City of Roanoke Youth Football League
The purpose of Youth Recreation Athletics Leagues is to provide an enjoyable experience for each youth participant, while developing character, skills, sportsmanship, and to promote good will among all teams and individuals. Although sports are competitive by nature; the City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department’s intentions are to place less emphasis on winning, while promoting lifetime physical activity and health for each participant.
The Youth Football leagues are governed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and these rules will apply to the By-laws except as modified herein.
Age Classification – Age determined on October 1 of the current season.
- Biddy – Children must turn 6 on or before Oct. 1 in order to be eligible
- Little League – Children that turn 12 on or before Oct. 1 shall play for the middle school football program
Length of Quarters/halves
6 & 7
1 Quarter – 12m 30s
2 Quarter – 12m 30s
Halftime – 4m
3 Quarter – 12m 30s
4 Quarter – 12m 30s
8 & 9
1 Quarter – 9m (running clock)
2 Quarter – 9m
Halftime – 7m
3 Quarter – 9m (running clock)
4 Quarter – 9m
1 Quarter – 10m (running clock)
2 Quarter – 10m
Halftime – 7m
3 Quarter – 10m (running clock)
4 Quarter – 10m
Running Clock – Pee Wee, Little League
The Pee Wee and Little League age divisions shall have a running clock during the 1st and 3rd periods of all City of Roanoke sponsored youth football games. During a running clock period stoppages are permit able for timeouts, injuries, and official’s timeout only. The 2nd and 4th quarters shall be played with regulation clock stoppages.
All Play Rule – All Leagues
Note: Coaches are strongly encouraged to distribute playing time equally amongst all players.
Every player present and in uniform must play a minimum of five (5) plays per half for a total of ten (10) per game (regular season, playoffs, and bowl games). These plays do not have to be consecutive. A PLAY must meet the following stipulations:
- The play must be a live-action play in which all players are considered “live” and contact is allowed.
- The play must have no penalty that causes a replay of the down.
- All players must be involved in active plays with no intent to minimize the action or integrity of the plays in the game.
- Players with health restrictions that do not allow them to play the minimum amount.
- Players that are injured during the game and cannot fulfill the all play requirements.
Note: It is the responsibility of the head coach to ensure that the Parks and Recreation scorekeeper is notified prior to each game of any player that is restricted due to health reasons.
Penalty for failure to comply with the “All Play Rule” will result in the following:
1st occurrence – Head coach suspension – 1 Half immediately following infraction
2nd occurrence – Head coach suspension – 1 Game
3rd occurrence – Head coach suspension – 1 Year
Teams, Rosters, and Player Eligibility – All Leagues
- A player may appear on only one roster.
- Must be completely and accurately filled in and signed by the athletic director to verify information is correct.
- Every child that participates must have a copy of their original birth certificate on file with their recreation club. If a player’s age is protested the team/recreation club will have 48 hours to produce an original birth certificate.
Penalty: Player(s) is/are ineligible to participate until documentation has been submitted to and verified by Roanoke Parks and Recreation
- All coaches/non-players listed on the roster must be cleared through Parks and Recreation’s background screening policy. Individuals not cleared through the background screening policy are not permitted to participate in practice or games.
- All coaches/non-players must have a valid Parks and Recreation Coach’s Badge. The badge must be worn to all games and remain visible at all times. No one without a valid badge will be allowed on the field or sidelines.
Note: Teams may have no more than 5 coaches/non-players on the sideline, during games, at any given time.
- If a roster is not received by the due date then the team may not be scheduled in the league.
- Must have 14 – 32 players. Recreation clubs having thirty-three (33) or more players in any age division must split the group and have two (2) teams.
- Players must reside in the City of Roanoke and play for the recreation club that services the region in which he or she lives.
Note: Athletic Directors must submit a player release form to Parks and Recreation if a player has been granted a release to another recreation club due to rosters being filled or a lack of a team.
- Players who play on an AAU or travel team during the Parks and Recreation season are ineligible.
- Players may be added to the official roster until the first game is started. An updated roster must be submitted to Parks and Recreation by 5 p.m. on the day of the first scheduled game for approval.
