Junior Plainsmen Rules

Revised September 2021

Coin Toss: There will be 3-coin tosses to ensure all Offensive & Defensive squads from both teams play each other over the course of a game. Visiting team changes Offensive and Defensive Squads each quarter, Home team changes at the half.
1 Visiting Team calls Heads or tails to determine what team gets to select to start on Offense, Defense, or defer their choice to the second half.
2 Home Team will choose Heads to represent their “X” squad and Tails for their “Y” squad. The coin toss determines what Home team squad plays offense for the 1st half and their other Squad will play Offense during the 2nd half, playing Defense during the other half.
3 Visiting Team repeats the process of the 2nd coin toss, but changes squads each quarter.

Base Junior Plainsmen Rules

1 There are no Kick-Offs, play starts on the 35-yard line. Any player may advance a fumble. Fake fumbles are prohibited. The League provides footballs (no personal footballs will be used in the game) Football cleats with rubber or plastic cleats are required (no metal cleats). Sneakers are prohibited. Mouthpieces must be attached to the facemask and wore during play..
2 Each quarter last 10 minutes and is played per regular football time, complete with stopped clock for incomplete pass, out-of-bounds, penalties, first down etc. Each team is allowed 3 timeouts per half.
3 Teams are allowed 30 seconds from the time the ball is spotted to run a play. Offense MUST huddle before each play
4 Offenses may run hurry Up/2 minute offense/ no huddle for the last 2 minutes of the 2nd and 4th quarters.
5 One coach can be beyond the 35-yard line. All other coaches & players must stay within the 35-yard lines.
6 Two coaches are permitted on the field during a time-out. In the event of an injury, coaches are allowed on the field to check on the injured player but are not allowed in the huddle or provide players instructions.
7 Defense is awarded 2 points for a safety, and their Offensive squad takes over possession of the ball 1st & 10 from the 50-yard line.
Kicking: Extra Points & Field Goals may be kicked. Both are “free” plays (the clock does not run). The defensive squad is not allowed to rush & cannot return missed attempts. They CAN 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. The Offense MUST inform the Referee that they will be kicking a Field Goal or Extra Point. Once Notified, The Official will notify the opposing team. The Official will center the ball in the middle of the field prior to the snap. The ball must be snapped and placed at least 5-yards behind the line of scrimmage, directly behind the center.
Extra Points: Following touchdowns, “extra points” may be attempted as a regular play (run/pass) or kicked. Extra point and field goal kicks are from a flat block. Scoring for extra points is as follows:
1 Point: Ball snapped from the 3 and kicked from at least the 8 yard line
2 Points: Run or Pass from the 5 yard line
Punting: Punting is considered a dead play. Any player may punt. The defense will remain in their position except for the player receiving the punt. The punting team can NOT go downfield following the punt.  The receiving team will take over position where the punted ball is controlled.
Playing Time – All players are required to play 2 quarters on offense and 2 quarters on defense. A player can play a maximum of 3 quarters. Skill players can’t play more than 2 quarters in the backfield. Players must stay in the position on the lineup submitted prior to the game, unless an injury occurs.
 Lineman – All players playing line will be rated as strong side or weak side based on draft position and/or combine rating. On offense the strong side linemen play on the right. On defense the strong side lineman play on the left.
 Lineup Submission – All coaches are required to submit their lineup no later than Thursday night for Saturday games. The league will review the lineup. Approved lineups will be shared with the opposing team’s head coach.


Offensive Rules

1 The offense may run a split formation and is NOT ONLY limited to the “I” formation.  – In the I formation, The Fullback (FB) and Tailback (TB) must lineup directly behind the Quarterback (QB). The Power Back (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 PB 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. Players will also be allowed to be motion (ex. Jet Sweep). Players can shift as long as they are set prior to the snap.
2 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 PB in the Slot position with a split end on the same side is also allowable. Blocking below the waist and Crack back blocks are prohibited. Wide Receivers can be split as wide as needed.
3 Coaches are encouraged to include plays for each running back/end to carry or receive the ball. Coaches will call plays that position their team to win the game. The 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. Except for the QB a back/end   may not TOUCH the ball 3 times in a row. A touch includes carrying, receiving, or throwing a pass. For example, the TB has carried the ball for two consecutive plays, he many not throw a TB pass on the third consecutive play since this qualifies as a touch. The QB is excluded from the 3 consecutive touch rules 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.
4 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. Play cannot start until the second sound. For example: QB must say Ready (or Down) and can go on any subsequent count.
5 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 if the ball begins vertically to the line.

Center position can be played by a “back” weight or a weak side lineman. Strong side lineman can NOT play center.

6 When the offense is in a wing or slot formation (PB lined up outside the offensive tackle), the FB can offset behind either guard, but must remain at his normal depth of at least one yard. The shotgun formation is allowed with the QB approximately 5 yards behind the center. The FB and TB are positioned on each side of the QB, while the PB 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 PB and FB on each side of the QB and the TB 2-3 yards directly behind the QB. Must have 2 backs in backfield.

Defensive Rules

1 The Defense must play a 6-2-2-1 formation, consisting of 6 defensive linemen (2 DG, 2 DT, 2 DE), 2 linebackers, 2 cornerbacks and 1 Safety
2 The defensive linemen (DE to DE) must be within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage until the ball is snapped. 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. The Defensive Ends may line up as wide as desired. 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, (No Shooting or Blitzing A Gap). The linebackers must line up 3-5 yards directly behind the Defensive Guards; directly behind or shaded to outside shoulder. 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.
3 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, 3, 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”. DEs and DTs must make contact with offensive line when rushing (No Shooting or Blitzing A Gap)
4 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.
If a team is winning by 3 touchdowns (Three “6” Point Scores), the leading Offense must NOT attempt a passing play. All running plays must be run between the Tackles. Once the ball breaks the line of scrimmage, the runner can run freely. The offense of the trailing team in these situations is not restricted in any way. If the score reduces to less than 3 TD’s, the leading team can revert to no restrictions. Coaches that attempt to run up the score will be subject to review by the Executive Board. Offensive play that does not adhere to the above restrictions will result in a 5-yard penalty.




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