ARTICLE 1. Each half shall start with a kickoff. Three minutes before the scheduled starting time, the referee shall toss a coin at midfield in the presence of no more than four field captains from each team and another game official, first designating the field captain of the visiting team to call the coin toss. Before the second half, captains will meet with the referee to select second half options.
During the coin toss, each team shall remain in the area between the nine-yard marks and its sideline or in the team area. The coin toss begins when the field captains leave the nine-yard marks and ends when the referee has finished indicating the teams' choices.
a. The winner of the toss shall choose one of the following options for the first or second half at the beginning of the half selected:
1. To designate which team shall kick off.
2. To designate which goal line his team shall defend.
b. The loser shall choose one of the above options for the half the winner of the toss did not select.
c. The team not having the choice of options for a half shall exercise the option not chosen by the opponent.
d. If the winner of the toss selects the second half option, the referee shall use [S10].
ARTICLE 2. Between the first and second periods and also between the third and fourth periods, the teams shall defend opposite goal lines.
a. The ball shall be relocated at a spot corresponding exactly, in relation to goal lines and sidelines, to its location at the end of the preceding period.
b. Possession of the ball, the number of the down and the distance to be gained shall remain unchanged.
ARTICLE 3. The NCAA tiebreaker system will be used when a game is tied after four periods. NCAA football playing rules apply, with the following exceptions:
a. Immediately after the conclusion of the fourth quarter, officials will instruct both teams to retire to their respective team areas. The officials will assemble at the 50-yard line and review the tiebreaker procedures.
b. The officials will escort the captains (Rule 3-1-1) to the centre of the field for the coin toss. The referee shall toss a coin at midfield in the presence of no more than four field captains from each team and another game official, first designating the field captain of the visiting team to call the coin toss. The winner of the toss shall choose one of the following options:
1. Offense or defense, with the offense at the opponent's 25-yard line to start the first series.
2. Which end of the field shall be used for both series of that overtime period.
NOTE: The winner of the toss may not defer his choice.
c. The loser of the toss shall exercise the remaining option for the first extra period and shall have the first choice of the two options for subsequent even-numbered extra periods.
d. Extra periods: An extra period shall consist of two series with each team putting the ball in play by a snap on or between the inbounds lines on the designated 25-yard line, which becomes the opponent's 25-yard line. The snap shall be from midway between the inbounds lines on the 25-yard line, unless a different position on or between the inbounds lines is selected before the ready-for-play signal. After the ready-for-play signal, the ball may be relocated after a charged team timeout, unless preceded by a Team A foul or offsetting penalties.
e. Team series: Each team retains the ball during a series until it scores or fails to make a first down. The ball remains alive after a change of team possession until it is declared dead. However, Team A may not have a first and 10 if it again possesses the ball after a change of team possession.
Team A and B designations are the same as defined in Rule 2-27-1.
f. Scoring: The team scoring the greater number of points during the regulation and extra periods shall be declared the winner. There shall be an equal number of series, as defined in (e) above, in each extra period, except if Team B scores during a period other than on the try. Beginning with the third extra period, team scoring a touchdown must attempt a two point try. A one point try by Team A (although not illegal) will not score a point.
g. Fouls after a change of team possession:
1. Distance penalties by either team are declined by rule in extra periods (Exceptions: Dead ball fouls and live ball fouls penalised as dead ball fouls are enforced on the succeeding play).
2. A score by a team committing a foul during the down is cancelled.
3. If there are offsetting fouls, whether one or both occur after Team B possession, the down is not replayed.
h. Timeouts: Each team shall be allowed one timeout for each extra period. Timeouts not used during the regulation periods may not be carried over into the extra period(s). Unused extra period timeouts may not be carried over to other extra periods. Timeouts between periods shall be charged to the succeeding period.
Radio and television timeouts are permitted only between extra periods (first and second, second and third, etc.). Charged team timeouts may not be extended for radio and television purposes. The extra period(s) begins when the ball is first snapped.
