Schedule: 10 Teams, 9 regular season games.  Each team plays each other once.  After the regular season, TOP 6 teams to make the Postseason, with 2 weeks of playoffs, and then the Superbowl.  (Top 2 teams have a week 1 bye in the playoffs  - they play the winners of week 1... Top seed plays the lowest seed in week 2)

TIE BREAKERS: Head to Head Matchup,



Teams: Each team’s roster consists of a maximum 17 players. Final Rosters are due by the 3rd week of the season.



Uniforms: Team jerseys are mandatory by the 2nd week of the season. A player will be unable to enter the playing field without his team jersey. A non-team jersey can be used as long as the jersey is close to the team's uniform and can be distinguished from the opposing team’s uniforms. Jerseys must be tucked in at all times or not extend below the belt.  (flags must not be covered by jersey or shirt)



Flags:  Each belt consists of 3 flags that must be placed on each side and the back. Starting a play without flags will make that player ineligible. If he should receive the ball, play is consumed and is marked at original line of scrimmage.  If the Quarterback starts the play with two flags, the down is consumed an marked at the original line of scrimmage.



Ball:  Regulation NFL or NCAA football.



Field: The field will be 40 yards X 80 yards plus 10 yard end zones.



Length of Game.  Two 35 minute halves.  Clock only stops for time-outs, 2 minute warning and inside the 2 minute mark for incomplete passes, out of bound plays and scores.



The Play Clock:  Once the ball is placed, the ball must be snapped within 25 seconds.   30 seconds after change of possession (defense must be notified)



Time-Outs: Each team is allotted 3 one minute time-outs per half. The referee can use his discretion to allow more than the one minute time limit if he feels it to be necessary. Once the time-out expires, the ref will announce that both teams have 25 seconds to put the ball back in play.  No one team can take 2 time-outs in succession. A play has to be run in between their time-outs. If a captain calls a time-out to confer with a referee to review a misapplication of a rule or penalty and the call is reversed, the time-out will be restored. If the call was not reversed, the time-out is consumed. If that team has no time-outs left, a delay of game penalty will be assessed.



Game Times and Coin Toss:  Game times will be set prior to the start of the season. A team player must be present 5 minutes before the start of their scheduled game for the toss of the coin (if game time is 8:30, coin toss will be 8:25). Failing to meet the time of coin toss, the team present will be awarded the option of getting the ball at the beginning of the game and also at the beginning of the 2nd half. In the event both teams are not present at coin flip time, the first team to arrive assumes the choice.  The winner of the toss will be given the choice of defense, offense or of designating the end of the field at which the ball will be put in play. The loser will have his choice of the remaining options.



Starting the Game:  Each team must have a minimum of 5 players on the field for the game to begin. If a team is not prepared to field at least 5 players after 15 minutes from start of game time, the team that is ready will automatically win by forfeit. Score will be 42-0.



Playing the Game:   7 on 7. Possession will start on the 10 yard line. Upon placement of the ball, the ref announces the game is ready to begin and play must commence within the allotted 25 seconds. The offense will have 4 downs to either score or reach the mid-field 1st down marker, which at that point they’ll receive a new set of downs, and the defense accrues a blitz.



Scoring: Touchdowns are 6 points. Two-point conversions are run from the 7 yard line. One-point conversions are run from the 3 yard line. Safeties are 2 points and an interception return of any conversion try equals 2 points. On all conversions, the Mississippi count is 2. The player’s body (flag-belt) must cross goal-line/1st down line, not just ball.



Fumble: Fumbles are considered dead at the spot of the drop, but no further than where the runner advanced. The only fumble allowed to be recovered is if the quarterback fumbles on the initial pick up of the ball, then he and only he can recover and continue with the play. A backward pass or “fumble” can be caught in flight and advanced.



