PLAYING WITH POCKETS:
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will players be allowed to play if they are wearing shorts / pants with pockets. Taping pockets, turning shorts / pants inside out, or turning pockets inside out is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Players who have pockets of any kind will be asked to change or leave the field of play.
Players must remove all watches, hats, sunglasses, protruding rings / earrings, & chains / necklaces prior to game play. Smooth wedding bands, earring studs, and prescription glasses are acceptable.
Every team must bring their own collegiate or NFL sized football (junior-sized or non-college / non-NFL sized balls are not permitted). The LoneStar SSC will provide all field equipment and flags.
Unlike past seasons, teams will NO LONGER be required to line judge before or after their games. SSC officials will now be responsible for these duties.
BEVERAGES AT FIELDS:
No visible alcohol is allowed in the park.
Super social teams may move up to social, and social teams with a 0-6 or 1-5 record may move down to the super social league voluntarily. Last season’s Super Social champion will automatically move up to the social league along with the teams that finish in the top 10% of the division. This format will help balance out the caliber of teams in both leagues.
Win 2 points Tie 1 point Loss 0 points.
A. GAME CLOCK:
All game times will be FORFEIT time, no exceptions. The LoneStar SSC will add 5 extra minutes to the start time if a planned or traffic event has occurred. The referee will have the two coaches play rock, paper, scissors; best 2 out of 3 wins. The winning coach will have the first choice of which half they want the ball OR direction. The losing coach can then choose from whatever option is left over. Teams flip-flop directions and possession after half time.1. Time: Play will be divided into two 22-minute halves, with one three minute half-time. There will be a running clock maintained by the referee except for the last two minutes of the second half unless one team is ahead by 19 points or more, in which case time will continue to run with no stoppages aside from a trailing-team’s timeout. No timeouts can be called by a leading team if they are ahead by 19 or more. Time will only be stopped during the first 42 minutes for called timeouts and serious injuries. If an injury occurs, that player must leave the game for one scrimmage down.
2. Timeouts: Each team is allowed two (one-minute) time outs per game and they can be used at any time (ie, both in the first half, one in each, two in the second half, etc). Approximately two minutes before each half ends the referee will inform each team of playing time remaining in that half. If a touchdown has occurred after time has expired, the extra point conversion will be allowed. If an accepted penalty by the defense has occurred, the offensive team may choose to extend the period by one down.
3. Final Two Minutes of the Second Half: The clock is stopped for an incomplete pass, if a player goes out of bounds before having their flag pulled, if either team scores (clock starts when the opposing team snaps the ball, after the PAT attempt), for a change of possession, if a penalty must be marked off (clock will resume as soon as the puck is placed and referee indicates the ball is in play), or if a team calls time out. The clock does not stop on first downs or for a completed pass in bounds.
4a. Ready for Play: After the immediate completion of a play, the referee will place the hockey puck at the line of scrimmage. The offense has 25 seconds to put the ball in play after it is declared ready by the head judge (ie, when puck is placed). No player shall put the ball in play until declared ready-for-play.
4b. On a change of possession, the offense must allow the defense to get set for a full 15 seconds AFTER the puck has been placed (ball is put into play) before the offense can snap the ball.
4c. A ball that is spiked to stop the clock on a forced gender play will lead to the next play still in forced gender mode, regardless of who the QB is during the spike.
5. Overtime (Playoffs Only): In the Playoffs, rock/paper/scissors is played by the captains with the winning team deciding on first or second possession. Teams will attempt to score in the same end zone. Each team will then have four downs to score from 20. If a team scores, they will have the opportunity to go for one or two on the PAT. A female must be used once within the first three plays or on the 1st and 4th downs when applicable. Interceptions will result in a turnover and may not be returned for any points. If a tie occurs after the first round, then teams will repeat using the same format. However, the team that defended first is now on offense first. If a third round is needed, then the teams must go for two on the PAT. The game will be decided when one team scores more points in the round. No first downs will be awarded except in the case of a penalty.
B. PLAYERS ON THE FIELD:
The maximum numbers of players on the field is 5 (standard: 3 men, 2 women); minimum number of players is 3 (minimum of 1 female). If there are only 1 female, then 3 men may play. However, there cannot be more than 3 men on the field under any circumstance. There are no limits to the number of females allowed on the field at one time.
C. LINE OF SCRIMMAGE:
Ball starts on the 5 yard line. No offensive players may be within 2 yards of the sidelines when the ball is snapped. All offensive players (except motion player) must be set for one full second before ball is snapped. The man in motion must be continuing in a parallel motion or backward motion to the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap. All remaining players must be on the line or behind their backfield line with a minimum number of 3 players on the line of scrimmage. After a play, the line of scrimmage is determined by the location of the ball when the flags are pulled. For example, if a player is holding the ball out in front of them and the ball crosses the end zone, but the player’s flags and waist have not yet crossed when pulled, it is still a touchdown.
