RULES OF THE GAME



FOR THE PLAYERS ...           ... BY THE PLAYERS





GENERAL RULES





All rules of the PIT Football League and the rules of the Official Touch Football Rule Book are in effect throughout the regular season and playoffs. It is the responsibility of each player to abide by the rules and regulations.

General Rules:

  • On the field the referee's decision is final. All protests must be indicated to the referee immediately at the time of the specific infraction or ruling. You cannot question the judgment call, but you can protest the application of the rule.
  • Verbal criticism and bad-mouthing towards referees, league representatives and opposing players or fans on or off fields of play is inexcusable and will not be tolerated. Regardless of the situation it can do nothing but degrade the quality and status of the league. Offending individuals will be handled with strict disciplinary measures.
  • Score cards will be provided by the league and/or officials prior to the game. It is the responsibility of teams to cross out any names of players who are not at the game.
  • Fighting during a game automatically incurs a game misconduct. Further action may be taken by the Disciplinary Committee (see disciplinary procedures).
  • In order to retain use of playing fields all teams are responsible for picking up stray garbage, bottles, and any miscellaneous items left by either players or spectators. The league reserves the right to introduce fines for offending teams. Your cooperation is expected and appreciated.
  • The PIT league has a strict no alcohol policy. Players/teams caught drinking on the field will be automatically suspended. There is zero tolerance for drinking at our field locations except those that have designated on-site lounges.
Rules Specific to PIT Football:
  • Officials can assess objectionable conduct penalties, a five-minute (game time, not running time) player “timeout”, or eject a player from a game for such conduct. An ejection carries an automatic one game suspension and potentially more depending on the severity of the offense.
    • A single objectionable conduct will result in a ten-yard penalty and the player must sit for the next play.
    • A second objectionable conduct penalty also carries an automatic five-minute player timeout.
    • A third objectionable conduct penalty also carries with it an automatic ejection.
    • As per the referee’s judgement the escalation of penalties can be expedited. For example, a player may get a five-minute timeout or be ejected on the first objectionable conduct penalty depending on the severity of the offense.
    • In the red zone, defined as twenty yards from the goal line in outdoor and ten yards from the goal line in indoor, any objectionable conduct penalty will be applied as the full distance up to the one-yard line (no half the distance penalty).
  • Game cards: Referees must ensure the accuracy of game cards. This should be done both at the beginning of the game and half time. Players not on the game card should be crossed out. Players who are written on the game card must have full first and last names.
  • Chucking receivers at the line of scrimmage is not allowed. If a defensive player moves their feet to impede a receiver it will be considered a penalty on the defense. If a defender is in a stationary position and is impeded by a receiver, it will be considered a penalty on the offense.
  • A dead ball foul may be declined by the non-offending team if declining such a penalty is advantageous to the non-offending team.
  • A center who is deemed to intentionally run into the rusher/obstruct the rusher to draw a penalty in such instances will receive an objectionable conduct penalty. The center will at very least be sent off for one play as per the objectionable conduct rules.
  • Players on the sideline may call a timeout. A delay of game penalty may be assessed if a timeout is called, the whistle blown, and the team has no remaining timeouts.
  • All players must be dressed in similar color jerseys. A coin flip will be used to decided which team is required to change jerseys if both teams wear identical colors. However a team that is wearing complete jerseys (all the same) will be given choice over teams who are wearing different by similarly colored shirts.
Team Responsibilities:
  • Team captains must have a valid email address and phone number entered into the pitfootball.com website and are expected to check their email frequently. Team captains will be contacted throughout the year for various reasons and email will be the main method of contact. If information is to be conveyed to a team in short order a phone call will be the primary mode of contact.
  • Team captains must ensure that all players have registered and signed an insurance waiver form before any player steps on the field for a regular season game.
  • Team rosters must be completed online at pitfootball.com before the registration deadline.
  • A team may not add a player after registration without prior approval from the league executive.
  • Captains should have higher division players on the roster by the roster deadline date as there will be very little chance of adding higher division players after the roster deadline. The intent of this rule is to have teams declare higher division players at the start of the season to ensure divisional parity.
  • Substitute players (if teams are short players) are still allowed however the player that substitutes cannot be of higher caliber than the player that is missing for the game.
  • Players will not receive credit for a game played unless they have shown up to the game prior to halftime. Note: players may play after halftime but will not receive credit for any individual stats or game played.
  • Teams who use ineligible players will have their game defaulted (see default policy).
Waiver Forms:
  • All league members are required to have a waiver form submitted to the league. Our insurance is renewed each October. Once a waiver form is signed a player is covered until the following October, wherein a new insurance waiver form must be signed.
  • Waiver forms can be found here: Waiver Forms or by clicking on "Forms & Files" on the navigation toolbar.
Playoff Eligibility:
  • Team representatives should monitor all game card entries to ensure players are eligible for playoffs. The league will not go back to check previous game cards in the event there is a discrepancy between the website and team. The website will be considered accurate.
  • Only teams and players in good standing with the league are eligible for playoffs.
  • Eligible teams are those that have all registration and default fees (if any) paid in full and not currently serving a suspension.
  • Eligible players are those that have submitted waiver forms, played enough games to be eligible for playoffs, and not currently serving a suspension.
  • All games played by teams with ineligible players will incur a default loss as well as a default fine (see default policy).
Divisional Alignment:
  • The executive reserves the right to assign teams to divisions in order to provide the most competitive divisions.
Coin Flip:
  • During the regular season the team calling the coin flip is up to the discretion of the referee (statistical probability states you will win 50% of the time regardless if you call the coin flip or not!)
  • During playoffs there will be no coin flip, the higher seeded team will automatically be given choice.
The stuff that needs to be said:
  • In maintaining an organized, balanced and operational league the Executive reserves the right to make changes as necessary during each season of operation.
  • Any other interpretations not covered by the PITFootball rule book, the TFONT rule book, or the rules noted on this post are subject to the Head referee's judgment and/or the league administration.
  • Have a great season and enjoy the best game day football experience in Manitoba!




