1 INDOOR TOUCH FOOTBALL RULE BOOK 2011 Foreword, This rulebook has been created to establish consistency amongst Indoor Touch Football Officials. For many years, officials of the indoor game have adopted the rules from Touch Football Ontario s outdoor game, with little exceptions. However, due to the lack of punting, kicking and the ability to achieve first downs within the indoor arena; it is apparent that an Indoor Touch Football Rulebook was needed. This rulebook mirrors the outdoor game nicely and therefore, provides for the utmost level of consistency for those that officiate and play both games. Modifications have been made to accommodate the indoor settings only. In some cases, penalty yardage has been reduced to reflect the respective difference in playing surfaces. Appreciation is extended to Touch Football Ontario for permitting us to model our rules to the rules that govern the outdoor touch football game. We wish to extend our appreciation to the many officials who submitted cases for inclusion in this book. Their continued efforts will allow us to expand the number of cases in future editions and further enhance the interpretations of these rules and make appropriate changes to improve the game play.
2 Table of Contents DEFINITIONS 3 TOUCH FOOTBALL OVERVIEW 4 SCORING 6 GAME PROCEDURES 7 GENERAL INFORMATION 8 INDOOR TOUCH FOOTBALL RULE BOOK 9 RULE 1 - THE SCRIMMAGE 9 CASES ON RULE 1 - THE SCRIMMAGE 11 RULE 2 PASSING 14 CASES ON RULE 2 PASSING 16 RULE 3 SCORING 19 CASES ON RULE 3 SCORING 20 RULE 4 - TIMING & TIME OUTS 22 CASES ON RULE 4 - TIMING & TIME OUTS 24 RULE 5 - PASS INTERFERENCE 26 CASES ON RULE 5 - PASS INTERFERENCE 27 RULE 6 - EQUIPMENT 29 CASES ON RULE 6 EQUIPMENT 30 RULE 7 - PROCEDURES 32 CASES ON RULE 7 - PROCEDURES 33 RULE 8 - LIVE BALL/DEAD BALL 35 CASES ON RULE 8 - LIVE BALL/DEAD BALL 36 RULE 9 - PENALTIES 37 RULE 10 - APPLICATION OF PENALTIES 40 CASES ON RULE 10 - PENALTY APPLICATIONS 42 RULE 11 - GENERAL 44 CASES ON RULE 13 - GENERAL 45
3 Definitions D: The team that is on defence, or a member of that team. Dead-ball: The ball is not in play. Dead-ball infraction: A contravention of the rules in which the penalty is applied as if the infraction occurred while the ball is not in play; also referred to as a dead-ball foul. Dead-ball penalty: The sanction of a dead-ball infraction. In most cases the yardage is applied from the point of next scrimmage and the down is not repeated. Down(-ed),(-ing): Action whereby a player stops play by touching the ball, which is not live to their team. Lateral: A lateral is a pass by which the ball travels parallel to or, in the direction of the passer's dead-ball line. Legal catch: When a player has control of the ball with at least one bodypart landing inbounds before any other body part lands out of bounds. Control is further defined as, stopping the rotation of the ball and influencing the subsequent direction of the ball, (aka making a football move), before the ball contacts the ground. Live ball: The ball is in play. Live-ball infraction: A contravention of the rules in which the penalty is applied as if the infraction occurred while the ball is in play; also referred to as a live-ball foul. Live-ball penalty: The sanction of a live-ball infraction. In most cases the yardage is applied to the best advantage of the non-offending team, either at the point of last scrimmage, or at the point of the foul, or at the point where the ball becomes dead at the end of the play. A repeated down, as applicable, is awarded. O: The team that is on offense, or a member of that team. Personal Foul: An act of roughness or unfair play. The sanction/penalty for these fouls are unrestricted to the 1 yard line. Spot: The point of furthest progress of the ball; the action of identifying that point. Touch: The action whereby a player contacts the ball carrier with the palm or fingers of an open hand. Accidental touches or contact with any other body part will not end a play. A touch is only legal if it was intended and done so with an open hand. Contact of the hand/fingers to an opposing player prior to that player touching the ball, (becoming the ball carrier), is not considered a touch and will not end the play even if the contact remains after the player touches the ball. In this case another hand must touch the ball carrier or the defender must remove the hand and retouch the player. A touch must occur to the ball carrier after they become the ball carrier and not to an eligible receiver immediately before becoming the ball carrier.
