Official Men's 7 on 7 Football Rules
- 7 players on the field (you can play a legal game with a minimum of 5 players)
- Two 20-minute halves
- A first down will be achieved each time the ball reaches the 2nd cone from where the ball was originally spotted on first down
- 6 point touchdowns
- Choice of 1 or 2 extra points on PAT's (3 paces/yards for 1 Pt.,8 paces/yards for 2 pts.)
- Quarterbacks cannot snap the ball to themselves
- Running clock except for final two minutes of 2nd half, and final minute of 1st half
- Ties during regular season stay as a tie
- ONLY 2-Point conversion attempts may be intercepted and returned for 2 points
- Laterals may be intercepted and run back for a touchdown or yardage.
- All fumbles will be ruled dead balls with the offense retaining possession at the spot of the fumble
- Four-Downs-and-Out format applies for ties in the playoffs.
- Receivers need only one foot in-bounds with possession of the ball to be considered a catch
Rule Clarification: The clock does not stop for a 2 minute warning unless there is a dead ball situation when the clock hits 2 minutes.
Rule Clarification: Offsides on the defense will be a free play for the offense.
COIN FLIP/BEGINNING OF GAME
The beginning of the game will start with the Play In The Bay staff using an odd/even, or coin flip. The winning team will then have one of three options: 1) offense; 2) defense; or 3) direction. Teams flip flop direction, at the start of the second half. The team that started the game on defense will start the second half on offense. There are no kick-offs. Play starts 8 paces/yards from the designated goal-line.
Each week Play In The Bay will provide referee(s) for each game.
Each team shall field 7 players on the field at one time. PBSSC rules allow a team to play a legal game shorthanded with 5 players. Teams may have as many players on their roster as they want. All rosters must be finalized by the second week of the regular season. Players added after the second week that are not on the team roster or waiver will not be eligible for playoffs.
Teams will have until 10 minutes past the designated start time to field a legal team. Shorthanded teams may play a legal game with a minimum of 5 players. Teams fielding less than 5 players will receive a forfeit. Winning team will get 7 points. Exception: Teams may play a legal game with less than 5 players with the opposing team's consent. Teams who agree to play under these conditions will lose the option of receiving a forfeit win. Teams may pick up players during the regular season in order to field a full team so long as the number of players picked up does not exceed their opponents number of players. The use of non-roster players will not be allowed during playoffs. The team waiver will be used as each team’s final roster. Only players on the waiver may play in the playoffs. Additionally, teams that do not show and give no notice will be charged $50 and the funds will be sent to the offended team.
If a team substitutes players during the game, they must do so from the same sideline the entire game. Eligible receivers must be on the playing field before the cadence is started.
Teams will have 2 time-outs per game that may be used at any time. If a team calls a timeout after a touchdown the clock will not start again until the defensive team takes possession and snaps the ball on offense. During the final 1 minute of the first half and final 2 minutes of the second half, the referee shall stop the game clock if:
- An incomplete pass is thrown
- A player ends a play by going out of bounds
- Either team scores (clock will remain off until the opposing team snaps the ball after the PAT attempt; the clock does not run during extra points)
- Change of possession
- A penalty which must be marked off occurs
- A team calls a time out.
The clock will not stop for a 1 minute or 2 minute warning unless there is a dead ball situation when the clock hits 1 minute or 2 minutes.
** THE CLOCK DOES NOT STOP ON FIRST DOWNS OR FUMBLES.
** If a team is up by 17 points or more, the clock runs continuously during the last two minutes of play.
For the entire game, the offensive team has 30 seconds to snap the ball once the ball has been spotted. If the referee feels that this is being taking advantage of the referee will then stop the clock, and penalize the offense 5 paces/yards.
Games ending in a tie score will be recorded as tie games during regular season play. Please refer to the OVERTIME section for ties during the playoffs. Touchdowns are awarded 6 pts.
New rule: 2-point conversion attempts may be intercepted and returned for 2 points with the defense retaining possession at their 8 pace/yard line. One-point conversion attempts CANNOT be returned.
Each team shall have 4 downs to either score or earn another first down. First downs are earned each time the ball reaches the 2nd cone from where the ball was originally spotted on the first down. If a team fails to score or earn a first down, possession will go to the other team. Offensive teams may elect to punt on fourth downs.
