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Rules and Regulations

2020 NFHS Rules Changes

Additional Timing Changes on Play Clock Approved in High School Football Rules

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 6, 2020) — In an effort to eliminate a potential timing advantage gained by the defensive team in high school football, the play clock will be set to 40 seconds – effective with the 2020 season – when an official’s time-out is taken for an injury to a defensive player or a defensive player has an equipment issue.

This change was one of six rules revisions recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its January 12-14 meeting in Indianapolis. All recommended changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Last year, in an effort to establish a more consistent time period between downs, the play clock was expanded from 25 seconds to 40 seconds in many cases, although the play clock remained at 25 seconds in most cases following an official’s time-out. However, this coming season, the play clock will be set at 40 seconds following an injury to a defensive player or a when a defensive player has an equipment issue.

“The rules committee was provided situations in which the defensive team was gaining a timing advantage late in games with a defensive injury or an equipment issue with the defense,” said Todd Tharp, assistant director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee. “Under the current rule, if a play ended with less than 40 seconds left in the game and a defensive player was injured which resulted in an official’s time-out, the play clock would reset to 25 seconds and another play would need to be run. With the new rule change, another play would not need to be run.”

In the same rule dealing with the play clock (Rule 3-6-1), the committee approved one additional situation when 25 seconds will be on the play clock. Beginning next season, 25 seconds will be on the play clock and start on the ready-for-play signal when a new series is awarded following a legal free kick or scrimmage kick.

Two changes to Rule 7 – Snapping, Handling and Passing the Ball – were approved by the committee. The exception in Rule 7-5-2 regarding an illegal forward pass being a foul was expanded. Previously, it was legal to conserve time only by intentionally throwing the ball forward to the ground immediately after receiving a direct hand-to-hand snap. The committee expanded the exception to permit a player positioned directly behind the center (shotgun formation) to intentionally ground the ball.

In Rule 7-1, a new Article 9 states that no defensive player shall use disconcerting acts or words prior to the snap in an attempt to interfere with an offensive player’s signals or movements.
Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and staff liaison to the NFHS Football Rules Committee, said this language was moved from Rule 9-5-1d and has been reclassified from a 15-yard unsportsmanlike foul to a 5-yard foul.

In addition, several rules will be affected by the committee’s ruling that the head coach, prior to the game, should notify the referee as to the team’s designated representative (coach or player) who will make decisions regarding penalty acceptance or declination. Several locations in the rules book required the team captains to make these decisions, so the new language throughout the book will provide teams more options.

The final change approved by the committee is an addition to the Note in Table 3-1 related to clock times. The new Note 2 will read as follows:
“If the game is interrupted due to weather during the last three minutes of the second period, and the delay is at least 30 minutes, the opposing coaches can mutually agree to
shorten halftime intermission, provided there is at least a one-minute intermission (not including the three-minute warm-up period).”

“I am totally impressed with the thoughtfulness and discussion that went into the rules-making process this year by the Football Rules Committee,” Tharp said. “Two of the proposals dealt with the new play clock rule that went into effect last year, while another rule change now allows the passer who is in the shotgun position to intentionally throw the ball to the ground.

“Additionally, the penalty on the defensive team for any player using disconcerting acts has been reduced from 15 yards to 5 yards. Coaches and officials shared concerns that this was too harsh a penalty for this act, comparing this act to a 5-yard encroachment penalty on the defense.”

A complete listing of the football rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Football.”
According to the 2018-19 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, 11-player football is the most popular high school sport for boys with 1,006,013 participants in 14,247 schools nationwide. In addition, there were 31,221 boys who participated in 6-, 8- and 9-player football, along with 2,604 girls in all four versions of the game for a grand total of 1,039,828.

2020 NFHS FOOTBALL RULES CHANGES

Defining Team Designated Representative for Penalty Decisions [1-4-1, 1-4-4 (NEW), 2-32-5, 3-5-2, 10-1-1, 10-1-2, 10-2-4] Prior to the game, the head coach will notify the referee of the designated representative (coach or player) who will make decisions regarding penalty acceptance or declination.

Halftime Intermission Option Following Weather Delay [Table 3-1 NOTES 2 (NEW)] The halftime intermission may be shortened by mutual agreement of opposing coaches if a weather delay occurs during the last three minutes of the second period.

