Rules

2021 ZYFL Rules
All Grades and Leagues

 

View 2021 Rules PDF Here


 

Section I: Introduction

 

  1. Zionsville Youth Football League, Inc (ZYFL) is a non-profit organization that is committed to the development and progression of youth football in the community surrounding Zionsville, Indiana.
  2. In accordance with its articles of incorporation and by-laws, the ZYFL Board of Directors (Board) adopts these rules. All parents, players, coaches, volunteers, spectators or other persons participating or seeking to participate in ZYFL activities shall comply with these rules.
  3. The Board may review these rules annually or from time to time. The Board reserves the right to amend these rules by the affirmative vote of the majority of Directors present at any regular meeting of the Board in accordance with Article V of the By-Laws.


 

Section II: Mission and Equal Opportunity Statement

  1. The mission of ZYFL is to help its players learn and enjoy the game of football and prepare players for future play within the Zionsville Community Schools football program.
  2. ZYFL is dedicated to providing eligible players an equal opportunity to play football in a fair and competitive environment. ZYFL encourages tolerance and prohibits discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


 

Section III: Eligibility and Registration

If participation levels meet expectations, there will be the following leagues:

 

  1. Flag Leagues:
    1. The Flag K-1 league will be for players in Kindergarten and 1st grade who will turn seven (7) years old on or after August 1st, 2021.
    2. The Flag 1-2 league will be for players in 1st grade and 2nd grade who will turn seven (7) years before August 1st, 2021.
      1. The basic rules of the game are maintained but play occurs with minimal contact to promote a high level of safety at younger ages. Each player will receive a pair of shorts, a jersey and a mouthpiece along with a full season of character building, exercise and long-lasting friendships.
  2. TackleBar League:
    1. The TackleBar league will be for players entering 3rd grade in the 2021- 2022 school year.
      1. TackleBar Football preserves the tradition and spirit of the sport. Players wear traditional football equipment, plus a TackleBar harness that holds two foam bars across the lower back. The defender must track and engage with proper form tackling technique while wrapping the ball carrier and ripping a bar from the harness. With this approach, players stay on their feet and are not intended to take the ball carrier to the ground. Each player will receive a set of shoulder pads and a helmet, along with top tier instruction from qualified coaches.
  3. Rookies League: 
    1. The Rookies league will be for players entering 4th grade in upcoming school year.
      1. Our 4th grade tackle program is coached by knowledgeable individuals who are certified by USA Football and utilize practice and training techniques designed to promote proper techniques with focuses on safety, proper form and fundamentals. Each player will receive a set of shoulder pads and a helmet, along with outstanding instruction and a fun environment. Each player should improve their football knowledge and skill level while building character and long-lasting friendships.
  4. Minors/Majors League:

    1. The Majors league will be for players entering 5th or 6th grade in the upcoming school year.
      1. Our combined 5th and 6th grade tackle program is coached by knowledgeable individuals who are certified by USA Football and utilize practice and training techniques designed to promote proper techniques with focuses on safety, proper form and fundamentals. Each player will receive a set of shoulder pads and a helmet, along with outstanding instruction and a fun environment. Each player should improve their football knowledge and skill level while building character and long-lasting friendships.
      2. If a sufficient number of players register for the season, the 5th and 6th grade players will be split into separate Minors Tackle (5th Grade) and Majors Tackle (6th Grade) programs.
  5. Travel League:
    1. The Travel league is determined by the Board on a year to year basis.  For the 2021-2022 school year, the Board does not anticipate having a Travel league.
  6. Absent an exception granted by the ZYFL President, a person is eligible to practice and play for a ZYFL team during the regular season or in the All-Star program only if;
    1. He or she lives or attends school in the Zionsville Community School district or its immediate boundaries;
    2. Has paid and provided a complete registration form;
    3. Has provided ZYFL with an equipment release form.
  7. Registration will generally start March 1 and end on June 30th unless the Board determines that a modification of the registration period is necessary.
  8. ZYFL, in its sole discretion may close registration early if the number of players registered reaches the maximum numbers of players determined by the Board to be the limit for the year. Any player seeking to register after registration is closed will be placed on a waiting list and assigned to a team only if space permits.


