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West Michigan Junior Football League Rules

The West Michigan Junior Football League is for participants currently enrolled in third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades for the 2020-2021 school year and will follow the MHSAA playing and scoring rules with the following exceptions:

  1. Every player must play a minimum of 8 plays in each half of every game.  Failure to comply with this rule shall result in a one game suspension of the head coach.
    1. Exception:  The coach does not have to comply with this rule if the player is not making all the practices.
  2. NO overtime will be played.
  3. All age groups shall play on a standard field – 100 yards goal line to goal line.
  4. It is recommended that all fields will have a clock available to maintain official game time.
  5. In the event of an injury, an official time out will be called.  The player injured will be removed from the game and will stay on the sidelines for a minimum of 3 consecutive plays.  The field director in charge may remove the injured player from the rest of the game if, in their opinion, the player is unable to safely continue playing.  An infraction to this rule will result in a 15-yard penalty.  Time outs cannot be used as injury plays.  If a player displays concussion-like symptoms then said player and coaches must adhere to the regulations of the Michigan Sports Concussion Law (see league web site for more details).
  6. A player with a cast of any kind will not be permitted to participate in contact drills during practice or participate in a game until the cast has been removed and a doctor’s release has been obtained.
  7. Any team behind by 21 points or more will receive the ball on their opponent’s 35-yard line. This only applies immediately following a score by the team in the lead.  Should the team fail to generate a first down with the allotted four “downs” the ball would then be turned over to the opposing team.  However, the team that is down does not continue to get the ball after they score if they are still down by 21 points or more.
  8. Clock management
    1. A 12-minute Running Clock will be utilized
    2. The clock will stop on time-outs, injuries, penalties, & scores
    3. The clock will start once the ball is “placed” regardless of the situation
      1. Exception - After a time-out the clock will re-start after the ball is “snapped”
  9. If a team is down by 30 points, the clock will be a running clock.  The running clock will only stop for time outs and injuries.  Please be mindful and respectful to the opposing team if yours is the team in the lead.  Sportsmanship is one of the foundations of this league.  Any perceived violation on sportsmanship will be under the discretion of the officials/local directors and dealt with accordingly.
  10. Sixty seconds will be allowed for time outs.
  11. Five to Eight minutes will be allowed for halftime.  This is under the discretion of the Head Official.  Decisions will be based on various issues including time management, weather, field availability, etc.
  12. If there are an odd number of teams in the league some teams may have a “Bye” on certain Saturdays.  However, a seventh week will be scheduled for the 2020 season to avoid weekday games
  13. The WMJFL shall have a set schedule of 6 games
    1. Scrimmage Saturday - August 29
    2. First Game – Saturday, September 12
    3.  Remaining Regular Season Dates – September 19, 26, October 3, 10, & October 17
    4. Seventh Week for “Bye” teams – October 24
    5. Game Times:     9am, 10:30am, 12pm, & 1:30pm (unless local director requests alternate time)
  14. A game may be canceled or postponed in case of threatening weather or field conditions.  Make-up schedules of postponed games will be the responsibility of each team’s respective local director.  Weekday night games may be an option if both communities agree
  15. Extra Point Attempt:  Kick = 2 points, Run or Pass = 1 point.
  16. One official weigh-in will occur no more than 30 minutes before game time and no less than 15 minutes before game time
    1. All fields will have a 10lb weight to check the scale accuracy and must be set up on a hard surface.
    2. A roster with numbers may be asked for by the home team coach if announcers are used at their home field.
    3. All players will weigh in with full uniform and equipment.
  17.  Weight & Ages
    1. A participant’s playing level will be determined by his grade rather than his age.  The following chart depicts the level of play and the age and weight stipulations for this format to be effective.  There will be no deviation from this chart:
      1. Third & Fourth Grade
        1. Tackle-To-Tackle Weight (Yellow Stripe) – 135 lbs. & Over             
        2. Non-Ball Carrying Weight (Blue Dot) – 115 lbs. & Over
      2. Fifth & Sixth 
        1.  Tackle-To-Tackle Weight (Yellow Stripe) - 160 lbs. & Over                         
        2. Non-Ball Carrying Weight (Blue Dot) - 140 lbs. & Over
  18. Yellow Striped Players
    1. OFFENSIVELY…if a team has two or more “Yellow Striped” players, a team is now allowed to play TWO (only) at the same time. However, they must play on the offensive line in Offensive Tackle positions (on either side of the center), ONLY!  No other combinations will be allowed.
