|EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Bylaws – Updated January 2024
1. NAME: The organization shall be known as the EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
2. PURPOSE: The purpose of this organization shall be to promote and supervise competition among league members.
3. OFFICERS: The organization shall consist of the following elected officers, who will also comprise the EXECUTIVE BOARD: President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.
A. Officer nominations shall occur at the October league meeting.
B. Elections for new officers will take place at the first meeting after October.
C. Officer terms shall be two years in length. The President and Treasurer terms shall run through odd-numbered years, while the Vice-President and Secretary terms shall run through even-numbered years.
D. No officer may act as a voting league representative for any member organization.
A. Any organization desiring membership in the league must, upon acceptance, submit a non-refundable entry fee set per league Operating Rules.
B. Each year, each organization already in the league, shall submit a non-refundable entry fee at the January meeting set per league Operating Rules.
C. If the league entrance fee is not paid at the January meeting, it increases fifty dollars ($50.00) per month until paid.
D. All members must participate in league functions. Failure to do so will subject the organization to punishment through a league review by the Advisory Committee.
E. Any new organization desiring membership must be voted on by the league membership and will be decided by a simple majority.
1. All new teams will be on probation for:
a. 1 year – No vote in any league matters.
b. 2 years – Cannot host a playoff game.
2. New teams must field all competitive levels of play from Pee Wee up to and including Varsity teams.
3. Probation period may be waived by a majority vote of member organization (ie: Merger Situations).
F. If any violation of the by-laws occurs during a probationary period, the offending organization is subject to a fine and/or removal from the League, and/or probation extension.
1. Fine may be in the amount of $50-$250, as determined by the Advisory Committee.
G. All organizations are responsible for the actions of all players, coaches, and fans of their organization. Any team or organization acting in an unruly or unsportsmanlike manner may be placed on probation for a period of time designated by the membership.
H. All complaints will be directed to the Advisory Committee for investigation. Findings and recommendations will then be presented to the Executive Board for a final decision. Any appeal of the ruling must be submitted within twenty-four hours and will be heard by the Executive Board within forty-eight hours.
I. Each organization’s president and league representative must sign the Organizational Code of Conduct and Expectations form on a yearly basis. This signed form is due by the July meeting.
1. Organization fine progression for non-compliance with Organizational Code of Conduct in a calendar year is: $50, $100, $200, $400, etc.
J. Each organization must carry liability insurance to participate in the EPYFL. Proof of this insurance is required of every team. Proof of insurance must be submitted to the President at the May league meeting.
K. All organizations within the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Football League must provide an EMT, physician, nurse or certified trainer at every home game. The League Rep or an Organizational Officer must point out this person to the referees prior to the start of the day’s first tackle game. There will be a $200 fine for each game day that an organization fails to comply with this by-law.
1. Coaches are not to remove any injured player from the field without approval of the medical person. The medical person has final decision on when and if the injured player can return to the game.
L. There will be a $50-$250 fine, as determined by the Advisory Committee, for any by-law or operating rule violation that otherwise does not specify a monetary amount. These fines will be per instance of the violation.
M. In the event a team is pulled of the field during the game, that organization will be fined the cost of the three referee fees for that game. This fine must be paid to the League at the next monthly meeting. In addition, this matter will be brought before the Advisory Committee for further review and possible disciplinary action, including additional fines between $50-$250.
N. All organizations will comply with deadlines provided to them in emails from the League President – whether this is a request for information or completion of a task requirement. If the deadline is not met, the organization will be fined $25 per day until it is completed.
O. The EPYFL Rules of Conduct form must be signed by all coaches and parent/guardian each season. This form must be turned into to the organization and kept on file for the current season.
P. Organizations are required to go over the EPYFL Rules of Conduct form with all parents, as a reminder, during their parent meetings prior to the first game of the season.
Q. Punishments for non-compliance with code of conduct and/or rules of conduct (that do not otherwise specify a punishment) is to be determined by the league officers. This punishment can be fines, suspensions, loss of playoff privileges, etc.
5. OPERATING RULES
A. These Bylaws have a section at the end labeled as “Operating Rules”. The Operating Rules are intended to govern the day-to-day operations of the league, via the league executive board, and as such do not require an official league board vote to make adjustments to their content. The executive board, however, shall seek input and communicate potential changes during regular league meetings or via email to all team representatives.
1. Anything added to the Operating Rules must first be voted on by the entire membership and will be allowed with a simple majority vote.
A. The first meeting of the year will be held the fourth Wednesday in January (weather permitting). All other meetings will follow the schedule that is determined by the Executive Board and communicated at the January meeting.
B. The league secretary shall contact the league representatives of the date, time, and location of the next meeting at least five (5) days prior to the date of each league meeting. Meetings will usually start at 8:30PM, but the Executive Board can change monthly meeting dates or start times.
C. A fine of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) shall be assessed to any member organization that misses a league meeting. The fine shall be increased to seventy-five dollars ($75.00) for any missed voting meeting. If this fine is not paid at or before the next regularly scheduled meeting, the organization will lose its right to vote on all league business until such fines are paid.
1. All fines will be communicated to the membership via the minutes, website, email, etc. monthly.
D. To be considered present for a league meeting, the organizational representative must be there for roll call and stay until the meeting is complete.
