Website Manager

Gridiron - Gold Coast Youth Football

Gridiron - Gold Coast Youth Football

Content

7 on 7 Rules

Flag & Touch

Current as of February 24, 2022

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 2

Summary of Our 7 on 7 Game

TABLE OF CONTENTS

RULE 1: GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

1. Our Governing Philosophy
2. Our Game Officials
3. Your Required Personal Conduct 4. Your Required Team Conduct
5. Roster
6. Coaches Conduct and Bench Fouls 7. Our Basic Field Layout

RULE 2: UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT

1. Safety
2. Team Jerseys

3. Miscellaneous Uniform and Gear Issues

RULE 3: CLOCK MECHANICS

RULE 4: FIRST POSSESSION

RULE 5: SCORING

1. Scoring Chart 2. Mercy Rule

RULE 6: CHALLENGE PROCEDURE

RULE 7: OFFENSE

General Offense
1. Blocking and Illegal Screening 2. Fumbles and Muffs
3. Running/Jumping/Diving
4. Pass Plays

RULE 8: DEFENSE

1. General Defense

5. Batting
6. Intentional Grounding 7. Catches

2. Rushing the Passer 3. Press Coverage
4. Pass Interference 5. Interceptions

RULE 9: OVERTIME FORMAT

1. General Overtime Rules
2. Penalty Enforcement During Overtime

RULE 10: OFFICIATING

1. Marking the Spot
2. Forfeits and Ending the Game

3. Cool Down Period
4. Disqualifications and Ejections

5. Unsportsmanlike Conduct 6. Fighting
7. Bench Fouls or Warnings 8. Inadvertent Whistle

9. Unfair Acts Rule
10. Last Player Rule and Penalty

PENALTY CHART

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 3 Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 4

SUMMARY OF OUR 7 on 7 GAME

Overview & Cheat Sheet: FLAG and TOUCH 7v7 Football The game is 7 on 7, minimal-contact, skill position, non-blocking, non-screening football. FLAG is for younger divisions (MM, Bantam, and Freshman) and TOUCH is for older divisions (Sophomore, Junior, and Senior). The game is designed to mirror the dynamics of youth tackle football for skill players in a non-tackle environment and mirrors customary 7v7 competition play. The game caters to the more serious football player (as opposed to recreational players).

● Fields are regulation width (53 1/3 yards) and 40 yards long, plus regulation 10 yard end zone. ● Both teams will drive in the same direction when on offense (see Field Diagram below) ● Possessions will begin at the 40-yard line (unless moved by penalty) at the center of the field or

hash mark of the team’s choosing. Teams will have three downs to get to or beyond the 20-yard line at which point they get a fresh set of downs. Once they get to or beyond the 20-yard line, they get a new set of four downs to score.

● The player receiving the snap is the QB. The QB has 4 seconds to transfer the ball to another offensive player. The QB cannot run the ball; the QB can only do (i) a forward pass or (ii) a

handoff or backward exchange (backward pitch, backward pass, etc.) behind the line of the scrimmage. Once the QB has transferred the ball, the QB becomes an ineligible WR. On any given play, there can be multiple handoffs or backward pitches/laterals/passes (so long as each transfer occurs behind the line of scrimmage) but only 1 forward pass (either by the QB or by another offensive player who is behind the line of scrimmage).

● The Center is ineligible. After snapping the ball, the center must stay out of the play. ● Only 1 run perseriesofdowns.Arunisaplaywithoutaforwardpasswheretheoffensiveplayer withtheball (who has received a handoff, pitch or backward pass behind the line of scrimmage) crosses the line of scrimmage. The QB cannot run or cross the line of scrimmage. ● “No Run Zone”: No runs are allowed within 5 yards of a first down (at the 20 yard line) or within 5 yards of the endzone. If the offense is in the “No Run Zone,” and the offense commits a penalty that moves them back out of the “No Run Zone,” they still cannot run the ball. ● Once the offensive ball carrier has crossed the line of scrimmage there can be no further exchanges by the offense (whether pass, lateral, handoff).

● The defense cannot cross the line of scrimmage until/unless the ball has left the QB’s hands. Once the ball has left the QB’s hands, the defense may cross the line of scrimmage in pursuit. Note: no pass rushing; the defense cannot rush the QB while the QB has the ball.

● Fumbles are dead when they hit the ground. Bad snaps are not considered fumbles. The QB can pick up the ball and play will continue.

● Receivers must have one foot inbounds with possession to be a legal catch.
● Ball carriers are allowed to slightly leave their feet, jump, and spin as evasive maneuvers in order to advance the ball as long as they do not put another player’s safety at risk or initiate noteworthy

contact.
● Ball carriers may not dive, lunge, fall forward in an intentional manner or hurdle an opponent to

advance the ball.
● There is no kicking in this format.

● Game officials will mark the ball where the ball was at the time it became dead. ● A hash mark system will be used as in traditional football: if a ball is dead outside of the hash, the next possession will be spotted at the closest hash; if a ball is dead inside the two hashes, the ball will be spotted at that location.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 5

● No foul or penalty flag stops a live play. However, pre-snap fouls will stop the action (see Penalty Chart, page 19)

● The Mercy Rule will be invoked when the score differential is 27 points or more. ● If a game ends in a tie, overtime rules apply. Each team will attempt 2-pt PATs until one team scores and the other team fails to. See below for more details.

Clock Operation

Scheduled

Block

Length of

Game

Periods

Halftime

Time Outs

“stop clock”

or “pro clock”

60 minutes

45 minutes

Two 20- minute periods

5 minutes

1 per half

Pro clock, dead balls stop clock in final 2 minutes of

each half

If each team is playing multiple games on a single day tournament style, Gridiron may choose to have a 30 minute running clock without half-time or timeouts for each game to facilitate multiple games. This will be announced in advance.

Offense

● The winner of a pre-game coin toss can decide whether to start as offense or defense. The team that starts the game on defense starts the second half on offense.

● The play clock is 25 seconds.
● All players are eligible receivers except (1) the player who snapped the ball to begin the play and (2) the QB once the QB has performed an exchange to another offensive player. ● There is a 4-second “sack-clock” kept by an official.
● Teams must have center. Snaps may be made between the center’s legs or side-snapped. ● Once the snap occurs the snapper is ineligible and must remain stationary for the duration of the play.
● FLAG: Flag guarding is prohibited.