OUTDOOR RULES





Touch Football is based on the Canadian Football League game. The Touch Football game has streamlined the sport by creating a non-contact, offensive based game. Utilizing a 3 down/10 yard gain format with 6 point touchdowns and 5 yard/1 point and 10 yard/2 point conversion attempts replacing extra point kicks, the spirit of our professional league remains intact. Official CFL Rules are enforced throughout the games, which are played with 7 players a side. Touch Football is essentially a non-contact game, with blocking and hitting removed, allowing for a six receiver, one (or more) quarterback based offense, and a six defensive back, one designated rusher defense. The Regular Season Game is played with four 20-minute quarters.



Touch Football Rule Book:

  • The Official Touch Football Rule Book used by the PIT Football league can be found at the following link: Touch Football Rule Book
Fields:
  • It is the responsibility of team representatives to pick up and drop off goal post pads according to the goal post pads' pick-up and drop-off schedule when necessary (the only applicable field with goal posts is Maple Grove).
  • The first team on the schedule at a field is responsible for bringing the pads.
  • The last team on the schedule at a field is responsible for returning the pads to their proper location.
  • In order to retain use of playing fields all teams are responsible for picking up stray garbage, bottles, and any miscellaneous items left by either players or spectators. Your cooperation is expected and appreciated.
  • A complete list of fields can be found under the "Field Locations" link on the navigation toolbar or here: Field Locations

Delay of Game:
  • Teams may start a game one person down (i.e., start the game with six players for outdoor).
  • If a team has five or fewer players, that team will be given a 15 minute 'grace' period with penalties accruing for delay of game at game time, the five-minute mark, and the ten-minute mark of the grace period. After 15 minutes the game is called as a default.
  • Teams must start the game as soon as they have enough players (6).
  • Time will not be made up for late starts. Games will be shortened accordingly to fit the game within the specified time slot.
  • Any team that does not have enough players to start a game will lose choice both halves.
Playoff Eligibility:
  • Players must attend a minimum of six games to be eligible to participate in playoffs.



