Football Tournament Rules
Rules for Rising 3rd Grade Division through Varsity Division:
All rules are in accordance with the Texas High School football rules including penalties and penalty yards with all exceptions stated below.
1. FIELD DIMENSIONS
A) Field Length — 45 yards long for 10 year olds or 5th grade division and above.
B) Field Width — 160 feet (60 feet to hash mark, 40 feet between)
C) End Zone — 10 yards deep
2. STARTING THE GAME
A) Each site will have a designated central time keeper. All games will begin and end on this person’s instructions. They will also announce the time remaining at the 10, 5, and 2 minute marks.
B) Visitors will have first possession and wear white (top team in bracket or first team listed will be the visitor). The home team will have first possession in the 2nd half and wear a dark color (bottom team in bracket or second team listed will be the home team). Teams must be on opposite sides of the field) NO TEAM WILL BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE WITHOUT SHIRTS! Team sidelines must be on opposite sides of the field. Visitors (wearing white) will line up on the right side of the field when facing the end zone. Home (wearing dark) will line up on the left side of the field when facing the end zone.
C) No school football jerseys of any type shall be worn. T-shirts, Under-Armour-type, personal jerseys or basketball-type sleeveless shirts are permitted. We recommend that all teams have shirts with numbers on the back.
D) Players are permitted to wear standard football cleats with plastic or rubber spikes. NO METAL SPIKES ARE ALLOWED!
E) Ball always placed on right hash mark when at the 45-yard line.
F) Each team will use its own ball during offensive possessions. Rising 8th grade division and younger may use either High School or Middle School standard size footballs. High School divisions (9th grade division and above) MUST use the standard size high school football. 6th grade division and below may use a TDJ size football.
G) Referee will announce the score before each offensive possession begins.
3. MOVING THE BALL
A) No kicking/punting.
B) Field is marked at 15 yard intervals with cones. (Three 1st downs without a penalty would result in a TD).
C) Possession always begins at the 45 yard line at the right hash. NO PENALTY WILL BE ASSESSED IN EXCESS OF THE 45 YARD LINE. LOSS OF DOWN WILL BE ASSESSED INSTEAD.
- 1st Down-incomplete pass and offensive penalty results in the next down being 2nd down.
- 2nd Down-incomplete pass and offensive penalty results in the next down being 3rd down.
D) Offenses always move in the same direction.
E) NO PASSER MAY RUN WITH THE BALL. ALL PASSES MUST BE FORWARD. A pass caught behind the line must be forward. The only laterals that will be allowed will be laterals that occur after the completion of a forward pass.
F) If a forward pass does not cross the LOS and before the 4.0 second count has expired, a defensive player tags the ball carrier behind the 45 yard line, the play is a SAFETY.
4. SPECIAL RULES
A) No blocking.
B) Receiver/Ball carrier is legally down when touched below the neck with one or both hands. (Excessive force by shoving, pushing, or striking a blow will be penalized by automatic 1st down and 5 yards. Player will be expelled if ruled unsportsmanlike & flagrant).
C) Fumbles are dead balls at the spot with the last team retaining possession. A muffed snap is NOT a fumble/dead ball. The 4.0 second count remains in effect on snaps.
D) Each team will have 25 seconds to snap the ball once it has been marked ready for play; delay of game penalty will be a 5-yard penalty.
- The point after attempt will be voided if you have a delay of game penalty. Defense will get the ball at the 45 yard line.
- The offense turns the ball over if they have two delay of game penalties in one offensive series.
E) The QB is allowed 4.0 seconds to throw the ball. The Referee starts a stopwatch on the snap of the ball from center and stops the watch as soon as the QB releases the ball.
- If release occurs at or under 4.0 seconds, the play stands as is.
- If release occurs after 4.0 seconds, the play will not be blown dead, but will be treated as an incomplete pass at the conclusion of the play.
- All penalties will be marked off on a 4.0 second count EXCEPT for pass interference.
F) Defensive Pass Interference will be a spot foul (1st down at the spot).
- The penalty will be 15 yards if the foul occurs 15 or more yards past the original line of scrimmage (1st down).
G) Responsibility to avoid contact is with the defense. There will be NO chucking, or deliberate bumping or grabbing. These actions will result in a “tack on” penalty at the end of the play (5-yard penalty).
H) Offensive pass interference is a 15 yard penalty.