    2. DEFENSIVELY… Starting in 2020, teams will be allowed to have ONE yellow-striped player on the defensive line.  That player will be allowed to play in ONE of the Defensive Tackle positions, ONLY.  There does not need to be a corresponding yellow-striped player on the offensive side of the ball if a team has one on the defensive side.
    3. No one over the Tackle to Tackle Weight (Yellow Stripe) will be allowed in the backfield, on special teams (including on 4th down when a team is punting) or in any position to intentionally or unintentionally advance the ball.  This includes the positions of kickoff receive (except Front Line player) and punt receive, punter, running back, quarterback or receiver (special teams) as well as any defensive lineman designated as a yellow-striped player.
    4.  Any child over the Tackle to Tackle Weight may have the option to move up a level with parent and coaches’ permission.  Kick off receive is allowed on front line only.
  19. Blue Dotted Players
    1. Blue Dots will be placed on the front and back of a player’s helmet to indicate players over the Ball Carrying Weight.  Offensively, these players must play on the offensive line, excluding the TE position.  Defensively, players may play any position.  However, they may not advance the ball, period, regardless of the situation including interceptions, fumble recoveries, etc.  For Special teams, blue-dotted players can handle kicking/punting duties.
  20.  The “Center Sneak” is an Illegal play and will not be allowed.
  21. No metal cleats of any kind will be allowed.  If any metal is found to be a part of a player’s shoe, said player will not be allowed to play until they are removed or if shoes are replaced.
  22. Per MHSAA rules, tinted face shields are also not allowed.  A player will not be allowed to participate until the shield is removed.
  23. Mouthpiece must be attached to the helmet.
  24. Conduct/Guidelines of Coaches & Spectators
    1. All teams will have no more than FIVE coaches on the sidelines.  These coaches must be designated as coaches in some manner before the game (Hats, bands, shirts, etc.)
    2. Only the Head Coach may communicate with the officials, NOT assistant coaches.  Teams will be given a single warning if there is an infraction of this rule.  After that first warning, a 15-yard penalty will be assessed and enforced for each infraction
    3. Foul language used by a coach or player will be cause for immediate ejection from the game.  Foul or abusive language used by a parent or fan will result in a 15-yard penalty against the sideline charged.  A second offense by the parent will result in ejection from the game of their child.
    4. There will be an automatic penalty of 15-yards for any member of the coaching staff OR SPECTATORS entering the playing field and interrupting the normal progress of a game.
    5. Only players and coaches are allowed on the sidelines.  Anyone taking pictures or videos on the sidelines and/or near the field will be asked to leave and sit in the designated spectator areas.  This is based on the MHSAA rule.
  25. Suspensions/Ejections…Normal procedure for a suspension will include coaches/players receiving a warning, a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, and finally an ejection if deemed necessary by the Head official.  Players, Coaches, & Spectators may be ejected without a warning/flag if deemed necessary, again, by the Head official.  An automatic one game suspension will be enforced.  Additional game suspensions could be added by the offending team’s local director and/or the WMJFL Board if considered appropriate such as...
    1.  Any intentional infraction will be treated as a personal foul and will result in a 15-yard penalty and ejection of both the player and the head coach.
    2. In the event a player’s grade/age is questioned, please inform your local league director and it will be handled, if necessary, in as timely a fashion as possible.
  26. Third & Fourth Grade Divisions:
    1.  A single coach from each team in the 3rd & 4th Grade Divisions may remain on the field at all times and may enter its huddle to guide it but must do so in a timely fashion.  Each offensive and defensive coach will remain at least 10 yards from the line of scrimmage after the offensive huddle has broken.  All other coaches must remain on the sidelines, within the 25-yard lines.
    2.  For both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, the Coach must be efficient in the huddle and after the huddle is broken.  Communication will be allowed throughout the duration of the pre-snap process.  However, once the ball is snapped, communication on both sides must stop, period.  One warning will be given if there is an infraction.  After that, a 5-yard penalty will be assessed for each violation.  Consideration will be given towards coaches by the officials if the game is no longer in doubt and coaches are giving instructions to players as they are moved to different positions.
    3. Once the ball is marked teams will have 35 seconds to run a play.
    4. Defensive Formation…
      1. Minimum of four players and a maximum of six players allowed on the line of scrimmage
        1. The line of scrimmage goes from sideline to sideline
