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Rules & Regulations

***It is the responsibilty of Team Officials to be familiar with all league rules***




The purpose of this league is to keep players in football shape for the the fall season. This is a great tool for coaches to prepare their teams for the next level in the fall. There are no minimum play rules but it is an unwritten rule as a coach that you play all of your players. The goal is for everyone to improve their skills as coaches, players and even for the parents to enjoy the game. We are proud to note that our youth indoor football league is premier style (with touchlines aka out-of-bounds). NOT arena

Teams are grouped by age and weight at the 8U, 9U and 10U (with a Red Stripe Rule) and age groups 11U, 12U and 13U (NO Red Stripe Rule) will be unlimited,  as our MAIN focus is player development and SAFETY. 


Maryland Football League

*This league is not affiliated in any way with AA, HB, or MM Youth Football 

The games will be played on a field at an indoor facility. The field is approximately 60 x 30 yards; the playing surface is approximately 55 x 25 yards.


7U - must have been 7 years old (or younger) as of 7/31/22

8U - must have been 8 years old (or younger) as of 7/31/22

9U- must have been 9 years old (or younger) as of 7/31/22

10U- must have been 10 years old (or younger) as of 7/31/22

11U- must have been 11 years old (or younger) as of 7/31/22

12U- must have been 12 years old (or younger) as of 7/31/22

13U- must have been 13 years old (or younger) as of 7/31/22

14U- must have been 14 years old (or younger) as of 7/31/22

*this ensures that each player can play in the same age group as they did in the FALL 2022 season. 

10U - as long as each player was 10 years old as of 7/31/22 they are eligible to play 10U in the spring. This means they might be 11 years old at the time of our spring league which is okay. 


Do not turn in POA.
Each team must possess proof-of-age for each player, at each game, or risk forfeiture.
Roster validation will happen 1 hour before your first game.
A quick roster check will take place just before each additional game for the remainder of the season.
Referees can require a player-check on POA at any time.
No player can join 2 rosters.

If a player misses the pre-game check in, they must wait (outside of the field) until halftime to be checked in.

a.) valid MVA ID
b.) approved fall league player cards

a.) copy of birth certificate + school photo ID with name

(or other form of ID; library card, etc. ID must have photo and name)

*contact CJ ( if you have any questions about what form of ID is okay

Equipment of Players:  
All players participating in this league, which is a tackle football program, must be properly equipped and said equipment shall consist of, but not be limited to the following:
1.    Football pants, including knee pads, thigh pads, hip pads, tailbone pad and athletic cup (a football girdle may be used instead of hip pads).

2.    Football shoulder pads.
3.    Helmet with face guard (N.O.C.S.A.E. approved, inspected when necessary). Only clear/transparent visors allowed, NO tinted visors. 
4.    Jersey (no two jerseys with the same numerals shall be worn by the same team).
5.    Mouthpiece must be attached to the helmets face guard (colored only).  There is a special exception for  mouthpieces issued by a Doctors office.
6.    Shoes (rubber-bottom turf shoes are most ideal for traction but tennis shoes are allowed).  NO CLEATS! 

Medical Examinations
No child shall participate in the program without obtaining a written certificate of health from a duly qualified examining physician.  The exam must have occurred within twelve (12) months of March 15th.

Liability Release (ROSTER/WAIVER FORM)
Each player must have the liability release form signed by his parent or guardian in order to participate in the program. 

The League Director has found that the majority of players are insured through family insurance, so it has been decided to make insurance the responsibility of the individual.


Ball Size - Official Football

7U - K2, Nike 1000K, Baden 500JR

8U - K2, Nike 1000K, Baden 500JR

9U - Wilson K2 ,Nike 1000K, Baden 500JR

10U - Wilson K2, Nike 1000K, Baden 500JR

11U - Wilson TDJ, Nike1000J, Baden5000J

12U - Wilson TDJ, Nike1000Y, Baden 5000Y 1001 1005 1205 3000 Lemux

13U - Wilson TDY, Nike1000Y, 500Y 1001 1005 1205 3000 Lemux

14U - Wilson TDY, Nike1000Y, 500Y 1001 1005 1205 3000 Lemux

There is a weight limit for some age groups in the league as well as a RED STRIPE RULE. Some leagues may combined depending on the number of teams per age group. There must be at least four teams in each division. Second, Third and Fourth Grade coaches are allowed on the field to help the players learn the game.