First downs are obtained by crossing midfield. If a team fails to earn a first down in four plays by crossing midfield, possession will go to the opposing team and you will start from the 5 yard line.
No blocking is allowed in LoneStar SSC football. This includes downfield blocking during an offensive play and returned punt. No contact is allowed at the line or downfield by any defensive player guarding a receiver (hand checking or bump and run). All players must try to avoid contact with any player on the football field. Offensive players may run behind the player with the ball to receive a lateral, but may not run in front or parallel to (illegal block/screen).
F. GENDER RELATED PLAY:
1. Open/Gender Play:
Teams must use a female as an operative player within three consecutive downs. An open play will be called by the referee if a gender play is not required on the current play. For an open play, the ball may be advanced by either a male or female player (ex. 2nd down / goal / open). If a female was not used within two downs, then the forced gender rule is put into effect. This means that a female must be an operative player used in the next play.
2. Forced Gender Play:
A female can be used on any play, however when the offense has not used a female as an operative player within the last two plays, the next play must be a forced gender play. The operative player here is a female who is seen as the intended receiver in the eyes of the official, or acts as the quarterback (even if positive yards are not gained). If the female is the quarterback, then the play may continue without regard to special defensive coverage. Once a female is used in any play then the gender count is reset.
A thrown ball cannot be intercepted by a male on a forced gender unless a female is the QB or if the ball is first tipped / touched by a female receiver and deflected BACK to one of the males originally lined up on the line of scrimmage. In the scenario that a male must guard a female on a forced gender play, the covering male must give the female 3 yards of cushion and, if a deflection occurs and the ball is intercepted by the covering male, the ball will be ruled an incomplete pass.
If a male QB is sacked or fumbles the snap on a forced gender play, the next play must be gender. If a female QB is sacked or fumbles the snap on a forced gender play, gender will be satisfied and the next play will be deemed open.
The gender count is reset once a TD is made. The gender rule is not in effect during extra point conversions or punts.
A ball that is spiked to stop the clock on a forced gender play will lead to the next play still in forced gender mode, regardless of who the QB is during the spike.
Examples / Scenarios:
Satisfies a Forced Gender Play
-MALE QB: A forward pass thrown across the line of scrimmage to a female (completion or no completion). A forward pass thrown across the line of scrimmage intended for a female (in the eyes of the referee) that is deflected by a female, and is caught by a male. A pass is deflected by a male and CAUGHT by a female.
-FEMALE QB: A female takes the snap and runs across the line of scrimmage. A female QB throws a forward pass across the line of scrimmage to an offensive player.
Does NOT Satisfy a Forced Gender Play:
MALE QB: QB hands the ball off to a female player only to hand it back to a male behind the line of scrimmage. A female snaps the ball into play. A female receives a hand-of. A male QB intentionally throws the ball into the ground at the feet of a woman without a reasonable expectation of a completion. Spiking the ball on a forced gender play to stop the clock (equivalent to a sack resulting in loss of down and repeat of forced gender play).
FEMALE QB: A female QB grounds the ball to stop the clock (this is an illegal gender offense penalty). A female QB throws a pass that does not cross the line of scrimmage while in the air (even if the receiver catches the ball behind the line and proceeds to move across the line of scrimmage). A female QB takes the snap but hands it off to a male player.
3. Defensive Coverage for a Forced Gender Play (assuming a male QB): Males cover males and females cover females. The defensive males must play man-to-man and may not use a zone defense on a forced gender play with a male QB. Defensive players can only leave their man-to-man assignment after the ball is touched by a female and must initially line up on their man within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Only one person may guard the QB on a forced gender play and that player must designate themselves by raising their hand prior to the snap. The male defending the male QB may rush the QB and pull the flag after the five-count has been established but the defensive player cannot bat or deflect a pass (this would be considered illegal gender defense).
