RULE 3 Periods, Time Factors and Substitutions

SECTION 1. Start of Each Period

First and Third Periods

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 not 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, the referee will obtain the teams' 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 captains return to the nine-yard marks.

PENALTY -
Five yards from the succeeding spot [S19].

a. The winner of the toss shall choose one of the following options:

1. To designate which team shall kick off.

2. To designate which goal line his team shall defend. (Exception: This option is not available if only one goal is being used (Rule 1-2-5-f).)

3. To defer his selection to the second half.

b. The opponent shall then choose option 1 or 2 above, as available.

c. If the winner of the toss chooses option 3 above, then after the opponent's choice the winner selects the available option (1 or 2 above).

Second and Fourth Periods

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.

Extra Periods

ARTICLE 3. The NCAA tiebreaker system will be used when a game is tied after four periods. BAFA 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 not 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 possession series.

2. Which end of the field shall be used for both possession 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. An extra period shall consist of two possession 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. Each team retains the ball during a possession 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. (A.R. 3-1-3:I-XII)

Team A and B designations are the same as defined in Rule 2-27-1.

f. 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 possession series, as described in (e) above, in each extra period, unless 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. Although not illegal, a one-point try attempt by Team A will not score a point (A.R. 3-1-3:XIII)

g. (A.R. 3-1-3:XIV-XVII)

1. Distance penalties against either team are declined by rule in extra periods (Exceptions: Penalties for flagrant personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, dead-ball personal fouls and live-ball fouls treated 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 both teams foul during the down and Team B had not fouled before the change of possession, the fouls offset and the down is not repeated.

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.

Approved Ruling 3-1-3

  1. After each team has put the ball in play by snap at the beginning of its possession series, the score remains tied. RULING: Begin the second extra period with the loser of the toss at the beginning of the first extra period having the choice of the two options. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  2. Other than on the try, Team B scores a touchdown after intercepting a forward pass, or intercepting or recovering a backward pass or fumble. RULING: Period and game are ended, and Team B is the winner. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  3. During the first possession series of a period, Team B intercepts a forward pass, or intercepts or recovers a fumble or a backward pass, and does not score a touchdown. RULING: Team A's possession series is ended and Team B starts its series. Team B becomes Team A when the referee declares the ball ready for play. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  4. During the first possession series of a period, Team A's field goal attempt is blocked and does not cross the neutral zone. Team A recovers the ball and runs for a touchdown. RULING: Six points for Team A. Team B begins its possession series after the try. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  5. Team A's field goal attempt is blocked and does not cross the neutral zone. A23 recovers the ball and is tackled beyond the line to gain. RULING: Team A retains the ball to continue its possession series. First and 10. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  6. On first, second or third down, Team A's field goal attempt is blocked and does not cross the neutral zone. A23 recovers the ball and is tackled short of the line to gain. RULING: Team A's ball, next down. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  7. Team A's field goal attempt is blocked. Team B recovers the kick and carries it into Team A's end zone. RULING: Touchdown. The try is cancelled and the game is ended. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  8. During the first possession series of a period, Team B gains possession and then loses possession to Team A, which scores a touchdown. RULING: The score counts, and Team B begins its possession series after the try. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  9. During the first possession series of a period, Team B gains possession and then loses possession to Team A, which fails to score a touchdown. RULING: Team A's possession series is ended, and Team B begins its possession series. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  10. During the first possession series of a period, Team A fumbles into Team B's end zone on second down of a series. Team B recovers and downs the ball in its end zone. RULING: Team A's possession series is ended. Team B begins its possession series. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  11. During the first possession series of a period, B10 intercepts a forward pass on his six-yard line and downs the ball in his end zone. RULING: Safety: two points for Team A. Team A's possession series is over. Team B will put the ball in play, first and 10 on the 25-yard line at the same end of the field. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  12. Team A's field-goal attempt is untouched beyond the neutral zone until B17 muffs it at the five-yard line. A75 recovers at the three-yard line. RULING: Team A's possession series continues; first down for Team A at the three-yard line. [Cited by 3-1-3-e]
  13. On the first possession series of a period, Team A scores a touchdown. On the try, Team B intercepts a pass and returns it for a two-point touchdown. RULING: Team B starts its possession series at the 25-yard line with Team A leading in the overtime score 6-2. [Cited by 3-1-3-f]
  14. After the end of the first possession series by Team A, Team B commits a dead-ball foul. RULING: Team B starts its possession series on the 40-yard line, first and 10. [Cited by 3-1-3-g]
  15. During the first possession series of a period, A12 throws a forward pass and Team A is flagged for an illegal shift. B25 intercepts the pass, and B38 clips before B25 crosses Team A's goal line. RULING: Score not allowed. The possession series is ended, and Team B begins its possession series at the 25-yard line. The penalty is not carried over. [Cited by 3-1-3-g]
  16. During the second possession series of a period, B25 intercepts a pass and carries the ball across Team A's goal line. During the run, B79 clips at midfield. RULING: No touchdown. Either the game is over, or the next period will start with first and 10 at the 25-yard line, since the penalty is not carried over. [Cited by 3-1-3-g]
  17. During the first possession series B37 intercepts a forward pass and has a clear field to the goal line when he makes an obscene gesture toward the nearest opponent. RULING: Team B's score is cancelled and the penalty is carried over. Team B begins its possession series on the 40-yard line, first and 10. (Rules 3-1-3, 3-1-3-g-1 and 3-1-3-g-2). [Cited by 3-1-3-g]