        2. Players set on the line of scrimmage in “lineman” positions may rush the passer
        3. Secondary players lined up with receivers on the outside will be counted as one or more of the allotted six players allowed.  However, they cannot rush the passer
        4. Linebackers must line up at least 3-yards off the line of scrimmage and cannot advance towards the line of scrimmage prior to the ball being snapped
          1. Please be mindful that “creeping” or trying to time the snap of the ball could violate this rule
        5. At least two defensive players must line up at least 5-yards off the line of scrimmage.
      2. No blitzing is allowed.  However, at the snap of the ball, all defensive players may advance forward towards the line of scrimmage.
      3. This rule doesn’t apply within 5-yards from the goal line.
      4. An infraction of this rule will result in an illegal defense penalty of five yards
    5. No kickoffs will be involved in the Third & Fourth grade level.  The ball will be put in play on the offensive teams’ 35-yard line.
    6.  On fourth down, a free punt will be permitted at the Third & Fourth grade level.  After the snap and when the ball is controlled, the punter will have no more than 5 seconds to punt the football.  Failure to punt the football within the required 5 seconds will result in a “delay of game” penalty in which the penalty will be a loss of down.  The coach will advise the referee on the teams’ intent to punt or go for a first down.  Once lined up in a punt formation, there will be no fake punts.  There will be no rushing to block the punt.  While in punt formation, no defensive player may line head up or touch the offensive center.  Violation of this rule will result in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.  Must be a long snap from center to punter, and you cannot send any kicking team members down field until the ball is kicked.
    7.  When kicking an extra point attempt or a field goal attempt, the kicking team will advise the referee on the teams’ intent to kick.  Once lined up in a kicking formation, there will be no fake kicks.  The kicker will have no more than five seconds to kick the football.  Failure to kick the football within the required 5 seconds will result in a “delay of game” penalty in which the penalty will be a loss of down.  There will be no rushing to block the kick.  While in kicking formation, no defensive player may line head up or touch the offensive center.  Violation of this rule will result in a re-kick if the kick was unsuccessful the previous try.  The kicker cannot take a running start, must be a 3-step drop.
    8. After a safety, the ball will be placed on the 50-yard line for the Third & Fourth grade level.
    9.  Ball Size:  Pee Wee or Junior Size
  27. Fifth & Sixth Grade Divisions:
    1.  Once the ball is marked teams will have 35 seconds to run a play.
    2. Coaches must remain on the sidelines, within the 25-yard lines.
    3. Kickoffs will take place within the 5th & 6th grade division at the 40-yard line.
    4.  DEFENSIVE FORMATION…
      1. Minimum of four players and a maximum of six players allowed on the line of scrimmage
        1. The line of scrimmage goes from sideline to sideline
        2. Players set on the line of scrimmage in “lineman” positions may rush the passer
        3. Secondary players lined up with receivers on the outside will be counted as one or more of the allotted six players allowed.  However, they cannot rush the passer
        4. Linebackers must line up at least 3-yards off the line of scrimmage and cannot advance towards the line of scrimmage prior to the ball being snapped
          1. Please be mindful that “creeping” or trying to time the snap of the ball could violate this rule
        5. At least two defensive players must line up at least 5-yards off the line of scrimmage.
      2. No blitzing is allowed.  However, at the snap of the ball, all defensive players may advance forward towards the line of scrimmage.
        1. This rule doesn’t apply within 5-yards from the goal line.
        2. An infraction of this rule will result in an illegal defense penalty of five yards
    5. On fourth down, the coach will advise the referee on the teams’ intent to punt or go for a first down. Once lined up in a punt formation, there will be no fake punts.  However, the defensive team may rush to block the punt.  While in punt formation, no defensive player may line head up or touch the offensive center.  Violation of this rule will result in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.  The snap must be a long snap from center to punter.  If an attempt is made to advance the ball for any reason, the play is to be blown dead once the line of scrimmage is breached.  The ball is turned over on “downs”, period
    6.  Fifth & Sixth grade ball size:  Junior or Youth Sizes

                  NOTEUnless listed in this rule book, the league will follow MHSAA rules of play                      

                                                  

  

                                                       


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West Michigan Junior Football League

353 N. 120th Avenue 
Holland, Michigan 49424

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 616-395-0178
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