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Rule Book

Edmonton Flag Football Association Official Rules

Last Revised: April 16, 2009


Click to Download PDF Version

Reference:

LD - Loss of Down

PF - Point of Infraction

LS - Line of Scrimmage

L+ Number - Loss of Yardage equal to number

DR - Down Repeated

DB - Dead Ball

AFD - Automatic First Down

 

FIELD & EQUIPMENT

Rule 1: The Field

1.1 The field shall be 100 yards long by 50 yards wide with 4 20-yard increments and two 10-yard end zones. Hash Lines are 15 yd. in from each sideline and a center mark is to be placed on each zone line.

1.2 It is required that pylons are to be placed on the intersections of each line that touches the sidelines of the field. Goal lines should have two pylons on each sideline intersection.

Rule 2: The Ball

2.1 The official football of the league shall be an approved leather or composite College or Pro Football. No rubberized balls.

Rule 3: Equipment

3.1 No player shall wear or use any pads, blocking devices, or helmets. (Exception made to "volleyball" type kneepads and gloves)

3.2 No player shall wear or use any equipment clothing or jewelry, which in the opinion of the officials endangers or confuses his opponents.

3.3 No player shall wear footwear equipped with metal cleats.

3.4 No player shall wear clothing with open sides, side or back pockets.

3.5 All jerseys are required to be tucked into players' shorts or pants. No short jerseys allowed (jersey hem above a players' belt).

3.6 All players shall wear pants/shorts of a contrasting colour to the flags worn.

3.7 Each player on the field shall wear a league sanctioned flag belt. The belt must be outside their uniform, with the flag attached externally on the belt at each hip.

3.8 The league will provide teams with new sanctioned flag belts for 2004 season. There will be small and large size belts, meeting all flag belt measurements and restrictions. Any other style of belt or alteration of the league-sanctioned belts is illegal.

3.9 Players' uniform must not cover any part of the flag. If a player's jersey is pulled out during the game, the player will be required to tuck it in during a break in play. (Offending player shall be removed from the game until improper equipment is replaced. Substitution will be allowed but the game shall not be delayed)

Rule 4: Numbering of Players

4.1 Each player shall be conspicuously numbered on the back of his jersey. Such number must conform to that listed with the scorer.

Rule 5: Illegal Substances

5.1 A player shall not be permitted to apply or have applied on his uniform, equipment, or body:

a) An adhesive substance, which, in the sole judgment of the referee, has made the game ball unsuitable for play as a result of contact with the player.

b) A greasy substance, which, in the sole judgment of the referee has the potential to give that player an unfair advantage. (Offending player shall be removed from the game until the illegal substance is removed. Substitution will be allowed but the game shall not be delayed).

 

CONDUCT OF THE GAME

Rule 6: Possessions

6.1 Possession means having the ball firmly held in hand or hands, arm or arms, leg or legs.

6.2 When players of the Opposite teams have possession of the ball, it shall belong to the player who first gained possession and who has not lost possession.

6.3 If players of both teams legally gain possession of the ball simultaneously, it shall belong to the team, which last previously had possession.

6.4 A ball is considered fumbled if the player last in possession of the ball has lost control of it.

Rule 7: Dead Ball

7.1 The ball is dead when any of the following occur:

a) An official blows his whistle

b) An official has signaled a score

c) The ball goes out of bounds (as defined by rule 17)

d) The ball hits the ground. If the ball is fumbled forward before' hitting the ground, it shall be ruled dead at the point where the player last had possession

e) The ball carrier's flag is pulled after gaining possession of the ball

f) The ball is snapped and hits the ground (LD @ PF)

g) The ball carrier that is missing one or both flags is touched after gaining possession of the ball

h) The ball carrier with some portion of his body other than his hands and feet is in contact with the ground.

i) The ball is kicked.

j) The player receiving the ball from the center crosses the line of scrimmage without relinquishing control of the ball. (LD @ LS)

Rule 8: The Teams

8.1 A team shall consist of no more than (7) players on the field and no less than (6).

Rule 9: Team Captains

9.1 At all times, each team must have on the field a player designated as captain.

9.2 The captains shall be identified to the referees prior to the commencement of the game.

9.3 The team cannot have more than 3 designated captains at anyone time.

9.4 The captain shall be the sole communicator between team and referees.

9.5 Only the captain(s) may appeal to the referee on interpretation and application of the rules.

9.6 In case of a foul, the captain of the non-offending team shall be given choice of accepting or declining the penalty.

Rule 10: Starting

10.1 Teams will be designated as Home and/or Visitor by the league, as listed on each seasons' schedule.

10.2 Home team chooses to commence the game on offence or defense, choose which goal they wish to defend, or to defer first choice to the start of the second half.

10.3 A team must have a minimum of 6 players at the scheduled start of the game. Teams must forfeit any game when they have less than 6 players on the field.

10.4 At the beginning of the second half, the designated visiting team or the team which deferred their choice decides offence, defense, or which goal they wish to defend.

10.5 At the beginning of any half, the ball is placed in the middle of the center stripe.

Rule 11: Playing & Rest Periods

11.1 Each half consists of 40 plays. Points after touchdowns and plays with penalties where downs are repeated are not considered plays.

