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Caledonia Youth Football

Caledonia Youth Football


  • Possession: the visiting team will start with the ball in the first half and the home team will start with the ball in the second half.
  • Direction: the home team will choose which direction they want to go in the first half and then teams will switch directions in the second half.
  • Starting position: there are two categories for starting position of a drive.
    • At the start of a half, after a score, after a “punt”, or after a change of possession caused by the opposing team failing to score on 3rd down on their opponents side of the field; the offensive team will start on their own 5-yard line.
    • After a turnover or if the opposing team failed their 4th down attempt on their own side of the field; the offensive team will start at the spot of the ball.
  • Downs: when an offensive team takes possession on their own side of the field they have four downs to cross midfield. Once they cross midfield they will earn a first down. After they cross midfield, they have three downs to score.
    • If an offensive team fails to cross midfield after three downs, they can either “punt” or go for a first down. The offensive must declare their decision to the ref prior to lining up.
    • If they “punt”, the opposing team will start with the ball at their own 5-yard line.
    • If they go for it and cross midfield, the offensive team will earn a first down.
    • If they go for it and fail to cross midfield, the opposing team will start with the ball at the spot.
  • Scoresheet: at the end of the game each head coach will fill out and validate the score sheet. The sheet will include basic game information such as the score but also feedback from the coaches and refs. The score from this sheet will be used to determine standings, and feedback will be used to make sure coaches, players, and refs are following the rules and practicing good sportsmanship.
  • Playing time: playing time will not be monitored or enforced because it is logistically next to impossible. Coaches should always remember this is a youth sport and the purpose is to develop our kids while making sure they have fun and practice good sportsmanship. Games will get competitive but it is expected that playing time is fair throughout the regular season, unless a player either chooses or cannot safely play a position. During the playoffs, playing time can be more selective but every player should still play in games.


  • Required: all players must have their jerseys tucked in, flags at their sides, and mouthpieces in.
  • Optional: players can wear soft helmets or sunglasses as long as they are secured. They may also wear gloves, long sleeves, winter hats, or braces as long as the metal is not exposed.
  • Not allowed: metal cleats, baseball hats, or flags that are the same color as the shorts. The flag and short combo should not be an issue based on how we assigned teams and gear.


  • Size: fields will be 25 yards wide and 64 yards long including two 7-yard endzones.
  • Out of bounds: if a player steps on a boundary line, they are out of bounds.
  • No run zones: depending on your division there may be areas where you cannot run the ball.
    • 6u/8u: no restrictions on running plays
    • 10u/12u: within 5-yards of midfield and the endzone (this includes a 1-point conversion)


  • Game: each game consists of two 24-minute halves played with a running clock. Halftime is 2 minutes.
  • Clock stoppages: each team has one 60-second timeout per half. During a timeout, the clock will be stopped. The clock will also be stopped if a player is injured or at the ref’s discretion. If the clock is stopped for an injury, the player cannot return to play for at least 5 minutes.
  • Play clock: once the ball is spotted, the offense has 40 seconds to snap the ball.


  • Touchdown: 6 points
  • PAT: 1 point (5-yard line) or 2 points (10-yard line)
  • Interceptions: interceptions returned for scores during regular game play are worth six points, conversions or overtime are worth two points.
  • Safety: 2 points


  • 6u: 1 coach is allowed on the field assuming they are at a safe distance while the ball is in play.
  • 8u: 1 coach is allowed on the field pre-snap but must be off the field prior to the snap.
  • 10u/12u: coaches must remain on the sidelines.
  • Sportsmanship: as leaders coaches are expected to not only demonstrate good sportsmanship themselves, but control their players and fans. Taunting, arguing, yelling at the refs, or yelling at other coaches is not acceptable behavior. The ref has discretion to call penalties for poor sportsmanship on a team whether it is conducted by the players, coaches, or fans. If behavior is extreme or repeated, it will be reflected in the scoresheet and the coach, player, or fan will be removed from the league without a refund. Please remember these are kids and they will repeat whatever example is set whether it is a good or bad example.


  • A play is ruled dead when: the ball hits the ground, the carrier’s flag is pulled or falls out, the carrier steps out of bounds, the carrier’s knee or arm hits the ground, a player with only one flag catches the ball, the carrier leaves their feet to dive or hurdle, the 7 second pass clock expires, or a score occurs.
  • 6u: if the ball falls to, or touches the ground during the initial center to quarterback exchange, the play is ruled a ‘Do Over’ with no loss of down, once per down. On a second consecutive occurrence, the down is consumed.