1.   ALL ROSTERS ARE TO BE TYPED. All players must have a valid MVA ID. Roster certification will be performed on or before the last Wednesday before the first game of the season.

Roster certification means the roster birth date is validated with a valid MVA ID for each player. The team’s final roster must be submitted 2 weeks prior to roster certification.

PRE-GAME PROCEDURES: A copy of the roster and each players valid MVA ID must be presented each game to the opposing coach 15 minutes before each game.  No player can be on two rosters.  Any coach that is found to have used a player that is not on his roster or on more than one roster will forfeit that game. Roster checks will be done on the field 10 minutes before the start of the game and will be within the closed field the team is assigned.  No player that arrives late will be permitted on to the field after the pre-game check has started.  Any player showing up after roster check will not be checked until halftime and no player that has not been checked in will be allowed in the field area until halftime when they may be checked in by the opposing team.  Any violation of this rule will result in that player's ejection from that days game.

2.    No team may enter the league with fewer than eleven (11) players. Eighteen (18) players is the maximum allowed per roster.
3.    Only one player may wear a given number.  In the event of a jersey change, the Official and the opposing Head Coach must be notified immediately.  All jersey numbers must match the certified roster unless league has been notified of a torn or lost/stolen jersey.


Please note that the purpose and intention of the league rules are to generate offense.  All High School rules are in effect according to the National Federation Rulebook with the following exceptions: The Central Maryland Youth Indoor Football League (CMYIFL) reserves the right to modify, add, or remove rules as they deem fit for the improvement or safety of the league at any point during the season.
 Starting of the Game
•  For the safety of the players and fair competition, each team must field eight players at all times. A forfeit will be called if a team cannot field eight players at any time. The visiting team shall take possession of the ball at their five (5) yard line. 
•  The home team shall take possession of the ball to start the second half. 
•  Four (4) coaches are permitted on sidelines. 
•  No coaches are permitted on the field unless a time out is called. 
•  The offensive team shall consist of eight (8) players on the field.

•  Four (4) and only four offensive players may be on the line of scrimmage within the ‘box’ (free blocking zone).
•  Acceptable line formations are:  [G C G E], [G C G .E] and [E G C G], [E. G C G].   In these formations, the end may not be split more than one (1) yard from the last downed man [G].  (The [E] can be in a down or upright position).
•  The principals of one Center, two Guards and one End/Receiver make up the base offensive structure.   Only the single End/Receiver is eligible.
•  With the four man line, only one end may be split further than one (1) yard from the base formation   ( i.e.-  E     G C G .E)

•  An unbalanced line formation is illegal, with the exception of the standard base formation.

•  An even five man line – in the ‘box’, is also allowed – E G C G. E – (double tight where both Ends/Receivers can be eligible)
•  All basic football rules apply to eligible receivers and covered ends

•  The defensive team shall consist of eight (8) players on the field. 
•  The base defensive formation is the 3 – 3 – 2.
•  Permitted defensive formations: 4 – 2 – 2, 3-4-1, 3 – 3 – 2 or a 3 – 2 – 3.
•  Only three (3) defensive players are allowed on the line of scrimmage within the ‘box.’   The three man defensive line is used against an offensive four-man formation.   
•  ALL three defensive linemen must be in a down position – 3-point stance.   
•  A fourth defensive lineman can be used against a five man in the ‘box’ formation.   This formation now consists of two (2) D Tackles and two (2) D Ends of which the two (2) D Ends may now be in a 2-point stance.
•  In the four man defensive front, the two (2) interior linemen must be in a down position.
•  In all defensive formations, the ends must be within one yard of the down offensive personnel.