SECTION 2. Playing Time and Intermissions

Length of Periods and Intermissions

ARTICLE 1. The maximum total playing time in a 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 shall be 20 minutes, unless altered before the game by mutual agreement of the administrations of both teams. Immediately after the second period ends, the referee should begin the intermission by signalling to start the game clock [S2].

Timing Adjustments

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 play clock may be corrected by the referee. The play clock shall start again (Rule 2-29-2).

e. When the play-clock count is interrupted by circumstances beyond the control of either team (without positive knowledge of game clock elapsed time), a new count shall be started and the game clock shall start per Rules 3-2-4-b or 3-2-4-d as appropriate.

f. The 40/25-second clock is not started when the game clock is running with fewer than 40 or 25 seconds, respectively, in a period.

g. The game clock should not be stopped if the play clock is started in conflict with paragraph f above.

h. Timing adjustments for games using Instant Replay are governed by Rule 12-3-5.

Extension of Periods

ARTICLE 3.

a. A period shall be extended for an untimed down (other than a try) if one or more of the following occurs during a down in which time expires (A.R. 3-2-3:I-VIII)

1. A penalty is accepted for a live-ball foul(s). (Exception: Rule 10-2-5-a ). The period is not extended if the foul is by the team in possession and the statement of the penalty includes loss of down (A.R. 3-2-3:VIII)

2. There are offsetting fouls.

3. An official sounds his whistle inadvertently or otherwise incorrectly signals the ball dead.

b. Additional untimed downs (other than a try) will be played until a down is free of the circumstances in statements 1, 2 and 3 of Rule 3-2-3-a (above).