11.2 A maximum five-minute half time will be observed unless shortened by the Head Referee.

11.3 At the end of 20 and 60 plays, teams switch sides.

Rule 12: Time Outs

12.1 A time out is allowed when a referee deems it necessary to suspend play.

12.2 Each team is allowed one-60 second time out per half of the game.

12.3 After a time out for any reason, time shall start again on the signal of the referee.

Rule 13: Ball in Play

13.1 The ball shall be considered in play until an official stops the game by sounding his whistle.

13.2 The game shall not be stopped because of player injury until the ball is dead.

13.3 The referee shall not stop the game to impose a penalty until the ball is dead, except:

a) When it is obvious that the non-offending team cannot benefit by continuing the play

b) Offside at the snap (Sec 21.0)

c) Guarding the flag (See Rule 35)

Rule 14: Delay of game

14.1 No delay shall be allowed for player injury, or for any other reason except by the permission of the referee.

14.2 If a referee finds it necessary to call time because of injury to a player, that player shall be required to leave the game for at least 1 play.

14.3 It is delay of game if the team that does not have possession of the ball contacts:

a) The ball, after it is spotted by an official

b) The ball marker, after it is spotted by an official (L10 @ LS DR)

Rule 15: Ball in Goal

15.1 The ball is considered to be in the goal if the following conditions are met:

a) The ball crosses the vertical plane of the goal line

b) The player in control of the ball is within the confines of the marked field

c) The player in control of the ball is within the confines of the marked end zone

Rule 16: Tie Game

16.1 A tie game will stand during regular season play.

16.2 If a winner must be determined, overtime will consist of a shootout format. Each team will get a possession for a first and goal on the opponent's 20 yard line. Normal game rules apply for converts, rules etc.

16.3 Home team will choose ball or defend first. If it is still tied then the team that had possession first will have possession last and vice versa

16.4 Overtime periods will continue until the tie is broken.

Rule 17: Out of Bounds

17.1 The ball is out of bounds when:

a) It touches a sideline, end zone back line, the ground or any other object beyond these lines.

b) A player in possession of the ball touches a sideline, end zone back line, the ground or any object beyond these lines.

17.2 The ball shall remain in play when:

a) It passes and crosses a side line or end zone back line in the air, and then curves or is blown back into the field of play without touching anything,

b) It is knocked or batted back into the field of play by a player who leaves the ground in bounds and who has not touched the ground or any object out of bounds.

c) A player, after having jumped for a catch, gets his first foot down in bounds. Only 1 foot needs to be in bounds for ball to remain in play, but it must be the first foot down.

17.3 If a player gains possession of the ball after leaving the ground in bounds and is contacted by an opponent in a manner which causes him to land out of bounds in possession of the ball, such player shall retain possession.

17.4 Teams will retain possession of the ball if they carry or throw the ball out of bounds (Except where rule 26.1 is applied).

17.5 When on any play, except a missed forward pass, the ball is fumbled out of bounds, it shall belong to the team which last had possession of the ball (Rule 6.1) and:

a) Spotted at the point where the player lost control of the ball in the field of play

b) Spotted at the point where the ball was last in a players possession in the field of play

c) Spotted at the point where the ball made contact with the ground within the field of play, or whichever is closer to the possessor's goal line.

17.6 If a player out of bounds touches a ball in bounds, the ball shall be declared dead and shall be awarded to the team last in possession of the ball. (LD @ LS)

17.7 When a player fumbles the ball from the field of play over the opponents goal line without

the ball touching an opponent, it shall be ruled as a fumble out of bounds in the field of play with the ball declared dead at the point where it was last touched in the field of play.

17.8 When a player fumbles the ball directly or indirectly from the field of play into his own goal area, where the ball touches the ground or goes out of bounds without possession being gained by either team, a safety touch score shall be awarded to the other team.

17.9 A player of either team who goes out of bounds, except as a result of bodily contact must remain out of that play (LD @ LS).

 

SCRIMMAGE

Rule 18: Line of Scrimmage

18.1 The line of scrimmage is an imaginary line, extending from sideline to sideline, parallel to the goal line, and passing through the point of the ball farthest from the offensive team's goal line.

18.2 The scrimmage zone is the area extending one yard towards each goal away from the line of scrimmage from sideline to sideline.

18.3 Scrimmage Line or Line Players are considered to be any players on the offensive team who are within the scrimmage zone on their side of the line of scrimmage, and are in a single line when the ball is put in play

18.4 Any offensive player is considered to be in his backfield if he/she is more than 1 yard back of the line of scrimmage when the ball is put into play. This also includes the quarterback.

Rule 19: Method of Scrimmage

19.1 Before the ball is put into play, an offensive player (The Center) shall take his position facing the opponents goal, and must put the ball into play by (Snapping the ball÷ back between his legs to another offensive player. (Snapping the ball÷ must be in one continuous motion in a direction from his toe to heel.

19.2 The ball must leave the center's hand(s) and the center shall not again handle it until it has been in the possession of another player.