40-Second Play Clock Clarification [3-6-1a(1)e EXCEPTIONS 2 and 3 (NEW)] To eliminate a potential timing advantage gained by the defensive team, the rules committee approved the play clock being set to 40 seconds when an officials’ time-out is taken for an injury to a defensive player or a defensive player has an equipment issue.

25-Second Play Clock Clarification [3-6-1a(1)f (NEW)] Following a legal kick when either team is awarded a new series, the play clock will be set to 25 seconds.

Disconcerting Act Penalty Reclassified [7-1-9 (NEW), 7-1-9 PENALTY (NEW), 9-5-1d] Disconcerting acts or words by the defense has been reclassified from a 15-yard unsportsmanlike foul to a 5-yard foul.

Spiking the Ball to Conserve Time (7-5-2 EXCEPTION) The exception to allow a player to conserve time by intentionally throwing the ball forward to the ground immediately after receiving the snap, has been expanded to include any player positioned directly behind the center. This exception now includes snaps that are not hand-to-hand.

2020 EDITORIAL CHANGES
TABLE 1-3-1, 2-41-9, 3-4-8, 7-2-5a, b and c (NEW), 7-5-12, 8-2-4, 10-4-2 EXCEPTION, 10-5-1j, PENALTY SUMMARY, NFHS OFFICIAL FOOTBALL SIGNALS, APPENDIX, INDEX

2020 POINTS OF EMPHASIS
1. Sportsmanship
2. Intentional Grounding
3. Ineligible Downfield and Line of Scrimmage Formation

 

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About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including almost eight million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.

2020 NFHS Points of Emphasis

 

2020 NFHS FOOTBALL POINTS OF EMPHASIS

 

2020 POINTS OF EMPHASIS
1. Sportsmanship
2. Intentional Grounding
3. Ineligible Downfield and Line of Scrimmage Formation

As of February 7, 2020

 

2018-19 NFHS Game Officials Manual POE


 2018-2019 NFHS FOOTBALL GAME OFFICIALS MANUAL POINTS OF EMPHASIS 


Equipment Issues to be Addressed 

It is critical for all game officials to continue to strengthen their efforts to address all issues that deal with the current equipment requirements. Game officials must focus on these three areas of concern: (1) required equipment not worn properly (pants that do not cover the knees), (2) required and/or legal equipment missing or not being used correctly (no knee pads, thigh guards or hip pads), and (3) wearing illegal equipment (a hard cast not properly covered). 


One adjustment made to Rule 1-5-4 requires that the head coach will verify to the referee and another game official prior to the game that "his players have been issued all of the required equipment and they will not use illegal equipment." 


Crew members are encouraged to become very observant throughout their pre-game responsibilities and to be prepared to immediately address any equipment issues with the player and a coach. Appropriate communication with the player in the presence of the coach allows for correction to be made prior to the beginning of the contest and avoids problems during the game. 


Once the game has started, a major rule change (NFHS Football Rule 3-5-10e) for 2018 calls for an official's time-out to be declared for the removal from the game for at least one down of any player who is wearing required/legal equipment improperly or not at all or is wearing illegal equipment. It is certainly appropriate to allow the correction of the equipment problem quickly and avoid removing the player if the correction/repair is clearly possible in a timely manner (a tooth and mouth protector is hanging from the face mask or a back pad attached to the shoulder pads is not covered by the jersey). Multiple requests are NOT recommended/encouraged to address an equipment problem that continues to be an issue. NFHS Football Rule 3-5-10e is likely to get results as this concern is addressed. 


Rule 9-9 (Failure to Properly Wear Required Equipment) has been deleted from the 2018 NFHS Football Rules Book. Rule 3-6-2 no longer calls for a delay-of-game foul for failure to properly wear required/legal equipment. An important change to Rule 9-8-1h calls for an unsportsmanlike foul charged to the head coach if, and only if, a player(s) is wearing illegal equipment. 


Game officials are very strongly urged to immediately address this current problem with equipment issues early and often as the 2018 season begins. There is appropriate rule support now for dealing with these problems, and this problem cannot be ignored. It will not go away if game officials fail to take appropriate action. 


