Official Rules of the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League

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Playoff information

Official Rules of the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League

Last Updated 7/27/17

  1. Officials
    • Each regular season game will have three IAHSAA certified officials to officiate the game. All officials must be eligible and certified to referee Iowa High School games. The lessee of the field being utilized is responsible for providing qualified officials for all regular season and championship games.
  2. Trainer
    • Each regular season game will have a licensed medical practitioner on the sideline (PT, PTA, DPT, EMR, EMT, AEMT, Paramedic, etc.). The trainer is expected to aid both teams. The lessee of the field being utilized is responsible for providing a qualified trainer for all regular season and championship games.
  3. Coaches
    • The Mid-Iowa Youth Football League coaching staffs will be compromised of one head coach and up to four assistant coaches. Only league approved coaches are allowed to instruct, direct, supervise, assist, or be involved in any form at all games, scrimmages, practices, or any other league sanctioned events. If a team is caught utilizing any unauthorized individual, the team coaches will be subject to disciplinary action.
    • Coaches are expected to set a good example on the practice field and game field at all times.
    • All coaches are expected to know the rules of Federation Football.
    • All coaches are expected to be familiar with the disciplinary policy detailed in the Coaches Code of Conduct.
    • The head coach is responsible for practice schedules and team compliance with established practice policies.
    • All rules, regulations, and policies enforced by the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League apply equally to head and assistant coaches unless stated otherwise.
    • Coaches will serve from season to season. Each year, all coaches are required to go through the application process established by their league. The Mid-Iowa Youth Football League reserves the right to deny any coaching renewals should they find it necessary.
    • The Mid-Iowa Youth Football League can remove any coach at any time should they find it necessary.
  4. Sportsmanship
    • Bad sportsmanship is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League. Coaches, players, and all others in attendance of any event sanctioned by the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League are required to demonstrate good sportsmanship.
    • The Mid-Iowa Youth Football League has a zero tolerance policy for coaches that display unsportsmanlike conduct. Should a coach receive a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct:
      • 1st offense will be a 15 yard penalty.
      • 2nd offense, the coach will be subject to an immediate expulsion from the game in which the penalty was received. Upon expulsion, the coach is required to vacate the venue where the game is being held. (If the offending coach refuses to leave, this will result in permanent league expulsion.) In addition, the offending coach will be suspended for the next game. No appeal will be heard by the board.
    • Players that are penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct due to a late hit will be ejected from the game. The player’s head coach is to notify the Mid-Iowa Youth Football Board of Directors of the penalty immediately following the game. Should a player receive two unsportsmanlike penalties due to a late hit in a season, the player will be permanently expelled from the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League.
    • Participants and spectators are required to demonstrate good sportsmanship. Participants and spectators who do not demonstrate good sportsmanship will be suspended and may be permanently expelled from all Mid-Iowa Youth Football events.
    • Please reference the below explanations of ejection types:
      • Permanent Ejection:  If a player is permanently ejected, that player will be ejected for the remaining game and the following game. If a player is ejected in the last game of the season, the one game suspension will be carry over to the first game of the next season.
      • League Expulsion: Any participant that has been permanently ejected twice will be immediately expelled from the league. The participant will be expelled regardless of whether the ejections occurred in the same season or over the course of several seasons.
    • Practice Schedules
      • Each year the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League will determine the official start date of the season. No practice may occur prior to that date.
      • A practice is defined as any organized team activity relating to the game of football.
      • Teams may practice a maximum of two hours per day. Coaches are responsible for ensuring that players receive a five minute break every hour. These five minute breaks do not count against the total practice time.
      • In weeks prior to the first regular season game, teams will be limited to four practices a week. After the first game, teams will be limited to three practices a week. 7th grade teams are allowed four practices a week the entire season. A week is defined as Sunday through Saturday.
      • Head coaches are responsible for setting practice dates and time that are in compliance with the Mid-Iowa Youth Football guidelines.
      • Pregame warm-ups must be less than 45 minutes. If the pregame warm-up exceeds 45 minutes, the warm-up will be counted as a practice.
  1. Equipment
    • Only league approved equipment will be allowed in Mid-Iowa Youth Football League sanctioned events. Chin straps, forearm and elbow pads, gloves, and protective cups will be the only permitted additions to the issued equipment. The only exception to this rule is if a player must wear additional equipment in order to protect an injury. All equipment must be certified to manufacturer’s standards.