INDOOR RULES





Indoor Touch Football is based on the Canadian Football League, emphasizing fast play, quick decisions and movements, and high scoring games on a smaller modified field suitable for five on five aside play. Teams generally have one quarterback and four receivers on offense, and one rusher and four defensive backs on defense.



Touch Football Rule Book:

  • The indoor league will adhere to the Official Touch Football Rule Book found at the following link: Touch Football Rule Book with some exceptions noted below.
The Game:
  • The game is played 5 on 5.
  • Game Length = 2 x 29 minute halves.
  • Field Length is approximately 30 yards by 70 yards inclusive of end-zones (Football Canada official field size).
General Rules:
  • Each team is allowed three thirty second time outs, a maximum of two timeouts may be used in a one half.
  • Teams may request up to at most two minutes for halftime.
  • If games are running behind the referee can use their discretion to shorten the available time at half to put games back on schedule.
  • All kickoffs are taken from the five yard line.
  • Penalties on kickoffs can result in the ball being moved into the end-zone to be re-kicked (no half the distance penalties exist for kickoffs in indoor).
  • In the event that a kickoff goes out of bounds the receiving team has the option to have the ball moved up five yards from the spot of where the ball left the playing field or have the kicking team re-kick five yards back.
  • The farthest point a kickoff can be placed due to a penalty is center field. For example, if a kick goes out of bounds on the kicking teams side of center the receiving team has the option to scrimmage at center or have the kicking team re-kick five yards back.
  • Any ball that hits the roof on a kick would be considered a dead ball. The ball will be placed on the ground directly below where the ball hit the roof.
  • Any ball that hits the roof on a pass would be considered a dead ball, loss of down will occur.
  • A rouge (single point) is awarded only if the ball carrier is tagged in the end zone or if the ball is 'dead' in the end zone (sits for three seconds without an attempt by the offensive team to pick up the ball). Any ball that travels through the end zone without being touched, results in a "touch-back" and comes out to the ten yard line where the receiving team starts it's possession.
  • All offensive snaps are taken from the center of the field (no hash-marks). This includes all convert attempts.
  • Only water is allowed on the artificial turf field. All food and sports/other drinks will be confiscated and may result in the offending player being banned from the fields.
Playoff Eligibility:
  • Players must attend a minimum of two games to be eligible to participate in playoffs.
Delay of Game:
  • Teams may start a game one person down (i.e., start the game with four players for indoor).
  • If a team has three or fewer players, that team will be given a 15 minute 'grace' period with penalties accruing for delay of game at game time, the five-minute mark, and the ten-minute mark of the grace period. After 15 minutes the game is called as a default.
  • Teams must start the game as soon as they have enough players (4).
  • Time will not be made up for late starts. Games will be shortened accordingly to fit the game within the specified time slot.
  • Any team that does not have enough players to start a game will lose choice both halves.
Penalty Applications:
  • Due to the shorter field dimensions the following penalty yardages have been modified:
    • Delay of Game: 5 yards
    • Illegal Reentry: 5 yards
    • No Yards: 5 yards
    • Obstruction: 5 yards
  • All other penalties will be consistent with the official touch football rule book.
Locker Rooms:
  • Each team will be provided a locker room in which to store their belongings. Locker room numbers will be listed by team on the board/screen near the entrance to the playing area.
  • Keys for the locker rooms can be picked up from the front desk in exchange for a set of car/house keys.
  • All belongings must be locked in the locker rooms. Bags, shoes, jackets, etc will no longer be allowed on the sidelines due to potential injury hazards. Only game balls, tees, and water bottles should be on the field and these items should be placed at the back of the safe zone surrounding the field.
  • If belongings cannot be placed in the locker room they may be stored BEHIND the netting that surrounds the safe zone around the fields. When playing on fields 1 & 4, belongings can be stored behind the netting on the West and East sides of the fields. When playing on fields 2 & 3, belongings must be stored behind the North side of the netting.
  • Belongings must be pushed back far enough behind the netting so as not to encroach on the safe zone surrounding the fields.
  • Failure to comply will result in a delay of game penalty for the offending team.