Defense

● The ball carrier is downed by: (FLAG) one- or two-hand flag pull or (TOUCH) a one- or two hand touch below the shoulder and above the ankle.

● Defenders may safely dive to touch a ball carrier or pull a flag but must avoid unnecessary roughness.

● Three and four point stances are not permitted.
● Players cannot make contact with another player that is considered unnecessary or provokes

roughness.
● Stripping or attempting to strip the ball from a player in possession is illegal. ● Whether or not a ball was tipped in the air has no bearing as it pertains to fouls (example: illegal contact, etc.)
● TOUCH: “Locking out” at the elbow or “following thorough” with hands while downing a ball

carrier by touch indicates excessive roughness. Purposeful or violent shoving out of bounds (or generally) to down an offensive player is not permitted. Any touch that appears dangerous or flagrant will be deemed a penalty at the judgment of the official.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 6

● FLAG: While incidental contact will not be penalized, a defender cannot hold onto an offensive player or hold on to another player’s jersey or clothing in order to grab the player’s flag or in order to allow another defender to grab the offensive player’s flag. The exception is if the flag belt or strap of the flag belt itself is grabbed in a manner the referee deems to be inadvertent.

Scoring Chart

Touchdown

● Six points (PATs can be tried from 5 yd line (1 pt, pass only) or 10yd line (2 pts, run or pass allowed)

Interception

● Two points (interceptions during PATs or overtime scoring attempts are dead balls and no points will be awarded). Interceptions result in change of possession with intercepting team starting a new drive at the 40 yard line.

Forfeits

● Recorded as 27-0

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 7

RULE 1: GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

1. Our Governing Philosophy

1) Our mission is to provide a superior football experience to our players, coaches and spectators. 2) 7 on 7 football is a finesse game, not the brute strength game of tackle football. Play accordingly. 3) Remind yourself and others that no college scholarships are awarded today, so just relax and enjoy. 4) We retain the right to amend, update or edit these rules as situations require. 5) Our rule

book is an evolving document. Your feedback is appreciated. Send comments or questions to

[email protected]
6) Updates to the rule book can be found at www.Gridironfb/rules.com.
7) When more details are needed than are outlined in our Rule Book, game officials will defer to the

most current National Federation of High Schools Rule Book.
8) This document uses the pronouns he, his, and him for readability and is not an act of gender bias;

the program seeks and encourages inclusive participation.

2. Our Game Officials

1) Please treat our official with respect.
2) Our officials administer the rules of this league not any other organization past or present. 3) Our officials are encouraged to use the “preventative style” of officiating which allows them to talk to, remind and help players avoid violations whenever feasible. Cautions and teaching points are appropriate most of the time.
4) It is not the mission of game officials to flag every small, nuanced infraction of traditional

football rules (for example, breaking the huddle incorrectly) or other insignificant issues that do not produce a significant unfair advantage.

3. Your Required Personal Conduct

1) Players, coaches, spectators, and officials must avoid profanity.
2) Disrespectful language; racist, sexist, homophobic remarks; obscene or threating gestures or

behavior; and bullying are prohibited by anyone attending our events to include coaches, parents,

players and spectators.
3) Foul play will not be tolerated.
4) Any staff member who hears or sees anything that in his judgment is an infraction of the required personal conduct standards may require the person responsible to leave the event. 5) If a player or non-player fails to comply with our requests, we have the authority to forfeit the game and have that

individual(s) removed from the rented complex.
6) Fighting will lead to an immediate ejection, possible suspension or even a lifetime exclusion. 7) Alcohol, intoxicants, tobacco products, vaping, weapons, and drones are prohibited at our rented facilities.
8) Our staff, game officials, players and non-players must comply with the rented facility’s rules.

4. Your Required Team Conduct

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 8

1) For the safety of our officials and their ability to administer the game all team personnel and spectators must remain at least two yards off the sidelines and inside the designated or notional team boxes.

2) Our staff at each site will determine from where spectators can and cannot observe and will err on the side of safety for our players and game officials.

3) Officials may require that boom boxes or other noise-producing devices be turned off or eliminated as they interfere with the game official’s ability to communicate and administer the game.

4) After the game, teams are required to clean up and remove any garbage.

5. Rosters

1) Only players on an officially approved Gridiron roster may participate. Every GCYFL chapter that fields a team reasonably certifies that each player involved meets the age / weight restrictions for their division and that players on a given division are reasonably expected to qualify for that division in the forthcoming tackle season. (For example, a 14 year old player on a Senior team must reasonably be expected to be eligible to play on the Senior GCYFL team this upcoming tackle season.) If it is determined that a chapter/team has violated this rule, penalties will be enforced including game forfeitures, fines, and other penalties.

2) Team rosters are limited to 15 players. Teams must field five players to avoid a forfeit. 3)
The opposing team is not required to “adjust down” when a team cannot field the required number of players but may do so to show sportsmanship.
4) If a team “borrows” a player(s) from another team to give them the required number of players,

the game will be recorded as a forfeit and the game may be played. 5) All substitute players must be on the sideline (not on the field).

6. Coaches Conduct and Bench Fouls

1) We ask that coaches maintain the spirit and the intent of our rules.
2) Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their sidelines to include players, spectators, guests,

and their team staff.
3) In all our league, only the Offense may have one coach on the field and they must be 10 yards

deeper than their deepest player.
4) Coaches who elect to be on the field cannot interfere with a play or imminent play in any physical

or verbal way (examples may include inadvertent screening or blocking, blocking the lines-of

sight, impeding a player or official, becoming entangled in the play or distracting from their

opponents’ cadence). If they do, the team may incur a bench foul.
5) Coaches are prohibited from “chasing the play down field” in the way a game official does. 6) For convenience and to speed the game along teams may huddle on the field-of-play near the sidelines. However, only five players and one coach are allowed in the huddle.
7) Officials will track down and distance. They will endeavor to remind coaches but are not

required to.