19.3 Any player may call the cadence before the snap of the ball.

Rule 20: Illegal Movement

20.1 The center shall not intentionally move the ball, as if to snap it, so as to draw opponents offside (L5 @ LS DR).

20.2 A team shall be subject to penalty for having drawn an opponent offside if:

a) A line player has made a motion or voiced a signal which, in the judgment of the official, drew such opponent offside (L5 @ LS DR)

b) The quarterback had made a quick movement towards the center position without the ball being snapped immediately (L5 @ LS DR)

c) The quarterback has assumed his stance with his hands under the center, and has bobbed his head, moved his shoulders, or flexed his knees in a jerking motion without the ball being snapped (L5 @ LS DR)

d) The quarterback had assumed his stance with his hands under the center and then moves away from the center without the ball being snapped.

Rule 21: Offside at the Snap

21.1 Offensive players must be completely behind the line of scrimmage, except the head, arms, and hands of the center may be in advance of the line of scrimmage.

21.2 Defensive players shall take up positions on their own side of the line of scrimmage, and all parts of their body must be at least 1 yard towards their goal (outside scrimmage zone 18.2) from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped (L5 @ LS DR).

21.3 If the defensive team is offside at their 1 yd. line, the offensive team shall be awarded a first down (AFD).

21.4 If a defensive player goes offside and breaks the plane of the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped, the officials shall stop the play immediately and:

a) Award the penalty yardage to the offense (L5 @ LS DR) or

b) Give the offensive team the right to decline the yardage penalty and to repeat the down as though a foul had not occurred.

21.5 A defensive player is not offside if he/she enters and leaves their side of the scrimmage zone before the ball is snapped.

21.6 If players of both teams are offside on the same play, the down shall be repeated without penalty from the point of last scrimmage.

21.7 A player of either team who is offside and contacts an opponent, even though he/she recovers his/her onside position prior to the snap is offside (L5 @ LS DR).

Rule 22: Time Count

22.1 The referee shall allow the offensive team 25 seconds in which to put the ball into play after a whistle signal is given. It is the sole judgment of the referee to determine when the play signal is to be given, and should give both teams ample time to prepare for the next play (L5 @

LS DR).

Rule 23: Blocking

23.1 On a play from scrimmage, any offensive player may block an opponent anywhere behind the scrimmage zone (18.2) towards his own team's goal, commencing from the instant the ball is snapped.

23.2 a) A offensive player must initiate his block contact with hands and/or forearms. His hands and forearms must be inside of his elbows, and contact is to be made to the front area of the opponents' torso (below his neck and above his waist) (L10 @ LS).

23.2 b) A defensive player's rush may only initiate contact to opposing players with hands.  Leading with shoulders is not allowed. (L10 @ LS)

23.3 Offensive linemen may make secondary blocks with their torso while engaged in a block that was initiated with their hands.

23.4 An offensive player's feet may not leave the ground while attempting to block (i.e.: diving, leaping, etc.) (L10 @ LS)

Rule 24: Distance Restrictions

24.1 If the offensive team has possession of the ball within 1 yd. of either goal line, the ball shall be scrimmaged 1 yd. outside of such goal line.

24.2 If an offensive team loses possession of the ball within 20 yards of their own goal line,  the opposing team's offense assumes possession at that 20 yd. line.  If the loss of possession is via interception the opposing team's offense will start where they assumed the ball or where the ball carrier was flagged after the interception.

Rule 25: Player Restrictions

25.1 At the instant the ball is put in play, a minimum of 3 offensive players, one of which is the center, must be in a 2 or 3-point stance within the scrimmage zone (18.2) on their side of the line of scrimmage (this does not include the quarterback). Those 3 offensive players must also be within 5 yards of the ball on the line of scrimmage (L5 @ LS DR)

25.2 No offensive line player except the center, having assumed a 3 point stance, may move his head, arms, hands, legs, or feet until the ball is snapped (L5 @ LS DR).

25.3 No offensive receiver within their side of the scrimmage zone (18.2) shall be moving until the ball is put in play (L5 @ LS DR).

25.4 All offensive players who have assumed a two or three point stance within their side of the scrimmage zone (18.2) shall be required to remain motionless for a minimum 1 second prior to the snap of the ball (L5 @ LS DR).

25.5 The player who receives the ball from the center is deemed the Quarterback and shall not progress across the line of scrimmage with the ball unless he has relinquished the ball to another offensive player in a legal way (lateral), and then receives the ball in return in a legal way (lateral, forward pass).  (DB LD @ LS)

Rule 26: Series of Downs

26.1 The offensive team has four downs to carry the ball across one 20-yard increment. A down may be repeated following the application of a penalty against either team. If in a series of four downs, the offensive team has not crossed an increment forward of where the team took possession of the football, then the ball shall be awarded to the opponents as first down at the point where the ball becomes dead. If the required increment is crossed, a new series of four downs begins.

26.2 The continuity of downs is interrupted when the ball passes into the possession of opponents, or the required increment is not crossed.

26.3 If the forward point of the ball crosses an increment, it will be considered as having crossed the line and is spotted on the line for the next series of downs.