- The penalty will be a loss of down if 15 yards would take a team past the 45 yard line.
I) Interceptions may be returned however, defensive players may not block anyone subsequent to an interception. If an interception is returned beyond the 45-yard line (the offensive origination point) it is a touchdown and point after attempt should ensue.
J) Offensive team is responsible for retrieving and returning the ball to the previous spot or the new scrimmage spot. Clock does not stop and any delay by offense in retrieving and returning the ball to the referee will result in a delay of game and will be a 5-yard penalty from the succeeding spot.
K) The offensive center is not an eligible receiver (all teams must have a center – the center may be any player). The center is responsible for establishing the succeeding spot as designated by the referee.
L) The center will be responsible for setting or re-positioning the Referee’s bean bag at the line of scrimmage.
M) No taunting or “trash talking.” (5-yard penalty & expulsion if flagrant or repeated).
N) The offense must gain at least 15 yards within three downs while the offense is in the first two thirds of the field (the first two 15 yard segments of the field) or the defense takes over. (There is no kicking). Once the team has entered the final third of the field (the third 15-yard segment of the field), the offense must score within the first four downs.
O) Fighting: the player(s) involved will be ejected from the game and tournament. If a team fight occurs, the teams involved will be ejected from the tournament and denied participation in any/all state qualifying tournaments and the state tournament.
P) Any dead ball foul on a play that results in the defense getting the ball will result in a loss of down penalty, as the team cannot be penalized beyond the 45 yard line starting position. The defense – not the offense – would be starting play with 2nd down.
Q) For Rising 7th grade divisions (teams entering the 7th grade in the fall) and below, one coach is allowed on the field for the team’s offensive possession. The coach must remain behind all offensive players at all times. A coach is not allowed on the field if the team is playing up in the 8th grade (teams entering the 8th grade in the fall) division.
R) Snapping of the ball by the center must be between the legs. The center may take one knee on the ground, but the ball must be snapped under his leg.
S) There will be an area referred to as the tackle box extending 3 yards on both sides of the center and extending 3 yards deep into the backfield. No eligible receiver may align within the tackle box.
6 points for TD, 1 point for PAT from 3 yard line, 2 point PAT from 10 yard line. Interceptions returned to the 45 yd line, on the PAT attempt, will be worth 2 points. Official score is kept by field referee and game manager.
6. OVERTIME RULES
After coin flip to determine first possession, teams will alternate four down series from the 15-yard line. A winner is determined when one team outscores the other team during an overtime session. Each team must go for two points on the conversion attempts beginning in the 2nd overtime.
A) 20-minute halves (continuous clock for each half–see: “starting the game”).
B) No time outs. (EXCEPTION: Injuries. All games will halt until injured player(s) can be safely removed from the field).
2. 7on7 tournaments require that all games start/end at the same time. If a team(s) is(are) late and cannot start when the tournament officially starts, they will be penalized 7 points and begin play with whatever time is left on the tournament clock. (Not to exceed 10 minutes of 1st half. Forfeit will occur after 10 minutes of the 1st half) IT IS IMPERATIVE TO KEEP TO THE TOURNAMENT TIME SCHEDULE. Teams must be on site and ready to play when scheduled). Injury time outs may reduce the amount of time between halves and/or between games to maintain the game schedules.
8. SQUAD MEMBERS/TOURNAMENT FEES
A) Players: Maximum of 20 players per team. We recommend a minimum of 10 players per team.
B) Tournament Fees: Each team must pay $270 per team to play in a PrimeTime Sports tournament.
C) All teams must include the Middle or High School name your team is affiliated with.
D) For Rising10th/11th/12th grade division teams (based on the 2019-2020 school year): Squad member must be enrolled in the same high school. Squad members attending private school see rule 8-I.
E) For Rising 8th and Rising 9th grade division teams (based on the 2019-2020 school year): Squad members may attend different middle schools and/or junior high schools provided each school is zoned to feed the same high school. Squad members attending private school see rule 8-I.
F) For Rising 7th grade division teams and younger (based on the 2019-2020 school year): We strongly recommend teams follow the Rising 8th and Rising 9th grade division rules, however we understand many players do not know where they will be attending high school at this age.
G) Grade Based Eligibility: All PrimeTime Sports events will be in divisions which are grade based only. A player is eligible to participate in the Grade Division for his grade for the upcoming fall football season. There are NO AGE EXCEPTIONS. A team must participate in the division which corresponds with the highest grade of any player on the team.
