8-MAN TACKLE FOOTBALL RULES
Unless otherwise noted in the Arizona Youth Sports Leagues (AYSL) Rulebook, all games will follow the rules established by the AYSL and National Federation of High School Rules (NFHS). NFHS rules are the standard in high school sports rules and regulations that have been largely adopted by AIA. Please visit www.nfhs.com to receive a copy of the NFHS rules. Please contact an AYSL representative for rule clarification or with any questions you may have.
DIVISION (League Age as of 7/31/16):
7 Years Old and Under = 95lbs Max
***Players who are required to weigh in must weigh in wearing no less than a pair of athletic shorts.
1. Players will be assigned to a division based on their age as of July 31, 2016. All players must satisfy the age and weight requirements to be eligible for participation.
2. Players are allowed to play up one division. However, players cannot play down in younger divisions. No exceptions will be made to this rule.
3. Every team will be required to present their Team Book containing containing the required documents for certification prior to the season’s first game. Please refer to Team Book Guidelines located the AYSL website.
1. The maximum number of players allowed on a team is 16. Exceptions will be made to this rule based on league approval.
2. The minimum number of players to certify a team is 10. If a player prefers a certain coach, they must inform AYSL at the time of registration in order to help determine if a particular coach has enough players to start a team.
3. Participants may request one friend and/or one coach to be associated with. AYSL cannot guarantee the request will be satisfied, but we will strive to accommodate all of the requests.
4. AYSL will assign players who register independent of a team (a “free agent player”) to a team who practices closest to their residence, unless otherwise specified.
5. Once a player has been certified onto a team roster by AYSL staff, that player is not permitted to switch to another team during that season. Exceptions are limited and will be made to this rule based on league approval.
6. Players who are not registered with AYSL cannot participate in any team practices. Players MUST submit a signed registration form to AYSL prior to participating in any team practices.
7. Participants may not register for any given reason after the registration deadline of February 15, 2017 unless the team is below 10 players and the coach is replacing an injured player who is unable to finish the season. The parents of the injured player must be informed that their child will not be allowed to play the remainder of the season once their injured child has been replaced, and that they will not receive a refund or credit for the remainder of the season.
8. Participants are required to play a minimum of four games throughout the season in order to be eligible to participate in play-off and championship games. If the participant is injured during the season, he or she is required to check in at every game to meet the four game minimum to be eligible to participate in play-off and championship games.
9. Players shall not be permitted to play in multiple leagues during the same season for any reason. If a player is registered for and participating in AYSL’S tackle football program for a particular season, they shall not participate in any other tackle football league during that same season.
If a player is found to be playing in a tackle football league other than AYSL during the same season,
10. Teams that have less than 10 players on their roster may dual roster from another division within their own organization. They may not dual roster in the same division. Players who dual roster shall pay dual registrations and must meet the age/weight requirements for both divisions. Players who dual roster must participate in a minimum of four games in each division played in order to be eligible to participate in play-offs and championship games for those divisions.
1. Every team shall have a minimum of one designated head coach, one team manager and one CPR/First Aid certified Assistant.
2. The head coach must be a minimum of 21 years of age. All other assistant coaches and team personnel must be a minimum of 16 years of age.
3. A maximum of seven coaches, one team manager and one CPR/First Aid Assistant shall be allowed on the sidelines for any given team. These individuals must be listed on the Certified Official Team Roster with a valid photo in order to be allowed on the sidelines with the team.
4. Every coach, assistant coach, team manager and CPR/First Aid Assistant must submit to a background screening process and pass the background screening in order to be placed on a team’s Certified Official Team Roster.
5. AYSL has arranged for a vendor to provide the screenings online. Cost for the background screenings will be the responsibility of the coaches and team managers. AYSL reserves the right to establish additional policies regarding background screenings in the event it deems it in the best interest of the children.
6. Each team shall also be allowed to have one water person and one team photographer permitted on the sidelines with the team. These individuals may vary each game and are not required to submit to the background screening.
7. The head coach is responsible for all personnel (players, parents, team staff, volunteers, etc.) on his or her sidelines. Please note, team photographers must remain outside of the team box at all times.