Rule 27: Kicking

27.1 No intentional kicking of the football is allowed.  A kicked ball is one that is struck intentionally by a player's foot, or leg below the knee (DB @ PF).  Exception: Non deliberate contact of the football to a player's foot, or leg below the knee is acceptable.  

Rule 28: Lateral or Onside Pass

28.1 A lateral or onside pass is one thrown, handed, knocked, batted or fumbled by a player parallel to or in the direction of his goal line. A player shall be considered onside in relation to a teammate in possession of the ball if he/she is not closer to the opponent's goal line than such player in possession of the ball. The point at which the ball is caught, strikes another player, an official, or goes out of bounds is the factor which determines whether it is a lateral or a forward pass, regardless of the direction in which it goes afterwards.

28.2 There is no limit to the number of onside passes in a play.

Rule 29: Offside Pass

29.1 An offside pass is made when the ball is directed towards the opponent's goal line in any manner after the player has crossed the line of scrimmage (DB @ PF).

29.2 On an interception return, a player makes an offside pass; it shall be ruled as an offside pass (DB @ PF).

29.3 On a forward pass play, an eligible receiver, in attempting to catch the ball, tips, deflects, knocks, or bats the ball in an offside direction where it is caught by another eligible offensive player -rule as a legal pass.

29.4 In attempting to intercept a forward pass, a defensive player directs the ball in an offside direction where it is caught by another defensive player -rule as a legal pass.

29.5 If the offensive team makes an offside pass in their goal area, the defensive team shall be awarded a safety touch.

29.6 If a defensive team makes an offside pass in their own goal area after gaining possession by an interception of a forward pass; rule as dead ball with possession at their own 10 yd. line.

Rule 30: Forward Pass

30.1 A legal forward pass is any pass thrown by an offensive team member from a point behind the line of scrimmage, towards the opponent's goal line, to any receiver.

30.2 The ball shall not touch the ground, an official, or any other object, or go out of bounds (DB @ LS)

30.3 The ball is considered to be in the possession of the offensive team until the pass is ruled complete or incomplete.

30.4 Only one forward pass shall be thrown on any down (DB @ PF LD).

30.5 The passer does not need to be the first player to receive the ball from center.

30.6 All players are eligible to receive a forward pass.

30.7 A pass will be ruled completed if:

a) The ball is caught by two or more receivers at the same time

b) The ball is caught by two or more defensive players, or touched by one player and caught by the other

c) The ball is caught by a player while off the ground and in-bounds, but he/she is pushed by an opponent in a manner, which causes him to land out of bounds with possession of the ball (complete at furthest point of advance)

30.8 The ball will be ruled as incomplete if the player catches it while off the ground, and on landing, touches a sideline, end line, or any object or ground beyond such lines without being pushed by an opponent (DB @ LS LD).

Rule 31: Interceptions in Goal Area

31.1 If a pass is intercepted by defensive players in their own goal area, and is held within the goal area, the defensive team shall scrimmage at their own 10 yd. line.

31.2 If the defensive team, while in possession in its goal area following an interception commits any infraction in the goal area or in the field of play, the penalty shall be applied from the 10 yd. line.

31.3 If the defensive team intercepts a pass in its goal area and the play is ruled dead in the goal area and the offensive team is called for Unnecessary Roughness or Objectionable Conduct in the whole field of play, the penalty shall be applied from the defensive team's 10 yd. line.

31.4 If a defensive team member intercepts a pass in the field of play while moving towards his goal line and his momentum carries him into his goal area, the play shall be ruled as an interception in goal.

 

FOULS AND PENALTIES

Rule 32: Charging

32.1 It is illegal for the ball carrier to move into a space occupied by an opposing team member and make contact with the player in an attempt to knock the opposing player away/down or to avoid being flagged (L10 @ PF).

32.2 It is illegal for an offensive player to dive towards a defensive players' position or to make contact to a defensive player while diving. (L10 @ PF).

32.3 It is illegal for an offensive player that has control of the ball to jump towards any defensive player (L10 @ PF).

Rule 33: Clipping

33.1 Clipping means blocking an opponent from the rear in such a manner that the player makes contact into the opponent's back, or falls across the back of his opponent's legs. (L10 @ LS LD).

33.2 Clipping shall not be called if in the judgment of the official the contact was made to the side of the opponent, or if the opponent deliberately turned his body in order to be contacted from behind.

Rule 34: Contacting the Passer

34.1 It is illegal to make contact to the throwing arm, shoulder, hand and/or ball of an offensive player, who is in the motion of throwing the football (L10 @ LS AFD).

Rule 35: Guarding

35.1 It is illegal for the ball carrier to use his hand, arm, ball, or any other part of his body to deliberately block an opponent's attempt at the ball carrier's flags (L5 @ PF DB).

Rule 36: Holding

36.1 Holding is defined as the use of the hands and/or arms to grasp or encircle an opponent or his clothing. It is illegal at all times including when attempting to pull an opponent's flag (L10 @ LS).

36.2 Opposing players may not grab or strip the football away from a player who has possession. The football is considered part of the player (L10 @ PF).