E. Any organization missing two (2) consecutive meetings shall be automatically dropped from the league.
1. When any organization has missed a meeting, the league secretary shall promptly forward a letter to the listed team representative and to the president of the teams sponsoring organization advising them, that if they are not present at the next league meeting (on date, time, place), they may face further disciplinary action.
F. The League President shall be in charge of the league meetings at all times. In the President's absence, the Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President.
1. Only the organization representative will have the power to make a motion or to vote.
2. The President shall have the tie breaking vote.
G. A fifty percent (50%) quorum of the sponsoring organizations is required to transact business at all league meetings.
H. Team information sheets for each organization in the league shall be submitted to the league secretary at the League Picnic meeting of the current year. Failure to do so will result in the organization’s rosters not being approved.
I. Any fine must be paid at the next month’s league meeting. The fine will be doubled each month until paid in full.
J. Amendments or additions to the by-laws must be submitted to the Executive Board no later than the end of the year banquet. The Executive Board will deliver the requests to the By-law Committee for review, who will then make recommendations to the full membership for a vote at the first meeting of the new year.
1. Any proposal made by an organization that is not present at the by-law committee meeting will be discarded.
K. Every tackle level head coach must attend either the July or August league meeting. Failure to do this will make that team ineligible for playoff participation.
A. No player competing in the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Football League may play for a middle school team or any other football team. No player in the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Football League may be a current high school student.
B. All Organizations must first field a team at the lowest competitive level before fielding a team at the instructional level.
C. Players must make weight during one of the first three weeks of the season to be eligible to play for the remainder of that season.
1. There will be no exchanging of players that do not meet the designated weight. Should this issue become known, it will be investigated by the Advisory Committee.
2. The league representative must fax weigh-in sheets (must be on the downloaded form from the website) to the League President by the Monday after the third game. The weigh-in sheets must be signed by the first three weeks’ opposing coaches, who are required to write the numbers of the overweight or absent players next to his signature.
3. During the first three weeks of the season, any player who is overweight must have their actual weight, in the minimal amount of clothing allowable (underwear), recorded on the weigh-in sheet.
D. If a player does not make weight, he/she must remove their shoulder pads immediately and throughout the game. If that player is put into the game, it will result in an automatic forfeit of the game. The Advisory Committee will then meet to determine a suspension for the coach of that team.
E. No more than two (2) sanctioned league games may be played in one seven (7) day period under any circumstances.
F. A copy of each player’s birth certificate must be maintained at the league level. Birth certificates copies must be available if needed. Only one (1) copy should be needed for the player’s duration in the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Football League. All Birth Certificates are due by the August meeting. No player may play until the birth certificate is turned into the League President. 'Pending' players cannot play in any games.
G. For a player to register for a new organization at any time, that player must be in good standing with the previous organization. Good standing is defined as all fees paid and all equipment returned. A player not in good standing is ineligible to play for any other organization until all fees are paid and/or all equipment is returned to the previous organization. This will be tracked by the following:
1. Each organization is to submit a list of any players not in good standing to the League President by December 31st of each year. This list is to specify what is still needed (ex: money, equipment).
2. A list of these players will be compiled and distributed to each organization at the January meeting.
3. Each organization is responsible to notify the League President before each subsequent league meeting of any players who have returned to good standing so a new list can be handed out at that month’s meeting.
H. No player can be added to a team’s roster after 7:00AM on the Thursday before the third week of the season. No player can change organizations after that time for the current season.
A. Every player must weigh in before each game, EXCEPT, if a player makes weight to play at a lower level and is double rostered. The coaches should make a note of those players at the time of weigh-ins. The home team shall supply a balanced scale for weigh-ins. The visiting team may bring a scale along for comparison. If there is a great difference, then a neutral scale will be used.
B. Each team shall have only two (2) representatives at the weigh-ins. The home team shall provide a suitable and enclosed building to have the weigh-ins.
C. A player may only undress down to their underwear.
D. In the case of a FEMALE player having to strip, a woman representative should be the only person, other than the parent or guardian, to be allowed in the weigh-in room.
E. At NO TIME should a female and a male player be undressing in a weigh-in area at the same time.
F. All weigh-ins must occur on the day of the game, beginning one hour before the first scheduled game.
1. Representatives from both organizations (Organization Officer, League Rep, Head or Assistant Coach) must attend any early weigh-in and initial the weigh-in sheet.
a. Organizations must have a representative (from the list) present for early weigh-ins at a minimum of one hour before the first tackle game, if requested by either team.
2. Players weighing in early must have their picture card and official roster for this weigh-in to be official.
3. Weigh-ins, including early weigh-ins, will only occur at the designated time for each level (Example: Prior to JPW, PW, JV, V games).
4. All players for weigh in early must still be present for their teams’ weigh-in for verification.
5. If a game is postponed, official weigh-ins will take place on the re-scheduled date.
G. All players must present an ID card complete with a current picture at each weigh-in.
H. Picture cards will be displayed in a photo album and put in numerical order (from lowest to highest) - the way the players will be weighed. Any team not having the picture cards at the time of weigh-in will forfeit that game. The game can still be played but it will not count. Any individual not having a picture card will not be allowed to play in that game.