 

Section IV: Fees

 

  1. Each player must pay a registration fee for the regular season.
  2. The Board will review and may change the amount of the fee annually.
  3. The Board in its sole discretion may offer one or more scholarships to defray some or the entire fee of any player that makes a request and demonstrates need.
  4. The President and Treasurer, in their sole discretion, may refund the fee (or any portion) paid by a player who quits and requests a refund before the draft. There will be no refunds after the draft has taken place.
  5. ZYFL coaches may directly collect fees for additional personal equipment, and additionally the league may charge a fee for participation in All–Stars or other similar activities.


 

Section V: Team Selection

 

  1. The number of teams in each League will be determined by the Commissioners and Operations Board members (based on resources available to ZYFL (i.e. number of fields, available referees, etc.) and based on the number of registered players. Teams will be divided based on the needs of each league. 
  2. Head coaches will be selected for the number of teams in each league. Head coaches will be allowed to designate one primary assistant coach prior to the draft. If the coach has no preferences a primary assistant coach will be assigned. Primary assistant coaches must be designated by the conclusion of the evaluations.
  3. Evaluation scores of each player will be compiled and shared with all head coaches prior to the draft.
  4. The Head Commissioner and Commissioner of each league, with guidance from the President, shall select teams by involving the head coach of each team (or representative determined by the head coach). The team selection will be conducted after evaluations and before the start of practices.