4 TOUCH FOOTBALL OVERVIEW Indoor Touch Football is played with five on-field players per team. The team that has possession of the ball is termed the offence (team O), and the team that doesn't is called the defence (team D). The offence has five downs to attempt a score. If on the fifth down the offense does not score, the ball goes to the defence, which in turn, becomes the offence and they then have 5 downs to attempt a score. Special note: In Indoor Touch Football, the offense can elect to decline a fifth down attempt to score and thereby give up possession of the ball. This will result in a change of possession and therefore, the defence becomes the offense and starts from their own 5 yard line with 5 downs to attempt to score. If the offense attempts to score on their fifth down however, and does not, the change of possession will be awarded at the point of the spot at the end of that play. A coin toss is conducted prior to the start of the game and will determine which team may start with the ball. The winner of the coin toss can elect to have the first-half or second-half choice of options. The loser of the coin toss will have choice of options for whichever half the winner does not select. Therefore, if the winner of the coin toss elects to have choice of options second half, (defer), the loser of the coin toss would have choice of options for the first half and visa versa. The options/choices are 1) to start the half with the ball, or 2) select which end of the field to defend. When one team chooses to have the ball, the other team is then given the option to choose what end to defend. However, if the team with choice selects which end to defend instead of taking the ball, the other team would automatically start the half with the ball. To begin a game, team will start from its own 5-yard line. This is called the line of scrimmage. All offensive players must take a position on or behind the line of scrimmage. All defensive players must take a position at least one yard from the line of scrimmage on the opposite side. Special allowances are made for the centre in that a defender must not line up within 3 yards from the centre, (for safety reasons). A player designated as the centre will then begin the play by snapping the ball between the legs to the Quarterback, who must receive the ball at least five yards behind the line of scrimmage. All players on the offence, except the centre, are allowed to be in motion prior to the snap, but are not permitted to cross the line of scrimmage until after the snap. The game is mainly a passing game, with all players on the offence being eligible receivers. No blocking is permitted. The play is terminated when a defender touches the ball carrier with one hand or the fingers of that hand. Two-hand touches are permissible as long as there is no rough touch. During scrimmage plays, the defence will have one or more players, called the rusher, pursue the Quarterback after the ball is snapped. Specific rules applicable to the rusher include: 1) being at least five yards away from the line of scrimmage, 2) being within 1-5 yards outside the centre s outside foot, 3) not changing sides after the ball is put down by the centre, 4) being in this vicinity before the centre s head goes down.
5 In turn, the rules grant the rusher a direct and unobstructed path to the Quarterback after the ball is snapped. No one is permitted to block or obstruct the rusher in any way. If the rusher changes sides after the ball is put down by the centre, the rusher will lose the right to a direct path to the Quarterback with the centre, however, all other players must continue to provide the rusher with a direct line to the Quarterback. Even if the center looks up after putting his/her head down, the rusher has lost the right to a direct path to the Quarterback with the centre only. Teams may use more than one rusher on a play. All rushers have the right to a clear and direct path to the Quarterback, provided they adhere to the rusher s rules stated above and summarized again here; (1) line up 5 yards from line of scrimmage, 2) line up 1-5 yards from the outside foot of the centre, 3) does not change sides after the ball is put down by the centre and 4) have lined up within this area prior to the centre s head going down). The first defensive player to cross the line of scrimmage must have started from a point five yards down field from the line of scrimmage but does not have to line up within 5 yards of either side of the centers feet. Two bean bags are used by the officials to mark the line of scrimmage and the rusher's starting line. Officials will place these bags at the appropriate spot prior to the start of each play. These bags may or may not be the same colour. Beanbags must be at least 4 square. Teams are permitted only one forward pass on each scrimmage play. The ball may be passed laterally among teammates as many times as they wish during a play. A lateral is a pass by which the ball travels parallel to or, in the direction of, the passer's dead-ball line. An attempted lateral that results in the ball going forward to a teammate is illegal, and is ruled an offside pass when touched by a teammate. Fumbles are not recoverable in touch football. The ball is considered dead when it hits the ground during a scrimmage play, except on the initial centre-quarterback exchange when the ball is snapped, and on a lateral to an offensive player that occurs 1) behind the line of scrimmage and 2) before a forward pass is thrown. In the latter case, in order for the ball to be considered live, it must touch the intended player first before hitting the ground.
6 Scoring Points are awarded for touchdowns, converts and safety touches. A touchdown is scored when a team gets the ball into the opponent's end zone by running with the ball across the goal line or by gaining possession of the ball in the end zone through a completed pass from a teammate. Touchdowns count for six points. After a touchdown, the scoring team has the choice of attempting a one-point convert from the five-yard line, or a two-point convert from the ten-yard line. All converts must be passing or running plays. Kicking is not permitted at any time in Indoor Touch Football. A safety touch counts for two points and is awarded to a team when its opponents cause the ball to go into their own end zone and the play is ruled dead prior to the ball being taken out of the end zone.
7 Game Procedures A game is usually divided into two halfs of 25 minutes. The clock runs continuously during the halfs, except for a time out. At the end of the first half there is a rest period of an agreed-upon length and the second half begins. Each team has one 60-second time out per half, which if not used, cannot be carried over to the next half. Officials may call any number of time outs, at their discretion, to deal with measurements, rule explanations or injuries. However, if an official calls an injury time out, the injured player or players must sit out for at least one play before returning to the field. If this/these player(s) wish to remain in the game and not sit out for one play, the team must use their team timeout. The official s timeout is a courtesy and must result in all injured players sitting out for at least one play. Since, the time has already been stopped, using a team time out to keep a player in the game for the next play does not result in having any additional delay in the game. Rather, the time out is considered consumed and replaces the official s time out. A team must have a minimum of four players on the field at the designated starting time to begin a game. If a team does not have the minimum number of players to start the game or if they refuse to take the field within a reasonable time frame when advised by the official at the start of the game, a delay of game penalty will be applied and that team will lose choice for both halves and a 10 yard dead ball penalty will be applied at the start of the game. If both teams do not have enough players to start, the penalties will offset and choice of options will be awarded by a coin toss. A 10-minute grace period will be provided to allow players to arrive and for the game to start, however the game clock will start at the designated start time.
