7v7 Alameda Rules

General Rules

1. The game should be played between 2 teams of 7 players each. Five players are required to avoid a forfeit.

2. The game shall be played under the supervision of 2 refs.

3. A speaking captain must be selected to make all decisions and shall be the only one who addresses the officials.

4. Team representatives, including players, substitutes, replaced players, coaches, trainers, and other persons affiliated with the team are subject to the rules of the game, and shall be governed by decisions of officials assigned to the game.

The Field

1. The field should be a minimum of 40 yards in width, and contain four (4) twenty (20) yard zones with a ten (10) yard end zone on each end.

2. A one (1) yard wide line should be marked at each end at the five and ten yard lines in the middle of the field.

These lines shall be used for the extra point try when a team scores a touchdown.

Game and Player Equipment

1. Football - The official ball shall be leather or rubber covered and shall meet the recommendations of size and shape for a regulation football. The referee shall be the sole judge of any ball offered for play and may change the ball during play at his/her discretion.

2. Spot discs - Two ball spotters (rubber disks). One, which shall mark the offensive scrimmage line. The second will mark the defensive scrimmage line, 3 yards away from the offensive line of scrimmage.

3. Jerseys - Players of opposing teams must wear contrasting colored jerseys, and/or pinnies.

4. Pants / Shorts - Each player must wear pants or shorts without any pockets, belt(s), belt loop(s), or exposed drawstrings.

The pants or shorts must be a different color than the flags.

5. Flag belt -  Flags on the side Penalty: Dead Ball Foul - Failure to have flag belt legally attached prior to the snap, 5 yards from the succeeding spot.

6. Gloves - Players may wear gloves which must consist of a soft, pliable and nonabrasive material

7. Headwear – baseball caps must be worn backwards

8. Shoes – Shoes with cleats must be made of soft pliable plastic or rubber. No exposed metal cleats are permitted..

PERIODS, TIME FACTORS, SUBSTITUTIONS

1. If a team is late (after the 10 minute grace period), then the clock starts and time is taken off the game clock and the other team is given a 14 point lead.

  1. In the event that a team has less than 7 active players for a regular season game, they may pick up ANY player/s, to have an active roster of 7. Once the player/s are added, no additional players may be added during the game. I.E. if a player gets hurt during the game, and brings the active roster to less than 7, they may not add an additional player.

2. Captains Choice and Pinnies – The second team on the scoresheet shall be the home team and have the choice in the first half or the second half (either a 20 yard line start or defense). Whichever team chooses to start on offense or defense, the other team chooses the direction.

3. Length of game - Playing Time shall be 40 minutes, divided into two halves of 20 minutes each. The intermission between halves shall be 2 minutes. When overtime is used, there will be a 2 minute intermission (only in playoffs)

4. Extended Periods - A half may be extended by an untimed down when, during the last timed down, one of the following occurred:

A. If there was a foul by either team and the penalty is accepted.

B. If there was a double foul.

C. If there was an inadvertent whistle and the down is to be replayed.

D. If a touchdown was scored, the try is attempted unless the touchdown is scored during the last down of the second half and the point(s) would not affect the outcome of the game or playoff qualifying.

5. Continuous Clock - The Clock will start when the ball is legally snapped. It will run continuously for the first 19 minutes unless it is stopped (only in the 2nd half) for:

A. Team time-out (clock resumes on snap of next play)

B. Referee's time-out (clock resumes on official’s ready to play whistle)

6. 2–Minute Warning - Approximately 2 minutes left in the 1st and 2nd half, Referee shall stop the clock and inform both captains of the playing time remaining in that half. The Back Judge will announce to the captains the remaining time and status of the clock after every play during the final 2 minutes.

7. Stopped Clock - During the final 1 minute of each half the clock will stop for the following and resume on the snap of the next play unless otherwise noted:

A. Incomplete Pass

B. Out-of-Bounds

C. Score (touchdown or safety)

D. Team time-out

E. Fair Catch

F. Penalty and administration

G. Referee's Time-out - starts at his/her discretion

H. Touchback

I. Change of Possession

8. Timing Errors - The Referee shall have the authority to correct obvious timing errors if discovery is prior to the second live ball following the error unless the period had officially ended.