Approved Ruling 3-2-3

  1. During the extension of a period after the ball is ready for play and before the snap, Team A commits a foul. RULING: Dead-ball foul. Team A is penalised for the foul and is entitled to complete the down. [Cited by 3-2-3-a]
  2. Time expires during Team A's free kick. A1 is offside on the kick. RULING: Penalty - Five yards from the previous spot, the end of Team B's run, or the touchback spot, and the period is extended. Repeat the free kick or Team B is awarded an untimed down. [Cited by 3-2-3-a]
  3. Time expires during Team A's attempted field goal. Team B was offside or committed another foul less than three yards beyond the neutral zone during the kick. RULING: Penalty - Five, 10 or 15 yards from the previous spot, the period is extended (Rules 10-2-2-d-4-a and 10-2-3). [Cited by 3-2-3-a]
  4. A Team A player interferes with the opportunity to catch a kick (not a try) during a down in which time expires. RULING: Penalty - 15 yards from the spot of the foul, the period is extended. [Cited by 3-2-3-a]
  5. Time expires during Team A's run for a touchdown after A70 fouls at the snap or clips during the down. RULING: Penalty - Five yards from the previous spot for the foul at the snap or 15 yards for the clip. The 15-yard penalty is enforced from the previous spot if the clipping foul occurs behind the neutral zone. The period is extended. [Cited by 3-2-3-a]
  6. Team A scores a touchdown during a down in which time expires. After the touchdown, but before the try, either team fouls. RULING: The period is not extended other than for the try. The penalty may be enforced on the try or the succeeding kickoff. [Cited by 10-2-5-c, 3-2-3-a]
  7. Team A scores a touchdown during a down in which time expires. During Team A's successful try, Team B fouls. RULING: The period is not extended for the kickoff. Team A may accept the penalty and replay the try, or decline the penalty and accept the score. Penalties for personal fouls may be enforced on the subsequent kickoff or the succeeding spot in extra periods. [Cited by 10-2-5-e, 3-2-3-a, 8-3-3-b-1]
  8. Team A scores a touchdown during a down in which time expires. After the try ends, either team commits a dead-ball foul. RULING: The try may be repeated due to an accepted penalty for a live-ball foul that occurred during the try; the penalty for the dead-ball foul will then also be enforced on the replayed try. The period is not extended to enforce a penalty for a dead-ball foul. If accepted, this penalty must be enforced on the kickoff to start the next period or at the succeeding spot in extra periods [Cited by 10-2-5-e, 3-2-3-a-1, 3-2-3-a, 8-3-3-d-2]
  9. Time expires in the first half on a play in which A12 is beyond the neutral zone when he completes a pass to A88 in Team B's end zone. RULING: Team B accepts the penalty to nullify the score, but the period is not extended because the penalty includes loss of down. The first half ends.

Timing Devices

ARTICLE 4. a. Game clock. 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. 40-Second Clock. In stadiums that meet the mandatory requirements for 40/25-second play clocks:

1. When an official signals that the ball is dead, the play clock shall begin a 40-second count.

2. If the 40-second clock does not start or the count is interrupted for reasons beyond the control of the officials or the play-clock operator (e.g. clock malfunction), the referee shall stop the game clock and signal (both palms open in an over-the-head pumping motion) that the play clock should be reset at 40 seconds and started immediately.

3. In the event that the 40-second clock is running and the ball is not ready to be snapped after 20 seconds into the count, the referee shall declare a timeout and signal that the play clock be set at 25 seconds. When play is to be resumed, the referee will give the ready-for-play signal [S1] and the play clock shall begin the 25-second count. The game clock will start on the snap unless it had been running when the referee declared a timeout; in that case, it will start on the referee's signal (Rule 3-3-2-f).

c. 25-Second Clock. In stadiums that meet the mandatory requirements for 40/25-second play clocks: if the officials signal the game clock to be stopped for any of the following reasons, the referee shall signal (one open palm in an over-the-head pumping motion) that the clock should be set at 25 seconds:

1. Penalty administration.

2. Charged team timeout.

3. Media timeout.

4. Injury timeout for a Team A player only. The play clock is set to 40 seconds for an injury to a player of Team B.

5. Measurement.

6. Change of possession.

7. After a kick down.

8. Score.

9. Start of each period.

10. Start of a team's possession series in an extra period.

11. Instant replay review.

12. Other administrative stoppage.

When play is to be resumed, the referee will give the ready-for-play signal [S1] and the play clock will begin the 25-second count.

d. In stadiums that do not meet the mandatory requirements for 40/25-second play clocks: 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.

e. Device malfunction. If a visual 40/25-second timing device becomes inoperative, both coaches shall be notified by the referee immediately and both clocks shall be turned off.

SECTION 3. Timeouts: Starting and Stopping the Clock

Timeout

ARTICLE 1. a. 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. Other officials should repeat timeout signals. The referee may declare and charge himself with a discretionary timeout for any contingency not elsewhere covered by the rules (A.R. 3-3-1:V-VI)

b. When a team's charged timeouts are exhausted and it requests a timeout, the official shall not acknowledge the request (Rule 3-3-4).

c. Once the game begins, players shall not practice with a ball on the field of play or the end zones except during the half-time intermission.

