NASSAU-SUFFOLK FOOTBALL LEAGUE GENERAL RULES
1. PRE-SEASON WEIGH-IN FOR NEW PLAYERS (no parents are allowed to attend):
A. A committee composed of the NSFL representatives from each town will conduct all pre-season weigh-ins.
B. DATE-PLACE-TIMES: This information will be given out by town reps.
C. INITIAL WEIGHT: All new players must be weighed by the committee and must make the initial weight limit by the last weigh-in or be ineligible in that age group that year. Under NO circumstances may a new player be held on a roster if they do not make the initial weight. A player may strip down to a pair of shorts for weigh-in.
D. ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF BIRTH DATE: All new players must have one of the following with them at the time of weigh-in:
An original copy of their birth or baptismal certificate or passport.
E. PROCEDURES: Each new player will go through a number of stations where ages and weights will be checked and a laminated picture ID card will be made. Players will only be taken by team and must be accompanied by a coach who MUST control his players.
2. WEIGHTS & AGES:
Initial Weight 1st Game Oct 1st Nov 1st
PEANUTS ages 5&6 85 lbs 88 lbs 88 lbs 88 lbs
PEE-WEE’S ages 7&8 105lbs 108 lbs 110 lbs 112 lbs
MIDGETS ages 9&10 125 lbs 128 lbs 130 lbs 132 lbs
PONIES ages 11&12 145lbs 148 lbs 150 lbs 152 lbs
SENIORS ages 13&14 173 lbs 176 lbs 178 lbs 180 lbs
- AGE: A player’s league age will be determined by his or her age on November 30th of the current year.
- WEIGHTS FOR GAMES: Players will wear pants, hip, thigh, knee and tail pads. Three (3) lbs will be allowed for pants and pants pads (refer to 1st Game weight in #2 above). No player will strip down for any reason. If a player does not wear a Jersey, they will show the opposing coach the jersey and number they will wear in the game.
- RETURNING PLAYERS: Returning players must make “1st Game” weight (see #2 above) by week 2 of the season or they will be ineligible to play in any age group in the season.
- GROWTH: All players (except Peanuts) will be given a 2 pound growth weight increase on October 1st and November 1st for a total of 4 pounds over the “1st Game” weight (as shown in #2).
A. OFFICIAL NSFL ROSTERS: Must be submitted by Town Reps by the due dates listed on that year’s official NSFL Calendar. ID Cards for the Veteran players must accompany the rosters. Once these rosters are turned in, players can only be moved to another roster with the approval of the NSFL. A player can only be on one roster and can’t be used on another team for any reason. A player who is overweight for his age group may be placed on the roster of the next age group up only, and must be done by the final pre-season weigh-in.
B. Any town entering a team in any division of the NSFL must enter all players in that NSFL age bracket from that town.
C. The maximum number of players on a roster is as follows: Peanuts (23), Pee Wees (31), Midgets (35), Ponies (35) and Seniors (no maximum).
D. When the number of players in a division reaches 24 for Peanuts, 32 for Pee Wees, and 36 for Midgets and Ponies, the town must split into two teams. When the number of players in a division reaches 47 for Peanuts, 63 for Pee Wees, and 71 for Midgets and Ponies, the town must split into 3 teams. A town may split into 3 teams at a total number of players lower than those listed above (for example, you could split the Midgets into 3 teams at 60 players), using the procedures in “F” below.
E. If a town has only one team in a division, that team must have 30% of the younger age group.
F. If a town has more than one team in a division, the teams must be formed as follows: divide the older group of players into veterans (those who have played before in the NSFL) and rookies (those who have not played before in the NSFL). An equal number of veterans and rookies will be placed on each team. The younger group of players in the division will be divided in the same manner.
G. Towns must keep registration open in all divisions until August 1st of the current year.
H. No children will be placed on waiting lists, taxi squads, developmental squads, etc. All children wishing to play must be placed on NSFL rosters.