A punt must be declared and cannot be faked. All punts are "free" punts. A team need not snap the ball during a punt, a dropped snap during a punt is not a fumble. Punts must be kicked. Punts cannot be thrown. There is no minimum number of players required on the line of scrimmage during a punt. NO DOWNFIELD BLOCKING or BLOCKING AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE. The kicking team may not cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked. The receiving team may not raise hands or jump to block a punt. If a punt is shanked and caught it is a live ball and is returnable. If the ball comes into contact with the ground after it has been punted it is a dead ball, spotted at the point where it hit the ground, and may not be returned. A punt through the endzone comes back to 8 paces/yards off the goal line. If a player drops the ball in the endzone, the ball is again spotted 8 paces/yards out from the goal line and is not counted as a safety.
CONTINUANCE OF PLAY
Play shall continue until:
- Ball-carrier has at least one flag pulled by an opponent (see flag specifics for the few exceptions/additions concerning flag pulling)
- Ball-carrier leaves the field of play
- Ball-carrier scores
- Ball touches the ground as a result of a fumble, punt or incomplete pass (the ball is not an extension of the arm. If the ball is pinned between the ground and the ball-carrier’s hand, the play is dead)
- Ball-Carrier’s knee touches the ground
SPOT OF THE BALL
The ball will be spotted where the ball is at the time the ball carrier’s flag has been pulled. If the ball crosses the plane of the goal line before the ball carrier is touched, it will result in a touchdown (ball extension)
A change of possession can only occur on an interception of a forward pass or a lateral. A fumble is not a turnover. The ball is dead at the point of the fumble and the offense retains possession.
NEW RULE: A lateral is not a forward pass and can be picked off in mid-air. A picked off lateral will result in a change of possession, and can be returned for a touchdown. EXCEPTION. A lateral intercepted in an overtime period of a playoff game cannot be returned for points, this is simply a turnover.
Blocking is allowed at or behind the line of scrimmage. Blocking on or behind the line of scrimmage must be done with open hands between the shoulders and the waist of the defensive player and done in a pass protection manner. CUT BLOCKS, DRIVE BLOCKS, BLOCKIN IN THE BACK, PILING ON A PLAYER ON THE GROUND and CRACK - BACK BLOCKS are illegal and will result in an UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS PENALTY.
NO downfield blocking! A player may shadow block for his teammate, but no contact is allowed. PICKING off a defensive player by initiating contact is considered downfield blocking, this is not allowed. Due to the danger of picking, a player may be ejected if such an action persists. See Penalties section of rules.
If a defensive player is on the ground all blocking rules above still apply. Offensive players may not pile on or lay on the defensive player to keep him on the ground. They may still block him as stated above. This will result in an UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS penalty.
Defenders rushing the quarterback may not grab an offensive player by the jersey to move them. This will result in an UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS penalty.
There will be an immediate rush.
Normal rules and penalties of the NCAA apply unless exceptions have been made herein.
Some Common Examples of Penalties:
- Illegal Contact - Down Field: If the illegal contact occurs during play when the offense is advancing the ball the penalty will be a mark off of 5 paces/yards from the point where the ball carrier is at the time of the infraction. If this occurs during a pass play when the pass is incomplete, the penalty will be a mark off of 5 paces/yards from the line of scrimmage.
- Offsides/Illegal or Early Rush (Defensive): Play will be a free play and will NOT BE BLOWN DEAD. If the penalty is accepted by the offense, there is a five pace/yard mark-off from the line of scrimmage against the defense and the down is repeated. If the penalty is accepted any yardage gained on the play will be nullified. If the penalty is declined, the play will stand and it will be the next down.
- Offsides/Illegal or Early Rush (Offensive): 5 paces/yards, play is ruled dead immediately, no option to decline, down is replayed.
- Illegal Motion: Players may not be in motion towards the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. This will result in a dead ball, 5-yd penalty on the offense and repeat of the down.
- Offensive Picking/Interference: The offensive team may not initiate a pick/block while in motion. The penalty for this is a 5 pace/yard penalty from the line of scrimmage. If a catch is made after a clear pick, it will be ruled no catch, 5 pace/yard penalty from line of scrimmage. Remember: Some acceptable incidental contact will occur while running routes and within the normal course of play, and will not be called.
- Offensive Holding: It is illegal to grab any part of a defensive player when blocking on offense. Holding will result in a 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul, which the defense can accept or decline. Replay the down. Offensive holding in the end zone will result in a safety.
- Unnecessary Roughness (Offense): Unnecessary roughness on the offense will result in a 10 pace/yard mark off from the line of scrimmage and a loss of down if the penalty occurs during a play. If the penalty occurs after the play the penalty will result in a 10 pace/yard mark off at the end of the play. Extreme roughness will result in ejection from the game and or league if deemed necessary by the referee and league staff.