8 General Information Participants in the game of Touch Football must consider the safety of all players in the game. Aggressive play must be tempered with control in order to avoid unnecessary body contact and the possibility of injury to opponents. Players who show no regard for this concept will be penalized for the unnecessary contact they cause. Sportsmanship and consideration for the well-being of others is an integral part of the game of Touch Football. The rules of Touch Football exist to ensure that no team creates an unfair advantage over the other team. Therefore, infractions such as interference, tripping, unnecessary roughness, contacting the passer, obstruction, offside, unsportsmanlike conduct and objectionable conduct will be called by the officials, when committed by players during a game. It is imperative that all participants display sportsmanship during a game. Persistent arguing, obscene language, threats to players, officials or spectators bring disgrace to the sport and will not be tolerated.
9 INDOOR TOUCH FOOTBALL RULE BOOK Rule 1 The Scrimmage 1.1 The game will start on the offences own 5-yard line. The team starting with the ball is determined by a coin toss as described above. 1.2 A huddle is not compulsory except in the following circumstances: the start of the game, after any time out; after a change in possession; after change of ends at the end of a period. Offensive team has 20 seconds to snap the ball after the referee has blown the play in. Failure to do so will result in a five-yard time count penalty. 1.3 Teams are allowed to have a partial huddle where some players are huddled and others are not, however, "sleeper" plays are illegal and subject to an illegal procedure penalty. The officials will call a "sleeper" play when the offense or defense deliberately attempts to deceive their opponents as to which players are legally on the field. 1.4 To begin a play from scrimmage, the ball must be placed on the ground at or beside the line of scrimmage beanbag marker and then snapped through the legs of the centre to the Quarterback; who is defined as the first player to touch the ball after it is snapped. If the ball is taken to the huddle or not left on the ground it will become in play as soon as the centre lifts it off the ground after placing it on the ground. If the ball is left on the ground the centre is permitted to lift it off the ground once and then it is in play as soon as the centre lifts it off the ground after having placed it back on the ground. The Quarterback must receive the snap at least five yards behind the line of scrimmage. Receiving a snap within 5 yards would result in a 5-yard illegal procedure penalty. Prior to the snap, the centre must position the ball between the legs next to the bag that marks the line of scrimmage. Failure to do so will result in a five-yard illegal procedure penalty. In addition, the centre must have the line of scrimmage beanbag marker at or between his/her feet. If the line of scrimmage marker is outside the centre s feet it will result in a 5-yard illegal procedure penalty. 1.5 The first person to cross the line of scrimmage for the defence, usually referred to as the rusher, must be at least five yards away from the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap. The rusher must be allowed a clear and direct path to the Quarterback. Members of the opposing team are not allowed to block or interfere with the rusher. To maintain this clear and direct path, the rusher must, 1) line up at least 5 yards down field from the line of scrimmage, 2) line up 1-5 yards from the outside foot of the centre, 3) do not change sides after the ball is put down by the centre and 4) have lined up within this area prior to the centre s head going down). If the rusher changes sides after the ball is put down by the centre or enters the rusher zone after the centres head goes down, he/she loses rusher privileges with the centre only. If the rusher does not line up within 1-5 yards of the centres foot and at least 5 yards down field before the ball is snapped, he/she will lose rusher privileges with all offensive players. These rules apply if more than one rusher is used. Blocking or interfering with the rusher results in a ten yard obstruction penalty against the offense. Special note: If the Quarterback goes in motion after the ball is set by the centre, the
10 rusher is permitted to change sides and does not lose rusher privileges. 1.6 Once the centre sets the ball on the ground for the snap, the rusher is not permitted to change sides and maintain rushing privileges with the centre; unless, the Quarterback goes in motion prior to the snap of the ball. 1.7 To permit the centre to participate in the play and for safety reasons, no opponent is permitted to line up within three yards of the centre. An exception to this rule applies if a receiver lines up directly beside the centre, (within 0-3 yards). In this case, a defender may line up within 3 yards of the centre but no closer than 1 yard directly in front of the receiver that is lined up directly beside the centre. This is the only scenario that a player may line up within 3 yards of the center. If the receiver goes in motion and moves more than 3 yards from the center prior to the snap, the defender must immediately make an attempt to give the centre a 3-yard cushion. If the receiver motions to the other side of the field, (crossing behind the centre), the defender is permitted to cross directly in front of the centre but not be closer than 1 yard from the line of scrimmage. 1.7 If both teams go offside as the ball is snapped, the play is whistled dead and the down is replayed with no penalty. 1.8 Players are not allowed to cross the line of scrimmage to listen to the opponent's huddle. These infractions would result in a five-yard illegal procedure penalty.