The QB and Line of Scrimmage: Unless a blitz is on, if the quarterback crosses the line of scrimmage with any part of his body prior to the completion of the “Mississippi 3” count, the play is considered dead at the line of scrimmage and the down is consumed. The quarterback can hand or pitch the ball to another player for a running play, at which time the “Mississippi” count becomes null and defense can cross the line of scrimmage. The quarterback can only run the ball if the “Mississippi” count is completed or he is being blitzed or if the ball is pitched back to him from a previous ball carrier in the same play.  If a quarterback runs past the line of scrimmage prior to the expiration of the Mississippi count (when there’s no blitz), Play is dead at line of scrimmage, no penalty/yardage.



One-Hand Touch: If the ball carrier inadvertently loses his belt prior to possessing the ball, the play will continue until he is touched between the armpits and knees, which at that point, will be equal to a de-flagging. This rule also applies if the ball carrier is on the ground. There is no down-by-contact rule; the ball carrier must be touched while on the ground.



Blitz: The defense is allowed 1 blitz per set of downs and 2 *phantom blitzes* to use at anytime per half. Any and all defenders can rush the quarterback as long as the blitz takes place at least 3 yards (left, right or center) from the spot of the ball. If a blitz happens from less than 3 yards, the play continues and the offense is offered to keep the play or except a 10 yard penalty and repeat of down. If the offense accepts the penalty, defense retains their blitz. If they decline, the blitz is consumed. Defense can not lose a blitz due to penalty unless the penalty occurs after the blitz.



*Phantom Blitz:  Each team will have two phantom blitzes per half.  The phantom blitz is a SECOND blitz used in a 4 down series.  Phantom Blitzes can NOT be carried over if unused.  In the event of a penalty:  If the play is consumed, the phantom blitz is lost.  If the play is re-played, the team will retain its phantom blitz.



Blocking:  Blocking is defined as obstructing an opponent by screening him from the play.  A blocker must be on his feet before and during the time that the block is made.  Cross body blocking is not permitted.  Under no circumstances shall a high/low or rolling block be permitted.  Blockers may not swing, throw, or flip their elbows or forearms when blocking.  While executing a block, the blocker cannot touch a knee or hand to the ground.  Clipping or blocking across the back is illegal. Defenders can not lower their shoulder to avoid offense from blocking as the offense can not lower their shoulders to avoid the defender from blitzing. All blocking and rushing must be done with an open hand – extended arm motion. If a defender falls to the ground, the offensive blocker is allowed to use the open hand – extended arm technique to keep him down.Charging through a defensive player is illegal.  Full-speed blocking is prohibited.  CONCEPT: Blocking is to be kept under control and stress safe, clean, sportsmanlike contact between opponents. Teammates of a runner or passer may interfere for him by blocking, but will not use interlocked interference by grasping or encircling one another in any matter. The offensive block will take place with the blocker's arms extended and palms facing opponent. The block must be initiated on opponent’s chest or on either side.  Any other block will be illegal. Contact that begins from behind, above the shoulders, or below the waist, is illegal.  If the person being blocked presents their back to the blocker after a legal block was initiated, no foul shall be called.



Punts: Fake punts are illegal. The punting team must notify the ref that their team is about to punt. A snapper will pitch the ball back to the punter. A “Mississippi 3” count is used when the snapper picks up the ball. Only 2 players can release down field at the snap of the ball. All other players on the punting team must wait until the ball is kicked or the “Mississippi 3” count is completed. If a punt returner drops the ball or touches the ball, the ball is dead there. The returner can scoop up an untouched punted ball that lands and bounces to advance it.



One Foot In: A receiver or defender only has to establish possession of the ball with one foot in bounds or inside the endzone to constitute a completion.  When jumping to catch the ball, the receiver must maintain possession of the ball when landing on the ground.



Hand-Offs:  Hand-offs are only allowed when the ball carrier is at least 1 yard off the line of scrimmage.