7. Our Basic Field Layout and Field Diagram

1) Fields are regulation width (53 1/3 yards) and 40 yards long, plus regulation 10 yard end zone.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 9

2) If necessary, the field dimension may be modified if physical space requires it.
3) Offensive teams will always move in the same direction.
4) Team boxes are established well off the sidelines and between the 40-yard line and the 20-yard

line. All coaches and substitute players must be in the team box, with the exception of the single offensive coach that can be on the field with the offense. Only coaches and players can be on the sideline.

5) No player or non-player may be in the restricted area during a live ball.

RULE 2: UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT 1. Safety

1) Soft-shelled helmets designed for minimum-contact football can be worn and are recommended to be worn (including using the chin strap as designed). Soft shelled helmets may be purchased at www.Gridironfb.com.

2) Players may not wear unyielding or stiff material items that in the judgment of the officials may present a hazard to other players. Casts and braces must be padded with a closed-cell, slow recovery foam padding no less than 1⁄2-inch thick (similar to what doctors use).

3) Players must properly wear a protective mouthpiece in their mouths while on the field-of-play. 4) Failure to comply is a safety violation, not a foul or penalty. Coaches, officials, and players share responsibility for safety.
5) Players must wear pants or shorts that do not have pockets, belt loops, zippers, or exposed draw

strings. Shorts with no pockets can be purchased at www.Gridironfb.com. Pockets cannot be

taped shut.
6) Players must wear closed-toed shoes. Cleats with exposed metal are never allowed.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 10

7) Players may wear eye protection to include prescription glasses or flexible sunglasses. 8) Players may wear a face shield molded to the face with no protrusions to protect against facial injury.
9) Jewelry that might endanger players must be removed before play or taped to the body. 10) We recommend all players wear soft gloves that may be purchased at www.Gridironfb.com.

hanging, branded, yellow high-visibility vinyl flags.
3) Some leagues may use the FuturePop® clip-on belt with two removable hanging, branded,

yellow
high-visibility vinyl flags. This decision will be made by the District Manager of that area. 4) All teams in the same league must all use the same version of our branded flags during play. 5)

tampered flags could result in an ejection or forfeiture.
7) If a player chooses to wear a hand towel, or any other object, on his waist it will be treated as

part

of the flag belt.
8) Flags cannot be the same or similar color as a player’s pants/shorts. Similar is at the official’s discretion.

3. Team Jerseys

1) Players must wear a Gridiron-approved jersey or a team may supply their own team jersey, provided the jersey must be consistent across players to avoid confusion. For flag leagues, the

2. Flag Belts (for FLAG divisions)

1) Players must wear flag belts provided by Gridiron.

2) All of our flag leagues use a one-piece, Triple Threat® clip-on belt with three permanently

attached

Flag belts must be worn as designed and be free of obstructions or alterations.

6) Altered or

jersey must be tucked into the shorts so that the jersey cannot obstruct a defensive player from

grabbing the flag.
2) If a player does not have a team jersey it is permissible, at staff’s discretion, to wear a street shirt. 3) It is the team coach’s responsibility to clear a non-team jersey or street shirt with the game officials before the game.
4) All players must wear their team jerseys as an outer garment. It is not permissible to wear jackets,

rain gear, etc., over the team jersey while on the field of play. It is permitted while in the team box area.

4. Miscellaneous Uniform and Gear Issues

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 11

1) Players may wear a headband made of a non-abrasive material. Rubber or elastic bands may be used in hair.

2) Players may tape forearms, hands, and fingers.
3) Elbow pads, etc., may be permitted at the game official’s discretion.
4) Teams may provide their own game ball (white balls not allowed) but they must meet these

specifications and are subject to the game official’s inspection and discretion. Footballs must be pebble-grained leather or rubber-covered and meet these sizes in accordance with GCYFL divisions:

1. Mighty Mite, Bantam & Freshman: Pee Wee (i.e. Wilson K2 or Equivalent) 2. Sophomore & Junior: Junior (i.e. Nike 1000J or Equivalent)
3. Senior Divisions: Youth (i.e. Nike 1000Y or Equivalent)

RULE 3: CLOCK MECHANICS

1) The game clock will be kept by game referees.

2) Games are 40 minutes long with a running clock and two 20 minutes halves. The game clock

will be managed “Pro Clock” style (with dead balls stopping clock during final two minutes of

each half).

3) There is a 25-second play clock.

4) Officials may stop the game clock as needed.

5) Halftime is 5 minutes.

6) Team timeout is 60 seconds. After 60 seconds the official will audibly place the offense on a 25-

second play clock. One timeout per half.

7) Officials will endeavor to give a verbal 10-, five- and two-minute warning as close as possible to

the actual time marks but will not interrupt a live play.

8) The two-minute warning will stop the clock.

9) The referee will endeavor to regularly announce the time remaining during the final two minutes

of the game.

10) The clock will not run during point-after-touchdown attempts (PATs) in final two minutes of the

game.

11) Our staff may enter the field during any dead ball situation to address matters they believe should

not wait till half-time or the end of the game by calling a “Staff Time-Out”.

RULE 4: COIN TOSS
1) Coaches or team captains are required to bring their game balls to the coin toss for inspection

p

2) Officials and coaches should conduct a pre-game safety check to ensure players and equipment

are safe and ready for competition.

Game officials will confirm with team coaches during the coin toss that the teams are prepared to

lay in a sportsmanlike manner and are properly and legally equipped. Safety is everyone’s

responsibility.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 12

3) Game officials will issue a warning about unsportsmanlike conduct, excessive rough play, etc.,

before the game begins.

4) First possession is decided using a coin toss.

5) The head official will ask the “calling captain” his choice of “heads” or “tails”. The official will

ask the opposing team to repeat and confirm the choice before flipping the coin. The head official

will then confirm the call.

6) The team winning the toss shall choose one of the following options (Game officials: Always ask

coach, do not let players make the decision):

a. Begin on offense

b. Begin on defense

7) The team that started the game on offense, will start the second half on defense.

8) In order to

keep to schedule, the game clock shall start one minute after the coin toss formalities

a

have ended whether the teams have taken the field or not.

