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6th - 8th Grade Tackle Rules




Rules and Regulations


RULES AND REGULATIONS (6th-8th Grade) (Modified: 6/13/22)

1.0 Organization: The SSYFL will meet on the 2nd Monday of every month. Agenda items must be sent in prior to board meeting to Ryan Stene (Lakeville South)

1.1 The SSYFL is a middle school football league for students who attend sixth, seventh and eighth grade and live or go to school within one of the SSYFL high school’s (Apple Valley, Eastview, Burnsville, Bloomington, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Rosemount and Shakopee, East St Paul).

1.1.1 2021: Apple Valley, Eastview, Burnsville, Bloomington, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Rosemount, Capital City and Shakopee.

1.1.2 Within the group defined in 1.1, a subdivision of the SSYFL also exists for students in third-fifth grade and live or go to school within one of the SSYFL high school feeder areas

1.1.3 2021: Apple Valley, Eastview, Burnsville, Bloomington, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville North, Lakeville South.

1.2 Each youth sports association (Valley Athletic Association, EVAA Football Association, Burnsville Athletic Club, Bloomington Athletic Association, Eagan Football Association, Farmington Football Booster Club Lakeville North Football Association, Lakeville South Football Association, RAAA Irish Youth Football Association and Shakopee Football Association) has its own governing body. Each member association will select a Program representative who coordinates the traveling football activities in his or her association and also serves on the SSYFL Governing Committee. The SSYFL Governing Committee consists of a Program Representative from each association and the high school head coaches (where needed).

1.3 Rules: The SSYFL Governing Committee establishes the rules and regulations of the SSYFL. Grades 3- 5 will follow the USA Football FDM model including rules and regulations.

1.4 Voting: Each fully vested high school representative that is a member of the Governing Committee is entitled to one vote. In the case of a tie, the commissioner and co-commissioner will make the final decision.

1.5 Insurance and Release: The SSYFL is not responsible for the condition of any player equipment, team equipment or football fields. Equipment and fields are provided by the member associations. The SSYFL is not responsible for providing health, accident or liability insurance to any player, coach, official or spectator or other person. Insurance, if any, is provided by the member associations. The SSYFL is not responsible for any bodily injuries or damages sustained by any player, coach, official, spectator, or other person while participating in or attending league games or tournaments. In consideration of being permitted to participate in the league and for other good and valuable consideration the sufficiency of which each league member has acknowledged, each league member agrees to release, defend, hold harmless and indemnify SSYFL and its respective incorporators, officers, directors, shareholders, Governing Committee members, agents, employees, staff, sponsors, legal representatives, administrators, subsidiaries, affiliates, divisions, owners, operators, successors and assigns (collectively referred to herein as “Releases”) from and against any and all liability for any and all losses and damages of any type or kind, and from any and all claims, suits, demands, actions or rights of actions, of whatever kind, either in law or in equity, arising from or by reason of death, bodily injury or property damage which may occur to persons while participating in, or while attending, league games and tournaments, whether caused in whole or in part by the negligent act or omission of the Releases. The league member associations agree to provide Liability Insurance Coverage of not less than $500,000 and agree to provide a certificate of Insurance listing the SSYFL as additional insured.

2.0 Registration and Player Eligibility:
The player must satisfy the participation guidelines of his or her home association. 2.2 Players must play at the grade level they are currently enrolled.

2.3 Team rosters must be submitted to the SSYFL no later than 5:00 pm on Sunday August 15th, 2022. identifying the names, weights (6th and 7th grade only), and jersey numbers of each player. The official SSYFL Roster form must be completed by each team and may be found in the “Documents” section of the SSYFL web site (www.ssyfl.net). Final team rosters are an integral part of the league rules.