Section VI: League Rules for Game Play

  1. General
    1. ZYFL Flag, Tacklebar, Rookies, Minors, and Majors leagues will use Zionsville High School rules with the following exceptions listed in this section.
    2. Flag games will consist of four (4) quarters of 10 minutes each with a running clock and a 10-minute halftime.  All other games (Tacklebar, Rookies, Minors and Majors) will consist of four 8-minute quarters.  The game clock will be stopped per IHSAA rules.
    3. Each team is allowed three (3) time-outs per half and one (1) time-out per OT, excluding official injury time-outs. Time-outs do not carry over.
  2. Participation
    1. Players are required to have five (5) practices with their respective team before participating in live contact per USA Football heat acclimation guide (Exhibit A). All players will utilize the USA acclimation chart regardless of when they begin the season.
    2. Participation will be limited to three (3) football participations events per week, with the clarifications as stated below.  A participation event is defined as; any activity where players wear football equipment and either compete or practice football movements. A team is allowed three (3) “events” weekly. An “event” is defined as a practice, walk-through or game. A week is defined Sunday to Saturday. Events that are practices can be a maximum of two (2) hours. If All-Star teams are formed during the Regular Rec Season, then any All-Star practice does not count towards the three (3) event limit for the player.  However, during the Rec Season, we will encourage All-Star Coaches to keep events/practices to a minimum.
    3. Extenuating circumstances may create a situation where additional events in any given week may be beneficial. If a coach believes that extenuating circumstance exist, and an additional event would be necessary for implementation, the head coach must first confirm and receive approval with the League Commissioner or ZYFL President.  All coaches within a division must be notified when an exception is approved for a team within the division.
    4. Each team may start the game with a minimum of 7 players and may continue to play as long as they have a minimum of 6 players on the field.
    5. Each player on each team must have a minimum of one starting position on either offense or defense per half and continue to play one (1) side of the ball.  This intent is to make sure all players get a good experience and playing time.  This means that each player plays a starting position and then continues to play at some position throughout the entirety of the first and second half of the game.  At the coach’s discretion and with commissioner’s prior approval, a player may play fewer plays if it is in the best interest of the athlete. Injured players must sit out at least one play. The referee may call a timeout and order a player from the field for this reason.
  3. Equipment/Playing Fields
    1. The Flag, Tacklebar, and Rookies leagues will use the Wilson K2 football or comparable.
    2. The Minors and Majors league will use the Wilson TDJ football or comparable.
    3. All players must wear a mouthpiece during all practices and games.
    4. Flag league will set the field dimensions at 30 yards wide by 50 yards long with a mid-field line-to-gain. This will allow (3) games to be going on simultaneously at ZMS.
    5. Tacklebar games will be played on an approximately 40 yard by 53 yard field   with 10 yard end zones.
    6. Additional equipment details can be found in Section VIII.
  4. Weight Limits and Striping Restrictions
    1. There will be two (2) weigh-ins for all players during the season. The first will occur at an unannounced date prior to the first regular season game and the second will be at an unannounced date during the season.
    2. The dates and times of the weigh-ins will be determined by the ZYFL Board member responsible for weigh-ins.  These dates will not be announced or communicated to coaches or players prior to the weigh-ins to avoid the potential for cutting weight, as this is strongly discouraged in ZYFL.  The ZYFL Board Member responsible for weigh-ins should maintain record of the official weights for each player, and the weights should be made available to league commissioners and coaches.
    3. All athletes will weigh-in on a single scale that has been calibrated within the past year at the designated weigh-in site on the determined date and time by the ZYFL Board member.  There will not be exceptions to taking weights at the specific date and time unless a player is not physically present, at which point the player will be weighed at an unannounced date in the future.  Players will be weighed without pads or a helmet but must be wearing shorts or pants and a t-shirt. All weights must be taken by the ZYFL Board member responsible for weigh-ins or an impartial assigned designee. 
    4. ZYFL may also follow the specified weigh-in process described in Section C prior to the ZYFL draft to help develop team rosters. It is acknowledged that all players may not be able to be weighed prior to the season, but ZYFL will attempt to weigh as many players as logistically possible to help with the draft process.  The outcome of the preseason weigh-in will also be used to determine stripers for the season as described in Section g.
    5. Weight Limits and Striping Restrictions Chart can be found on Exhibit (B).
    6. Helmet striping: “Stripers” must wear a single contrasting stripe, at least ¾ inch wide, the center of their helmet. No other players may have a stripe or other marking down the center of their helmet.
    7. Once a player exceeds the weight limit at a weigh-in, then that player will be designated as a striper for the remainder of the season. Only players below the designated weight limits by 15 lbs. or less will be weighed during the second weigh-in of the season.
    8. If a ZYFL team is playing a non-ZYFL team, the ball carrying weights for the ZYFL team can be adjusted for that game at the discretion of the ZYFL Commissioner.
    9. General Striping Restrictions: Stripers may not possess the ball at any time on offense or defense with the following exceptions: pass interception, fumble recovery, kickoff, punt, or Flag or Tacklebar participants. In these above cases, the ball is dead, and the whistle is blown upon possession control and NO advancement is permitted. A team found illegally pulling stripers or illegally lining up stripers will be assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