H) Maximum Age: Even if grade eligible, no player may play in a division where the player is more than one year older for the corresponding age for the grade division. For this purpose only, the corresponding ages are Rising 4th/9, Rising 5th/10, Rising 6th/11, Rising 7th/12, Rising 8th/13, Rising 9th/14, Rising JV/15&16, Varsity/17. The age determination dates for purposes of the Maximum Age rule is September 1st through August 31st. Squad members must follow the rules for Maximum Age shown in the Eligibility Chart.
I) For squad members attending private schools, the following rules apply:
- Squad members attend ing Private, TAPPS division I or II, schools may only compete with other squad members from their school.
- Private Schools playing TAPPS Division III football may combine players from other schools in their district and with other private, non-TAPPS, schools within a 30 mile radius.
J) Proof of player eligibility is the responsibility of the team coach. PrimeTime Sports will not check eligibility prior to events. However, a coach must be able to document grade and age eligibility in the event of a challenge by another team. Failure to have such information available at the tournament may result in player ineligibility and/or game forfeiture. Acceptable proofs of age are clean photocopies of birth certificate, adoption papers, immigration papers or school documentation. Acceptable proofs of grade include a clean copy of any report card of the current school year. All the previously mentioned documents may be viewed digitally.
**IF a player in question is not able to produce a report card and birth certificate at the tournment venue, that player will not be eligible for the rest of the tournament, no questions asked.
K) Player Protests and Incident Reporting Forms
K.1. Scope. The following Player Eligibility Protest procedure applies to all PrimeTime Sports events
K.2. Who Can Protest: Player Eligibility Protests can be submitted only by a coach of a team participating in the same division as the team with the player(s) whose eligibility is being challenged. For a team to submit a Protest, the team must demonstrate to the Site Director that the protesting team has eligibility documentation for its players available for review by the Site Director. A team is NOT allowed to protest the eligibility of a player from another team without having the eligibility documentation for its players.
K.3. What Can Be Protested:
k.3.1. Player is not grade eligible
k.3.2. Player is beyond age maximum
k.3.3. Players don’t attend the same high school or middle schools zoned to the same high school (Rising 8th Grade through High School divisions).
K.4. When Can Protest Be Made:
k.4.1. Pre-Game Protest: A protest of player eligibility may be made at any time prior to a game. Any Pre-Game Protest should be submitted as soon as possible so that it may be considered in a timely manner.
k.4.2. Post-Game Protest: Any post-game protest of player eligibility must be made within 30 minutes of the conclusion of a game between the protesting team and the team with the player(s) whose eligibility is being challenged.
k.4.3. Protest Limited. No other player eligibility protests will be considered. A team is deemed to waive any opportunity to protest any player’s eligibility not within these protest periods.
k.4.4. How to File Protest: All protests must be in writing on an official Protest Form and accompanied by the Protest Fee of $50 cash for each player challenged. The Protest Fee is refundable only if the matter is ruled in the favor of the protesting party. If the Protest is not upheld, the Protest Fee is forfeited. All forfeited protest fees will be applied to charitable activities of PrimeTime Sports which include support of youth sports teams and activities.
K.5. Protest Upheld: If a player is ruled ineligible, the player will be prohibited from participating in remaining games of the event. If a Post-Game Protest is upheld, that game will be forfeited by the team with the ineligible player. No prior games will be forfeited as teams participating in prior games will have waived their protest opportunity by failing to timely submit an Eligibility Protest. The team will be allowed to continue to participate in the event without the ineligible player(s). The Protest Fee will be refunded to the protesting team for each protest upheld.
K.6. Protest Denied: If the Player Eligibility Protest is denied, the Protest Fee is forfeited.
K.7. Player Reinstatement. If a player is ruled ineligible for the sole reason that the team did not have any eligibility documentation for the player, the player can subsequently be ruled eligible if such documentation is later provided. The reinstatement is for competition subsequent to the documentation being provided and no prior action will be modified or set aside.
K.8. Ruling Binding. Any Player Eligibility Protest ruling made by PrimeTime Sports is binding upon all coaches, players, and attendees of the event. There is NO appeal of any upholding or denial of a Player Eligibility Protest.