I. All organizations must have a commercial level digital scale for weigh-ins, which must be calibrated each year. Sticker and/or paperwork must be on display at the scale and a copy of paperwork or picture of sticker must be turned into the league prior to the first official game of the season. Failure to turn in information to the league will result in a forfeit of all home games until the paperwork is turned in.
J. Overweight players – see Section 7, Eligibility.
A. All Teams must have rosters signed by the opposing coach for the first three (3) games of the season to verify which players made weight and which did not. Any player that is not there at weigh in will be considered overweight. Each roster will be marked to verify which players were present. Any player that is injured must weigh in at one of the first three (3) games to be eligible to play later that year.
B. Players must be rostered for the Flag, Junior Pee Wee, Pee Wee, Junior Varsity or Varsity team to be eligible to play.
C. Every approved tackle player is also eligible to play on the next higher weight class team (double rostering). These players do not need to be listed on the higher-level roster. As a condition of this rule, the following must occur:
1. The head coach of the higher-level team must notify the opposing head coach of these specific players during weigh-ins.
2. The picture book and weigh-in sheet of the lower-level team must be available to verify these players are game day eligible if requested.
3. If the game day order is not Junior Pee Wee-Pee Wee-Junior Varsity-Varsity, then these players must weigh in prior to each game.
D. All rosters must be entered into the website prior to the cutoff date set by the League.
E. Every player must sign a team contract form or agreement to play with a team. He/she must secure a written release from that team’s League Representative and President to play on another team that same season. A duplicate copy of the release must be presented to the League President before that player is eligible. If an organization refuses to release a player, this matter can be appealed to the League Executive Board for a final decision.
F. All organizations are encouraged to have a team at the flag level and must commit to having a team at each of the competitive weight levels (Pee Wee, Junior Varsity, Varsity). Failure to field a competitive level team will result in the following:
1. First Season – Warning
2. Second Season – Loss of organization vote for one year
3. Third Season – Possible expulsion from the League
10. GAME TIMES
A. Each organization can decide the game order for their home games. All competitive level games must be played one after another. The Junior Pee Wee game must start or end the day when that day’s regular opponent does not have a Junior Pee Wee team.
1. Each game starts immediately following the previous game, as the scheduled game times are only an approximation. No game can start more than fifteen (15) minutes before the scheduled start time though.
B. As per P.I.A.A. rules, all game times will consist of four eight-minute quarters with a ten-minute break at half time. (Please note – current PIAA timing rules will be implemented - - - the clock will stop on all change of possessions)
C. The first tackle game must start at the designated time. If it is not started on time the Officials will start the game clock and penalize the home team for delay of game.
D. If the Flag game is the first game of the day, no less than one hour and fifteen minutes must be allotted for that game.
11. FIELD CONDITIONS AND POSTPONEMENTS
A. Field conditions are up to the home team. Home team coaches must advise visiting teams’ coaches at least two hours before the game regarding postponements. If the visiting team is not so advised, they shall assume the game is to be played. The home team shall also advise the officials accordingly. Make-up games must be rescheduled within a two (2) week period.
B. The Executive Board will have the sole discretion for postponements of playoff games due to weather conditions.
12. AGE STRUCTURE
A. Team weight classifications and specific regulations:
1. Flag, Junior Pee Wee, Pee Wee, Junior Varsity, Varsity (The Junior Pee Wee team is optional)
2. The Flag and Junior Pee Wee teams will be known as instructional level play.
3. The Pee Wee, Junior Varsity and Varsity teams will be known as competitive level play.
B. All players must make weight at the designated starting level by the third game of the regular season or move up to the next higher weight class.
1. There will be no exchanging of players that do not meet the designated weekly weight. Should this issue become known, it will be investigated by the Advisory Committee.
2. Opposing coaches at all levels will be responsible for reporting players that did not make weight so that honesty can be maintained throughout the league.
C. No Player at the flag level may attain their 7th birthday prior to January 1st of that year.
1. If a player is age 7 years and has already played two or more seasons of flag football and/or the player weighs 65lbs. or more, then that player is encouraged to play at the Junior Pee Wee level.
D. No Player on the Junior Pee Wee team may attain his 9th birthday prior to August 1st of that year.
E. No Player on the Pee Wee team may attain his 10th birthday prior to August 1st of that year.
F. No Player on the Junior Varsity team may attain his 11th birthday prior to August 1st of that year.
1. A player who turns age eleven (11) years between August 1st of the previous year and July 31st of the current year is eligible to play on the Junior Varsity level team as long as he/she weighs 80lbs. or less.
G. No Player on the Varsity team may attain his 13th birthday prior to January 1st of that year.
1. Any person who turns age 14 years from January 1st through December 31st of the current year is ineligible to play as they are too old for this league.
H. Any by-law changes to the age and/or weight structure must remain in effect for a minimum of two years.
I. Junior Varsity Older/Lighter Mandatory Weigh-In
1. There will be a mandatory weigh in for any Older/Lighter player on the Thursday night that is two weeks prior to the start of the season. This weigh in will be at a central location.
