Pac West Rule Book

General Rules

Note: Pac West Flag Football League reserves the right to refuse membership, and/or the privilege to play, to any player, for any reason. The League also reserves the right to excuse any spectator or non-player from the field and/or environs for any “unsportsmanlike” behavior, as defined below. All player fees and/or fines are due in full before any League member is eligible for play. All fees and fines are non-refundable. The League bears no responsibility for loss, stolen or damaged personal items or clothing.

1. Player Conduct: We play safe and with respect for each other. Excessive trash talking, arguing, or harsh verbal language, meaning swear words (spoken disrespectfully or loudly) or aggressive/threatening language of any kind, or excessive whining about calls towards other players or referees is unsportsmanlike. All Official calls are final. Plays/calls in question may be discussed by the Officials. While Officials are conferring, teams must return to their huddles. Team captains may approach the Officials but only for rules clarifications. Any hounding of the Officials will be considered unsportsmanlike. Consistent arguing with or disrespecting of Officials may result in disqualification and ejection from the game, and will subject the player to Rules Committee review. The Committee may suspend, ban or fine any player unable to compete with proper respect towards players, Officials, League Officials, spectators and/or fans.

Fist-fighting or kicking, or even the threat of violence (verbally or physically), is prohibited. Any individual that cannot play clean and fair will be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and face ejection. Any player who chooses to retaliate with a punch or kick will also be penalized and face ejection. Ejected players are disqualified for the remainder of the game and are to leave the field immediately, being escorted if necessary by the Referee and/or League official(s). Ejected players are subject to further penalties as decided by the Rules Committee. These sanctions may include additional fines and/or suspension from one or more games, or permanent ban from the League. The sanctioned player will remain ineligible until fine and/or suspension is resolved.

Fee schedule for excessive misconduct and/or ejection:

First offense – $50

Second offense – $100

Third offense – Banned from League

Penalty: Unsportsmanlike conduct: 15-yard penalty and/or disqualification for fighting or consistent unsportsmanlike conduct.

2. Fields: The locations of games are to be determined by the Commissioner and will be included in the posted League Schedule made available online and to each Captain. Any changes due to field availability or condition will be made by the Commissioner and communicated to Captains as soon as possible. Final determination of field playability will be made by Commissioner prior to start of game. If game is in progress and conditions worsen to point of player endangerment, the Commissioner will call end to the game. The Commissioner will determine the outcome of game.

3. Balls: The League will provide a number of NFL Official Wilson Footballs for use by either team. Each team may also supply their own balls for use provided the following conditions are met:

(a) The ball(s) must be presented before start of game to Referee for approval

(b) The ball(s) must be presented to opposing Captain for approval

(c) The ball(s) must be made available for use by opposing team

Each team is permitted to inspect and choose any two balls to be of primary use while on offense. If a team elects to designate one or more “game” balls, said team must provide a “ball person” who shall bear the responsibility of keeping chosen balls on sideline while not in use. This person need not be a player but must be capable of tracking, securing and in-bounding balls to Referee when requested. If a “game” ball cannot be located in a timely fashion by the Referee then the Referee will choose a League provided ball to begin subsequent play. At any time, the team in possession may request from the Referee a dry ball. The Line Judge will make all reasonable efforts to keep at least one ball dry and free of debris for use by the offensive team. Only one such request may be made between downs by the team in possession.

4. Game Timing: Games are 60 minutes in length, two halves of 30 minutes separated by a half-time intermission of 5 minutes. The game clock only stops at the two-minute warning of each half. The two-minute warning will last for 35 seconds. The game clock does not stop for an incomplete pass, an out-of-bounds runner, change of possession nor penalty enforcement. During the final two minutes of each half, the clock will stop for change of possessions. The officials may also signal a timeout for any official reason. These reasons may include, but are not limited to, player injury, official injury, lengthy official conference or discussion with team captains.

5. Timeouts: Each team is granted 3 team timeouts per half. The timeout may be requested by the team captain or any player. Upon acknowledgement of the request, the Referee will stop the game clock. The timeout shall last for 35 seconds, at which time the Referee will start the 35 second play clock. A team may not call a second timeout during the dead ball of their current timeout. The opposing team may, however, use one of their timeouts during the same dead ball period. The game clock will start at the snap of the subsequent play.

