7 on 7 Rules

I: League Rules of Play for 7on7

1. Coin Toss – Visiting team makes call. Winner has choice to defer or choose offense or defense.

2. 7 defenders (may not line up 8 & drop one before snap) and 7 offensive players (must use an “ineligible” center, extra player or a “QB Tee” to snap as 1 of the 7 offensive players).

3. Each possession starts on the 40 yard line – going in.

4. First Downs -10U – 18U –  First downs are made by crossing the 25-yard line and the 10-yard line.

                         – 8U – First downs are made by crossing the 30-yard line, the 20-yard line and the 10-yard line.

5. No-Run Zones precede each first down line and the goal line by 5 yards (35-30-yard line, 25-20-yard line, 15-10-yard line, and 5-goal line). Teams cannot run the ball in any fashion. All plays must be pass plays, even with a handoff. (8U ONLY)

6. (4) downs to make a first down.

7. The Quarterback must release the ball for a pass before the time clock expires or the play will result in a sack (loss of down).

QB clock starts on snap of ball.

    4 seconds for 12U – 18U

    5 seconds for 10U

    7 seconds for 8U

8. Possession changes after:

    a) PAT attempt

    b) failure to make a first down

    c) turnover.

9. All offensive formations must be legal sets. (3 players which includes the “CENTER” must be on the line of scrimmage)

10. One-hand touch anywhere.

11. No Fumbles. Ball is dead if it touches the ground (a muffed snap is NOT a fumble/dead ball)

12. Two (2) Coaches may be in Offensive Huddle. Defensive Coach must remain on sidelines (8U- 2 Defensive coaches may be on the field)

II. Terminology

the team with possession of the ball.

the team opposing the offense to prevent them from advancing the ball.

Boundary Lines:
the outer perimeter lines around the field. They include the sidelines, and back of the end zone lines.

Line Of Scrimmage:(LOS) an imaginary line running through the point of the football and across the width of the field.

First Down Lines: the line the offense must pass to get a first down.

Goal Line: the line the offense must pass to score.

Downs (1-2-3-4): the offensive team has four attempts or “downs” to advance the ball. They must cross the line to gain to get another set of downs or to score.

Live Ball: refers to the period of time that the play is in action. Generally used in regard to penalties, live ball penalties are considered part of the play and must be enforced before the down is considered complete.

Dead Ball: refers to the period of time immediately before or after a play.

Charging: the movement of the ball carrier directly at a defensive player who has established position on the field. This includes lowering the head, making contact with the defender with a shoulder, forearm, or the chest.

Shovel Pass: a legal pass attempted beyond the line of scrimmage by throwing the ball underhand or pushing it towards a receiver in a shot-put type manner.

Lateral: a backwards or sideways toss of the ball by the ball carrier.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: a rude, confrontational, or offensive behavior or language.

III. Eligibility:

1. All players’ legal guardians must agree to the online waiver form at frcyouthfb.com for their specific league before participating.

2. All Players must be an official FRC Youth Football member.

IV. Equipment:

1. Soft Shell Helmets and Mouthpieces are required for each player!

2. Official FRC jerseys must be worn during play, or any jersey/uniform approved by the League Commissioner.

3. All players must be in team uniform!

4. Approved youth footballs are provided by each team.

5. Players must wear shoes. Football cleats are encouraged; however, cleats with exposed metal are not allowed and must be removed.

6. Players may tape their forearms, hands and fingers. Players may wear gloves, elbow pads, and kneepads. Hard casts and/or braces       with exposed metal are not allowed.

7. Players must remove all watches, earrings and any other jewelry that the officials deem hazardous.

8. Players’ jerseys must be tucked into the pants if they hang below the belt line.

9. Pants or shorts with belt loops or pockets must be taped.

V. Field:

The field dimensions are 40 yards by 53.33 yards (no less than 50 yards without League Commissioner approval) with a 10-yard end zone. However, field size may vary based on field availability for each league.

No-Run Zones are in place to prevent teams from conducting power run plays. While in the No-Run Zones

(a 5-yard imaginary zone before first down lines and before the end zone – 8U only),

Stepping on the boundary line is considered out of bounds.

VI. Rosters

1. All players must be registered on the FRCYOUTHFB.COM website

2. Teams must consist of at least seven (7) players, with a maximum of fifteen (15) players.

3. Teams must start a game with a minimum of seven (7) players. In the event of an injury, a team with insufficient substitute players may play with six (6) players on the field, but no fewer than six (6).

VII. Timing and Overtime

1. Games consist of two (2) 25:00-minute halves. The clock runs continuous during both halves, except for the last two minutes of the 2nd half. The clock will stop as it would in regular football play.

2. Halftime is five (5) minutes long.

3. Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 25 seconds to snap the ball. Teams will receive one warning before a delay-of-game penalty is enforced.

4. Each team has one 60-second time out to stop the clock per half. 1 additional time-out per overtime. (OT for tournament play only)

5. Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.

6. In the event of an injury the clock will stop and then restart when the injured player is removed from the field of play.

7. If the score is tied at the end of fifty (50) minutes, the game ends in a tie. There is NO OVERTIME in the regular season!

