Fundamentals of Football Certification
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What Area are you Coaching for?
New for the 2019 season is how Game Officials determine if the Formation is legal or not.
On Offense you only have 2 types of position, On the Line or In the Backfield.
In the past you needed 7 players On the Line of scrimmage for the formation to be legal.
You now need a minimum 5 offensive Players On the Line and a maximum of 4 Players In the Backfield.
To be in the Backfield a player must be positioned so that no part of his body penetrates the plane that passes through the waist of the nearest lineman.
Games Officials are responsible for making sure that the Offensive formation has a Maximum of 4 Players In the Backfield.
Each quarter is 10 minutes long
Halftime is 10 minutes
The goal of the officiating crew is to get a standard 40 seconds between each play.
When the whistle is blown ending the play the White Hat should time around 15 seconds before blowing the "Ready for Play" whistle, which means you have 25 seconds to snap the ball.
40 Second Play Clock Video
This just an example of the new Rule. Youth Games will still do the 25 Second Clock.
A runner is a player who is in possession, or is simulating possession of, a live ball.
Note: If a Player is simulating having the ball he may be tackled.
It is a foul for a defensive player to do the following to a Runner:
Grab inside the back collar of the shoulder pads or jersey and pull him down
Grab inside the collar of the side of the shoulder pads or jersey and pull him down.
Grab the nameplate area directly below the back collar and pull him down.
Trip the Runner.
Twist or pull the facemask.
Delivering a blow and unnecessary roughness.
Pile on after the ball has become dead.
Any player may hand the ball backwards at any time.
A player may hand the ball forward only if he and his teammate are both in or behind the neutral zone.
Interior Lineman Running the Ball
If the player who receives a forward handoff is an interior lineman, then he must satisfy some very specific restrictions.
Must pivot 180 degrees
Moves both feet so that he faces his own end line
At least 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage when he receives the ball
The Passing Game
To be considered an eligible receiver he must be in the Backfield or on the end of his scrimmage line.
If you have a wide out on the line of scrimmage and a tight end on the same side of the formation on the line of scrimmage, the tight end is ineligible to go down field for a pass.
The 5 interior lineman (Center, Guards and Tackles) are never eligible.
All eligible receivers on both teams have equal rights to the ball.
Interference only happens if the action interferes with an opponent’s opportunity to move toward, catch or bat the pass.
There must be physical contact, face guarding is not interference.
Must have at least 4 players on each side of the ball
All players except the kicker must be within 5 yards of the free kick line
It is illegal for a free kick to be immediately driven to the ground, strikes the ground once and goes into the air in the manner of a ball kicked directly off the tee (pop-up kick)
Feet Sink Arms Rip Squeeze and Roll
A blindside block is a block outside of the free-blocking zone against an opponent other than the runner who does not see the block coming.
When a player does not know he is being contacted, the risk of injury increases significantly.
Blocks initiated with open hands are significantly less dangerous and are not considered blindside blocks.
Blindside Block Video
Evan though he was in the process of tackling the runner, the hit was a blindside hit.
Targeting means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with an apparent intent that goes beyond making a legal tackle or legal block. Some indicators of targeting:
Leading with helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with contact at the head or neck area.
Lowering the head before attacking by initiating contact with the crown of the helmet.
Launch - a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact in the head or neck area.
A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with contact at the head or neck area-even though one or both feet are still on the ground.
NOTE: Targeting is grounds for ejection.
Targeting is an act of taking aim and initiating contact to an opponent above the shoulders with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulders. Targeting may be called for contact against any opponent, including the runner.
High Risk Indicators - Must Call
Launching - A player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact in the head or neck area.
Thrusting - A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with contact at the head or neck area even though one or both feet are still on the ground. Leading with helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with contact at the head or neck area.
Hitting with the Crown of the Helmet - Lowering the head before attacking by initiating contact with the crown of the helmet.
Low Risk Indicators
Heads-up tackle in which the crown of the helmet does not strike above the shoulders.
Head is to the side rather than being used to initiate contact.
Incidental helmet contact that is not part of targeting but is due to the players changing position during the course of play.
This targeting on a defenseless player.
A defenseless player is a player who, because of his physical position and focus of concentration, is especially vulnerable to injury.
Examples of defenseless players include:
A receiver attempting to catch a pass who has not had time to clearly become a runner;
The intended receiver of a pass in the action during and immediately following an interception or potential interception;
A runner already in the grasp of a tackler and whose forward progress has been stopped;
A kickoff or punt returner attempting to catch or recover a kick, or on who has completed a catch or recovery and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier;
A player on the ground including a ball carrier who has obviously given himself up and is sliding feet first;
A player obviously out of play or not in the immediate vicinity of the runner; and
A player who receives a “blindside” block with forcible contact not initiated with open hands.
We are here to teach our youth the game of tackle football and to have fun.
Safety for all player is our top priority!!!
If you have any rule question, please feel free to call me 906-396-2186 or email me at
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