    10. Striping Restrictions - Offense: All Stripers must play the interior line positions, either the center, guard, or tackle position. A Striper may not be lined up more than two positions from the center. May not be down field on any pass play, they are not eligible receivers. A striper may serve as the punter but may not advance the ball if the snap is not successful. A striper may be used for field goal kickers, as kickoff men, and as holders for field goal kickers and PAT’s. They may not advance the ball on a fake. Motion: No single stripers will be allowed to be in motion. Defense: Stripers may play every position but may not be the deepest player.
  5. Coaching, Referees, and Disputes
    1. Coaching
      1. Each team can have one coach on the playing field during play in the Flag, Tacklebar, and Rookies leagues.
      2. Each team should have a different coach on the field for offense, defense, and special teams whenever possible.
      3. The coaches must stand at least 10 yards behind the deepest player. Once offensive and defensive huddles are broken, the coaches on the field for Rookies, will give NO FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. Coaches in the Flag and Tacklebar leagues will be given some latitude in order to make sure the players are in a legal football position at the snap of the ball.
      4. The coaches on the field must remain silent until the whistle has blown, indicating the end of the play. Failure to follow this rule will be a 15-yard penalty.
      5. In the Minors and Majors leagues, no coaches shall be on the field during games except for time outs.
      6. Referees will be organized by an impartial referee who will be sourced for all games, at all the locations.
      7. Disputes will be handled by the ZYFL officer-of-the-day and/or the Commissioner.
      8. Referees will be responsible for enforcing high school rules.
      9. Coaches will be responsible for ensuring leagues specific rules will be followed and enforced.
      10. If a dispute arises between application of league specific rules, coaches are expected to work together to ensure the spirit of the rule is applied by all teams.
      11. If coaches will not agree on application of a league specific rule, the officer-of-the-day will be called over and make final determination. All rulings by officer-of-the-day are final.
  6. Unsportsmanlike Conduct and Illegal Helmet Contact
    1. Any violation to the Codes of Conduct outlined in Section XI of the rules is an automatic 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and is charged against the Head Coach.
    2. Illegal Helmet Contact
      1. Illegal helmet contact is an act of initiating contact with the helmet against an opponent. Butt blocking, and spearing are examples of illegal helmet contact. Illegal helmet contact may be considered a flagrant act.
      2. Butt blocking is an act by an offensive or defensive player who initiates contact against an opponent who is not a ball carrier with the front of his helmet.
      3. Spearing is an act by an offensive or defensive player who initiates contact against any opponent with the top of his helmet.
      4. No player shall strike an opponent above the shoulders using his helmet, shoulder or arms.
      5. Illegal helmet contact will be penalized as a 15-yard penalty AND, if deemed flagrant by the referee, will cause the disqualification of the player committing the penalty. An automatic disqualification of any player committing two illegal helmet contact penalties in the same game is mandatory.
  7. Division Specific Gameplay Rules
    1. 4th-6th Grade Rookies, Minors, and Majors Tackle
      1. ZYFL Flag, Tacklebar, Rookies, Minors, and Majors leagues will use Zionsville High School rules with the following exceptions listed in this section.
      2. Offense
        1. Will use shotgun snap with the following exceptions
          1. On 4th down
          2. Inside own 10 yard line
          3. To kneel at end of game
        2. Teams will use core set of plays and formations as educated by ZYFL
      3. Coaches may add additional plays and formations so as long as long as terminology remains consistent with core set of plays and formations.
      4. Defense
        1. Teams will use a standard 4-3-4 defense
        2. Teams may use a 6-2-3 defense on 4th down or inside own 10 yard line
        3. Def players must be lined up at their position’s depth at time of snap
          1. DE on LOS – 2pt, 3pt, 4pt stance
          2. DT/NT on LOS – 3pt, 4pt stance
          3. LB 4 yards – 2 pt. stance
          4. DB 5 yards – 2 pt. stance and must be aligned across from Receiver.
          5. S 8 yards – 2 pt. stance
        4. If a Receive goes in Motion then the DB can follow.
        5. The Defense is not allowed to lineup directly over the Offensive Center unless the QB goes under Center.  The Game Referee will pause play to allow for the Defensive adjustment.
  8. Tackle Bar
    1. ZYFL Flag, Tacklebar, Rookies, Minors, and Majors leagues will use Zionsville High School rules with the following exceptions listed in this section.
    2. Offense
      1. Will use shotgun snap with the following exceptions
        1. On 4th down
        2. Inside own 10 yard line
        3. To kneel at end of game
      2. Teams will use core set of plays and formations as educated by ZYFL
      3. Coaches may add additional plays and formations so as long as long as terminology remains consistent with core set of plays and formations.
    3. Defense
      1. Teams will use a standard 2-3-2 defense
      2. Def players must be lined up at their position’s depth at time of snap
        1. DE on LOS – 2pt, 3pt, 4pt stance
        2. LB 4 yards – 2 pt. stance
        3. DB 5 yards – 2 pt. stance
        4. S 8 yards – 2 pt. stance
      3. The Defense is not allowed to lineup directly over the Offensive Center.
      4. The defense alignment for Tacklebar may be adjusted at the at the discretion of the ZYFL Commissioner and communicated to the Tacklebar coaches.
    4. Tacklebar Specific Rules
      1. Offense will take position at the 5- yard line.
      2. 4 downs to get to mid-field for a first down and then four downs to score.
      3. If no first down is gained to mid-field, then the defense will be given possession at the 50 yard line.
      4. If the offense has crossed mid-field but then fails to score, the defense will be given possession back at their own 5 yard line.
      5. Any defensive penalty will result in replay of down if accepted by offense.
      6. Offense can have up to 6 players on line of scrimmage without penalty or impacting eligibility to receive the ball.
  9. Flag Football
    1. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has three (3) plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has three (3) plays to score a touchdown
    2. If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team starts its drive on its own 5-yard line.
    3. If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its own 5-yard line.
    4. All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offense’s 5-yard line.