I. A team must have twelve (12) players to start a game. Fewer will result in a forfeit.
4. CODE OF CONDUCT
- All spectators and participants at any NSFCL sponsored event (games, cheerleading competitions, etc.) are expected to abide by both the code of conduct established by their town and by the common sense rules of good sportsmanship.
- The NSFCL has, by board membership vote, assumed the right to directly discipline any town and/or their representatives for any judged display of unruly conduct and/or infraction of a town’s code or rules of conduct. A town’s representative is defined as any coach, parent, player, Board member, etc., involved in or present at the event where an alleged infraction occurs.
- DISCIPLINARY STEPS:
- FIGHTING: An unsportsmanlike for fighting (15 yards) is an automatic disqualification from that game, and the succeeding game, for a coach or a fan it is a lifetime ban.
- UNSPORTSMANLIKE FOULS – PLAYER/COACH: Two unsportsmanlike fouls for any reason by a player/coach during one game is an automatic disqualification from that contest and the succeeding contest. The recording and documentation of this information is the responsibility of the game official(s). The game official will report all such behavior to the Head Official, immediately following the end of the game. It will be the responsibility of the Head Official to inform all coaches involved regarding the player status for the upcoming week. This responsibility will also require that the Head Official notify all officials of disqualified players and request that they be presented with the game card of that player until the suspension is finished.
- EJECTION – COACH: An ejection of a Coach during a game is an automatic disqualification from that contest and the succeeding contest, and may result in further disciplinary action at the league’s discretion.
- If a coach is ejected more than 2 times in a season, he will be ineligible to coach any more that season.
- Anyone that strikes or bumps an official will be assessed a lifetime ban from the NSFL.
- No parents are allowed on the field at any time. Each town must provide security for the officials and the opposing team. The Town Rep or a Town Official must be present at Home games to provide security.
- A hearing by the NSFL Executive board may be held to review and judge each infraction. This hearing must be attended by the individual accused of the unsportsmanlike behavior. Failure to attend by the accused will be interpreted as an admission of guilt.
- Penalties for infractions judged guilty can range from fines to suspension and/or expulsion against any town or individual.
- To facilitate the collection of any levied fines, each member town is to contribute $300 to the NSFL treasury to be held separate from the normal dues as a discipline fund. The balance (or all) of the $300 may be refunded to each town or applied to next season at the end of the year.
- Will be held on the second Tuesday of the month during the months of January to August.
- In the months of September and October, our meetings will be held every other Tuesday.
- During the playoffs in November, our meetings will be held every Tuesday.
- All meetings will start at 8:00 pm in the off-season and 8:30 pm during the season.
- Each town must be represented at these meetings by their designated Town Representatives.
- These meetings are subject to change in an emergency as long as the membership is notified.
6. CONFIRMING SCHEDULES/SCHEDULE CHANGES/RESCHEDULES:
- Once published as official, no changes will be made to the schedule of games without the approval of both the NSFL President & Head Official except in C. The Head Officials reserve the right to move a “single” home game to a different venue if there is a problem with scheduling officials.
- All regular season games played on Sunday will be scheduled youngest division to oldest division on the even hours starting with 10:00am (10-12-2-4). Play-off games will be scheduled youngest division to oldest division on Sunday only using the even hours starting with Noon. Any other times must be approved by the NSFL President and Head Official.
- Rescheduling will occur only for inclement weather conditions and the delayed game must be played by the following Wednesday. Any decision for a needed postponement is to be made by the NSFL representatives of the towns involved NOT the coaches.
- If the home team’s field cannot be used for any reason and the teams cannot agree on where and when to reschedule the game, the NSFL will reschedule the game at a place and time determined by the President and Head Official.
- The visiting coach must call the home team coach by Wednesday to confirm game site, date, time, and jersey color. If he can’t be reached, the coach should call the town representative.
- Each year all coaches will list their jersey colors on the official NSFL Roster and can’t change those colors without the permission of the NSFL President or the visiting coach. If there is a conflict with another team, the visiting team will be responsible to change their jerseys.