    • The maximum size of the cleat is 1.5 inches, measured from the tip of the cleat to the base of the shoe. Any cleat that has any metal is not allowed.
    • Jewelry of any kind is prohibited at all practices and games. No stickers shall be removed from or added to any of the equipment supplied by the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League unless permitted by the league.
    • All players must wear a mouth piece during all practices and games where any form of contact may be initiated.
    • The regulation football for league play is as follows:
      • 7th Grade/Youth/Wilson TDY
      • 5th and 6th Grade/Junior/Wilson TDJ
      • Junior Division/Pee-Wee/Wilson K-2
  1. League Playing Rules
    • The Mid-Iowa Youth Football will comply with all rules and regulations as outlined in the current National Federation of State High School Associations rule book. In the event that one of the following league rules conflicts with the current NFHS rules, league rules will have priority.
    • All games will be played on high school regulation sized fields.
    • Teams must be on opposite sidelines.
    • All participants must be in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th Players are required to play in the division of their current grade.
    • A 35 second play clock will be in effect for 3rd/4th grade divisions.
    • A 25 second play clock will be in effect for 5th, 6th and 7th grade divisions.
    • Each team is allowed two timeouts per half. Timeouts will last for one minute. During a timeout, only one coach and one additional staff member who is not a coach may be on the field and approach the huddle.
    • Minimum Play
      • It is the Head Coach’s responsibility to ensure all players play a minimum of 15 plays each game for teams of 20 or less players, 13 plays for teams of 20 or more players unless a player is on disciplinary probation. If a playing time is being limited to less than the minimum plays for any player for any reason, the head coach is required to notify the player’s parents, the opposing head coach, and the League Administrators. The Head Coach must explain to the parents and to the League Administrators what the circumstances are for limiting the player’s playing time.
      • Each team is required to appoint one person to keep a Playing Time Log. At the conclusion of the 3rd quarter, the play logs will be brought out to mid field to be viewed by the opposing teams play counters. The log will be referenced by the site administrator should any complaint arise regarding playing time.
      • If the League Administrators find that a player’s playing time was unjustly reduced to less than the minimum plays, the Head Coach will face disciplinary action. These actions may include, but are not limited to, forfeiture of games or suspension from the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League. If a Head Coach is found guilty of multiple infractions to the minimum play rule, the coach may be banned from the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League.
      • The following are acceptable reasons for limiting a play to less than 15 plays.
        • Missing Practices
        • Illness/Injury
        • Disciplinary Action
        • Academic Concerns
        • Limited Preparation (Player is not on team at start of season.
      • Weigh Ins
        • Each team is allowed 3 red cards per season. A red card may be used to challenge the weight of a ball carrier. In the event that the Head Coach does not believe a player on the opposing team is below the ball carrier weight limit, the Head Coach can challenge the weight of the player.
          • If challenged, the player, the challenging head coach, the opposing head coach, and the referee will go to a private area (bathroom, locker room, etc.) and weigh in at the conclusion of the game.
            • The player is allowed a 5lb weight variance to offset scale variances and weight gain over the course of the season.
            • If the player weighs in more than 5lbs over the ball carrier weight limit, the player’s team will forfeit the game and the player will not be allowed to line up in an offensive skill position for the remainder of the season.
          • Injuries
            • If game play is halted due to an injury, the injured player must sit out for at least one play.
            • Under no circumstances should a league coach treat a player for an injury unless the injury is minor. The only exception to this is if the coach is a licensed medical practitioner.
  1. Division Playing Rules
    • Junior Division
      • Game Clock
        • There will be four quarters of play in each game, consisting of 15 minutes of continuous running time in each quarter. Halftime will be 10 minutes long unless dictated by the league administrators in order to prevent scheduling conflicts. During the last two minutes of each half, standard regulation time will be in effect.
      • Coaches
        • May have one coach on the game field during live play. The coach must be 10 yards removed from the deepest athlete on both offensive and defensive plays. The on field coach is allowed to direct the huddle and other activities, but as soon as the quarterback starts the cadence, all on field coaches must cease any verbal and nonverbal communication. Should an official find a coach interfering with a play in progress, the official will penalize the coach, 1st offense 5yards, 2nd offense and after 15 yards each. If the interference caused a change in the game that results in a score change, the official can decide if it is necessary to remove or add points to the scoreboard.