ARTICLE 1. The total playing time in a collegiate game shall be 60 minutes, divided into four periods of 15 minutes each, with one-minute intermissions between the first and second periods (first half) and between the third and fourth periods (second half) (Exception: A one-minute intermission between the first and second and the third and fourth quarters may be extended for radio and television timeouts).
a. No period shall end until the ball is dead and the referee declares the period ended [S14].
b. The intermission between halves, which begins when the field is clear of all players and coaches, shall be 20 minutes. The 20 minutes may be altered, before the game, by mutual agreement of the administration of both teams.
c. The 20-minute intermission between halves may start immediately after the second period ends if dictated by conference policy when both teams are in the same conference, or by mutual agreement of the competing teams.
ARTICLE 2. Before the game starts, playing time and the intermission between halves may be shortened by the referee if he is of the opinion that darkness may interfere with the game. The four periods must be of equal length if the game is shortened before its start.
a. Any time during the game, the playing time of any remaining period or periods and the intermission between halves may be shortened by mutual agreement of the opposing head coaches and the referee.
b. Timing errors on the game clock may be corrected but shall be corrected only in the period in which they occur.
c. If the referee has positive knowledge of the elapsed time, he will reset and appropriately start the game clock.
d. Timing errors on a 25-second clock may be corrected by the referee. The 25-second clock shall start again.
e. When the 25-second count is interrupted by circumstances beyond the control of either team (without positive knowledge of game clock elapsed time), a new 25-second count shall be started and the game clock shall start on the snap.
f. The 25-second clock is not started when the game clock is running with fewer than 25 seconds in a period.
g. The game clock should not be stopped if the 25-second clock is started in conflict with Rule 3-2-2-f.
ARTICLE 3. A period shall be extended until a down (other than a try), free from live-ball fouls not penalised as dead-ball fouls, has been played when:
a. A penalty is accepted for a live-ball foul(s) not penalised as a dead-ball foul that occurs during a down in which time expires (Exception: Rule 10-2-2-g-1 ). (A.R. 3-2-3:I-VIII)
b. Offsetting fouls occur during a down in which time expires.
c. An inadvertent whistle is sounded or an official signals the ball dead during a down in which time expires.
ARTICLE 4. a. Playing time shall be kept with a game clock that may be either a stop watch operated by the line judge, back judge, field judge or side judge, or a game clock operated by an assistant under the direction of the appropriate judge. The type of game clock shall be determined by the game management.
b. The 25 seconds between the ready-for-play signal and the ball being put in play shall be timed with a watch operated by the appropriate official or with 25-second clocks at each end of the playing enclosure operated by an assistant under the direction of the appropriate official. Visual 25-second clocks are mandatory (Exception: Visual 25-second clocks are not mandatory for games played on the home field of an NCAA Division III institution).
c. If a visual 25-second timing device becomes inoperative, both coaches shall be notified by the referee immediately and both clocks shall be turned off.
ARTICLE 5. When the ball is free-kicked, the game clock shall be started and subsequently stopped when the ball is dead by rule. On a scrimmage down, the game clock shall be started when the ball is snapped legally or on prior signal by the referee. The game clock shall not run during a try, during an extension of a period or during an extra period (A.R. 3-2-5:I-IV)
a. When the clock has been stopped, the referee shall declare the ball ready for play and the clock shall start on the snap unless it was stopped because of one of the following situations: (A.R. 7-3-2:I) (A.R. 7-3-7:II)
1. When Team A is awarded a first down (Exception: After a legal kick).
2. For a referee's timeout for an injured player or official, or when the runner's helmet comes off, or for an extended timeout for radio or television.