8. Any violation of the AYSL Coach Code of Conduct by any coach will result in suspension. The length of the suspension will be determined by the severity of the violation.
1. AYSL reserves a limited amount of practice fields for tackle football teams. Fees shall apply for reserved AYSL practice space. AYSL does not have a sufficient amount of fields to allocate to every team. Teams are essentially responsible for obtaining their own practice facility.
2. Please be sure to cover the practice facility policies with your entire team. Any teams that violate city or school policies may face suspension from the league.
3. AYSL will provide coaches, school districts, and parks and recreation departments a copy of the liability insurance in order to obtain practice facilities.
***To request a Certificate of Insurance, AYSL will need a team representative to submit the facility contact’s name, fax number, and name of facility/city to cover as an additionally insured. Please allow 3-5 days to obtain the COI.
4. Teams that are not registered with AYSL shall not be permitted to practice on a practice field reserved under AYSL. Any team that allows a team from another organization other than AYSL to practice on an AYSL practice field will lose their AYSL allocated practice field for the remainder of the season. The team will not be entitled to a credit or refund for fees paid towards their practice field, and they will be responsible for paying the balance owed for the remainder of the season.
5. There are no rules or regulations with regards to when teams may begin practice each season, nor the frequency or the times teams wish to practice.
6. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to attend each team practice. Please do not drop your child off for the team to supervise.
7. Safety is the #1 priority for AYSL. Teams shall have a First-Aid kit at every practice/team function. Teams must protect all children against heat related issues. It is mandatory that teams provide a sufficient amount of water for players and encourage each child to bring their own water bottle to every practice.
TEAM CERTIFICATION DAY:
1. Every player, coach, team manager and CPR/First Aide Assistant shall be required to attend their scheduled AYSL Team Certification Day. NO EXCEPTIONS.
2. Only one official weigh-in for the season shall occur at the Team Certification Day. Players must weigh in wearing shorts at a minimum.
3. Players are not permitted to check their weight on site prior to his or her team’s official check-in. Any player who is overweight on the Team Certification Day shall not be allowed to participate in that season. PLEASE NOTE: Any coach, team personnel or parent found to have advised, encouraged, or tolerated any “sweat down” or “extreme” weight loss techniques shall be grounds for immediate suspension.
In order to participate in AYSL football, each player is required to wear mandatory equipment as described below:
● A football helmet with a face guard with a properly fitted chin strap.
● Tinted visors are prohibited. All visors worn must be clear.
● All eyeglasses must be made of non-shattering glass.
● A 7-piece pants pad set in compliance with NHFS regulations that suffice the needs of each player (pants with sewn-in pads are acceptable).
○ Thigh pads
○ Hip pads
○ Knee pads
○ Tail Pad
● Shoulder Pads
○ Pads worn must be appropriate to the player’s Body Mass Index.
○ Cannot be clear or white
○ Metal cleats or cleats with ANY exposed metal are prohibited at all times.
○ Molded/replacement cleats are acceptable.
● No jewelry can be worn during the games. NO EXCEPTIONS. This includes necklaces, piercings, watches, bracelets, rings, etc.
● No electronic communication devices/equipment is allowed.
● All hair coverings must be flush. No knots, strings, or dangling pieces.
● If knee braces are required, they must be cleared by AYSL authorities prior to use in any game, and must be worn on the outside of their equipment/uniform.
● Athletic support – Males only (e.g., compression shorts; not hard cups)
HARD CAST POLICY:
A player is not allowed to participate with a hard cast at any time unless there is padding that corresponds with AYSL regulations as described below:
Any hard braces, splints, or guards that are to be worn on the elbow, upper arm, finger, wrist, or shoulder must have at least half-inch padding surrounding the entire cast (foam rubber or high density polyurethane). Game referees shall make the final determination as to whether and the player is properly equipped and eligible for a league game.
1. Each team must provide their own game ball of correct size at every game (brand irrelevant). Rubber footballs are prohibited during games. The required football sizes for 8-Man tackle football is Pee Wee size.
2. It is mandatory that teams provide a sufficient amount of water for players at every game. Only water is permitted on turf fields; no food or any other beverages are allowed on turf fields.