9. Tie Game - In case of a playoff game ending in a tie score, (regular season does not have over time) the officials must bring all players and coaches of both teams to the center of the field. They will discuss the tiebreaker procedures and answer all questions prior to the coin toss. After this meeting the field captains will stay while the remaining players and coaches return to their respective sidelines.

A. A coin will be flipped or odd/even choice by the captain will determine the options as in the start of the game. The winner of the toss shall be given the options of offense, defense, or direction. The loser of the toss shall make a choice of the remaining options. Each overtime period begins with a coin toss or odd/even choice. You can not get the ball both at the beginning and after halftime.

B. OVERTIME (only in Playoffs)

C. Unless moved by penalty, each team will start 1st and goal from the 20 yard line. The object will be to score a touchdown. An overtime period consists of one possession by each time. If the first team which is awarded the ball scores, the opponent still has a chance to win the game. If the defense intercepts the pass or fumble and returns it for a touchdown, they win the game. If they do not return the interception for a touchdown, the ball will belong to the defense, as the offense did not convert their chance. They must convert to win. Each team in entitled to one time-out per overtime period. If the score is still tied after one period, they go to a sudden death. Each team will be given the option to go for one from the 5 yard line or 2 from the 10 yard line.

11. Time-Outs – Each team is entitled to 2 charged timeouts per game.

A. The Referee shall declare time-out when he/she suspends the play for any reason. Each time-out shall be charged either to the Referee or one of the teams.

B. The Referee shall declare an official's time-out when a team is illegally conserving time and administer a five-yard penalty.

C. The Referee may declare an official's time-out for any contingency not covered elsewhere by the Rules.

D. Coach-Referee Conference - When a team requests a charged time-out for a misapplication or misinterpretation of a rule, the Referee will confer with the team captain or coach. The request must be made prior to the time the ball becomes alive following the play to be reviewed unless the period has officially ended. At the end of the half the team has until the first snap of the second half to protest.

E. An injured or apparently injured player, who is discovered by an official while the ball is dead and the clock is stopped, shall be replaced for at least one down unless the halftime or overtime intermission occurs. A player who is bleeding, has an open wound, or has blood on the uniform shall be considered injured.

12. Delays

Delay of Game - The ball must be put in play promptly and legally and any action or inaction by either team, which tends to prevent this, is a delay of game. This includes:

A. Failure to snap or free kick within 25 seconds after the ball is ready for play.

B. Putting the ball in play before it is declared ready for play.

C. Deliberately advancing the ball after it has been declared dead.

Unfair Tactics - The Referee may order the game clock started or stopped whenever, in his/her opinion, either team is trying to conserve or consume playing time by tactics obviously unfair.

Penalty: Delay of Game, 5 yards from previous spot.

13. Substitutions - No substitute shall enter during a down. All substitutions must enter the game during a dead ball.

SERIES OF DOWNS, NUMBER OF DOWN, & THE TEAM POSSESSION AFTER PENALTY

1. Each team receives four (4) downs to pass the zone-line-to-gain or endzone. Offense will start from the 10 yard line.

2. The zone line-to-gain in any series shall be the zone in advance of the ball, unless distance has been lost due to penalty or failure to gain. In such case, the original zone in advance of the ball at the beginning of the series of downs is the zone line-to gain.

3. A new series of downs shall be awarded when a team moves the ball into the next zone on a play free from penalty; or a penalty against the opponents moves the ball into the next zone; or an accepted penalty against the opponents involves an automatic first down; or either team has obtained legal possession of a ball as a result of a penalty, free kick, protected scrimmage kick, touchback, pass interception, or failure to gain the zone in advance of the ball.

