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Nicaea Academy Seven-Man Football

Seven Man Rules

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FCAPPS 2012 Seven Man Rules and Game Procedures

All games sanctioned by the Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools are governed by the current NFHS Rules for 11-Man Football with the few exceptions:



Game Officials

  1. All games shall be played utilizing four (4) game officials. They are: the referee, the umpire, the line judge and head linesman.
    1. No game may be played with less than three field officials.
    2. Games may be played with three (3) Refs if the school requested four (4), but only three (3) Refs showed up and the error was clearly the fault of the Refs Association. Documented proof must be provided.
  2. When requested, an Electric Clock Operator shall be utilized and be responsible for the official game clock.
  3. The ECO must be assigned by the LOA (local officials association). The management of the game clock shall be kept on the field if no ECO is assigned or at anytime during the game the scoreboard clock becomes inoperable.
  4. If a scoreboard is available but an ECO is not assigned to time the game, the clock shall remain at 00:00 at all times with the only operation utilizing the scoring function.
  5. The game officials will officially assume control of the game thirty (30) minutes prior to kick-off and until they have left the playing field following the conclusion of the game.


Field Size and Marking:

  1. The field is 80 yards between goal lines and 40 yards wide.
  2. Field must have yard lines marked at least every 10 yards (every 5 yards preferably)
  3. Fields must have Hash Marks placed perpendicular to those yard lines 45 feet in from the sidelines.
  4. All fields must have a painted Players Box.


Mandatory Fencing - Field without permanent fencing around the perimeter of the playing field:

  1. School must use a temporarily fence using PVC, plastic, robe or other safe material to serve a barrier between the field and the spectators viewing the game.
  2. This barrier must run parallel to the sidelines form the 20 yardline to 20 yardline.
  3. It must be at least 15 feet from the playing Field.


Roster Size  

School may have a total of 22 players on their Roster. (This does not include developmental players)


Development squads (for Varsity teams without a M.S. squad)

These players are typically your younger, smaller kids, grades 5th – 8th who needs time to mature and 

develop both physically and mentally before playing on a Varsity team.


1.      Must meet all player eligibility requirements.

2.      Must be listed on the teams certification form.

3.      A team may have an undetermined number of Developmental players.

4.      A team may only dress out 22 players per game

5.      Development players may play if and when:

a.        There is an opening on the roster.

b.       He has mature and develop both physically and mentally to play.

6.      Development player may be added to or dropped from the 22 man roster at 

      coaches discretion.

7.      Developmental play may be on the sidelines during games and may travel with the team but will not dress out in full uniform – Jersey only.

8.      The 4-year playing eligibility will not apply to developmental players in grades 5th – 8th.


Minimum Number of Players

The game is played with 7 offensive and 7 defensive players

  1. The game must start with seven (7) eligible players on each team.
  2. No game may be played if a team cannot field seven (7) eligible players at game time.
  3. Once a game has started, either team may play with less than seven (7) players.
  4. If either team has less than seven (7) players at anytime once the game has started, they may elect to: 1. Stop the game at the point from continuing

           2. Continue with six (6) players

  1. It is not a requirement that the opponent play with six players to compliment their opposition


Game Clock

  1. Each varsity game shall be played with four (4) twelve (12) minute quarters.
  2. Each junior varsity and middle school game shall be played with four (4) ten (10) minute quarters.
  3. Half-time shall consist of a total of fifteen (15) minutes with both teams to report back to their respective sidelines for a mandatory three (3) minute warm-up at the twelve (12) minute mark.
  4. A team on offense or in a free kick shall be allotted twenty five (25) seconds in which to snap or free kick the football following the referee's ready for play signal.


Water Breaks

  1. During each game, the officials shall stop play as close to the mid-way mark of each quarter to allow teams to exercise a mandatory water break.
  2. During this intermission, both teams will have full time out privileges.
  3. The mandatory water break will be done throughout the regular season, playoffs and championship games.


Starting the Game

  1. The game shall be started with a kick-off from the kicking team's 30 yard line.
  2. The receiving team's line shall be the 40 yard line
  3. The Kick Receiving Team must have at least 3 players on their free kick line.
  4. Kicks into the End Zone – may not be returned. The ball will be placed ready for play at the 15 yard line.