RULE 5: SCORING

1. Scoring Chart

Touchdown

(PAT)

6 points with the chance to go for a 1, or 2 point after touchdown

(PAT)

1 point from the 5 yard line, pass play only 2 points from the 10 yard line, run or pass

attempt

Points After

Touchdown

Interception

● Two points (interceptions during overtime scoring attempts or PATs are dead balls and no points will be awarded). Change of possession occurs following an INT with the intercepting team getting the ball.

Forfeits

● Recorded as 27-0

2. Point After Touchdown (PAT)

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 13

3) Point conversion choices cannot be changed after a penalty.
4) Personal and unsportsmanlike fouls by the defense on a successful PAT are enforced on the next

possession, or next spot in overtime periods.

5) Fouls committed by the offense on a successful PAT will result in penalty yardage assessed and the down replayed.

6) Fouls committed by the offense on an unsuccessful PAT will be declined by rule (exception: personal and unsportsmanlike fouls).

1) Following a touchdown, once the scoring team’s coach has informed an official of which point

conversion choice they want to attempt and the ball is either spotted or the ready-to-play whistle is blown,

the decision cannot be changed unless the scoring team uses a team timeout.

2) If a penalty occurs during an extra point attempt, the penalty will be assessed but the extra point value

remains the same.

Gridiron Football, Copyright MMXXI 11

9) Interceptions on PATs are a dead ball and the try is no good. The 2-point interception ruling does not apply, the result of the play is an unsuccessful PAT attempt.

7) Fouls by the offense during a PAT attempt that carry a loss-of-down penalty (flag guarding, illegal

advancement, illegal pass, etc.) will result in the PAT being “no good” and the attempt will not be

repeated.

8) Fouls by the defense during an unsuccessful PAT attempt will result in a retry after the options are

administered. The offense may opt to accept or decline penalty yardage before the retry.

Fouls During PAT attempts

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 14

Successful

Attempt

Unsuccessful

Attempt

Penalties That

Carry Loss-of

Down

Unsportsmanlike

And

Personal Fouls

Foul by

the

Offense

Yardage

assessed,

Retry

the attempt

Attempt no good,

no retry

Attempt no good,

no retry

Carries over to the

next

possession

Foul by

the

Defense

Declined, attempt

is good

Yardage

assessed,

Retry

the attempt

Not applicable

Yardage assessed,

Retry

the attempt

3. Mercy Rule

1) The Mercy Rule will be invoked if the score differential is 27 or more points. 2) When this occurs, the final score will be recorded as the score at the time the Mercy Rule was invoked. No more score recording will be done.
3) If both coaches agree, the game may continue as a “scrimmage”.

4) Once the Mercy Rule is invoked and coaches agree to continue the game as a scrimmage, the trailing team will begin their possessions at the 20-yard line for the remainder of the game. 5) Officials reserve the right to end the game if teams or coaches are not acting in a sportsmanlike manner (for example, running up the score as punishment, trash-talking, rough play, etc.) Please play and coach in the spirit of the league.

RULE 6: CHALLENGE PROCEDURE

1) Only the head coach may ask game officials about rule clarifications and interpretations. 2) Generally, officials are happy to answer quick questions during the game if they do not impede the game. The priority is to spot the ball then address questions without impeding the play clock. 3) Only procedural issues may be addressed, not an official’s judgment call or no call. An official’s judgment or no call is final.

RULE 7: OFFENSE 1. General Offense

1) The offense starts on the 40-yard line at the hash of their choice or center of the field. 2) The offense has three downs to gain a new set of downs by getting to or beyond the 20 yard line.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 15

3) Once the ball is marked equal to or inside the 20-yard line, the offense will have four downs to

score.

5) A hash mark system will be used as in traditional football: if a ball is dead outside of the hash, the next possession will be spotted at the closest hash; if a ball is dead inside the two hashes, the ball will be spotted at that location.

6) The player receiving the initial snap is deemed the passer and the passer may never run the ball past the line of scrimmage.

7) There is no blocking or screening allowed anywhere on the field.
8) Multiple offensive players can “shift,” but then all offensive players must come to a complete

4) “No Run Zone”: There are no runs allowed when the offense is 5 yards or less from the endzone

or 5 yards or less from the 20 yard line.

stop for at least one second before the ball is snapped. After all players have “set,” then one

player may go “in motion” and the ball can be snapped while that one player is in motion.
9) There are no “free plays” for the offense. After the game official blows the ready-for-play whistle

and the snapper puts his hand(s) on the ball, no player may enter the neutral zone until the ball is

moved to start the snap.
10) Any quick or abrupt movements by a single player or multiple offensive players in unison that

simulates the snap is a false start. This includes, but is not limited to, a quarterback thrusting his

hands forward when there is not a simultaneous snap.
11) It is a dead ball foul if any player on offense enters the neutral zone before the snap. 12) Direct snaps are legal to any player not on the line-of-scrimmage. The player receiving the snap is considered the passer and cannot run the ball past the line-of-scrimmage.
13) The ball will be declared dead if any portion of the ball carrier’s body other than his hands or feet

(knee, elbow, buttocks, or ball in hand, etc.) touches the ground.
14) To prevent deceptive plays, offensive substitutes must come onto the field no less than 5 yards from their sideline sometime after the ball has been declared ready for play and before the snap. 15) The offense is always responsible for retrieving the ball and returning it an official or to the line of-scrimmage quickly at the end of each play.
16) Offensive players must be on or behind the line of scrimmage. Offensive formations involving

the 5 eligible WR/RBs can be flexible including multiple RB formations or empty backfield spread formations. WRs can be on the line or off the line.

2. Blocking and Illegal Screening

1) Blocking is obstructing or physically contacting an opponent with any part of the body. 2) Illegal Screening is when an offensive player materially impedes the defender from getting to the player with the ball by abruptly stepping in the defender’s path or taking a position (two or fewer normal strides away) in a defender’s line of travel which forces the defender to abruptly veer around his opponent. This is a judgment call.

3) Physical-contact blocking (as seen in traditional football) and non-contact blocking (“screen blocking” as seen in basketball) are not allowed even if unintentional. This is a difficult transition for traditional football players.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 16

4) Ball carriers cannot use their teammates as a screen by “juking around” or “hiding behind” them. 5) A penalty may be called even when an offensive player accidentally obstructs a defender. 6) Offensive players must be aware that they may be penalized for screening by simply chasing the play and providing an inadvertent block or screen.