2.3.1 Late participants after submission date must be filed to the SSYFL with updated team roster.
2.4 Weight of a player is recorded at beginning of season and listed on SSYFL web site (www.ssyfl.net)

and will be the remain the official playing weight of the player for the duration of the season.
3.0 Weight Limitations:
3.1 Players official weight will be identified on the official team roster by their respective associations. 3.2

3.3 Running Backs and Quarterbacks: Players are eligible without restrictions to play these positions who weigh (without equipment) less than or equal to the following weights:

6th Grade: 125 lbs. 7th Grade: 150 lbs.

Players not eligible to play Running Back or Quarterback (see 3.3) shall have a full stripe down the

middle of the helmet. This stripe can match the team colors. Any 6th or 7th grade player can wear the

team logo on the helmets, but no stripes are allowed on the helmets of eligible offensive players.

8th Grade: No weight limit

3.4 Players over the playing weights listed above can play quarterback with a restriction at 6th and 7th grade. The restriction is that they are not allowed to advance the ball past the line of scrimmage. The play will be blown dead immediately once they cross the line.

3.5 An offensive end that exceeds the weight restriction may advance the ball only by catching a forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage. Upon receiving a forward pass, any offensive player who exceeds weight restriction may run (advance) the ball. Play will be blown dead when an ineligible offensive player has the ball.

3.6 Punters/Kickers: A player of any weight can be used; however, a kicker exceeding the weight limit rule outlined in Rule 3.2 may not advance the ball by run or pass.

4.0 Team Size and Selection:

4.1 Each team shall consist of no more than thirty-four (34) players, but the SSYFL strongly recommends no fewer than twenty (20) players. Each association may add players to teams as long as they are placed in a talent-balanced manner.

4.2 Each member association will create teams from his or her association by draft or similar means. Each association must form talent-balanced teams to the best of their ability (no stacked or “A” / “B” teams). Subsequent players added after the distribution of players must also be added in a talent balanced manner. The goal for each association is to construct teams in each age group that are equal in talent and/or ability.

4.3 After rosters are final, the exchange of players between teams is prohibited except in very unusual circumstances and with the advanced approval of the SSYFL Governing Committee.

4.4 Member associations may roster any player who resides within the geographical boundaries of their association’s high school. Players who reside outside of the geographical boundaries of the association’s High School must:

1. Attend a public or private school within the geographical boundaries of the association’s High School; or,

2. Have played football for the association’s youth program for two (2) consecutive years preceding their 7th grade season. The High School attendance boundaries will be used for purposes of ruling on disputes between associations and determining a player’s eligibility to participate with a SSYFL member association team.

3. Any player wishing to play outside of the “default” feeder system may do so if a waiver is obtained from their “home” Association, or if the SSYFL Board supports the player with a majority vote of all participating associations

4.5 Each association is responsible for providing coaches for each team. Only association sanctioned coaches are allowed on the sidelines during a game. Only the head coach may talk to the referees.

4.6 Each Head Coach for associations must complete the USA Football and Heads Up Certification or equivalent (Review with SSYFL if other vendor is used)

5.0 Game Rules:

5.1 Minnesota State High School League (“MSHSL”) rules will be followed except as noted below. The MSHSL rules apply to players, coaches, parents, and referees. Go to www.mshsl.org for information. League rules do not permit videotaping of opponents for the purposes of scouting.

5.2 Playing Time Rules: The SSYFL encourages teams to play all players on their rosters as much as possible. From a league standpoint, each player on the roster must play a minimum of twelve (12) plays in a game (offense, defense, and/or special teams). Each member association may also set their own minimum playing time rules in excess of the league minimum.

5.3 Game Time: Game Time: Four quarters of fifteen (15) minute running time (during running time, the clock does not stop except for time-outs, injuries, penalties, touchdowns and change of possessions). Stop time applies during the last two (2) minutes of each half. During the last two minutes of each half the clock will stop for time outs, injuries, penalties, touchdowns, incomplete passes, first downs, change of possession and out of bounds. However, if a team is leading by 28 points with 4:00 minutes left in the fourth quarter, there is no stoppage of time (except for injuries and penalties). Each team will get two timeouts per half.