Earning First Downs

First downs require forward progress from the original line of scrimmage of at least 10 yard in a maximum of four downed plays from the offense not including penalty yardage (if any).


Offense Formation:

Must have 4 players on the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap. 

             A.  LOS. The offensive line will consist of:

1.      Two down linesmen that is not eligible to receive a pass. These Linemen may wear any Jersey Numbers during the 2012 season. Starting 2013, ineligible down linesmen must wear Jersey number 50 - 79.

2.      These 2 ineligible down linesmen must be within 3 yards of the ball.

3.      The two Ends (uncovered Linesmen) are eligible to receive a pass. They may be lined up in a tight formation or in a spread formation.

4.      Exceptions: A center may be eligible to receive a pass if he is uncovered on the line of scrimmage.

B.     Must have 3 players in the backfield. All players who are backs must be clearly established behind the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap.

C.    All backs are eligible pass receivers if they are legally behind the line of scrimmage at the snap.

D.    There is no ball advancement exchange rule as in 6 man football. Q.B. sneaks are allowed.


Blocking Zone

The Free Blocking Zone will apply:

  1. The free-blocking zone is a square area extending laterally 3 yards either side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage.
  2. The zone shall diminish once the ball leaves the area.
  3. In order to block anyone below the waist or in the back, both players involved must be in the zone at the snap.


Substitution rule

After the ball is marked ready for play, each player on offense who participated in the previous down, and each substitution player for the offensive team must have been, momentarily, within 7-yard of the football, before the snap. Offense may not break the huddle with more than 7 players.


Time Outs

Each team is allotted three (3) time-outs per half not to exceed one (1) minute each.

Unused time-outs from the second half may not carry over to any overtime period.


Authorized Time Out Conferences

  1. During charged and officials timeouts, teams may choose to use one of two approved procedures.

            They may choose to: 1. confer with one (1) coach and not more than four (4) water personnel on                    

                                                  the field between the hash marks. Not more than eleven (11) players may  


                                              2. Or, the head coach may bring his team to the sideline, between the 25 yard  

                                                  lines, and confer with his team with unlimited coaches and water  


  1. However, no field player may leave the field and enter the team box without being replaced.
  2. If a player leaves the field and then returns during a charged or officials timeout, he will be guilty of illegal substitution and penalized five (5) yards.


Head Coach / Referee Conference

  1. At anytime during a game, the head coach may request and will be granted a timeout in order to confer with game officials regarding any issues that are of concern to the head coach.
  2. This may include penalty enforcement, rule clarification, timing etc. Discussions on official’s judgment calls will not be entertained.
  3. During this conference, both teams will have full time out privileges.
  4. The timeout is charged to the team that requests the conference (assuming they have timeouts remaining in the half).
  5. If its is proven that game officials were in error on penalty enforcement, timing or other documented rules, the timeout will not be charged to the team and will be ruled as an officials timeout.


Methods of Scoring:

Touch Down - 6 points

Field goal – 3 point

Safety – 2 points


Extra Point Scoring:  Try for point (s) after Touch Downs shall be as follows:

  1. Successful field goal from the 3 yard line – 2 points
  2. Successful run or pass into the endzone from the 3 yard line – 1 point
  3. Successful run or pass into the endzone from the 10 yard line - 2 points


Defense Formation

  1. Must have 7 players
  2. Defenses may line up in any formation with no required number of down linemen.



Kicking team will kick from their 30 yard line, the receiving team will line up at the 40 yard line.

Kicks into the End Zone – may not be returned. The ball will be placed ready for play at the 15 yard line.

The Kick Receiving Team must have at least 3 players on the front line.


Ball Placement Following a Safety

After a Safety, the ball will be placed ready for play at the 15-yard line. The ball then may be free kicked,

Punted or Dropped kicked.