7) “Pick plays” (often seen in basketball) or “rub routes” are not allowed as these plays are designed to initiate contact or to screen-out defenders. Receivers going down field after the snap may not initiate contact with an opponent.

3. Fumbles and Muffs

1) The ball becomes dead when it hits the ground.

2) Any passed, pitched, muffed (uncontrolled touch) or fumbled ball that is intercepted before becoming dead will result in the intercepting team being awarded two points and possession of the ball going to the team that made the interception (starting at the 40 yard line).

3) Forward fumbles that hit the ground will be marked where the ball carrier’s feet were when he lost control and not the spot where the ball hit the ground.

4) Backward fumbles are marked where they hit the ground. Backward passes that hit the ground are considered fumbles.

5) Muffed snaps can be picked up by the QB and play continues.

4. Running/Jumping/Diving/ No Run Zones

1) The player initially taking the snap is the QB and may not run the ball past the line-of-scrimmage. 2) Ball carriers are allowed to slightly leave their feet, jump, and spin as evasive maneuvers in order to advance the ball as long as they do not put another player’s safety at risk. This is a judgment call by the game officials.

3) Not every insignificant jump or small hop constitutes a safety issue. This is a judgment call. 4) Jump cuts or advancing between two defenders is allowed if they do not initiate noteworthy contact with the defender or put another player’s safety at risk. This is a judgment call. 5) No player may hurdle over another player.

6) Ball carriers may not dive, lunge, or fall forward in a perceived intentional manner in order to advance the ball or achieve a line-to-gain. This is a judgment call.

7) Ball carriers may extend the ball out in front of them to gain additional yardage. 8) Diving by the defense to down a ball carrier is legal. However, game officials may still make judgment calls about illegal contact and excessive roughness.
9) If a defender trips a ball carrier while pursuing the offensive player from the rear and the ball

carrier goes to the ground (typically seen in break-away plays), even if the defender is making a fair and reasonable attempt to touch the ball carrier, the defender will be called for illegal contact and may be disqualified or ejected. The defender is obliged to make a fair, SAFE, and reasonable attempt. Safety is paramount. Teaching Lesson: Coach our players to play safe.

  1. 10)  Ball carriers must make every effort to avoid a defender who has established a stationary position.

  2. 11)  Runners may leave their feet to avoid collision or falling on another player.

  3. 12)  Passers may jump vertically to throw the ball over a taller defender.

13) “No Run Zones” are enforced as a safety measure to discourage power-runs, diving, etc., near the

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 17

If an offense is within the “No Run Zone” and a penalty moves them back out of the “No Run Zone,” the offense still cannot run.

5A. Run Plays

first down or the goal line. When the ball is spotted inside a “No Run Zone” the offense must

execute a forward pass that breaks the line-of-scrimmage. The “No Run Zone” is the 5 yard line

to the endzone (if a team is close to the endzone) or the 25 yard line to the 20 yard line (if a team

is close to getting a first down).

1) The passer who receives the snap is the QB. The QB cannot run and must remain behind the line of scrimmage and has four seconds to transfer the ball off to another player either as (i) a forward pass (including forward shovel passes or forward pitches) or (ii) a handoff, backward pitch/toss/lateral, or backward pass behind the line of scrimmage.

2) The four second sack clock will be kept by the official. If the QB still has the ball after four seconds have expired, it will be deemed a sack and the ball will be returned to the line of scrimmage with a loss of down.

3) Once the ball has left the hands of the QB, the defense can pursue and cross the line of scrimmage (but not before the ball has left the QB’s hands).

4) A team is allowed 1 run per series of down, except in the “No Run Zone,” which is the five yard area before the first down (at the 20) and the endzone .

5) The QB cannot run the ball; the QB can only do (i) a forward pass or (ii) a handoff or backward exchange (backward pitch, backward pass, etc.) behind the line of the scrimmage. The QB has 4 seconds to transfer the ball to another offensive player. Once the QB has transferred the ball, the QB becomes an ineligible WR and must remain out of the play. On any given play, there can be multiple handoffs or backward pitches/laterals/passes (so long as players receiving the ball remain behind the line of scrimmage) but only 1 forward pass (which must be initiated by a player who has both feet behind the line of scrimmage).

6)Only1runperseriesofdowns.Arunisaplaywithoutaforwardpasswheretheoffensiveplayer with the ball (who has received a handoff, pitch or backward pass behind the line of scrimmage) crosses the line of scrimmage. The QB cannot run. No runs are allowed in the “No Run Zone” (if the offense is in the “No Run Zone” but then commits a penalty that moves them back out of the “No Run Zone,” they still cannot run the ball). The “No Run Zone” is the five yard area from the 25-20 yard line (before a possible first down) and the five yard area from the 5-0 yard line (before a touchdown).

7) Once the offensive ball carrier has crossed the line of scrimmage there can be no further exchanges (whether pass, lateral, handoff).

5B. Pass Plays

8) There is a 4 second sack clock administered by the covering official. The QB has 4 seconds to transfer the ball to another offensive player either as a legal forward pass or handoff or backward exchange (backward pitch, backward pass, backward lateral). The QB cannot cross the line of scrimmage.

9) Only one forward pass is allowed per play.
10) Once the ball has passed the line-of-scrimmage it cannot be returned to behind the line-of-scrimmage

and thrown forward legally.
11) To be a legal pass both feet of the passer must be in/behind the neutral zone when the ball is released. 12) A passer may jump vertically to throw the ball over a defender.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 18

13) All offensive players except the snapper and the QB are eligible receivers unless they have stepped out-of-bounds of their own accord.

  1. 14)  Offensive players may not re-establish themselves in the field of play or participate in any way once they have stepped out-of-bounds of their accord.

  2. 15)  When an offensive player touches the ball after stepping out-of-bounds of his own accord it will result in a foul for Illegal Touching.