2. Every Older/Lighter player must weigh 85lbs. or less at this weigh in to be eligible to remain on the Junior Varsity roster at that time. If a player weighs 85.1lbs or more at this weigh in, they must play on the Varsity level for the entire season.
3. If an Older/Lighter player does not attend this weigh in, they are not eligible to play on the Junior Varsity team that season and must play on the Varsity team for the entire season.
a. The only exception for this weigh in is if the player is on vacation that week, then that player must do the required weigh in the Friday before. Any player doing this weigh in must be reported to the League President by that Monday.
13. WEIGHT STRUCTURE
A. There will be a two-tier weight system at every tackle level. One weight limit is for skill position players and one weight limit is for linemen.
1. Junior Pee Wee Division
a. Skill Player Weight Limit: 80lbs
b. Lineman Weight Limit: 100lbs
2. Pee Wee Division
a. Skill Player Weight Limit: 100lbs
b. Lineman Weight Limit: 120lbs
3. Junior Varsity Division
a. Skill Player Weight Limit: 120lbs
b. Lineman Weight Limit: 140lbs
4. Varsity Division
a. Skill Player Weight Limit: 140lbs
b. Lineman Weight Limit: 160lbs
B. Position Designations
1. Skill Player Offensive Positions: Quarterback, Running Back, Tight End, Wide Receiver
2. Lineman Offensive Positions: Center, Guard, Tackle
3. Lineman Defensive Positions: Nose Guard, Defensive Tackle
4. Skill Player Defense Positions: Defensive End, Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety
C. These are the specific rules for players designated as linemen at the heavier weight.
1. Linemen are those players who are above the skill player weight limit but at or below the maximum linemen weight limit.
2. Linemen must formally be designated as such by the Wednesday prior to the start of week 1 (the printed weigh-in sheet will show the designation of these players as linemen).
a. If a player is designated as a lineman to start the season, they must remain a lineman for the entirety of the season.
b. If a player is designated as a skill player and is overweight during the weigh-ins, that player is ineligible to play in the game (CANNOT change to a lineman for that game).
c. If a player who is designated as a skill player is overweight during the first three weeks of the season, they automatically become a lineman for the remainder of the season.
d. Once a player is designated as a lineman player at their tackle level, they remain a lineman player if they double-roster for the next level team.
3. Linemen will be required to wear a colored dot (sticker) on their helmet. The dots must be placed on the middle of the front and back of the player’s helmet. Dots will be provided by the league and given to each League Representative by the August meeting.
4. Linemen may not advance the football in any way.
5. No more than five lineman designated players are permitted on offense at any time. They can be the center and two linemen on each side of the center. The center is the player who snaps the ball.
a. No more than 2 lineman designated players are allowed on either side of the center.
6. No more than three lineman designated players are permitted on defense at any time. Defensive positioning for lineman designated players will be defined as:
a. Up to three lineman designated players are permitted on the defensive line as long as they are lined head up on the offensive tackle and in toward the center.
b. Lineman designated players are not permitted to be defensive ends.
c. Lineman designated players must be lined up in a 3-point or 4-point at the time the ball is snapped by the offensive team.
d. Lineman designated players cannot move backwards until the football is passed, pitched, lateralled or handed off by the Quarterback.
7. Lineman designated players are not permitted on kick-off or kick-off return, unless they are the kicker. If the kicker is a lineman designated player, they may not cross the line of scrimmage.
8. Lineman designated players are permitted on Punt, Punt Return, extra point attempts and field goal attempts, as long as they are aligned according to #5 or #6. Lineman designated players may be the Punter or Kicker for the special teams mentioned within this section. It the Punter or Kicker is a lineman designated player, they may not cross the line of scrimmage. If the Punter or Kicker is a lineman designated player, a team may only have four (4) more lineman designated players on the line.
9. Penalties for cheating with lineman designated players will consist of the following, depending upon each infraction and as determined by the League Officers:
a. Forfeiture of the football game.
b. The permanent removal of the head coach from the league.
c. A $100 fine for the organization.
14. RULES FOR THE VARSITY AND JUNIOR VARSITY DIVISIONS
A. P.I.A.A. rules will apply for all these games except for:
1. A kicking PAT will count as two points. A running or passing PAT will result in one point.
2. Kickoffs: All kickoffs must occur from the middle of the field. The kicking team is required to have a minimum of 2 players inside and outside of the hash marks on both sides of the kicker.
3. During the Varsity and Junior Varsity games, a 25 second play clock will be utilized.
4. On any kicking play, no defensive player can line up over the center or in the center/guard gap. No defensive player can slant/crash at the center. Penalties for violations are:
(a) 5 yards for lining up incorrectly.
(b) 15 yards for hitting the center.
15. RULES FOR THE PEE WEE DIVISION
A. During the Pee Wee game, the following will apply:
1. For the first four (4) weeks of the season one offensive coach will be allowed on the field. For the remainder of the season, they will coach from the sidelines.
2. The "on field" coaches must be at least five (5) yards behind the deepest player.
3. Pee Wee Defense Rules:
a. Allowable defenses are 3-4, 4-3, 5-2 and 6-1.
b. Linebackers must be at least three yards behind the line of scrimmage.
c. Two cornerbacks are required in every defense. They must line up outside the defensive ends and linebackers. They must be at least three yards off the line of scrimmage.
d. Two safeties are required in every defense, and they must be at least six yards off the line of scrimmage.
e. Blitzing is not permitted. Blitzing is moving forward toward the line of scrimmage prior to the snap.
f. All defensive lineman, except the defensive end on each side, must be down in either a 3-point or 4-point stance – No Standing.