5.4 Regular HS timing rules would take effect in the last 4 minutes of the 4th quarter when the score differential is less than 9 points

5.5 6th and 7th Grade Defensive Alignment: Linebackers and safeties must line up at least three (3) yards off the line of scrimmage and may not move forward until the ball is snapped.

5.5.1 At 6th Grade corners must line up at least three (3) yards off the line of scrimmage and may not move forward until the ball is snapped. At 7th and 8th grade, the corners can play press coverage and line up on the line of scrimmage.

5.5.2 At 6th Grade no defensive player may be lined up over the center or in the A gap - must be lined head up on the offensive guards or wider and engage the guard before playing the A gap. No shooting the A gap or attacking the center.

5.6 8th Grade Defensive Alignment: Follow MSHSL rules.

5.7 6th and 7th Grade Defensive Linemen: A maximum of six (6) defensive linemen are allowed. This rule does not apply if the ball is inside the defensive team’s ten (10) yard line; however, linebackers, corners and safeties may not move forward until the ball is snapped.

5.8 6th and 7th Grade Punting. Any 6th or 7th grade player may punt in a game. On any down, the offense can call a “punt”. Teams do not rush the punter. The offensive team must announce that they are going to punt (no fakes allowed). The offensive or defensive team cannot rush the punter or leave the line of scrimmage until the ball is punted. The punter may take the ball from the center in any manner. Even if the ball is dropped, the punter may pick it up and punt the ball. The Punter must punt the ball between the tackle positions. Punt coverage cannot take place until the ball is kicked. Receiving

Conversely, if the defense is not allowed to shoot the A gaps, the quarterback can not run behind the center or in the A gaps. Running backs are allowed to run to the areas after a handoff has taken place.

team must not be more than 5 yards from line of scrimmage when ball is kicked other than up to two return players. Once the ball is kicked, normal MSHSL rules apply.

5.9 For 6th grade, a coach for offense and defense will be allowed on the field as teams transition to 11- man formations on full fields (coaching ends when the huddle breaks).

5.10 Extra Points and scoring: Following a touchdown, the coach will have the choice to go for 1 point or 2 points. (The coach will tell the referee his choice.) 1-point conversions will be from the 3-yard line. 2- point conversions will be from the 8-yard line. Once the choice is declared and a play is run or a penalty occurs prior to the play, the choice cannot be changed. For any game field with goal posts, kicking the extra point is permitted, and a successful try is 1-point. Field goal’s may also be attempted on any game field with goalposts and extra points are permitted for 1-point

5.11 Overtime: In case of a tie at the end of regulation, each team will have four (4) plays to score from the 10-yard line. Same extra point rule (5.7) will apply. If the score remains in a tie, a second overtime round will be played, using the same rules. There is a maximum of two overtimes during the regular season. If the score remains a tie, it will be a tie. In the playoffs, teams will continue to play until there is a winner.

5.11.1 Overtime Possession: Teams will flip for first possession and then alternate possessions

5.12 Game Balls: Pee-Wee from 3-4th grade, Junior for 5-6th grade and youth for 7-8th grade footballs (Any brand of ball is accepted)

5.13 Personal Fouls: The officials may eject any player or coach who receives an unsportsmanlike penalty from the game with no warning. A player or coach who receives two unsportsmanlike penalties in one game is automatically ejected. Any player or coach who is ejected from a game is suspended for the next game. The ejected team member’s coach must inform his or her Program Director of the ejection within 24 hours of the ejection. The Program Director will notify the SSYFL Commissioner with 48 hours. The Commissioner will notify the SSYFL Governing Committee of the incident and final ruling. The SSYFL Governing Committee may remove a player or coach for chronic misconduct or egregious behavior during league activities from an official team roster, rendering the player or coach ineligible to participate in the league. See Player & Parent Code of Conduct for official statement.