16) If the ball is in the passer’s hand when the covering official announces “sack”, it is a sack. 17) There is no allowance given for the passer’s arm being in motion at the time of the sack. Ball-in-hand at all equals a sack.
18) An underhanded forward pass (shovel pass) is legal and if it is dropped, it is ruled an incomplete pass

and not a fumble.

19) Multiple handoffs or backward exchanges (backward pitches, backward passes, backward laterals) are allowed so long as both players initiating the exchange and receiving the exchange are behind the line of scrimmage during the exchange. On any given play there can only be one forward pass. Once the line of scrimmage has been crossed by the ball carrier, no further exchanges of the ball are allowed.

20) When and only when the ball has left the QB’s hands, the defense may cross the line of scrimmage to pursue.

6A. Flag Guarding/Stiff-Arming for FLAG leagues

3) Flags may not be tucked in pants, tucked under jerseys, worn improperly, looped around the waist

4) The ball carrier shall not flag guard by flailing of arms, using their hands, arms, elbows, or

carrier may not swat a defender’s hands away nor pin the flag against his body using the ball or hands.

6)Anofficialmaycallflagguardingifhefeelsthataballcarrier’snaturalrunningmotiongavethe ball carrier a decisive advantage over the defender and the running motion caused part of the ball carrier’s body to block a de-flagging attempt.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 19

7) What constitutes flag guarding is up to the official’s judgment. We recommend you carry the ball with your hands held high on the body to avoid flag guarding. This is one of the most difficult transitions for traditional football players.

1) The ball carrier’s flags must be accessible to the defense throughout the play.

2) Flag guarding is

the act of a ball carrier denying a defender the opportunity to capture his flag in

any physical way.

belt, or knotted. Jerseys must be tucked in to avoid possibly obstructing a defender from reaching

the flags.

extremely dipped shoulders to deny the opportunity of an opponent to remove a flag.

5) The ball

8) Flag guarding shall not be called if there is no defensive player within reasonable distance to capture the flag.

9) The ball carrier may bend at the knees to dip low, side cut, skip, spin, or take short hops. 10) Extreme low dips (sometimes called a “duck-walk”) are legal and do not constitute flag guarding

p

in themselves as long as the flag carrier’s flags are still exposed and the defensive player isn’t

hysically impeded (i.e., the ball carrier isn’t using his arms, hands, shoulder, ball, etc., to impede

the defender). Normally flag guarding can be avoiding while “duck-walking” when the ball

carrier keeps his hands and elbows high on the body (example: at shoulder-level).

11) No penalty will be called if a ball carrier simultaneously flag guards as the defender pullst he flag.

Remind the player not to flag guard.

12) Tampering with the flag in any way to gain advantage is illegal and will be dealt with under the

Unfair Acts Rule.

6B. Batting

Any ball in flight may be batted in any direction by an eligible receiver.

7. Intentional Grounding

1) A passer may not throw the ball into an area behind the line-of-scrimmage where there is no offensive player to avoid a loss of yardage.

2) A passer may legally “throw the ball away” as long as the ball goes beyond the line of scrimmage.

3) Passers may not intentionally throw the ball out-of-bounds to avoid a loss of yardage.

8. Catches

1) A pass is completed when the receiver simultaneously places at least one foot inbounds and maintains possession.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 20

2) If the ball comes out of the receiver’s grasp because of contact with the ground or while going to the ground the pass is incomplete.

3) Simultaneous catches between a defensive and offensive player become dead automatically and go to the offense.

4) Whether or not a ball is tipped or touched in the air has no bearing on the play as it applies to fouls anywhere on the field (roughing, personal fouls, illegal contact, etc.)

5) If a receiver steps out-of-bounds of his own accord and is the first to touch a pass, it is Illegal Touching.

RULE 8: DEFENSE 1. General Defense

1) Stripping or attempting to strip the ball from a player’s hand is illegal.
2) Defensive teams may not attempt to confuse the offensive team by simulating their pre-snap

signals or cadence.
3) Whether or not a ball is tipped in the air has no bearing on the play as it applies to fouls

(roughing, personal fouls, etc.).
4) TOUCH: “Locking out” at the elbow or “following thorough” with hands while downing a ball

carrier by touch indicates excessive roughness. Purposeful or violent shoving out of bounds (or generally) to down an offensive player is not permitted. Any touch that appears dangerous or flagrant will be deemed a penalty at the judgment of the official.

5) FLAG: While incidental contact will not be penalized, a defender cannot hold onto an offensive player or hold on to another player’s jersey or clothing in order to grab the player’s flag or in order to allow another defender to grab the offensive player’s flag. The exception is if the flag belt or strap of the flag belt itself is grabbed.

2. Rushing the Passer

Defensive players may not cross the line-of-scrimmage until the ball has left the QB’s hands. The sack clock simulates the pass rush. One the ball has left the QB’s hands, the defense may cross the line of scrimmage in pursuit.

3. Press Coverage

1) Press coverage (jamming, bump-and-run, etc.) is allowed above the Mighty Mite level although excessive or violent jamming is prohibited at all age levels.

2) Defenders may not line up nose-to-nose with a potential receiver. There must be a 1-yard separation between potential receivers and defenders at the snap.

3) Defensive players may ward off or legally block a receiver until that player occupies the same yard line as the defender.

4) Defenders must do so with an open-hand technique inside the frame (between shoulders and hips) of the opponent's body and in the area of the chest. Under no circumstances may any player

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 21

strike another (i) in the face, neck, or general head area above the chest or (ii) below the chest. Any excessive or vicious contact in the judgment of the referees is a penalty.

5) If the receiver is past or moving away from the defender, the defender may not make contact. Contact must be made below the shoulders of the opponent.

6) For Mighty Mites, this is a “free-release” league. Defenders in Mighty Mites may not use press coverage.

4. Pass Interference

1) Pass interference normally occurs above the waist; entangled feet are not considered pass interference.

