1. At the start of each game, captains from both teams shall meet at midfield for the coin toss to determine who shall start with the ball. The visiting team shall call the toss.
2. The winner of the coin toss gets the choice to either start the game on defense or receive the ball and take the first offensive possession. Teams may not choose to defer to second
half choice.
3. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has three (3) plays to cross midfield. .Once a team crosses midfield, it has three (3) plays to score a
touchdown.
4. If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team takes over on its 5-yard line.
5. If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its 5-yard line.
6. All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offense’s 5-yard line.
7. Teams change sides after the first half. Possession changes to whom ever started on defense to begin the game
8. The clock does not stop except under special circumstances under 2 minutes.

                                                                         Equipment
1. The league provides each player with flag belts and each team with two footballs. Teams must use league provided footballs during all games. Teams cannot provide their own
personal ball for use.
2. Players must wear shoes. Cleats are allowed, however cleats with exposed metal are not allowed and must be removed.
3. Players may tape their forearms, hands and fingers. Players may wear gloves, elbow pads, and kneepads. Braces with exposed metals are not allowed.
4. Players must remove all watches, earrings and any other jewelry from their body. In addition, hats and do-rags are NOT allowed. Winter beanies are allowed
5. Official NFL FLAG jerseys must be worn during play.
6. Player’s jerseys must be tucked into the shorts or pants if they hang below the belt line. Jerseys that are barely tucked and repeatedly come out, will be taped around the waist.
7. Pants or shorts with belt loops or pockets must be taped.
Basketball shorts without pockets are recommended.
8. Shorts worn must be in contrast with flag colors (Blue/Red).

                                                                         Eligibility
1. A player’s age must fall within the specified age-range as of August 1st of the current year. Age will be verified by a valid birth certificate. Players are allowed to play one
division higher if requested by the parents and the league approves the request.

                                                       Players/Game Schedules
1.Teams must field a minimum of four players at all times.
2.Teams consist of 10 players – five on the field, with five substitutes.
3. Home teams wear white jerseys, visiting teams wear dark jerseys.

                                                                Timing/Overtime -*New 2017
1. Games are played on a 40 minute continuous clock with two (2) 20 minute halves unless one team gains a 28 point advantage which will then end the "official" game. The clock
WILL stop only on any TD or change of Possession
under 2 minutes if the score is two Touchdowns or closer (12points).
2. Halftime is between one (1) and five (5) minutes long.
3. Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 30 seconds to snap the ball. Teams will receive one warning before a delay-of-game penalty is enforced.
4. Each team has one 60-second and 30-second time out per half.
5. Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.
6. In the event of an injury the clock will stop and then restart when the injured player is removed from the field of play. If the clock is stopped due to an injured player, that player
must sit out at least one play.
7. If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, teams move directly into overtime. Overtime will begin with each team getting one (1) play from the defense's 5 yard line for one point,
or the defense's 12 yard line for two points.
c. First possession choice goes to the winner of regulation coin toss. If a second round of overtime must be played, the team that lost the coin toss will get to choose offense or
defense for the start of the second round of overtime. This process continues with teams alternating who gets to choose to be on offense or defense to start out during every round of
overtime.
d. Each team gets a minimum of one possession and a maximum of three if the score is still tied after the first two possessions. If the score is still tied after three possessions, the
game will then end in a tie.
e. All regulation period rules and penalties are in effect.
f. There are no time-outs during the OT period.
g. Both teams MUST "go for two" from the 12 yard line starting with the 3rd round of overtime.
h. Only the winning team will gain points earned in the overtime phase. The losing team will not receive any additional points to their overall score. Points are only added from the
final round of over time (not cumulative).


                                                                       Scoring
1. Touchdown: 6 points
2. PAT (Point After Touchdown) 1 point (5-yard line) or 2 points (12-yard line) .Note: 1 point PAT is pass only, 2 point PAT can be run or pass.
3. Safety: 2 points
a. A Safety occurs when the ball carrier is declared down in his/her own end zone. They can be called down when their flags are pulled by a defensive player, their flag falls out, they
step out of bounds or they hit the ground with their knee or arm. A Safety also occurs when there is an offensive penalty in the end zone.
4. A team that scores a touchdown must declare whether they wish to attempt a 1-pt. conversion (from the 5-yard line) or a 2-pt. conversion (from the 12-yard line). The PAT
decision cannot be changed after a penalty.
5. In the event an interception is made by the defense  when the offense is going for either 1 or 2 points after a  Touchdown has been scored, the defense can attempt to advance the
ball to the opposite end zone and gain those extra points. (i.e. Offense goes for 1pt from the 5yd line and is intercepted for a TD by the defense, the defense is awarded the 1pt.)
This rule will apply for ALL divisions.
6. After one team is winning by 28 points or more, the game is over. Once a 28 or more point advantage is gained, no PAT will be attempted. The game will continue in scrimmage
mode for remainder of the game. -
*New 2017