Mercy Rule: 

  1. If one team is ahead by a margin of 35 points or more at the end of the second quarter, the head coach of the team that is behind may request of the referee a running clock.
  2. If, however, the differential in the score is 35 points or more at the end of the third quarter or at any point thereafter, the running clock shall become mandatory
  3. Once the running clock is initiated, it shall run continuously with the exception of during any timeout taken by a team or officials, injuries, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, a score by either team, and during the period between quarters.


Overtime Period

  1. A coin toss takes place at the 40 yardline to determine which team will get first possession of the ball.
  2. The coin-toss losing team is allowed to select the end of the field on which overtime will take place. Once an end of field is decided, all overtime periods will take place at that end.
  3. Possession is then given to the coin-toss winner at the opponent’s 10 - yard line.
  4. The team with possession of the ball is given four downs to gain a first down or score a field goal or touchdown.
  5. In the event of a touchdown, an extra point kick or two-point conversion is attempted. The offensive team’s possession ends when it scores, fails to score or fails to gain a first down.
  6. If, at the end of each teams’ first possession, the score remains tied, another overtime period takes place.
  7. If, at the end of two overtime periods the score is still remains tied, the ball will be moved 5 yard forwards to begin each additional period.
  8. If after four (4) overtime periods during a regular season game, the game will end in a tie unless that game is a tie breaker game being played to determine a playoff berth.


Disqualified Players & Non Players

  1. If at anytime a player is ejected from the game, he must leave the playing field and return to his team box.
  2. The disqualified player must remove his jersey and shoulder pads. He may put his jersey back on, (at his or his coach’s discretion) but it must be turned inside out.
  3. Any acts of unsportsmanlike action by the disqualified player while in the team box will be the responsibility of the head coach and may include penalizing the head coach for failure to control the ejected players conduct.
  4. If a non player (coach, parent, spectator, etc.) is ejected during a game, they must leave the playing area completely and cannot have any physical or verbal contact with the team, (including half-time) until the conclusion of the game.
  5. If the head coach is ejected, an assistant coach must identify themselves to the referee indicating that he is now assuming the duties of the head coach for the remainder of the game.
  6. If a disqualified non player violates the provisions of this section, game officials will penalize the team up and including suspension of the game from the point of the violation leaving the final outcome to be determined by conference officials.



Middle School Weight Limitation and Procedures

Weight-in Procedures  

All players that weigh 140 pounds or more must be weighed in each week prior to game time.

A Player Weigh-in Card will be use to track these players

Player Weigh-in Cards will be kept in loose leaf binder

Player must be weighed each week even if injured or not playing

The weight-in should be witnessed by the coach and the A/D. In cases where the A/D is the Coach, then another school staff member must be present.

The medical scale must be of good quality and in good working order.

Prior to the start of each game, opposing coaches will meet and inspect their opponent’s book


Weight Challenge

If an opposing coach has a valid reason to suspect that a player’s weight exceeds 160 pounds, he may

  1. Ask to see the Weigh-in Card and the player together for comparison.

Warning: This right to compare a Player with his Picture must be done as a last result, and should be done with due care and with the highest regards and with respect to the player. At no time will 

 the opposing coach talk to, or ask any questions of the opposing player (s).

  1. This comparison should be conducted in a private room or private area away from everyone
  2. This comparison must take place:
    1. Prior to the start of the game or
    2. At halftime
    3. End of game if applicable.          
  3. All weigh-in challenges should be reported to the league Commissioner as soon as possible, preferably prior to the weigh-in.
  4. Anyone found to be guilty of improper conduct during this process will be suspended for 2 games and the School will pay a $100.00 fine.
  5. The results of the Weigh-in Challenge must be reported to the league Commissioner immediately.


Game Restrictions 

An over weight player may not receive a direct handoff or a pass.

Player who weights more than 160 pounds may not advance the football - i.e. fumbles or interceptions

The ball is ruled dead at the point of recovery.



Overweight players must wear:

    1. a white strip of tape across the front and back of their helmet or
    2. A RED wrist band on both arms.
    3. Other I/D i.e. a helmet Bennie, Scrimmage vest etc.

Prior to the start of each game, the Head Coach will advised the Refs and the opposing coach of the Identification method used by his players.


Official SICOA website