Consistent Pace of Play Throughout the Game 

The time difference in marking the ball ready-for-play from referee to referee has incorrectly varied and often very significantly. The time period between downs is supposed to be dictated by the offensive team and not the game officials. The rules afford teams the option of running their offense as fast or as slow as they choose. In many situations, teams are waiting for game officials to declare the ball ready-for-play and could have already resumed, or attempted to resume play. Once the ball is retrieved and placed on the ground for play, all game officials should be in position and ready to officiate without worry of an illegal snap. While regularity and consistency is the responsibility of every game official on the field, the referee likely has the most effect on this procedure. Situations occur such as the referee being overly patient for a quarterback receiving the play call from the coach at the sideline or other crew members unevenly hurrying to retrieve the ball as time declines near the end of a half. Such practices, as inadvertent as they may be, project an inappropriate attitude of bias towards one team or the other and additionally subtract from the fairness of the game. 


The 2018-2019 NFHS Football Game Officials Manual is clear on the appropriate procedures in the Basic Philosophy Principles section entitled "Marking the Ball Ready for Play." After the ball is spotted, three to five seconds should be the maximum time to signal the ready-for-play, and game officials are required to" hustle to their proper positions" so that the "same tempo can be maintained throughout the game." Teams want and deserve consistency in this regard. 


Timing Rules and Procedures 

While the rules allow for some flexibility in length of periods and halftime intermissions, there are set limitations. Risk minimization continues to be an emphasis in football and certain rules are in place to protect warm-up and rest periods, and these rules must be followed without exception. 


Length of Periods can be shortened: 

1. Shorten any period or periods in any emergency by agreement of opposing coaches and the referee. By mutual agreement of the opposing coaches and the referee, any remaining period may be shortened at any time or the game terminated. (3-1-3) 

2. By agreement of the opposing coaches and the referee, the halftime intermission may be reduced to a minimum of 10 minutes (not including the mandatory warm-up period). (TABLE 3-1) 

3. When weather conditions are construed to be hazardous to life or limb of the participants, the crew of game officials is authorized to delay or suspend the game. (3-1-5) 


When dealing with lightning or thunder disturbances during a game, please refer to the "NFHS Guidelines on Handling Practices and Contests During Lightning or Thunder Disturbances" in Appendix E of the NFHS Football Rules Book. If a lightning or thunder disturbance occurs near halftime intermission, this delay cannot be treated as halftime intermission. After a weather delay, by rule the second period must be completed and halftime intermission shall be declared. (3-1-3) Halftime intermission may be reduced to a minimum of 10 minutes by agreement of the opposing coaches and the referee. (3-1-3, TABLE 3-1) Rest periods are important for the well-being of the players and should be followed as prescribed. 

**As of June 2018 


2019 NFHS Rules Interpretations

2019 NFHS Rules Interpretations

Publisher’s Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented. Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2019

RULES BOOK CLARIFICATIONS: (Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.)

Page 65, TABLE 7-5, 2. Forward Pass Interference – Enforcement Spot b and c:

 

CASE BOOK CLARIFICATIONS: (Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.)

Page 33, 3.6.1 SITUATION C: When the ball is dead after a running play that ends out of bounds, the 40-second play clock is started. The umpire receives the ball from the line judge, and as he is placing it on the ground, he sees that it is one of Team B’s balls. He tosses the ball to the line judge who attempts to get a Team A ball from the ball boy. RULING: If the play clock reads 25 or less before the correct ball is in from the sideline and ready for play, the referee declares a time-out and signals to reset the play clock to 25 seconds. When the correct ball is ready for play, he signals to start the game clock (if appropriate to the situation) and the play clock.

Page 34, 3.6.1 SITUATION E: On third and two, A45 fumbles after gaining 3 yards. The game officials cannot determine who has recovered the fumble, so the line judge signals the game clock to stop while the ball is being located. A45 is found to be in possession of the ball and (a) has not made his line to gain or (b) has made his line to gain. RULING: The 40-second play clock starts when the ball is declared dead. In (a) and (b), when the ball is ready for play, the referee immediately will give the ready-for-play signal starting the 25-second play clock and signal the game clock to start due to this administrative stoppage. In (b), the game clock will start on the referee’s signal when the ball is ready for play.

Page 34, 3.6.1 SITUATION F: Team A fumbles or the ball is loose after a backward pass. Several players dive on the ball, attempting recovery. RULING: The covering official(s) shall stop the game clock. If recovered by A short of the line to gain (no first down), the 40-second play clock shall start. If recovered by B, the 25-second clock will start on the ready-for-play snap following a reset of the 25-second play clock.