Withing the final 2 minutes of any half, an injury timeout will be granted and charged to the team as a team timeout, even if no team timeouts remain. After the first additional injury timeout, and also if a team asks for and is granted a timeout after non remain to them, a penalty will be enforced, including a 10 second runoff of the game clock at the opponent’s discretion. In the event of penalty enforcement, the game clock will begin immediately upon the ready for play whistle following enforcement. The play clock will resume if the penalty is against the offense, and will reset if the penalty is against the defense.

Penalty: For additional timeout in excess of a single injury timeout: 5-yard penalty and 10 second runoff of game clock at opponent’s discretion.

6. Starting periods: Both teams must be on the field to start each period at the scheduled time. Beginning the game, the referee will toss a coin in the presence of opposing captains. The captain of the team possessing the lesser record will call “heads” or “tails” while the coin is in flight. The winner of the coin toss will have the choice of two privileges, and the looser will be given the other. The choices are:

(a) The opportunity to start with the ball, or

(b) The choice of goal his team will defend

A captain’s first choice from the privileges is final and not subject to change. The second half begins in mirror of the first. The teams will switch sides and the team receiving the ball to begin the game will now start on defense.

Penalties:

(a) Delaying the start of a period: 1o-yard penalty.

(b) For failure to appear on the field for coin-toss: Loss of the coin-toss option for beginning play and/or overtime: 1o-yard penalty.

7. Beginning play: Ball is put in play, to start each regulation period and following scores, at the 20 yard line of the team taking possession. There are no free kicks.

8. Scoring: Touchdowns are one point each. No extra points.

9. Teams: The game is played with two teams of 7 players each. Fielding fewer than 5 players is a forfeit. With 5 players on offense, the center is an eligible receiver. This rule supercedes Rule O2 below.

10. Player equipment: All players must wear a League approved Jersey to be eligible. All players must also wear League provided flags. Flags must be exposed at all time, and worn outside any clothing. Any player may, during a dead ball, inform an Official that an opponent’s flags are improperly covered or positioned. Officials will inform any player who’s flags are either, improperly covered or positioned improperly around their waist, to correct the situation before the ball is put in play. Any player not complying within a reasonable time shall, upon taking possession of the ball, be considered down with first contact by an opponent.

11. Inadvertent whistle: If an official inadvertently sounds his whistle during a play, the ball becomes dead immediately. If the ball is in a players possession, the team in possession will decide to either keep the ball where it is spotted or replay down. If the ball is loose due to backward pass or fumble, the team last in possession will decide to keep the ball where possession was lost or to replay down. If the ball is loose due to a forward pass or punt, the down is replayed. If a penalty occurs before the whistle, enforcement is from subsequent spot as determined above. A penalty after the whistle is as per any dead ball enforcement.

12. Completed or intercepted pass: A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) if a player, who is in bounds, secures control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground and the player touches the ground in bounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands. Note: If there is any question whether a forward pass is complete, intercepted or incomplete, it is to be ruled incomplete.

13. Fumble and backward pass: The ball shall be ruled dead, and play stopped, as soon as the ball touches the ground or contacts a player, official, bystander, or object that is out of bounds. A fumbled ball or backward pass can be recovered while in flight and advanced by the recovering team. Unless recovered in flight by the opposing team, the team last in possession of the ball prior to the fumble or backward pass shall retain possession. Consequently, an intercepted ball that is subsequently fumbled is retained by the intercepting team. If, at the time of a fumble, or immediately prior to a fumble, the player in possession is contacted by an opponent, the lost possession will not result in a turnover. If there is any question as to contact causing a fumble, it shall be ruled that the team last in possession shall retain possession, and it is not a turnover. See Rule D3 for any player suspected of trying to cause a fumble.

Any fumble deemed to have been caused by contact with an opponent shall be spotted where possession was lost. Otherwise, a ball fumbled backward, or a backward pass, shall be spotted where the ball is ruled dead, either inbound or out. A ball fumbled forward will be spotted where possession was lost, unless the ball is spotted on a point beyond the end zone line the team in possession is attacking, in which case it is a touchback awarded to the opposing team. Note: a ball intentionally fumbled forward can be ruled a forward pass. See Rule O2.

