Youth Division (2nd, 3rd and 4th Grades)

Youth Level Rules and Regulations (as amended by the Northeast Junior High Football League Board of Directors) - Rules shall follow the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rule book, except as noted herein:


A. Teams

               1. Teams consist of minimum 12 registered players.

B. Team Responsibilities

1. Provide a roster using the template roster provided by the League for all teams to use.

2. Official team rosters are to include the following player information:

               a. players first and last name

               b. Game jersey number(s): Must be position appropriate: see NHFS rules

               c. Player's birth date

               d. Town of residence

               e. Player's weight and weight classification

               f. Level/Team Designation: Players must be designated Varsity or JV

3. Roster Changes

a. Any team requesting a revision to its roster after they submitted their official league roster i.e.: add a player, change in game jersey number, etc., must contact the Vice Chairman and/or his designee by 8 pm the WEDNESDAY NIGHT, prior to the upcoming game.  If adding a new player after the official league weigh-in,that player is automatically ineligible to play in a ball carrier position. See section F.3.

b. Roster changes are to be sent to the other league teams by the Vice Chairman and/or his designee, as soon as possible.

C. Rules of Play

               1. Game will be played on regulation sized football field in accordance with NFHS rules

               2. Two (2) Coaches per team are allowed on the field during play

a. Once the offense breaks huddle, coaches on the field must stay a minimum of 10 yards (behind team) from line of scrimmage.

b. Once the quarterback starts his cadence, ALL coaches will refrain from "coaching" i.e.: no talking to players and/or physically moving players.

               3. There is no kicking and punting.

                           a. Kick offs: Receiving team will begin play from their 35 yard line.

b. Punts: The Offense must declare prior to start of play whether they are going to punt or continue playing. If offense declares they are punting, ball will be placed 25 yards downfield from line of scrimmage and play shall resume. Except if placement puts ball inside the 20 yard line, then the ball will be placed at the receiving team's 20 yard line.

4. Length of Quarters: (15) minute "running" time. Injuries, scores, penalties, change of possession and timeouts are the only means to stop the clock. Once ball is set for play, clock will start.

5. The last 2 minutes of the 2nd and 4th quarters will be regulation stop time. Officials will notify both teams.

6. Timeouts will not exceed one minute.

7. Half time breaks will be five (5) minutes.

8. Overtime will not be played. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, the game will end in a tie.

9. Game Balls: Youth teams will use Wilson K2 and/or the equivalent of another manufacturer and will supply their own game balls

D. Blocking Restrictions

1. All blocks must initiate from above waist/belt line, this includes within the Free Blocking Zone as defined by NFHS. Lineman cannot chop, cut, and/or crab block. This rule applies to both offensive and defensive lineman

E. Player Regulations

               1. Age and Grade Restrictions

                           a. All players must be within the age of 7, 8 and 9 and within grades 2, 3, and 4.

b. A player must be a minimum of 7 years old prior to the first regular season game and entering a grade as indicated above.

                           c. A player must not have reached their eleventh (11) birthday before September 1st.

d. All teams must be able to provide birth certificates for their players, upon request by the league.

F. Weight Restrictions

1. All players will be weighed in by the Vice Chairman and/or his appointed designee at the League's OFFICIAL WEIGH-IN. The OFFICIAL WEIGH-IN will take place at the annual Youth Team Preseason Jamboree. Attendance is mandatory for all teams. See Jr Rule F.6 & F.7 for additional weigh in(s) rules.

2. No challenges can be made once the OFFICIAL WEIGH-INS have been recorded and the player is added to the OFFICIAL ROSTER.

3. Maximum weight of any ball carrier shall not exceed 90 pounds at the OFFICIAL WEIGH-IN, at which time the player is officially added to the team roster.

a. Ball Carrier Positions: Running Back {Tail, Full, Flanker/H Back), Quarterback, Wide Receiver and Tight Ends*.

*Exception: Tight Ends can be over 901bs, are eligible for passes, but must line up within free blocking zone as defined by NFHS rules. They cannot split out, and are not eligible to return punts or kickoffs. Teams must also designate on their official team roster any TE that exceeds 90 pounds and must be number appropriate as defined by NFHS.

4. All ball carriers must be weighed prior to, or at the OFFICIAL WEIGH-IN. Any player not weighed in by the time of OFFICIAL WEIGH-IN will not be eligible to be a ball carrier for the upcoming season.

5. Any player who weighs over 90 pounds when he is added to the OFFICIAL TEAM ROSTER is considered over the weight limit and CANNOT be re-weighed at a later date to become a ball carrier.

6. Players that are over 90 pounds will by default be offensive lineman; on defense any player can play any position. Exception: Tight Ends. See E.3.b

G. Mercy Rule

1. Once a team has built a lead equal to or greater than 20 points NFHS Mercy Rule will apply. Also, on change of possession the losing team will take possession on their 40 yard line. The winning team will take possession on their 20 yard line, regardless of where or how the change of possession occurred, unless the change is inside their 20 yard line, in which case the change will occur as normal.

2. There will be an effort placed on calling penalties that affect the play only, and coaching the players and team coaches on smaller or less important penalties.

H. Officials

1. Officials will consist of at least one board certified official provided by the Northeast Jr. High. Football League. Plays will run every 45 (forty-five) seconds once the official has placed the ball in play.

2. There will be an effort placed on calling penalties that affect the play only, and coaching the players and team coaches on smaller or less important penalties.

I. Offense/Defense

               1. Each team will run its own offense

               2. Defenses will be static and non-blitzing.

a. The use of a nose guard/tackle over the center is not allowed.

b. Defensive guards have to be lined up directly over the offensive guards, and not in the gaps on either side of the center.

c. Line Backers must be a minimum 2yds off the defensive line. Inside Backers must line up over defensive guards. They cannot line up in the gaps to either side of the center.

d. Defensive Backs must be a minimum of 5yds off the line of scrimmage

                           e. Once ball is snap, defensive players can then pursue to the ball.

3. There are no QB "sneaks" between the offensive tackles. QB sweeps, keepers and/or bootlegs are legal providing the play is to the outside of the offensive tackles.


Note: any decision on rules, regulations and administration of the Junior/Youth Level is under the authority of the Northeast Junior High Football League.

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