    5. Teams change sides after the first half.  Possession changes to the team that started the game on defense.
    6. The QB can rush the ball in the 1/2 Grade League only if the defense is rushing the passer.
    7. ZYFL will not be utilizing a 5 yard No Run Zone.  ZYFL will set the rush line / neutral zone at 5 yards from the line of scrimmage. There will be no rushing the passer in the K/1st Grade league. Rushing the passer will be allowed for 1 down out of every 4-down set in the 1st/2nd Grade league but must start 5 yards from the LOS.
    8. The center can snap the ball from a sideways stance if they choose
    9. Defensive Holding and Defensive Stripping Penalty results in +5 yards for the offense.
    10. Offensive Blocking and Charging Penalty results in loss of 5 yards. Flag Guarding Penalty results in being down at the spot of the foul.
    11. All defensive penalties do not result in an automatic first down. The penalty yards will be the only thing assessed.
    12. All offensive penalties will not result in the loss of a down.
  10. General Rules - ZYFL Flag, Tacklebar, Rookies, Minors, and Majors leagues will use Zionsville High School rules with the following exceptions listed in this section.
    1. Punting and Kicking
      1. Punting
        1. The referee will place the ball on the ground at the feet of the punter and blow the whistle signaling the start of play. The punter must punt the ball from where he picks up the ball.
        2. Rookies league
          1. If a punt is declared a 25-yard walk off punt rule will be enforced.
          2. If the offensive team is within the defensive team’s 25-yard line and declares a punt, the ball will be taken ½ the distance to the goal line in lieu of the walk off.
        3. Minors and Majors league
          1. May choose to use dead ball punt as listed above
          2. Rush may begin as soon as whistle is blown.
          3. May use a live snap
          4. General HS rules apply for a punt in the Majors league if the offense chooses to snap the ball
          5. May fake if live snap
          6. If live snapped may punt from any formation
          7. Punts do not have to be declared
        4. Flag league
          1. ZYFL will use a 4-down system.   Teams will have the option to punt or go for it on 4th down. Punting results in giving the ball to the opposing team at their own 5-yard line.
      2. Kickoffs
        1. There are no Kickoffs and the ball shall be placed on the 35- yard line of the receiving team. In the event of a safety, the ball will be placed on the 35-yard line of the kicking team.
    2. Extra Points & Field Goals
      1. After a touchdown is scored, either a 1 or 2-point conversion can be attempted.
      2. Running for the conversion
      3. from the 3-yard line and will count as 1 point
      4. from the 5-yard line and will count as 2 points.
      5. Kicking the conversion will count as 2 points.
      6. If kicking,
        1. the line of scrimmage will be set at the 3-yard line and the holder must be 7yards behind the line of scrimmage;
        2. the referee will place the ball next to the tee (the holder may not touch the ball) until the referee blows the whistle.
        3. Once the referee blows his whistle the holder may place the ball on the tee and the kick may take place.
        4. In the Rookies League:
          1. There shall be no rush.
          2. If the holder drops the ball or the ball falls off the tee, the play is dead and the attempt is unsuccessful.
        5. In the Minor and Major Leagues:
          1. A rush shall be allowed at the snap of the ball or when the referee blows his whistle.
          2. If the kicking team chooses to place the ball next to the holder:
            1. There is NO FAKE.
            2. Defenses may line up linemen and line backers in any formation in an attempt to block the kick that are deemed to be within the scope of “normal” field goal block formations.
            3. No launching or propelling off of other players allowed
            4. Any formation deemed to be unsafe or outside the scope of normal formation by the referees or officer of the day will not be permitted
          3. If the ball is placed next to the holder and the holder drops the ball or the ball falls off the tee the play is blown dead
          4. If the kicking team chooses a live snap:
            1. They may FAKE the extra point for 1 point
            2. the holder’s knee may be touching the ground at the start of the play
            3. No defensive player may line up over the center or in the “A” gaps
            4. No players shall hit the center while the center is snapping the ball.
    3. Overtime Games
      1. Each team will be given equal offensive opportunities.
      2. In all leagues the ball will be put in play from the 10-yard line in the first overtime and from the 5-yard line thereafter.
      3. Overtime play will continue for all leagues for two possessions per team. The game will be declared a draw if the score remains tied. Playoffs games will continue until there is a winner.
    4. Courtesy Rule
      1. In order to keep all games competitive, fun, and interesting for all athletes and the encourage opportunities for more players to play skill positions, the following COURTESY RULE will be observed:
        1. Any team ahead by 14 points or greater must replace their starting backfield (quarterback and both running backs). The team in the lead is encouraged to use this opportunity to give their players an opportunity on both offense and defense to play different positions.
        2. The starting backfield players may remain in the game but may only be placed in striper positions (Center, Guard, or Tackle).
        3. If the score becomes less than a 14 point difference, then the leading team may go back to the original backfield.
        4. This will happen each time the score differential becomes 14 or greater until the game is over.
        5. The Courtesy Rule does not apply for ZYFL playoff games.
    5. Playoff Seeding
      1. Playoff seeding will be determined by a random draw of all teams at the end of the regular season, unless otherwise agreed upon by the coaches and Commissioner. This is intended to both mimic the IHSAA approach as well as focus on the developmental aspects of the leagues for all players.
    6. End of Game Player Recognition
      1. At the completion of each ZYFL game, coaches are asked to join with the referees to select one player from each team for recognition as the Sportsmanship Player of the Game.
      2. After shaking hands, players from both teams are asked to take a knee at midfield with the coaches and referees to recognize the selected players from each team.
      3. Coaches are asked to share the reason the player of their team was selected to reinforce positive behaviors and sportsmanship in ZYFL.