11 Cases on Rule 1 The Scrimmage 1. The centre places the ball on the ground and then lifts it off the ground. The rusher runs in and just before the centre is touched, the centre snaps the ball. Interpretation: Do not blow the whistle. However, illegal procedure must be called against the centre as the snap must be in a smooth continuous motion. 2. The centre places the ball on the ground and then lifts it off the ground. Prior to the ball leaving the centre's hand, the centre is touched by the rusher. Interpretation: Illegal procedure must be called against the centre since lifting the ball from the grown in order to make the snap must be in a smooth continuous motion. Team D, would have the choice to accept the result of the play and Team O loses a down, or accept a 5-yard illegal procedure penalty and repeat the down. 3. An offensive player, in motion prior to the snap, is accidentally struck by the snap from the centre, 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Interpretation: The play continues. This is a 5-yard illegal procedure penalty against the offense. Do not blow the whistle as the opposing team may still elect to take the result of the play. 5. The ball is snapped and hits an offensive player running between the centre and the Quarterback, approximately 6 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Interpretation: There is no foul on this play. The ball is live to that same player, (who is now defined as the Quarterback), and any onside offensive player. 6. Prior to the snap of the ball, O6 breaks the line of the scrimmage and makes contact with D4. Interpretation: The play is not whistled dead. O6 can return onside prior to the snap as long as the time count permits. 7. The Quarterback goes in motion prior to the snap of the ball. The rusher changes sides after the ball has been set by the centre, (put onto the ground by the centre). The play carries on a) without interference between the centre and the rusher and b) with interference between the centre and the rusher. Interpretation: In a) no foul has been committed. In b) the centre is called for obstruction. In this case, the rusher maintains all rusher privileges since the QB went into motion and this permits the rusher to change sides. 8. The rusher runs towards the Quarterback with their arms up in the air and their hand touches the ball while it is still in the Quarterback s hand at the tail end of an attempted forward pass. Interpretation: The rusher is playing the ball and not making a deliberate attempt to make a touch therefore this is NOT a touch/sack. Also if the ball is still in the QB hand
12 and there is force transmitted to the hand/arm of the QB through the ball, this would be a 10-yard Personal Foul penalty, (roughing the passer). ANY contact made to the Quarterback s hand/arm during the throwing motion, including the natural follow through is considered a Personal Foul penalty. In this case, the ball is considered part of the QB s arm until the ball leaves the QB s hand. If the ball is a blocked/deflected in any direction, forward or backwards, the pass can be received and can be advanced. However, a subsequent attempt of a forward pass would be illegal since the ball has already been thrown forward once, (regardless where it ends up after it leaves the QB s hand). 9. The rusher jumps inside of 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and the ball is snapped. The rusher runs back past 5 yards then rushes over the line of scrimmage. Interpretation: This is legal. The rusher can go back from beyond 5 yards and be the first to cross the line of scrimmage. 10. The centre places the ball on the ground and then lifts it off the ground. The rusher runs in and just before being touched the centre snaps the ball off the ground to the Quarterback. The rusher touches the centre when going by. Interpretation: Do not blow the whistle. The play continues however the centre must be called for illegal procedure. The lifting and snap of the ball must be one continuous motion. 11. An offensive player remains on the line of scrimmage while the rest of the team huddles. Interpretation: This is not an automatic penalty. A sleeper play (illegal substitution penalty) is only illegal if it is a deliberate attempt to deceive the offense or defence. 12. The Quarterback ducks to avoid a touch, but ducks into the path of the rusher, who trips over the QB. Interpretation: No roughing the passer or any roughing penalty is called unless one of the players is out of control. Players are discouraged from ducking a touch but it is not illegal to do so. The play should continue until a deliberate touch is made. Comment: Ducking should be distinguished from putting the head down while running forward. The latter is a 10-yard personal foul against the player that puts their head down. 13. After a scrimmage play, there is a partial huddle. One of the offensive players lines up on their bench side, next to the sideline without returning to the huddle. Interpretation: This is a deliberate deception play, (sleeper play), and the offense should be called for illegal procedure. 14. After the ball is set by the centre (O2), the rusher changes sides. Receiver O5 is lined up within 5 Yards of the centre and obstructs the rusher who took a direct line to the Quarterback.
13 Interpretation: Obstruction is called on O5. Changing sides removes rusher privileges with the centre only. All other offensive players must provide a direct line to the QB. 15. O2 lines up 1 yard outside the centre, (O3) and D1 lines up one yard in front of O2. The ball is snapped by the centre, (O3) and the centre runs a slant pattern to the side of the D2 and collides with D2 whom a) had not moved, b) had moved, c) O2 motions to the other side and O3 snaps and runs into D2 as D2 motions with O2 and d) O2 motions to be 4 yards outside of the centre s O3 foot and D2 does not make an attempt to give 3 yards to the centre. Interpretation: case a and c) Obstruction against the centre, (O3). The defender must give 3 yards from the centre or be called for illegal procedure, (5 yards). However, in this case, since O2 was within 1 yard the centre O3, the defender D2 was allowed to line up within 3 yards from the centre, (directly in front of O2). The centre however, is charged with obstruction since D2 was stationary at the time of the snap and did not move in case a) and in case c) since the centre/qb control when they snap the ball and the offense in this case directly influenced the timing and contact. Case a) and c) could be considered a pick play. Case b) No foul on the play since D2 was not stationary and neither player had established a direct path. No obstruction and as stated above, the defender is allowed to line up within 3 yards of the centre due to the location of the receiver. Case d) Illegal procedure on D2 since no attempt was made to clear the 3 yard zone for the centre after O2 vacated.