Rule 37: Holding Hands/locking Arms

37.1 Holding hands or locking arms during a scrimmage is illegal (L10 @ LS

Rule 38: Illegal Blocking

38.1 It is illegal to initiate a block with any body part other than hands and/or forearms (i.e. shoulders, legs, elbows), except where rule 23.3 applies (L10 @ LS DR).

38.2 It is illegal to make contact below an opponent's waist or above their shoulders while attempting to block (L10 @ LS).

38.3 Diving, rolling, jumping, or otherwise blocking without both feet on the ground is illegal (L10 @ LS).

38.4 Blocking anywhere other than within the scrimmage zone (18.2) or in the backfield (L10 @ PF).

38.5 Contacting a player from the side while the player is already engaged in a block (L10 @ LS).

Rule 39: Illegal Flagging

39.1 It is illegal for a defensive player to intentionally pull an offensive player's flag if they are not in control of the ball. (L5 @ PF) or (L5 @ LS: if applied in the offensive backfield)

39.2 A defensive player shall not be penalized if they were in the process of pulling the passer's flag when the ball was passed.

39.3 A bobbled catch will be considered down at the initial point of flagging by the defense. 

Rule 40: Intentional Grounding

40 .1 In the official's opinion, the passer deliberately throws the ball out of bounds or to an area in which there is not an eligible offensive receiver for the purpose of avoiding loss of yardage, his team shall be penalized (LD at point from which pass was thrown. If a pass is thrown from goal area, a safety touch shall be awarded to the defensive team.)

Rule 41: Interference from the Sideline

41.1 If a team member of the bench (players, coaches, trainers, etc.) interferes with the play in progress, his team shall be subject to penalty as follows:

a) If the opponent had possession of the ball, the Referee shall award an automatic touchdown to the opponent if he believed that a touchdown was inevitable.

b) If the offending person's team had possession, it shall be penalized for illegal interference and the downs shall continue without interruption (L10 @ LS).

c) If neither team had possession, the ball shall be awarded to the opponent at the point of recovery with penalty of half the distance to the goal line and the opponent shall be permitted a series of four downs regardless of the plays remaining in the half. 

d) Furthermore, league officials shall disqualify the offending person from the game immediately, and subject them to further disciplinary action.

41.2 If someone else other than a team member interferes with the game, it shall be left to the Referee's discretion as to what should be done in fairness to both teams.

Rule 42: Pass Interference

42.1 It is considered pass interference if any player makes contact down field of the scrimmage zone, which hinders the progress of an eligible opponent from attempting to reach or catch a forward pass. It is not pass interference when two or more players make a simultaneous and a bona fide attempt to catch or bat the ball, which results in incidental (not intentional) contact. A player who is not looking at or for the ball cannot be considered to be "playing the ball".

42.2 An offensive player cannot interfere with an opponent anywhere beyond the scrimmage zone before or after a pass has been completed (L10 @ LS).

42.3 An offensive receiver shall not be permitted to interfere with a defensive opponent who has position and is attempting to catch a forward pass (L10 @ LS LD).

42.4 A defensive player shall not be permitted to interfere illegally with an offensive receiver in his attempt to catch the ball (AFD PF)

42.5 A defensive player shall not interfere with an eligible receiver behind the line of scrimmage in his attempt to catch the ball (L 10 @ LS AFD)

42.6 Illegal interference by a defensive player in his own goal area results in an AFD at the defending team's 1 yd. line.

42.7 Illegal interference by a defensive player during a convert attempt results in repeating the convert attempt on the defending team's 1 yd. line.

42.8 Pass interference shall not be called if in the judgment of the officials, the ball was clearly un-catchable. In this case holding/illegal block would be called (L10 @ LS)

Rule 43: Pyramiding

43.1 It is illegal for a player to use the body of another player in any way to elevate himself in an attempt to block a forward pass (L10 @ LS).

Rule 44: Screening

44.1 Screening of an eligible receiver is illegal. It is considered (screening÷ if an opposing player attempts to prevent the reception of a forward pass by the following:

a) Uses his hands, arms or body to block the view of the intended receiver

b) Does not attempt to (play the ball÷ while engaged in defending the receiver (i.e. waves hands in front of receiver to prevent a reception) (AFD @ PF) (1yd line if occurs in end zone).

Rule 45: Tackling

45.1 It is illegal for any player to tackle an opponent (L10 @ PF). A defensive tackle in the offensive backfield will be marked from LS.

45.2 It is illegal for any player to intentionally push, tackle, or make sufficient contact to force an opponent out of bounds or to cause him to fall (L10 @ PF).

Rule 46: Tripping

46.1 A player shall not use his leg at or below the knee to hinder the progress of an opponent (L10 @ LS) or (L10 @ PF If ball carrier is tripped down field).

46.2 It is illegal for a defensive player to dive and make contact to an offensive player causing him to fall or obstructing his forward progress (L10 @ PF)

MAJOR FOULS

Rule 47: General Guidelines for Major Fouls

47.1 The penalties for these fouls shall be imposed in addition to any other penalty for any other foul, and the advantage of any distance gained or score made.