3. At the referee's discretion (Rules 3-2-2-c and 3-4-3). (A.R. 3-3-2:II-IV)
4. To complete a penalty. (Exception: After a delay foul by Team A while in scrimmage kick formation ).
5. For an inadvertent whistle (Exception: During a legal kick).
6. For a head coach's conference or challenge.
7. For a sideline warning.
8. For an illegal pass to conserve time. (A.R. 7-3-2:II-VIII)
9. For a measurement.
10. For a ball in an official's possession.
11. For a fumble out of bounds in advance of the spot of the fumble.
b. If the clock was stopped for incidents 1 through 11, it shall be started on the ready for play signal.
c. If incidents 1 through 11 occur in conjunction with any other situation that starts the clock on the snap, the clock will start on the snap.
d. The clock stops at the end of a legal kick down and starts on the snap (Exception: When the next play is a free kick or a try or Team B is awarded a first down).
e. When Team B is awarded a first down, the clock will be stopped and will start on the ready for play signal. (Exceptions: After a team timeout and the succeeding play after the end of a period.)
ARTICLE 6. The game clock shall be stopped when each period ends. An official shall signal timeout when the rules provide for stopping the clock or when a timeout is charged to a team or to the referee (Exception: Rule 3-3-2-b). Other officials should repeat timeout signals. (A.R. 3-2-6:I)
ARTICLE 1. a. The referee shall declare a timeout when he suspends play for any reason. Each timeout shall be charged to one of the teams or designated as a referee's timeout.
b. When a team's timeouts are exhausted and it requests a timeout, the official should not acknowledge the request.
c. During a timeout, players shall not practice with a ball on the field of play or the end zones (Exception: During the half-time intermission).
ARTICLE 2. a. An official shall declare a referee's timeout:
1. When there is a touchdown, field goal, touchback or safety.
2. When an injury timeout is allowed for one or more players or an official (A.R. 3-3-2:I) (A.R. 3-3-5:I-V)
3. When the clock is stopped to complete a penalty.
4. When a live ball goes out of bounds or is declared out of bounds.
5. When a forward pass becomes incomplete.
6. When Team A or Team B is awarded a first down.
7. When an inadvertent whistle is sounded.
8. When there is a possible first-down measurement.
9. When a delay is caused by both teams. (A.R. 3-3-2:II and IV)
10. When a charged timeout is granted. (A.R. 3-3-4:I-IV)
11. When there is a sideline warning.
12. When the ball becomes illegal.
13. When the ball is in possession of an official.
14. When there is a mandatory equipment (Rule 1-4-4) or an illegal equipment (Rule 1-4-5) violation.
15. When a legal kick down ends.
16. When a return kick is made.
17. When a scrimmage kick is made beyond the neutral zone.
18. When the 25-second clock is interrupted by circumstances beyond the control of either team.
19. When the runner's helmet comes off.
b. The referee only shall declare a timeout:
1. When a head coach's conference is requested.
2. When an unfair-noise timeout is required (Rule 9-2-1-b-5).
3. When a radio or television timeout is allowed.
4. When a discretionary timeout is declared.
ARTICLE 3. a. The referee may suspend the game temporarily when conditions warrant such action. The referee may declare and charge himself with a timeout for any contingency not elsewhere covered by the rules. (A.R. 3-3-3:I and II)
b. When the game is stopped by actions of a person(s) not subject to the rules or for any other reasons not in the rules and cannot continue, the referee shall:
1. Suspend play and direct the players to their team areas.
2. Refer the problem to those responsible for the game's management.
3. Resume the game when he determines conditions are satisfactory.
c. If a game is suspended under Rules 3-3-3-a and b before the end of the fourth period and cannot be resumed, conference policy shall determine whether the game will be resumed at a later date, terminated or forfeited (and the final score). If no conference policy is applicable to both teams, the directors of athletics at the participating institutions or designates, in consultation with the coaches, shall determine whether the game will be resumed at a later date, terminated or forfeited (and the final score).
d. If a game is suspended under Rules 3-3-3-a and b after four periods of play and cannot be resumed, the game shall be ruled a tie. The final score shall be the score at the end of the last completed period. (Note: If a winner must be determined in a conference playoff game, conference policy shall determine when and where the game will be resumed.)
e. A suspended game, if resumed, will begin with the same time remaining and under the identical conditions of down, distance, field position and player eligibility.