      • Offense
        • Potential Ball carrier weight limit
          • 90 lbs.(Note: Fullbacks and TE must be under weight limit)
        • No offensive motion is allowed.
        • At least three backs must be in the backfield at the snap of the ball. A wing back that is aligned just outside the tackle or tight end and is off of the line of scrimmage is considered in the backfield.
        • All offensive lines must be balanced.
        • No more than one receiver per side of the center may be split outside the tackle or tight end.
        • Point After Touchdown
          • Point After Touchdown Run (1 Point) or Point After Touchdown Pass (2 Points). No option to kick PAT.
      • Defense
        • No defensive player is allowed to line up in a 0 technique (head-up on the center). The defensive lineman cannot shade the center.
        • Except for defensive ends, all defensive linemen must be in a three-point or four point stance.
        • Linebackers must line up at least 3 yards off of the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs must line up at least 5 yards off of the line of scrimmage. One defensive back or linebacker per every wide receiver may line up on the line of scrimmage as long as the defensive player is lined head-up on the wide receiver.
        • The defense may deploy a goal line formation when the ball is inside the defenders’ five yard line. Linebackers must be 2 yards off of the line of scrimmage and defensive backs must be 3 yards off of the line of scrimmage. One defensive back or linebacker per every wide receiver may line up on the line of scrimmage as long as the defensive player is lined head-up on the wide receiver. A goal line formation is defined as any defensive front containing more the 5 players. This includes stand up defensive ends, down defensive linemen, and stand up linebackers on the line of scrimmage. If the linebacker is covering a wide receiver, the linebacker will not count as part of the defensive front.
        • No blitzing or stunting (with the exception of pinching or slanting the defensive line) is allowed. Defensive linemen are the only defensive unit that is allowed to rush the passer unless the passer moves outside of the tackles. Linebackers and defensive backs must read and react to the offensive plays. Linebackers and defensive backs should not be moving toward or rushing the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball.
      • Punt/Punt Return
        • All punts are dead ball downs. In order to punt, the offense will declare an “Auto Punt.” The ball will placed 30 yards from the line of scrimmage or half the distance from the goal line if the offense is inside of the 30 yard line. The ball will never be placed inside of the 10 yard line during an auto punt. Auto punts do not count as a play when attempting to satisfy minimum play requirements.
      • Kick Off/Kick Return
        • All kick offs will be dead ball downs. The ball will be placed on the offensive team’s own 40 yard line.
      • Safety
        • Following a safety. The ball will be placed on the defensive team’s 40 yard line.
      • Mercy Rule
        • Should a team lead another team by 24 points or more, a mercy rule will be in effect. When in effect, the winning team must run the ball. Passing is not allowed by the winning team as long as the mercy rule is in effect.
      • Overtime
        • IAHSAA rules are in effect. If a winner has not been decided at the end of 2OT, the game will result in a tie.
    • 5th Grade Division
      • Game Clock
        • There will be four quarters of play in each game, consisting of 15 minutes of continuous running time in each quarter. Halftime will be 10 minutes long unless dictated by the league administrators in order to prevent scheduling conflicts. During the last two minutes of each half, standard regulation time will be in effect.
      • Coaches
        • May have one coach on the game field during live play. The coach must be 10 yards removed from the deepest athlete on both offensive and defensive plays. The on field coach is allowed to direct the huddle and other activities, but as soon as the quarterback starts the cadence, all on field coaches must cease any verbal and nonverbal communication. Should an official find a coach interfering with a play in progress, the official will penalize the coach, 1st offense 5yards, 2nd offense and after 15 yards each. If the interference caused a change in the game that results in a score change, the official can decide if it is necessary to remove or add points to the scoreboard.
      • Offense
        • Potential Ball carrier weight limit
          • 105 lbs.(Note: Fullbacks and TE must be under weight limit)
        • No offensive motion is allowed.
        • At least three backs must be in the backfield at the snap of the ball. A wing back that is aligned just outside the tackle or tight end and is off of the line of scrimmage is considered in the backfield.
        • All offensive lines must be balanced.
        • You may have one twin wide receiver set on one side of the line. Only one may be on the line of scrimmage.
        • Point After Touchdown
          • Point After Touchdown Kick/Run (1 Point) and Point After Touchdown Pass (2 Points).
