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All rules are in accordance with the Alabama High School football rules including penalties and penalty yards with all exceptions stated below.
1. FIELD DIMENSIONS
A) Field Length - 45 yards long 14U and 12U. 30 yards for 10U and 8U
B) Field Width - 160 feet (60 feet to hash mark, 40 feet between)
2. Game Play
Mouth pieces are required during all game plays.
A) All games will begin and end on this time keepers instructions. He will also announce the time remaining at the 10, 5, and 2 minute marks.
B) Visitors will have first possession and wear white (top team in bracket or first team listed will be the visitor). The home team will have first possession in the 2nd half and wear a dark color (bottom team in bracket or 2nd team listed will be the home team). Teams must be on opposite sides of the field) NO TEAM WILL BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE WITHOUT SHIRTS!
Team sidelines must be on opposite sides of the field. Visitors (wearing white) will line up on the right side of the field when facing the end zone. Home (wearing dark) will line up on the left side of the field when facing the end zone.
C) No school football jerseys shall be worn. Any rec or club league shirts can be used or T-shirts, Under-Armour-type, personal jerseys or basketball-type sleeveless shirts are permitted. We recommend that all teams have shirts with numbers on the back.
D) Players are permitted to wear standard football cleats with plastic or rubber spikes.
NO METAL SPIKES ARE ALLOWED!
E) Ball always placed on right hash mark when at the 45-yard (14U and 12U) or 30 line (10U and 8U).
F) Each team will use its own ball during offensive possessions. 14U division may use either High School or Middle School standard size footballs. 12U division and below may use a TDJ size football.
G) Referee will announce score before each offensive possession begins.
3. MOVING THE BALL
A) No kicking/punting.
B) Field is marked at 15 yard intervals with cones. (3 first downs without a penalty would result in a TD). Field is marked at 10 yard intervals with cones for 5th grade and below.
C) Possession always begins at the 45 yard line at the right hash (30 yard line for 10U and below). NO PENALTY WILL BE ASSESSED IN EXCESS OF THE 45 YD. LINE. LOSS OF DOWN WILL BE ASSESSED INSTEAD.
• First Down - incomplete pass and offensive penalty results in the next down being 2nd down.
• Second down - incomplete pass and offensive penalty results in the next down being 3rd down.
D) Offenses always move in the same direction.
E) NO PASSER MAY RUN WITH THE BALL. ALL PASSES MUST BE FORWARD.A pass caught behind the line must be forward. The only laterals that will be allowed will be laterals that occur AFTER the completion of a forward pass.
F) If a forward pass does not cross the LOS and before the 4 second count has expired, a defensive player tags the ball carrier behind the 45 yard line (or 30 yard line for 10U and 8U), the play is a SAFETY.
4. SPECIAL RULES
A) No blocking.
B) Receiver/Ball carrier is legally down when touched below the neck with one or both hands. (Excessive force by shoving, pushing, or striking a blow will be penalized by automatic first down and 5 yards. Player will be expelled if ruled unsportsmanlike & flagrant).
C) Fumbles are dead balls at the spot with the last team retaining possession. A muffed snap is NOT a fumble/dead ball. The 4.0 second count remains in effect on snaps.
D) Each team will have 25 seconds to snap the ball once it has been marked ready for play; delay of game penalty will be a 5-yard penalty.
E) The QB is allowed 4.0 seconds to throw the ball. The Referee starts a stopwatch on the snap of the ball from center and stops the watch as soon as the QB releases the ball.
1. If release is under 4.0 seconds, the play goes on.
2. If the referee sees that the clock has exceeded 4.0 seconds, he waits until the play is over (the play is not blown dead), then brings the ball back to the original line of scrimmage with loss of down.
F) Defensive Pass Interference will be a spot foul (1st down at the spot).
G) Responsibility to avoid contact is with the defense. There will be NO chucking, or deliberate bumping or grabbing. These actions will result in a "tack on" penalty at the end of the play (5-yard penalty).
H) Offensive pass interference is the same as NCAA rules.
I) Interceptions may be returned however, defensive players may not block anyone subsequent to an interception. If an interception is returned beyond the 45-yard line (the offensive origination point) it is a touchdown and point after attempt should ensue.
J) Offensive team is responsible for retrieving and returning the ball to the previous spot or the new scrimmage spot. Clock does not stop and any delay by offense in retrieving and returning the ball TO THE REFEREE will result in a delay of game and will be a 5-yard penalty from the succeeding spot.