2) Incidental contact is not considered pass interference.
3) Contact away from the direction of the pass is not considered pass interference but may be a

separate foul.
4) Pass interference indicators are:

a. Shoving or pushing off to create separation
b. Making noteworthy contact before the ball arrives
c. Playing through the back of an opponent
d. Hook-and-turn: grabbing the torso and turning an opponent before the pass arrives e. Early contact by a defender who is not playing or looking for the ball
f. Arm bars, restricting, or grabbing.
g. Blocking downfield before the ball has been touched, commonly seen through “pick

plays”
h. Cutting off the path of a receiver by being in front of him and slowing down or being

beside him and “riding” him off his path to the ball.
5) Whether a pass is catchable or uncatchable has no bearing on pass interference.
6) All passes in this league are considered catchable.
7) A player may use his arms or hands to obstruct the receiver’s view of the ball (face guarding)

without turning his own head to play the ball as long as contact is not made with the receiver.

5. Interceptions

1) All legally intercepted passes are dead ball upon interception. Intercepting teams are awarded 2 points. Interceptions result in a change of possession with the intercepting teams getting the ball on the 40 yard line.

2) Intercepting team must secure the ball with “clean hands” to be legal (they must not have committed a foul before or at the same time of the interception to be awarded points). 3) Fouls by the intercepting team after an interception will be assessed on the next possession.

RULE 9: OVERTIME FORMAT

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 22

1. General Overtime Rules

1) If regulation time ends in a tie, teams will play and repeat 2-point PATs until a winner is determined.

2) Teams will go for 2 points from the 10-yard line unless moved by penalty. Teams can run or pass. Each team will have an attempt; this will repeat until one team has scored and the other has not.

3) The away team will begin each overtime period on offense.
4) Interceptions during overtime scoring attempts are dead balls and no points will be awarded.

2. Penalty Enforcement During Overtime

Successful Attempt

Unsuccessful Attempt

Penalties That Carry Loss

of-Down

Unsportsmanli ke And Personal Fouls

Foul by the Offense

Yardage assessed, Retry the attempt

Attempt no good, no retry

Attempt no good, no retry

Carries over to the next possession

Foul by the Defense

Declined, attempt is good

Yardage assessed, Retry the attempt

Not applicable

Carries over to the next possession

1) Penalties and play are administered as during regulation time.
2) Penalties that occur during overtime periods will carry over and be enforced from the next spot or

possession unless declined. All 10-yard penalties will carry over.
3) Personal and unsportsmanlike fouls by the defense on a successful attempt are enforced on the

next possession or next spot in overtime periods.
4) Fouls committed by the offense on a successful attempt will result in penalty yardage assessed and

the down replayed.
5) Fouls committed by the offense on an unsuccessful attempt will be declined by rule (exception:

personal and unsportsmanlike fouls).
6) Fouls by the offense during an attempt that carry a loss-of-down penalty (illegal advancement,

illegal pass, etc.) will result in the attempt being “no good” and the attempt will not be repeated. 7) Fouls by the defense during an unsuccessful attempt will result in a retry after the options are administered. The offense may opt to accept or decline penalty yardage before the retry.

RULE 10: OFFICIATING

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 23

NOTE: Please see your Mechanics Manual for more details.

1. Marking the Spot

1) When the ball becomes dead in a side zone it will be re-spotted at the nearest inbound hash mark. 2) The ball will be spotted wherever the ball was at the time the runner was downed or wherever the ball carrier left the field-of-play.
3) A ball spotter, ball marker or line judge shall be used to mark the line-of-scrimmage. The marker

will be placed on the sideline adjacent to the line-of-scrimmage.

2. Forfeits and Ending the Game

1) The game may not end with a penalty unless it is declined. All offensive loss-of-down penalties that occur with time expired in either half will end the game or half.

2) Offsetting penalties will not extend the half or game.
3) Forfeits that occur before the game are recorded as 27-0. Forfeits that occur once the game is

underway will be recorded as that score or the actual score when the forfeit occurred, whichever

is greater.
4) If a team plays in a habitually rough manner the game may be forfeited.
5) No period or half can end if there is an obvious timing error or any other irregularity has

occurred.

3. Cool Down Period

1) All unsportsmanlike conduct and egregious personal fouls will be accompanied by a cool down period at a minimum.

2) Before, or instead of, disqualification or ejection an official may order, but is not required to, a player to have a “cool down” period if the official chooses.

3) Players should think of this “cool down” as a warning before being disqualified or ejected and be thankful for it.

4) This period will consist of five plays and will be tracked by the official who ordered it. 5) The player must be off the field for five plays regardless. A score or other event does not release the player back to the field. He must stay off the field for five plays.

4. Disqualifications and Ejections

1) Disqualifications, Ejections and Unsportsmanlike Conduct are the only three penalties that cannot be declined. They are completely at the discretion of the game officials. The yardage portion of the penalty may be declined but the infraction itself cannot.

2) The difference between disqualification and ejection is completely the determination of the presiding referee and may not be appealed.

3) Disqualifications are normally reserved to address lower-level transgressions. 4) A disqualification will last for the remainder of the game the player was disqualified for. 5) A disqualified player may play in the next scheduled game.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 24

6) An ejected player may not play in the next scheduled game. He must sit out at least one additional game.

7) Any official may disqualify a player.
8) To eject a player all officials must agree and it must be reported to the field manager before play

resumes.
9) Ejections and disqualifications may occur for but are not limited to:

a. A second unsportsmanlike or personal foul on a single player
b. Any act deemed egregious by the head official
c. Disrespectfully addressing or intentionally touching a game official
d. Four unsportsmanlike and/or egregious personal fouls by one team (forfeiture) e. Fighting

5. Unsportsmanlike Conduct

1) Disrespect toward an official, coach, spectator or another player will constitute unsportsmanlike conduct.

2) Players shall not “showboat”, taunt, spike the ball toward an opponent, or be excessive in any way to include using force against or verbally attack or harass another player.

3) Celebrations are fine but keep them short, conservative, and not directed at an opponent.
4) Use of inflammatory words or gestures is prohibited.
5) If unsportsmanlike conduct occurs during a live play and the team did not score on that play, the

penalty will be assessed from the new line-of-scrimmage, i.e., it will be added to or subtracted

from the end of the play.
6) Players cannot make contact that is considered unnecessary or provokes roughness. 7) If roughness is habitual for a single player, disqualification or ejection procedures may apply. 8) If roughness is habitual for a team, forfeiture procedures may apply.