GAME DAY PROCEDURES:
1. Game facilities will open no earlier than one hour prior to the start of the first game of the day.
2. Site Staff will set up the field one hour prior to the start of the first game of the day. The football field will be 80 yards long and 40 yards wide.
3. Games shall consist of four 12 minute quarters. The game clock will run continuously until the final two minutes of each half. The clock will stop on every dead ball in the last two minutes of each half.
4. Each team will receive two 30-second time-outs per half. Unused time-outs do not roll over to the second half.
5. The offense is given a thirty-second play clock from the time the ball is spotted until the start of the next down.
6. There will be a two minute intermission between quarters and a five minute intermission at half-time.
7. Team check-ins will occur no less than 15 minutes prior to the start of every game, but as directed by designated Site Staff. Site Staff will check in every player using the certified Team Book to verify coaching staff and participants’ eligibility before every game.
8. Players shall wear the same jersey number throughout the season. The jersey number they check in with at the first game shall be the jersey number he or she shall wear throughout the entire season. Exceptions shall be limited and will be made to this rule based on league approval only. Teams shall not have players with matching jersey numbers on the field at the same time.
9. AYSL officials will conduct the coin toss prior to kick-off after both teams have been checked in. The visiting team will call the coin toss. The team that wins the coin toss will be able to choose whether to kick, receive, or defer to the second half.
10. In the event a particular facility is without stands/bleachers, all parents and spectators have to be a minimum of 15 yards behind the team on the sidelines. AYSL site staff will STRICTLY enforce this rule.
11. The home team is responsible for providing three volunteers to run the sideline chains and down marker. These volunteers are not required to complete the background screening process.
12. If a child is injured on the field, the team’s designated CPR/First Aid Assistant shall assess the injury. If a major injury occurs during the game, the AYSL site staff, head coaches and AYSL referees shall make a discretionary call as to whether the game is to be cancelled. At no time shall the parent enter the field unless requested by AYSL Staff.
13. Every team is expected to clean up their sideline after each game.
LOPSIDED SCORES (MERCY RULE):
If the margin of victory is 42 points or more at any point in the game, the game will be called immediately due to AIYFL policies.
If the game is tied at the end of regulation, each team will receive one possession from the ten yard line to score. The first possession will be determined by coin toss (the visiting team will call the toss). There are no fumbles or interceptions in any over-time period. If the defense gains possession, the offensive set of downs will not continue (per NFHS overtime rules). Teams may elect to go for 1 or 2 on the extra point in the 1st two over-times. After the 2nd over-time period, if the game still remains tied, teams must go for 2 on all extra point attempts. Over-time will continue until there is a winner.
Touchdown = 6 points
Point after touchdown (PAT) = 1 point (running or passing from 3 yard line)
2 points (running or passing from 5 yard line)
Safety = 2 points
PLEASE NOTE: No kicking (field goals or extra points) is permitted in the 8-man division.
1. No turnovers, fumbles are dead, and interceptions will be placed at the previous spot with a loss of down. Fumbles and Interceptions are not live in the 7U Division. Onside kick-offs are not legal in the 7U Division. No rushing on Punts. Players may not leave the line of scrimmage until the ball has been kicked.
2. Kickoffs: The ball is placed at their 30-yard line to start possession unless there is a turnover on downs.
3. A defensive player cannot be lined up directly over the center. No contact shall be made with the center until the center/quarterback exchange has taken place. This is to ensure the center has time to snap the ball.
4. On defense, a minimum of two and a maximum of four players must be on the line of scrimmage for each play in a down position. All other players must be at least one yard off the line of scrimmage.
5. On offense, a minimum of five players must be on the line of scrimmage.
6. Two coaches may remain on the field for each team during play for the 7U Division.
7. Absolutely NO blocking below the waist any time during games or practices.
SUMMARY OF PENALTIES: (Penalties are in accordance with NHFS rules.)
15 Yard Penalties:
○ Illegal hands to the face
○ Illegal block in the back
● 5 Yard Penalties:
○ False start
○ Snap infraction
○ Illegal formation, substitution, shift/motion.
