National Federation rules

Game Conditions

1.  A minimum of four nights rest between contests.
2.  The maximum number of contests shall be 6.
3.  The number of practices required before the first scrimmage is 10.
4.  The number of practices required before the first interschool contest is 10.
                                                                               (Approved by NYSPHSAA 7/19))


Modified football should be administered so that all safety precautions are in effect. Every effort should be made during practice and game situations to pair contestants of as nearly equal ability as is possible. Factors to be considered in the selection of squad members are age, weight, physiological maturity, skills, coordination, and desire.


Each individual should be carefully checked to determine readiness before being allowed to participate in interschool contests as follows:

1.  Physical - Medical examination which shall include a thorough review of history before, and as needed, during the season. Tetanus shots as recommended.

2.  Maturity - Careful evaluation of the individual's age, weight, height, physiological maturity and degree of coordination with relation to all of the others, especially one above or below average of others in height, weight, physiological maturity as related to age, should be made.

3.  Individual Skills - A thorough program of screening for a period of two weeks shall be conducted.  Basic conditioning, running, cutting, falling, rolling, catching, line and backfield fundamentals, blocking and tackling techniques, ball handling drills should be participated in. Dummies and sleds should be used and no one should be permitted in live contact drills until ability has been proven to partake in them. Contact drills should be conducted against equals only.

4.  Team Skills - Team play leading to game situations should be taught through controlled scrimmages with individuals placed in groups of similar maturity and skills.

5.  Desire - Observation of the individual's alertness and general desire to participate must be noted. (The above mentioned types of testing and teaching, with complete cataloging of the individual's ability, should enable the coach to screen all candidates and determine their readiness for competition.) Please refer to the special NYSPHSAA, Inc. booklet, The Modified Program of Football for Boys in Grades 7-8-9.

6.  Equipment - Properly fitted equipment of good quality is mandatory for safe participation in football.  All essential protective devices are to be used. In addition to the normal pads and helmets, dental and face protection guards should be provided. Only sneakers or shoes with molded soles and molded cleats are permitted in the modified program. Shoes with metal posts or spikes are not permitted in any modified sport. All protective pads should be covered by the uniform. If protective pads are exposed, the uniform part should be replaced or repaired.

Game Rules for 11-Man Football

1.  Time periods shall be 10-minute quarters.

2.  Team offensive formations are limited to standard formations including the use of two wide receivers.  There may be a maximum split of one yard between linemen.  If a wide receiver is employed, the maximum split from the tackle cannot be more than 10 yards. On the snap of the ball, there may be only two players outside of the normal tackle alignment on either or both sides of the field (example of legal formations- TE/Flanker; Twins; SE etc.). Motion shall be prohibited to the side of a formation that has two players outside of the tackle. Definition of 'side of formation' is - the half of the formation from midline of the center that has a set back to that side and two (2) players outside the tackle.  If the ends split on punt formation, the team must punt. All down-field blocking must be done above the waist. Until the snap the defense shall be 6-2-2-1 or 6-2-3 with six players in an imaginary straight line within two yards of the ball; two linebackers must be at least one yard behind the deepest lineman; three defensive backs must be at least three yards behind the deepest linebacker, inside the 10 yard line defensive backs may be two yards behind the deepest linebacker. The defense does not have to balance the offense.  Penalties: improper formation - five yards; down-field blocking - 15 yards.

3.   No kick-off - start play from own 35 yard line.

4.   Two points shall be allowed for a kicked extra point and one point for a run or pass. 

5.   Safety - scoring team put ball in play on 50 yard line.

6.   All down-field blocking must be done above the waist. Down-field blocking is interpreted as any blocking of an opponent taking place down-field from the free blocking zone, which for this rule is extended from sideline to sideline. The down-field blocking rule is also in effect whenever a defensive team becomes an offensive team team as the result of receiving a punt, pass interception, or the recovery of certain types of receiving a punt, pass interception, or the recovery of certain types of fumbles. The point that offensive play begins extending from sideline to sideline, would be interpreted as the inception of that play and thus, for rule clarification purposes, would be the scrimmage line for that play (i.e. the point the punt or interception was received).  The penalty for a violation of this rule will be 15 yards as spelled out in Rule 9, Section 1 of National Federation Football Rules.

7.   Coaches shall be permitted on the field in a five period football game ("B" Team only). 

8.   When an offensive team employs a wide receiver (split end, twins, or flanker), the defensive end to that side of the formation may assume a "walkaway" position.  If a team employs twins, wide receiver, etc. on both sides of the ball, both defensive ends can walk away.  The end may align at a maximum depth even with the two inside linebackers and no wider than half the distance between the wide receiver and the next lineman.

Pre-Season Practice Format - NYSPHSAA  (Approved by the Athletic Council 1/11/11)

1.   The first two days of practice sessions must be non-contact exercise, and equipment shall be limited to the helmet, face mask, dental protection device, T-shirt, supporter, shorts, ankle supports, socks, shoes, protective pads for elbow and/or knee areas.

2.   During the next three days the addition of shoulder pads, along with the use of blocking dummies, sleds, and other similar teaching and training devices is permissible. No scrimmages or live contact drills are allowed.

3.   The next five days shall consist of contact with full protective equipment and the use of training devices.

4.   Scrimmages & contests are permitted on the 11th day.


1.   No school team, or individual player, may participate in more than seven (7) Games. Teams may play 3 games in a 14-day period. A minimum of four (4) nights of rest must elapse between any games. The time between football scrimmages and the time between football games and scrimmages must be three (3) nights.

2.   At least 16 players must be dressed and available to play in 11-man football for contests and scrimmages.  (Approved by the Athletic Council 1/13/09)

Section XI Rules

1.   The maximum allowable games per team shall be six.

2.   B level teams will use the youth size football.

3.   On Oct 1st, each coach must submit to his athletic director a list of players on the team.  Grade level and birth dates must be included.

4.   Two coaches are permitted on the field during time-out periods.

B Level Program - Five Period Format

The five period format is mandated for all B level teams in football which have not opted to be scheduled in a regular contest device.  The extra quarter format for extra participation is not an option for any B level teams.

Following are the conditions of this program:

1.   Only B level teams may participate.

2.   Teams shall be divided into two squads of approximately equal numbers and unequal ability.

3.   Coaches must exchange rosters prior to every contest.

4.   The stronger squad (A) will play the first and third periods and the weaker squad (B) will play the second and fourth periods. All players are eligible for the fifth period.

5.  All points scored count.

6.   Teams having the minimum numbers of 26 players are obligated to play five periods provided their opponents also meet the minimum number of 26.

7.   If one team has fewer than 26, both teams will play the five period format, with the A squad playing the first and third periods and the B squad playing the second and fourth periods.  When this happens, the fifth period will only be played if both teams agree upon it.

8.   No player may play in more than three periods of a five period contest.

9.  There is no half-time intermission when five periods are played.

10.  Extra compensation forms presented by the officials must be signed by the home coach.

11.  Each coach is requested to make a notation on the rating card verifying the extra compensation for the officials.

12.  If there is a differential of 25 points or more between "A" squads in periods one and three, both "B" squads must play the fifth period.  Additionally, in the fifth period, if the "A" squad differential becomes 25 points or more,  both "B" squads must play.  (Approved 3-15-05)


Rev 9/19