Lake Zurich Flames Youth Football And Cheerleading
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Rules overview:
*Two games are played at the same time on the field. Two games at 9am. Two games at 10am. Games on the South End (Concessions) will use the main scoreboard. Games on the North End (Route 22) will use a portable electronic scoreboard on the east sideline. Home team is responsible for the chain crew and down marker. Home team is on the east side of the field, and the visitor team is on the west side of the field. 
*Playing field for each game is 50 yards long x 100 feet (~33 yards marked by a red line).  Games will use the 45 yard line to the endzone. Ball will be placed at the 40 yard line.
*8 players on offense and 8 players on defense.  Game can continue if only 7 are available (remove the center, snap from a cone - 7 players on defense).
*Offense: Quarterback, 2 Running Backs or 2 Wide Outs or Combination of RB/WR, Center, 2 Guards, 2 Tackles
*Games consist of two 20 minute halves with a 5 minute halftime. Referees may shorten halves to 15 minutes if games are running behind schedule. The clock runs continuously except for an injury, score or timeout. A referee may stop the game clock at any time in order to position the football or clarify a penalty.  Once the ball has been set on the line of scrimmage they will restart the game clock.
*Each team is allowed two 30 second timeouts per half.
*Each team is allowed one coach on the field to call plays.  A second coach may assist on the field at the first coach's discretion to assist players with flag belt adjustments and to correctly line them up in their positions - 3 or more coaches ARE NOT allowed on the field regardless of perceived player behavior/instructional challenges. 
*A coin toss before the game is done to determine which team will be on offense or defense to begin the first half. The roles are switched to begin the second half.

Kicking:  No Kickoffs. At the start of the game, the start of the 2nd half, and after a scoring play, the offense will take possession from the 40 yard line. 

No Punting:  When a team is stopped on downs, the opposing team will take possession of the ball at the 40 yard line.

Position Play:
*Games are played with 8 vs 8 players on the field. The center will snap the ball to the quarterback.
*There MUST be five offensive players (linemen) on the line of scrimmage, and three backs (quarterback or running backs) in the backfield for each play. 
*Running backs can line up wide as flankers but must remain off the line of scrimmage.
*There is to be NO nose tackle and the defense MUST line up two yards from line of scrimmage.
*There can be a MAX of four defensive linemen within two yards of the line of scrimmage.
*A three or four man defensive front is allowed.
*The defensive line is NOT to assume a three point stance; they should have hands on knees in an effort to avoid head-to-head contact.
*Quarterback must use a three word cadence. Example: "Down, Set, Hike!" or "Ready, Set, Hit!" There is no snapping on the 1st word, 2nd word, or 4th or more words. Silent counts are not allowed.
*The defensive line players will wait for the offensive play to approach the line of scrimmage within the tackles. 
*The defense may only cross the line of scrimmage and approach the ball carrier OUTSIDE of the tackles. This can result in a negative yardage gain for the offensive team. 
*There is NO blitzing and linebackers/defensive backs may only cross the line of scrimmage OUTSIDE of the tackles.  
*Offensive Linemen MUST set in a three point stance.
*The center and two guards are the only INELIGIBLE players to receive or carry the ball. Both tackles are eligible to carry the ball. 
*Offensive players must block with their arms locked together and may ONLY block between the defensive player's chest to waist - NO DRIVE BLOCKING (this is a safety issue and must be avoided).
*Running Backs are allowed to carry the ball up the middle - between the tackles. Running Backs may also run the ball outside.

If teams do not have enough players:
*7 vs. 7 may be necessary for situations when teams are shorthanded. The Quarterback will snap the ball from a flat cone instead of the center and play with only four linemen (2 Guards and 2 Tackles - both Tackles are still eligible). There will be one less player on the Defensive side.
*6 vs. 6 may be necessary for situations when teams are shorthanded. The Quarterback will snap the ball from a flat cone instead of the center and play with only three linemen (2 Guards and 1 Tackle - all ineligible). There will be two less players on the Defensive side.

5 yards from the line of scrimmage, replay the down:
*Delay of game occurs after 30 seconds, Referees will provide a 15 second warning to run the play.
*False start - a player moves before the ball is snapped by the Center.

5 yards from spot of the foul and loss of down, these are NOT allowed:
*Flag guarding.
*Stiff arming.
*Holding or excessively hugging of a defensive player.
*Blocking in the back or clipping.
*Hurdling or jumping over players.

10 yard penalties from original line of scrimmage and loss of down, these are NOT allowed:
*Unsportsmanlike Conduct including: swearing, taunting or arguing with any player, coach or referee.
*Trick plays are not allowed (ex. wrong ball, fumblerooski).

+5 yards awarded to offense from spot of the foul:
*Defensive player cannot tackle an offensive player carrying the ball.
*Defensive player cannot push the offensive player out of bounds, they must go for the flag.

Fumbles and Interceptions:
*Fumbled snaps/exchanges/hand-offs WILL BE ALLOWED TO BE PICKED UP by the offense and the play can continue without penalty. The defense will wait for the play to reach the line of scrimmage. 
*Fumbled balls CAUSED BY THE DEFENSE that hit the ground are blown dead at that spot, and cannot be picked up/advanced. There is no change of possession unless the play occurred on 4th down
*If the defense recovers the ball by interception, it cannot be advanced.
On an interception, the defense takes possession of the ball at the 40 yard line (this is the case for ALL CHANGES of possession). 

Scoring:  6 Points for a touchdown
*Extra points can be 1 point (3 Yards) or 2 points (10 Yards).
EXCESSIVE SCORING RULE: If a team is up by 3 scores (18 points or more) the leading team’s defense must line up 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. 

On Offense: 

*Once the Quarterback is over the ball, coaches (both offense and defense) must back away 10 yards from the ball and not give any verbal instructions to their players. Let the players run the play. Coaching during the play is not allowed. EXAMPLE: Coaches yelling “PASS!” to alert defensive players. After the play, coaching may continue.
*A player is allowed to score only one TD (6 points) and one extra point attempt (1 or 2 points) per game. A lateral pitch or forward pass would be credited to the receiver only.
*Once a player has 6 points he must play center or guard (ineligible positions) while on offense for the remainder of the game, with the exception of extra point attempts (1 or 2 points). 
*Once a player has 7 or 8 points, (Touchdown (6) + extra point attempt (1 or 2 points)) they must play center or guard on offense for the remainder of the game including any extra point attempts. 
*If a player’s first score comes from a successful extra point attempt (1 or 2 points), he is still able to play any position on offense and is allowed to advance the ball into the end zone on an offensive play or interception. 
*At least 2 of every 4 offensive plays MUST be HAND-OFFS (not just QB runs this way, QB runs that way).
*The Quarterback CANNOT carry the ball up the middle. Quarterback keepers must be outside the tackles.
*As an instructional league each player MUST be given the option to play at least one half at QB and MUST be given the option to play at least 2 halves at running back during the season.
*No Quarterback sneaks inside the 5 yard line (including extra points). The play must be a pass or a hand off to another player.
On Defense:
*On defense, a player should get equal playing time at the line positions (tackles and ends) and at the secondary positions (linebackers, corners, and safeties) for each game to the best of the coach’s ability. A player cannot play a line position or secondary position the entire game or the entire season.

General Conduct:
*The Referee may remove (and the league could then suspend) any player/parent/coach for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Also profanity and excessive force are not tolerated.
*Chain crew volunteers are there to support the referees, not argue or criticize their calls. They must also refrain from coaching their players from the side lines. Let the coaches on the field do the coaching.
*Chain crew volunteers (3) must be provided by the designated HOME TEAM.