 

Section VII: All-Star Program


ZYFL may conduct one or more Majors, Minors and Rookies All-Star programs following the regular season. It will be determined each year based on team composition and skill-set.

  1. Each team may have a maximum of 24 players. The ZYFL Board of Directors will be responsible for scheduling all post season games and will provide each player with the following equipment:
    1. Helmet, shoulder pads, team Jersey
  2. Coach selection
    1. The coaching staff of each All-Star team will consist of up to: (1) head coach, (4) assistant coaches and (1) team parent
      1. All Star Head Coaches are selected by the ZYFL Board, typically in September.
      2. Head Coaches are allowed to select Assistant Coaches from the pool of already approved coaches in each respective league.
    2. All coaches wishing to be either an assistant or head coach for an All-Star team will make written notice to ZYFL.  Chosen coaches will be notified once approved.
  3. Nomination of Players – Players may be nominated for All-Star consideration by:
    1. The head coach of their recreational team – Minimum 1 player, limit 5 per team
    2. The head coach of the All –Star team
    3. A head coach in that respective division
    4. NOTE: Nominations must be submitted as determined by the Head Coach.
    5. The All-Star coach and his staff will be permitted to run up to 3 “invited” team practices to further evaluate the players. Each player nominated will be informed of the practice dates and times the by the All-Star head coach. The All-Star coach and his staff will be responsible for planning and running the practice.
    6. NOTE: “Invited” Team Practices - The invited team practices are completely optional to the nominated players. Attendance at the practices does not guarantee a player selection to a team. Likewise, players who do not attend will not be excluded from being selected. It will be recommended to the head coaches that there be positions left open to be filled later in the season upon further evaluation of players who develop throughout the season.
  4. Selection of Players – The player selection date will be at the discretion of the Commissioner, President and Coach.  The selection of players for each team will be determined by the following:
    1. Pre-season evaluations;
    2. Play during the season;
    3. Invited Team Practices;
    4. The specific team and position need of the All-Star team
    5. Joint meeting of All –Star head coach and recreational coaches in that division for final input
  5. All-Star Practices
    1. The All-Star Teams will be allowed to practice once per week for no more than two hours during the recreational season.
    2. Upon completion of the recreational season the teams will be allowed to practice up to three times in preparation for tournament play.
  6. Parents of All-Star players
    1. Parents of players selected for the team will be responsible for all other equipment and expenses related to post season play.
    2. Expenses will be estimated, and a set fee will be determined and charged in an effort to cover all costs of jerseys and tournament entry fees.
    3. Parents will also be responsible for providing transportation to all games.
    4. Any hardship/scholarship cases will be presented to the ZYFL President for approval.
    5. Parents understand that there is no guarantee of playing time for the players. Players will participate in the games at the direction of the coaches.