Note: Any snap the strikes the ground but is nearly simultaneously possessed by the snap receiver is not a fumble and play will be allowed to continue.

14. Downed runner: The ball carrier is considered down when his flag is pulled. In the event a player’s flags fall off during play, the runner will be considered down as soon as any part of his body is touched by a defender. A runner will also be ruled down by contact if at any time a part of his body, other than his hands and feet, are in contact with the ground while he is simultaneously touched on any part of his body by a defender. The ball carrier is also considered down if he attempts to advance the ball by diving forward when any opposing player is in the vicinity, and the ball will be spotted where his front foot contacts the ground when the dive is initiated. A runner may advance the ball under any other circumstance, even if in the grasp of a defender, until it is ruled that his forward progress has been stopped. Note: this may be ruled a tackle and therefore a foul by the defender. See Rule D4.

15. Player substitutions: Any number of players can be substituted between downs. If more than 7 players are on the field at the snap, or enter the field during the play, and are deemed to have effected the play in any way, it is a penalty. If the offense substitutes players, the Referee shall allow the defense a reasonable amount of time to also substitute. Players entering the field as a substitute must enter the field as far as inside the field numerals.

Penalties: Illegal substitution or too many men on the field: 5-yards from previous spot.

16. Player statistics: All plays are tracked statistically. Players are responsible for verifying with the League Statistician that recorded stats are correct, and are encouraged to do so at the end of the game. Once stats are reviewed by the Commissioner and posted to the website they are not subject to change.

17. Post-season: The four teams with the best record will play in the Semifinals. The winners advance to the Pac West Bowl. The winner of the Pac West Bowl will be named League Champions.

18. Brotherhood Bowl: The League will host a Pro Bowl, or Brotherhood Bowl. Two teams, one from each division, will be chosen from among season stat leaders as well as players voted in by the other Pac West players. Each stat category will be used to promote a player to a Pro Bowl team roster. If a single player leads in one or more categories the spot will be awarded to the next best stat holder, further duplicate nominees resulting in subsequently lower stat holders being chosen. Each division team will also include three players as voted on by their peers.

19. Overtime (postseason only): In the event a game ends in a tie there will be an overtime period. A coin toss will determine which team shall choose from the following privileges: which team shall take possession first; or at which end zone the scores shall be attempted. The looser of the coin toss shall be given the remaining privilege. Each team will receive one possession, beginning on the opponent’s 40 yard line. Each possession will be timed with a running 4 minute game clock and a 35 second play clock; and each team will have two team timeouts. If, after both team’s possessions, the game is still tied, play will continue with the following procedure:

Each team will attempt to score again, following the same rules and timing as their first possession, but the order the teams take possession switches with this second attempt, and will again alternate through each iteration until end of game. Following a touchdown, an extra point try will be attempted. This try consists of a single untimed down from the defense’s 10 yard line. Both the offense’s run and the defense’s blitz are available. A turn over results in a failed attempt and cannot result in a score for the defense.

This procedure will be continued, with possession starting on the opponent’s 40 yard line and a try from the opponent’s 10 yard line after each score, until a winner is decided.

A regular season game ends at the conclusion of the second half, regardless of the score.

General Rules Reference

G1 Player Conduct: Unsporstmanlike conduct: 15-yards & possible DQ

G5 Excessive timeout: 5-yards & possible 10 second runoff

G6 Delaying start of a period: 10-yards

G15 Illegal substitution or too many men on the field: 5-yards from previous spot.

 

Offensive Rules

1. First down: The Necessary Line is always 15 yards in advance of the spot of the ball that begins a series of four downs (First and 15). A first down, and a new series, is awarded to the offense when the ball is advanced to or beyond the Necessary Line during a series.

2. Forward pass: For a forward pass to be legal, it must be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage (the passer must have both feet behind the line of scrimmage when the ball is thrown), it must be the first such forward pass in a given play, and the ball must have not already passed the line of scrimmage. The offensive center is the only ineligible receiver at the start of the play (unless the offense has only 5 players. See Rule G9). He becomes eligible if and immediately when the defense calls a blitz, or when the forward thrown ball is touched by any other player that was on the field at the start of the play. Any eligible receiver becomes ineligible if they travel out of bounds during the play, unless as a result of a penalty by an opponent, and can no longer be the first to touch the thrown ball. If the player in question is still out of bounds it is an incomplete pass. If the player has reestablished himself in the field of play it is a penalty.