9. Team Entry Withdrawal Policy
General: One of the biggest challenges to managing events is late entry withdrawals by teams. Such entry withdrawals shift energies and resources away from preparing for future events to damage control for a late change in a division. PrimeTime Sports events are among the lowest cost tournaments available. To continue to offer this outstanding value to teams, PrimeTime Sports has adopted this Tournament Entry Withdrawal Policy.
1. Entry Withdrawal. A team withdrawing an entry on or before the entry deadline for a tournament will receive a full cash refund of the Entry Fee, provided that the withdrawal must be made by email to email@example.com.
2. Late Withdrawal. Any withdrawal after the entry deadline for a tournament will be considered to be a Late Withdrawal. The Entry Fee for a Late Withdrawal will be handled as follows:
a. If a fully paid entry is found to replace the withdrawing team, the withdrawing team will be assessed a $20 per game Withdrawal Fee and the balance of the Entry Fee will be a credit forward to be used by the withdrawing team for any future PrimeTime Sports tournament. No cash refunds will be made for a Late Withdrawal.
b. If a fully paid entry is not secured to replace the withdrawing team, no amount of the Entry Fee will be refunded or credited.
c. Any withdrawal from an event by a team within 48 hours of the event will also be assessed a Forfeit Fee in accordance with the Game Forfeiture Rules.
d. If the entry has been accepted without full payment of the Entry Fee, any amount due under this Withdrawal Policy must be paid prior to the acceptance of the team’s entry in any subsequent tournament.
PrimeTime Sports assumes no duty or responsibility to find a replacement entry for any Late Withdrawal.
The Late Withdrawal policy may be modified or waived by PrimeTime Sports in the event of extenuating circumstances. Factors considered will include communications from the teams as to their entry withdrawal, the timing of such communications, the circumstances causing the entry withdrawal and such other considerations deemed relevant by PrimeTime Sports. Any decision by PrimeTime Sports as to the application of the Team Entry Withdrawal Policy shall be binding upon all teams and participants.
Two (2)-Referee/Field Judge and Back Judge for all games
11. 7on7 COACHES
A) No high school or middle school coach may serve as a 7on7 team coach or stand with the team on the sideline as stated by UIL rules. All 7on7 team coaches will wear an identification tag for clarification purposes. A team may not have more than three coaches on the sidelines.
B) Each team must have a 7on7 team coach accompany it to any/all events to serve as a School Administrator on duty for their particular team(s). No high school or middle school coaches are allowed on the sidelines during a game. High school and middle school coaches must watch games from the end zones. This individual is responsible for the action of those representing his school!
12. POOL PLAY TIEBREAKER RULES
A) If two teams are tied at the end of pool play, the first tiebreaker shall be head-to-head play.
B) If three or more teams are tied at the end of pool play, the following tiebreakers shall be applied until there are two or less teams tied. If two teams are tied at the conclusion of any of the following tiebreakers, then the tiebreaker shall be head-to-head play:
· The first tiebreaker shall be cumulative head to head record against the other tied teams.
· If three or more teams remain tied after this tiebreaker, the next tiebreaker shall be point differential with a maximum of 15 points.
· If three or more teams remain tied at the end of these two tiebreakers, the next tiebreaker shall be points scored.
· If three or more teams remain tied at the end of this tiebreaker, then the teams shall participate in a coin flip.
13. INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY
If there is inclement weather on the day of the tournament, Prime Time Sports will evaluate the conditions to determine if the Tournament will be held as scheduled. Prime Time Sports reserves the right to reschedule or cancel the tournament if the inclement weather makes it unsafe or unplayable for players and spectators.
In general, a tournament will be played if there is light to moderate rain, with no thunder or lightning. If there is inclement weather on the day of the tournament, call 972-355-3788 x714 for updates.
In the event that inclement weather forces the cancellation of all or part of a qualifying tournament, teams will have the option to receive a credit or cash refund of a percentage of their entry fee. This credit is to be used in future PrimeTime Sports Football tournaments, excluding the Tournament of Champions, and will be given in the following increments:
- No games played = 75% credit or 50% cash refund
- One game of three played = 50% credit 25% cash refund
- Two games of three played = 25% credit
Credits expire after the season concludes with the Tournament of Champions.
14. APPLICATION OF RULES
The Tournament Director may modify the Tournament Rules when the Tournament Director deems it in the best interests of the tournament to do so and all teams, coaches, players, and attendees will be bound by any such change.