the intent to keep the league organized and energized.

PRESEASON PRACTICE

  1. Practice may commence Monday, August 6th, 2018, but not before.
  2. All players must have 8 hours of non-contact practice in before having contact practice, then have 10 hours of contact practice in before being able to play in a game.
  3. Number of practices in a week, maximum is 5 and minimum is 3. Only one per day.
  4. Length of each practice, maximum is 2 ½ hours and minimum is 1 ½ hours.
  5. Number of hours practiced per week, maximum is 12 ½ hours and minimum is 4 ½ hours.

REGULAR SEASON

  1. Length of each practice, maximum of 2 hours, minimum of 1 hour.
  2. Number of hours practiced per week, maximum is 5 hours, minimum is 1 hour.

GAMES

  1. Playing Field
    1. Use 50-yard field in length excluding end zone and 53 yards wide. 10 yards are added to allow for another endzone. An endzone should be at both ends of the field.
    2. Playing field is still 40 yards, as this will allow teams to keep their direction of play for that half.
    3. Switch directions each quarter.
  2. Home teams shall provide 2 officials for officiating games with at least one (1) adult officiating.
    1. Home team to provide a person for the down marker, a side judge and an adult umpire.
    2. Visitors may provide a ref if home team can’t provide.
    3. None of the refs should be part of the team. (players)
    4. Ensure one of those refs has the official time for the game.
  3. Minimum of six practices before first game.
  4. If a town has enough for more than one team, then teams are to be divided as evenly as possible.
  5. Teams designated as the home team shall host the game at their home field with a start time of 10:00 a.m., unless otherwise designated.
  6. Coin Toss
    1. Team captains with referee will conduct a coin toss prior to the game.
    2. Team that wins the coin flip can choose Offense, Defense, or Defer.
    3. If the choice is to defer then that team will get the choice in the second half.
  7. Score will be kept with traditional scoring of six points per touchdown. Change of possession on touchdown.
  8. Timing
    1. The game will consist of a running clock, with each quarter lasting 20 minutes.
    2. Clock will only stop for a time out.
      1. Each team is allotted 2 timeouts per game.
      2. Timeouts can be used in 1st half or used in 2nd half.
      3. Each timeout is 20 seconds.
    3. 5 minute break between 1st and 2nd quarter.
    4. 5 minute break between 3rd and 4th quarter.
    5. 10-15 minute break at half time.
    6. Times between quarters and half can be extended if heat is a factor.
    7. Injuries can stop the clock last 2 minutes before the half and the last 2 minutes at the end of the game.
    8. If there is an incident that the clock should be stopped both coaches can make that determination together and should be discussed before the game and/or at halftime.
    9. 45 seconds in the huddle will be enforced.
      1. Each team will be allotted one warning per game.
      2. 2nd violation will result in a 5 yard penalty. No loss of down.
  9. No special teams. No extra points.
  10. Grades 4 & 5 should use a junior ball and grade 6 should use a youth ball.
  11. Use one down marker (No chains needed). The marker will serve as the down marker and the distance to the next first down.
    1. Down marker should not move until a 1st down is gained.
    2. Every 10 yards will be a first down. No measuring the spot of the ball. If it’s close the benefit is to the offense.
    3. If offense scores, ball goes to the other team. Starting on their goal line.
      1. If a team starts with the football, the offense has one quarter to score.
      2. If offense doesn’t score by end of the quarter, then the ball is turned over to the other team. This ball is then placed on the opposing team goal line to start the next quarter.
      3. If there is a change of possession within the quarter, the quarter rule doesn’t apply.
  12. 4th Down
    1. The offense has the option to go for it, or “punt” the ball. No punting.
    2. If the offense goes for it, and fails to get the 1st down, the defense will take over from that spot.
    3. If the offense chooses to “punt”, the other team will get the ball on their goal line.
    4. No actual punt
  13. [Muffed Snap] If the football touches the ground between the center/QB exchanges (under center or shotgun/pistol) the whistle shall be blown for muffed snap and they may have a replay without huddling and without giving up a play. If a football move is made prior to the dropped ball or a huddle is formed the down is counted.
  14. Turnovers create an immediate dead ball (whistle shall be blown).
    1. Will be spotted at the point of the turnover.
    2. Interception
      1. No returns
      2. Ball is ruled dead at the point of interception.
    3. Fumbles
      1. No returns
      2. Ball is ruled dead at the point of recovery.
    4. No penalties, fumble recoveries, or interceptions can move the offense back beyond the 40.
    5. No defensive touchdowns.
    6. No Safeties.
    7. If turnover happens in the end zone then the ball is given to the gaining team and is placed on the 1 yard line.