Penalties:

(a) Forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage: 5-yard penalty and loss of down.

(b) Two forward passes on same play: 5-yard penalty.

(c) Intentional grounding (a forward pass not thrown in vicinity of eligible receiver): 10-yard penalty and loss of down, or loss of down at spot of throw.

(d) Illegal touching of a forward pass: 5-yard penalty from previous spot.

3. Run from scrimmage: The offense is permitted one running play during each series of downs. A play will be considered a running play as soon as a player in possession of the ball advances it beyond the line of scrimmage. The player taking the snap may hand the ball backward to any teammate, or hand it forward to any eligible receiver, but this is not considered a run until the above requirement of advancing the ball beyond the line is met. Note: a backwards pass, or lateral, is legal during any play, anywhere on the field, and can be made as often as desired on any given play, by either team. See rule G13 for a backward pass that touches the ground before being caught.

Penalty: For a second run in a single series: Loss of down at previous spot. Note: this is not a stoppage of play.

4. Punting: The offensive team has the option on fourth down to punt the ball to the defense. The Scrimmage Kick procedure is as follows. The offensive team must declare to the Referee that they are choosing to punt the ball. The Referee will inform the defense and allow a reasonable amount of time for the defense to set. The play begins with a snap and the defense is not permitted to cross the line of scrimmage nor attempt to block the kick. The ball must be kicked from behind the line of scrimmage (the ball may not cross the line until kicked) and must be kicked immediately after the snap. The ball cannot be advanced by the defense and is dead when caught or otherwise touched by a defending player, comes to a stop in the field of play, or crosses out-of-bounds. A ball sent into the endzone is dead immediately and spotted on the 20 yard line.

Penalties:

(a) Defense crossing the line of scrimmage or attempting to block the kick: 5-yard penalty for offsides, Note: if accepted, this will reset the play clock.

(b) Failure to kick immediately after snap: 5-yard penalty for delay of game. Note: if in last two minutes of a half, this will result in a stopped clock, if the defense so chooses, and an untimed down if offense elects to kick again after enforcement.

5. Carrying the ball: A ball carrier may ward off defenders by a stiff-arm or by slapping the defender’s hands away. A ball carrier may never lower his shoulder when engaging a defender. A ball carrier must also make all reasonable efforts to avoid body to body contact with a stationary defender. A runner may not grab or hold on to a defender’s hands or arms. A stiff-arm to the head or neck of a defender is a penalty. A ball carrier may not hold on to his flag or flag belt at any time during a live ball.

Penalties:

(a) Lowering shoulder: Personal foul for unnecessary roughness: 15-yard penalty from spot of foul and loss of down.

(b) Unnecessary contact with stationary defender: 10-yard penalty from spot of foul.

(c) Stiff-arm to the head or neck: 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul.

(d) Holding the defender’s arms or hands: 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul.

(e) Holding flag or flag belt: 5-yard penalty from succeeding spot. Note: runner is downed by any contact by a defender.

 

6. Blocking: Blocking is legal if done with open hands to the front of an opponent, and above the waist and below the neck of the opponent. A block in the back is a block delivered from behind an opponent above the waist. In close line play, it is not a block in the back if the opponent turns away from the blocker or if both the blocker’s hands are on the opponent’s side. Outside of close line play, when one yard beyond the line of scrimmage or outside the “tackle box”, a block must be delivered with both hands to the front of the opponent. The opponent must have time to see and prepare for the block. No blind-side blocks. It is never legal to make initial contact below the waist. A blocker who makes contact above the waist and then slides below the waist has not blocked below the waist.

Penalties:

(a) Block in the back or blind-side block: Personal foul for unnecessary roughness: 15-yard penalty from spot of foul and loss of down.

(b) Blocking above the neck or with anything other than open hands: Illegal use of hands: 10-yard penalty from spot of foul.