Page 99, 10.1.3 SITUATION: With fourth and 10 at the 50-yard line, K2 illegally uses his hands at R’s 45-yard line during a scrimmage kick by K1. R1 signals for a fair catch at the R30. The ball is caught by R2 who advances following the whistle. RULING: R may accept the distance penalty for K’s illegal use of hands and have the yardage assessed from the previous spot or the succeeding spot. If the decision is to accept the distance penalty from the previous spot, it will be K’s ball fourth and 15 from K’s 45-yard line. If R elects to accept the distance penalty from the succeeding spot, it will be R’s ball first and 10 at R’s 40-yard line. At this point, K is given the options related to R’s foul and will likely accept the distance penalty for R’s delay-of-game foul. If R’s original choice was to assess the penalty from the previous spot, it would now be K’s ball, fourth and 10 at the 50-yard line. If R’s choice was to assess the penalty from the succeeding spot, it would now be R’s ball, first and 10 at R’s 35-yard line. (3-6-2b, 10-2-3, 10-4-2 EXCEPTION)

RULES BY TOPIC CLARIFICATIONS: (Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.)

Page 162, 3.6.1 SITUATION C: When the ball is dead after a running play that ends out of bounds, the 40-second play clock is started. The umpire receives the ball from the line judge, and as he is placing it on the ground, he sees that it is one of Team B’s balls. He tosses the ball to the line judge who attempts to get a Team A ball from the ball boy. RULING: If the play clock reads 25 or less before the correct ball is in from the sideline and ready for play, the referee declares a time-out and signals to reset the play clock to 25 seconds. When the correct ball is ready for play, he signals to start the game clock (if appropriate to the situation) and the play clock.

Page 163, 3.6.1 SITUATION E: On third and two, A45 fumbles after gaining 3 yards. The game officials cannot determine who has recovered the fumble, so the line judge signals the game clock to stop while the ball is being located. A45 is found to be in possession of the ball and (a) has not made his line to gain or (b) has made his line to gain. RULING: The 40-second play clock starts when the ball is declared dead. In (a) and (b), when the ball is ready for play, the referee immediately will give the ready-for-play signal starting the 25-second play clock and signal the game clock to start due to this administrative stoppage. In (b), the game clock will start on the referee’s signal when the ball is ready for play.

Page 163, 3.6.1 SITUATION F: Team A fumbles or the ball is loose after a backward pass. Several players dive on the ball, attempting recovery. RULING: The covering official(s) shall stop the game clock. If recovered by A short of the line to gain (no first down), the 40-second play clock shall start. If recovered by B, the 25-second clock will start on the ready-for-play snap following a reset of the 25-second play clock.

Page 232, 10.1.3 SITUATION: With fourth and 10 at the 50-yard line, K2 illegally uses his hands at R’s 45-yard line during a scrimmage kick by K1. R1 signals for a fair catch at the R30. The ball is caught by R2 who advances following the whistle. RULING: R may accept the distance penalty for K’s illegal use of hands and have the yardage assessed from the previous spot or the succeeding spot. If the decision is to accept the distance penalty from the previous spot, it will be K’s ball fourth and 15 from K’s 45-yard line. If R elects to accept the distance penalty from the succeeding spot, it will be R’s ball first and 10 at R’s 40-yard line. At this point, K is given the options related to R’s foul and will likely accept the distance penalty for R’s delay-of-game foul. If R’s original choice was to assess the penalty from the previous spot, it would now be K’s ball, fourth and 10 at the 50-yard line. If R’s choice was to assess the penalty from the succeeding spot, it would now be R’s ball, first and 10 at R’s 35-yard line. (3-6-2b, 10-2-3, 10-4-2 EXCEPTION)

Preseason Guide Clarifications: (Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.)

Page 2, PLAY 5: On third and two, A45 fumbles after gaining 3 yards. The game officials cannot determine who has recovered the fumble, so the line judge signals the game clock to stop while the ball is being located. A45 is found to be in possession of the ball and (a) has not made his line to gain or (b) has made his line to gain. RULING: The 40-second play clock starts when the ball is declared dead. In (a) and (b), when the ball is ready for play, the referee immediately will give the ready-for-play signal starting the 25-second play clock and signal the game clock to start due to this administrative stoppage. In (b), the game clock will start on the referee’s signal when the ball is ready for play.

Page 2, PLAY 6: Team A fumbles or the ball is loose after a backward pass. Several players dive on the ball, attempting recovery. RULING: The covering official(s) shall stop the game clock. If recovered by A short of the line to gain (no first down), the 40-second play clock shall start. If recovered by B, the 25-second clock will start on the ready-for-play snap following a reset of the 25-second play clock.

