Where applicable and with changes and additions listed herein, the official rules will be the rules of the National Federal State High School Athletic Association, referred to in these rules and regulations as “Official high school rules”.
RULE 2: GAME OFFICIALS.
TWO paid officials are assigned for the 2nd - 5th grade games. The game may be played with only one official. Three paid officials will be supplied for the 6th - 8th grade games. The game may be played with only two officials. JMFA shall make every effort to meet this expectation, however the number of available officials is beyond the control of the association and as such some fields may have only the minimum number of officials.
RULE 3: LENGTH OF GAMES.
Each game shall consist of four (4) quarters. Each quarter shall consist of 20 plays for 2nd - 4th grades and 24 plays for 5th and 6th grades, without regard to the actual time involved. Only point after attempts, both sides penalized and any penalties (unless refused by opponent) do not count as plays. The Mercy Rule will become effective at any point at any point in the game when the disparity in the score is 50 points or greater for 100-yard fields and 30-points or greater on the 60-yard fields. If at any time the deficit narrows to less than 24 points, normal game rules apply. 7th and 8th grade games shall consist of four (4) 12-minute quarters. Three (3) time-outs per half will be permitted for the 2nd – 5th grade teams. Official high school rules will apply for the 100-yard teams.
After the first half, if the score disparity exceeds 60 points or greater during the game for 100-yard fields and 40 points or greater for 60-yards fields, the referee will call the official game and freeze the points on the score board as the official score. With the referees still officiating, play will continue as a scrimmage but in an unofficial scoring capacity.
RULE 4: POSITION OF THE BALL AND START OF PLAY.
For the games on 60-yard fields; Kickoff - 25-yard line; safety and touchbacks - 12 yard line; try for points - 2 yard line. For games on 100-yard fields, official high school rules apply.
RULE 5: A-GAP
JMFA defensive players cannot lineup in the “A” Gap or head-up on the center during a punt, point after touchdown, and field goal attempt.
The “A” Gap is defined as the space between the center and guard on offense.
Penalty: Unsportsmanlike conduct
RULE 6: 2ND & 3RD GRADE TACKLE BOX
JMFA teams playing 2nd and 3rd grade football can have a maximum of eight (8) defensive players within the 10-yard tackle box from 10-yard line to 10-yard line.
Defensive players that line up inside the offensive tackle or tight end must begin play in a 3/4 point stance. Maximum number of down lineman, including defensive ends is six. Defensive ends outside the offensive tackle box or tight end are allowed to line up in a standing position.
Blitzing is allowed between goal line and the 10-yard line, any blitz scheme and defensive alignment is allowed. Defensive linemen are required to be in a 3/4 point stance.
Penalty: 3-yards from a positive down position or the line of scrimmage and replay the down
RULE 7: POINTS FOR SCORING
For all grades, except 8th grade: Two (2) points shall be scored for a successful kick or drop kick after touchdown; one point shall be scored for any other successful play after touchdown. For 8th grade one (1) point shall be scored for a successful kick or drop kick after touchdown, two (2) points shall be scored for any other successful play after touchdown. If there is a tie at the end of a scheduled game (including regular season, playoff and championship games), the tie will be resolved by the 10-yard overtime procedure used in high school.
An overtime round will consist of the following:
1. Each team having an offensive possession of the ball from the ten (10) yard line.
2. A coin flip will determine which team is to receive the first possession.
3. Each team will have four downs to score. Scoring will follow regulation games rules, including extra points.
4. At the conclusion of an overtime round if the game is still tied, another overtime round will be played.
5. During the regular season the game will end in a tie if the score is still tied after the completion of two (2) overtimes.
6. During the playoffs and Carnation Bowl, overtime rounds will continue to be played until an overtime round does not end in a tie.
RULE 8: PENALTIES.
