2023-24 youth football rules and regulations
Florida Youth Football & Cheer League AAU Football games are to be played under 2013 National Federation of State High School (NFHS) associations football rules with the exception of the following FYFCL addendum. Each Club league should have their own copy of the NFHS Florida High School rules as well as these FYFCL Addendum on hand at all games and practices. For a copy of the NFHS, Write to the National Federation at PO Box 690, Indianapolis, IN, 46206, web address:
www.nfhs.org or to the NCAA at PO Box 6222, Indianapolis, IN, 46206-6222, web
I. AGES AND WEIGHTS
6U 4-6 no restrictions
8U 7-8 no restrictions
10U 9-10 no restrictions
12U 11-12 no restrictions
14U 13-14 no restrictions
A player may play in a division one level above his/her age but may NOT play in a lower division. This will be at the discretion of the Club. Once a player moves to a higher division they may NOT return to the league age division he/she transferred out of.
II. August 1st CUTOFF-LEAGUE AGE
The player’s age on August 1st of the current year shall be the player’s age for the coming season.
III. 6U RULES
Coaches may remain on the field, at the option of the League. A maximum of two (2) coach per team is permitted on the field. The coach must be 5 yds back from the closest player. Once the huddle breaks the Defensive coach MAY NOT physically move players. (verbally talking/coaching a player is permitted)
- 50 yd field
- 10 yd End Zone
- The first offensive series will start at the 35 yard line.
- 8 minute running clock (Only stoppage will be for injury and timeouts)
- Last 2 minutes of 2nd and 4th quarters will be standard clock
- 9 players per side on the field
- Minimum Mandatory of 3 Offensive and 3 Defensive players on the line when the ball is hiked
- Starting QB can score two offensive touchdowns, everyone else just one Offensive touchdown
- Penalty for QB scoring a third TD, Loss of down and ball placed at original spot
- Defensive touchdowns do not count towards this rule
- Two coaches allowed on the field-Fumbles are dead balls
- 25 yd on the punts, Punt will not exceed the 35 yd line of the opposing team.
- Blocking is allowed, chicken wing style ONLY!! (Hands must be inside elbows)
- No stiff arming, flag guarding, jumping, hurdling or spinning to avoid having a flag pulled. (5 yd penalty, spot foul)
- No Tackling, tripping, or stripping the ball by the defensive player.
- Flags will be at least 12” long. 3 flags per belt per player. When pulled, the flag or the entire belt must fall completely off. Shirts must be tucked in.
- The flags must be a contrasting color to the team shorts. No shorts with pockets
- Flags with Belt release, Suction cup or Velcro are allowed. Flags must be on the sides, suction cups must stay down
- In the event a flag falls off the ball carrier, the play is dead at that point.
- 6 feet (2 Yard) neutral zone between offensive and line and defensive line.
- Three timeouts per half.
- No kickoffs – Play will begin on the 35 yd line.
OT procedures are the same as all other divisions. 50 min TIME LIMIT FOR FLAG GAMES, TO INCLUDE OT. All games end at 9:50am. (if a game begins late due to the referees, then it will be 50 minutes from the start of the game.) If a game is at a tie at 9:50 then the game will automatic go in to OT procedures.
IV. 8U Rules
Coaches may remain on the field, at the option of the League. A maximum of one (1) coach per team is permitted on the field. The coach must be 5 yards back from the closet player. Once the huddle breaks the No coach MAY physically move players. (verbally talking/coaching a player is permitted)
- 8 minute quarters, standard clock
- No rushing of field goals or point after touchdown (while attempting a kick) in8 under play. Jumping up and down is permitted, without entering the neutral zone.
- No more than six (6) defensive players can be on the line of scrimmage or rush the ball. Everyone else has to be 6 feet (2 yards) back from the line of scrimmage.
Defensive lineman inside the tackles cannot stand.
- Defensive players on the line of scrimmage must be in either a three or four point-stance and may not line up over center. (NOTE: the defensive linemen’s head must be
outside the centers shoulders.) Penalty for violation of the above: First violation: Warning. Additional violations:15 yards unsportsmanlike conduct
- Fumbles are live During kickoffs, a player must have possession before a fumble can occur.
NO MUFFS!!! Dead Ball on a Muff!! Muffs are defined as when the player that is catching the ball drops the ball or “muffs it” without ever having possession of the ball.
- 35 yards on a punt, not to exceed the 10 yard line of the opposing team.