Helmet Reconditioning - Updated

 

 

"After Market" items to be removed from helmets to return them to original condition. Read More

A 2019 update from the NAERA:  NAERA recommends that during every football, lacrosse, baseball and softball season or practice period, every helmet should be cleaned and inspected regularly by a school or organization staff member with knowledge of manufacturer recommendations. We further recommend every helmet should be reconditioned and recertified annually unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer. ONLY a company licensed by NOCSAE can perform the recertification of football, lacrosse, baseball and softball helmets.  Click here.

 

Coaches Information

Helmet to Helmet Emphasis

Education – along with proper football techniques – is one of the biggest deterrents to concussions and one of the keys to athletes being treated properly if one does occur

 

Direct helmet-to-helmet contact and any other contact both with and to the helmet must be eliminated from the sport of football at the interscholastic level! Using the helmet to inflict punishment on the opponent is dangerous and illegal. Coaches and game officials must be diligent in promoting the elimination of contact to and with the helmet, as follows:

 

• Coaches -- through consistent adherence to proper and legal coaching techniques.

 

• Game Officials -- through strict enforcement of pertinent playing rules and game administrations.

 

Coaches must insist that players play “heads-up” football by utilizing proper and safe techniques, - not only during games, but on the practice field as well. Coaches must  shoulder the responsibility of consistently reinforcing with their players that using the top or face of the helmet goes against all tenets of the basic techniques of safe and legal blocking and tackling.

 

The No. 1 responsibility for game officials must be player safety. Any initiation of contact with the helmet is illegal; therefore, it must be penalized consistently and without warning. Player safety is really a matter of attitude, technique, attention and supervision. Football players will perform as they are taught; therefore, there must be a concentrated focus on consistently enforcing the existing rules. And contrary to most other rule enforcements, when in doubt, contact to and with the helmet should be ruled as a foul by game officials. Contact to and with the helmet may be considered a flagrant act and may be penalized by disqualification if a game official considers the foul so severe or extreme that it places an opponent in danger of serious injury.

NOCSAE - Third Party Helmet Add-On

NFHS Information


NOCSAE Statement - Add-Ons (2018)NOCSAE Statement - Add-ons


The NFHS does not perform scientific tests on any specific items of equipment to determine if the equipment poses undue risks to the student-athletes, coaches, officials or spectators. Such determinations are the responsibility of equipment manufacturers, and we rely heavily on products meeting NOCSAE standards.
 
NFHS Football Rule 1-5-1a states, in part, that “A helmet and facemask which met the NOCSAE test standard at the time of manufacture…” is required. A consideration in determining whether add-on helmet attachments are legal is that our rule specifies only that the helmet had to meet the NOCSAE test standard at the time of manufacture; helmet add-ons typically are added after the time of helmet manufacture.
 
The attached NOCSAE Statement gives manufacturers of add-on attachments (in the fourth bullet) the option to have helmets tested with the helmet add-on attached; however, this would presumably require such manufacturers to test every make and model of helmet with their add-on attached.
 
The third bullet of the NOCSAE Statement gives the right to helmet manufacturers to determine, under the NOCSAE standards, whether given helmet add-on items would render the certification void. While that may occur, we have no information that it has happened yet.
 
In the interim, absent decisions by the helmet manufacturers, under the NOCSAE standards, to declare their certifications void pursuant to the third bullet point, or absent further revisions of the pertinent NOCSAE Statement, or absent an NFHS football rules change, our position about the permissive use of such helmet add-ons remains unchanged from last August.
 
We know and understand that this position by NFHS is not as proactive as some may wish as to whether given helmet add-ons should be considered legal; however, when considering the NOCSAE Statement and the applicable rules, the NFHS is not in a position to change our Rules Review Committee determination that such equipment is permissive. 