○ Ineligible receiver
○ Forward lateral
○ Incidental face mask
○ Delay of game
○ Intentional grounding
○ Sideline interference
● Automatic Ejections
○ Intentionally contacting an official
○ Fighting by a player or non-player
○ Striking, kicking, or kneeing any player, coach, or spectator
○ A coach, substitute or spectator leaving the sideline during an altercation
○ Extreme aggression if unduly rough or flagrant
○ Any foul language by a player or coach
NOTE: Two unsportsmanlike penalties in one game are an automatic ejection with a one game suspension for the following week’s game.
○ Roughing the passer
○ Hit after a fair catch signal
All ejections that occur in game are subject to AIA rules, which dictate whether or not the player or volunteer is ineligible for the following game. Any player, coach and/or volunteer who has been ejected from a game must leave the game facilities and, if such person is not eligible for a future game, he/she may not be on the game premises for that game either.
AUTHORITY OF RULES:
Rules shall be applied based upon following order of Authority (from greatest to least):
1. AYSL Rules;
2. AIA Rules; and then
Any conflicting rules shall be applied based on the foregoing. In no event shall any verbal statement by any person (including an AYSL staff member) overrule any applicable rule.
NOTE REGARDING FORFEITS:
Game time is forfeit time; failure to have enough players present and eligible at the field, and failure to have the team’s certified Team Book by game time will result in a forfeit by that team. (Players in weighted divisions must be properly weighed and cleared for game play prior to the start of the season, as well.)
AYSL is not responsible for forfeits, nor do they support them. However, in the event a team must forfeit their game, the team shall contact AYSL at the earliest time possible so that AYSL may notify their opponent or find a team to play in their place. For teams who choose to forfeit games, please keep in mind that it affects the families and players of both teams, the game schedule, the referees and AYSL Staff. AYSL is still required to pay for fields, staff and referees regardless if a team forfeits.
AYSL believes in and expects all coaches and teams to have a “fair play” policy that allows all players to participate in games. A win-at-all-cost approach will not be condoned by AYSL. All players shall receive 50% playing time. However, coaches do have the authorization to limit any player’s time that misses practices without a valid excuse, or as a disciplinary action on those who have caused a problem during practice and/or a prior game.
Teams are encouraged to develop and apply a method for tracking their players’ playing time. In the event AYSL learns that teams are not adhering to these principles, it reserves the rights to adopt and enforce “fair play” rules in play-offs and tournaments—provided the same are adopted and circulated to coaches prior to
such games. The bottom line is that it is up to the coaches to have and instill fair play principles for their teams. AYSL will only step in if and when the coaches abdicate this critical responsibility.
FINAL NOTE REGARDING GAME AND PRACTICE SITES:
TEAMS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO SELL FOOD AND/OR BEVERAGES AT DESIGNATED AYSL GAME SITES.
PLEASE REMIND PARENTS AND THEIR GUESTS THAT PETS, TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND/OR ALCOHOL PRODUCTS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT ANY OF OUR GAME SITES (PARKING LOTS INCLUDED). IF A SPECTATOR IS FOUND USING TOBACCO AND/OR ALCOHOL PRODUCTS ON A SCHOOL CAMPUS, INCLUDING THE PARKING LOT, THEIR TEAM MAY BE REQUIRED TO FORFEIT THAT DAY’S GAME. NO EXCEPTIONS. Please note, State laws prohibit the use of alcohol and tobacco on school grounds (in school buildings, parking areas, play areas, etc.).
ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO ENGAGES IN FOUL LANGUAGE, DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR, AND/OR ABUSE TOWARDS THE COACHES, PLAYERS, AYSL STAFF (INCLUDING REFEREES), AND/OR OTHER SPECTATORS WILL BE DIRECTED TO LEAVE THE FACILITY IMMEDIATELY. ANYONE WHO ENGAGES IN SUCH CONDUCT WHILE ATTENDING, COACHING, TRAINING, AND/OR PARTICIPATING IN AN EVENT SANCTIONED BY AYSL WILL BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION, SUSPENSION AND/OR BANISHMENT FROM ANY AND ALL AYSL EVENTS.