- Onside Kicks are permitted, No over loading from the kicking team. Kicking team cannot over load to the side they are kicking or rush all to the ball.
V. 10U Rules
- No Coaches on the field.
- Fumbles are live
- Blitz’s are permitted
- No rush on Kicks or Punts
- 10 minute standard clock
- No lining up over the center
- No one defensive lineman lined up over the center, (Note defensive lineman’s head must be outside the centers shoulders.)
- No over loading during onside kicks.
See Section XXI for scoring
VI. 12U Rules
Standard High School Rules
10 Minute standard clock
No one defensive lineman lined up over the center, (Note Defensive lineman’s
head must be outside the centers shoulders)
See section XXI for Scoring
VII. 14U Rules
Standard High School Rules
10 Minute standard clock
See section XXI for scoring
VIII. INITIAL WEIGH-INS
IX. CERTIFYING PLAYERS
A player shall qualify under the following:
A. A player shall meet the age requirements as specified on the applicable age/weight schematic. X. MAXIMUM ROSTER SIZE
We recommend that not more than 35 players shall be certified onto a team roster. A team with less than 11 certifiable players will not be permitted to form and play. Exceptions to this rule will be made in a case by case manner with approval from the respective league’s governing board.
XI. MINIMUM ROSTER SIZE
A minimum of 16 players will be on a team roster (12 for 6U teams). The team roster will be frozen at Jamboree. If a team has less than 16 players on a roster, then a one (1) week exception will be given to that team to increase its roster size. Any players added to the roster within the week extension WILL NOT be eligible to play until week two
(2). Any league with a team with less than 16 players on their roster will meet with the Executive Board for review and possible sanctions to include forfeits, suspensions, and fines. These decisions will be made on a Case by Case basis.
XII. MANDATORY PLAY NOTE
FYFCAAU recommends that all players get 4 plays in every game.
XIII. GAME BALLS
6U – Pee Wee ball
8U – Pee Wee ball
10U – Pee Wee ball
12U – Junior TDJ
14U – Youth TDY or Official High School Football
XIV. UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT
– Each player shall wear a number between 1 and 99 inclusive. Numbers “0” and “00” are illegal and shall not be worn. No duplicate numbers shall be permitted. The following items shall be worn by players in all divisions beginning with physical contact in practice sessions and during games.
- Helmet: Only helmets bearing the NOCSAE Seal of Certification may be worn
- Shoulder Pads
- Pants: one piece or shell
- Hip Pads
- Tail Bone Pads
- Thigh GuardsG. Knee Pads (Must cover the knee completely)
- Steps 1 thru 6. Must be properly sized and un-altered from the manufacturers design
- Jerseys (Must be tucked in, and have clear and visible numbers on front and back, unaltered from the manufacturers original design.)
- Mouth Guard: must have a strap/lanyard that attaches it to the face-mask. (Can not be clear or white)
- Shoes: molded rubber cleats (soccer or football style) no metal cleats
- Non-Metallic frame sport goggles with safety lens are the only permitted glasses.
- Eye Shields must be clear without any tint. Eye Shields must be attached properly with manufacturers fasteners.
- Additional protective equipment is at the discretion of each league, and game officials.
- No Jewelry. (medical alert bracelets or medallions are permitted if taped securely and inspected by game official. Failure to have any of the above required equipment during a game, shall subject the participant to be removed until such time as the required equipment has been repaired, replaced or added. The use
of any altered equipment shall result in an unsportsmanlike penalty assessed to the head coach if in a game.
XV. BLOCKING AND TACKLING
Standard High School rules apply. It is the responsibility of every League coach to be fully informed of, and abide by, all such High school rules, as well as the USA
Football Head Up tackling program. No butt blocking, chop blocking, face tackling or spearing techniques shall be permitted. If such techniques or any other illegal techniques are taught by League coaches, said coaches shall be dismissed from the program, upon being found guilty following a hearing.
XVI. LENGTH OF PERIODS
6U – 8 minute running clock
8U – 8 minute standard clock 12U – 10 minute standard clock
10U – 10 minute standard clock 14U – 10 minute standard clock
Half time for each game will be the
same time as a one full quarter, unless
changed by the head referee.
The referee shall decide where the clock will be kept if the field is not equipped with a
scoreboard timing device. In any event, the referee has final authority to have the clock
kept on the field if, in his judgment, the home management’s clock operator is not
qualified. Play clock will be 35 seconds.
A team shall be permitted three (3) time-outs per half.
