SOUTH HILL YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE GENERAL & AGE SPECIFIC PLAYING RULES 

The SHYFL uses the National Federation of High School Football rules and regulations as its basis.

Additionally, the SHFYL Executive Board, the SHYFL Board of Representatives and SHYFL Referees have collectively and unanimously approved adjustments to the National Federation of High School Football rules.  These adjustments maintain a competitive spirit and sportsmanship among league members, keeps our young athletes safe and promotes learning the game of football in a progression that appropriately fits their age and skill level. 

The SHYFL Executive Board maintains the right to enforce and amend all general rules, age specific playing rules and if necessary, impose disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the integrity, safety and reputation of the SHYFL.

SHYFL GENERAL RULES

  1. Each community will have one USA Football Certified Player Safety Coach
  2. All first time head coaches, regardless of age group, are to be USA Football Heads-Up Certified
  3. All head coaches, assistant coaches, athletes, referees and fans should act in a manner that is not detrimental to the SHYFL
  4. All head coaches and assistant coaches on opposing teams should strive to work together in a manner that is conducive to the safety of every player on the field.
  5. Each individual team, within each municipality, is required to sign up for HUDL
  6. For each regular season game, each community, whether the home or away team, is to film the game.  Scrimmages are not required to be filmed
  7. The game film, is to be up no later than 24 hours after the games completion.  Every effort should be made to upload the film to HUDL sooner than 24 hours
  8. No cut blocking or crack back blocking is permitted at any age level
  9. All age/grade based maximum weights are subject to review by the SHYFL Executive Board
  10. If a player petitions to play up or down by age level due to weight or skill level, the petition will be reviewed by the SHYFL Executive Board on a case by case basis
  11. Each community and head coach is responsible for ensuring that all players meet the PIAA required minimum of three (3) consecutive days of heat acclimation prior to any contact at practice
  12. PIAA heat acclimation days permit players to wear helmets, shoulder pads and football shoes.  All other contact pads are prohibited during the minimum three (3) consecutive days
  13. All teams may practice up to ten (10) hours per week, prior to the first regular season game.
  14. Thereafter, all teams are permitted up to six (6) hours per week of practice, including and through all playoff games.
  15. The SHYFL references the PIAA in regards to player’s grade eligibility. Any child at the grade 5/6 grade level who turns 13 prior to July 1st of the current year will be ineligible to play in the SHYFL.  Any child who turns 11 prior to July 1st of the current season must move up to Division I.  Any child who turns 9 prior to July 1st of the current season must move up to Division II.


GRADE BASED PLAYING RULES

Termite (K-2 grade) Division:

  • The Termite division will play 9 vs. 9 football
  • The field will be 80 yards in length and will be the normal width
  • Assessed penalties are 5 yards for off sides and 10 yards for every other type of penalty
  • The game will consist of two 30 minute halves with a running clock except for the last two minutes of each half, which will be regularly-timed football (clock starts/stops on referees signal).  There is a 10 minute half-time
  • Three timeouts are allotted per half
  • There is a 30 second play clock
  • Two coaches are permitted on the field and in the huddle; once the offense breaks the huddle, the defensive coaches will work themselves to the offensive side of the ball and get 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Once a QB is under center they must stay under center.  Violation of the rule is treated as an illegal procedure.
  • There is to be no talking/coaching/directing the kids once the offense breaks the huddle.  1st offense-Warning, 2nd offense-Unsportsmanlike Conduct Foul, 3rd offense-Head Coach is flagged for unsportsmanlike (*It is noted that the spirit of the rule is to prevent a defensive advantage and “coaching” is at the discretion of the officials.  Any incidental talk by the coaches after the huddle is broke may, or may not, be determined to be coaching by the officials )
  • There are NO special teams in this division (no punts/no kick-offs)
  • However, after a touchdown, the offense may elect to go for one or two points.  If one point, the ball is placed at the 3 yard line; if two points, the ball will be placed at the 5 yard line
  • The ball is to be placed on the 30 yard line at the beginning of each half and after a touchdown is scored
  • If either team elects to punt, there will be a 20 yard walk-off by the referee and the clock (if in the last two minutes of each half) will run off 10 seconds
  • The offense is not permitted to run a QB sneak or use a silent count
  • The offense is not permitted to run an unbalanced line
  • The defense is only permitted to run a 4-3-2 set.  The defense is not permitted to line up over the center.  Defensive Ends may be in a two point stance, but must clearly be outside of the Offensive Tackle.  Linebacker depth is set at least 3 yards from the line of scrimmage.  Safety depth is set at least 6 yards from the line of scrimmage.  Violation of the defensive formation is a warning and then a 5 yard penalty.  Repeated violation may result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the head coach which is at the discretion of the officials.
  • There is NO blitzing.  Violation of this rule will result in a 5 yard penalty.  Repeated violation may result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the head coach which is at the discretion of the officials.
  • The MAX skill weight is 75 pounds.  (Although, the Tight End is eligible to catch a forward pass; the TE is not permitted however to catch a screen pass or take a hand off of any type)
  • The review playing weight is 110 pounds.  Players over that weight are all subject to an Executive Board review and will not be eligible to play Tight End.
  • Players over the review playing weight must line up in a three or four point stance head up over the offensive tackle and may penetrate, at the snap of the ball, through any gap
  • The center may snap the bowl with the poles of the ball parallel to the line of scrimmage.
  • All SHYFL communities will try to keep a maximum roster size of 14 players at this age group
  • All SHYFL teams at this age group will make the playoffs


Junior Varsity (3-4 grade) Division:

  • The Junior Varsity Division will play on a regulation sized field with 11 vs. 11
  • The game will consist of 4 quarters that are 10 minutes each with a 10 minute halftime
  • Regulation clock and Regulation penalties
  • There are three allotted time outs per half
  • There is a 25 second play clock
  • If either team elects to punt, there will be a 20 yard walk-off by the referee and the clock will run off 10 seconds.  There are no punts permitted inside of the defensive 30 yard line
  • After a touchdown, the offense may elect to go for one or two points.  If one point, the ball is placed at the 3 yard line; if two points, the ball will be placed at the 5 yard line.  The scoring team may elect to kick for two points; if so, the ball will be placed on the 3 yard line.  Running or passing the ball in for a score out of a kick formation, results in one point.
  • After scoring, the scoring team has the option to kick from his own 40 yard line or can have the opposing offense start on their own 30 yard line.
  • Once a QB is under center they must stay under center.  Violation of the rule is treated as an illegal procedure.
  • One coach is permitted on the field and in the huddle; once the offense breaks the huddle, the defensive coach will work themselves to the offensive side of the ball and get 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
  • There is to be no talking/coaching/directing the kids once the offense breaks the huddle from the coaches on the field.  1st offense-Warning, 2nd offense-Unsportsmanlike Conduct Fowl, 3rd offense-Head Coach is flagged for unsportsmanlike (*It is noted that the spirit of the rule is to prevent a defensive advantage and “coaching” is at the discretion of the officials.  Any incidental talk by the coaches after the huddle is broke may, or may not, be determined to be coaching by the officials)
  • The defense is not permitted to line up directly over the center; A-gap alignment permitted.  Linebacker depth is 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage.  Defensive Ends may be in a two point stance, but must clearly be outside of the Offensive Tackle.  Violation of the defensive formation is a warning and then a 5 yard penalty.  Repeated violation may result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the head coach which is at the discretion of the officials.   
  • There is NO blitzing permitted at this age group.  Violation of this rule will result in a 5 yard penalty.  Repeated violation may result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the head coach which is at the discretion of the officials.
  • The defense is permitted to have 6 players maximum on the line of scrimmage; 8 players maximum are permitted on the line of scrimmage inside of the 10 yard line (goal line defense)
  • If a defensive tackle lines up clearly on the outside of the offensive tackle, he is permitted to be in a two point (standing) stance.  If the defensive tackle lines head up or inside of the offensive tackle, he must be in either a three or four point stance
  • If an offensive player goes in motion, he may cross the midline and block a defensive player (kick-out a defensive end as an example) or take a hand-off.  However, if an offensive player goes in motion to a wing position, he must come to a complete stop (1 full second minimum) prior to blocking a defensive player.
  • The MAX skill weight is 95 pounds.  (Although, the Tight End is eligible to catch a forward pass; the TE is not permitted however to catch a screen pass or take a hand off of any type)
  • The review playing weight is 130 pounds.  Players over that weight are all subject to an Executive Board review and will not be eligible to play Tight End.
  • Players over the review playing weight must line up in a three or four point stance head up over the offensive tackle and may penetrate, at the snap of the ball, through any gap
  • The center may snap the bowl with the poles of the ball parallel to the line of scrimmage.
  • All SHYFL communities will try to keep a maximum roster size of 16 players at this age group
  • All SHYFL teams at this age group may not make the playoffs