4. Inside the 10-yard line, a goal line defense can be used but there is still no blitzing.
5. Punting will occur in the Pee Wee game. If the offensive team chooses to punt on 4th down, the offensive and defensive teams will not be allowed to cross the line of scrimmage until the football is punted. If either team crosses the line of scrimmage it will result in a 5-yard penalty. The offensive team can then re-choose the option of punting. A fumbled snap will be punted from the point of recovery. If the snap goes past the punter, it shall also be punted from the point of recovery, with no crossing of the line of scrimmage by either team. Defenses must maintain an allowable defensive formation on punt plays. There will be no fake punts allowed. If the punt does not go past the line of scrimmage, then it is an automatic dead ball situation. The football will be placed at the original line of scrimmage and will become the defensive (receiving) team’s possession. The offensive and defensive teams cannot move out of their aligned formation until the football is punted.
6. During the Pee Wee game, any team that blitzes will be penalized (5) five yards for illegal procedure. This penalty will be from the line of scrimmage.
7. During the Pee Wee game, a 35 second play clock will be utilized to keep the game moving.
8. Overtime for the Pee Wee games will be only one overtime period. If both teams fail to score or score and make or miss the point after try, the game will end in a tie.
9. A two-point kicking conversion may be attempted during the Pee Wee game. For this level and under, a holder and kicker will go onto the field and a free kick will occur from the eight (8) yard line. A kicking block must be used for this kick.
10. Kickoffs: All kickoffs must occur from the middle of the field. The kicking team is required to have a minimum of 2 players inside and outside of the hash marks on both sides of the kicker.
11. On any kicking play, no defensive player can line up over the center or in the center/guard gap. No defensive player can slant/crash at the center. Penalties for violations are:
(a) 5 yards for lining up incorrectly.
(b) 15 yards for hitting the center.
16. RULES FOR THE JUNIOR PEE WEE DIVISION
A. The Junior Pee Wee games will have the same rules as Pee Wee games except for the following:
1. Two coaches from each team are always allowed on the field for the entire season.
2. On-Side kicks will not be permitted. The ball will belong to the receiving team regardless of who recovers the kick. Once possession is gained by the receiving team, a fumble can occur during the return.
3. The offensive team will have the option, on 4th down, to have the official advance the line of scrimmage 20 yards and turn the possession of the ball over to the other team, except when possession is inside the 30-yard line. In that situation, the ball will be advanced only HALF the distance to the goal.
4. Since the Junior Pee Wee division is instructional in purpose, no score is to be kept and therefore no overtime period shall be allowed.
17. FLAG RULES
A. Use PIAA rules except as modified below.
B. As an important safety factor it is mandatory for flag players to wear a soft shell (karate type) head gear for their own protection.
C. KICK-OFF: There will be no kick-offs at the flag level. The offensive team will begin their possession at the 30-yard line to start each half and after each score.
D. FUMBLE: QB/Center exchange; if the QB can recover quickly, there is no fumble. If not, loss of down. All other fumbles are loss of down and the ball is spotted at the point of fumble.
E. If a ball carriers flag falls off at anytime, the play is dead. The ball is then spotted at the point where the flag fell.
F. Penalty - No distance, no loss of down, except; Blatant offsides is 5 yards. Unnecessary roughness: tackling, leaving feet on the block, forearming, stiff arming, blocks below the waist, etc. is 5 yards.
G. No slapping the hands from defenders by the ball carrier, no pushing out of bounds, must be attempting to grab the flags, one warning per half per team. A second violation will result in penalty as follows:
Upon Defense - 1st down at the point of infraction.
Upon Offense - loss of down and loss of yardage on that play.
H. PUNT: Automatic punt at the option of the coach - 30 yards from the line of scrimmage. If the line of scrimmage is at or inside the 40-yard line, then the automatic punt is half the distance to the goal.
I. CLOCK: Two 25-minute halves per game with continuous running clock, except each team shall be allowed one time-out each half. The clock will be stopped for a downed injured player and after every score. The clock will restart when the ball is set for play. There will be a 5-minute break at half-time.
J. SCORING: Touchdowns are seven (7) points with no P.A.T. attempt. A safety is two (2) points. After a score, the opposing team will take possession on their own thirty (30) yard line.
1. Allowable defenses are 3-4, 4-3, 5-2 and 6-1.
2. Linebackers must be at least three yards behind the line of scrimmage.
3. Two cornerbacks are required in every defense. They must line up outside the defensive ends and linebackers. They must be at least three yards off the line of scrimmage.
4. Two safeties are required in every defense, and they must be at least six yards off the line of scrimmage.
5. Blitzing is not permitted. Blitzing is moving forward toward the line of scrimmage prior to the snap.
6. All defensive lineman, except the defensive end on each side, must be down in either a 3-point or 4-point stance – No Standing.
