The purposes of the Plainsmen Junior Football League are to:
Players are required to use the equipment listed below for practices as well as games. Any parent purchasing their own helmets or shoulder pads must get approval from the league President to ensure the model and size you are purchasing is adequate for our level of football, and a Board member must approve for proper fit prior to usage.
The league will provide the following equipment to all players:
Families must purchase/provide the following equipment:
2.1.1 – Players must attend at least ten (10) organized team practices (excluding the combine) before they can actively participate in a game, unless otherwise determined by the Executive Board. In the event players do not participate in scheduled practices following the commencement of games, player eligibility will be determined by a member of the Executive Board in consultation with the Head Coach. Decisions are made on a case by case basis. Factors affecting eligibility decisions include past practice attendance, player physical readiness and reason for absence. Decisions to limit playing time for any reason must be approved by a member of the Executive Board.
2.1.2 – The “Tackle” Football program is divided into two divisions: Junior (Fourth-Fifth Grade) and Senior (Sixth-Seventh Grade) Divisions. In some cases it may be appropriate for a player to participate either with an older or younger grade level as approved by the Executive Board. Decisions are made on a case by case basis. Safety to the player (or other players) and the player’s physical readiness are key factors in any decision. Parents will be consulted prior to any change in division. Advancing a younger player to the Senior Division is generally discouraged.
2.1.3 – For each division, based on the number of players registered within the division, the league will determine the number of teams. The league will then determine the number of linemen to be drafted by each team (no less than 8 per team), resulting in a total number of linemen to be drafted for each division. The league will then rank the players by weight from heaviest to lightest, and the X heaviest players in the division will be designated as linemen (where X is the total number of linemen to be drafted within the division as described above). For example, if the Junior Division has been determined to have 6 teams with 8 linemen per team, this will result in a total of 48 linemen drafted. After sorting the players by weight, the 48 heaviest players will be designated as linemen. Players designated as linemen will be required to play an interior line position on both offense and defense (i.e., OffensiveCenter, Offensive Guard, Offensive Tackle, Defensive Guard, and Defensive Tackle). Any player that is not designated as a linemanwill be considered a “back” weight player who is eligible to play any position other than the interior offensive or defensive line.
2.2 Player Selections, Alignment, and Replacement
2.2.1 – Combine and Ratings – The season will begin with a 2 day “combine” in which the players will perform a variety of football drills designed to display their ability. The coaches for each team will evaluate the players during the combine, rating each player. Absent players are given an estimated ranking based on familiarity of the coaches with the player. Board members will evaluate and rate all coach’s children.
2.2.2 – Protected Coaches Players – A maximum of three (3) coaches children will be protected in the draft. (1 Head Coach, 1 Assistant Head Coach, 1 Assistant coach). The Board will have final discretion on the coach’s children who can be protected in the draft.
2.2.3 – Draft Order – For each division, there will be two separate drafts conducted, one for players designated as linemen, followed by a draft for players designated as backs (as described earlier). The draft order established for the linemen draft will be reversed for the back draft. For example, with 4 teams, the team drawing the #1 pick in the linemen draft will be assigned the #4 pick in the subsequent back draft. The selections for both the linemen and back drafts will be “serpentine,” meaning the draft order will increase from 1 – X (X = number of teams) in odd numbered rounds and will go backwards from X to 1 in even numbered rounds. This will result in the teams drawing first and last getting 2 consecutive picks as rounds transition. For example, with 4 teams, the first 3 rounds would be selected in the following order 1,2,3,4 (end round 1) 4,3,2,1 (end round 2) 1,2,3,4 and so on.
2.2.4 – Coaches Player Selections – During the draft, a coaches player must be selected by the team, when no players of a higher rating are available or if the team decides they do not want to draft the higher rated players. The Team may not pick any player having the same rating (or lower) of a coaches player until the higher ranked players or coaches children are no longer available. For example, if a coach’s child is rated as a 5, and there are 2 players available with a rating of 6, the team must select either one of the two players with the higher rating of 6, or the coach’s player. That is, if the team does not select one of these 2 players with the higher rating, the coach’s player rated as a 5 must be selected. In this example, the team could not select a player with a rating of a 5 or lower since a coach’s player was available with a rating of 5.
2.2.5 – Team Composition/Squads – Each team will be divided into 2 evenly sized, equally talented squads. Each squad will play one-half the game on both offense and defense. With an even number of players on a team (e.g., 24), each squad must have the same number of players, while with an odd number of players (e.g., 25), each squad must be no more than 1 more player difference in size. For example, with 25 players, you cannot have one squad with 11 players, and the other squad with 14 players. In this situation, one squad must have 13 players, while other squad must have 12. Coaches are required to keep squads equal in capabilities. Loading up one squad may discourage members of the other squad.