NOCSAE statement on third party helmet add-on products and certification 


There are many new products on the market that are intended to be added to helmets, in particular football helmets, which products claim to reduce concussions and make helmets safer and more protective.  Read the entire NOCSAE Position Statement


NOCSAE - Virginia Tech STAR Helmet Rating 5/30/14

Rating System Cannot Predict Helmets’ Ability to Prevent Concussions
Protecting Against Injury Does Not Start or End With Helmet Purchase

 

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS (May 27, 2014) – The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) applauds and encourages the growing research in the area of concussion protection for athletes, including the work released this month by Virginia Tech. Coaches, consumers and parents should be aware that while the STAR rating system suggests the purchase of specific football helmets, scientific evidence does not support the claim that a particular helmet brand or model is more effective in reducing the occurrence of concussive events.  Read More


Statement from the National Operating  Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment Regarding 2013 Virginia Tech Star Rating System 

“The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) supports and encourages the scientific research being done by Virginia Tech in the very important area of concussion protection for athletes in all sports, and particularly in football. There are, however, very important limitations in the STAR ranking system as recognized by the experts at Virginia Tech. NOCSAE believes that many parents, players, coaches, and athletic directors are unaware of these limitations. Unless the limitations of the STAR ranking system are considered, the potential exists for players, parents, coaches, and administrators to overemphasize the role of the helmet in protecting against concussions. This overemphasis increases the likelihood that less attention will be given to other steps that have a more immediate and much greater impact on concussion reduction. Read More

Preseason Information

Targeting

Minimizing risk for all participants is the number one priority.

When in doubt as to whether or not a targeting foul has occurred - game officials will be instructed to call targeting.

When in doubt as to whether or not a flagrant targeting foul has been committed - game officials will be instructed to classify the foul as flagrant and disqualify the offending player.

WIAA Adaptations to NFHS Rules

Printable Version -- Please print and place in your rule book for future reference. 

8-Player vs. 11-Player

Rule Differences

 

EIGHT-PLAYER RULES

 

GENERAL: Eleven-player rules are used for eight-player football with the following modifications. 

 

RULE 1: Each team has 8 players. The field is 80 yards between goal lines and 40 yards wide with  15-yard side zones. Seven-yard marks, 12 inches in length and 4 inches in width, shall be located 7 yards from each sideline. The 7-yard marks shall be marked so that at least each 10-yard line bisects the 7-yard marks. These marks shall not be required if the field is visibly numbered. If on-the-field numbers are used, the tops of those numbers shall be 7 yards from the sideline. By state association adoption, the 11-player field may be designated as official, and the dimensions of the field may be altered. 

 

RULE 2: The free-blocking zone is a square area extending laterally 3 yards either side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage. 

 

RULE 2: The Outside Nine Yard Mark and Between Nine Yard Mark Conferences shall be held outside or between the seven yard marks, respectively. 

 

RULE 6: a. K’s free-kick line is its 30-yard line and R’s free-kick line is the 40.

   b. K is required to have at least three players on each side of the kicker. 

 

RULE 7: a. At least three A players shall be on their line at the snap and may have any legal jersey number. 

  b. After the ball is marked ready for play, each player of A who participated in the previous down, and each substitute for A must have been, momentarily, between the 7-yard marks, before the snap. 

  c. Each A player (regardless of jersey number) who at the snap was on an end of the  scrimmage line (total of two) and each A  player who at the snap was legally behind the scrimmage line (possible total of three) is eligible. 

 

RULE 8: On the eight-player field, the ball is snapped after a touchback and is free kicked after a safety from the 15-yard line. 

 

RULE 10: The basic spot for a foul as in 10-4-6 shall be the 15-yard line.

Football Field Differences

For neutral sites and the state championship, a 100 yard field will be used.

WIAA Fall Football Acclimatization

The WIAA has been providing member schools and coaches with information about heat illness and the risk of EHI; and limits of two-a-day practices for years.  With a strong, evidence-based, effective policy for EHI, the WIAA will have an effective policy to protect the student-athlete. The acclimatization plan must be followed during summer contact if school resources are used. Read more.  NOTE:  After the 10th day of practice, teams may only practice a maximum of 2.5 hours without the required break (two-a-days are no longer beyond the 10th day). 

Fall Football Acclimatization (Course)

WIAA Football Player on Player Contact

Player on Player contact was defined into five types using existing definitions:  air, bags, wrap, thud, and live/full.  The five types of contact were divided into two categories: Drill (air, bags, and wrap) contact and Competition/Full (thud & live/full) contact.  Drill contact is unlimited during the practices.  Competition/Full is limited to none the first week of practice, 75 minutes the second week of practice, and 60 minutes the third week of practice and beyond.  The Fall Acclimatization plan must be followed as directed throughout the season. Click here for the WIAA Football Player on Player Contact Rule | FB Player on Player Contact (Course)