14 Rule 2 Passing 2.1 All players are eligible to receive a forward pass. There can be only one forward pass on each scrimmage play. A forward pass is one in which the ball is intentionally thrown or handed towards the opponent's goal line. A forward pass is legal, if it is the first pass thrown from behind the line of scrimmage. 2.2 A pass is considered complete if the player has possession and control of the ball prior to going out of bounds and landing in bounds. Possession and control is defined as stopping the rotation of the ball and influencing the motion/direction of the ball. To be considered in bounds the receiver must touch the ground in bounds with some part of the body prior to any part of the body touching an out of bounds area. The boundary lines, which mark the outer limits of the field, are considered to be out of bounds. If the receiver does not have control and goes out of bounds prior to obtaining control, the pass is incomplete. 2.3 If a receiver could have landed in bounds but was pushed out of bounds by an opponent, the catch will be awarded to the receiver. It is the official's judgment as to whether the receiver could have landed in bounds. 2.4 If a receiver establishes control of the ball while jumping and laterals the ball prior to having a body part land in bounds and the lateral goes forward or hits the ground before being caught/controlled by a player, the catch is considered to be incomplete since no body part had successfully landed in bounds after control of the ball had been made. 2.5 A pass caught simultaneously by players on opposite teams will be awarded to the team that had possession prior to the pass. 2.6 A player who bobbles the ball and is touched while bobbling the ball will be considered to be touched if and when the player finally gains possession of the ball. The ball will come back to the point where the receiver was first touched by the opponent. The intent of this rule is to prevent players from intentionally bobbling the ball to avoid a touch. 2.7 Players can lateral the ball at any time during a play. A lateral pass is a pass that travels parallel to, or in the direction of, the passer's dead ball line. An attempted lateral that results in the ball going forward and being caught by a teammate is illegal and is ruled an offside pass. If a player makes an offside pass, the ball comes back to the point from where the pass was initiated. 2.8 When an offensive player touches a lateral pass behind the line of scrimmage before any forward pass is thrown and the ball then touches the ground, the ball is live to the offense only. The defence may touch the last offensive player that touched the ball or they may touch the loose ball and down it to end the play. 2.9 A pass is incomplete when the ball touches the ground, the goal post or an official or lands out of bounds When the passer deliberately throws a pass to an area where there is no receiver in an obvious attempt to avoid a loss of yards, the team will be penalized for grounding the
15 ball. The penalty is a loss of down at the point the ball was thrown If a pass is intercepted in the end zone, no points are awarded and the team that intercepted the ball is awarded first down on their own 5 yard line.
16 Cases on Rule 2 Passing 1. After receiving the snap from centre, the Quarterback hands off to a halfback in a forward direction. Interpretation: The handoff in a forward direction, behind the line of scrimmage, is considered the offense's one legal forward pass that they are allowed on a play from scrimmage. 2. The Quarterback throws a forward pass that is blocked by the rusher. The Quarterback manages to catch the ball before it hits the ground and throws a completed forward pass to a receiver. Interpretation: The second pass is considered to be an offside pass and the offense loses the down and the ball is spotted at the point of the offside pass. 3. Receiver O3 leaps high in the air to catch a pass. Both feet touch the ground simultaneously, one foot in bounds and one foot out of bounds. Interpretation: Incomplete pass. The receiver must touch the ground in bounds first, prior to any part of the body touching an out of bounds area. 4. O1 throws a pass downfield to O7. O7 deflects the ball forward. D2 deflects the ball toward the Team D goal line and O5 catches the ball and runs for a touchdown. Interpretation: An offside pass from O7 to O5 has occurred, regardless of the tip by D2. The ball is placed at the original point of deflection by O7. 5. The Quarterback runs over the line of scrimmage, and then runs back behind it to throw a forward pass. Interpretation: The pass is illegal, and ruled dead BEHIND the line of scrimmage where it was thrown. The player is NOT awarded for their furthest point of progress, over the line of scrimmage. 6. Quarterback throws a pass to O7. O7 dives headlong to catch the ball, gains control of the ball, but as O7 lands the ball pops free and it makes contact with the ground. Interpretation: This is considered a legal catch. The criteria of stopping the rotation and influencing its subsequent direction have been met. The ground cannot cause an incomplete pass. 7. Team O second down from the O 10 yard line. Just before being touched the Quarterback on the 3 yard line turns around and throws the ball into the end zone - there is no halfback near the ball so it hits the ground. Interpretation: An Intentional Grounding penalty should be called. The Defence has the choice to accept the penalty and O would have third down from the O 3 yard line or they can decline the penalty and score a safety touch.