18.104.22.168 – Teams with greater than 22 players (or more than 10 interior offensive linemen or 12 backs/ends) will be required to platoon players at certain positions. The coaches may determine the positions and squads where platooning will occur, as well as the players to be platooned. However, no more than 2 (two) players may platoon at any one position, and every player must have a starting position in which they are not platooning with another player on either offense or defense. Platooning players is not intended to be used as a tool to get your star running back on more than one squad. The objective of the rules above is to give all players as much playing time as possible and not take your three weakest players and rotate them all at one position which minimizes playing time. The goal remains for each player to participate in at least one half of the game and no more than three quarters of the game.
22.214.171.124 – For teams with LESS than 22 players, players can play the same offensive or defensive position on both squads. However, a player cannot play 2 different positions on each squad, and no player can play more than 3 quarters.
2.2.6 – Visiting Teams will change squads from offense to defense (and defense to offense) each quarter. Home Teams will change squads on the half. Offensive and defensive squads will change from the field at any turnover, which would determine that team alternating from offense to defense or vice-versa. The rule allows each offensive and defensive squad on the opposing teams to play each other over the course of the game.
2.2.7 – The first 4 linemen selected by a team in the draft, regardless of rating, will be designated as the teams “strong side” linemen. All subsequent linemen selected will be considered “weak side” linemen. Strong side linemen will line up on the offensive right and defensive left. If a strong side lineman misses a single game, a strong side lineman from the opposite squad can replace him. However, if a strong side lineman is out for an extended period of time, the lineman selected 5th in the draft must be “promoted” to the strong side of the line. Centers must be a lineman that is eligible to play weak side. If an extra lineman (e.g., 9th or 10th lineman) is not available, then a weak side lineman from the opposite squad may play center. Strong side linemen may not play center.
2.2.8 – If an injury occurs during the game, a replacement player should be selected from the other squad. Offensive backfield and end positions should be replaced position for position (QB for QB, TB for TB, etc.). Defensive backfield-end positions (i.e., DE, LB, CB, S) do not carry a strong or weak-side designation. A DE can substitute for either DE; a LB for either LB or any defensive back (safety or cornerbacks) can substitute for another. Strong-side linemen should substitute for strong-side linemen, weak-side for weak-side. A single player cannot substitute for a player both offensively and defensively. Teams with player overages should adjust their line up to insert the platooned player. Special situations should be reviewed with a member of the Executive Board. A replacement player may not be a player rated more than 2 ratings points above the player they are replacing (a 4 cannot be replaced with a 7). Exceptions require Executive Board approval.
2.2.9 – Players that are absent for 1 game (illness, injury, other commitment, etc.) may be replaced as discussed in 2.2.8. An offensive backfield absence extending more than 1 game requires that a new player be trained for that position. Typically an End or platooned back will be trained for a backfield position. For example: The QB sprains his ankle and will be out 2 weeks. The injury occurred the week prior to the first game. The first game the other platoon’s QB can play for both squads. For the second game, an End is converted to PB; the original PB is trained for QB. The QB’s defensive position would be filled as discussed in 2.2.8. The intent of this rule is to ensure each team has two separate sets of backfields for each game (Quarterback, Powerback, Fullback, and Tailback).
2.2.10 – An initial roster will be submitted electronically (via the league website or email) to a designated board member no later than Wednesday of game week. If the board member approves the roster, the roster will be forwarded to the opposing coach by Friday. The executive board has final decision on all rosters both prior to and during the game. Players are not allowed to switch positions during the game, unless a physical mismatch is apparent. Coaches should review the player match-ups. Squads may be adjusted at this time to minimize mismatches. This may entail some minor adjusting of the line, not moving strong-side players to the weak-side or vice-versa. A member of the Executive Board (or his designate) should concur with switching players during the course of the game. Players cannot change positions to run a “special play” or boost the defense.
2.3 Rule Enhancements
2.3.1 – Football cleats with rubber or plastic cleats are required (no metal cleats). Sneakers are prohibited.
2.3.2 – Each quarter will last 10 minutes. Each quarter will be regular football time, complete with stopped clock for incomplete pass, out-of-bounds, penalties, etc.
2.3.3 – Following touchdowns, “extra points” may be attempted as a regular play (run/pass) or kicked. Scoring for extra points is as follows:
1 Pt. – On a run/pass, snap the ball from the 3 yd. Line
1 Pt. – Kick, snap the ball from the 3 yard line
2 Pts. – Run/pass, snap the ball from the 5 yard line
2 Pts – Kick, snap the ball from the 8 yard line
2.3.4 – Ball size: A junior size ball will be used for the Junior and the Senior Division. The ball will be inflated in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance. The League provides footballs; no personal footballs will be used in the game.