Stripping:  A defender can swipe the ball and steal it from a ball carrier if it is done in one swift movement and not a tug-of-war type action. No swinging or punching of the ball will be allowed and that action can result into a personal foul penalty.  THIS MAY NOT BE DONE TO A QUARTERBACK PASSING THE BALL.  THE DEFENDER MUST EITHER HAVE HIS HANDS STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR OR GRAB THE QUARTERBACK’S FLAGS.  ANY ATTEMPT TO HIT THE QUARTERBACK’S ARM OR HAND WILL RESULT IN A PERSONAL FOUL PENALTY.  (We want to keep our quarterback’s shoulders in one piece)



Off-sides: If an offensive player lines up or jumps off-sides, play is immediately stopped and a procedural penalty is assessed. If a defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage before he legally can, the play will continue, after the play is over, the offense will have the option of: declining the penalty and taking the play, or accepting the penalty and repeating the down.**  If the defense crosses the line of scrimmage after the ball is snapped (inadvertent or not) before the “Mississippi 3” count is complete, and they have a blitz, no foul is committed, but their blitz is consumed.

**If a DEFENSIVE Off-sides results in a first down for the Offense, the Offense will have the option to take the penalty and the 10 yards, decline the penalty and take the result of the play, or decline the penalty and play the down over again from the original spot of the foul.



Intentional Grounding: Any attempt to avoid a sack by throwing the ball away (from the “pocket”) is illegal. The ball must be throwing in the direction or close proximity of a receiver down field. Referee’s discretion will be used and respected. The quarterback does have the ability to stop the clock by picking the ball up and immediately throwing the ball into the ground within the two-minute period.



Pass Interference: Contact which interferes with a receiver who is beyond five yards down field is interference.  Jamming is allowed and legal within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Once the ball is thrown, no player may hinder the progress of an opponent who has a chance to catch the pass. Incidental contact that does not impede a player or affect his chance to catch the ball is legal. Restrictions on pass interference end once the pass is touched.



Illegal Contact: A defender may make contact with an offensive receiver who is in front of him within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Beyond 5 yards or if the receiver has moved beyond the defender, the defender may not make contact that impedes or restricts the offensive receiver. Incidental contact is legal as long as it does not significantly impede the progress of the receiver or create a distinct advantage for the defender. A defensive player may not hold, grasp, push, knock the ball carrier down or obstruct forward progress in an attempt to remove the runner’s flag. 10 yards



Straight- Arming: Illegal (10 yd penalty) and the ball is dead at the spot of the foul.



Hand- Guarding:   Ball carriers can not protect their flags by blocking with arms, hands or ball.10 yd penalty and dead at the spot of the foul.



Charging: Lowering the shoulder or bullying through someone who is attempting to remove the flags is illegal.



Pushing / Helping a Ball Carrier’s Progress: The ball carrier shall not grasp a teammate or be grasped, pulled, or pushed by a teammate – the ball will be considered dead at the spot of the foul. The ball carrier can not ride a blocking teammate.



Offsetting penalties:  Result of the play will stand.



Personal Foul: A defender may tap a runner that is near the sideline (2 yards), out of bounds to end a play. Aggressively knocking a player out of bounds will result in an unsportsmanlike like penalty. The tackling of a ball carrier is strictly prohibited and the defender can be ejected. Penalty is 15 yards from spot of foul. If the tackle occurs inside the 20 yard line, the offense will be awarded an automatic1st and goal from the 1 yard line. Bad mouthing a ref will also constitute a personal foul penalty.



Personal Foul Mouth Foul: This penalty will be strictly enforced to keep the language used under control. Our field is located in people’s backyard. The sound travels right into their homes. You will get 1 warning per team of inappropriate language, to be followed by a penalty and/or ejection for a series or two.



Inadvertent Whistle: If a play is blown dead by the referee's whistle inadvertently, the play is dead where the whistle stopped the play. The offense (or whoever was in possession of the ball) has the option of replaying the down or excepting the spot where the play was whistle dead.



Quarterback Crossing Scrimmage Line: If a quarterback crosses the line of scrimmage while attempting a pass, the play is dead at the line of scrimmage. Down consumed. No Penalty/No Yardage. Same if a quarterback runs past the line of scrimmage prior to the expiration of the Mississippi count. Play is dead at line of scrimmage.