- Commission of Fraud by a player, coach, or recreational club using an assumed name, falsifying a birth certificate or roster, or giving false information to an official or the Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department will result in the following: Suspension for the party that falsified information for up to 5 years and disqualification of the team for one full season.
- Transfer of players during the season is prohibited. Dual participation is not allowed in any Roanoke City or surrounding area recreation departments. A player must play for the team where his or her name was first listed on a roster.
- All teams must be sponsored by an established Recreation Club.
- Region I – Star City (NW Roanoke City)
- Region II – Williamson Road Recreation Club (NE Roanoke City)
- Region III – South City Knights (SE Roanoke City)
- Region IV – Greater Southwest Athletics (SW Roanoke City)
- Any player found to be ineligible will be removed from the team and all games played in by the ineligible player will be forfeited and may result in the team’s disqualification from any postseason games.
Equipment – All Leagues
- Cleats must be rubber soled or rubber cleated shoes only. Metal cleats are prohibited.
- Each player must wear an approved helmet and facemask, visible colored mouthpiece, shoulder pads, football pants (with complete pads), athletics supporter, and team jersey with a number (on the front and back).
Note: Any jersey number change must be reported to Parks and Recreation and listed on the participation sheet that is turned in to the Parks and Recreation scorekeeper prior to each game.
- Illegal Equipment (Per NFHS)
“No player shall participate while wearing illegal equipment. This applies to any equipment, which in the opinion of the official is dangerous, confusing or inappropriate. Illegal equipment shall include, but is not limited to”:
- Hard and unyielding items (guards, cast, braces, etc.) on the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, or upper arm unless padded with closed cell, slow recovery foam padding no less then ½ inch thick.
- Knee braces worn over the pants
- Tinted eye shield
- Jewelry – Religious and medical alert jewelry are not considered jewelry. A religious medal must be taped and worn under the uniform. A medical alert medal must be taped and may be visible.
- Communication devices (i.e. walkie talkies, etc.)
- Standard high school playing field will be used for all leagues (360 by 160 feet).
- Fencing will line/mark the sideline and team area from the spectators’ area of all game fields.
Note: The area between the field sideline and the fencing will be considered a restricted area for players and approved coaches/non-players only. Any team spectator in this restricted area will result in the following:
1st occurrence – Team and spectator will be given a warning
2nd occurrence – There will be a 15 yard penalty enforced against the spectator’s team.
- Coaches/non-players and players are required to stay between the 30 yard lines.
- Down marker and chains shall be placed on the “home” sideline. Yard markers shall be place on the “visitor” sideline.
– It is the responsibility of the “home” team head coach to supply three (3) adults (must be 18+) to work both the down marker and chains.
– Chain crew members are not permitted to coach, encourage, or taunt.
Penalty for failure of the chain crew to comply with standards will result in a fifteen (15) yard unsportsmanlike penalty.
Note: Individual or team practice/training sessions are not permissible before July 25th. No fees can be collected for practice/training sessions.
- Practice without pads will begin on July 25.
- Practice with pads will begin on the August 1.
- There will be no practices held on Sunday’s
Practice sessions before school starts:
- Biddy and Pee Wee: Four(4) sessions per week, limit two (2) hours per session, 1 session per day
- Little: Five (5) sessions per week, limit two (2) hours per session, 1 session per day
Practice session after school starts (All Leagues):
- Three (3) sessions per week, limit 1.5 hours per session, 1 session per day
- No more than one (1) practice within twenty-four (24) hours.
Exemption: Friday/Saturday Practices
- Any coach caught violating these rules will result in the following penalty:
1st occurrence – written warning from Parks and Recreation
2nd occurrence – 1 game suspension
- Scoring – Pee Wee League and Little League Only
Note: (No score shall be kept for any biddy league game, scrimmage, etc.)
Touchdown 6 points
Field Goal 3 points
Safety 2 points
Point After Touchdown Kick 2 points
Pass/Run 1 point
- Coin Toss
The winner of the coin toss shall have first choice of options for the first half or to defer and have first choice for the second half. The loser shall have the first choice of options for the half the winner of the toss did not select. The options for each half shall be:
- To choose whether his/her team will kick or receive.
- To choose the goal his/her will defend.
Note: The team not having the first choice of options for a half shall exercise the remaining option.