6. Fighting

1) Fighting will lead to immediate ejection, possible suspension, or lifetime exclusion. 2) Fighting is any act or attempt to act by a player or non-player to strike or engage a player or non player in a combative manner unrelated to football. Such acts include, but are not limited to, attempting to strike or striking with the arms, hands, legs, feet, or foreign object whether or not there was contact. 3) Any player who comes off the sideline to participate in a fight will be disqualified or ejected.

4) If either team leaves the bench during a fight the game will be forfeited immediately.

7. Bench Fouls or Warnings

Teams may incur bench fouls for a variety of reasons to include but not limited to:

1) Players or non-players interfering with play or an official
2) Disrespect toward officials or other players or non-players
3) Players or non-players in the designated restricted zone during a live play

4) Non-players on the field of play
5) Teams not remaining in the designated team box
6) Coaches on the field or becoming entangled in a live play

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 25

8. Inadvertent Whistle

1) If an official blows an inadvertent whistle he will declare the ball dead where the ball was at the time of the inadvertent whistle. The team against which the action offended may have the option of accepting the play (i.e., the yards gained and the down advances) or replaying the down from the original line-of-scrimmage.

2) If the ball was in the air when the inadvertent whistle occurred, it will be returned to the line-of scrimmage and the down will be replayed.

3) If a penalty marker is thrown before an inadvertent whistle, an accepted penalty will be administered as in any other play situation. When the foul is accepted, the inadvertent whistle is disregarded.

4) When an inadvertent whistle is triggered by an unfair act or an act used to deceive or confuse a game official the officiating crew may use their collective judgment to fairly adjudicate the situation. It may result in yardage awarded, a score granted, and/or the guilty player disqualified, etc. It is solely up to the officiating crew to decide.

9. Unfair Acts Rule

1) Neither team shall commit an act which, in the judgment of the game officials, tends to make a travesty of the game.

2) The head official or other staff members may enforce any penalty or remedy any situation with anything he considers equitable -- including awarding of a first down, a line-zone-to gain, a replay, a score, forfeiture, removal of forfeiture or any administrative issue or situation not specifically covered in these rules.

3) If an ineligible player (example: not on the roster, previously disqualified or previously ejected) is discovered by any means (example: observation, challenge, etc.) participating in a live ball play, that team will forfeit the game and the Unfair Act is assessed to the head coach.

10. Last Player Rule and Penalty

1) If the last defensive player aggressively pushes the ball carrier out-of-bounds, tackles, attempts to tackle, etc. the offensive team will be awarded at least one line-zone-to-gain distance from the spot of foul and an automatic first down.

2) In the spirit of the Unfair Acts Rule, officials have the discretion to award a score if a flagrant foul occurred inside the final line-zone-to-gain if they reasonably believe a foul is the only thing that prevented the ball carrier from scoring. There must be total agreement of all game officials who saw the foul.

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 26

7v7 PENALTY CHART

● Penalties will be assessed half the distance when the penalty yardage is more than half the distance available.

● All penalties may be declined except cool downs, personal fouls, unsportsmanlike, disqualifications, or ejections.

● The yardage portion of any penalty may be declined. The automatic first-down portion of penalties may be accepted without accepting the yardage portion of the penalty.

● While the ball is spotted at the 40-yard line all offensive penalties will incur a loss-of-down instead of yardage.

● Most fouls carry a 5-yard penalty except those that are bad contact or bad conduct.

5-Yard Dead Ball Penalties Yards Signal

Delay of Game (whistle action dead)

5

False Start / Snap Infraction / Illegal Procedure (whistle action dead)

5

Offside / Encroachment (whistle action dead)

5

Illegal Motion / Shift (whistle action dead)

5

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 27

Illegal Substitution with snap imminent (whistle action dead)

5

5-Yard Loss of Down Penalties Yards Signal

Illegal Advancement (Diving, Hurdling etc.)

5

+

Illegal Screen (no physical contact)

5

+

Offensive Pass Interference

5

+

Intentional Grounding

5

+

Illegal Forward Pass / Handling

5

+

5-Yard Live Ball Penalties Yards Signal

Illegal Rush (Defense)

5

Stripping or Attempted Strip

5

Holding

5

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 28

Defensive Pass Interference

5 + Auto First Down

Illegal Substitution (too many players during live play)

5

10-Yard Penalties Yards Signal

Charging / Bull Rush / Leading with Shoulder

(possibly an egregious personal foul, automatic cool down, possible disqualification or ejection)

10

Blocking (physical contact)

10

Roughing the Passer (Defense)

(possibly an egregious personal foul, automatic cool down, possible disqualification or ejection)

10 + Auto First Down

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

10

Unnecessary Roughness

(possibly an egregious personal foul, automatic cool down, possible disqualification or ejection)

10

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 29

Tackling

(possibly an egregious personal foul, automatic cool down, possible disqualification or ejection)

10

Illegal Contact

(possibly an egregious personal foul, automatic cool down, possible disqualification or ejection)

10

Disqualification and Ejection Yards Signal

Fighting (Auto Ejection)

10

+

Second Unsportsmanlike by Same Player / Coach (Disqualification / Ejection)

10

+

Second Egregious Personal Foul by Same Player (Disqualification / Ejection)

10

+

Intentionally Touching or Disrespectfully Addressing Game Official

10

+

Habitual Roughness

10

+

Special Enforcement Yards Signal

Bench Warning

Warning

Bench Foul

5, 10, 15 then 15 for all

subsequent

Gridiron Football, Copy Right MMXXI 30

Illegal Touching

Loss of Down

Last Player Rule

Awarded at least one

line-zone to gain

Unfair Tactics

Referee’s Discretion

Coach’s Choice: The yardage portion of any penalty may be declined.

The automatic 1st down portion of penalties may be accepted without accepting the yardage portion of the penalty.

Coach’s Discretion

Offensive penalties while ball is spotted at the 40- yard line (no penalty yardage)

Loss of Down

Fourth Unsportsmanlike and/or Egregious Personal Fouls by same team

Forfeiture

Mercy

When the point differential is27 points or greater

 

Contact

Gridiron Youth Football
 
Gold Coast, California  

Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2022 Gridiron Football - Gold Coast  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In