                                                                     Coaches
1. Coaches are volunteer parents or family members helping the players learn and enjoy the game.
Parents are encouraged to support the coach at all time.
2. Coaches are expected to adhere to all NFL FLAG and SMYFFL philosophies, coaching guidelines and codes of conduct throughout the entire season including post season
playoffs.
4. Only three coaches per team are allowed.

                                                           Live Ball/Dead Ball
1. The ball is live at the snap of the ball and remains live until the official whistles the ball dead.
2. The official will indicate the neutral zone and line of scrimmage. It is an automatic dead ball foul if any player on defense or offense enters the neutral zone. In regards to the neutral
zone, the official may give both teams a “courtesy” neutral zone notification to allow their players to move back beyond the line.
3. A player who gains possession in the air is considered in bounds as long as
one foot comes down in the field of play
4. The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start play.
5. The defense may not mimic the offensive team signals, by trying to confuse the offensive players, while the quarterback is calling out signals to start the play.
6. Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.
7. Any official can whistle the play dead.
8. Play is ruled “dead” when:
a. The ball hits the ground. -
(Mites Division exempt on initial snap of ball)
b. The ball carrier’s flag is pulled.
c. The ball carrier steps out of bounds.
d. A touchdown, PAT or safety is scored.
e. The ball carrier’s knee or arm hits the ground.
f. The ball carrier’s flag falls out.
g. The receiver catches the ball while in possession of one flag.
h. The 7 second pass clock expires.
i. An inadvertent whistle is performed (at the spot where the ball was whistled dead).

9. In the case of an inadvertent whistle, the offense has two options:
a. Take the ball where the whistle blown made the play dead.
or
b. Replay the down from the original line of scrimmage.
10.
*New 2017 - 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. Officials should all agree upon any controversial call in order to give each team the full
benefit of each call.

Note: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball hits the ground.

                                                                   Running
1. The ball is spotted where the runner’s feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball carrier has the ball.
If one foot precedes the other, the forward foot marks the spot.
a. For 1st Downs and Goal Lines, the ball ,feet AND entire Flag Belt must cross the line.
2. The quarterback cannot directly run with the ball.
3. Only direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. Offense may use multiple handoffs.
a. “Center sneak” play is no longer allowed. The QB is not allowed to handoff to the center on the first handoff of the play.
*New 2017
4. Absolutely NO laterals or pitches of any kind.
5. “No-Run Zones,” located 5 yards before each end zone and 5 yards on either side of midfield, are designed to avoid short-yardage, power-running situations. Teams are not
allowed to run in these zones IF the subsequent line is LIVE. (Reminder: Each offensive squad approaches only TWO No Run Zones in each drive - one 5 yards from midfield to
gain the first down, one 5 yards from the goal line to score a TD 5 yards). -
(Mites Division Exempt).
6. The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
7. Once the ball has been handed off in front or behind the quarterback, all defensive players are eligible to rush.
8. Diving, leaping or jumping forward is considered flag guarding.
9. Spinning is allowed but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a flag pull.
*New 2017 (exception - avoiding contact)
10. No blocking or “screening” is allowed at any time.
11. Offensive players must stop their motion once the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage. No running with the ball carrier.
12. Flag Obstruction – All jerseys MUST be tucked in before play begins. The flags must be on the player’s hips and free from obstruction. Deliberately obstructed flags will be
considered flag guarding.

                                                                 Receiving
1. All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line).
2. Only one player is allowed in motion at a time. All motion must be parallel to the line of scrimmage
and no motion is permitted towards the line of scrimmage.
3. A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception.
4. In the case of simultaneous possession by both an offensive and defensive player, possession is awarded to the offense.
6. Interceptions are returnable.

