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Tournament Rules

  1. GRADE/AGE GROUP

    1. Teams will be established by three grade/age groups.  All players will play at the grade level in which they will be in school this coming fall.  The ONLY exception to this will be where the player’s age EXCEEDS the requirements below.  This is a GRADE FIRST tournament, age requirements are not intended to allow a player to play down a grade.  A player will play in his grade unless he is too old per the requirements below:

      1. 2nd/3rd/4th Grade: A player who is 10 years old who will not reach the age of 11 on or before August 1st will be eligible to play in the 3rd/4th grade level.  Players in the second grade may ONLY play in the JV skill level.  A 5th grader who meets the age requirement for 4th grade is NOT ELIGIBLE to play down a grade.

      2. 5th/6th Grade: A player who is 12 years old who will not reach the age of 13 on or before August 1st will be eligible to play 5th/6th grade level.  A 7th grader who meets the age requirement for 6th grade is NOT ELIGIBLE to play down a grade.

      3. 7th Grade: A player who is 14 years old who will not reach the age of 15 on or before August 1st will be eligible to play 7th/8th grade level.  No player who will be attending the 9th grade during the upcoming school year is eligible to play down, regardless of age.  No exceptions to any of these age requirements. 

         

  2. WEIGHT LIMITS

    1. All players shall be weighed prior to the beginning of the season.  The official weigh-in date will be established by the league for each area.  This will be the player’s official playing weight.  The league reserves the right to hold a second weigh-in partway through the season.  Each team participating will be required to play orange stickers on the back of the helmets of all ineligible ball carriers as well as all players over the legal weight for their division.  Penalty for a player not having the required sticker will be 10 yards or half the distance to the goal AND loss of down.  Coaches wishing to challenge a player’s eligibility must use a timeout.  If overruled, they will be charged with the timeout. 

OFFENSIVE PLAYER WEIGHT LIMITS

3rd

4th

5th/6th JV

5th/6th Varsity

7th

8th

100 lbs

100 lbs

120 lbs

135 lbs

160 lbs

180 lbs


                Weigh-ins: Each player will be allowed 1 pound to allow for t-shirt and shorts.  Each
               player is only to be weighed one time.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

    1. Offensive players who are over the league weight requirements for their age divisions are not allowed to advance the ball at any time.  They may not line up at either a tight end position, eligible receiver position, or enter the backfield.  They may punt, kick field goals, kick extra points, or kick off, but they CANNOT ADVANCE THE BALL FROM THESE POSITIONS.  If there is a muff or fumble, the ball is dead at that spot.  On kickoffs, any front-line player who is over the legal weight limit may advance the ball.  The overweight player must be the player who made the initial contact with the ball.  If any player on the second or third line over the weight limit who gains control of the ball, the ball will be dead at that spot. 

    2. Turnovers (Interceptions and Fumbles): Any defensive player who initially gains possession of an offensive turnover may advance the ball.  No trick plays designed to have a player over the weight limit will be allowed.

       

  1. PLAYING FIELDS

    1. 3rd/4th Grade and 5th/6th Grade will play on a field measuring 40X80 yards.

    2. 7th/8th Grade will play on fields measuring 50X100 yards.

    3. Where available, an area from goal line to goal line 10 yards from each sideline and end zones must be cleared of everyone, except for players, coaches, and officials.  Each coach shall be responsible for the area adjoining their bench and must keep all players and coaches inside the 25-yard lines.  Chain crews must remain professional at all times; encouragement of players is allowed, but instructions or coaching is not.

       

  2. EQUIPMENT

    1. Teams must supply their own football for games.  The officials reserve the right to determine if the balls supplied are appropriate for their respective age group.

    2. Face shields can only be clear.

    3. No jewelry, ‘skull’ caps, earrings or body art will be allowed.

    4. Players must wear full mouthpieces attached to helmets.  Players with specialized mouthpieces must provide a doctor’s note and report to the head official. 

    5. Players may wear 1-inch eye black only; no face paint will be allowed. 

    6. No casts of any kind are allowed.  Players wearing a cast or hard brace will be ineligible for play until the item is removed. 

    7. Only mascot emblems are allowed on helmets; no ‘award’ stickers will be allowed.

       

  3. CONTROL OF BEHAVIOR

    1. The purpose of providing a tournament experience for the players is to provide them with an environment of sportsmanship that involves not only competition and skill, but also learning.

    2. All of this can be achieved without foul and abusive language, unsportsmanlike behavior, and poor sportsmanship.  The official in charge of the game as well as members of the tournament committee are given authority to determine the level of sportsmanship in question and each team, coach, and sideline will be notified. After notification, if the problem in question persists, those coaches, players, or parents may be removed. Any coach, fan, or player removed will be ineligible for the remainder of the tournament games. This rule is nonnegotiable.

    3. Head coaches are responsible for their players, coaches, and parents. Please ensure that your team, coaches, and fans are representing your program in the most positive way possible. 

    4. Abusive language and poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated; this is not a gray area. We have our board members available throughout the tournament as well as local law enforcement, emergency responders, and area highway patrol available to assist any of our guests.

  4. PLAYING RULES

    1. Official rules:  Missouri high school rules will be followed as specifically provided by the rules.

      1. Length of quarters:  All grade levels will play 25 minute halves with the clock stopping the last two minutes of each half using high school rules on when to stop.  The clock will be stopped on touchdowns for 1 minute 30 seconds. Each team will be allowed 3 timeouts per half.  Only head coaches will be allowed to communicate with the referee. A penalty that occurs just outside of the last 2 minutes of each half that requires a coaches/officials conference, the officials may stop the clock at the 2-minute mark.  For example, a penalty that requires an officials conference occurs with 2 minutes 14 seconds left in the half, the officials will not stop the game clock until the 2-minute mark and restart on the ready to play whistle.