17 Comment: If a halfback was close to the lateral that hits the ground in the end zone then a safety touch is scored with no penalty called and no options to the defence. 8. Receiver catches the ball and then runs face-first into the goal post pad with the ball held in front, then the ball is dropped. Interpretation: Touchdown. The goal posts and pads are considered IN the end zone. 9. On fifth down, the Quarterback attempts a lateral to the halfback but it is ruled forward. The halfback throws a forward pass down field, which is intercepted. Interpretation: The defence has the option to accept the Illegal Forward Pass penalty and take possession from the point where the second forward pass was thrown or decline it and take possession from the point where the ball becomes dead after the interception. 10. A receiver catches a pass in the air and lands on a teammate who is in bounds then out of bounds without having touched the ground in bounds. Interpretation: This is an incomplete pass - the receiver must touch the ground in bounds. However if it was an opponent that they landed on then the pass would be ruled complete if it was possible for the receiver to land in bounds without the presence of the defender. 11. The Quarterback throws from their own end zone but the ball hits the post/ceiling. Interpretation: This is an incomplete pass, the same as if the pass hit the ground in the end zone. 12. An onside pass from the Quarterback to the halfback touches the ground while it is being caught. Interpretation: The ball is dead where it hits the ground. Play may only continue if the halfback touches the ball before it hits the ground. 13. A pass defender holds a receiver s arm in the target zone, but the pass is overthrown and ruled uncatchable. Interpretation: A foul must be called. If the ball is uncatchable the penalty is remote zone interference, if it is deemed catchable it is target zone interference. 14. QB throws a forward pass to receiver O3 downfield who tips the ball in the air and before it hits the ground D3 intentionally sticks out their leg and kicks the ball up where a) D3 catches the ball b) D4 catches the ball c) O4 catches the ball. Interpretation: In a) and b) this is a legal interception but the ball cannot be advanced further and they would scrimmage from where it was kicked or caught - whichever is closest to their deadline. In c) if O4 is onside to where O3 first tipped the ball then it can be advanced otherwise would go back to the tip as an offside pass. 15. Team O scrimmaging on the Team D 5 yard line. Receiver O4 runs a pattern very
18 close to another stationary player and cuts sharply by this player without making contact causing D2 to be obstructed by the player while in pursuit. Pass is completed to O4 for a touchdown. Interpretation: Using a player who has taken a stationary position is legal. It is up to the defender to get into a position where it is difficult for the receiver to use other stationary players to their advantage. Note using a stationary official would also be legal. 16. On a play from scrimmage, the Quarterback rolls left, raises the throwing arm, then has the ball slip from the hand and fall to the ground in a forward direction. Interpretation: This is not an incomplete pass. This is a dropped ball. Team O will scrimmage at the point the ball was held when it was dropped. 18. On a play from scrimmage, the Quarterback turns and throws a lateral to O2 who is in an onside position. The ball strikes the ground and is immediately caught by O2. Interpretation: The ball is dead when it hits the ground in this situation. Team O will scrimmage at the point the ball hit the ground.
19 Rule 3 Scoring 3.1 A touchdown counts as 6 points; a convert from the five-yard line is 1 point; a convert from the 10 yard line is 2 points; a safety touch is 2 points. 3.2 A touchdown is scored by carrying the ball into the opponent's end zone or by catching the ball in the opponents' end zone prior to it touching the ground. The ball is considered to be in the end zone when any part of the ball touches or crosses the plane of the goal line. 3.3 After a touchdown is scored, the scoring team may try a convert attempt. The scoring team will choose to attempt a 1 point convert from the five yard line or 2 point convert from the ten yard line. Converts are passing or run attempts; no kicking is allowed. If there is a penalty on a convert attempt, the scoring team is not permitted to change its choice if there is a repeated attempt. 3.4 On a convert attempt, the ball is scrimmaged in the centre of the appropriate yard line. 3.5 After a convert attempt, the non-scoring team may elect to have possession at their own 5-yard line or they may elect to have the scoring team have possession from their 5-yard line. 3.6 A safety touch is awarded to a team when the offense causes the ball to go into their own end zone and the play is ruled dead prior to the ball being brought out of the end zone. A ball is considered to be in the end zone if any part of the ball is still in the end zone.
20 Cases on Rule 3 Scoring 1. The offense scores a touchdown. The offense declines the convert attempt. Interpretation: This is valid option for the scoring team. 2. After scoring a touchdown, the offense requests a two-point convert. The Referee declares to the defence that the offense will attempt a two-point convert. The captain of the offense then requests a one-point convert attempt. Interpretation: Once the referee has announced a one or two point attempt to the defence, it cannot be changed. In the above situation, the two-point convert must be attempted. 3. Scrimmaging on their own 10 yard line, Quarterback O1 takes the snap at the O s 5 yard line and attempts to lateral to O2 who is in the end zone but D1 deflects the ball at the 1 yard line into the end zone where it is caught by O1 who is touched in the end zone. Interpretation: Since the ball was directed into the end zone by the defensive player D1 it will only be scored as a single point to the defence. If it had been deflected when already in the end zone then a safety touch is awarded. 4. The intended pass receiver dives back towards the ball and catches it with their feet in the end zone but the rest of their body and the ball is completely outside the end zone. Interpretation: No touchdown. Any part of the ball must be over the goal line in order for a touchdown to be awarded. 5. On a convert attempt, target zone interference is called against the defence on an offensive player who is not in the end zone. Interpretation: Since the infraction occurred outside the end zone, the convert is NOT awarded automatically. The offense has the options of declining the penalty, or repeating the convert attempt either at the point of the infraction, or halfway between the convert scrimmage line and the goal line. Comment: Target zone interference should only be called if the receiver is within a 5- yard radius of where the ball arrives. Even if the player would have reached the target zone had they not been impeded, the call must still be remote zone interference. 6. On a convert attempt, O2 is in the end zone and accidentally steps on the dead ball line before coming back into the field of play and making the catch in the end zone. Interpretation: The convert is disallowed because O2 went out of bounds prior to the catch. This is an illegal re-entry penalty. The defense can accept the 10 yard penalty and repeat the attempt or they can choose to have the play considered incomplete without a repeat attempt permitted. 7. On a convert attempt, O3 deflects the ball on the D 2 yard line and it goes into the end
21 zone where it is caught by O4. Interpretation: This is an offside pass from O3 to O4. The ball comes back to the point of deflection, which is outside the end zone, and the convert is unsuccessful. There is no repeat attempt. 8. While running a pass pattern near the opponent's goal line, O5 slips on a wet field. O5 manages to catch the forward pass while on the ground and is immediately touched at that point. O5's legs extend into the end zone but the ball is held in the arms, which are outside of the end zone. Interpretation: In order for a touchdown to be awarded, the ball must break the plane of the goal, prior to the ball carrier being touched. The position of the feet or legs is irrelevant in this case. No touchdown is awarded.