(c) Block below the waist or clipping: Personal foul for unnecessary roughness: 15-yard penalty and loss of down.

Note: any such penalty behind the line of scrimmage is enforced from previous spot, unless in the end zone, in which case it is a safety with personal fouls enforced from subsequent spot.

7. Holding: A blocker may not use his hands or arms to materially restrict an opponent or alter the defender’s path or angle of pursuit. Material restrictions include but are not limited to: grabbing or tackling an opponent; hooking, jerking, twisting or turning him; or pulling him to the ground.

Penalty: Holding: 10-yard penalty from spot of foul (from previous spot if behind the line of scrimmage).

Note 1: Holding will not be called if a charging defender’s “rip” technique puts the blocker in a position that would normally be holding unless the blocker takes the defender’s feet away from him.

Note 2: It is not holding if a blocker pushes or falls on a defender whose momentum is carrying him to the ground unless the blocker prevents the defender from rising.

Note 3: Holding will not be called unless an official has seen the entire action that brings a defender to the ground.

8. Delay of game: Each scrimmage down is timed with a 35 second play clock, which starts when the ball is spotted for play by the referee. The referee will let the offense know when the clock has started. The referee will let the offense know when the time has counted down to 10 seconds, and will provide a count-down starting at 5 seconds. The ball must be put in play before the count ends at zero.

Penalty: Delay of game: 5-yard penalty and blow play dead immediately.

9. False start: Each offense player must set for one full second after a huddle or shift. Once set, the offense is permitted to shift, one or more times, provided the same one second set is established before the next shift or snap. The players must be stationary at the snap with no movement of feet, head or arms, and no swaying of body except one, and only one, player may be in motion, moving parallel too, obliquely backwards from, or directly backwards from the line of scrimmage, at the snap. No player shall move in such a way as to simulate the start of a play. All offensive players, except the center, must be behind the neutral zone at the snap.

Penalties:

(a) False start: 5-yard penalty and blow play dead immediately.

(b) More than one man in motion; or player moving toward line of scrimmage at snap: Illegal motion: 5-yard penalty from previous spot. Note: In case of doubt, the penalty is to be enforced.

(c) Player(s) not set for one full second after shif: Illegal shift (unless penalized for false start): 5-yard penalty from previous spot. Note: In case of doubt, the penalty is to be enforced.

(d) Player in neutral zone at snap: Offsides: 5-yard penalty from previous spot.

10. Offensive pass interference: On a forward pass play, the offense may not block any defensive player downfield (more than 1 yard beyond the line of scrimmage), from the time the ball is snapped and until the in flight ball is touched. Otherwise, when the ball is in the air, offensive players are under the same pass interference restrictions as the defense. See rule D2

Penalty: Offensive pass interference: 10-yard penalty from the previous spot.

Offensive Rules Reference

 

O2 Forward pass:

Beyond line of scrimmage: 5-yards from spot of foul & LOD

Two passes on same play: 5-yards from spot of foul

Intentional grounding: 10-yards from spot of foul & LOD, or LOD at spot of foul

Illegal touching: 5-yards from previous spot

O3 Second run from scrimmage in series: LOD at previous spot

O4 Punt:

Defensive offside on punt: 5-yards and reset play clock

Delaying kick: 5-yards & possible stopped game clock and untimed down

O5 Ball carrier:

Lowering shoulder: 15-yards from spot of foul & LOD

Unnecessary contact or Stiff-arm to head/neck: 10-yards from spot of foul

Holding defender’s arms/hands: 10-yards from spot of foul

Holding flag/belt: 5-yards from succeeding spot

O6 Blocking: enforced from previous spot if spot of foul behind LOS

In the back or blind-side or clipping: 15-yards from spot of foul & LOD

To head/neck or anything other than hands: 10-yards from spot of foul

O7 Holding: 10-yards form spot of foul (previous spot if behind LOS)