                                                                     Passing
1. All passes must be from behind the line of scrimmage, thrown forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage.  (Mites Division Exempt)
a. All passes that do not cross the line of scrimmage, whether received or not, are illegal forward passes. *New 2017 (Mites Division Exempt)
b. The quarterback may throw the ball away to avoid a sack. Pass must go beyond the line of scrimmage.*New 2017
2. Shovel passes are allowed, but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage.
3. The quarterback 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 7-second rule no longer is in effect.
a. If the QB is standing in the end zone at the end of the 7-second clock, the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage
4. Interceptions are returnable.

                                                   Rushing the Quarterback
1. All players who rush the passer must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
Any number of players can rush the quarterback. Players not rushing the quarterback may defend on the line of scrimmage as long as there is a one yard buffer from the line of
scrimmage.
2. Once the ball is handed off, the seven-yard rule no longer is in effect and all defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage.
3. A special marker, or the referee, will designate a Rush Line seven yards from the line of scrimmage.
Defensive players should verify they are in the correct position with the official on every play.
a. A legal rush is:
i. All Defensive rushes that start behind the designated 7yd marker and are within 2 football lengths from the marker itself - Mites and Rookie Divisions ONLY. Semi-Pro, Pro, and
Top-Flight can rush from ANYWHERE on the field BEHIND the 7yd marker.
ii. A rush from anywhere on the field AFTER the ball has been handed off by the quarterback.
iii. .If a rusher leaves the rush line early, they may return to the rush line, reset and then legally rush the quarterback.
iv. If a rusher leaves the rush line early and the ball is handed off before they cross the line of scrimmage,
they may legally rush the quarterback.
b. A penalty may be called if:
i. The rusher leaves the rush line before the snap and crosses the line of scrimmage before a
handoff or pass – Illegal Rush (5 yards and first down).
ii.. Any defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped – Offsides (5 yards and first down).
iii. Any defensive player, not lined up at the designated 7yd rush marker crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is
passed or handed – Illegal Rush (5 yards and first down).
iv..
*New 2017 -The offense cannot impede the rusher in any way and must have a clear path to the QB. If the "path or line" is occupied by a moving offensive player, then it is the
offense's responsibility to avoid the rusher. Any disruption to the rusher's path and/or contact will result in an impeding the rusher penalty. (5 yards and first down). This rule only
affects rushers who begin their rush from the rushing marker itself. This rule does NOT apply to outside rushers from the CB position. If the offensive player does not move after the
snap, then it is the rusher’s responsibility to go around the offensive player and to avoid contact.
c. Special circumstances:
i. Teams are not required to rush the quarterback, seven second clock in effect.
ii. Teams are not required to identify their rusher before the play, however if they do send a rusher,
the rusher must begin their rush from the 7yd rushing marker.
iii. If rusher leaves the 7-yard line before the snap, he/she may immediately drop back to act as a
defender with no offside penalty enforced.
4. Players rushing the Quarterback may attempt to block a pass. However, NO contact can be made with the quarterback or passer in any way. The defense may attempt to block
a pass provided they do not strike the passer.
6. Blocking the pass and then striking the passer will result in a 10-yard penalty and automatic 1st down.
7. A Sack occurs if the QB’s flags are pulled behind the line of scrimmage. The ball is placed where the QB’s feet are when the flag is pulled.
a. A Safety is awarded if the sack takes place in the offensive team’s end zone.
8. Mites and Rookie Divisions ONLY - If the score is 18 points or more, the defense is NOT allowed to rush the quarterback until the deficit is under 18 points during any point in
the game.
9. If at any time the offense is seen using dual possession between two players behind the line of scrimmage (QB and RB read option), the defense is immediately permitted to cross
the line of scrimmage. While making an attempt to pull the flag of the player in sole possession of the football, the "decoy" cannot block or interfere with either one of the players
flags who has possession of the football. If the incoming rusher/s is impeded or makes contact with the player without the ball, then a blocking penalty will be assessed.

                                                               Flag Pulling
1. A legal flag pull takes place when the ball carrier is in full possession of the ball.
2. Defenders can dive to pull flags, but cannot tackle, hold or run through ball carrier when pulling flags.
3. It is illegal to attempt to strip or pull the ball or pull from the ball carrier’s possession or Quarterbacks Hand at any time.
4. 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.
5. A defensive player may not intentionally pull the flags off of a player who is not in possession of the ball.
6. Flag guarding is an attempt by the ball carrier to obstruct the defender’s access to the flags by stiff arming, dropping of head, hand, arm or shoulder, or intentionally covering flags
with the football or jersey.

