CYFL Tackle Division Rules

1. General Rules:
A) Rosters: A maximum number of 30 players and a minimum of 14 players per team are suggested at final certification. All players must be on final roster as of August 31, 20xx. Players must a minimum of 7 years old (as of July 31st). All players must be entering 7th grade or under. Any player turning 14 years old prior to August 1, 20xx of the current season is ineligible.
B) Official Team Rosters: All organizations shall be given rosters of teams on its schedule. Players Names, Height, Weight and Jersey number shall be listed on rosters. Dates for Height and Weight Certification shall be determined in July.
C) Weight Certification: All players must be certified by a CYFL official before playing in a game. Certified weight at certification shall determine a player's eligibility to advance the ball as a ball carrier. Dates for Height and Weight Certification shall be determined in August.

  • C-1) Weight Limits (Regular Season & Playoffs):
    • 3rd Grade = 85 lbs
    • 4th Grade = 100 lbs
    • 5th through 7th Grades = None
    • All players above the Weight Limit (Stripers) shall display a single line of orange tape on their helmet (front to back).
  • C-2) Revised Weight Limits for Post-Season Play (Stu22 Tourament):
    • 3rd Grade = 95 lbs; 4th Grade = 110 lbs; 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th Grade = Unlimited
  • C-3) Ball Carrier Eligibility: Any player that exceeds the specified weight limit at the certification shall be prohibited from advancing the ball throughout the season.
    • "Striped" players are permitted to line up anywhere on the field for blocking purposes only.
    • If an offensive "striped" player attempts to advance the ball, the play shall be whistled "dead".A 15 yard penalty plus a loss of down shall be assessed to the offense.
    • The only exception is a recovery of a fumble, interception or a catch of a deflected ball by a "striped" player whereby the team shall not be assessed a penalty. The ball shall be placed at the spot of the recovery or deflected catch.

D) Lines to Gain & Field Set-Up: All tackle fields shall be divided into 5 or 10 yard zones and conforms to MSHSAA rules. The Line of Scrimmage (LOS) extends from sideline to sideline. All tackle fields shall be marked with extended yard lines to mark Coach's Boxes as follows: Coach's Box extend from mid-field to the 20 yard lines. No persons other than League Officials, Referees, Coaches; Players are allowed in the box. Team may be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 15 yard penalty shall be assessed if other persons are in the box.
E) Ball Sizes: The home team shall supply the game ball. The visiting team may use their ball if preferred. Only the designated football sizes or larger may be used.

  • 3rd, 4th & 5th Grades: Champro 500 Pee-Wee, Rawlings ST5-Pee-Wee or other ball with Pee-Wee designation
  • 6th Grade: Champro 500 Junior, Rawlings ST5-Junior or other ball with Junior designation
  • 7th Grade: Champro 500 Intermediate, Rawlings ST5-Youth or other ball with Intermediate or Youth designation

F) Jersey numbers shall not be restricted a certain position as in high school rules.
G) Fighting: Any player ejected for fighting shall be subjected to an incident review by the CYFL Board. Any player involved in a fight may be suspended for a period of not less than one game or up to the remainder of the season and/or permanently from CYFL..
H) Playing Up: A younger player can be moved up to the next grade with Registration Committee approval only. Once the player is moved, player must remain in that Division throughout the season.
I) Injuries, Accidents & Safety Equipment: Certified Athletic Trainers are on-site for all CYFL games played in Columbia to assess and treat sports injuries. "911" shall be called for immediate medical assistance for any potentially serious or life-threatening injuries.

  1. Return to Play: The Athletic Trainer has the sole authority to determine a player's eligibility to return to play after an injury sustained during a practice or game.
  2. Concussions: In the event a player appears to have suffered a potential concussion, the Athletic Trainer has the sole authority to allow or disallow a player to return to play. Any Coach who returns a player with a suspected concussion to play without consent of the Athletic Trainer or other Medical expert shall be immediately ejected from the game and be suspended from coaching indefinitely. When In Doubt, Sit Them Out!
  3. Safety Equipment: All players shall wear NFHS approved equipment. Jerseys and/or pants shall cover all player equipment. Players shall only use mouth guards which are tethered to their helmet to ensure proper use and/or prevent accidental dental injury.

2. Games & Play Rules: apply to all grades

A) Minimum Play Rule (MPR): Teams with 22 or fewer players: Each player must start on either offense or defense and play a minimum of ten (10) plays per half. Coaching staffs shall ensure each player meets the MPR. The Board shall work with teams with 23 or more players to develop a plan that ensures a minimum of ten (10) plays per half. MPR during Post-Season Play is reduced to a minimum of FIVE (5) plays per half.
B) Official Rules: CYFL shall play using MSHSAA rules with the additions/exceptions hereby termed "Modified Rules".
C) Game Clock: All games shall be played with a running clock and shall consist of four (4) fifteen (15) minute quarters. The Game Clock shall only stop for the following: 1) a timeout; 2) after an extra point attempt; 3) a delay of game penalty or 4) injuries until the final two minutes of each half. The last two minutes of each half shall be played in accordance with MSHSSA rules.
D) Mercy Rule: If at any point in the game, one team has a 25 point advantage, a continuous running clock shall be in effect until the differential is less than 25 points. The clock shall only stop for timeouts and injuries. This includes the last two minutes of each half.