O8 Delay of game: 5-yards

O9 False start & LOS

False start: 5-yards & play dead immediately

Illegal motion or Illegal shift or Offsides: 5-yards from previous spot

O10 Offensive pass interference: 10-yards from previous spot

Defensive Rules

1. Rushing the passer: The defense may cross the line of scrimmage after the snap on any scrimmage down (not a punt) only after one (or all) of the following has occurred: the ball leaves the hands of the player who took the snap; the defense speaks the cadence, “one-pac-west, two-pac-west, three-pac-west, go”, loud enough and clear enough for the Referee to hear; or the defense yells “blitz”, loud enough for the Referee to hear. Any defensive player may speak the cadence or yell blitz. He need not be the same player every down, and he need not be the player rushing the passer. However, only one player may speak the cadence. The defense is not required to speak the cadence if not sending any rushers. The blitz is available every down. As soon as “blitz” is yelled the center on offense becomes an eligible receiver. It is a penalty for anyone other than the team on defense to be the first to yell “blitz” during a live ball.

In addition, it is legal for a defender in bump and run coverage technique to cross the line of scrimmage after the snap to contact a receiver. That defender can then not pursue the passer unless he reestablishes himself on the defensive side of the neutral zone and waits for the proper cadence to conclude before rushing the passer. A blitz called by the defense negates this requirement.

Penalties:

(a) Defensive player in the neutral zone at the snap; defensive player charging into the neutral zone causing the offensive player to false start in an attempt to defend himself; failure to yell “blitz” or complete articulate cadence prior to crossing the line of scrimmage; more than one defensive player speaking the cadence; or a defender crossing the line of scrimmage to chuck a receiver and then pursuing the passer: Defensive offsides: 5-yard penalty from the previous spot (offense may decline).

(b) Contacting an offensive player before the snap, or jumping even to or past an offensive player before the snap (unabated to the quarterback): Encroachment: 5-yard penalty. Blow play dead immediately.

(c) Anyone other than team on defense being the first to yell “blitz” during a live ball: Personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct: 15-yard penalty.

2. Defensive pass interference: It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders the progress of an eligible receiver’s opportunity to catch the ball. Defensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is thrown until the ball is touched. Prohibited acts that are pass interference include but are not limited to: Contact by a player not playing the ball that restricts the opponent’s opportunity to catch the ball; playing through the back of an opponent trying to make a play on the ball; grabbing an opponent’s arm in such a way that restricts his opportunity to make the catch; extending an arm across an opponent’s body restricting his ability to make a catch, regardless of player committing such act is playing the ball; cutting off the path of an opponent by making contact with him, without playing the ball; hooking an opponent in an attempt to make a play on the ball in such a manner that causes the opponent’s body to turn prior to the ball arriving; or initiating contact with an opponent by shoving or pushing off, thus creating separation in an attempt to catch a pass.

Permissible acts include but are not limited to: Incidental contact by an opponent’s hands, arms or body when both players are competing for the ball, or neither player is looking for the ball; inadvertent tangling of feet when both players are playing the ball or neither player is playing the ball; contact that would normally be considered pass interference, but pass is clearly uncatchable by involved players (except blocking down field by offense is still illegal); laying a hand on an opponent that does not restrict him in an attempt to make a play on the ball; or contact by a player who has gained position on an opponent in an attempt to catch the ball.

The defense is allowed to make initial contact with an eligible receiver within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, provided the contact isn’t initiated from behind. The defender is permitted to maintain continuous contact within the 5 yard zone until the receiver moves beyond a point even with him. Beyond 5 yards, a defender may only use his hands to defend himself from impending contact caused by a receiver. If the receiver attempts to evade the defender, the defender cannot initiate contact that redirects, restricts or impedes the receiver in any way.

Incidental contact beyond 5 yards may exist between defender and receiver provided it does not materially affect or significantly impede the receiver, creating a distinct advantage.

Note: If there is any question whether player contact is incidental, the ruling should be no interference.

Penalties:

(a) Defensive pass interference: First down for the offense at the spot of the foul. If the interference is behind the goal line it is first down for the offense at the defense’s one yard line (or half the distance if the line of scrimmage was within the 2 yard line). Note: if the interference is also a personal foul, the 15-yard penalty for such a foul is also enforced, either from the spot of the foul or from the end of the run if the foul for pass interference is declined.

(b) Illegal contact or holding by the defense: 5-yard penalty and automatic first down.