4. If offsetting fouls occur during a down, that down shall be repeated.

Exception: If each team fouls during a down in which there is a change of team possession, the team last gaining possession may retain the ball, provided its foul was not prior to the final change of possession and it declines all penalties for its opponent's fouls, other than unsportsmanlike.

KICKING THE BALL

Protected Scrimmage Kick (defense can not block the kick)

1. Prior to making the ball ready for play on fourth down, the Referee must ask the offense if he/she wants a protected kick (punt). The Referee must communicate this decision to the defensive captain and the other officials.

2. The offense must have all field players (typically 6) except the punter on the line of scrimmage. The defense must have at least 5 players within 1 yard of their scrimmage line. All players on the line of scrimmages must remain motionless until the kick is made. A line player may not raise his/her arms to distract the kicker or block the kick. Penalty: Illegal Procedure, 5 yards from the previous spot.

3. The kicker must be at least 5 yards behind the scrimmage line when receiving the snap. After receiving the snap, the kicker must kick the ball immediately and in a continuous motion.

4. Any kick caught by the kicking team behind the line of scrimmage cannot be advanced.

5. The ball is allowed to bounce on the ground and be picked up and returned. If a returner muffs the kick, it is down where the ball makes first contact.

SNAPPING, HANDLING, PASSING, RECEIVING, RUNNING THE BALL

Prior to the Snap

1. Following the ready for play and until the snap, no player on defense may encroach, touch the ball, nor may any player contact opponents or in any other way interfere with them. This includes standing in the neutral zone ( 3 yards from line of scrimmage) to give defensive signals, or shifting through the zone. After the snapper has placed his/her hands on the ball, it is encroachment for any player to break the scrimmage line plane, except for the snapper's right to be over the ball. Penalty: Dead Ball Foul, Encroachment, 5 yards from the previous spot.

2. The snapper, after assuming position for the snap and adjusting the ball, may neither move nor change the position of the ball in a manner simulating the beginning of a play until it is snapped. An infraction of this provision may be penalized, whether or not the ball is snapped, and the penalty for any resultant encroachment or contact foul by an opponent shall be cancelled.

Position and Action during the Snap

1. The offensive team must have at least the center on their scrimmage line at the snap.

Penalty: Illegal Procedure, 5 yards from previous spot

2. One offensive player may be in motion, but not in motion toward the opponent's goal line.

Penalty: Illegal Motion, 5 yards from previous spot

3. The player who receives the snap can go under center or shotgun.

Passing and Receiving

1. There is no diving while running with the ball. A receiver may dive to catch a ball. A defensive player may dive for to try to remove a flag.

2. A runner may pass the ball backward or lose player possession by a fumble at anytime except if intentionally thrown out-of-bounds to conserve time or to avoid being deflagged/tagged.

3. A backward pass or fumble which touches the ground between the goal lines is dead at the spot where it touches the ground and belongs to the last team in possession unless lost on downs.

4. A backward pass or fumble that goes out-of -bounds between the goal lines belongs to the team last in possession at the out-of -bounds spot. If out-of bounds behind a goal line, it is a touchback or safety.

5. If an offensive player fumbles the ball prior to reaching the end zone and the ball lands in the end zone, the offensive team shall retain possession at the spot of the fumble.

6. All players are eligible to catch a pass.

7. A forward pass is illegal:

A. If the passer's foot is beyond the line of scrimmage.

B. If there is more than one forward pass per down.

D. If it is caught behind the line of scrimmage

8. The line of scrimmage remains throughout the play. A team may advance the ball across the line of scrimmage by laterals or runs, and then lateral the ball behind the line for a forward pass attempt.

9. If a player attempts a catch or intercept while in the air, the player must contact the ground inbounds with the ball in his/her possession prior to touching out-of-bounds, unless an opponent's contact causes him/her to first touch out-of- bounds.

A. If one foot first lands in-bounds and the receiver has possession and control of the ball, it is a catch or interception although a subsequent step or fall takes the receiver out-of-bounds.