- Each town will have jerseys with numbers or pennies with numbers that are a different color available at their field that the visiting team MUST CHANGE to. If the teams have the same colors, the referee will determine if there is a problem.
- A team’s place in the standings will be determined by total points.
B. A Win or Bye = 2 points
A Tie = 1 point
C. In the event of a tie in total points, it will be broken using the following procedures:
1. Head to Head
2. Most Wins
3. Record against common opponents
4. Flip of the coin
- In the event three or more teams are tied in Total Points and the tie can not be broken by using any of the procedures in C, numbers will be put in a hat for the available playoff positions. Once the three-way tie has been broken, future ties will revert back to the procedures in C.
Pee Wee / Midget / Pony / Senior Divisions - All teams will be in the playoffs, and the playoffs will run for 3 weeks. There are no playoffs for Peanuts.
There will be 5 playoff tiers: Tier 1 will include all the 1st & 2nd Place teams within the 4 divisions (NFC East, NFC West, AFC East & AFC West) of an age group, Tier 2 will include all 3rd & 4th Place teams, Tier 3 will include all 5th & 6th Place teams, Tier 4 will include all 7th & 8th Place teams and Tier 5 will include all 9th & 10th Place teams.
The playoff format will be as follows:
Round 1 - the higher-place team in the NFC East / AFC East will play the lower-place team in the NFC West / AFC West, and the higher-place team in the NFC West / AFC West will play the lower-place team in the NFC East / AFC East.
Round 2 – The 2 winners within the NFC / AFC will play.
Round 3 – The NFC winner will play the AFC winner for the Tier championship.
The home team for the Round 1 will be the higher-place team. The home team in Round 2 will be the higher-place team. If both teams finished in the same place, the home team would be the team with the most points. If both teams had the same number of points, a coin flip will be used. Round 3 (Super Bowl) games will be held at a neutral site.
- PLAYOFF PARTICIPATION:
A player will not be allowed to participate in the Playoffs unless they have played in at least 5 regular season games. Every week, coaches are responsible to note (in the last column of the roster) whether an opposing player has made weight for that week or has not made weight, or did not attend the pre-game weigh-in. The opposing coach must initial his roster. These rosters (of the opposing team) must be given to the Town Rep each week, and the Town Rep is responsible for turning in all the rosters at the next scheduled NSFL meeting.
- Will be assigned by the NSFL for all regular and playoff games by the Head Officials.
- Will all be certified.
- The home team will pay for all regular season games and Round 1 of the playoffs. The NSFL will pay for all playoff games for Round 2 playoff games and the Championship Game.
- Will ask each coach if all players are legally equipped.
- Will instruct chain crew prior to start of game. Will seek home team coach or town representative to ensure that a chain crew of at least two adults is available.
- Will check for number of sideline passes and ask town reps to enforce policy. If town rep is unavailable, the official has the authority to enforce the spirit of the rule.
- Will record all unsportsmanlike fouls. This includes writing the number of the player(s) involved. This also includes the names of coaches who are issued an unsportsmanlike foul.
- Will report all disqualification’s to the head official by 8:00pm of the day of the game if on a Sunday. Should the game be played on Friday or Saturday evening, the official has until Sunday evening at 8:00pm to report all incidents.
- Regular season games will have 2 officials assigned for each game for the Pee Wee and Midget divisions, and 3 officials for the Pony and Senior divisions.
- Round 1 & 2 playoff games will have the same # of officials as regular season games. All championship games will have one additional official assigned.
- FEES – $60.00 for each game official, payable at the game site by the home team.
$30.00 to finish a suspended game.
$60.00 game fee for forfeit paid by the forfeiting team. .
9. SAFETY EQUIPMENT:
It is mandatory that all players actively participating in NSFL sponsored football games wear all normal
safety equipment. This includes but is not limited to mouth pieces and athletic supporters with cup.