f. The referee's discretionary timeout also applies to the following situations:
1. When there is undue delay by officials in placing the ball for the next snap. (A.R. 3-3-3:I)
2. When there is a consultation with team captains.
3. When conditions warrant temporary suspension.
ARTICLE 4. When timeouts are not exhausted, an official shall allow a charged team timeout when requested by any player or head coach when the ball is dead. (A.R. 3-3-4:I and II)
a. Each team is entitled to three charged team timeouts during each half.
b. After the ball is declared dead and before the snap, a legal substitute may request a timeout if he is between the nine-yard marks. (A.R. 3-3-4:III and IV)
c. A player who participated during the previous down may request a timeout between the time the ball is declared dead and the snap without being between the nine-yard marks. (A.R. 3-3-4:I and II)
d. A head coach who is in, or in the vicinity of, his team area or coaching box may request a timeout between the time the ball is declared dead and the next snap.
e. A player, incoming substitute or head coach may request a head coach's conference with the referee if the coach believes a rule has been enforced improperly. If the rule enforcement is not changed, the coach's team will be charged a timeout, or a delay penalty if all timeouts have been used.
1. Only the referee may stop the clock for a head coach's conference.
2. A request for a head coach's conference or challenge must be made before the ball is snapped or free-kicked for the next play and before the end of the second or fourth period (Rules 5-2-10 and 1-1-4-c).
3. After a head coach's conference or challenge, the full team timeout is granted if charged by the referee.
ARTICLE 5. a. In the event of an injured player(s):
1. The referee may charge himself a timeout provided the player(s) for whom the timeout is taken is removed from the game for at least one down.
2. The player(s) may remain in the game if his team is charged a timeout in the interval between downs or the period ends.
3. After a team's charged timeouts have been exhausted, the injured player(s) must leave for one down.
4. Whenever a participant suffers a laceration or wound where oozing or bleeding occurs, the player or game official shall go to the team area and be given appropriate medical treatment. He may not return to the game without approval of medical personnel. (A.R. 3-3-5:I-VII)
b. Any official may stop the clock for an injured player(s). When in question, the clock shall be stopped for an injured player.
c. To curtail a possible time-gaining advantage by feigning injuries, attention is directed to the strongly worded statement in "The Football Code" concerning the feigning of any injury.
d. An injury timeout may follow a charged team timeout.
e. The referee may charge himself with a timeout for an injured official.
ARTICLE 6. For noncompliance with Rules 1-4-4, 1-4-5 or 9-2-2-d during a down, or noncompliance with Rules 1-4-6-b, or 3-3-4-e while the ball is dead, a timeout shall be charged to a team at the succeeding spot (Rule 3-4-2-b).
ARTICLE 7. a. A charged team timeout requested by any player or head coach shall not exceed one minute 30 seconds. (Exception: Rule 3-3-4-e-3). Any charged team timeout shall be 30 seconds in duration upon a visual signal of the hands touching the shoulders, made by the head coach of the team requesting the timeout. The signal must be made promptly after the timeout is requested. Other timeouts shall be no longer than the referee deems necessary to fulfill the purpose for which they are declared, including a radio or TV timeout, but any timeout may be extended by the referee for the benefit of an injured player (Refer to Appendix A for the guidelines for game officials to use during a serious on-field player injury).
b. If the team charged with a one-minute 30-second team timeout wishes to resume play before the expiration of one minute and its opponent indicates readiness, the referee will declare the ball ready for play.
c. The length of a referee's timeouts depends on the circumstances of each timeout.
d. The field captain must exercise his penalty option before he or a teammate consults with his coach on a sideline during a timeout.
e. The intermission after a safety, try or successful field goal shall be no more than one minute. It may be extended for radio or television.