COED/MASTERS RULES





Coed and Masters football divisions are less competitive versions of the touch football game that aim to be inclusive of all participants regardless of age, sex or ability. If you want to have the most fun playing non-contact football these divisions are probably right for you!



Touch Football Rule Book:

  • The indoor league will adhere to the Official Touch Football Rule Book found at the following link: Touch Football Rule Book and the modified indoor touch football rules (see above) with some exceptions noted below.
Coed Eligibility/Rules:
  • Coed teams must have a minimum of two females on the field at all times.
  • Coed teams can play with up to five females on the field at one time.
  • Coed teams that have playoff eligible Division 1 players cannot have more than two such players on the field at any time.
  • If two playoff eligible Division 1 players are on the field at one time the remaining three players must be female.
Masters Division Eligibility:
  • All players must be 39 years of age or older to compete.
  • The league may create the rosters of the Masters Division from the players who have signed up to compete (via a draft).
  • Players who do not meet the age eligibility criteria to compete may apply to play in the Masters division. Exceptions to the rule may be granted to ensure team parity across each team in the division.



FLAG FOOTBALL RULES





Flag football is non-contact version of tackle football. Running plays are much more prominent in flag football than touch football due to the added element of being able to "break a tackle". Having to "flag" an offensive player makes the game much more difficult defensively. To help counterbalance the advantages given to the offense, teams scrimmage automatically at their five yard line at any change of possession (no kickoffs or punts). Instead of having three plays to obtain ten yards, the offense has three plays to cross center field, and if successful, three additional downs to score. Flag Football is the fastest growing version of Football in North America with provincial, national, and international tournaments open to participants across the globe.



Flag Football Rule Book:

  • The flag football league will adhere to the Official Flag Football Rule Book found at the following link: Flag Football Rule Book and the modified indoor touch football rules (see above) with some exceptions noted below.
The Game:
  • The game is played 5 on 5.
  • Game Length = 2 x 25 minute halves (with stopped time in the final two minutes - see the official flag rule book for timing applications).
  • Field Length is approximately 30 yards by 70 yards inclusive of end-zones (Football Canada official field size).
  • Three downs to obtain a first down (Canadian rules).
  • Game tiebreakers and playoff tiebreakers will follow the PIT Football tiebreaker rules (see tiebreaker policy).
  • Teams will be provide two 30-second timeouts per half. Unused timeouts will not carry over to the second half.
  • In the event that an inadvertent whistle occurs, the official may deem continuation in play if they believe the whistle did not affect the play in any way.



TIE-BREAKER POLICY





Playoff Seeding (tie-breakers):

  • First tie-breaker: In the event that two teams are tied and one of those teams has defaulted a game during the regular season, the non-defaulting team (or team with fewer defaults) will automatically receive the higher seed.
  • Second tie-breaker: Head to head
  • Third tie-breaker: Head to head plus/minus
  • Fourth tie-breaker: Plus/minus overall
  • Fifth tie-breaker: Points against
  • Sixth tie-breaker: Coin flip
  • Seventh tie-breaker: In the event the coin lands on its side a team drinking competition will ensue

Note I: In the event that three or more teams are tied, if two (or more) teams remain tied after one team has been eliminated from the tie-breaker system during any step (i.e., made playoffs), the tie breaker reverts back to step 1 of the tie-breaker system.

Note II: In the event that an unbalanced schedule occurs and seeding hasn't been decided by the first two tie-breakers, the third and fourth tie-breakers will be as follows: Third tie-breaker: Plus-minus in games against common opponents, Fourth tie-breaker: Points against in games against common opponents. The fourth and fifth tie-breakers in the original tie-breaking formula will become the sixth and seventh tie-breakers in a scenario of an unbalanced schedule.

Note III: If a defaulted game is advantageous to the defaulting team the league will remove said advantage. For example, if divisions are split for playoffs and a default puts the defaulting team in a better playoff scenario (i.e., bumps the team down a division) the defaulting team will instead receive the higher seed.