- Unnecessary Roughness (Defense): This includes any illegal tag such as grabbing jerseys or excessive pushing etc. If the play is dead at the time the penalty is committed and the offense has not advanced the ball the penalty will be 10 pace/yard marked off from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first down will be awarded. If the play is on going or the offense has advanced the ball at the time the penalty is committed the penalty will be 10 paces/yards added on to the end of the play and an automatic first down will be awarded. Extreme roughness will result in ejection from the game and or league if deemed necessary by the referee and league staff.
- Defensive Pass Interference: Ball is spotted at the point of the infraction and offense is awarded an automatic first down. If the pass interference is in the endzone, the ball comes out to the 1 pace/yard line and it will be 1st down.
- Defensive Holding: 10 pace/yard penalty from line of scrimmage, replay down. Offense can accept or decline the penalty.
- Defensive Checking: One open hand bump within 5 paces/yards of the line of scrimmage is allowable (at the discretion of the ref). Riding the offensive player for the first five yards will not be tolerated. Any obvious repeated contact within the first 5 yards will result in a 5 pace/yard penalty from line of scrimmage, replay down, offense can accept or decline the penalty.
A safety will be scored if a player is:
- Tagged down in their own endzone (not on a punt return)
- Runs out of bounds in their own endzone
- Snaps the ball out of the endzone
- If the offense fumbles the ball in their own endzone
As a result, the team on defense, receives 2 points, and the team on offense must now punt a free kick from their own 8 paces/yard line. Also, a player having intercepted a pass or received a punt in the endzone, cannot be tagged in the endzone for a safety unless he has previously crossed the plane of the endzone with the ball.
This penalty will be called when a passer facing an imminent loss of yardage because of pressure from the defense, throws a forward pass, without a realistic chance of completion. This will result a loss of down (i.e. if it was 1st down during the penalty, it is now 2nd down). And the ball being spotted at the point of infraction (QB’s point of release).
Fighting is not allowed and will NOT be tolerated. All parties involved in fighting will be subject to ejection from the game at the referees discretion and subject to ejection from the league at GSSC staff discretion.
FLAG SPECIFICS PENALTIES
- No flag guarding *** Flag Guarding will result in a 5 paces/yard penalty from the spot of infraction. Defensive player returning an interception, who flag guards, will be penalized 5 paces/yards from the spot of infraction.
- Shirt must be tucked in and flags must be securely attached. Loose hanging articles (i.e. sweatshirts, long T-shirts, etc.) that are held/ripped will not result in a holding penalty, unless in ref’s eyes player was not attempting to go for flag.
- Any ball-carrier whose flags are (in ref’s opinion) not accessible to be pulled will be down at 1st point of contact with the defense.
- Any ball-carrier who has a flag or both flags missing for whatever reason (falls out, accidentally pulled before reception, not noticed before snap, etc.) will be down at the first point of contact.
- Players may leave their feet to pull flag.
- Spin moves will be allowed.
- Belt grabbing will result in a 5 paces/yard penalty from end of play.
*Any belt grabbing at the end of a half or game will result in a 5 paces/yard penalty from point of infraction and replay of down. If this penalty occurs within 5 paces/yard of the endzone, the ball will be spotted at the one yard line and the offense will receive one play.
- If the player calling the cadence does not receive the snap, the play will not stand and will result in a 5 pace/yard penalty and repeat of the down
- One person must call the cadence and receive the snap violation of this will result in a 5 pace/yard penalty and repeat of down.
- Silent snaps will not be allowed violation of this will result in a 5 pace/yard penalty and repeat of down.
- The QB may not be in motion and then receive the snap this will result in a 5 pace/yard penalty and repeat of down.
- If the QB crosses the line of scrimmage and then throws a forward pass the defense can either decline the penalty or it will be a 5 pace/yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and loss of down (i.e. if it was 1st down during the penalty, it is now 2nd down).
- If the ball hits the ground on the snap for either a pass or running play, the play is "dead", the ball is spotted where it hit the ground, and it is a loss of down (i.e. if it was 1st down during the bad snap, it is now 2nd down).
- The QB may NOT snap the ball to himself. If the QB does snap to himself, play will stop immediately and it will result in a 5-yd penalty and repeat the down.
- Loss of down penalties which occur on 4th down will result in change of possession.
- Receivers need only one foot in bounds for a reception. If in the referees eyes a receiver would be able to legally catch a pass but, was pushed out of bounds by a defender while in the air a catch will be awarded.
- Players will not be allowed to intentionally push players out of bounds. Some incidental contact will be allowed at the ref’s discretion but any intentional push in the referee’s eyes will result in a 5 pace/yard penalty from the spot of the infraction.