For 2nd - 5th grade, all penalties in the official high school rules shall be reduced to 60 percent of their stated value, e.g., 15 yards will be 9 yards, 10 yards will be 6 yards, 5 yards will be 3 yards, etc. 6th - 8th grade will use penalties set forth in official high school rules. With this exception: Any player, coach (head or assistant) who is ejected from a game by the officials, or causes a game to be forfeited due to unsportsmanlike conduct, will automatically be suspended for the next game (schedule, playoff, or Carnation Bowl) on the first offense. A second offense will cause such player or coach to be automatically suspended for the remainder of the season (playoffs and Carnation Bowl included), including JMFA post season play.
RULE 9: PLAY RECORDERS AND TIMEKEEPERS.
Two play recorders and timekeepers, one representing each team, shall stay together during the game, and shall record the plays, or time, thus determining when the quarters are completed. The play recorders or timekeepers shall notify the referee, who shall notify both team captions and coaches at five (5) plays or two minutes before the end of each quarter. Any discrepancies between the play recorders and timekeeper's shall be resolved by a flip of a coin by the referees. One time clock shall be used by the timekeepers. The officials shall not keep game clocks, provided there is one qualified timekeeper from each time. If the timekeepers refuse to stand together on the same sideline, the play count or timekeeping will revert to the home time. The Chain crew is also part of the officiating crew and may not coach or provide instruction during the game. Infractions of this rule will result in being penalized with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
RULE 10: GAME BALLS.
Game balls shall be in conformity with the JMFA approved requirements. Because the availability of certain brands of footballs varies from year to year, game balls will be approved on a yearly basis. Teams will use game balls issued to them when playing offense. The county board has approved more than one brand of football for JMFA use.
A. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades will play with a K2 or its equivalent;
B. 5th and 6th grades will play with a TDJ or its equivalent; and
C. 7th and 8th grades will play with a TDY or its equivalent.
RULE 11: CLEATS.
Detachable cleats of up to ¾ inch as defined by the NFHS rules are allowed for teams scheduled to play games on 100-yard fields and are not allowed for teams scheduled to play games on 60-yard fields.
RULE 12: MOUTHPIECES.
Mouthpiece is mandatory with the color consistent with the latest revision of CHSAA Rules.
RULE 13. UNIFORMS.
If there is a damaged jersey requiring a change of jersey, the player's number must remain the same. If a number change is required, the county President or designee must initial the change on the official rosters before the use of a jersey in a game. NFHS Rule 7-2-5 SPECIFYING APPROPRIATE UNIFORM NUMBERS FOR LINEMEN, SHALL NOT APPLY.
All players must wear an official jersey with number corresponding to their individual roster number. When two teams meet from the same area, contrasting jerseys will then be permitted with emphasis on matching numbers as much as possible for the visiting team.
No slit sleeves will be permitted and any player with such modification to the jersey is ineligible for play in that game. If the sleeve must be slit for proper fit with equipment, a material insert (gusset) must be sewn in to give the jersey sleeve support.
If a jersey is damaged during a game and the official deems the damage capable of causing a potential injury or a number is no longer distinguishable, the official may assign another jersey to that player for that game only. The official will discuss this with both coaches, and the name of the player and both jersey numbers will be noted on the play counter and timekeeper sheets of both teams by the official.
All JMFA players will be allowed to wear any type of glove provided the gloves do not have any metallic or protruding surfaces. Game officials shall have the right to inspect player's gloves and rule whether or not a player's gloves are suitable.
RULE 14: FORFEITED GAME.
A scheduled game is automatically forfeited by any team that cannot field 11 eligible players within 30 minutes of the schedule game time, unless the game is officially postponed.
RULE 15: POSTPONEMENT OF GAMES.
In general, the Association tries to discourage the postponement of games due to inclement weather. Games may be postponed by the County President or the home team's Area President or designee. A game may be postponed or suspended by an official if he or she deems the playing surface or conditions to be potentially hazardous to the players. If a game is suspended during play, the County Board will have the final determination as to whether the game will be resumed from that point or if the results are to be final.