10. PROTESTS: No Protests:
A rule interpretation must be resolved before the next live ball.
All Towns must have a copy of H.S. rules and NSFL rules at the field at all times.
11. CROWD CONTROL:
A. The home team will be responsible for setting up a barrier that is five yards outside each sideline on both sides of the field from goal line to goal line that spectators must stay behind.
- The home team will provide the security for the visiting team at all times.
- Chain crew will consist of two adults from the visitor’s team and one from the home team.
- Chains will be on visitor’s side.
- Cheerleaders will be on the same side as the football team.
For no-show situations, either no team or an insufficient number of players, a forfeit will be declared 30 minutes after the scheduled start of a game. The team that forfeits must pay the game fee to the officials.
No NSFL organization can have practice as a team before August 1 of the current year.
14. PRE-GAME (coaches only, NO PARENTS):
- All players will be weighed before each game, teams must be ready at least one half hour before the start of the game. The HOME TEAM will weigh in first.
- The home field scale (Doctor’s scale) will be used for the mandatory pre-game weigh-in. If a scale is not available, the home team forfeits the game.
- The scale will be set at the proper weight and not changed for all players of both teams. A player’s weight will be acceptable as long as the scale is floating (not touching the top).
- An over-weight player can not be re-weighed at half time and is not eligible to play in the game.
- All players MUST have a current NSFL ID card. If not, they should not be weighed and should be noted on the roster.
- Late arrivals will be weighed in at half-time and can’t play until then.
- Coaches MUST exchange sealed copies of NSFL rosters. These should be verified against the players present for the game and initialed by both coaches. No roster means a forfeit!!! The copies should then be given to the Town Rep for later reference as required (see 7F above).
- All players will wear the same jersey that they wore or showed at the weigh-in for the game. Any player who changes jerseys will be ejected from the game and the coach will be brought up on charges.
- If coaches do not weigh-in and exchange rosters or let an overweight child play in a game, both towns will automatically be fined $200 each.
- If a game is suspended before the half, absent players can be weighed in prior to the continuation of the game. If the game is suspended in the 2nd half, no players can be added to the game roster.
15. ELECTIONS OF OFFICERS:
- Will take place at the January meeting as defined in the By-Laws.
- The Head Officials will also be elected at the January meeting.
- The duties of the Head Officials will be as follows:
1. To interpret all rules
2. To assign all officials for regular season and playoff games.
16. DUES: for the Season - $700.00 per town
17. TROPHIES: Each team in all championship games will receive team trophies
SECTION II - GAME RULES:
1. All games will be played according to the current years’ copy of the high school federation rules.
2. NSFL ADDITIONS/EXCEPTIONS TO H.S. FEDERATION RULES:
- PEE WEES
a. One coach may be on the field with the team for both offense and defense, but the coach may not interfere or instruct the players in any way once they have reached the line of scrimmage. One other coach and one player may roam the entire sideline. Both coaches on the field must stay back 5 yards from the deepest player. Neither coach may address the officials to complain about a call or non-call.
PENALTY: Any infraction of the above rule is a live ball foul (unsportsmanlike conduct) worth 15 yards against the violating team. Offensive foul taken from previous spot of snap and defensive foul from the end of the play.
b. NO KICK-OFFS.
c. PUNTING – on 4th down only; there will be 2 options and only if the offensive team is on their side of midfield:
1. Have the referee move the ball up 20 yards.
2. Inform the referee you want to punt the ball; if the ball doesn’t go 20 yards, it will be moved at least that far. NO FAKES – No rushing by the defense
The ball will be blown dead for:
a. Kick that doesn’t cross line of scrimmage.
b. A muff or catch by receivers.
c. A loose ball that has stopped.
d. Touching by anyone.
d. EXTRA POINTS – 2 options:
1. Run from 3 yard line (1 point)
2. Kick from 3 yard line – inform officials you would like to kick. The ball will be placed on the three. Only the holder and the kicker will be on the field. A kicking block may be used (2 points)
e. Referees will permit 40 seconds for the snap of the ball (from the time it is placed ready for play).
f. After a touchdown, the ball will be put in play from the offensive team’s 40 yard line.
g. After a safety, the ball will be put in play by snap at mid-field.
h. The linebackers must be 4 yards off the ball and the safeties 6 yards off the ball, except inside the 10 yard line where they can move to 3 and 4 yards respectively from the ball. There is no blitzing allowed.
i. The defensive line must line up 1 yard off the ball and not encroach until the ball is snapped.