B. A loss of ball simultaneously with returning to the ground is not a catch or interception.

10. A player may, while jumping in the air to attempt a catch, may pass (tip) the ball forward provided he/she has not touched the ground yet.

11. Pass Interference - Contact that interferes with an eligible receiver who is beyond the line of scrimmage is pass interference unless it occurs when 2 or more eligible receivers make a simultaneous and bona fide attempt to reach, catch, or bat a pass. It is also pass interference if an eligible receiver is deflagged/tagged prior to touching the ball on a pass thrown beyond the line of scrimmage.

A. Offensive Pass Interference - after the ball is snapped, and until a receiver has touched it, there shall be no offensive pass interference beyond the line of scrimmage. Penalty: Offensive Pass Interference, 5 yards from previous spot, loss of down.

B. Defensive Pass Interference - after the pass in thrown, and until it is touched, there shall be no defensive pass interference beyond the line of scrimmage while the ball is in flight.

Penalty: Defensive Pass Interference, 5 yards from previous spot, automatic first down

12. Roughing the passer – Defensive players must make a definite effort to avoid charging into the passer after it is clear the ball has been thrown, also there should be no attempts to hit the player’s arm during a throwing motion. Rusher must go for the flags, not the ball/arm.

Penalty: Roughing the Passer, 15 yards, automatic first down

Running and Flag Belt Removal

1. Flag Belt Removal - When the flag belt is clearly taken from the runner in possession of the ball, the down shall end and the ball is declared dead. A player who removes the flag belt from the runner should immediately hold the flag belt above his/her head to assist the official in locating the spot where the capture occurred.

A. Players must have possession of the ball before they can legally be deflagged.

B. When a runner loses his/her flag belt either accidentally, inadvertently (not removed by grabbing or pulling), or on purpose, play continues. The deflagging reverts to a one-hand tag of the runner between the shoulders and knees.

C. In circumstances where a flag belt is removed illegally, play should continue with the option of the penalty or the play.

D. A defensive player intentionally pulling a flag belt from an offensive player without the ball is illegal. The official shall warn the team, any further penalty will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct.

E. Tampering with the flag belt in any way to gain an advantage including tying, using foreign materials, or other such acts is illegal.

F. A player may leave his/her feet when trying to remove the flag.

G. Forward progress is marked at the ball carriers hips

H. A player must attempt to pull the flag, not intentionally push a player out of bounds, or to the ground.

2. Contact - In an attempt to remove the flag belt from a runner, defensive players may contact the body and shoulders, but not the face, neck or any part of the head of an opponent with their hands. A defensive player may not hold, push, or knock the runner down in an attempt to remove the flag belt.

Penalty: Defensive Holding, 5 yards from spot

3. Flag Guarding - A runner shall not flag guard by using their hands, arms, or the ball to deny the opportunity for an opponent to pull or remove the flag belt. A player may use a spin move, however; must keep their arms away from their flag to avoid flag guarding.

Penalty: Flag guarding, 5 yards from the spot of the penalty.

4. Stiff Arm – A runner shall be prohibited from contacting an opponent with an extended hand or arm which includes

the use of a “stiff arm” to flag guard

Penalty: Stiff Arm, 5 yards from the spot of the penalty

5. Helping the runner – A player shall not grasp, pull, push or aid any teammate runner.

Penalty: Helping the Runner, 5 yards from spot of the penalty.

6. The runner MUST avoid contact, no ducking te head, or lowering shoulders is allowed

Penalty: 5 yards from the spot of the penalty

Screening

1. Offense Screening – The offensive screener shall take place without contact. The screener shall have his/her hands and arms behind his/her back. Any use of the hands, arms, elbows, legs, or body to initiate contact during an offensive screen is illegal.

Penalty: Personal Foul, 5 yards from the spot of the penalty

2. Interlock Blocking - Teammates of a runner or passer may interfere for him/her by screen blocking, but shall not use interlocked interference by grasping or encircling one another in any manner.