K) The offensive center is not an eligible receiver (all teams must have a center – the center may be any player). The center is responsible for establishing the succeeding spot as designated by the Referee.
L) The center will be responsible for setting or re-positioning the Referee's bean bag at the line of scrimmage.
M) No taunting or "trash talking." (5-yard penalty & expulsion if flagrant or repeated).
N) The offense must gain at least 15 yards (10 yards for 5th grade and below) within 3 plays while the offense is in the first two thirds of the field (the first 2 15 yard segments of the field) or the defense takes over. (There is no kicking). Once the team has entered the final third of the field (the third 15-yard segment of the field), the offense must score within the first four downs.
O) Fighting: the player(s) involved will be ejected from the game and tournament. If a team fight occurs, the teams involved will be ejected from the tournament and denied participation in any/all state qualifying tournaments and the state tournament.
P) Any dead ball foul on a play that results in the defense getting the ball will result in a loss of down penalty, as the team cannot be penalized beyond the 45 yard line (30 yard line for 10U and 8U) starting position. The defense - not the offense - would be starting play with 2nd down.
Q) Snapping of the ball by the center must be between the legs.
6 points for TD, 1 point for PAT from 3 yard line, 2 point PAT from 10 yard line (interception on PAT is dead ball). Official score is kept by field referee and game manager.
6. OVERTIME RULES
After coin flip to determine first possession, teams will alternate 4 down series from the 15-yard line (10-yard line for 10U and 8U). A winner is determined when one team outscores the other team during an overtime session. Each team must go for two points on the conversion attempts beginning in the second overtime.
A) 20-minute halves (continuous clock for each half--see: "starting the game").
B) No time outs. (EXCEPTION: Injuries. All games will halt until injured player(s) can be safely removed from the field).
1. 5-minute halftime/15 minutes between games (the between game time may be shortened if the tournament is running behind schedule).
2. 7 on 7 tournaments require that all games start/end at the same time. If a team(s) is(are) late and cannot start when the tournament officially starts, they will be penalized 7 points and begin play with whatever time is left on the tournament clock. (Not to exceed 10 minutes of 1st half. Forfeit will occur after 10 minutes of the 1st half) IT IS IMPERATIVE TO KEEP TO THE TOURNAMENT TIME SCHEDULE. Teams must be on site and ready to play when scheduled). Injury time outs may reduce the amount of time between halves and/or between games to maintain the game schedules.
- SQUAD MEMBERS
A) Players: Maximum of 15 players per team. We recommend a minimum of 9 players per team.
B) For 14U teams: Squad members must be from the same high school zone. Squad members may come from different middle schools and/or junior high schools as long as they are scheduled to attend the same high school.
C) Tournament Age based on age on July 31st
D) For 12U and below: Squad members must be from the same city and/or youth football association.
Two (2)-Referee/Field Judge and Back Judge for All Games
10. POOL PLAY TIEBREAKER RULES
A) If two teams are tied at the end of pool play, the first tiebreaker shall be head-to-head play.
B) If three or more teams are tied at the end of pool play, the following tiebreakers shall be applied until there are two or less teams tied. If two teams are tied at the conclusion of any of the following tiebreakers, then the tiebreaker shall be head-to-head play:
· The first tiebreaker shall be cumulative head to head record against the other tied teams.
· If three or more teams remain tied after this tiebreaker, the next tiebreaker shall be point differential with a maximum of 15 points.
· If three or more teams remain tied at the end of these two tiebreakers, the next tiebreaker shall be points scored.
· If three or more teams remain tied at the end of this tiebreaker, then the teams shall participate in a coin flip.
12. INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY
If there is inclement weather on the day of the tournament, SSE will evaluate the conditions to determine if the Tournament will be held as scheduled. SSE reserves the right to reschedule or cancel the tournament if the inclement weather makes it unsafe or unplayable for players and spectators.
In general, a tournament will be played if there is light to moderate rain, with no thunder or lightning.
In the event that inclement weather forces the cancellation of all or part of a qualifying tournament, teams will have the option to receive a credit or cash refund of a percentage of their entry fee.
a. No games played = 75% credit or 50% cash refund
b. One game of three played = 50% credit 25% cash refund
c. Two games of three played = 25% credit