Approved Ruling 3-3-1

  1. Neither team has been charged with a timeout when a field captain or an official designates an obviously injured player who is replaced. RULING: Referee's timeout [Cited by 3-3-2-e-5]
  2. On third and 2, A45 fumbles a live ball after gaining three yards. The officials cannot determine who has recovered the fumble, so the line judge signals the clock to stop while the ball is being located. A45 is found to be in possession of the ball and (a) has not made his line to gain or (b) has made his line to gain. RULING: The 40-second clock (if in use) starts when the ball is declared dead. (a) The referee immediately will signal the game clock to start. (b) The game clock will start on the referee's signal when the ball is ready for play. [Cited by 3-3-2-e-8]
  3. On second and 14, A45 gains six yards and is downed with the ball in his possession. The linesman, mistaking the back stake of the line-to-gain chain for the front stake, erroneously signals the clock to stop. RULING: As soon as the error is detected by any official, the signal to start the clock shall be given by the game official detecting the error.
  4. Team A fumbles or the ball is loose after a backward pass. Several players dive on the ball, creating a "pile". RULING: The covering official(s) shall stop the clock and the 40-second clock (if in use) shall start. Upon positive knowledge of who recovered, the referee will point in the direction governed by possession and start the game clock (a) immediately if Team A has recovered short of the line to gain (no first down), or (b) on the snap if Team B has recovered. [Cited by 3-3-2-e-8]
  5. The ball goes out of bounds after being declared dead in the field of play. RULING: The clock is stopped only if there is an unusual delay or unfair tactics are involved. [Cited by 3-3-1-a]
  6. A shoelace, padlace, jersey, number or equipment breaks or tears. RULING: No referee's discretionary timeout permitted for repair or replacement. [Cited by 3-3-1-a]

Starting and Stopping the Clock

ARTICLE 2. a. Free Kick. When the ball is free-kicked, the game clock shall be started when the ball is legally touched in the field of play or crosses the goal line after being touched legally by Team B in its end zone. It is subsequently stopped when the ball is dead by rule.

b. Scrimmage Down. When a period begins with a scrimmage down, the game clock shall be started when the ball is legally snapped. On all other scrimmage downs, the game clock shall be started when the ball is legally snapped (Rule 3-3-2-d) or on a prior signal by the referee (Rule 3-3-2-e). The game clock shall not run during a try, during an extension of a period or during an extra period (A.R. 3-3-2:I-IV)

c. After a Score. The game clock shall stop after a touchdown, field goal or safety. It shall be started again as in (a) above unless the down is replayed, in which case it shall be started when the ball is legally snapped.

d. Starts on the Snap. For each of the following, the game clock is stopped. If the next play begins with a snap, the game clock will start on the snap:

1. Touchback.

2. With fewer than two minutes remaining in a half a Team A ball carrier, fumble or backward pass is ruled out of bounds. (Exception: After a Team A forward fumble, the clock starts on the referee's signal.)

3. Team B is awarded a first down and will next snap the ball (A.R. 3-3-2:VI)

4. A forward pass is ruled incomplete.

5. A team is granted a charged timeout (A.R. 3-3-4:I-IV)

6. The ball becomes illegal.

7. Violation of a rule for mandatory equipment (Rule 1-4-4 or illegal equipment (Rule 1-4-5).

8. A legal kick down ends.

9. A return kick is made.

10. A scrimmage kick is made beyond the neutral zone.

11. Team A commits a delay-of-game foul while in a scrimmage kick formation.

12. A period ends.

e. Starts on the Referee's Signal. For each of the following reasons, the game clock is stopped. If the next play begins with a snap, the game clock will start on the referee's signal:

1. Team A is awarded a first down either through play or by penalty.

2. A Team A forward fumble goes out of bounds.

3. Other than with fewer than two minutes remaining in a half, a Team A ball carrier, fumble or backward pass is ruled out of bounds.

4. To complete a penalty.

5. An injury timeout is allowed for one or more injured players or an official (A.R. 3-3-1:I) (A.R. 3-3-5:I-V)

6. An inadvertent whistle is sounded.

7. A possible first-down measurement.

8. A delay in making the ball ready for play is caused by both teams (A.R. 3-3-1:II and IV)

9. A live ball comes into possession of an official.

10. A head coach's conference or instant-replay challenge is requested.

11. The referee grants a media timeout.

12. The referee declares a discretionary timeout.

13. The referee declares a timeout for unfair noise (Rule 9-2-1-b-6).

14. An illegal pass is thrown to conserve time. (A.R. 7-3-2:II-VIII)

15. The referee interrupts the 40/25-second count.

f. Snap Supercedes Referee's Signal. Whenever one or more incidents that cause the game clock to be started on the referee's signal (Rule 3-3-2-e) occur in conjunction with any that cause it to be started on the snap (Rules 3-3-2-c and 3-3-2-d), it shall be started on the snap.