47.2 The penalties for these fouls shall be imposed at the point of application at either the point where the ball became dead, or the last scrimmage, or where the ball was held when the foul occurred, or possession gained.

47.3 When both teams commit rough play fouls, the players involved shall be disqualified and the yardage balanced.

47.4 When an official is unable to identify the offender, only the yardage penalty shall be awarded.

Rule 48: Objectionable Conduct

48.1 Verbal abuse or objectionable gesture directed at an opponent, official, or spectator (L10 @ LS).

48.2 Throwing the ball at an opponent, official, or spectator (L10 @ LS).

48.3 Interfering with an official's flag that is marking the spot for a penalty, line of scrimmage marker, or the ball (L10 @ LS).

48.4 If a team continues with objectionable conduct after a penalty has been applied, a further penalty of 10yds is applied and disqualification occurs.

48.5 Any act of roughness or unfair play, provided it is not considered serious enough to warrant disqualification (L10 @ LS, AFD if defense is penalized. If both teams offend, the penalties shall be applied against each other with no AFD).

48.6 Having multiple delay of game penalties applied consecutively. (LD @ LS)

48.7 Any intentional equipment violations that are revealed after the start of the game, which directly affects the outcome of a play, will be considered objectionable conduct (L10 @ LS DR).

48.8 It is illegal to open field tackle a player to prevent a touchdown. (L10 @ PF AFD)  If considered flagrant, Unnecessary Roughness may be called and player can be ejected.

Rule 49: Unnecessary Roughness

49.1 Flagrant tackling or striking of an opponent with the fist, heel of the hand, knee, or elbow; kicking an opponent, if the offending player turns his body at the waist or pivots in a manner to add force to the blow, or any other act of roughness of unfair play considered by the referee to warrant disqualification shall be penalized under this section, and the referee shall advise the captains of both teams and the scorer of such disqualification (L20 @ LS and disqualification of offending player. If the defensive team is the offender, AFD in addition to the yardage is given.).

49.2 If both teams offend, the players involved shall be disqualified, no distance penalty is awarded and no AFD is given. A new line of scrimmage will be at the most suitable point as determined by the referee and the downs will continue in sequence.

49.3 Under this rule, the non-offending team shall have the right to determine whether the penalty shall be applied at the point of last scrimmage with the down repeated, or at the point where the ball became dead on the play with the downs continuing.

Rule 50: Disqualification

50.1 A player shall be disqualified from further participation in the game, and substitution permitted if:

a) The player has been called for Unnecessary Roughness

b) The player has been called for physical or verbal abuse of an official

c) The player has been called for objectionable conduct more than once

50.2 A non-offending team cannot decline a disqualification penalty.

50.3 A player who has been disqualified from the game shall be required to leave the bench area immediately and not be permitted to return.

50.4 A disqualified player is also subject to further disqualification imposed by the league executive in consultation with the official's report.

50.5 Penalty for fighting or any physical abuse of an official shall be automatic expulsion from the league with no opportunity for re-admittance for the remainder of the season. Player must seek special permission from the league executive before being allowed to play in subsequent seasons.

APPLICATION OF PENALTIES

Rule 51: Definition of terms

51.1 In any penalty, "loss of down" (LD) means that the down upon which the foul occurred is counted as one of the permissible series of consecutive downs.

51.2 In any penalty where there is loss of yardage (L5, L10), there will be no loss of down unless the foul occurred after yardage was gained or a major penalty is called.

51.3 When a foul has been committed on any play, the non-offending team shall be entitled to the penalty, or the option of declining the penalty to take any advantage of position, score, down, number of plays left, etc. The non-offending team may decline a score produced by the offending team

51.4 In certain cases, where so stated, a penalty shall be applied without option.

51.5 When application of a penalty benefits the offending team, an automatic loss of down should occur (i.e. Delay of game by an offensive team).

51.6 All AFDs will count as a play.

51.7 If an official make an error during a play (i.e. stops the play early), the team that last had possession of the ball will be given the option of replaying the down from the original line of scrimmage or accepting the outcome of the shortened play.

51.8 The end of a game or half cannot end on a penalty. A play will be added from the spot of the ball from the previous play.

Rule 52: Fouls and Legal Gains

52 1 Should the offensive team commit any foul on a play from scrimmage after crossing the next line necessary for a first down, the penalty shall be applied from the point where the ball was held when the foul occurred. The offense shall be awarded a first down, but must cross a line ahead of where the foul occurred (you can't get two first downs by crossing the same line twice).

52.2 Should the offensive team commit a foul on a play from scrimmage during which it crossed the next line for a first down but the foul occurred prior to crossing the line, the penalty shall be applied from the point of last scrimmage with the down repeated.

52.3 Should a team gain possession by a pass interception and then commit any foul, the penalty shall be applied from the point where the ball was held when the foul occurred and the team in possession of the ball must cross a line ahead of that point to get another first down.

52.4 If either team commits a major foul after a touchdown has been scored, the score shall count and the penalty shall be applied on the subsequent play at the 20 yd. line, or on the convert, at the option of the non-offending team.