2.3.5 – Following a safety, the defensive team will get the ball on the 50-yard line.
2.3.6 – One coach may go downfield beyond the 35-yard line. All players not on the field and all other coaches must stay within the 35-yard lines.
2.3.7 – Two coaches are permitted on the field during a time-out. In the event of an injury time-out, coaches are allowed on the field to check on the injured player, but are not permitted in the huddle or to give non-injury related instructions.
2.3.8 – Teams are allowed 3 timeouts per half.
2.3.9 – Teams are allowed 30 seconds from the time the ball is spotted to run a play.
2.3.10 – Any player may advance a fumble. Plays shall not be designed for an interior lineman to carry or receive the football (i.e., No fumble-rooskies).
2.3.11 – In the Junior Division only, in the event that a team is ahead by 3 touchdowns, the offense of the leading team will be governed by the following restrictions:
A. The team can no longer attempt any passing plays, and;
B. All running plays must be executed such that runner must break the line of scrimmage inside the tackles. After breaking the LOS, the runner can run freely.
Any offensive play by the leading team that does not adhere to the above restrictions will result in a 5 yard penalty. The offense of the trailing team in these situations is not restricted in any way. If the score changes to reduce the lead to less than 3 touchdowns, the leading team can revert to a standard offense with no restrictions. Coaches that attempt to run up the score will be subject to review as determined by the Executive Board.
2.3.12 – Excessive victory/touchdown/sack celebrations etc. are prohibited. Examples of excessive celebrations include, but are not limited to, victory laps, sack/touchdown dances, etc.
2.3.13 – Prior to the start of the game there will be 3 coin flips as described below
126.96.36.199 – The first flip determines which team has choice of offense/defense or deferring the choice to the second half.
188.8.131.52 – The second flip and third flips determine which squads each team starts. For example: The Warriors are the home team and have won the first toss, opting to begin the game on offense. Prior to the second coin toss, the Warrior’s captain chooses that “Heads” to represent the “A” squad, therefore “Tails” represents the “B” squad. The toss comes up “Tails”. This means that the “B” squad will play offense for the first half. (the “A” squad will therefore play defense the first half). The process will be repeated with the opposing team with the third toss.
2.4 Offensive Rules
2.4.1 – The offense is limited to the “I” formation. The Fullback (FB) and Tailback (TB) must lineup directly behind the Quarterback (QB).
2.4.2 – The Powerback (PB) may be lined up directly behind either Guard (Power I formation), up to one yard to the outside of either End and one yard behind the line (Wing formation), or up to one yard to the outside of either Tackle and at least one yard behind the line (Slot formation). The power back may be split out (behind the line) in a Flanker formation in both divisions. Only 1 receiver, End or Flanker, may be in the split formation per play.
2.4.3 – There shall be no more than 1-yard between each lineman from End-to-End. One end may be split (in both divisions). Only 1 receiver (End or Flanker) may be in the split formation. Splitting an end on one side and having a wing or slot formation on the other side is an allowed formation. Lining the Powerback in the Slot position (See 2.4.2) with a split end on the same side is also allowable.
2.4.4 – There are no man-in-motion plays. Players cannot shift into position. The no-huddle offense is not allowed.
2.4.5 – Blocking below the waist is strictly prohibited. Crack back blocks are also prohibited.
2.4.6 – Coaches are encouraged to include plays for each running back and end to carry or receive the ball. Coaches should call plays that position their team to win the game, but a goal of the league is to teach the game and encourage further participation. Coaches are encouraged to spread the ball carrying/receiving opportunities over the course of the game. With the exception of the quarterback a back/end may not TOUCH the ball 3 times in a row. A touch includes carrying the ball, receiving a pass, as well as throwing a pass. For example, the tailback has carried the ball for two consecutive plays, he many not throw a tailback pass on the third consecutive play since this qualifies as a touch. The quarterback is excluded from the 3 consecutive touch rule for the purposes of taking the snap, and passing (a team may pass as many times consecutively as desired as long as the same player does not catch a pass 3 times in a row). However the touch rule DOES apply to the QB regarding CARRYING the ball. For example, the QB cannot carry the ball 3 consecutive times.