- Kicking – Pee Wee, Little League (Per NFHS)
- Kickoffs – 40 yard line.
- Following a safety – 20 yard line.
- Onside kicks recovered by the receiving team may be advanced.
- If any kicking team player recovers or catches a free kick (kickoff, punt, onside, etc.), the ball becomes dead.
- Distances may be moved due to penalty(ies) or mercy rule.
- Field Goals
Note: Missed field goals are not returnable by the defense. The ball will be dead upon hitting the ground.
- Pee Wee
– Ball will be moved in 10 yards from the spot.
– No rushing or contact made by the defensive team.
– The only “live” players are the snapper, holder, and kicker.
Note: The offensive team shall have 5 seconds to attempt a kick from the time the ball is snapped. The Defensive team must take a knee during all field goal attempts and make no attempt to block the kick. Fake kicks are not permitted.
- Little League: Ball will be spotted on the line of scrimmage as per VHSL regulations. All players are “live” per VHSL regulations.
- Point After Touchdown (PAT)
- Kicking attempt
– The ball will be placed on the goal line. – Pee Wee, Little League
– Pee Wee: The offensive team shall have 5 seconds from the time the ball is snapped to attempt a kick. If a kicking attempt has not taken place within 5 seconds the play shall be ruled dead. No rushing or contact is to be made by the defensive team on kicking attempts. Fake kicks are not permitted.
– Little League: All players are “live” per NFHS regulations
- Pass/Run Attempt: ball will be placed three (3) yards from the goal line.
Note: Intercepted passes or fumbles from the offense are not returnable by the defense.
- Overtime: Pee Wee, Little League
Note: Flip a coin to determine possession
- Maximum of two (2) alternating possessions from the 10-yard line (4 downs) for each team.
- One time-out for each team per possession (4 downs).
- If tied after two (2) overtime attempts (per team), the game will remain a tie.
- 24 Point / Mercy Rule: Pee Wee, Little League
- If a team is ahead by 24 points or more in the first half, the team that is ahead will kick-off from their opponents’ ten (10) yard line. This is mandatory in the first half.
- In the second half, the trailing team has the option of having the ball kicked-off from their ten (10) yard line or taking the ball on their ten (10) yard line.
- If the team that is trailing does not score, the team that is ahead will take possession of the ball on their five (5) yard line.
- The clock will run continuously during the third quarter and the first part of the fourth quarter unless a time-out is called by a team or official.
- When a team becomes less than 24 points behind, the clock will return to normal (i.e. Pee Wee & Little Leagues – Running Clock 1st and 3rd, Regulation 2nd & 4th).
- Creeping Linebacker Defined: Biddy, Pee Wee
- Linebacker may not walk/creep towards line of scrimmage prior to snap.
- Linebacker must be in set position prior to snap / No enticing the snap.
- Linebacker must start play two (2) yards behind the defensive line.
- After the ball is snapped the linebacker may go into the backfield to make a tackle. (i.e. reading the ball)
- Little League: A “creeping linebacker” is not allowed if a team is up by two touchdowns or more.
Biddy League Specific Rules
- No score will be kept.
- The ball will be placed on the 30-yard line.
- Each team will receive fourteen (14) plays regardless of the outcome of each play.
Note: There are no replays for downs with a penalty.
- Teams will get 12 minutes and 30 seconds to run their 14 plays. Teams will change possession when time expires or 14 plays have been run, whichever comes first.
- No punting or kickoffs.
- Forty-five (45) second play clock will be in effect.
- Each team will get one (1) time-out per half.
- Clock will stop for injuries and time-outs only.
- Two coaches (per team) are allowed on the field and are not to interfere with the play of the game (verbal instruction only). Violation of this rule will result in the following:
1st occurrence – 15 yard penalty.
2nd occurrence – 15 yard penalty and removal of the coach from the field of play.
- A maximum of six (6) defensive linemen can be used outside of the 20-yard lines with no blitzing or “creeping” linebacker. Penalty is five yards.
- No defensive player may line-up directly over the offense’s center at any time.
- Fumbles may not be advanced by the defensive team.
Pee Wee League Specific Rules
- No rushing of the punter
- Coaches must notify officials that the team’s intentions are to punt the ball on 4th The defense cannot rush the punter until an attempt has been made.