Scenarios on Forced Gender Plays:
a. OFFENSE PLAYS MORE THAN 3 FEMALES
A defensive male may cover a female, but must play man-to-woman. In this situation, a defensive male who is covering a fourth offensive female may play man-to-woman coverage without a cushion but may not intercept the ball and advance it for yardage (an interception in this scenario will result in an incomplete pass). The remaining three female defensive team players may cover the women by either using a zone defense or man-to man defense.
b. DEFENSE PLAYS MORE THAN 3 FEMALES
Assuming the offense has 3 females, the additional female on defense must still cover and line up on one of the males at the line of scrimmage. The extra defending female may not be used to double team or play in a defensive zone against the other females.
c. DEFENSE PLAYS TWO FEMALES, OFFENSE PLAYS THREE
If a defensive team is down a female player (5 males & 2 females on the field), a male may cover an opposing team’s female on a forced gender play. However, he must give the female receiver an opportunity to catch the ball with at least a 3-yard cushion and may not converge on the female receiver until the ball is caught. Again, it is worth noting that in this situation, the defending male may NOT touch the ball before the female receiver does (this would be an illegal gender defense penalty). In the case that there is a deflection off the female receiver and the ball ends up in the male defender’s hands, the ball will be whistled dead (incomplete pass) and no penalty will result.
d. OFFENSE PLAYS TWO FEMALES, DEFENSE PLAYS THREE
If the offensive team is down a female player on a forced gender play (only two females), the defense is permitted to use ALL three of their female defenders in any type of defensive strategy (ie, double-team, zone, etc).
Further Forced Gender Play Clarifications
-Assuming a male QB, neither the males on offense nor on defense can leave the line of scrimmage UNTIL the ball has been touched by a female. If a defensive male starts or drops back into coverage before the ball is touched, an Illegal Gender Defense will be called. If an offensive male leaves the line of scrimmage (travels more than three yards) down field on a gender play, it will result in a penalty on the offense (Illegal Gender Offense).
-It must be clear before the offense is set who the operative QB is on the forced gender play (ie, cannot be ambiguous or left to guess whether a male or female is the QB for that play).
-The QB who receives the snap on a forced gender play is THE only player who can attempt to throw a forward pass on that play (ie, no laterals behind the line of scrimmage).
-Assuming a male QB, if the male lined up on the QB knocks down or deflects a pass, the result is illegal gender defense. If the male defensive player does everything in his power to AVOID knocking down or deflecting the ball (ie, a bad pass from the QB), the result will be illegal gender offense. If it is deemed the QB throws into the male defender ON PURPOSE with the hopes of gaining a penalty, a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty will be thrown on the offense.
Penalties on Gender Play:
If the foul is on the DEFENSE = offense will have 3 options: 1) Take the ten yard penalty and repeat the gender play. 2) Take the penalty without yardage and the next play will be open. 3) Decline the penalty.
If the foul is on the OFFENSE = defense will have 2 options: 1) Take the 10-yard penalty and repeat the down (next play will still be gender) OR 2) the defense may decline the penalty.
1. Complete/Incomplete Pass:
A forward pass is completed when caught by any player of the passing team who has at least one foot in-bounds. If opposing teams catch the pass in-bounds simultaneously, the ball belongs to the offensive team at the spot of the catch. If a player steps out-of-bounds and comes back in-bounds to be the first person to touch the ball, it will be ruled an incomplete pass regardless of whether possession is established. However, if a player steps out of bounds, they will be eligible to catch a deflected ball.
2. QB Run from Scrimmage: If the offensive line-of-scrimmage is past midfield, then the QB cannot run for positive yards unless rushed (ie, defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage) after the 5 second count. The QB may run the ball at any time regardless of the rush count if the line of scrimmage is before midfield.
If the play is a forced gender play, however, a male QB may not run for positive yards in any scenario (illegal gender offense).
3. Turnovers: A change of possession can only occur due to downs, a punt, or an interception on a forward pass. A fumble is not a turnover (the ball is dead at the spot of the fumble). A lateral is not a forward pass and can be advanced if intercepted.
1. Touchdowns are six points.
2. Extra points are two points for a 10-yard conversion and one point for a five yard conversion. If the defense gains possession of the ball during the offense’s try after touchdown, the ball becomes dead immediately.
3. Female to Female Scoring Play. If a female to female pass results in a touchdown, the offense will receive seven points (instead of six). Teams will still then have the option for a one or two point conversion. Female to female conversion completions will NOT count for additional points.
4. Safeties are two points. The scoring team will now go on offense with the ball placed at their own 10 yard line.
LOSS OF FIVE YARDS PENALTIES:
a. Defensive off-sides (from the line)A player is off sides when any part of his body or his person is beyond the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball or before the five second count is over. The offensive team has the option to accept or decline the five-yard penalty.
a. Delay of game (from the line/dead ball) The offensive team must put the ball into play 25 seconds after referee has placed the puck.
b. Illegal participation (from the line) Each team may not have more than 8 players on the field at one time or more than 5 men on the field. Penalty will be assessed after discovery.
c. Illegal cadence (from the line/dead ball) If the player calling the cadence does not receive the snap, the play will not stand and the down will be repeated. If the snap is not called verbally, the ball must still be snapped to the offensive player who is lined up as QB. On a forced gender play, the offense must clearly designate which gender will be receiving the snap (QB must raise their hand).