L. Inside the 10-yard line you can use a goal line defense but still no blitzing.
M. No player that plays on a tackle team of any weight class may play on the flag team.
N. EQUIPMENT: All Flags shall be at least 14 inches long and be of a bright color that is contrasting to the pants that the player is wearing. The flag will be unobstructed from view and touch and be attached by velcro only. Leg pads may be worn by all flag players. All jerseys more than waist length must be tucked into the pants.
O. COACHES/REFS: Not more than 2 coaches from each team shall be on the field at any time during the game. At least 1 coach must always remain with the bench. The head coach shall appoint a third coach to act as a referee during the game if a ref is not available. The ref/coaches shall agree on all infractions. The coaches and ref/coaches shall remain at least 10 yards away from the players in all directions and shall move away from the ball as the play progresses.
P. To maintain parity, the team that is ahead at any point in the game cannot allow a player who has already scored to carry or catch the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. These players will also not be permitted to return kick-offs. If such a player does carry the ball beyond the line of scrimmage, the team will be penalized the yardage gained and will suffer loss of down.
Q. There will be a mandatory flag head coach meeting at the conclusion of the League Picnic. If an organization’s head flag coach is not present for this meeting, then the organization will have no league scheduled flag games for that season.
R. All interceptions are handled by P.I.A.A. rules – they are live and can be returned for a touchdown.
A. If any violation of the league by-laws is suspected, a protest may be submitted to the League President, along with a ten-dollar ($10.00) protest fee to be refunded if the protest is upheld. This protest must be submitted in writing within seventy-two (72) hours of the infraction by the league representative or the head coach. In addition, the following penalties shall be imposed...
1. For violation which affects a single game, loss of the game.
2. For violation which affects more than one game, loss of each game in which the violation occurred. For example: ineligible players, incomplete rosters, etc.
A. Trophies will be given to division champions.
B. Trophies will be presented at the League Banquet.
C. Trophies and medals for league champions and runner-ups will be presented at the conclusion of the championship game.
A. Any rules not covered by these by-laws shall be played according to P.I.A.A. playing rules. The use of electronic devices follows PIAA rules.
B. The Mercy Rule, as it is known by the PIAA, in this league will take effect when there is a 30-point difference in the score, everything else will follow the PIAA guidelines. Once a game is in the Mercy Rule it cannot come out of it. The clock will run for the entirety of the game, starting in the second half, except following a score, for an injured player or a timeout.
C. All players must wear colored mouth pieces to play in the games.
D. Jersey color will be coordinated between the teams prior to each game day.
1. No jersey may have a hood attached to it.
2. No hooded undershirt may stick out of a jersey.
E. P.A.T. Conversion Change - Two (2) points will be awarded to the team kicking a P.A.T. Running or passing for the conversion will still result in a one (1) point score.
F. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any game by any team.
G. Any rules not covered here will be ruled upon by the Executive Board.
H. Team personnel consists of the head coach and his assistants listed on that team’s roster and/or anyone the head coach permits.
I. Goal Posts must be padded according to P.I.A.A. requirements.
J. The Monday closest to August 1st is designated as the first day any organization may start practicing with any type of equipment (cleats are not considered equipment). The first three days of football practice (July 29, 30 & 31 for 2024) will follow the P.I.AA. Heat Acclimation Rule and shall be non-Physical Contact. Players may wear helmets, shoulder pads, and football shoes: however, all other contact pads are PROHIBITED during these first three days of practice.
1. Future first day of practice:
a. 2024 – July 29, 30 & 31
b. 2025 – August 4, 5 & 6
c. 2026 – August 3, 4 & 5
K. For 2024, August 1st is the first day an organization can practice in full equipment and have contact if they have completed all three days of the Heat Acclimation Rule. If an organization is caught violating this by-law, then it will be brought to the Advisory Committee to determine the punishment. This punishment can be up to and including having all of the competitive level teams of that organization be ineligible for post-season games or awards with every competitive level game of that organization for the entire season will be officially recorded as a forfeit (6-0).
L. Every organization must have and use an operational scoreboard with a running clock at their field.
M. Any person running the clock/scoreboard and working the chains must be a 9th grader or older person.
N. Organizations can decide if they want to allow their uniforms to include players’ last names on the back of the jersey.
O. Smoke bombs and any other type of props are illegal. Punishment for violations will include forfeiture of that game, a suspension for head coach and a fine for organization (to be determined by the league officers).
A. If a coach is given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the game, he/she is ejected from the game and must immediately leave the field. Failure of the ejected coach to immediately leave the field can result in the stoppage of the game and a forfeit declared on the offending team.
B. If a player is given a taunting or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the player must sit out the next five plays in the game.
C. Ejection punishments:
1. Any player being ejected from a game for any reason will result in their removal from that game plus the next scheduled game. A second ejection of this player at any time during the season would result in their removal from that game plus the next two scheduled games. These suspensions count for all games on the suspension day (for any double-rostered players).
2. Any coach or assistant coach being ejected from a game for any reason will result in their removal from that game plus the next two scheduled games. The ejected coach’s child(ren) is(are) also suspended for the next scheduled game.
3. If a parent is ejected from a game by an official, then their child(ren) is(are) suspended for the next scheduled game.
4. If a players’ family member or friend is ejected from a game by an official, then their child(ren) is(are) suspended for the next scheduled game.