- A maximum of six (6) defensive linemen can be used outside of the 20-yard lines with no blitzing or “creeping” linebacker. Penalty is 5 yards.
- No defensive player may line-up directly over the offense’s center at any time.
- Thirty-five (35) second play-clock will be in effect.
Playoff Seeding Factors – Pee Wee, Little League
- Best regular season record.
- Tiebreakers will be determined by which team won the final regular season game played between the two teams that are tied.
- Coin toss.
Conduct: Players, Coaches, Non-players
- There shall be no excessive on field team celebrations (i.e. players and coaches leaving the bench, etc.) following a touchdown, score or conclusion of a game. Failure to comply with this rule will result in the following:
1st occurrence – 15 yard penalty to be assessed on the kickoff.
2nd occurrence – 15 yard penalty and loss of one (1) timeout.
Note: If the violation occurs at the end of a game, the penalty shall be noted by staff and enforced during the kickoff of the next game.
- At the conclusion of each game both teams (players and coaches) must meet at mid field and shake hands. Failure to comply with this rule may result in disciplinary actions taken by the Recreation Department.
- Unsportsmanlike Conduct
No player, coach, or non-player shall act in an unsportsmanlike manner towards officials and parks and rec. personnel before, during or after a contest. Examples are, but not limited to:
- Baiting or taunting acts which provoke ill will.
- Using profanity, insulting or vulgar language or gestures.
- Kicking the ball, other than during a legal kick
- Refusing to comply with an official or Parks and Recreation personnel request.
- Disrespectfully addressing a player, official or parks and rec. personnel.
- Penalties: Players, Coaches, Non-Players
– 15 yards (disqualification if official or P&R Staff deems the violation worthy of automatic ejection)
– Two (2) unsportsmanlike penalties by one individual results in a disqualification.
Note: The disqualified person must leave the game site.
- Penalties: Spectators, parents, etc.
– Disqualification for the remainder of the current football season.
- Illegal Contact
Examples are, but not limited to: (Per NFHS)
- No player, coach or non-player shall:
- Intentionally contact an official or parks and rec. personnel.
- Charge into or throw an opponent to the ground after he/she is obviously out of the play, or after the ball is clearly dead either in or out of bounds.
- Strike an opponent with his/her fist, locked hands, forearm or elbow, nor kick or knee him/her.
- Make any other contact with an opponent which is deemed unnecessary and which incites roughness
Penalty: 15 yards and disqualification
Note: The disqualified person must leave the game site.
- Only Approved City of Roanoke Parks & Recreation coaches can …
- Be on the sidelines (inside the white line or fence) and field during the game.
Note: Coaches must wear approved badges, at all times, during games to be allowed on the field.
- Be on the field at half-time (in the huddle).
- Determine plays to be run and execution of plays
- Call a timeout
- Coach and Player Disqualification (Ejection)
Note: Per player, coach, or spectator ejection…
If the disqualification occurs during the final game of a team’s season, penalties shall be enforced during the next season in which the individual takes part.
- Any player disqualified from a game will not be permitted to play or attend his/her team’s next game. Any player ejected from 2 games in 1 season must sit out the remainder of the season and will not be allowed to attend games.
- Any coach disqualified from a game will not be allowed to coach or attend his/her team’s next game. Any coach ejected from two games in one season will not be allowed to coach or attend any games for the next 2 seasons.
- Any fan ejected from a game will be banned for the remainder of the season and may cause team to forfeit games/season.
- Additional penalties may be added at the discretion of the City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department.
- All decisions made by the Roanoke Parks and Recreation Department are final.
Inclement Weather and Rescheduling of Games
- Inclement weather-If it can be determined at 4:00pm that fields will be unplayable then the hotline (853-1196) will be updated to indicate such. Otherwise, field playability will be determined on site at game time by the officials.
- Make-up schedules will be posted to the athletics web page (www.PlayRoanoke.com) within 3 business days of the originally scheduled game and will generally be placed at the end of the league schedule. If games must be re-scheduled in a short amount of time then the coach will receive a phone call from the athletics office.
- The head coach and/or athletic director must give Parks and Recreation Department a minimum 72 hour notice prior to a cancellation/reschedule notice. Any request under 72 hours will not be rescheduled.
