Rules Illinois 7on7 Youth football Tournaments

MOUTH GUARDS: It is required that mouth pieces be worn!

A) Field Length -- 40 yards long for 12-18 years of age or 6th grade and above.
B) Field Width – 140-160 feet (60 feet to hash mark, 40 feet between)
C) End Zone -- 10 yards deep

A) The home team will have first possession and wear dark (top team in bracket or first team listed will be home). The visiting team will have first possession in the 2nd half and wear a light color (bottom team in bracket or 2nd team listed will be the visiting team). In the playoffs, the better seed (better record) will have first possession.
B) The home team will provide the designated time/score keeper. All games will begin and end on this person’s instructions. The scorekeeper should announce the time remaining at the 2 minute mark.
C) 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.
D) Youth football jerseys are acceptable. No high school football jerseys of any type shall be worn. T-shirts, dri-fit style, personal jerseys or basketball-type sleeveless shirts are permitted.
E) Players are permitted to wear football cleats with plastic or rubber spikes. NO METAL SPIKES!
F) Ball is always placed in the center of the field when at the 40-yard line. 
G) Each team will use its own ball during offensive possessions. 8th and younger divisions may use either High School or Middle School (TDY) standard size footballs. High School divisions (9th and up) MUST use the standard size high school sized football.
H) Referee will announce score before each offensive possession begins.
I) Sunflower seeds and chewing tobacco are STRICTLY PROHIBITED on the turf fields. Any player/coach littering the turf field with seeds/shells with be EJECTED from the game without warning! This is a serious problem that coaches/players need to enforce!

A) No kicking/punting.
B) Field is marked at 20 yard intervals with cones. (2 first downs would result in a TD).
C) Possession always begins at the 40 yard line in the middle of the field.
D) Offenses always move in the same direction.
F) All passes must be completed over the line of scrimmage. The only laterals that will be allowed will be laterals that occur AFTER the completion of a forward pass. Infraction results in loss of down.

The offensive team may run the ball on any down, but it must be a direct handoff to the running back (dives, draws, sweep, stretch). There are no pitch passes, half-back passes or reverses allowed. Defensive players may not cross the line on a run play until the QB hands the ball off to the RB. Plays stopped behind the 40 yard line with be repositioned to the 40 … no “safety”.   Infraction results in loss of down. 

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 first 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.
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.
  1. If release is under 4.0 seconds, the play goes on.
  2. If the referee sees that the clock has exceeded 4.0 seconds, he waits until the play is over (the play is not blown dead), then brings the ball back to the original line of scrimmage with loss of down. No interceptions may occur if the clock has exceeded 4.0 seconds.
  3. NO RUSH
F) Defensive Pass Interference will be a spot foul (1st down at the spot).
G) Illegal contact – the responsibility to avoid contact is with the defense. There will be NO chucking, or deliberate bumping or grabbing. These actions will result in either a completed play with a 5-yard "tack on" penalty or a 5yard penalty and replay the previous down.
H) Offensive pass interference is the same as NCAA rules.
I) Interceptions may NOT be returned and the play is whistled dead immediately. An interception simply results in a change of possession and the ball is placed at the 40 yard line in the middle of the field. 
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 – only 5 receivers! (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. If the offense is using the QB-Tee, one offensive player must “take a knee” next to the QB-Tee during each offensive play.
L) The center will be responsible for setting or re-positioning the QB-Tee 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 20 yards within 4 plays while the offense is in the first 20 yards of the field (the first 20 yard segments of the field) or the defense takes over. Once the team has entered the 20 yards of the field, the offense must score within the first four downs. There are no field goals.
O) 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 40 yard line (30 yard line for 5th grade and below) starting position. The defense - not the offense - would be starting play with 2nd down.
P) For the middle school and high school divisions, two coaches are allowed on the field for the team's offensive possession (one instructional & one observing). The coaches must remain behind all offensive players at all times.
Q) Snapping of the ball by the center must be between the legs, tossed from the ground or taken from the QB-Tee.
R) AGGRESSIVE PLAY/FIGHTING/POOR SPORTSMANSHIP: the players or coaches involved will be ejected from the game and/or tournament without warning. If a team fight occurs (or poor sportsmanship), the teams involved will be ejected from the game/tournament and denied participation in any/all post-season league playoffs, state qualifying tournaments and the state tournament. 

6 points for TD, 1 point for PAT from 3 yard line, 2 point PAT from 10 yard line and 1 point for any interception including PATs (interception is dead ball). Official score is kept by field referee and game manager.

After coin flip to determine first possession, teams will alternate 4 down series from the 20-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 second overtime.  In 30-minute playoff games, teams will alternate 2 down series from the 10 yard line.

A) Tournament games will consist of two 20-minute halves (continuous clock for each half--see: "starting the game"). If the game starts late, please reduce the time to 18-minute halves. League games are 22-minutes.
B) Each team will be allowed one time out (1 minute) in the 2nd half only. (EXCEPTION: Injuries. All games will halt until injured player(s) can be safely removed from the field). If a time out is called after a touchdown, the clock should not begin until the start of the next offensive possession (not after the PAT).
  1. 4-minute halftime/5 minutes between games (the between game time may be shortened if the tournament is running behind schedule).
  2. 7-on-7 playoff tournament requires 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.

A) One approved representative per community or town. This representative is responsible for organizing teams from their respective community and approving community coaches/teams.
B) Players: Maximum of 20 players per team. We recommend a minimum of 10 players per team.
C) Players on a roster must reside within the town they are representing or reside in a town that directly borders that is otherwise not represented in the League. 
(2)-Referee/Field Judge for All Games

10. 7 on 7 COACHES
A) A team may not have more than 4 pre-approved coaches on the sidelines.
B) Each team must have a 7 on 7 team designated coach accompany it to any/all events. This individual is responsible for the actions of the players representing the team! 
C) For high school leagues (9th grade and up), no high school coach may serve as a 7 on 7 team coach or stand with the team on the sideline. No high school coaches are allowed on the sidelines during a game. High school coaches must watch games from the end zones or the designated spectator area. 
D) High school coaches and/or athletic directors may post the on7 informational flyer at their respective school. However, high school coaches and/or athletic directors may not be involved in any respect in organizing a team.  

A) If two teams are tied at the end of conference play, the first tiebreaker shall be head-to-head play.
B) If three or more teams are tied at the end of conference play, the following tiebreakers shall be applied until there are two or less teams tied:
  • Head-to-head record against the other tied teams
  • Point Differential (PF-PA)
  • Points Against (PA)
  • Points For (PF)
  • Coin flip
C) Please note that any team which forfeits a game during the regular season will not be eligible for tiebreakers.  
D) Please note that any team which forfeits multiple games during the regular season may not be eligible for the playoffs and may be dropped from the league (based on the discretion of league officials). 

A) Based on the number of teams in the league, playoff divisions will consist of pool play or 4-team, 6-team, 8-team brackets.
B) Middle school games follow the same format as the regular season. The better record, higher seed is the home team.
C) High School playoff games are structured as 30-minute contests (no halftime) with 5 minutes between games. The better record, higher seed will have the first possession. Please be ready to start every game on-time! 
Illinois 7on7 is the governing body of the Illinois 7-on-7 Youth Football Passing League. All league information, rules, trademarks and logos are the exclusive property of the League. Any reprinting, copying, modifying, publishing, or other distribution of the Illinois 7-on-7 Youth Passing League rules or logos contained in this document is strictly prohibited without the prior written consent. Any questions should be directed to Illinois 7on7 at 224-764-1326 or [email protected].