2.4.7 – Using a “Hard Count”, head bob or other technique to intentionally draw the defense offside is prohibited. The purpose of this rule is not to discourage the offensive team from going on a long count. This is strictly a judgment call by the officials. In the Sr. Tackle Division play cannot start until the first sound. For example: Quarterback must say Ready and can go on any subsequent count including a silent count. In the Jr. Tackle Division play cannot start until the second sound. For example: Quarterback must say Ready, Set. Then play can start. (You may use any terminology you wish but it must be distinct and not intended to deceive.)
2.4.8 – When the offense is in a wing or slot formation (powerback lined up outside the offensive tackle), the fullback is allowed to offset behind either guard, but must remain at his normal depth of at least one yard.
2.4.9 – The center must position the ball vertically to the line (traditional format). No “sideways” snapping of the ball. Centers should be taught to snap the ball properly with one hand. However, two handed snaps are allowed as long as the ball begins vertically to the line.
2.4.10 – In the Senior Division, the shotgun formation is allowed with the quarterback approximately 5 yards behind the center. The fullback and tailback are positioned on each side of the quarterback, while the powerback may be in either a slot, wing or split positions (only 1 receiver may be split wide). A “pistol” version of the shotgun formation is also allowed with the powerback and fullback on each side of the quarterback and the tailback 2-3 yards directly behind the quarterback.
2.5 Defensive Rules
2.5.1 – All teams will play a 6-2-2-1 defense, consisting of 6 defensive linemen (2 DG, 2 DT, 2 DE), 2 linebackers, 2 cornerbacks and 1 Safety.
2.5.2 – The defensive linemen (DE to DE) must be within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage until the ball is snapped.
2.5.3 – Defensive Guards must line-up head-to-head with the Offensive Guard. Defensive Tackles may line-up head-to-head or on the Offensive Tackles outside shoulder (i.e., DT’s head lined up with OT outside shoulder). The Defensive Ends may line up as wide as desired.
2.5.4 – The linebackers must line up 1-3 yards directly behind the Defensive Tackles.
2.5.5 – Both Cornerbacks must line up at least 3 yards behind the Linebacker on their side. The Safety must be at least 1 yard behind the deepest Cornerback. The Cornerbacks may play as wide as desired. The Safety should be inside the Tackles.
2.5.6 – Line stunts and blitzing are allowed on the snap of the ball. (For example: Defensive linemen can drop-off into the secondary on the snap of the ball.)
2.5.7 – The defensive linemen and linebackers are required to remain set for 1 second prior to the snap of the ball. Defensive linemen may reset prior to the snap, provided they don’t enter the neutral zone. Defensive end can play out of a 2 pt, 3 pt or 4 pt stance (guards and tackles must be in a 3 or 4 pt stance). Linebackers are not allowed to cheat-up to the line. The defense is not allowed to draw the offense off-sides, or call a “snap count”.
2.5.8 – Goal Line Defense – When the offense has possession of the ball inside but not including, the opponents 10 yard line, the defense may make the following adjustments; The cornerbacks and the safety may move up to a depth of 1 yard behind the linebackers.
2.6 Kicking/Punting Rules – Junior Division Only
2.6.1 – There are no kick-offs, play starts at the 35-yard line.
2.6.2 – Extra points and field goals may be kicked. Both are “free” plays (the clock does not run) – the defensive squad is not allowed to rush and cannot return missed attempts. The ball must be placed at least 5-yards behind the line of scrimmage, directly behind the center. Upon notification that the offensive team will attempt a field goal, the referee shall center the ball in the middle of the field prior to the snap. Defensive players are allowed to jump at the line of scrimmage to block kicks. Kicking plays (extra points and punts) are dead-ball plays and the clock is stopped for the duration of the play.
2.6.3 – The kicking/punting squad should be aligned in a standard kicking/punting formation. Both ends should be split when punting. The football should be long snapped to the punter or holder. However, the center may turn sideways and “toss” the ball to the punter or holder.
2.6.4 – The kicker may use either a holder with or without a flat kicking tee or a “kick-off” tee without a holder. The holder’s toe shall not be used as a tee.
2.6.5 – The punting squad is not allowed downfield following a punt. The receiving team takes over where the punted ball is controlled. Punts that are touched by the receiving team, but continue downfield, are not under control. Punts deflected towards the line of scrimmage are placed where first touched.
2.6.6 – The receiving team should line up in a normal formation. This is a dead play but the kicking team should align as if it were a REAL punting situation. For the receiving team the lineman and linebackers must stay in their designated positions. You may NOT drop your corners and safety prior to the snap of the ball to simulate a punt return. Linemen must be on one-knee and cannot attempt to block.
2.6.7 – Since all kicks are free plays. The kicker/punter may be any player, regardless of weight. There must be a minimum of one kicker and punter. The kicker and the punter must be different players, but the same kicker and/or punter can be used for both squads.