XIX. PLAYER / COACH EJECTIONS
While each club may elect to enforce their own disciplinary policy on ejected
players, the ejected player is still subject to FYFCL rules. Any player ejected
from a game is suspended for the next and subsequent game. If a player is
ejected a second time within the same season, the player’s actions will be
reviewed by a grievance board for possible further sanctions or suspension for
the remainder of the season.
Any Coach ejected from a game shall immediately leave the premises. The
Coach is automatically suspended for the next game. All Coach ejections will
be heard by a Grievance Board to determine if further action should be taken.
XX. INELIGIBLE PLAYERS
Forfeiture of all games in which the ineligible player was a member of the team
shall be the penalty applied to the team involved. There shall be no exceptions.
There are five (5) unequivocal definitions of an ineligible player, from which there
are no appeals:
A.Overage or underage.
B. Falsification of data concerning any of the above.
C. Participation in any other tackle football league, school league separate
sanctioning group in the same season. A participant may practice with a school
team up until the first game, but not participate and/or be registered with that
school team once the first regular season game begins. Participants can only
practice with school team or alternate sanctioned league, but not both
simultaneously. If they are trying out for their school team they may not practice
with the Pop Warner team until they are removed from the school team and show
proof of removal.
D. Failure to prove scholastic eligibility. Recommend a 2.0 GPA be enforced by
Participation in Regional/National bowl games may also be prohibited upon
recommendation of the League and approval of the Regional Director.
E. No player may play two games in one day. F. In order to be eligible to play in post season play (to include our playoffs) a player must have played in 60% of a seasons games.
Point after TD by run or pass……………………………………1 point
Point after TD by kick…………………………………………….2 points
Safety (awarded to opponent)…………………………………..2 points
Field goal………………………………………………………………3 points
6U & 8U- During a point after attempt, the team attempting the point after must
declare their intentions. If they declare to go for 2 points, the ball will be placed on
the 5 yard line.
XXII.TIE BALL GAMES
After a coin toss, the coin toss winner starts on the 10 yard line, each team is given 4
downs to attempt to score. After both teams first try and extra point attempts, the team
with the highest point value wins. If both teams tie including extra points, They try
again. If both teams score on their first try then on any additional scores the team must
try for the two point conversions
XXIII. MERCY RULES
Any time a team goes up by 25 points or more, the following will occur:
A.The official clock will become a running clock and once started can only be stopped
for injury of a player, timeouts, or at the discretion of a referee. It cannot revert to a
game clock operation for the remainder of the game.
B.There will be no Blitzing by either team once the clock be-comes a running clock
and the Mercy rule is in effect.
C.The team behind will take the ball on the opponents 40 yard line in lieu of Kickoff.
If the deficit falls under 25 points, Kickoffs will resume.
D.The team leading shall make every effort to replace starting players with reserves.
Failure to do so will call for an immediate investigation and possible one game
suspension of the coach if found guilty.
E. Any game that ends with a score differential of 28 points or more, the winning head
coach is required to submit a letter, (E-mail) by the following Monday evening
explaining the point differential and the actions once the 28 point spread was
achieved for review by the Football commissioner or Executive Board for compliance
to the leagues intent for lopsided scores. XXIV. SIDELINE PERSONNEL
The sideline staff may consist of Eight (8) adults and Two (2) Junior coaches only. This
is the maximum requirement; staff sizes smaller than this are acceptable. This staff must
contain all persons necessary to manage the sidelines including coaches, trainers, water,
team moms/dads, etc.. All staff must have an FYFCL issued badge and will receive one
only when required criteria has been met.
XXV. NO RADIOS AND COMMUNICATION
Scouting football teams is permitted in the form of video tape, film and written reports.
Scouting is only permitted during
a game situation. Scouting any type of practice is strictly prohibited.
For all Clubs, the first week of practice (10 hours) shall be devoted entirely and
exclusively to conditioning, no contact drills, shorts and t-shirts only, however, helmets
shall be permitted. Clubs may add more time beyond this required first week for the
conditioning period. Practice for the first two weeks is limited to (5) five, (2) two hour
practices. After the first two weeks, practices can be no more than (4) four days a week,
(2) two hours per practice.
XXVIII. WARM WEATHER PRECAUTIONS
Teams must guard against serious heat problems, which in extreme high school and
college cases have occasionally resulted in death.
The training regimen of any team practicing under high heat and/or humidity
conditions must take the following precautions:
A.Limit laps. Do not assign laps for disciplinary reasons.