D. All players and coaches should meet in the middle of the field to shake hands at the conclusion of the game to show good sportsmanship.
E. Any parent that comes onto the playing field, except if asked by the medical person due to an injury to their child, will be suspended for a minimum of two (2) games. The Advisory Committee and/or the organization has the authority to extend the suspension beyond two games.
F. An organization officer, league rep or game day coordinator must be at every game and will immediately address any behavioral issues of parents, coaches, players and spectators (witnessed or brought to their attention). The officer/rep/coordinator for each organization must introduce themselves to each other prior to the start of the first game of the day. Failure to have an officer/rep/coordinator at every game for the day will result in a fine of up to $500 for the organization.
22. SAFE ZONE DESIGNATION
A. The goal of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Football League is to ensure the safety and well-being of all players and cheerleaders while they are at our football events. All football fields and field complexes are designated as Safe Zones, just as schools are. No alcohol, drugs (illegal and prescribed), tobacco products or weapons are allowed in these areas while any practices, scrimmages or games are occurring.
1. Punishment for non-compliance of the alcohol, drug, or tobacco Safe Zone Designation:
A. Coach or Organization officer non-compliance – 6 game suspension
(1) The child(ren) of any coach who violates the alcohol, drug, or tobacco Safe Zone Designation will be suspended from all games for their organizations’ next 2 game days.
B. Adult or minor associated with the player non-compliance – 4 game suspension
(1) The child(ren) of any adult or minor associated with the player who violates the alcohol, drug, or tobacco Safe Zone Designation will be suspended from all games for their organizations’ next 2 game days.
2. Punishment for non-compliance of the weapon Safe Zone Designation:
A. Coach, parent, organization officer or any other person – 2-year suspension with the Executive Board having the authority to extend this suspension
(1) The child(ren) of any coach, parent, organization officer or other person who violates the weapon Safe Zone Designation will be suspended for 1 year from the date of the infraction.
3. All organizations are required to ensure compliance so that their fields and complexes remain alcohol, drug, tobacco, and weapon free.
A. If the league investigates violations of this by-law, the organization will fully cooperate with all aspects of this investigation or risk having all of their teams being declared ineligible for the playoffs that season, in addition to other possible sanctions.
4. No player may change organizations until full completion of any suspensions (for parent, family member, family friend, fan, coach, organization officer) for Safe Zone non-compliance is completed.
5. The league President and Executive Board has the authority to implement any penalties or fines in addition to the ones listed above.
6. There is no appeal of any punishment listed above by the violating person(s) or organization.
23. GAME OFFICIALS
A. The league shall appoint an assignor, who shall assign three (3) P.I.A.A. officials to all tackle level games. At least two (2) officials must be present before a game can start. No other officials are allowed.
B. The league assignor shall assign four (4) officials for all Elimination and Play-off games.
C. Referee fees for the playoffs will be added into the yearly membership fee. This exact amount will be determined at the March meeting and must be paid by the August meeting. If this is not paid by the August meeting, the fee increases fifty dollars ($50.00) per month until paid. This means referee fees for the playoffs will be paid by the league. The Treasurer will give the required money to each playoff host team at the October league meeting.
D. In the case of an official showing up to work a game and the game being canceled and he is not notified in time, the said official will get paid half of the regular pay. If this is the case of a no show and/or forfeit by one of the teams, then that team will have to pay the officials. This will be done either through the host team or the league.
24. FIELD MARKINGS AND SHOES
A. A regulation football field shall be used, with goal line flags at each goal line. Goal line flags must have flexible shafts. Yards are marked every five (5) yards. Goal posts must be installed at each end of the playing field for field goal attempts. Lining of the field is the responsibility of the home team.
B. The playing field on both sides should be roped off from goal line to goal line, ten (10) yards from the sidelines. The exception being any school or other field having the perimeter of the playing field enclosed. Only team personnel are allowed within this confined area.
C. A restricted area (coaches' box) must be painted from the 25-yard line to the 25-yard line on each side of the field. This restricted area should be a minimum of two (2) yards in depth.
1. Only three coaches are allowed in the restricted area to communicate with players and substitutes
during dead-ball situations. These three coaches must move into the team box before the ball becomes live.
2. Penalties for coaches’ box violations will follow PIAA rules.
D. All cheerleaders must be a minimum of five (5) yards away from the sideline while the game is being played.
E. Sidelines clarification: only rostered players in the game being played, coaches on that team’s staff, cheerleaders, cheerleader coaches, organization officers, the trainer, one team parent and no more than two professional/team photographers/videographers are allowed on the sideline during games. Anyone else on the sideline constitutes a violation and the organization can be fined up to $100 for each person violating this rule during the game.
F. No metal tip cleats are allowed. Coaches are responsible to check all cleats prior to weigh ins.
G. The chains must be kept on the home team’s side of the field.
A. Should the league ever disband, all money and property accumulated by the league, until that time, shall be held for a period of one year. If the league is not reorganized, this money and property shall be divided among the member organizations during the last year of operation.
1. ENTRY FEES:
A. Entry Fees - will be set by the Executive Board on an annual basis. For the 2024 season the fee is five hundred dollars ($500.00).