•  All non-defensive linemen, (i.e. Linebackers, Safeties and Corners) are to be at least four (4) yards off the line of scrimmage, and cannot move forward until snap of the ball.    NO BLITZING is permitted.  Specifically, the only defensive players that can rush the passer are the defensive lineman identified above.  Non-defensive linemen can either have pass coverage or “spy” responsibility on the QB in the event the QB crosses the line of scrimmage and runs the ball.  8 man Arena Football limits the protection that a QB has, so the “no blitzing” rule is necessary for safety and to encourage the passing game.  
•  Exceptions: (1)  A non-defensive lineman can blitz if an offensive player other than the QB attempts a pass.  (2)  If the QB is running the football; (3) If ball is within the five (5) yard mark, the linebackers may now squeeze in to one (1) yard behind the defensive line to defend the run, but still cannot rush the QB unless an offensive player other than the QB attempts to pass the ball.  



•  Two (2) twenty (24) minute halves of running time, with a three (3) minute break between halves. 
•  Each team has one (1) time-out per half. 
•  If the time-out is not used in the first half, it will not carry over to the second half. 
•  Time-outs are essentially clock stoppages.  After thirty (30) seconds a whistle will blow and the clock will automatically start.    
•  In the case of an injury the clock will stop for a maximum of two minutes total for the entire game.  The injured player must be removed from the field of play and not participate for one (1) down.         
•  Games may start up to five (5) minutes early if field is available in order to keep games on schedule throughout the day.  
Once the Referee has started the game clock any team unable to field a full team within Ten (10) minutes will forfeit the game.
A player arriving after the start of the clock but prior to the expiration of Ten (10) minutes must be listed on the opposing teams roster and present a valid MVA ID.

Roster checks will be done on the field 10 minutes before the start of the game and will be within the closed field the team is assigned.  No player that arrives late will be permitted on to the field after the pre-game check has started.  Any player showing up after roster check will not be checked until halftime and no player that has not been checked in will be allowed in the field area until halftime when they may be checked in by the opposing team.  Any violation of this rule will result in that players ejection from that days game.

No player arriving after half time will be allowed to participate in the game.


•  Four (4) downs are allowed to advance the ball to midfield for a first down.  If a team advances to midfield or further within four (4) downs than that team is given an additional four (4) downs to score.
•  Should a team fail to cross midfield within four (4) downs, thus not acquiring a first down, or in the case of earning a first down fail to score, than the ball will be placed on the opposing teams five (5) yard line and the ball will be considered turned over on downs. 

•    A turnover will be marked as first down at the spot of the ball for the team awarded possession
•    Six (6) points are awarded for a touchdown. 
•    One (1) point conversion from the three (3) yard line. 
•    Two (2) point conversion from five (5) yards. 
•    Two (2) points awarded for a safety. 
•    The cones will mark the out of bounds on all sides of the field.

Tie Breaker for All Games – Ties games are allowed. There is no time allowed for tie breakers. This is an 8 game round robin.
Forfeit Time – If either team fails to field a team by game time (10 minutes after the hour), the Head Official shall declare a forfeit against the team, which has failed to produce enough players to play the game, in accordance with the rules. For any team that forfeits a game, the fine will be the cost of the Officials. Fees are to be given to the League Director.


There will be two (2) Referees assigned per game. All Officials are on duty from the time they get out of their car to the time they get back into their car.  
Penalty Structure 
•    Normal five (5) to ten (10) yard penalties will be considered to be five (5) yard penalties. 
•    Normal fifteen (15) yard penalties will become ten (10) yard penalties.
•    ALL unsportsmanlike penalties shall be 15 yards.
•    Any player or coach can be removed from the game by a referee or League Director. 
•    Any ejection of a player, or coach, will result in review by the League Director with a mandatory, minimum one (1) game suspension, and can include forfeits and expulsions from the League, without refund. 
•    All disciplinary actions are at the discretion of the Maryland Youth Indoor Football League, without exception. 
•    Suspensions will be documented formally, in writing, with a copy to every Head Coach in the corresponding division, and to their corresponding League Heads.  
•    Any game protest must be filed with the league in writing within 24 hours of the game.
•    ALL appeals must be made in writing addressed to the Youth Indoor Football League Director, 7330 Montevideo Rd, Jessup, Maryland, 20794 or via e-mail to