8. In tournament or playoff situations, an overtime (OT) Period will be used to determine a winner. OT format is as follows:

Overtime consists of 3 plays from 10-yard line. Each team has an attempt to score in each overtime period. In the event of a 3rd overtime. Each team must go for 2-point conversion and if no score at all, the winning team will be determined by score or total yards gained on 3rd overtime period. Overtime periods are not timed.

The game cannot end on an intentional sack, the quarterback must make an attempt to pass the ball downfield. The Penalty will result in one untimed down after the sack/play is over. (Does not apply to 8U)

VIII: Scoring

Touchdown – 6 points

PAT – 1 point from 5-yard line, 2 pts from 10-yard line

Interception (tagged down prior to returning to 40-yard line) – 3 points (no points for INT on PAT)

Interception returned to the 40-yard line  – 6 points (PAT to follow)

Turnover on downs – 2 points

Turnover on PAT is dead ball!

*Official Score will be kept and reported by referee

IX: Coaches

1. Coaches are typically volunteer parents or family members helping the players learn and enjoy the game. Parents are encouraged to    support the coach at all time.

2. Coaches are expected to adhere to FRCYFB philosophies, coaching guidelines and codes of conduct.

3. Two Offensive coaches allowed on the field behind huddle and out of the field of play, Defensive Coach must move to the sidelines   before the snap of the ball. (8U – 2 defensive coaches are allowed on the field during game play)

X: Live Ball/Dead Ball

1. The ball is live at the snap of the ball and remains live until the official whistles the ball dead.

2. The official will indicate the neutral zone and line of scrimmage. It is an automatic dead ball foul if any player on defense or offense enters the neutral zone. In regard to the neutral zone, the official may give both teams a “courtesy” neutral zone notification to allow their players to move back behind the line of scrimmage.

3. A player who gains possession in the air is considered in bounds as long as one foot comes down in the field of play.

4. The defense may not mimic the offensive team signals, by trying to confuse the offensive players, while the quarterback is calling out signals to start the play. This will result in an unsportsmanlike penalty.

5. Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.

6. Any official can whistle the play dead.

7. Play is ruled “dead” when:

   a. The ball hits the ground.

   b. The ball carrier steps out of bounds.

   c. A touchdown, PAT or safety is scored.

   d. The ball carrier’s knee or arm hits the ground.

   e. The QB “pass clock” expires.

   f. Inadvertent whistle.

NOTE: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s feet were at the time of the


8. In the case of an inadvertent whistle, the offense has two options:

   a. Take the ball where it was when the whistle blew and the down is consumed.
   b. Replay the down from the original line of scrimmage.

9. A team is allowed to use a time out to question an official’s rule interpretation. If the official’s ruling is correct, the team will be charged a time out. If the rule is interpreted incorrectly, the time out will not be charged and the proper ruling will be enforced. Officials should all agree upon any controversial call in order to give each team the full benefit of each call.

XI: Running –

1. The ball is spotted where the ball is when the runner is tagged.

2. The quarterback cannot directly run with the ball. The quarterback does have the ability to scramble in the back field, but cannot advance the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. The quarterback is the offensive player that receives the snap.

3. Only direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. Handoffs may be in front, behind, or to the side of the offensive player, but must be behind the line of scrimmage. The offense may use multiple handoffs.

“Center Sneak” play – The ball must completely leave the center’s hands on the snap and he/she must step backwards off the line of scrimmage in order to receive a direct handoff from the QB before advancing the ball.

4. Absolutely NO laterals or pitches of any kind.

5. “No-Run Zones,” located 5 yards before each first down line and 5 yards before the end zone are designed to avoid short-yardage power-running situations. Teams are not allowed to run in these zones if the subsequent line is LIVE.

6. The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.

7. Once the ball has been handed off in front, behind or to the side of the quarterback, all defensive players are eligible to rush.

8. Runners may not leave their feet to advance the ball. (No diving, leaping, or jumping)

9. Spinning is allowed, but players may not leave their feet to avoid a tag. Lateral moves to the left or right are permitted.

10. Runners may leave their feet if there is a clear indication that he/she has done so to avoid collision with another player without a penalty enforced.

11. No blocking or “screening” is allowed at any time.

12. Offensive players must stop their motion once the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage. No running with the ball carrier.

XII: Passing

1. All passes must be from behind the line of scrimmage.

2. Passes may be thrown behind the line of scrimmage but receiver must advance beyond L.O.S. or play will be treated as a sack.

3. Shovel and “underhand toss” passes are allowed, but must be received/completed beyond the line of scrimmage.

4. The quarterback has a “pass clock.” If a pass is not thrown within the allotted time, play is dead, the down is consumed and the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage. Once the ball is handed off, the 7-second rule no longer is in effect for 8U.

Pass Clock –

    4 seconds for 12U – 18U

    5 seconds for 10U

    7 seconds for 8U

XIII: Receiving

1. All players except the center/snapper are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback, if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage – 8U only).

2. Only one player is allowed in motion at a time. All motion must be parallel to the line of scrimmage and no motion is permitted towards the line of scrimmage.