2.7 Punting Rules – Senior Division Only
2.7.1 – There are no kick-offs, play starts at the 35-yard line. Extra point and field kicks are from a flat block.
2.7.2 – Live Punting Rules
184.108.40.206 – It’s a live football play, except no rush
220.127.116.11 – Any 2 backs/ends can be split out as gunners, and any 2 backs/ends can be covered/blocked from the defense (best on best)
18.104.22.168 – Gunners may release on the snap; everyone else must wait to release until the ball is punted. However, the kicker must punt the ball right away and may NOT hold the ball to allow gunners extra time to get downfield.
22.214.171.124 – The safety and two cornerbacks from the defense are the punt returners (no others allowed). These 3 players can be back in punt receiving depth prior to the snap.
126.96.36.199 – You can fair catch, let it roll, etc., but nothing fancy, no reverses. The player who receives the punt must run with it.
188.8.131.52 – Most important…the player receiving the punt MUST be allowed a 5 yard cushion (halo) to field the ball by the punting team.
184.108.40.206 – If the ball touches a receiving back (not a front lineman), it’s a live ball like a fumble. If the ball is punted into the line, it’s a dead ball right where the ball was touched and the receiving team takes over there.
220.127.116.11 – If the punt is not fielded and bounces back up-field toward the punting team, then the punting team can down it and the 5 yard cushion does not apply as long as the player is making a play on the ball to down it, not attempting to hit the receiving player.
Coaches Code of Conduct
Coaches are key to the establishment of ethics in football. Their concept of ethics and their attitude directly affects the behavior of players under their supervision. Coaches are, therefore, expected to pay particular care to the moral aspect of their conduct. Coaches have to be aware that almost all of their everyday decisions and choices of actions, as well as strategic targets, have ethical implications. It is natural that winning constitutes a basic concern for coaches. However, the code calls for coaches to disassociate themselves from a “win-at-all-costs” attitude. Increased responsibility is requested from coaches involved in coaching young people. The health, safety, welfare and moral education of each young person in the league are a first priority, before the achievement or the reputation of the individual team, coach or parent.
Players Code of Conduct
Players are the most important people in the sport. Playing for the team, and for the team to win, is the most fundamental part of the game. However, this does not mean winning at any cost – fair play and respect for all others in the game is fundamentally important.
Obligations towards the game
A player should
Obligations towards your own team
A player should
Respect the Laws of the game and competition rules
A player should
Respect towards Opponents
A player should
Respect towards the Coaches\Officials
A player should
Spectators & Parents Requested Code of Conduct
Parents\Spectators have a great influence on children’s enjoyment and success in football. All children play football because they first and foremost love the game – its fun! However good a child becomes at football, we think it is important to reinforce the message to parents\spectators that positive encouragement will contribute to:
A parent’s\spectator’s expectations and attitudes have a significant bearing on a child’s attitude towards:
We seek to ensure that parents\spectators within our league are always positive and encouraging towards all of the children. Not just their own or their own teams children.
We encourage parents\spectators to:
Generally coaches are responsible for enforcing the rules of the league. However on occasion violations occur that require, for the good of the league, stronger action. Therefore the following applies…..
Player ejected from a game – Should a player be ejected from a game, either by an official, an executive board member or his coach, that player will be subject to a one game suspension (which will be imposed at the next regularly scheduled game). Unless otherwise directed, the player is expected to stay with his team after the ejection and cheer them on. Additionally that player is expected to attend and participate in all the scheduled practices even though they will not be participating in the next game. Also the player is expected to attend the game they are suspended from playing in, to support his team on the sidelines. Failure to do so will/could result in an additional game suspension or removal from the league, subject to a decision by the executive board.
Should a player be ejected from two games in the same season, that player is automatically removed from the league for the rest of the season. If the player is a 7th grader, they also will not be eligible to participate in the Senior Bowl.
Coach ejected from a game – Should a coach be ejected from a game by either an official or an executive board member (yes, board members can eject coaches from the game/field), that coach will not be allowed to coach at the next scheduled game. The coach is expected to attend all practices but must not coach at the next game, although he may be directed by the Board to attend the next game (in a non-coaching capacity).
Should a coach be ejected from 2 games in the same season, that coach is automatically removed from the coaching staff for the rest of the season and may not participate in any practice or games. Note – the board has the right to dismiss and/or replace coaches at the board’s discretion.
Parent or spectator – Should any parent or spectator be ejected from the field or flagged by an official, that person will be asked to leave the field area immediately and asked not to return for the next game.
Note that the board has the right to prohibit a parent or fan from the field (which includes the spectator area) at the board’s discretion.