Once a team is up by a margin of 18 points they must replace the starting backfield including QB and the opposing team will now receive the ball at midfield but the team in the lead will still be allowed to play offense (with the second string backfield).  If a team is up by a margin of 24 points or more the opposing team will receive the ball at midfield and the team that is leading will stay on defense until the game ends or the margin falls below 24 points.


The Head Coach of any team in the league is at all times responsible for the conduct of any person connected with his team.

Any individual connected with a team in the League who displays questionable conduct is subject to immediate suspension by the Official or League Director. Period of suspension may be for any time period the League Director deems necessary. 

The Head Coach and/or area representative of any organization affiliated with the League is responsible for the conduct and actions of all personnel associated with his/her team. 

Coaches – the duties of the coaches will be as follows
1.    An understanding of eleven-man football and its adaptation to indoor eight-man football. 
2.    Responsible for the team's behavior and well being while on the playing field, or while conducting practice sessions.  Also, the promotion of good sportsmanship and fair play.
3.    Cooperation with the game and League Officials.
4.    All Head Coaches will be at least 21 years of age.

5.    The Head Coach or Assistant Coach of a team shall be present at every practice session or game in which his team participates.

6.  The Head Coach will pay the referee fees for both teams for any scheduled game that his team does not attend and/or that are forfeited.  

Conduct of Coaches and Managers – all members of the coaching staff and/or adult personnel connected with teams in this league shall refrain from unsportsmanlike conduct, including:
1.    The use of profanity.
2.    If a player or coach is ejected from any game he/she will be facing a minimum of a (1) game suspension depending on the severity of the situation. If a player or coach is ejected from any two (2) games during a season, a special meeting of the League Director and all registered coaches will be held.
3.    A suspended coach will not be allowed in the facility while his team is playing.


•    I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my child ahead of a personal desire to win. I will teach my child that doing one's best is as important as winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game. I will never force my child to participate in sports. 
•    I will remember that the game is for the youth and that my child plays sports for his or her enjoyment, not for mine. 
•    I will insist that my child play in a safe and healthy environment. I will teach my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence. 
•    I will do my very best to make football fun for my child. I will make my child feel like a winner every time by offering praise for competing fairly and trying hard. I will never ridicule or yell at my child for making a mistake or losing a competition. 

•    I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, and referees at every game, practice, or other Maryland Youth Indoor Football events.  I will remember that children learn best by example. I will set a positive example by applauding good plays/performances by both my child's team and their opponent. 
•    I will support the volunteer coaches, and umpires working with my child, in order to encourage a positive and enjoyable experience for all. I will not question the official's judgment or honesty in public. 
•    I will respect the volunteerism of our league's coaches, referees, and administration. I will acknowledge, through my respectful behavior, the commitment to my child that these people make by choosing to volunteer their time. I will treat my child's coach as I would his/her teacher and support their efforts to help my child develop as a player. 
•    I will demand a sport's environment for my child that is free of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol and will refrain from their use at all Maryland Youth Indoor Football events. I will support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from my child's sporting activities. 
•    I will ask my child to treat other players, coaches, fans, and umpires with respect regardless of race, sex, creed, or ability. 
•    I promise to help my child enjoy football by doing whatever I can, such as being a respectful fan, assisting with coaching, or providing transportation. I will be involved and set a respectful example by ensuring my child's attendance at practice and games on time.
Adherences to these rules of conduct are mandatory. Refusal to abide by these simple rules of conduct will result in my ejection from the field and facility, and if continued, my child's expulsion from the league without refund. Other sanctions as deemed appropriate by the Director of the Maryland Youth Indoor Football League may apply.

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