- ALL DIVISIONS:
a. Each team will be allowed no more than 5 adults in the team box who must have visible sideline passes.
b. Each team will get 3 time-outs per half, plus an official’s time-out at the four minute warning of each half.
c. A team will be granted an additional time-out (not charged) the first time they go ahead by 18 points.
d. The time limit for each period and the ball to be used for each division is defined below:
Peanut 15 minute running PEE WEE
Pee-Wee 10 minutes PEE WEE
Midget 10 minutes PEE WEE
Pony 12 minutes JUNIOR
Senior 12 minutes YOUTH
e. The point-after touchdown will score 2 points for a kick and 1 point for a run/pass except Peanuts where there is no try.
f. An injured player must come off the field for at least two plays.
g. There will be no overtime in any division during the regular season.
h. During the playoffs, ties will be broken using the 10 yard line overtime procedure for the Pee Wee and Midget divisions, and the 20 yard line overtime procedure for the Pony and Senior divisions (as outlined in the H.S. rule book) until a winner is determined.
i. No player will be allowed to play with a cast of any kind.
1. Senior division – according to H.S. rules.
2. Pony division – to start the game and the second half only. After a touchdown or a field goal, the ball will be put in play by snap from the 40 yard line, and after a safety from mid-field by a snap.
3. Midget division – no kick-offs. At the start of each half, and after a touchdown or a field goal, the ball will be put in play by snap from the 40 yard line, and after a safety from mid-field by a snap.
k. No nose tackle will be used on any scrimmage kick formation in ALL DIVISIONS.
l. All eligible players on NSFL teams must play in every game.
m. No jewelry of any type may be worn by any player during a game. This includes, but is not limited to: earrings, chains, rings, etc.
n. No bandannas may be worn by any player underneath his/her helmet during any game.
18 POINT RULE
When the point spread of a game reaches 18 points, the following procedure must take place:
A. After the extra point the leading team must remove four players of the opposing coach’s choice from the game. These four players may not re-enter the game, under any circumstances, until the point differential goes below 18 points, and then only after the extra point play has occurred. Each time this happens the opposing coach can choose any four players.
B. In a case where a team does not have four players to substitute, the trailing team’s coach still chooses four players. These four players will be given designated on-field positions, both for offense and defense, by the trailing coach. For example: a running back might be designated as a center on offense and a safety on defense.
C. The trailing coach is absolutely responsible to designate the four players who will be removed from the game.
D. Every player, excluding the four designated by the trailing coach, must become an active participant in the game.
E. The intentional violation of the aforementioned criteria will result in forfeiture of the game!!!
F. All members of the coaching staff are responsible for the adherence of the 18 point rule.
G. The 18 point rule will apply to all age divisions (except Peanuts), and all regular season games. Playoff Games will use a 24 point rule.
H. Anytime a team loses by 24 or more points, the losing coach must call the Vice President of the NSFL with details of the game.
18 POINT RULE PRINCIPLE
THE INTENT OF THIS RULE IS TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF LOPSIDED SCORES AND TO ENCOURAGE THE PLAYERS ON A WEAKER TEAM. IT IS ALSO MEANT TO ENCOURAGE THE SUBSTITUTION OF PLAYERS TO POSITIONS THEY MAY NOT NORMALLY GET TO PLAY. THE NSFL BELIEVES THAT LOPSIDED SCORES DO NOTHING TO PROMOTE THE GAME OF FO