Penalties:

Delay of game … 10 yards

Off- sides … 10 yards

Offensive Holding … 10 yards / repeat down

Defensive Holding (of ball carrier) … 10 yards / spot of foul

Illegal contact … 10 yards / repeat down

Illegal block … 10 yards / spot of foul

Illegal man downfield (punts) … 10 yards / repeat down

Riding … 10 yards / spot of foul

Hand guarding … 10 yards / spot of foul

Stiff Arming … 10 yards / spot of foul

Charging… 10 yards / spot of foul

Tripping … 10 yards / spot of foul

Interlocked interference … 10 yards / spot of foul

Roughing the kicker … 10 yards / repeat down

Roughing the passer … 10 yards / repeat down

Illegal participation (too many men) … 10 yards

Illegally handing ball forward … 10 yards / repeat down

Pushing the ball carrier … 10 yards / spot of foul

Unsportsmanlike conduct (cursing) … 10 yards



Unsportsmanlike conduct (fighting/tackling/ref bashing) 15 yards

Offensive pass interference … 15 yards / down consumed

Defensive pass interference … spot of foul / repeat down

Throw or attempt to throw a punch, EXPECT EJECTION AND SUSPENSION



Miscellaneous Rules and Regulations:



Forfeits: A team unable to play their scheduled game must notify the league 24 hours before the game is to be played. If a team forfeits without proper notice, there will be a $25 fine, due no later than their next scheduled game. The $25 fine will be awarded to the opposing team.



Banishment: If a team forfeits more than 3 games in one season, that team and its owner will be subjected to a one-season suspension the following season. A vote can be held to allow the team a “pass” if circumstances were considered justified. If so, a refundable $50 re-entry fee would be required and held on to in case of future forfeits by that team. The $50 would be returned upon completion of the season if no forfeits were called on the account of that team.



Free Agency: A new player is “owned” by his original team for his first 3 seasons in the league. Any movement by that player must be approved by the players original team or unless he is dropped from their roster. Any player that has not made a financial commitment to a team’s roster is free to move to any other team. If a player commits (financially) to one teams roster, he must seek permission before jumping to another team.



Strictly For Fun: Since this is the SFF, if a team has a female player on their roster, female touchdowns are worth 9 points; conversions are 2 and 3 points. Hey, ya never know. If a team shows up with 6 or less players and a female is available but not on the roster, she will be allowed to play, but only as the 6th or 7th player.



Tie-Breakers:

2 Way Tie Breaker:  Head to Head Matchup



3 Way Tie Breakers:

1. The winning percentages of the teams involved in the tie vs. each other shall be compared. If one team’s winning percentage is superior to the others, that team shall be removed from the tie and seeded highest of the teams involved in the tie. If two teams subsequently remain, that tie shall be broken utilizing the two-way tiebreaker procedure.

2. If no single team has a superior winning percentage after the comparison described in No. 1, but multiple teams have the same superior percentage to the any other teams involved in the tie, those teams with the superior percentage will be compared using either the two-way or three-way tiebreaker procedure. The team that has the advantage will be seeded highest of all teams involved in the original tie. The other team(s) (the loser(s) of the appropriate tiebreaker) will again be compared to the remaining teams in the tie, beginning with step No. 1 of the three-way tiebreaker.

3. If all winning percentages in the three-way (or more) tie vs. teams involved in the tie are the same, each team’s winning percentage vs. the Superior teams (teams with a higher winning percentage) place shall be compared. If one team’s winning percentage is superior to the others, that team shall be removed from the tie and seeded highest of the teams involved in the tie. If two teams remain, that tie shall be broken utilizing the two-way tiebreaker procedure.

4. If there is a 3 way tie for first place, the winning percentage of the teams vs. the remaining playoff teams will be compared in order to determine the highest seed.  The 2 remaining teams will be determined by their head to head matchup.



The Commissioner Committee can, in his discretion, amend, alter, and /or change, these rules at any time.

If any situation arises before, during, or after, a game that is not covered by these rules, the applicable NFL rule will be applied.


OFFICIAL RULES AND REGUALTIONS FOR THE SFF 2010 SPRING SEASON
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