5.14 Game Cancellations: The Program Director of the association where a game is scheduled to be played will determine whether a game should be cancelled because of weather or field conditions before the start of the game. Each member association is responsible for the condition of the fields and field equipment needed for the games. The officials have the authority to cancel a game or delay a game that is in progress.

5.15 Re-scheduling of Games: Once the league game schedule is set, games will not be rescheduled except in the case of inclement weather or a school-sanctioned event that brings the team’s available players below the league minimum defined in Rule 4.1. If either of these exceptions occurs, it is up to the two coaches to work with each other and the SSYFL Commissioner to find a date and location that works for the two teams. SSYFL will notify the referees of the change. Failure to reschedule a game will result in a loss for both teams. (If a game is cancelled due to weather within 4 days of the start of playoffs, the game will be eliminated (no win or loss) unless a viable option to reschedule is found.)

5.16 Game Score Reporting: ALL HEAD COACHES (winners AND losers) must report scores via email to mail@ssyfl.net within 24 hours of game completion. Please include the following information:

1. Subject line: Grade, both team names & date

2. Text body: Game Score and location
3. Text body: # of referees at the game (used for tracking/billing purposes). 4. 
May need to update to MYAS Process

5.17 Players, Coaches, Parents and fans will abide by SSYFL sportsmanship guidelines and listed on SSYFL web site (www.ssyfl.net)

6.0 SSYFL League Regular Season:

6.1 Official league activities may begin on August 8. Team divisions by grade will be crated

6.2 SSYFL Regular Season 6.2.1 First games will begin week of August 22, 2022; 6 regular season games and 2 post-season games

6.2.2 Number of Games/Practices: SSYFL will attempt to schedule no more than a two (2) regular season league games per week. However, more than two games in a week may be necessary due to weather related issues and/or playoffs. A schedule resulting in more than 3 games in a seven (7) day period will require board consideration.

6.2.3 A team may not have more than five (5) events (games/practices) per week.

6.2.4 During the regular season, efforts will be made to ensure teams from the same high school are not playing against each other provided there are enough teams to fill out a schedule. In playoffs and championship games, each team is expected to play anyone even if the team is from your own association.

6.2.5 During the regular season, every effort will be made for each team to have at least one game with a team from each association. In some instances, this may be impossible.

6.3 Chains & Markers: Chains are on be on the Home Field side and crew provided by home team

7.0 SSYFL League Playoffs:

7.1 The SSYFL governing committee will seed teams for the playoffs using the following criteria in order: 1. Overall record determined by winning percentage. 2. Head-to-head competition (where applicable). 3. Record vs. common opponents (where all teams tied played the same teams) 4. Defensive points allowed 5. Point differential (maximum 14 points per game). 6. Coin Flip

7.2 Playoff Structure: \ Playoff will be determined at the start of the season based on the number of teams in each grade level on October 1, 2022

7.3 2021 Playoffs & Championship: Playoff brackets will be decided based on records. The top 8 teams will be placed in a Championship Bracket. The lower seeded teams 9 and down will be placed in SIlver bracket.

Top 8 teams will play on October 8th, 11th and 15th to determine winner. Lower seeded teams will play within a 4-team bracket based on seedings. The Championship City will host games on Oct 8 & 15 with games on the 11th being played at the highest seeds home field for the top 8 bracket.

Championship Host Cities:

7.4 Field Equipment and people to run chains and yard markers: Supplied and provided by the home teams.

7.4.1. Highest Seeded team will be the home team and provide the chain crew. Chains are on be on the Home Field side

8.0 SSYFL League Fees and Expenses:

8.1 League Participation Fee: Each member association pays a proportionate amount of the league expenses to be determined by the SSYFL Governing Committee. The per-player fee will be determined based on expenses.

8.2 Official’s Expense: Three (3) officials will be scheduled for all games. The officials will be middle school/high school certified. The home team is responsible for payment. Championship day referees will be paid for by SSYFL. Agreed and signed by each Association’s Representative on behalf of their Athletic Association.