    8. If a safety happens, it is considered a sack and the ball would be moved back to the goal line. It is not a turnover.
  15. Each offensive play will begin with the center snapping the football between his legs to a QB/back. The QB/back may not start the play with the ball in his hands.
  16. We are removing the 10 play minimum rule. Clarification: Each team must make an attempt to ensure all kids are provided playing time in a position that fits their ability.
  17. 4 quarters constitutes one game.
  18. No overtime.
  19. Ringer weights are 125 pounds for Grade 6 and 110 pounds for Grades 4 & 5.
    1. 2018 Weigh INS: Conducted NLT September 7th, 2018.
    2. Lake Area League Rep or City Organization President is to verify weights.
    3. All ringer players must start each play on the line, in a 3 or 4 point stance, must line up from tackle to tackle, be covered by an end on offense and they are an ineligible receiver. On defense, the ringer must generally line up on or between the offensive tackles. In a five man defensive front, ringers may only play the nose guard or defensive tackle positions. In a four man defensive front a ringer may play the defensive end position and may line up on the tight end if there is one but must start in a three point stance.
    4. Ringers will be designated with any color tape that is clearly contrasted with the helmet; it must be a thick line/stripe running the span of the top of the helmet from near the top face mask bar (or helmet label) to the bottom of the back of the helmet.
  20. Mercy Rule
    1. If a team is up by 5 scores they will not have an offensive series until the score is less than 5 scores.
    2. Example: Team A is up 30-0 over Team B.
      1. Team B will have the ball on offense until they score or the game is over.
      2. If a quarter break or half time occurs Team B will continue to have the ball on offense until the score difference is less than 30 points or the game time expires.
      3. If by chance teams are that unmatched and in consideration of safety, coaches can discuss at half time and may determine the game is over.
  21. No loss of down on a penalty and all penalties are 5 yards from the line of scrimmage except for “Unsportsmanlike Conduct”, which shall be 10 yards and loss of down. If any player commits a second Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty (loss of 10 yards and loss of down) the player will be ejected for the rest of that game. A team may elect to decline a penalty, except an Unsportsmanlike foul (such as illegal motion or offside).
    1. Ball placement after penalty
  22. Defensive facemask will add 5 yards to the end of the run, or half the distance to the goal line. - Offensive facemask will be penalized with 5 yards back from the line of scrimmage
    1. If defensive pass interference is called and the ball is caught there will be no penalty if 5 or more yards are gained. If defensive pass interference is called and the ball is dropped or not caught, 5 yards will be added from the line of scrimmage and will replay the down.
  23. For all grades, the red zone is from the 10 yard line into the goal line.
  24. No Blitzing. Outside the red zone (10 yard line to the goal line), either a 4 or 5 man front may be played. Linebackers and cornerbacks must be 7 yards off the ball at the start of the play. This will help enforce the no blitzing rule. Linebackers may adjust to cover Wingback or in Trips formation. Safeties must be 10 yards off the ball. Goal line allows more defensive men on the line. The defense may cover or play a man on every player that is on the line of scrimmage with a maximum of 7 offensive and 7 defensive players on the line of scrimmage (ie. cornerbacks need not be 7 yards back if they are head up on a receiver). 4-4 and 5-2 defenses may still be played within the Red Zone and near the goal line. Within the Red Zone Linebackers need to be 7 yards back or may begin play along the goal line, whichever is further, but must stay at the depth of the lineman’s heals. No stunting on the defensive line, linemen need to engage and make a move with the man they are head up on and then go to the ball. Defenses can run either a 5-2 or a 4-4 in the 11-man division (6th Grade). 4th & 5th grade teams in the 11 man division shall run a 4-4 defense (unless near the goal line). A 3-5, 3-4 or 4-3 shall be run in the 9 man division. (See separate diagrams)
  25. Teams shall not use an unbalanced line on offense and all offensive sets must consist of a center, two guards, and two tackles. “An 11-man offensive formation shall consist of a center, 2 guards, and two tackles. Traditional 2 foot splits (or less) shall be used on the line of scrimmage in order to allow our defenses to properly align. We will require the customary 7 men on the line of scrimmage but center guard and tackle must be closely aligned to allow the defenders to line up properly.” Offensive Lineman may pull.
  26. Two coaches per team (offense and defense) will be allowed on the playing field at all times.
  27. Coaches must be at least 15 yards back from line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball, and refrain from yelling the play.

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