22 Rule 4 Timing & Time outs 4.1 The game usually consists of two 25 minute halves. A half will end when the referee has no time left on the clock. If, at the end of the previous play, the referee has at least some time left on the clock, there will be at least one more play in the half. If there is a touchdown scored on the last play of a half, the convert will be attempted. 4.2 At the end of the first half, there is an agreed upon rest period (half time) and the second half begins on the 5 yard line for which ever team is awarded the ball as per the coin toss and options/selections. 4.3 Time runs continuously during both halves, except for Referee approved time outs. Each team has one time out per half which if not used can not be carried over to the next half. Referees may call a time out at their discretion for things such as injuries, penalty explanations, or conferences with other officials. If an injury timeout is declared by the official, the injured team may use a time out. If they do not use a time out, the non injured team has the option to run 10 seconds off the clock before the start of the next play. The clock will start on the snap of the ball. The clock starts in the following situations after a timeout Team timeouts; clock starts on the snap Referee timeouts; clock starts on the snap Injury timeouts; clock starts on the snap. However, if the injured team uses a time out the injured player can remain in the game and does not have to sit out for a play. If the injured team does not use a time out, the non-injured team could elect to have 10 seconds removed from the clock. Referee time stoppage for explanations or for dangers on the field; clock starts when the play is whistled in. 4.4 Each team is allowed a maximum of two time outs per game. There is one 60- second time out per half, which, if not used in the first half, cannot be carried over to the second half. 4.5 Any player or coach can request the Referee to call a time out. Time outs can only be called during dead ball situations. 4.6 The referee will notify each team when there are 15 seconds left in the time out. A time out may be shortened if both teams agree. 4.7 All offensive players must huddle after a time out or be penalized five yards for illegal procedure. 4.8 After a time out, the clock will not start until the snap of the ball on the subsequent play. 4.9 A team cannot call two consecutive time outs without a play occurring between the time outs The Referee may stop the clock when it is deemed necessary by any of the officials. The clock will start after the Referee whistles the next play in. This is not to be
23 confused with a referee timeout such as cases during an injury on the field The clock is stopped when a ten-yard delay of game penalty is applied. The clock will start when the ball is snapped. There is no loss of down If the Referee takes a time out for an injury to one of the players, the injured player must be removed for at least one play unless the team decides to use a time out If the game is tied after regulation time and a winner must be declared, overtime can be played. Options for conducting overtime include playing an overtime period of 12 minutes, divided into two 6 minute halves. Overtime can also involve the use of converts to break the tie, with each team being given three convert attempts, alternating on offense then defence. League and tournament organizers are encouraged to clearly define their method of overtime prior to the league or tournament play At the end of the first or second half a final play is allowed if when the play is dead, there still remains time on the clock. Taking a knee does not result in ending the play. Rather, players must be touched or must drop the ball to the ground to down the ball. If the ball is not downed before the clock expires, the half is over.
24 Cases on Rule 4 Timing & Time outs 1. With 9 seconds remaining on the game clock at the end of a half, a player from Team O is injured and Team O has no more time outs. Team D wants 10 seconds run off the clock to end the game. Interpretation: Even if an injury has occurred within the last 10 seconds and the noninjured team elects to run 10 seconds off the clock, one play will remain. 2. Team O, with no time outs remaining, asks for a time out. An official blows the whistle and motions to have the clock stopped. Interpretation: A 10-yard delay of game penalty is applied to the offending team. Comment. If an official knows that the team has no time outs remaining, the captain should be informed of that and the game continues without stopping the clock. 3. The referee forgets to end the first half and allows an extra 6 minutes to be played. Interpretation: The extra 6 minutes shall be counted as part of the second half and the next half is shortened by 6 minutes unless at the referee s discretion based on game conditions and situation the entire second half can be played in full. 4. During a stoppage in play, an argument erupts between two teammates. A team time out is taken and the argument terminates with the manager of the team throwing O2 off the team. The team manager then turns to the referee and requests that the officials now have this non-participant removed from the field. Interpretation: The officials advise the team manager that as a player, O2 was a member in good standing at the commencement of the game. It is the team's responsibilities to have the player leave the field so that play can resume. If this cannot be accomplished, Team O will forfeit the game. Since, the player has not been ejected by an official, the officials can not assist with removing the player from the field. However, if that player prevents the game from continuing, Team O forfeits the game. 5. A scrimmage play ends with one second left on the clock. Interpretation: The game cannot end if any time is left on the clock. There will be another play. 6. At the end of the second half, with 1 second remaining Team O s ball carrier takes a knee. Interpretation: The clock continues to run and the play is not whistled dead. If the clock reaches zero before the ball carrier is touched, goes out of bounds, or downs the ball by dropping it, the game will be over. Players that wish to down the ball need to drop the ball to the ground, not take a knee. 7. With 2:00 left in the second half, Team O allows the play clock to expire before starting the next play.