B.Schedule practices for early evening, after sun is low in sky.
C.Give players all the water they want to drink, when they want it. Do not substitute
soft drinks for water.
D.Each coach must keep an eye on all players and his fellow coaches for the slightest
sign of heat exhaustion or fatigue.
E. A fifteen minute break is mandatory in the middle of each practice, not to be counted
against practice time.
A mandatory 10 minute break after each hour of practice shall be required as a
minimum. Break time is not counted against the hours per week or per day allowed
XXIX. CONTROLLED INTER-SQUAD SCRIMMAGE
After the first week of practice in pads (contact) has occurred (which cannot be any
earlier than the second full week of practice-the first week being conditioning), teams are
permitted to engage in joint practice sessions with other teams in what are called
controlled inter-squad scrimmages.
In a controlled inter-squad scrimmage, there is prior agreement between coaching staffs
A.Coaches will be permitted on the field.
B.Long time-outs are taken between plays so that coaching staffs
can instruct and critique their players.
C.Coaching staffs may inform each other of the plays they are going to run so one
team can concentrate on its offensive sets while the other improves its defense and
D.Officials can be present during scrimmages.
E. Game score is not kept; scoring is not the primary goal.
F. No official time is kept other than to assure the practice maxi-mum is not violated. A
mandatory ten minute break is taken at the end of one hour, said break not to be
counted against the allowed practice time.
G.No player or team is permitted at any time to engage in a controlled scrimmage or
any form of contact drills involving a player, players, or team from a different
Age/Weight division of play.
A.Under no circumstances will a team be allowed to play a game, scrimmage, or
practice against a team of another division (i.e., Junior Midget vs. Peewee, Midget
vs. Jr. Bantam, etc.).
B. No team may schedule a game or a practice session with or against a team whose
ages and weights are not FULLY in compliance with those printed in this rulebook,
unless both teams have identical approved
The following requirements apply to all scheduling beginning with practice and ending
with post-season bowl games:
A.No team, on its own, may arrange a game. All games, regard-less of type, must be
arranged through or with the sanction of the League of which the team is a member.
B.Prior account will be taken of all local and state laws pertaining to the scheduling of
C.A period of at least four (4) full days (96 consecutive hours) will elapse between the
end of any game for a given team and the beginning of the next game for pre-season exhibitions, regularly scheduled league games, post-season and bowl games. A
League shall be permitted to waive the four (4) full days (96 consecutive hours) to 2
1/2 days (60 consecutive hours) ONLY to permit the conclusion of the regularly
XXX. CONTACT WITH OFFICIALS, COACHES, PLAYERS,
Taunting or correcting opposing players by coaches, volunteers, or players is prohibited. If a player, coach, or adult should strike (hit), come in contact with a game official, the offender shall be subject suspension and further action by the disciplinary board. Chain gang shall be located on the Home sideline and staffed with volunteers from the Home team.
– Must be declared League/Conference Champions (runner-ups are eligible).
– Must have filed a certified roster with the AAU Region and National tournament director by the specified cut-off date.
– It is highly recommended that football teams competing be accompanied by the corresponding spirit squads at all games, except when the region cheer championships are being held at the same time.
-All teams must be accompanied with a copy of the certified roster, league registration forms with photo identification, birth certificates, medical release forms, and scholastic eligibility forms.
-An absentee sheet for any participant absent from a certified roster must accompany said team.
-A player must have been present in at least 6 regular season games to be eligible for post season/tournament play.
All forfeits will incur a $250 dollar penalty, per forfeited game. Forfeit penalty to be paid by the Friday before the next game to FYFCL. No exceptions.
The Football Director shall establish a Grievance Board to be made up of four persons neutral and independent of the team, club, protest or violation and actions from the league membership. Should a team/club see fit to Protest a ruling from the board/official, they must first put the Protest in writing to the Football Director within 48 hours. The Grievance board will either meet in person, conference call, or individual conversations in person or by phone, or communicate via emails about said grievance. The Grievance Board shall have a final determination by the Friday before the next scheduled game. The officials final ruling in games cannot be protested or overruled. All protest of official’s calls during the game come from the Head Coach only, who must call a timeout to plead his case one on one with the White Cap. If the ruling is upheld as called, the protesting team is charged for a timeout. If the protest is successful the timeout will be charged to the official.
Note that the Football Director will make the determination on what issues will be brought to the Grievance Board. Normal Officiating calls on the field will not be heard by the Grievance Board.