Varsity (5-6th grade) Division:


  • The Varsity Division will play on a regulation sized field with 11 vs. 11
  • The game will consist of 4 quarters that are 10 minutes each with a 10 minute halftime
  • Regulation clock and Regulation penalties
  • There are three allotted time outs per half
  • There is a 25 second play clock
  • If either team elects to punt, there either will be a 25 yard walk-off by the referee and the clock will run off 10 seconds.  There are no walk-off punts permitted inside of the defensive 30 yard line.  OR, a team may elect to punt out of the attached formation; although the punt is “live” there is no “live” rushing of the punter/snapper permitted.  Quick – kick style punts on third down are however live football
  • Once a QB is under center they must stay under center.  Violation of the rule is treated as an illegal procedure.
  • After a touchdown, the offense may elect to go for one or two points.  If one point, the ball is placed at the 3 yard line; if two points, the ball will be placed at the 5 yard line.  The scoring team may elect to kick for two points; if so, the ball will be placed on the 3 yard line.  Running or passing the ball in for a score out of a kick formation, results in one point
  • After scoring, the scoring team has the option to kick from his own 40 yard line or can have the opposing offense start on their own 20 yard line
  • One coach is permitted on the field and in the huddle during the first game only.  There is to be no talking/coaching/directing the kids once the offense breaks the huddle from the coaches on the field.  1st offense-Warning, 2nd offense-Unsportsmanlike Conduct Fowl, 3rd offense-Head Coach is flagged for unsportsmanlike [*It is noted that the spirit of the rule is to prevent a defensive advantage and “coaching” is at the discretion of the officials.  Any incidental talk by the coaches after the huddle is broke may, or may not, be determined to be coaching by the officials.  This rule is specific for the first game only and should have no impact any further in the season at the Varsity (Grade 5/6 Level)]
  • Thereafter, no coaches are permitted in the huddle; although one coach may come out to the numbers to call in the play to a player on the field for the remainder of the season
  • If a defensive tackle lines up clearly on the outside of the offensive tackle, he is permitted to be in a two point (standing) stance.  If the defensive tackle lines head up or inside of the offensive tackle, he must be in either a three or four point stance
  • There are no further defensive limitations beyond regulation rules
  • If an offensive player goes in motion, he may cross the midline and block a defensive player (kick-out a defensive end as an example) or take a hand-off.  However, if an offensive player goes in motion to a wing position, he must come to a complete stop (1 full second minimum) prior to blocking a defensive player.
  • The MAX skill weight is 115 pounds.  (Although, the Tight End is eligible to catch a forward pass; the TE is not permitted however to catch a screen pass or take a hand off of any type)
  • The review playing weight is 150 pounds.  Players over that weight are all subject to an Executive Board review and will not be eligible to play Tight End. 
  • Players over the review playing weight must line up in a three or four point stance head up over the offensive tackle and may penetrate, at the snap of the ball, through any gap
  • All SHYFL communities will try to keep a maximum roster size of 16 players at this age group
  • All SHYFL teams at this age group may not make the playoffs