      2. Kickoff: 3rd/4th and 5th/6th kickoffs will be initiated from the 30-yard line of the kicking team. 7th and 8th will kick off from the 40-yard line. Teams have 4 choices at opening coin toss: kick the ball, receive the ball, defer their choice to the second half, or which goal to defend.

      3. During a 3rd/4th and 5th/6th game, after a safety, the ball will be put in play by means of a free kick from the 15-yard line. After a touchback, the ball will be put in play in any manner feasible from the 15-yard line.  7th and 8th will have a free kick from the 20-yard line.

      4. Major penalties for 3rd/4th and 5th/6th shall be 10 yards; 7th and 8th shall be 15 yards.

      5. Teams will be allowed to “spike“ the ball to stop the clock.

      6. Illegal ball carrier penalties will carry a loss of down and 15-yard penalty or half the distance to the goal marked off from the original line of scrimmage. The second offense will result in disciplinary action and removal of the coach from the game, which carries a 1-game suspension.

      7. Point-after-touchdown shall be executed from the 2-1/2 yard line. Successful conversion will be awarded 1 point from scrimmage and two points for a kick for all age groups.

      8. Kick to feel goals and extra point rules:  If a 3rd/4th or 5th/6th grade team chooses to try a kicked extra point or field goal, the opposing defense will be played as follows: Five down lineman with no player directly over the center; players may lineup outside the tight end. There will be no contact allowed on the center, holder, or kicker. Fake extra points or field goals will not be allowed. Once the ball is snapped, the kicking team must make a clear attempt to kick the ball.  Any ball not kicked is dead. 7th and 8th grade will play a full defense in all extra point plays and field goals per high school rules.

      9. The 3rd/4th Grade shall use any defense as long as there are no more than 5 players on the line of scrimmage.  Defensive linemen will not be allowed to line up over the center and/or blitz the A gap.  This is to protect our centers.  Linebackers must be 5 yards off the ball or no closer than the first-down marker.  Short-yardage defense and goal line: Teams must play a 4-3 defense with linebackers no closer than the first down marker or on the goal line.  Linebackers: Must be a minimum of 5 yards off the ball or the first down/goal line marker if less than 5 yards.  In the even the ‘yards to go’ is less than 1 yard, the linebackers must be a minimum of 1 yard off the ball.  Safeties and Corners: May play inside or outside the ‘box’ and must line up 2 yards deeper than the linebackers. 

      10. Illegal defense penalties will be as follows: 10-yard penalty and will be a ‘live-ball” foul.  If the offending team repeatedly violates this rule, the coach may be removed if, in the official’s judgment, the coach will not abide by the rules. 

      11. 30-second huddles will be enforced at all levels. 

      12. During 3rd/4th games, one offensive and defensive coach will be allowed on the field.  No other coaches at any other levels will be allowed.  While these coaches are on the field, they are only allowed to help get the kids (players) set up and started.  The 30-second clock will still apply.  Once an offense snaps the ball, coaches need to stay back and quiet.  If a coach continues to coach during the play, the referee has the right to remove the coach for the rest of the game after sufficient warning.  There will be a 5-yard dead-ball penalty for offensive coaches and a 5-yard live-ball penalty for defensive coaches who violate this rule.  Coaches are not to consistently criticize or question officials during or after plays while on the field.  If a penalty is necessary in the official’s opinion, the 5-yard penalty will apply.  No teams are allowed to utilize walkie talkie systems, head set, or phones of any kind during game play.

      13. Ties: Teams are allowed one timeout for the entire overtime session. If more than one overtime period is necessary, teams do not acquire additional timeouts.  There will be no ties at any level.  If a game in any grade group is tied at the end of regulation play, the contest will be decided as follows:  The captain will re-flip for playoff position.  The winner of the flip has the choice of either offense or defense or which goal the playoff will take place.  The loser of the flip will make the remaining choice.  This will be the condition of the three overtimes.  On the first try, both teams will get an opportunity with four plays form the 10-yard line to score.  Extra points will be attempted for all touchdowns achieved during overtime.  If both teams are tied after the first event, a second attempt will be given to both teams in the same order as the first try with 2 plays from the 5-yard line.  If a third attempt is needed, it will be in the same order as the previous attempts with 1 play from the 2-1/2 yard line.  If the teams are still tied, they will play sudden death overtime.  Turnovers regular overtimes will be considered turnovers only; they may not be advanced by the defense.  Attempted kicks for extra points in regular overtimes will follow the same rules as regulation play.

      14. Sudden death: Each team will re-flip again, consistent with the rules for the first overtime.  The teams will be given alternating opportunities with 2 plays from the 5-yard line.  The first team that scores will win.  Turnovers in sudden death:  Turnovers that happen during a suddne-death overtime CAN be returned for a score.  If a defensive player gains possession of a turnover and attempts to return it for a score and is unsuccessful, the ball will be placed at the 5-yard line in accordance with sudden death rules for their first offensive possession.  Unsuccessful field goal attempts in sudden death will also be eligible to be returned for a score by the defense.  This ONLY applies to sudden death situations. 

      15. Protests:  There are NO protests for ANY reason.

      16. Tiebreakers (if necessary) for bracket

        1. Head to head

        2. Record against common opponents

        3. Fewest points given up involving tied teams

        4. Points scored against involving tied teams

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