25 Interpretation: This is a 10-yard delay of game penalty and the clock is stopped. Team O does not lose a down. The clock is restarted on the snap. Team O cannot avoid having to start a play by taking a delay of game penalty. The spirit of this ruling is to prevent Team O from taking a penalty in order to avoid the risk of a safety.
26 Rule 5 Pass Interference 5.1 Pass interference is defined as one player taking away the positional advantage of another player. This can occur: a. Through direct contact whereby one player makes contact with an opponent and causes the opponent to move off stride or away from the opponent's intended direction; b. When a player steps into the intended and declared path of an opponent, causing the opponent to slow down or change direction; c. During a deliberate attempt to block the opponent from reaching the arrival point of the ball. d. Holding onto a player, preventing them from getting to their intended path. 5.2 Pass interference is considered to be in the target zone when the interference occurs in close proximity to the intended arrival point of the ball and the receiver. All other pass interference will be assessed as remote zone interference. Typically target zone is declared if the infraction occurs within a 5-yard radius of the balls arrival and is deemed catchable. 5.3 If a player is not playing the ball and extends the arms or waves a hand in an attempt to distract a receiver or block the vision of the receiver or to touch the ball that player is considered to have committed pass interference in the remote area. If the ball is touched or if the receiver's direct line of vision is blocked, it is considered to be pass interference in the target zone. 5.4 If pass interference occurs and the official rules that the ball would not have been caught without the interference then the pass interference is considered to be in the remote zone rather than the target zone. This applies regardless if the interference is committed by the defender or the receiver. 5.5 Both offensive and defensive players can be called for pass interference. If the defence commits pass interference in the target zone, the offense is awarded the ball at the point of the infraction or ten yards in advance of the point of last scrimmage. If the offense commits pass interference in the target zone and the penalty is accepted, the defence is awarded the ball at the point of the foul or if on fifth down at the point of last scrimmage. If either team commits remote zone pass interference, the penalty is 10 yards from the point of last scrimmage. 5.6 Incidental contact occurs when neither player has positional advantage and contact occurs resulting in one or both players having their intended path altered/changed. This commonly occurs when two players are jumping for a jump ball, or when two players are running side by side for a pass where neither player has an advantage over the other. However, if either player has positional advantage and that advantage is removed by an opponents contact, intentionally or not, this will be considered interference. If the contact occurs in the target area and the pass is considered catchable it will be target zone pass interference. If the interference occurs in the remote area, it will be considered remote zone interference. A player with positional advantage can not have that advantage removed, regardless of the other players intent; without interference being called.
27 Cases on Rule 5 Pass Interference 1. O6 tries to run an out and up pass pattern and is forced out of bounds by D7 prior to the ball being thrown by the Quarterback. Interpretation: This is remote zone pass interference by D7. 2. O6 runs a pass pattern into the centre of the field with D6 in pursuit. O5 runs an out and up pass pattern with D5 in coverage. O6 obviously slows down and intentionally causes D5 to alter paths. Interpretation: This is a "pick" play by the offense. Team O is penalized for remote zone pass interference. 3. D4 is running right behind O5, down the field, covering on a pass pattern. As the ball comes toward them, O5 has a look to see where the ball is, while D4 does not. Neither player breaks stride. The ball hits D4 on the back of the head and lands on the ground. Interpretation: This is a legal play. D4 has not screened O5. Screening involves extending the arms and hands, while not playing the ball, in an attempt to block the receiver's vision or knock down the ball. 4. O2 attempts to catch a pass and the ball goes off O2's body. While the ball is in the air, in close proximity to O2, D3 pushes O2 away from the ball and the ball hits the ground. Interpretation: This is target zone pass interference even though the contact is after O2 touched the ball. D3 has taken away O2's right to catch the ball. 5. O3 is running for a pass and D4 is running stride for stride in an equally favourable position to catch the ball. Their feet become entangled and one of them falls down. Interpretation: There is no infraction here since no advantage was taken away by anyone. 6. Similar to 5, but in this case, O3 is running for a pass and D4 is running a step behind O3. Their feet become entangled and O3 falls. The contact was deemed accidental. Interpretation: This is pass interference as O3 had a clear advantage on D4. Intentional or not, taking positional advantage away from a receiver is pass interference. 7 With arms up in the air, D3 is attempting to screen O4 on a forward pass play. The ball is overthrown and ruled uncatchable regardless of the attempted screening. Interpretation: Remote zone pass interference is applied since the ball is considered as uncatchable. The foul cannot be ignored. 8 Player D3 commits target zone pass interference against O4. However, the referee had blown the whistle, as the Quarterback was touched just prior to releasing the ball. Interpretation: Since the Quarterback was touched, the play is ruled dead before the
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