                                                                Formations
1. An offensive team 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 quarterback must be off the line of scrimmage.
a. One player at a time may go in motion 1-yard beyond and parallel to the line of scrimmage.
b. No motion is allowed towards the line of scrimmage.
2. Offensive players must come to a complete stop for one second before the ball is snapped unless he/she is the one player in motion.
3. Movement by a player who is set or a player who runs toward the line of scrimmage while in motion is considered a false start.
4. The center must snap the ball with a rapid and continuous motion between his/her legs to a player in the backfield, and the ball must completely leave his/her hands. The person
who takes the initial snap from the center is considered the Quarterback regardless of position on the field.



                                               Unsportsmanlike Conduct
1. If the field monitor or referee witnesses any acts of intentional tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act,the game will be stopped and the player will
be ejected from the game. The decision is made at the referee’s discretion. No appeals! FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
2. Offensive or confrontational language is illegal. Officials have the right to determine offensive language. If offensive or confrontational language occurs, the referee will give one
warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.
3. Players may not physically or verbally abuse any opponent or official.
4. Ball carriers MUST make an effort to avoid defenders with an established position.
5. Defenders are not allowed to run through the ball carrier when pulling flags.
6. Fans must also adhere to good sportsmanship:
a. Yell to cheer on your players, not to harass officials or other teams.
b. Keep comments clean and profanity free.
c. Compliment ALL players, not just one child or team.
7. Fans are required to keep fields safe and kids friendly:
a. Keep younger kids and equipment such as coolers, chairs and tents away from the sidelines.


                                                                 Penalties
1. The referee will call all penalties.
2. Referees determine incidental contact.
3. All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage, except as noted (spot fouls).
4. Only the team captain or head coach may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players cannot question judgment calls.
5. Two forms of penalties are assessed: live ball and dead ball. Live ball penalties must be assessed before the play is considered completed.
6. Penalties will be assessed half the distance to the goal line if the distance to the goal line is less than the penalty yardage.

ii.
5 Yard Penalties
Illegal Equipment
Offside
Illegal motion (more than one person moving, false start, etc.)
Illegal forward pass (pass received behind line of scrimmage or throwing a pass beyond the line of scrimmage)
Offensive pass interference (illegal pick play, pushing off/away defender)
Screening, Blocking or Running with the ball carrier
Delay of game
Defense Illegal flag pull (before receiver has ball)
Defense Illegal rushing (starting rush from inside 7-yard marker)
Contact with incoming rusher

iii.
10 Yard Penalties
Roughing the passer
Defense Illegal contact (holding, blocking, etc.)
Flag Guarding
Stripping


iiii.
15 Yard Penalties
Any Unsportsmanlike conduct:
Offensive Charging
Taunting


Players may NOT throw pulled flags to the ground. They must hand them either to the player it belongs to or the official.  

If penalty occurs while scoring a touchdown, the offense will receive a 10 yard penalty from the yard line of PAT attempt after touchdown (one warning to the player and team
before ejection).

Spot Fouls
Flag guarding - 10 yards & loss of down
Defensive Pass Interference - Automatic first down from spot of penalty
Stripping - 10 yards and first down
Unnecessary Roughness -15 yards & loss of down
Defensive Illegal contact - 10 yards and automatic 1st down
Offensive Charging - 15 yards & loss of down

Defense
• Offside -5 yards from the LOS & automatic first down
• Interference - Spot foul and automatic first down
• Illegal flag pull (Before receiver has ball) - 5 yards LOS and automatic first down
• Illegal rushing (Starting rush from inside 7-yard marker) - 5 yards LOS and automatic first down
• Roughing the passer -10 yards LOS and first down
• Illegal contact (holding, blocking,contact initiated by rusher) - Spot foul,10 yards and automatic first down
• Unnecessary Roughness - Spot foul, 15 yards and first down
• Stripping - Spot foul, 10 yards and first down


Offense
• Illegal motion (More than one person moving, false start, etc.) Play Dead Immediately - 5 yards LOS and loss of down
• Illegal forward pass (Pass received behind line of scrimmage or throwing a pass beyond the line of scrimmage) - 5 yards LOS and loss of down
• Offensive pass interference (Illegal pick play, pushing off/away defender)  - 5 yards LOS and loss of down
• Flag guarding - Spot foul, 10 yards & loss of down
• Screening, Blocking or Running with the ball carrier - 5 yards LOS and loss of down
• Charging - Spot foul, 15 yards & loss of down  In Addition: That player be given a warning and will sit out the rest of that series. Repeat infraction will result in ejection from game.
• Delay of game - 5 yards LOS and loss of down
• Contact with incoming rusher - 5 yards LOS and loss of down

Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play.