  • Quarterback: the quarterback cannot directly advance the ball beyond the line of scrimmage, even if they are rushed.
  • Direct handoffs only: handoffs may be in front, behind, or to the side but the players must be behind the line of scrimmage. There are no pitches, tosses, or laterals.
  • Play after a handoff: once the ball is handed off, all defensive players are eligible to rush and the 7-second pass clock is eliminated. Any player who receives a handoff can throw from behind the line of scrimmage or run the ball past the line of scrimmage.
  • Allowed: spin moves and jump cuts are allowed.
  • Not allowed: diving, hurdling, obstructing flags, or running into a defender who has established position on the field.
  • No blocking or screening: blocking and screening is not allowed. Once an offensive player has moved from their starting position it is their responsibility to avoid contact with a defender. If they have not moved from their starting position it is the defender’s responsibility. If an offensive player is in motion in close proximity to the ball carrier, they should stop to avoid screening defenders or running with the ball carrier.
  • No fumbles: fumbles are not returnable by the defense as the ball is dead when it hits the ground and there are no instances in which a defender would rip the ball out of a ball carrier’s hands without it being unnecessary roughness. When a fumble occurs the ball will be placed at the spot where it occurred.


  • Allowed: all passes must be thrown with one hand from behind the line of scrimmage, thrown forward, and go beyond the line of scrimmage unless they are touched by a defender. Shovel passes are allowed but still must go beyond the line of scrimmage.
  • Pass clock: if a pass is not thrown within the seven seconds, the play is dead, the down is consumed and the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage.


  • Eligible: all players are eligible to receive a pass, including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Motion: only one player is allowed in motion at a time and it must be lateral to the line of scrimmage.
  • A catch occurs when: the receiver secures position with one foot or body part other than their hand hits the ground in bounds.
  • Simultaneous possession: if the ball is possessed by an offensive and defensive player at the same time, possession is awarded to the offense.
  • Interceptions: interceptions are returnable by the defense.


  • 6u: players may not rush the passer. Defenders must line up at least five yards from the line of scrimmage and cannot cross that line until the ball is handed off or thrown.
  • 8u/10u/12u: players may rush the passer as long as they follow the rules
  • Allowed: if a player is lined up at least 7-yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped, they may rush the posser. Any number of players can rush the quarterback and the defense is not obligated to identify their rusher(s) before the play. A rusher may be moving towards the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball as long as they are not within 7-yards when the ball is snapped. Players rushing the quarterback can block a pass or pull the quarterback’s flag for a sack. They may also pull another ball carrier’s flag.
  • Not allowed: defenders lined up within 7-yards of the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped cannot cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is handed off or thrown. No defender, including a rusher, can contact the quarterback unless it is ruled incidental by the ref. Offensive players also cannot block or screen the rusher. If a player is lined up within 7-yards of the line of scrimmage once the offense is set, they are not eligible to rush even if they move behind the 7-yard mark before the ball is snapped.


  • Defenders can dive to pull flags but cannot tackle, hold, or run through the ball carrier.
  • Ball carrier cannot flag guard. Flag guarding is an attempt by the ball-carrier to obstruct the defender’s access to the flags by stiff arming, dropping the head, hand, ball, arm or shoulder or intentionally covering the flags with the football jersey.


  • Only for playoffs: In the regular season, if the game is tied at the end of regulation it will end as such. In the playoffs, if teams are tied at the end of regulation it will proceed to overtime.
  • Coin flip: home team will call the toss, and the winner will determine who starts on offense. If a second round of overtime is needed, the team that lost the coin toss will determine who starts on offense. If further rounds are needed, teams will continue alternating.
  • First round: each team will take turns getting one (1) play from the defense’s 5-yard line for one point or the defense’s 10-yard line for two points. Whether to go for one or two points is up to the offensive team.
  • Second round: both teams must "go for two" from the 10-yard line.
    Third round and beyond: each team will get 1 play from the 5 yard line going out from the endzone. The team with the most yards will be the winner. The team with the most yards will be awarded 1 point added to their final score.
  • Scoring: final Score will be recorded to include all points scored for each team.


  • Games or halves cannot end on a defensive penalty unless the offense declines it.
  • Penalties will be assessed half the distance to the goal yardage when the penalty yardage is more than half the distance to the goal.
  • Spot fouls in end zone: Defensive (Ball on one-yard line, first down)/Offensive (Safety)

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