RULE 16: RESCHEDULING OF GAMES.
Rescheduling of games will be done as soon as possible by mutual agreement of the scheduling committee. (In the event of bad weather, the Area Presidents/Directors are to contact the County President and a special meeting will be called to make all necessary changes). It will be the responsibility of the Area Presidents to contact their own teams involved in schedule changes.
RULE 17: CODE OF CONDUCT.
Each team shall be responsible for keeping the spectators orderly and off the playing field and behind the spectator's boundary. Shouting abusive language at a player, officials, or spectators is strictly prohibited, and violation shall result in enforcement of the high school rules.
At the immediate time of any incident or physical abuse of an official by a spectator, the officials will meet with the head coaches of both teams in order that every effort is made to identify the assailant. Physical abuse of an official by a couch will result in suspension of the coach from all JMFA activities for the entire calendar year or 365 days, commencing with the date of the infraction.
Officials will enforce official high school rules pertaining to coaches, boundaries and conduct, except that coaching from the sidelines by the team coaches will be permitted. Only the head coach may ask for a rule interpretation or clarification of a penalty from a game official provided the coach does so in a professional manner.
A maximum of seven (7) coaches will be allowed inside the box on game day. All coaches must pass a background check.
EJECTION: Any player, coach (head or assistant) who is ejected from a game by the officials, or causes a game to be forfeited due to unsportsmanlike conduct will automatically be suspended for the next game (scheduled, playoff or Carnation Bowl) on the first offense. A second such offense will cause such player or coach to be automatically suspended for the remainder of the season (playoffs and bowl games included).
RULE 18: PROTESTS AND GRIEVANCES.
A protest committee consisting of at least three (3) members will be appointed by the County President to consider complaints of Rule and By-law infractions. Each area will submit the name of one person each year that will be available to serve on the protest committee during the year.
Filing a protest: The proper procedure for filing a protest on a misapplication of the rules, not a judgment call, is to mark the following on a score sheet or play counter form before the snap of the ball for the next play. The game officials shall be required to stop play when advised by either coach that a protest is to be filed.
Items a through e must be complete and correct:
1.Quarter - time left or number of plays left in quarter
2.Position of ball - down, direction, distance and who had it - going which way
3.Score at this point
4.Description of protest - be brief
5.Signature of both coaches, (or only protesting coach and referee)
The game officials shall notify both coaches that a protest has been filed
The Area President/Director and team scorekeeper shall be allowed to attend the protest meeting
All protests of Rule or By-law infractions will be submitted in writing to the Area President, along with the score sheet or play counter form as designated above. The protest and the necessary record must be submitted to the protest committee by the Area President within two (2) days of the alleged infraction. The County President will serve as a chairperson of the protest committee; the protest committee will then render a decision of protest allowed or protest not allowed within two (2) days. The protest committee's decision is final. The officials furnished by the Association are paid officials. Protests regarding judgment calls will not be permitted insofar as the outcome of any game is concerned.
RULE 19: CORRECTIVE ACTION.
If any JMFA area member consistently disregards the Rules and By-laws of the JMFA, their membership may be rescinded. The JMFA President shall appoint and chair a review board to impose and monitor corrective action such that the membership might be retained. If such corrective action is not forthcoming, the area membership may be rescinded by a two-thirds vote of the remaining members.
RULE 20: MANDATORY PLAY.
1. Players participating in JMFA shall participate in every game including playoffs and the Carnation Bowl, with the following minimum play requirements:
a.All players, regardless of grade (2nd - 8th grades)
b.15 plays including kickoff, kickoff return and extra point conversions.
2. Reasons for not participating in mandatory play are:
c.Unexcused absent one practice (or more) per week without cause
d.Poor school performance as related by the parent
e.Attitude (justifiable), and
3. If a child is not eligible prior to the start of the game, the player eligibility form must be completed and present at the pre-game meeting of the head coaches. Players who are ineligible are not required to meet this rule.