- Receivers intentionally leaving the field of play are ineligible to receive a pass if they are the first person to touch the ball. This includes the back of the endzone.
- Diving is not allowed under any circumstance. Ball will be considered dead and marked where the player left his feet.
- A player who catches the ball and lands with 1 or 2 feet across the goal-line, but has his flag pulled after possession and before he puts the ball across the plane of the goal will not be awarded a touchdown. The ball will be spotted at the point of where the ball was at the time he was called down.
- Only the ball needs to cross the plane of the goal-line in order for a touchdown to be awarded.
- Ball-carrier who initiates excessive contact (i.e. dipping shoulders, using elbows, kicking) will result in 5 pace/ yard penalty from point of infraction
- Any player who attempts to knock the ball out of the quarterbacks arm or hits the arm of the quarterback while in delivery will receive an Unnecessary Roughness penalty. If contact is made on the quarterback’s follow through it will be up to the referee’s discretion to determine if a penalty was committed. TOUCHING THE QUARTERBACK’S ARM, SHOULDER, or UPPER BODY DURING OR IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN ATTEMPTED PASS WILL MOST LIKELY RESULT IN A PENALTY.
- Any player attempting to strip the ball from an offensive player will receive a 5 yard/pace penalty from the spot of the ball at the end of the play.
Playoffs will follow the last week of regular season and will be single elimination. Every team will make it.
Playoff games will follow the same format during regulation as the regular season. If teams are tied at the end of regulation in playoffs an overtime will be used. Non-roster players will not be allowed for playoffs. All players must have signed the waiver, and/or have been placed at the roster at the beginning of the season.
In the playoffs the Four-Downs and Out format will apply. The beginning of the game will start with the GSSC staff using an odd/even, or coin flip with the winning team deciding on offense or defense, (there is no option to decline). The losing team will decide which endzone to use. Teams will attempt to score in the same end zone. Each team will then have 4 downs to score from 10 paces/yards out from the goal-line. If a team scores, they will have the opportunity to go for one or two on the PAT. The game will be decided when one team scores more points in the rotation. No 1st downs will be awarded except in the case of a penalty. Interceptions will result in a turnover and may not be returned for any points. If the score is still tied after two complete overtime periods, each team must attempt a two point conversion after they score a touchdown. From this point on all subsequent overtime periods will continue with each team attempting a two point conversion after they score a touchdown.
If your team forfeits a game during the season, the following rules apply:
- First Offense: Loss of game and warning issued.
- Second Offense: Loss of game and staff reserves the right to remove team from playoffs.
- Third Offense: Removal from the league
If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, we encourage you to email the Commish in order to help us schedule your opponent a game. However, this does not mean that your team will not receive the loss as a forfeit.
Teams have until ten minutes past the designated start time to field a full squad (or the league minimum of players required according to rules). If at that time a team is unable to field a legal team, it will be up to the staff and the opposing captain to determine whether a team will receive a forfeit win or if a team will allow the opposing team to play a legal game with less than the league minimum of players required according to the rules.
The idea of PBSSC is to have fun. We hope that all participants keep that in mind when becoming involved. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship. With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by staff may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league. Abuse of officials, referees, and other staff will not be tolerated. PBSSC reserves the right to remove a player from a game or a league if they are considered to be bringing down the quality of the league. PBSSC will not tolerate fighting! Fighting will be an automatic ejection from any game and in most cases ejection from the league for the remainder of the season.
To coordinate and run the league, our refs and/or staff will be available at all times to help the league run as smoothly as possible. If you have questions regarding schedules, policies, rule interpretations, directions to the bar, etc. please ask.
Leagues may be cancelled due to existing weather conditions, dangerous or unplayable field conditions, facility constraints, etc. PBSSC staff makes every effort to play all scheduled games, thus we will not cancel games until absolutely necessary. Therefore, if you are calling concerning a decision on a cancellation, remember we will not have an answer until close to the start of the league.
If the league is cancelled, PBSSC staff will email the league immediately. PBSSC will then call all of the captains to let them know. It is then the captain’s responsibility to inform all teammates of the cancellation. If a league is cancelled on site, PBSSC staff will attempt to contact those teams still scheduled to play the remainder of the league day/night. Depending on the time of cancellation, some teams will have to be notified on site. If we do cancel, follow next week’s schedule unless otherwise notified, (i.e. If April 13 is cancelled teams should follow the April 20 schedule for their next game). The games that are cancelled will be made up towards the end of the season if time allows. In extreme circumstances, PBSSC reserves the right to run a shortened season without a refund. PBSSC also reserves the right to schedule games on days other than your regularly scheduled league day/night if necessary.