3. Playing the ball: The only time a player may play the ball is when it is in flight. Any ball on the ground or in another player’s possession may not be punched, batted, kicked, pulled, or otherwise played in any fashion. A thrown pass is considered caught, and therefore in possession, once a receiver has secured it and has both feet, or any part of his body other than his hands, on the ground. A ball is in the possession of a passer until it is released.

Penalties:

(a) Playing the ball in player possession: Personal foul: 15-yard penalty and automatic first down.

(b) Batting, punching or kicking a dead ball (on the ground): Delay of game: 5-yard penalty.

4. Tackling: Any contact that brings a ball carrier to the ground is illegal. A ball carrier running along the sideline cannot be pushed out-of-bounds. A defender must take an angle to the nearest flag. If a play on the flag results in clothing being pulled, this is not a penalty, unless the hold is maintained long enough to slow the runner down, cause a change in direction, or otherwise restrict the runner in any capacity. Any flagrant tackling can result in player disqualification and will subject the player to Rule Committee review. The Committee reserves the right to impose fines and/or suspensions on any player unable to play fairly and cleanly.

Penalties:

(a) Tackling a ball carrier (including but not limited to “wrapping-up”, grabbing, pulling, pushing or striking) to the ground: Personal foul for unnecessary roughness: 15-yard penalty and automatic first down. Note: flagrant tackling subjects player to disqualification as well.

(b) Pushing a player out-of-bounds: Personal foul for unnecessary roughness: 15-yard penalty and automatic first down.

(c) Holding a ball carrier: Offended team has the choice between: 5-yards penalty from subsequent spot (down counts) or 5-yards from previous spot and replay down.

5. Roughing the passer: A passer, being in a vulnerable position during or immediately after releasing a pass, is protected by special rule preventing contact of any kind by a defender. Defensive players rushing the passer must pay special attention to either play the passer’s flag(s) or play the ball only after it is released by the passer (see rule D3). Even then, any contact against the passer-by a defender leaping for a thrown ball is illegal. Any “clubbing” of the passer’s arm is illegal. Any blocking of a passer who is backing up after a thrown pass is illegal, until and unless the passer presents himself as a defender (in the case of a turnover), a blocker (such as in a short pass or runner changing direction across field) or a potential receiver for a backward pass.

Penalty: Personal foul for roughing the passer: 15-yard penalty and automatic first down.

6. Safety: Any penalty committed by the offense in its own end zone will result in a safety awarded to the defense. There are no points scored but the defensive team will take possession of the ball on the 50 yard line.

Defensive Rules Reference

D1 Rushing the passer:

Offsides: 5-yards from previous spot

Encroachment: 5-yards and play dead immediately

Offense first to yell “blitz”: unsportsmanlike conduct, 15-yards

D2 Defensive pass interference

After throw: AFD at spot of foul (any personal foul enforced from subsequent spot)

Before throw: 5-yards & AFD

D3 Playing the ball

In player possession: 15-yards & AFD

On ground: 5-yards for delay of game

D4 Tackling:

Taking runner to ground or Pushing out of bounds: 15-yards & AFD & possible DQ

Holding runner: 5-yards from subsequent spot

D5 Roughing the passer: 15-yards & AFD

D6 Safety: Defense takes over at 50 yard line

 

Team Roster Rules

Each team and the team captain are responsible for managing their roster. Any changes to a team’s roster must be submitted to the League Commissioner no later than the day before a game day.

The minimum number of players required for a team to compete in the league is 9. Any team that falls below that number and is unable or unwilling to recruit additional players will accept and add to their roster any player(s) assigned to them by the League Commissioner.

The Commissioner also reserves the right to remove any player from a roster for any reason including but not limited to: failing to show up for games (missing 2 or more and upon request of the team and/or captain), flagrant abuse of the rules and/or ejection(s) from a game, failure to pay fees, irreconcilable differences with team, or to bring a team below the maximum number of players.

The maximum size of any team’s roster at any time during the season is 13. Injured players can be removed from the team’s active roster and replaced with an other player during the season. In order for the injured player to return to play however, another player must be removed from the roster so as not to exceed the maximum. A team under the maximum may add players as they see fit.

For any player to be post season eligible, he must play a minimum of 2 regular season games with the team he is playing for in the playoffs.

 

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