4. If a player becomes ill, is injured or has an attitude problem at any point during the game, the head coach shall notify the head official and the play-counters who will note the minimum play count sheet. In this case, the Area Director will exercise final say if a violation of this rule is alleged.
5. Each area shall provide one scorekeeper/play counters. That person will be part of the "officiating crew", along with timekeeper, and chains personnel.
6. Each play counter (one per team per game) is required to use the league-standard play-counting sheet. Play counting sheets are to be signed by each play counter at the conclusion of the game.
7. All play counters are to meet at midfield at the beginning of halftime to consolidate notes and agree on status of all players. This shall take place in the presence of the head referee. Play counters will then inform their respective head coaches of status of all players before the start of the 3rd quarter.
8. Failure to comply with mandatory play shall not be a forfeitable offense in the regular season
9. Failure to comply with mandatory play in the playoffs or Carnation Bowl shall result in a forfeit. The JMFA County Board shall provide play counters at the Carnation Bowl.
10. Failure of coach to comply with the mandatory play rule shall be reported in writing to the Area President and team manager, or appointed team representative keeping account of players and plays. This complaint is to be delivered to the respective coach along with a warning.
a. The Area Director at his/her discretion may review film to determine that the play count violation did/did not occur.
11. A second reported offense should be brought before the board or its designated committee. If the committee or board determines that the coach in question has violated the mandatory play rule, then the coach shall be barred from participation or attendance at the team's next game.
12. A third reported offense, with a determination by the Area President or designated committee that the coach in question has violated the mandatory play rule, shall result in the coach being barred from coaching in the JMFA program for the remainder of the calendar year and an additional one calendar year beginning on January 1 the following year.
13. Failure of play counter to sign play-counting sheet at conclusion of the game may result in one-week suspension for their team’s head coach, as determined by Area President/Director.
14. At NO TIME shall a coach approach a parent or player and make an agreement to reduce the number of plays one game and increase the number of plays in subsequent games to make up the difference.
a. If it is determined by an Area Director and/or board that the above statement has occurred, the head coach of that team shall be suspended for one calendar year from the date of infraction.
RULE 21: ON FIELD INSTRUCTIONS.
One 2nd grade coach will be allowed on the field during games for the entire season, including playoffs and Carnation Bow. One 3rd grade coach will be allowed on the field during the first three (3) games of the JMFA scheduled season, one coach from the team on offense and one coach from the team on defense may be on the field for the purpose of instructing the players. Coaches on the field may only talk to their own players and may not discuss officials’ calls, and must stop talking or giving instructions when the offensive team gets in the set position. Infraction of the above guidelines will subject the coach to dismissal to the sidelines.
RULE 22: USE OF VIDEO EQUIPMENT.
The use of video equipment or filming equipment will be permitted under the following conditions:
1. Videotaping or filming or scouting must take place on lines from goal-line to goal-line.
2. No taping/filming or scouting from the end zones.
3. Taping/filming cannot impede/restrict the officials in the performance of their duties.
4. Taping/filming by either of the participating teams cannot in any manner impede safe play, as determined by the game officials.
5. No ladders, scaffold, or other elevation devices may be placed inside the spectator’s boundary line.
Failure to comply with the above conditions at the request of the game official will result in the delay of the game until safe conditions can be established and safe play can continue.
RULE 23: ELECTRONICS AND ELEVATION DEVICES.
The use of electronics by any player, coach, or chain crewmember, including but not limited to: walkie-talkies, headsets, and cell phones, is strictly prohibited. All coaches must be in the box at all times; no use of ladders, scaffolds, or other elevation devices is permissible by any member of the coaching staff. Use of any electronic or elevation devices shall subject the Head Coach to ejection from the game. See Section IV, Rule 15 Ejection