Rule 53: Dual Fouls

53.1 Dual fouls occur when each team commits one or more fouls on the same play.

53.2 If committed prior to yards gained, the referee shall cancel the play. If the fouls are of equal value, the down shall be repeated at the point of last scrimmage. If the fouls are not of equal value, the referee shall deducted the two penalties and apply the yardage from last scrimmage.

53.3 If the first foul is committed before yards have been gained and the second foul after yards have been gained, the penalties shall be balanced and applied from the point of last scrimmage.

However, the non offending team on the first foul shall have the right to decline the penalty against the opponent and accept the play as it was completed subject to the penalty against itself for the second foul at that normal point of application.

53.4 If one of the dual fouls involves a non-yardage penalty (e.g. AFD or LD) it shall be deemed to have the same yardage value as the other foul, in which event the two penalties shall be balanced against each other at the point of last scrimmage.

53.5 If committed after the change in possession, the penalties shall be applied and balanced at the point the ball was held at the time of the first infraction. The non offending team on the first foul shall have the right to decline the penalty against the opponent and accept the play subject to the penalty against itself for the second foul at that normal point of application.

53.6 If the first foul is committed before the change in possession and the second foul after the change in possession, the penalties shall be applied and balanced at the point of application for the first foul. The non offending team on the first foul shall have the right to decline the penalty against the opponent and accept the playas it was completed subject to the penalty against itself for the second foul at that normal point of application.

53.7 If both fouls are committed in the goal after the second team has gained possession in its own goal area, the penalties shall be applied and balanced from the second team's 10-yard line.

Rule 54: Double Foul

54.1 Double foul occurs when one team commits two or more fouls on the same play. The non offending team may have the option of either penalty, or option of declining the penalties to take any advantage of position, score, down, etc.

54.2 When a major foul is one of the double fouls, the penalties shall be applied consecutively with the minor penalty applied first

Rule 55: Penalty Restrictions near a Goal Line

55.1 If the distance penalty against a offence is applied near their own goal line, it shall not exceed one half the distance between the point where the penalty is applied and said goal line. In no case shall the ball be scrimmaged within 1 yard of a goal line.

55.2 Where an unrestricted penalty would have resulted in yards gained and the goal line reached by the offensive team, AFD shall be awarded half the distance to the goal line.

55.3 If double fouls are called against the same team, one of which is a major, the penalties shall be applied consecutively (54.2). The normal penalty shall be subject to the limitation of half the distance to the goal line. The major penalty yardage shall move the line of scrimmage to the 1-yard line and AFD.

Rule 56: Foul on Convert

56.1 If offensive team commits a foul and the attempt was successful, disallow the score, apply the penalty, and permit the offensive team to repeat an attempt.

56.2 If offensive team commits a foul and the attempt was not successful, decline the penalty if it was not a major foul. A major foul will be applied on the subsequent play.

56.3 If the defensive team is called for pass interference in the end zone, the offensive team shall repeat the attempt from the 1 yd. line. If pass interference occurs outside the end zone, penalize the offending team one half distance to the goal line, repeat attempt.

56.4 If the defensive team is called for any other infractions and the attempt was not successful, the defense will be penalized the normal penalty up to the maximum of half the distance to the goal line, with attempt repeated by the offense. The offense has the option to decline the yardage portion of the penalty in order to repeat the convert attempt at the point of the previous scrimmage.

56.5 If the defensive team commits a major foul and the convert attempt was good, the penalty shall be applied on the subsequent play.

56.6 If either team commits a major foul after the convert attempt, the penalty shall be applied onto the subsequent play.

Rule 57: Foul in Goal

57.1 If the offensive team commits a foul while in possession of the ball in its own goal area, the penalty shall be applied from the previous line of scrimmage. Exceptions to this are intentional grounding and offside pass which will be considered a safety touch.

 

SCORING

Rule 58: Touchdown

58.1 A touchdown is scored when a player with possession of the football meets all conditions of Rule 15 (Ball in Goal) in his opponent's goal area.

58.2 After any touchdown and/or convert attempt, the team scored against gets possession of the ball at their own 20 yd.

Rule 59: Convert

59.1 After any successful touchdown a convert attempt is awarded to the scoring team.  A convert is a scrimmage play from either the opponent's 3-yard line (1 point), or 10 yard line (2 points), whichever the offensive team chooses, where they get the designated points if they successfully cross the goal line in one play.  The convert series does not count as a play.

59.2 Any fouls that occur during the convert attempt will apply the same as during regular play.

59.3 Any change of possession during the convert will be considered a (convert runback÷, which is worth 2 points to the convert defending team if they successfully cross their opponent's goal line with the ball.

59.4 Any fouls committed during a (convert runback÷ by the ball possession team will nullify the runback.

59.5 Any fouls committed to the ball carrier during the (convert runback÷ by the defensive team, will award the (runback÷ team with a single attempt for 2 points from the opposing team's 3 yard line.