ARTICLE 8. The referee shall notify both teams 30 seconds before a charged team timeout expires and five seconds later shall declare the ball ready for play.
a. When a third timeout is charged to a team in either half, the referee shall notify the field captain and head coach of that team.
b. Unless a visual game clock is the official timepiece, the referee also shall inform each field captain and head coach when approximately two minutes of playing time remain in each half. He may order the clock stopped for that purpose.
1. The 25-second count is not interrupted.
2. The clock starts on the snap after the two-minute notification.
c. If a visual game clock is not the official timing device during the last two minutes of each half, the referee or his representative shall notify each captain and head coach of the time remaining each time the clock is stopped by rule. Also, a representative may leave the team area along the limit line to relay timing information under these conditions.
ARTICLE 1. a. Each team shall have its players on the field for the opening play at the scheduled time for the beginning of each half. When both teams refuse to enter the field first for the start of either half, the home team must be the first to enter.
b. The home management is responsible for clearing the field of play and end zones at the beginning of each half so the periods may start at the scheduled time. Bands, speeches, presentations, homecoming and similar activities are under the jurisdiction of home management and a prompt start of each half is mandatory.
Exception: The referee may waive the penalty for circumstances beyond the control of the home management.
ARTICLE 2. a. The ball shall be declared ready for play consistently throughout the game by the referee when the officials are in position. Consuming more than 25 seconds to put the ball in play after it is declared ready for play is an illegal delay.
b. Illegal delay also includes:
1. Deliberately advancing the ball after it is dead.
2. When a team has expended its three timeouts and commits a Rule 1-4-4, 1-4-5, 1-4-6-b, 3-3-4-e or 9-2-2-d infraction.
3. When a team is not ready to play after an intermission between periods (other than the half), after a score, after a radio/television/team timeout, or any time the referee orders the ball put in play. (A.R. 3-4-2:I)
4. Defensive verbal tactics that disconcert offensive signals (Rule 7-1-5-a-3).
5. Defensive actions designed to cause a false start (Rule 7-1-5-a-4).
ARTICLE 3. The referee shall order the game clock started or stopped whenever either team conserves or consumes playing time by tactics obviously unfair. This includes starting the clock on the snap if the foul is by the team ahead in the score. The clock will start on the ready for play after an illegal forward or backward pass that conserves time for Team A. (A.R. 3-4-3:I-IV)
ARTICLE 1. Any number of legal substitutes for either team may enter the game between periods, after a score or try, or during the interval between downs only for the purpose of replacing a player(s) or filling a player vacancy(ies).
ARTICLE 2. A legal substitute may replace a player or fill a player vacancy provided none of the following restrictions is violated:
a. No incoming substitute shall enter the field of play or end zone while the ball is in play. (live ball foul) [S22].
b. No player, in excess of 11, shall leave the field of play or an end zone while the ball is in play (A.R. 3-5-2:I) (live ball foul) [S22].
c. An incoming legal substitute must enter the field of play directly from his team area, and a substitute, player or replaced player leaving must depart at the sideline nearest his team area and proceed to his team area. A player who is replaced must immediately leave the field of play, including the end zones. A departing player who leaves the huddle or his position within three seconds, after a substitute becomes a player, is considered to have left immediately. Team A may not break its huddle with 12 or more players (A.R. 3-5-2:II-VIII) (A.R. 9-1-4:VI-VIII) (A.R. 9-2-2:IV) (dead ball foul) [S7 and S22].
d. Substitutes who become players must remain in the game for one play and replaced players must remain out of the game for one play except during the interval between periods, after a score, or when a timeout has been charged to a team, or to the referee with the exception of a live ball out of bounds or an incomplete forward pass (A.R. 3-5-2:VI) (live ball foul) [S22].
e. While in the process of substitution or simulated substitution, Team A is prohibited from rushing quickly to the line of scrimmage with the obvious attempt of creating a defensive disadvantage. If the ball has been declared ready for play, the game officials will not permit the ball to be snapped until Team B has placed substitutes in position and replaced players have left the field of play. Team B must react promptly with its substitutes.
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Editor: Jim Briggs, BAFA/BAFRA Rules Committee