- For games at the Rivers Edge Sports Complex please note there is ample parking available on Reserve Avenue. The footbridge allows convenient access to the complex. Parking is also available in the Crystal Springs parking garage (behind River’s Edge – South fields) on levels 2 -5. Never park on the grass or sidewalk in a park.
- Anytime Lighting is visible, then all players, coaches, fans and umpires should take shelter immediately!
- Flash (Bang) Method – Count seconds between lighting flash and thunder and divide by 5 –this gives the distance of lighting in miles. If count is 30 seconds or less take shelter immediately!
- The Umpire and Site Supervisor should instruct all players, coaches, fans that danger is present and they should seek shelter immediately. Safe places for shelter would be fully enclosed vehicles with windows up, enclosed buildings or low ground. Seek cover in clumps of bushes. Unsafe shelter areas include all nearby outdoor metallic objects like flag poles, fences, high mast light poles, metal bleachers, etc. AVOID water, AVOID open fields, AVOID using the telephone.
- If you feel your hair standing on end or hear “crackling noises” you are in lighting’s electric field. Immediately remove metal objects, place your feet together, duck your head and crouch down with hands on knees.
- If anyone is struck by lightning CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY. People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to handle. Apply CPR immediately if you are qualified to do so.
- Wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning flash before resuming activities.
Note: Complaints regarding players, teams, coaches, field conditions, officials, etc. should be channeled through your athletic director.
- Protest of NFHS rules are not permitted in accordance with NFHS rule 1.1.11
- Protest of Roanoke Parks and Recreation local rules are not permitted
Note: If rules are not being properly interpreted please contact the Parks and Recreation office (853.2236) as soon as possible.
- Protest of up to three player’s eligibility is permitted per protest. Eligibility includes non-rostered players, age, city residency or other factors which may affect a player’s eligibility.
How to protest
- The athletic director shall submit a protest in writing (typed of emailed), within 24 hours of the game completion, to the Parks and Recreation department.
- The $50.00 filing fee, which will be returned if the protest is upheld by the Protest Committee, should accompany the following information: Date, time, location, officials, scorers, teams, coaches and justification of protest (any knowledge why the child may be ineligible).
- The recreation club being protested must provide Parks and Recreation with all necessary documents within 24 hours of being notified.
Penalty: Player(s) is/are ineligible to participate until all documentation has been submitted to and verified by Roanoke Parks and Recreation.
- Parks and Recreation
- Partnering with Recreation Clubs to provide organized sports for the Youth of Roanoke.
- Assisting recreation clubs with the advertising of registrations.
- Governing the rules and regulations for league play.
- Scheduling and rescheduling of leagues.
- Secure and pay an officials coordinator to train and supply game officials.
- Facilities and maintenance thereof.
- Assist recreation clubs with their efforts to facilitate the training of volunteer coaches.
- Provide background screenings for all volunteer coaches.
- Recreation Club
- Conducting sign-up opportunities for the youth of our community and providing Parks and Recreation information to assist with advertising.
- Conducting drafts to form teams per park and recreation’s draft procedures.
- Selected or hand picked teams will not be permitted.
- Recreation clubs must give parks and rec. a one (1) week notice prior to scheduling a draft.
- “Cuts” are not an option-all children are given the opportunity to participate.
- Drafts without a parks and rec. representative are not
- Securing volunteer coaches for each team.
- Safe uniforms and equipment for players.
- Provide an athletic director for each sport to act as a liaison to the Parks and Recreation Department for coordinating schedules, handling complaints, etc.
Concussion Manage – Per NFHS
- No athlete should return to play or practice on the same day of a concussion.
- A parent or guardian should have any athlete suspected of having a concussion evaluated by an appropriate health-care professional that day.
- Any athlete with a concussion must have medical clearance (in writing) from an authorized and licensed health-care professional prior to resuming participation in any practice or competition.
Note: Written clearance should be turned into/filed with parks and rec. and your club’s athletic director prior to returning to any practice or game.
- After written clearance, it is suggested that the recreation club monitor the situation closely for the return of any signs or symptoms related to concussions.
For further details please see the “NFHS Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussion” at www.nfhs.org