3. A player must have a least one foot inbounds when making a reception.

4. In the case of simultaneous possession by both an offensive and defensive player, possession is awarded to the offense.

5. Interceptions change the possession of the ball at the 40 yard line and the defense is awarded 3 points.

6. Interceptions are live balls and are returnable.

XIV: Formations

1. All Offense formations must be legal sets. 3 athletes must be on the line of scrimmage (2 eligible receivers and the ineligible center/snapper)

   a. One player at a time may go in motion 1-yard behind and parallel to the line of scrimmage.

   b. No motion is allowed towards the line of scrimmage.

2. Offensive players must come to a complete stop for one second before the ball is snapped unless he/she is the only player in motion.

3. Movement by a player who is set or a player who runs toward the line of scrimmage while in motion is considered a false start.

4. The center must snap the ball with a rapid and continuous motion to a player in the backfield, and the ball must completely leave his/her hands. The snap can be between his/her legs or to the side. (The QB can opt to use the QB Tee in place of a snapper)

XV. Penalties

i. General

1. The referee will call all penalties.

2. Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play.

3. All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage, except as noted. (spot fouls)

4. Only the team captain or head coach may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players may not question judgment calls.

5. Games may not end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.

6. Penalties are assessed live ball then dead ball. Live ball penalties must be assessed before play is considered complete.

7. Penalties will be assessed half the distance to the goal yardage when the penalty yardage is more than half the distance to the goal.

ii. Defensive Penalties

1. Offside- + 5 yards from line of scrimmage

2. Taunting- + 10 yards from line of scrimmage & Automatic First Down

3. Defensive Pass Interference- SPOT FOUL, Automatic First Down

4. Holding- + 5 yards

5. Defensive Unnecessary Roughness/Personal Foul- +5 yards & Automatic First Down

6. Responsibility to avoid contact is with the defense. The defense is allowed an INITIAL disruption, and the must cover.

Excessive or prolonged contact will result in a “Tack on” penalty at the end of the play (5-yard penalty)

7. Any dead ball penalty on the defense AFTER a change of possession would result in loss of down for that team’s offense when they begin their ensuing possession.

iii. Offensive Penalties

1. Offsides/False Start/ Illegal Procedure – 5 yards from line of scrimmage or Loss of Down

2. Illegal Forward Pass- – 5 yards from line of scrimmage & Loss of Down

(Pass received behind the line of scrimmage or throwing a pass beyond the line of scrimmage)

3. Offensive Pass Interference- 5 yards and Loss of Down

4. Illegal Motion (More than one person moving) – 5 yards from line of scrimmage or  Loss of Down

5. Delay of Game- Loss of Down

6. Exceeding allotted time (QB Pass Clock) to release the ball- Loss of Down

7. Screening, Blocking or Running with the Ball Carrier- SPOT FOUL and – 5 yards.

8. Charging- SPOT FOUL, -10 yards & Loss of Down

9. Offensive Unnecessary Roughness – 5 yards & Loss of Down

*The game cannot end on an intentional sack; the quarterback must make an attempt to pass the ball downfield. The Penalty will result in one untimed down after the sack/play is over. (Does not apply to 8U)

**If Defensive holding occurs on the same play as a sack, the defense will be penalized and the sack is void.

XVI: Unsportsmanlike Conduct

1. If the field monitor or referee witnesses any acts of intentional tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will be ejected from the game. The decision is made at the referee’s discretion. No appeals will be considered. FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!

2. Offensive or confrontational language is illegal. Officials have the right to determine offensive language. If offensive or confrontational language occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.

3. Players may not physically or verbally abuse any opponent, coach or official.

4. Ball carriers MUST make an effort to avoid defenders with an established position.

5. Defenders are not allowed to run through the ball carrier when making a tag.

6. Fans must also adhere to good sportsmanship, as well:

   a. Yell to cheer on your players, not to harass officials or other teams. b. Keep comments clean and profanity free.

   c. Compliment ALL players, not just one child or team.

7. Fans are required to keep fields safe and kids friendly:

    Keep younger kids and equipment such as coolers, chairs and tents a minimum of 10 yards off the field in the end zone area.

8. Fighting / unsportsmanlike conduct:

    1st offense = ejection from game.

    2nd offense = ejection from tournament.

   *Fighting / unsportsmanlike conduct (team): if any player leaves the sideline to participate in an on-field fight, the


*Officials have the overall authority to enforce any rules not outlined in this rulebook as it relates to the WIAA rule format.*


  • First Offense – one game suspension. (If ejected from a game, the suspension will be 1 full game. If ejection takes place in the first half, the suspension is the 2nd half of the current game and the 1st half of the following game. The suspended “person” is eligible to return the 2nd half of the following game.  If the ejection takes place at any time during the 2nd half of a game, the suspension will be for the entire following game.
  • Second Offense – Offender will be suspended for the remainder of the current season.

All Code of Conduct violations will be investigated and handled by the League Commissioner; however, the FRC game day officials have full authority to enforce any ejections/penalties that violate FRC game rules including the COC.