B. Assignor Fees – league assignor will be paid a scheduling fee of $100.00 per organization by the League at the League Picnic.
C. President Fees – league president will be paid $100 per organization. This fee is due at the July meeting and will be paid to the president at the year-end banquet.
D. Referee Fees - for 2024 will be $55.00 per game per official.
A. PLAY-OFF COMMITTEE. All teams shall be members. Failure to do so subjects a team to loss of its forfeit bond and/or revocation of membership.
1. A schedule of team’s responsibilities will be prepared by the executive board, and these teams are expected to be present. Failure to do so will result in loss of fine forfeit bond and/or revocation of membership.
B. BY-LAW COMMITTEE. A committee shall be appointed by the President as needed to review the proposed by-law changes prior to the January meeting. Any new by-law change proposals must be presented to the Executive Board or a by-law committee member at the November meeting. Proposed bylaw changes should be submitted by teams and read to the whole body prior to submission as set forth herein.
C. SCHEDULING COMMITTEE. If needed, a committee can be appointed by the President at the March meeting. If needed, they would be responsible to submit a schedule by the May meeting.
1. Schedules shall be prepared on a home and away basis whenever possible. For example, the team you played at home this year you will play away next year.
D. AUDITING COMMITTEE. A committee shall be appointed by the President at the November meeting. This committee shall meet for the sole purpose of auditing the treasurer’s books and give a final report at the March meeting.
F. ADVISORY COMMITTEE. This committee shall be appointed by the Executive Board in a time of need. This committee shall be made up of five (5) people whom the Executive Board feels will take the best interest of the league and the youth into consideration when making decisions. These members can be for example, past coaches, past officers, teachers, or other people in the community who are interested and involved with the youth in some way.
3. REGULATION FOOTBALLS
A. Pee wee style footballs can be used for the Flag and Junior Pee Wee games – must be the same dimensions as the Wilson K-2 football.
B. Junior style footballs can be used for the Pee Wee and Junior Varsity games – must be the same dimensions as the Wilson TDJ football.
C. Youth style footballs can be used for the Varsity game – must be the same dimensions as the Wilson TDY football.
A. Every head coach must be certified through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association or USA Football. Assistant coaches are encouraged to be certified. There will be a twenty-five-dollar ($25.00) fine for each head coach in an organization that is not certified.
1. A photocopy of the certification card (or a printout of the online verification) for each head coach of the organization must be turned in at the August league meeting. The head coach’s certification must run through the entire football season. Failure to provide this verification for each head coach will result in a fine of $25.00 as described in Letter A above.
B. All organizations must follow any applicable State Laws regarding background checks.
5. POST SEASON INFORMATION
A. The top four teams in each division, based on division record, will make the playoffs. Tie-Breaker Criteria:
1. Head-to-Head winner
2. Overall record
3. Number of wins of the teams they played during season.
4. A one game playoff would be the last option. This would only occur if multiple teams are tied and all the teams would not qualify as the four playoff teams.
B. The playoffs will be set up as follows:
a. The Red Division 1st place team plays the Blue Division 4th place team.
b. The Blue Division 1st place team plays the Red Division 4th place team.
c. The Red Division 2nd place team plays the Blue Division 3rd place team.
d. The Blue Division 2nd place team plays the Red Division 3rd place team.
a. The winners of the Red 1st/Blue 4th and Blue 2nd/Red 3rd games will play in one semi-final.
b. The winners of the Blue 1st/Red 4th and Red 2nd/Blue 3rd games will play in the other semi-final.
C. Playoff host teams are eligible to play a playoff game on their home field as long as they are the higher seeded team in that match-up.
D. As much as possible, the playoff committee will have the highest seeded team play at the closest host field.
E. Playoff sites will be determined by the following list and will be rotated every year (first four teams host first round, next two teams host semi-finals, the last team hosts championship games):
2023: Northampton, South Parkland, Bulldogs, Easton, Lower Macungie, Raiders, Palmer
2024: Emmaus, E.S.Y.C., Steelers, Allentown A’s, Nazareth, North Parkland, Forks
2025: Bulldogs, Palmer, Lower Macungie, South Parkland, Northampton, Easton, Raiders
2026: Keystone, Forks, Saints, Steelers, Nazareth, North Parkland, Palmer
F. Overtime / Sudden Death Rules
1. If a regular season, elimination, play-off, or championship game should end in a tie, the tie will be resolved by a method approved by the state high school association. This method is known as the 10-yard line over-time procedure. This by-law applies to the competitive levels only.
2. All elimination and playoff games must have a winner and cannot end in a tie.
G. No organization may host playoff games if they do not have an operational scoreboard with a running clock at their field.
H. No organization may charge admission to a playoff game. An organization may leave out a donation “can” but cannot require a donation to be admitted into the game. Penalty for violation of this rule will result in the offending organization paying for all official fees for the day.
I. The designated home team in each playoff game is responsible for providing the chain crew for that playoff game.
A. Organizations will be allowed unlimited off-season workouts. These workouts are not allowed to be run as individual team practices or as head starts on the football season. No equipment, other than a football, can be used during these workouts.
B. Violations of this Operating Rule are subject to punishment as described in By-Law Section 19 (Notes).