Only the team captain may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players cannot question judgment calls.

Halftime and the Final play of the game cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.

                                                                          SMYFFL Additional Rules:

Playing Requirements: It is league policy that ALL kids play at least seven (7) plays per half per game and also be guaranteed a starting position on either offense or defense of every
game. The only exception to this rule would be by the parents request that their child either play less or not at all for possible academic reasons or other personal reasons. In
addition, all players will be given the opportunity to play at both RB and QB positions at least four (4) plays throughout the course of the season unless the child does not want to
play those certain positions. In which case, the coach will work with that individual to build up his/her confidence and abilities to at least give it a try before seasons end. All players
should have an opportunity to play both offense and defense each game; and at different positions during the course of the season (not necessarily different positions each and every
game). This policy includes the Playoffs and Super Bowls. If excessive practices are missed however, the coach may only be able to put that particular player in on offense or
defense only, if he deems the player not familiar with certain plays that have been worked on during practices.

Defensive plays in which a player is clearly NOT going for the flag to make a play will result in the Offensive team gaining possession of the ball at the opponents 7 yd line, 1st and
Goal. That player will also be ejected for the remainder of the series. If the same Defensive player repeats the infraction sometime during the course of the game, he will be ejected
from the remainder of the game. The defensive rusher/s may attempt to block the pass but it is a penalty to make contact with the quarterback’s body or arm.

Everyone must have a starting position at the beginning of each game and also at the beginning of the second half following halftime. Those players cannot be subbed in or out of the
game and MUST stay in for an entire DRIVE (not series). An injury or parents request is the only exception to this rule. Coaches have the option on which players to begin either on
offense or defense at both starts. Once the initial drives are complete either by scoring, turnover, or change of position, coaches are then able to substitute as needed.

Mites and Rookie Divisions:- No individual player can score more than 2 offensive rushing or receiving touchdowns per half of every game. If a player scores a 3rd or more
offensive TD per half, the play is ruled dead and a loss of down will be enforced.

Coaches are responsible for their Parents actions on the sidelines. If a referee at any time feels a parents conduct is detrimental to the game, a warning will be given to the coach. If it
still persists, a 10 yd penalty and automatic 1st down will result if on defense. If on offense, 10 yds and loss of down. A third infraction will result in that parent being asked to leave
the field or the game will be forfeited. This includes but is not limited too: Yelling at the referees, opposing players, coaches or sidelines.

Weather - If a game is in progress during the second half and is called due to unplayable weather conditions, the game is over and the score at that time will be the official result. If
the game is in the first half and is called, there will be a 20 minute waiting period with the intent of resuming. In the event the game cannot be restarted, the game is considered
incomplete and the entire game will be rescheduled for a later date Please note that the weather MUST be extreme for the game to be called and will be decided by the officials
officiating the game.

Change of Possession - During any change of possession, the offense must allow 30 seconds for the defense to get setup once the official spots the ball. After the initial setup, the
hurry up offense can be utilized.


                                                                       Attire
Cleats are allowed, except for metal spikes. Inspections must be made. All players must wear a protective mouthpiece; there are no exceptions.

Official NFL FLAG jerseys must be worn during play.

Note: There are no kickoffs, and no blocking is allowed.

                                                                   The Field

1. The field size is 30 yards by 70 yards with
two 10-yard end zones and a midfield line-to-gain.
No-Running Zones precede each line-to-gain by 5 yards.
2. No Run Zones are in place to prevent teams from
conducting power run plays. While in the No Run Zones, teams may not run the
ball in any fashion. All plays, including those that begin
with a handoff, must be pass plays.
3. Stepping on the boundary line is considered out of bounds.
4. Each offensive squad approaches only TWO No Run Zones
in each drive (one zone 5 yards from midfield to gain the
first down, one zone 5 yards from the goal line to score a TD).