  1. Times outs:The leading team may not use time outs during final 2 minutes of each half when the Mercy Rule is in effect.
  2. Kick-Offs under Mercy Rule: In lieu of a kick off after the leading team scores, the ball shall be placed at the trailing team's 40 yard line. If the trailing team scores, the kick-off is a live kick return.

E) Play clock: The ball must be put into play within 40 seconds after the ready-to-play whistle. Offensive team shall be penalized five yards for delay of game if it fails to put the ball in play by either snap or free kick before the play clock expires. The Game Clock shall stop for the delay of game penalty and resume running when the ball is put into play on the next play.
F) Half time: Shall consist of a seven (7) minute period plus three (3) minutes for warm ups.
G) Regular Season Overtime Period: The ball shall be placed at the 10 yard line and each team shall get one set of downs to score. If the score remains tied after this set of downs then the game shall stand as a tie.
H) Post Season Overtime Periods: The ball shall be placed at the 10 yard line and each team shall get one set of downs to score. If the score remains tied after this set of downs then the process shall be repeated until the score is no longer tied.
I) Chains: The "home" team is responsible for working the chains. The chains must stay on the home team side of the field.


3. Modified Rules:Reminder for All Grades:During all place kicks and punts, defensive players shall not line up over or engage the center. Safety: A safety is worth -2- points. After a safety is scored, the ball is put into play by a free kick. The team that was scored upon must kick the ball from their own 20-yard line and may punt, drop kick or place kick the ball. Note: a free kick is a live return.

  • 6th and 7th Grades: MSHSAA rules shall be used, with only the following exception:
    • Points after Touchdown: -1- extra point for run or pass conversion; or -2- extra points for kicking the ball the through uprights.
  • 5th Grade: MSHSAA rules shall be used, with the following exceptions:
    1. Kick-off: All kick-offs are live returns.
    2. Kicking: Place kicking shall be allowed as a "dead" ball play. Defense must take a knee.A deep snap is required. Ball holder must be on a knee, receive and place the ball for kick. If ball touches ground during the snap, holder may retrieve the ball and resume ball placement.
    3. Points after Touchdown
      • 1- extra point for run or pass conversion;
      • 2- extra points for kicking the ball the through uprights.
    4. Punting: All punts shall be dead ball play.Defense must take a knee. A deep snap is required. Ball shall be placed where receiving team catches or secures the ball.
    5. Safety: After a safety is scored, the ball is put into play by a free kick. Note: a free kick is a live return.
    • The offense may kick-off or punt from their 20 yard line.
    • Players shall align for regular kick-off and play a live return even if the ball is punted (free kick).
  • 3rd and 4th Grades: MSHSAA rules shall be used, with the following exceptions:
    • A) Coaches on the fields: One coach shall be allowed on the field for the offensive and defensive teams during a game. When the quarterback starts his cadence the coaches must stop coaching (stop talking and communicating to the players) and must be 10 yards behind the deepest player or official, whichever is the furthest and must remain that distance throughout the entirety of the play. A 5 yard penalty shall be assessed with a repeat of down for failure to stop coaching during or running with the play.
    • B) Defense: All interior defensive linemen (offensive tackle to offensive tackle) must be in a three or four point stance at the snap of the ball. A maximum of -6- players may be on the line of scrimmage (sideline to sideline) at the snap of the ball. No player may line up directly over the center.
      • B-1) Defensive alignment permitted:6-3, 5-4, 4-5, or 3-6.
        • Cornerbacks must align 5 yards outside the Defensive End or be lined up over a receiver.
        • Linebackers and Safeties must align and remain at least 5 yards from the line of scrimmage until the ball is snapped. Players may blitz from their 5 yard alignment after the ball is snapped.
        • If more than -6- players are closer than 5 yards of the LOS at the snap of the ball, a 5 yard penalty shall be assessed to the defense with a repeat of down.
      • B-2) Red Zone Defense:Any defensive alignment is permitted from the 20 yard line to Goal Line.
  1. Kick-off: All kick-offs are live returns.
  2. Kicking: Place kicking shall be allowed as a "dead" ball play. Defense must take a knee.A deep snap is required. Ball holder must be on a knee, receive and place the ball for kick. If ball touches ground during the snap, holder may retrieve the ball and resume ball placement.
  3. Points after Touchdown
    • 1- extra point for run or pass conversion;
    • 2- extra points for kicking the ball the through uprights.
  4. Punting: All punts shall be dead ball play.Defense must take a knee. A deep snap is required. Ball shall be placed where receiving team catches or secures the ball.
  5. Safety: After a safety is scored, the ball is put into play by a free kick. Note: a free kick is a live return.
    • The offense may kick-off or punt from their 20 yard line.
    • Players shall align for regular kick-off and play a live return even if the ball is punted (free kick).
    • Snaps fumbled while under center will be whistled "dead".
    • Snaps fumbled while in the shotgun will be a "live" ball.
  6. Offense "Snaps" (Center / Quarterback Exchange): Exchange of the ball must be between the center's legs and moves backwards into the quarterback's hand.
Download Tackle Division Rules Revised 09.2014 & posted online 09.2014