59.6 If any change of possession occurs during the (runback convert÷ attempt, the convert series is terminated.

59.7 Any fouls committed during a (runback convert÷ will be applied the same as a regular convert.

Rule 60: Safety Touch

60.1 A safety touch is scored when:

a) A dead ball occurs in the possession of a team in its own goal area

b) The ball touches or crosses any line of the goal area as a result being carried, fumbled, or otherwise directed by the current team with possession from the playing field

59.2 After a safety touch, the scoring team gets possession of the ball at the center stripe.

59.3 When a major foul is committed on a play during which a safety touch is scored by the non offending team, the score shall be allowed and the penalty assessed from the point where the ball is next put into play.

Rule 61: Conceding a Score

61.1 A player in possession of the ball in his own goal may concede a safety touch by kneeling or stepping out of bounds in his goal.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Rule 62: Substitution Procedures

62.1 A substitute may enter the field of play at any time the ball is dead and only at that time. If the substitute enters the game to the extent that he/she can communicate with a teammate on the field, he/she must remain in the game for at least one play.

62.2 A player leaving the game shall proceed directly to the sideline on which his bench is located, outside the field of play.

62.3 After the team in possession of the ball breaks the huddle and the officials turn their backs to the sidelines, no player may enter the field of play for any reason regardless of the number of players a team may have on the field of play.

62.4 (Sleeper Plays÷.  It shall be considered unfair tactics and objectionable conduct for either team to make use of substitution proceedings, or alleged substitute proceedings to deceive opponents. Offensive teams must have all players in their huddle at: the start of a game, start of a second half, after any change of possession, and whenever a substitution is made. (L10 @ LS)

62.5 If, through error in substitution or otherwise, a team has more than 7 players on the field, the offending team shall be penalized (L10 @ LS)

Rule 63: Bench Area

63.1 No people in the bench area shall encroach on the sideline or playing field while play is in progress or during a stoppage in play.

63.2 Team personnel in the bench area must stay between the 20-yard lines during the game.

63.3 Teams must have benches on opposite sides of the playing field. Home team has first choice of bench area.

Rule 64: Trainers and Injured Players

64.1 During a stoppage in play for injury or safety, teams will be asked to proceed to their individual bench areas and no unnecessary player other than medical personnel shall be allowed to enter the field until directed to by the referees.

64.2 When time out has been called for a player injury or equipment repair, that player shall be required to leave the game for at least 1 play.

OFFICIALS

The league will have a designated Referee Coordinator, which will be part of the league

Executive and will maintain all aspects of the refereeing. The Coordinator duties are to ensure field officials have all the necessary equipment, training and scheduling to insure quality refereeing through out the entire EFFA scheduled season.

The Field officials shall consist of the following:

  • Head Referee, Down Field Referee, 2 Linesmen/Scorekeepers
  • All field officials are equally responsible for the conduct of the game and no official shall undertake an agreement that would prevent the calling of any foul against either team.
  • Each field official shall be equipped with a whistle, a coloured flag to by used to indicate a foul, a ball marker and a stripped jersey
  • The throwing of a marker indicates that a foul has been committed, but play shall continue until stopped by the sounding of an official's whistle.
  • The signal of time in shall be the sounding of the Head Referee's whistle.

Head Referee

  • Shall take primary charge of the game and shall guide and direct the efforts of the other officials
  • Shall enforce the rules, apply the penalties, and adjudicate upon disputes or cases not provided for by the rules
  • Shall provide teams with proper interpretation of any league rules
  • May overrule any other official
  • Shall keep count of the downs, and present visual notification to both teams
  • Shall notify captains of each team when 5 plays remain in a quarter
  • Shall take primary charge of the play for any team in possession of the ball. Shall take position in the offensive team backfield, so that he/she can see that the ball is played legally and can judge its position and progress
  • Shall examine the actions of passers and the defensive actions of their opponents
  • Shall cover onside (lateral) passes behind the line of scrimmage
  • Shall write a report on the game sheet for any major incident involving a misconduct penalty or situation that may have to be ruled on by the league Executive

Downfield Referee

  • Shall have jurisdiction over the conduct and actions of players of both teams down field from the offensive team's scrimmage line
  • Shall take position in the defensive backfield to monitor all legal actions of both the offensive and defensive players before, during and at the end of plays
  • Shall spot the position of any dead ball actions and mark the spot for the next play
  • Shall provide a visual reference to the current play's down
  • Shall provide teams with proper interpretation of any league rules
  • Shall watch the sideline opposite the Head Referee, and watch the back line of the goal

Linesmen(s)

  • Shall have jurisdiction over the conduct and actions of players on both the scrimmage lines and sidelines and shall be positioned to observe accordingly
  • Shall officiate any infractions occurring on the sidelines, shall watch for first down completions and monitor the goal line on short yardage plays
  • Shall report any observed infractions to either the Head Referee or the Down Field
  • Referee
  • Shall remain impartial at all times

Scorer/Play keeper

  • Shall monitor and mark off all plays in accordance with the Head Referee
  • Shall keep record of all game scores, sacks, interceptions, and team timeouts
  • Shall inform the Referee when 5 plays remain in a quarter, and when a quarter of the game has been played
  • Shall obtain all necessary roster information and signatures to complete the game sheet


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