Tie-Breaker (games):

  • There are no ties in the PIT Football League.
  • In the event of a tie game, a series of convert attempts will be used to determine the winner.
    • Each team will attempt three converts, alternating on offense and defense.
    • Teams may attempt a one-point convert from the five yard line or a two-point convert from the ten yard line.
    • The team with the most points after three attempts by each team will be declared the winner.
    • In the event that the teams are still tied after three attempts by each team, they will continue to run alternate converts until one team has more points.



RAIN OUT POLICY





Rain Out Policy:

The following information is designed to inform teams when bad weather strikes. As we all know Winnipeg has some odd weather patterns. A torrential downpour can turn into sunshine within the hour and vice versa. The league does not cancel games in the event of rain, snow, heat, or cold. Games will only be cancelled in the event that playing conditions are unsafe. Teams are strongly advised to dress for the weather and have plenty of water available during the summer. The league does use meteorological data to aid in decision making, please keep in mind professional meteorologists are sometimes wrong, so often we used the old tried and true, "stick your head out the window method." The league will endeavor whenever possible to have all rain out games rescheduled within 48 hours of a rain out.

  • The league will monitor the weather and attempt to make a decision no later than one hour prior to that day's game start times.
  • In the event that games are cancelled, the first notification will be on social media (Twitter page @PITFootball), followed by the website. If possible, teams will be emailed through the website however it is up to teams to monitor the Twitter page and website for information.
  • If there are no game cancellations posted one hour prior to game start times, teams and officials can assume the games are on as planned.
  • If rain persists/begins within an hour of game time, the officials at the field will have the final say on play-ability. Officials have the authority to cancel the games at the field because of the prevailing weather conditions.
When does the league cancel games due to the weather?

  • The league will cancel games in the event that rain has persisted to a point to make the fields unplayable or unsafe.
  • The league will cancel games if there is persistent lightning or other unsafe conditions.
What happens to the game when a rain out occurs?

  • Any games that are stopped at halftime or after will be considered completed and the score at the time of a game stoppage will be considered the final score.
  • Any games that are stopped prior to halftime will be rescheduled.
When will an official cancel games due to the weather?

  • An official will cancel games in the event that rain has persisted to a point to make the fields unplayable or unsafe.
  • An official will cancel games if there is persistent lightning.
  • An official can call a game at any time if unsafe conditions arise.
    • Officials can delay the start of a game by 15 minutes to see if weather conditions clear up.
    • If lighting is in the area the official can stop the game for up to 15 minutes before deciding to resume or cancel the game.
What makes a field unplayable?

  • If there is persistent standing water on the fields games will be cancelled. If standing water persists, it presents a danger to players and may result in damage to the fields.
Should Teams Contact the League Directly Regarding Weather Conditions?

  • The short answer, no. If games have not been officially cancelled prior to one hour before the games, assume the games are on. Within one hour of games, it is the official's discretion as to whether games can be played.
  • Often, weather conditions change dramatically and thus the league endeavors not to cancel games early. Cancellations earlier in the day do not necessitate cancellations later in the day. Teams should keep posted to social media and the website for information regarding their specific games.



DEFAULT/RESCHEDULE POLICY





Default Policy:

  • Teams may start the game one person down (ie, start the game with six players for outdoor, and four players for indoor).
  • If a team does not have the requisite number of players to start a game, that team will be provided a fifteen minute 'grace' period with penalties accruing for delay of game at game time, the five minute mark, and the ten minute mark of the grace period.
  • After fifteen minutes the game is called as a default. Teams must start the game as soon as they have enough players (six players for outdoor, and four players for indoor).
  • Time will not be made up for late starts. Games will be shortened accordingly to fit the game within the specified time slot.
  • Teams that do not have the minimum number of players present to start a game at the time of kickoff will lose choice both halves.
  • The penalty for each default is a $75 fine, along with an automatic loss, minus two points in the standings, and no player on the defaulting team shall be credited with a game played.
  • Default fines must be paid to the league administrators prior to the defaulting team’s next game or that game is also forfeited.
  • The penalty for a third default is possible removal of the team from the league for the season.
  • All players on the non-defaulting team will receive credit for a game played.
  • In the event of a double-default, neither team will receive credit for a game played and both teams will be fined $75.
  • Defaulted games will not be rescheduled.
Schedule Request Policy:
  • Teams may submit schedule requests at registration - no late submissions will be accepted. See the schedule request form found under the 'Forms & Files' link on the navigation toolbar or hit up the link here: Schedule Request Forms
  • All schedule requests must be placed on the official schedule request form. The league will not be responsible for any requests that are not on the official scheduling request form.
  • The league will do its best to accommodate schedule requests, but in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the league for all teams, some schedule requests may not be accommodated.
Rescheduling Policy:

PIT Football has the most accommodating reschedule policy in recreational sports. However it is up to a team to organize any game reschedules, the league will not endeavor to make schedule requests for teams.

  • It is the team’s responsibility to arrange for reschedules.
  • A team may switch their game by contacting a team in their division to swap games against a common opponent. For example, Team A is playing Team B but cannot make the game. Team A would contact Team C in their division and ask them to take their game with Team B in exchange for Team C's game against Team B at a later point in the season.
  • Reschedules can only be made by swapping games with other occupied time slots. Fields are rented in advance and officials are expecting to work game days. Games cannot simply be moved due to the costs involved.
  • All teams must agree to the swap and notify the league scheduler at least 48 hours in advance so that the website can be updated accordingly.
  • The league will only make changes to the schedule once all teams involved have verified agreement to said schedule change.

Rain Out Reschedules:
  • In the event of a rain out, the league will endeavor to reschedule games within 24 hours.
  • All reschedules will attempt to take into consideration the team's original schedule requests, however the league reserves the right to reschedule games at any time pending lack of available dates.





DISCIPLINARY POLICY





Disciplinary Procedures:

Players and referees should not be subjected to player threats, taunts, arguing or inappropriate conduct. Referees can assess objectionable conduct penalties, a five minute (game time, not running time!) player “timeout” or eject a player from a game for such conduct. An ejection carries an automatic one game suspension and potentially more depending on the severity of the offense. A single objectionable conduct will result in a 15-yard penalty; a second objectionable conduct penalty carries with it an automatic five minute player timeout. A third objectionable conduct penalty carries with it an automatic ejection. As per the referee’s judgement the escalation of penalties can be expedited. For example, a player may get a five minute timeout or be ejected on the first objectionable conduct penalty depending on the severity of the offense.

  • Any player ejection for a major foul or abuse of an official carries a mandatory minimum one game suspension.
  • Gross misconducts carry a minimum six game suspension.
  • Fighting carries a minimum six game suspension.
  • Physical abuse of an official carries a minimum eighteen game suspension.
  • Players who are on multiple teams will be suspended from all teams for the duration of the initial suspension. For example, if a player is suspended for three games on Team A, they will miss all games with Team B (Team C, etc) until the three game suspension with team A has been completed.
  • Suspensions will escalate for repeat offenders and for those who have been suspended previously, regardless of the reason for the suspension.
  • In the event of dissatisfaction with a disciplinary decision a case may be taken to the Appeals Committee if a written request explaining the reason for the appeal is received by the Executive within 24 hours of the decision being issued. A $75.00 per player fee must accompany the appeal request. The fee will be refunded if the decision is revoked or the penalty reduced.

Objectionable Conduct Policy:
  • Objectionable conducts will be tracked for the duration of the season (outdoor is one season, indoor [Fall/Winter/Spring] will be considered one season).
  • Six objectionable conduct penalties in a season will result in a one game suspension.
  • Every objectionable conduct penalty after six will result in a one game suspension.
  • Penalties are cumulative meaning a player’s third objectionable conduct will result in a suspension, however if the third objectionable conduct penalty is also a player's sixth (or seventh, etc) objectionable conduct penalty of the season, then a two game suspension would be applied.
  • Players who receive an objectionable conduct penalty after the conclusion of a game will automatically be suspended.
  • Depending on the severity of the offense, suspensions may be compounded or escalated.
Game Protests:

  • Game protests must be submitted in legible writing the day of the game protested and will be ruled and decided upon by the Executive Committee in conjunction with a review of the referee's game report.



FOR THE PLAYERS ...           ... BY THE PLAYERS

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