Section VIII: Equipment

 

  1. Majors, Minors, Rookies, and Tacklebar leagues will provide each player with a helmet, shoulder pads and game jersey. Each player will keep his/her game jersey, but helmet and shoulder pads belong to ZYFL. Padded pants will need to be purchased by the participant.
    1. Flag league participants will be receiving game jersey and shorts that the player may keep.
  2. Abuse or misuse of player equipment is strictly prohibited.
  3. Equipment is intended only for the ZYFL player it was issued to.
  4. Head coaches may tape players’ names on their helmets to help remember names, but the tape must be removed before the first game.
  5. Head coaches may put removable decals on helmets, but all decals must be removed before ZYFL equipment is turned in at the end of the season. No decals or decorations should be placed down the center of the helmet - this space is reserved specifically to designate stripers in the league.
  6. Players must return the helmet and shoulder pads at the end of the season. The equipment must be thoroughly cleaned before being returned. Any player that does not return ZYFL equipment in good shape by the specified date shall pay a $25.00 fee. Any player that does not return their equipment will be responsible for the cost of replacement.
  7.  ZYFL will provide each coach with a coach’s bag containing team equipment. The bag and all equipment belongs to ZYFL and must be returned to ZYFL at the end of the season.
  8. ZYFL will also make other team equipment available to its teams such as blocking dummies and hand pads. The dummies and pads shall be stored at designated practice locations or at Z-Storage and shall be returned to these storage locations by coaches at the end of each practice. Equipment is available on a first come/first served basis, but Coaches shall cooperate in sharing the equipment in a reasonable manner.

 

Section IX: Coaches

 

  1. Any person wishing to be a head or assistant coach for a ZYFL team must provide the Board with a completed Coaches Application and Agreement by the deadline established by the Board.
  2. The Board has the sole discretion to select ZYFL head and assistant coaches that, in the Board’s opinion, will best serve the interests of the players and the leagues.  The Board also reserves the right to remove any coach at anytime during the season or offseason.
  3. All head coaches and their assistants must complete all requirements of USA Football’s Heads Up Football Program, of which ZYFL is a member and execute a Coaching Contract. These requirements must be completed prior to the start of the draft for coaches assigned at draft time.   ZYFL will pay for a background check of the head coach and one assistant for each team.  All other assistants must pay for their own background check.
  4. Head coach Responsibilities:
    1. Ensure compliance with these rules by players, assistant coaches, and parents, including the Code of Conduct.
    2. Follow the Coaches Contract.
    3. Be responsible for the performance and conduct of the team and its players.
    4. Understand the rules of the game and require the team to play by them.
    5. Teach and use any uniform numbering or play system required by the Board.
    6. Appoint a Team Parent.
    7. Attend all Coach’s meetings or training sessions.
    8. Prepare an official roster for league officials.
    9. Prohibit the use of abusive language or conduct, alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products by ZYFL players or coaches during practice, games and other ZYFL activities.
    10. Lead the team and practice in the “end of the game handshake” with the opposing team in a sportsmanlike manner.
    11. At least once, meet with parents of team players to discuss safety, rules, and other matters of interest.
    12. In the event a player requires medical care as a result of an injury during any practice or game: Instruct the person transporting the player to the hospital or other medical facility to recover, seal, mark and retain for return to ZYFL the player’s equipment as soon as it is removed from the player; and not allow the player to participate in any conduct until after the player provides ZYFL an updated physician’s approval form or other medical authorization showing the player is able to play.
    13. Coaches will be responsible to inform their commissioners of the practice times and locations on a weekly basis.
    14. All coaches must attend a Coaches Clinic sponsored by the league. In the event a coach is not able to attend, it will be the responsibility of the coach to schedule a 1 on 1 with their Commissioner to discuss game plans, practice schedules and coaching philosophies with the respective commissioner.
    15. All head coaches will participate in, encourage and lead character development.


