OFFICAL RULES AND REGULATIONS
1) Teams may apply for J.F.K. membership before the start of the regular season each
year. All teams accepted by the existing league membership must pay its entire
franchise fee and any other fees due, in the amount determined by the league, by the
date and time set by the league.
2) All players must be 21 years of age to play. A player may be allowed to play if his 21st
birthday occurs on or before the Wednesday preceding the game and his name is added
to the roster on or before the Wednesday preceding the game, as long as that date falls
before the deadline for adding new players. (The Wednesday preceding the 6th game of
the regular season.) No player under 21 years of age may be placed on a roster at any
3) Team rosters must be provided to the league in the amount and by the date
determined by the league. Rosters must include the player's name, address, telephone
number and birth date. Team size is limited to 35 players at any one time. Players may
be dropped or added any time up to Wednesday, preceding the 4th game. In case of
emergency, declared or agreed on by the league, a team may add as many players as
deemed necessary by the league. (Note: rule was changed from "preceding 6th game" to "preceding 4th game" for the 2019 season.
4) Each team will assume a name and team colors, which the league must approve. The
color of each player's jersey must be the same, and the pants must be of the same color.
All players must be properly dressed to play, and the team captain will have final say in
this matter at game time. Any player who does not have his teams colored and number
jersey on will be ineligible to play.
5) All games will be played at the location and the time determined by the league. A
15-minute grace period is allowed before a forfeit is declared.
6) The league, with franchise fees, shall secure and bear the cost of the designated
officials. Three or four officials may be used with a minimum of two for a game.
7) Field size shall be regulation length and width plus end zones. Each team is to
provide markers, which will be placed at the intersection of the sideline and both goal
lines and end lines and at the intersection of sideline and each 20, 40 and 50-yard line
on its side of the field. Also there must be markers placed on the intersection of the end
line and the inbound line; which is 17.5 yards from each sideline.
8) Equipment: No pads are allowed on the hands, arms, elbows or shoulders. Kneepads
may be worn. Football shoes must be worn. Tape or bandages may be worn on the
hands, wrist or forearm provided it is nonabrasive and necessary to protect an existing
injury. The tape is not to exceed three thick nesses.
9) League Balls: Wilson "NFL" Spaulding CFL, Duke, or Mikasa 5500 rubber ball must be
used. Each team is to provide its own balls. A ball may be changed at any time during
the game provided it is a JFK league approved ball of the same composition.
10) Down and Distance: The field will be marked in accordance with rule 7, with each 20
and 40 yard line being the line to gain (the first down mark). Example: Ball on the 16
yard line -1st down and 4 yards.
11) Time: Four 15 minute quarters. Time shall be running except the last five minutes of
each half, Normal football rules will apply at this time. At all times during the game, the
clock will be stopped while the officials are discussing or marking off penalties and after
any score. Each team will have three time outs per half and one additional for any
overtime. Any not used from 2nd half will carry over to an overtime period. Spiking of
the ball may stop the clock within the last 5 minutes of the half or game and must be
done immediately. Quarterback can ground the ball to kill the clock in the last five
minutes of the half and game.
12) Team size on field: Eight players.
Offense: At least five men on the line of scrimmage, squared to the line of scrimmage.
Defense: May have any formation. Exception: Five linemen must be on the line of
scrimmage while the other team punts.
13) Scoring: Touchdown - d pts., Safety - 2 pts., Extra Point - I pt. 2 yd line, Field Goal -3
pts., 10 yd extra point -2 pt. The score for a forfeit is 1-0.
Field goals and extra point attempts;
a. Minimum five (5) men on the line offence
b. Cannot hit center
c. Center cannot block
d. No three-point stance by anyone
e. Cannot rush between center and guard, even after the ball is snapped, at no time
f. Center guard should be toe to toe - no exaggerated stance
g. Holder can have knee up or down
h. Special kicking shoes or barefoot kicking is allowed
i. A fumbled ball (snap, etc.) as determined by the officials is dead
j. No contact/hitting of kicker or holder - penalty assessed by officials even if ball is
touched by defense.
k. Optional use of kicking block
1. Failed attempts inside 20-yard line are returned to 20-yard line
m. Failed attempts outside 20-yard line are returned to line of scrimmage
n. All defensive team can return attempt if not in end zone (field goal attempt only).
a. If kick goes out of bounds receiving team gets ball at that spot, not where kicked from
p. On fields that have both intercollegiate and high school width (wider) lengths on the
same goal post, the wider posts (i.e. High School) will be considered the valid kicking
q. When, or if, portable goal posts are used they are the responsibility of the offensive
team attempting the kick and are to be held in the upright position (in the area
designated by the officials) by two members of that team.
r. Any intentional movement of the goal posts automatically renders the kicking attempt
void and it is not to be reattempted unless determined by a preexisting rule infraction. In
areas where JFK rules are not concise, all ancillary rules governing the kicking game in
this regard continue to be applicable per National Federation High School Football
and/or Intercollegiate Rules as interpreted by the association designated to officiate the
14) Kickoffs: May be run out of the end zone. On a kick out of bounds the receiving team
will have the option to take the ball at the inbounds spot, require the kicking team to
re-kick the ball after a five yard penalty is enforced or take ball on their 35 yard line or
25 yards from previous spot. No onside kick is permitted. After touching the receivers, the
ball is dead as soon as it touches the ground. Kickers can only get possession by
catching the ball in flight before it touches the ground, but only after it has touched a
receiver first. Offense must have five men within five yards of its free kick line until the
ball is actually kicked (illegal kick formation penalty five yards). A kick that touches the
ground first remains alive until a kicker touches it. A ball becomes dead when a runner
falls to the ground with the ball in his possession.