d. Offensive off-sides (from the line/dead ball) When any part of the offensive player’s body or his person is beyond the scrimmage line before the ball is snapped.
e. Offense not stationary for one full second (from the line/dead ball)After a shift or huddle all offensive players must assume a set position and come to an absolute stop (except one man in motion).
f. Offensive player illegally in motion at snap (from the line/dead ball) No player is permitted to be moving forward toward his opponent’s goal line until the snap.
g. Illegal forward pass (from the spot of the pass) The offensive team may make one forward pass from behind the line during each play from scrimmage provided the ball does not cross the line and return behind line before the pass. The defense can either accept or decline the penalty.
h. QB illegal forward pass (from the line/loss of down) If the QB crosses the line of scrimmage and then throws a forward pass, the defense can either decline the penalty or it will be assessed from the line of scrimmage and loss of down (i.e. if it was first down during the penalty, now it is second down).
i. Illegal Diving / Jumping (spot of foul) No player may leave his or her feet in order to gain positive yards. The penalty is assessed here (spot of foul).
j. Offensive Pass Interference (from the line/repeat down)
LOSS OF TEN YARDS PENALTIES:
1. ANY PLAYER:
a. Flag guarding intentionally or unintentionally obstructing the flag with your arm or the ball while the defender is in a position to pull it.
b. Stiff-arm, running into opponent (spot of foul) The ball carrier may not use a stiff-arm (extended arm) to ward off any opponent attempting to touch, may not charge into a defensive player.
c. Blocking (from the spot) No player may use his hands to block opponent. Offensive players may not run down field in front of or parallel to the ball carrier, whether you intended to block or not. They may run behind to receive a lateral.
d. Intentional foul/penalty (from the line/gender will be reset/automatic first down) If a player intentionally commits a penalty or foul of any kind in order to gain an advantage for his team, may be ejected.
a. Illegal contact/holding (from the line) Defender may not use their hands or arms to hang onto or encircle a receiver. The defender cannot extend their arms to cut off or hook a receiver causing contact that impedes and restricts the receiver as the play develops, nor may he maintain contact with the receiver. This includes holding on to an opponent’s uniform or apparel while attempting to pull the flag. Illegal stripping of a receiver who has established possession also falls under illegal contact.
b. Illegal Gender Defense (from the line) The offense has three options: 1) Take the ten yard penalty and repeat the gender play & down. 2) Take the penalty without yardage and the next play will be open (repeat down). 3) Decline the penalty.
a. Offensive Picking (from the line/ if this occurs in a forced gender situation, then gender will be replayed) The offensive team may not initiate a pick/block while in motion. Action by a player who with/without contact delays or prevents an opponent from reaching a desired position.
b. Offensive Pass Interference (from the line)
c. Illegal Gender Offense (from the line) Defense has two options: 1) Take the 10-yard penalty and repeat the down (next play will still be gender) OR 2) the defense may decline the penalty.
d. Intentional Grounding on Forced Gender Play (from the line) if the male QB on a forced gender play is deemed to have thrown a purposefully un-catchable ball at the feet of a female player in order to attempt to satisfy a gender play, the offense will be penalized (illegal gender offense).
LOSS OF 15 YARD PENALTIES
a. Tying flags (or modifying / rendering flags to make it more difficult for the defense to pull). If a player is discovered to have tied their flags, the 15-yard penalty will be assessed from the previous line of scrimmage (ie, if a TD was scored, the penalty will be assessed from the original line of scrimmage).
b. Unsportsmanlike conduct (from the line/ If penalty is on the defense, automatic first down/ If penalty is on the offense, 15 yds. from the line/ If penalty is after a TD, yardage added to extra point conversion) Abusive/insulting language or gesture to another player or referee, as well as taunting opponents or similar theatrics before or after the touchdown. The player may be disqualified for above actions if judged by the referee to be flagrant and will be suspended for the next week’s game. If that player(s) is caught playing next week, the team will forfeit that game. In a severe case of unsportsmanlike conduct, the player will be suspended from playing any LoneStar SSC sport for a year or more. Disqualified players’ names must be given to the LoneStar SSC staff or referee. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated in the LoneStar SSC.
c. Defensive Pass interference Defense- 15 yard penalty or spot of the foul if less then 15 yard attempted. Prohibited conduct shall be when a player physically restricts or impedes the opponent in a manner that is visually evident and materially affects the opponent’s opportunity to gain position or retain his position to catch the ball. If a player has gained position, he shall not be considered to have impeded or restricted his opponent in a prohibited manner if all of his actions are a bona fide effort to go to and catch the ball.
Any rules not mentioned follow those of NIRSA (www.nirsa.org