      • Defense
        • Except for defensive ends, all defensive linemen must be in a three-point or four point stance.
        • Linebackers must line up at least 3 yards off of the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs must line up at least 5 yards off of the line of scrimmage. One defensive back or linebacker per every wide receiver may line up on the line of scrimmage as long as the defensive player is lined head-up on the wide receiver.
        • The defense may deploy a goal line formation when the ball is inside the defenders’ five yard line. Linebackers must be 2 yards off of the line of scrimmage and defensive backs must be 3 yards off of the line of scrimmage. One defensive back or linebacker per every wide receiver may line up on the line of scrimmage as long as the defensive player is lined head-up on the wide receiver. A goal line formation is defined as any defensive front containing more the 6 players. This includes stand up defensive ends, down defensive linemen, and stand up linebackers on the line of scrimmage. If the linebacker is covering a wide receiver, the linebacker will not count as part of the defensive front.
        • No blitzing or stunting (with the exception of pinching or slanting the defensive line) is allowed. Defensive linemen are the only defensive unit that is allowed to rush the passer unless the passer moves outside of the tackles. Linebackers and defensive backs must read and react to the offensive plays. Linebackers and defensive backs should not be moving toward or rushing the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball.
      • Punt/Punt Return
        • Option of declaring an “Auto Punt” or a Dead Ball Punt
          • Auto Punt
            • The ball will placed 30 yards from the line of scrimmage or half the distance from the goal line if the offense is inside of the 30 yard line. The ball will never be placed inside of the 10 yard line during an auto punt. Auto punts do not count as a play when attempting to satisfy minimum play requirements.
          • Dead Ball Punt
            • The punt team is allowed to punt the ball without a rush from the return team. The return team is allowed to raise their arms, but must not come in contact with the punt team.
            • The ball will be downed as soon as it is in possession by the return team. If the ball touches a player on the return team and rolls forward, the ball is dead and will be placed at the point of contact.
            • All punt return teams must have at least 9 defensive players on the line of scrimmage.
            • No fake punts are allowed.
            • Should a bad snap occur, the punter is allowed to pick the ball up and punt without a rush. The ball cannot be advanced.
            • No players from the punt team are allowed to run downfield.
            • The punter must remain inside of the offensive tackles when punting.
      • Kick Off/Kick Return
        • All kick offs will be dead ball downs. The ball will be placed on the offensive team’s own 40 yard line.
      • Field Goal/PAT
        • There is no defensive rushing allowed during the kick.
        • After the kick, the ball is dead.
        • Fake field goals and fake PATs are not allowed.
      • Safety
        • Following a safety. The ball will be placed on the defensive team’s 40 yard line.
      • Mercy Rule
        • Should a team lead another team by 24 points or more, a mercy rule will be in effect. When in effect, the winning team must run the ball. Passing is not allowed by the winning team as long as the mercy rule is in effect.
      • Overtime
        • IAHSAA rules are in effect. If a winner has not been decided at the end of 2OT, the game will result in a tie.
    • 6th Grade Division
      • Game Clock
        • There will be four quarters of play in each game, consisting of 15 minutes of continuous running time in each quarter. Halftime will be 10 minutes long unless dictated by the league administrators in order to prevent scheduling conflicts. During the last two minutes of each half, standard regulation time will be in effect.
      • Coaches
        • Coaches will not be allowed on the game field during regular season and post season games. One coach and one player are allowed to roam the sideline from goal line to goal line. All other coaches and players must remain in the sideline box.
      • Offense
        • All Potential Ball carrier weight limit
          • 115 lbs.(Note: Full backs and TE must weigh below the weight limit)
        • At least two backs must be in the backfield at the snap of the ball. A wing back that is aligned just outside the tackle or tight end and is off of the line of scrimmage is considered in the backfield.
        • All offensive lines must be balanced.
        • Motion is allowed.
        • Point After Touchdown
          • Point After Touchdown Kick (1 Point) and Point After Touchdown Run/Pass (2 Points).
      • Defense
        • Except for defensive ends, all defensive linemen must be in a three-point or four point stance.
        • Linebackers must line up at least 3 yards off of the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs must line up at least 5 yards off of the line of scrimmage. One defensive back or linebacker per every wide receiver may line up on the line of scrimmage as long as the defensive player is lined head-up on the wide receiver.