3. Defensive Rush and Use of Hands – Defensive players must attempt to go around the offensive blocker.

Defensive players must not use any part of his/her arms, hands, elbows, or any part of the body to contact the offensive player.

Penalty: Personal Foul, 5 yards from previous spot

SCORING PLAYS AND TOUCHBACKS

Touchdown

1. All touchdowns are 6 points

2. A touchdown shall be scored when a legal forward pass is completed or a fumble or backward pass is caught behind the opponent's goal line or when a player is legally in possession of the ball and penetrates the vertical plane of the opponent's goal line

Extra Point Try = 1, or 2 points

1. An opportunity to score 1 point from the 5-yard line or 2 points from the 10 yard line. While time is out there shall be one scrimmage play, unless changed by penalty. Team can choose kick a PAT. 1 point from 15 yards, center snaps from 15 and holder will be at 22, or 2 points from 25 yards, center snaps from 25 and holder will be at 32.

Once the scoring team makes the choice, he/she may change the decision only by taking a charged team timeout.

2. If a double foul occurs during the down, the down shall be replayed. When a distance penalty is incurred by the offense during a successful try, the down will be repeated, if accepted. However, if the offense penalty carries a loss of down, the try has ended and will not be repeated.

Safety = 2 points

1. It is a safety when a runner carries the ball from the field of play to or acrosshb his/her own goal line, and it becomes dead there in his/her team's possession.

Exception: Momentum Rule

2. A safety is also when an offensive player commits a foul for which the penalty is accepted and the measurement is from the spot of the foul that is in the end zone.

3. When a safety is scored, the ball belongs to the defending team, and they shall put the ball in play from the 20 yard line.

CONDUCT OF PLAYERS AND OTHERS

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

1. No player shall commit non-contact acts during a period or intermission. Examples include, but are not limited to:

A. Any acts of unfair play.

B. Using disconcerting acts or words prior to the snap in an attempt to interfere with the offense's signals or movements.

C. Intentionally kicking at any opposing player.

D. Intentionally swinging an arm, hand or fist at any opposing player.

2. Dead Ball Player Fouls

A. Intentionally kicking the ball.

B. Spike the ball into the ground.

C. Throw the ball high into the air.

3. Prohibited Acts - There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct by players, substitutes, coaches or others subject to the Rules. Examples include, but are not limited to:

A. Attempting to influence a decision by an official.

B. Disrespectfully addressing an official.

C. Indicating objections to an official's decision.

D. Holding an unauthorized conference, or being on the field illegally.

E. Using profanity, insulting or vulgar language or gestures.

F. Intentionally contacting a game official physically during the game by persons subject to the rules.

Personal Fouls

1. No player shall commit a personal foul during a period or an intermission. Any act prohibited hereunder or any other act of unnecessary roughness is a personal foul. No player shall:

A. Punch, strike, strip, steal, or attempt to steal the ball from a player in possession.

B. Trip an opponent.

C. Contact an opponent who is on the ground.

D. Throw the runner to the ground.

E. Hurdle any other player.

F. Contact an opponent either before or after the ball is declared dead.

G. Make any contact with an opponent that is deemed unnecessary of any nature including using fists, locked hands, elbows, or any part of the forearm or hand, except according to Flag Rules.

H. Deliberately drive or run into a defensive player.

I. Clip an opponent.

J. Tackling the runner.

ENFORCEMENT OF PENALTIES

1. Captain’s Choice - The offended captain will have the choice to take the live-play result, or penalty, unless it is a pre-snap penalty. The offended captain will choose which penalty they want assessed if there are multiple.

2. Simultaneous Fouls- all simultaneous fouls are cancelled out, a 5 yard defensive penalty on a play, and a 15 yard offensive penalty on a play result in a replay down.

3.  Distance is assessed where the penalty occured, not end of resulting play.

4. Any offensive penalty committed in the offenders own endzone results in a safety.

All rules are subject to change for player safety and gameplay. Captains and Refs will make the final call.