 

Section X: Team Communication

 

  1. Each team will utilize a Team Parent to assist the Coach with coordination of practices, games and related team matters including community events as determined.
  2. Each team will utilize a Team text/email alert for communications regarding team events.  An example is using an app like Team Snap.
  3. Each team will encourage at least one event where players/parents/coaches participate together to demonstrate leadership in the community.  Examples may include team cleanup day, visit to a senior living center or assisting with a project to benefit the overall community.
  4. Each Head and Assistant Coach will execute a Coaching Contract with ZYFL.

Section XI: Code of Conduct

 

  1. Coaches
    1. Be on time and attend all practices and games-unless there are extenuating circumstances.
    2. Accept decisions of officials on the field as being fair and called to the best of the official’s ability;
    3. Not criticize officials, players, coaches or spectators in an inappropriate manner.
    4. Not use or allow the team’s players, parents or spectators to use abusive or profane language under any circumstances.
    5. Remember that the game is for the players, not the adults.
    6. Provide players a broad, constructive and positive view of athletic competition.
    7. Not recruit players for a particular team, but rather for the league.
    8. Emphasize good sportsmanship, teamwork, fair play and academic responsibility.
    9. Forbid a player from taunting, threatening or harassing any player during a game, at school or otherwise.
    10. Not use alcohol, drugs, tobacco products or abusive language during practice, games and other ZYFL activities.
    11. Take action to correct the behavior of any team player, parent or spectator who engages in inappropriate conduct or conduct otherwise inconsistent with these rules.
    12. Abide by all local, state and federal laws.
  2. Players
    1. Be on time and attend all practices and games unless there are extenuating circumstances.
    2. Notify the head coach in advance if the player will be absent from a practice or game.
    3. Accept decisions of officials on the field as being fair and called to the best of the official’s ability.
    4. Not criticize officials, players or coaches or spectators in an inappropriate manner.
    5. Not use abusive or profane language under any circumstances.
    6. Participate in the “end of the game handshake” with the opposing team in a sportsmanlike manner.
    7. Engage in good sportsmanship conduct at all times
    8. Not taunt, threaten or harass any player during a game, at school or otherwise.
    9. Not use alcohol, drugs, tobacco products or abusive language during practices, games and other ZYFL activities.
    10. Abide by all local, state and federal laws.
  3. Parents and Spectators
    1. Accept decisions of officials on the field as being fair and called to the best of the official’s ability.
    2. Not criticize officials, players or coaches or spectators in an inappropriate manner.
    3. Not use alcohol, drugs, tobacco products or abusive language during practices, games and other ZYFL activities.
    4. Abide by all local, state and federal laws.
    5. Remember that the game is for the players not the adults.
    6. Provide players a broad, constructive and positive view of athletic competition.
    7. Encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches and officials at every practice and game.
    8. Place the emotional and physical wellbeing of players ahead of any personal desire to win.
    9. Ensure that players play in a safe and healthy environment including diligence to ensure that coaches and others uphold these codes of conduct.
    10. Support coaches and officials working with players in order to encourage a positive and enjoyable experience for all
    11. Do their best to make youth football fun for all players.
    12. Ask their child to treat other players, coaches, fans, and officials with respect regardless of ability, race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
    13. Help their child enjoy youth football experience by doing whatever they can, such as being a respectful fan, assisting with coaching or providing transportation.
    14. Remember always that the adults organizing and operating ZYFL and its league activities are volunteers who need support and assistance and will benefit from criticism only if it is constructive and accompanied by practical suggestions for improvement.
  4. Violations
    1. Players, coaches, or parents that violate the Code of conduct may be required to appear before the Board of Directors. The Board of directors may call a special meeting with at least 8 members present and hand down penalties from a verbal warning to an expulsion for the remainder of the season.

EXHIBIT A: USA Football Heat Acclimation Guide


EXHIBIT B: Weight Limits and Striping Restrictions Chart

 

Division

 

TackleBar

Rookies

Minors (If separate 5th grade program)

Combined 5/6 or Separate 6th grade program

Grade

 

3rd

4th

5th

6th or combined 5/6

Non-Striper

< 85 lbs

< 95 lbs

< 110 lbs

< 115 lbs

Striper

≥ 85 lbs

≥ 95 lbs

≥ 110 lbs

≥ 115 lbs