        • The defense may deploy a goal line formation when the ball is inside the defenders’ five yard line. There are no alignment requirements for any defensive players. A goal line formation is defined as any defensive front containing more than 5 players. This includes stand up defensive ends, down defensive linemen, and stand up linebackers on the line of scrimmage. If the linebacker is covering a wide receiver, the linebacker will not count as part of the defensive front.
        • No blitzing or stunting (with the exception of pinching or slanting the defensive line) is allowed. Defensive linemen are the only defensive unit that is allowed to rush the passer unless the passer moves outside of the tackles. Linebackers and defensive backs must read and react to the offensive plays. Linebackers and defensive backs should not be moving toward or rushing the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball.
      • Punt/Punt Return
        • All punts are live after the kick.
        • The punting team cannot leave the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
        • All punt return teams must have at least 5 defensive players (not including corners) on the line of scrimmage.
        • No fake punts are allowed.
        • Should a bad snap occur, the punter is allowed to pick the ball up and punt without a rush. The ball cannot be advanced.
        • The punter must remain inside of the offensive tackles when punting.
      • Kick Off/Kick Return
        • All kick offs are live.
        • All players over the ball carrier weight limit must be on the front line of the kick return team.
      • Field Goal/PAT
        • There is no defensive rushing allowed during the kick.
        • After the kick, the ball is dead.
        • Fake field goals and fake PATs are not allowed.
      • Safety
        • Following a safety. The ball will be placed on the defensive team’s 40 yard line.
      • Mercy Rule
        • Should a team lead another team by 24 points or more, a mercy rule will be in effect. When in effect, the winning team must run the ball. Passing is not allowed by the winning team as long as the mercy rule is in effect.
      • Overtime
        • IAHSAA rules are in effect. If a winner has not been decided at the end of 2OT, the game will result in a tie.
    • 7th Grade Division
      • Game Clock
        • There will be four quarters of play in each game, consisting of 9 minutes of standard regulation time in each quarter.
      • Coaches
        • Coaches will not be allowed on the game field during regular season and post season games. One coach and one player are allowed to roam the sideline from goal line to goal line. All other coaches and players must remain in the sideline box.
      • Offense
        • All Potential Ball carrier weight limit
          • 135 lbs. (Note: Fullbacks and TE must be under weight limit)
      • Punt/Punt Return
        • All punters must be under the non-ball carrier weight limit.
      • Kick Off/Kick Return
        • All players over the ball carrier weight limit must be on the front line of the kick return team.
      • Field Goal/PAT
        • There is no defensive rushing allowed during the kick.
        • After the kick, the ball is dead.
        • Fake field goals and fake PATs are not allowed.
      • Overtime
        • IAHSAA rules are in effect. If a winner has not been decided at the end of 2OT, the game will result in a tie.
      • Mercy Rule
        • IAHSAA rules are in effect.
  1. Playoffs
  • At completion of the regular season, the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League administrators will organize the post-season tournament. The administrators will select the participating teams, notify them where and when the games will be played, and organize all other relevant information regarding post-season play.
  • Teams will be selected for post-season play based on their regular season records. If a team is discovered to have violated any sportsmanship or fair play rules, disregarded practice regulations, utilized any non-approved coaches or players, or any other blatant violation of the league rules, the team may be excluded from post-season play.
  • Recognized IAHSAA regulations will be referenced when seeding post-season tournaments.
  1. Grievance/Appeal Procedure
  • This procedure is available to address all complaint regarding the operation of the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League. This procedure is specifically for reviewing the violation of a particular Mid-Iowa Youth Football League policy. This procedure is not for reviewing other league’s policies or judgment calls by officials.
  • All grievances must be emailed, or post marked and mailed to the League Administrators within 72 hours of the incident.
  • If the complaint is found to be valid, the Board of Directors will determine the appropriate disciplinary action.
  • Administrative Review
    • Any situation or circumstance not covered by the Mid-Iowa Youth Football League Rules shall be referred to the Board of Directors for a final determination.

The Mid-Iowa Youth Football League reserves the right to modify, change, or create any rule or policy that is deemed appropriate and in the best interest of the program, it’s participants, coaches, parents, spectators, or volunteers. All changes to the rules are at the discretion of the Board of Directors and may be implemented with or without prior notice.