15) Blocking: Is to be executed in the upright position only. No cross body blocks or any
leaving the feet to block. No contact is to be made above the shoulder or below the
waist. No three point stance with the exception of the center. Illegal block is 15 yards,
three point stance penalty is 5 yards.
16) Fumbles: All fumbles are dead immediately upon touching the ground. The team
fumbling the ball retains possession. On a grounded fumble, the succeeding spot is
where the runner looses possession. On a bad snap from center, over the head of the
quarterback whether he touches it or not, the ball is dead and the succeeding spot is
where the ball hits the ground. If the ball is caught in the air before hitting the ground, it
is considered an interception.
17) Encroachment; There is no encroachment. No foul occurs and a defensive player
may return to his side of the line provided no contact has been made.
18) Offside occurs while a player is in the neutral zone when the ball is snapped or if a
defensive player contacts an offensive player before the ball is snapped. It is an optional
penalty that may be refused.
19) The touch is to be executed with one hand between the shoulders and the knees
inclusive. A diving tag is illegal (15 yards and an automatic first down from the spot of
the foul). No foul is charged on an unsuccessful diving tag or any yardage officials deem
necessary, including award of a score. Defensive player may not try to prevent a
receiver from controlling the ball by shoving him. He may not use a shoulder block to
dislodge the ball. Body contact is allowed if both the players are attempting to bat or
catch the ball. The contact is not considered a tag. It must be with the hands. A legal tag
can be made while a player is on his knee(s).
20) Use of hands. Opened hands blocking is allowed by the offense if the blocker is
moving backwards or downfield and uses opened hands on the frame of the opponent
with the hands in advance of the blocker's elbows, below the shoulders of the blocker as
well as of the opponents. Defensive player may use his hands to ward off a blocker. Also
a defensive player may block a receiver with his arms or hands as long as the defensive
player is between the receiver and his goal line, and the block must be made from the
front of the receiver as long as the ball is not in the air.
21) Pass Interference: Defense, spot of the foul and first down; offense, 15 yards and loss
22) A forward or backwards pass may be used. Only one forward pass per down. Penalty
is 5 yards and loss of down.
23) Arm in motion: If passers arm is moving forward and tag is made with the ball still in
his possession, the ball is dead and the tag is awarded. If it is the judgment of the
referee that the ball was released it is not an interpretation of the rule. It's judgment.
24) Legal Catch: A receiver need have only his first foot to touch the ground inbounds for
it to be a legal catch. Two consecutive offensive players may touch the ball on a catch.
25) Punts: Any ball that has been approved may be kicked. The punter may not take a
direct hand-off or snap from the snapper and retreat to a punting position. The ball must
be snapped at least 5 yards. The punt must be executed within 5 seconds. Neither team
is allowed to leave its line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked. There must be at least
five men on the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked. There must be at least five
men on the line of scrimmage for each team. The punt can only be blocked at the
defensive line of scrimmage or beyond. Punts cannot be returned from the end zone.
26) The kickers and the offensive team has 25 seconds to put the ball in play after the
ready to play signal is given by the referee.
27) Standings: A win is 2 points. A tie is 1 point. In case of a tie in the final standings, the
team with the most wins will be the leader. Second tiebreaker is the winner in head to
head competition. If that was a tie, then the team with the most offensive points will be
the leader. If that is a tie, then the team with the least amount of defensive points scored
against it for the year will be the leader. If that is a tie, then a coin flip would decide the
28) Championship games and playoff game overtime; A 15 minute sudden death
overtime period will be played. A coin flip will decide the opening receiving team.
29) In all areas where our rules are not concise, National Federation High School
Football and/or Intercollegiate Rules will apply as interpreted by the association
designated to officiate the league.
30) The referee's decision is final in all matters relating to the game. He will be in full
control of the game at all times and his performance or his decision-making ability will
not be questioned. Only designated captains or coaches may confer with the officials. No
swearing or abusive language will be allowed. A player is allowed one warning at the
referee's option, after which the referee is to contact the captain, and if misconduct
continues, the player is to be ejected. After being ejected, if the situation warrants, the
player in question can be ordered off the team's sidelines, and if the situation further
deteriorates, a forfeit may be awarded. In the event of a forfeit, game score is offended
team 1, opponent 0. If the offended team is ahead, the score stands. Any verbal threat or
physical abuse of an official prior to, during or after a game by a player, coach or team
attendant will be cause for suspension of said person. The league will stand strongly
behind the officials in the matters of excessive verbal or physical abuse. It will not be
tolerated. All other unnecessary roughness, un-sportsman like conduct or illegal play, as
determined by the officials, shall result in a penalty of 15 yards and/or expulsion from
The league in accordance with the rules adopted by the league in that year will levy
monetary fines and other disciplinary actions if a player, coach or team attendant is
ejected from a game.
31) A protest along with a $25.00 protest fee must be delivered to the president in writing
by the Wednesday following the game. The fee shall be forfeited along with the game,
should the protest be upheld. If deemed appropriate or necessary, the president, or his
designee, may convene a meeting to review the protest, and may invite appropriate
parties to appear. The decision of the president or his designee will be final and not
subject to further action.
Note: These rules are new at the halfway point of the 1994 season.
32) Teams/players fraternizing. The first team involved in a double header shall leave
the playing field immediately following cessation of their game. They are to be off the
sidelines (to either 20 yard line) and not return. The offending team (or individual
players) will be given one warning by the officials. Subsequent infractions, as
determined by the officials, will result in a $200.00 fine to the team. The team
representative (or coach) is responsible for his players.
33) Alcoholic beverages are not allowed by teams, players or associated team personnel
at any time on or near the playing fields. The League will determine penalties.