Approved Ruling 3-3-2

  1. Team B makes a fair catch. RULING: Clock starts on the snap. The clock stopped at the end of a legal kick down. ( 3-3-2-d). [Cited by 3-3-2-b, 7-1-3-a-5-a]
  2. Fourth and six. Team A's running play, which ends inbounds, gains (a) eight yards or (b) five yards. B1 is offside during the play. RULING: (a) Team A's ball. First and 10. The clock starts on the ready-for-play signal. (b) Team A's ball. Fourth and one. The clock starts on the ready-for-play signal. (Rules 3-3-2-d-3 and 3-3-2-e-1) [Cited by 3-3-2-b]
  3. Fourth and four. Team A's running play, which ends inbounds, gains (a) six yards or (b) three yards. B1 is offside during the play. RULING: (a) Team A's ball. First and 10. The clock starts on the ready for play signal. (b) Team A's ball. First and 10 after accepting the penalty. The clock starts on the ready-for-play signal. [Cited by 3-3-2-b]
  4. Third and four. Team A's pass is intercepted by B1, who is downed inbounds. B2 was offside during the play. RULING: Team A's ball. First and 10. The clock starts on the ready-for-play signal. Although the clock was stopped to award Team B a first down, Team B will not next snap the ball. [Cited by 3-3-2-b]
  5. Late in the second or fourth quarter, ball carrier A37 goes out of bounds. When the game clock is stopped it reads (a) 2:00 or (b) 1:59. RULING: (a) The game clock starts on the referee's signal when the ball is ready for play. (b) The game clock starts on the snap.
  6. Late in the second or fourth quarter, Team A has second and eight. B44 intercepts a legal forward pass and carries the ball out of bounds. B79 is in the neutral zone at the snap. When the game clock is stopped it reads (a) 2:00, or (b) 1:59. RULING: Team A accepts the penalty and retains possession of the ball. In both (a) and (b) the game clock starts on the referee's ready-for-play signal, because Team B will not next snap the ball. [Cited by 3-3-2-d-3]

Suspending the game

ARTICLE 3. a. The referee may suspend the game temporarily when conditions warrant such action.

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, there are four possible options:

1. Resume the game at a later date;

2. Terminate the game with a determined final score;

3. Forfeit of the game; or

4. Declare a no contest.

The option that takes effect shall be determined by competition policy.

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 competition playoff game, competition 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.

Charged Team Timeouts

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 5-2-9 and 11-1).

3. After a head coach's conference or challenge, the full team timeout is granted if charged by the referee.

Approved Ruling 3-3-4

  1. Before the snap, a Team B linebacker requests a timeout. RULING: Timeout request granted. [Cited by 3-3-2-d-5, 3-3-4, 3-3-4-c]
  2. Before the snap, the Team A quarterback requests a timeout. RULING: Timeout request granted. [Cited by 3-3-2-d-5, 3-3-4, 3-3-4-c]
  3. Before the snap, a legal substitute of either team running from the bench requests a timeout from any official before being within the nine-yard marks. He does not request a timeout again before the ball is snapped. RULING: Timeout request not granted (Rule 7-1-3-a-2). [Cited by 3-3-2-d-5, 3-3-4-b, 7-1-3-a-2-a]
  4. Before the snap, a legal substitute of either team running from the bench requests a timeout before being within the nine-yard marks. He then requests a timeout again after being within the nine-yard marks. RULING: Second timeout request granted (Rule 7-1-3-a-2). [Cited by 3-3-2-d-5, 3-3-4-b, 7-1-3-a-2-a]

Injury Timeout

ARTICLE 5.

a. In the event of an injured player(s):

1. An official will declare a timeout and the player(s) must leave the game. He must remain out of the game for at least one down. When in question, officials will take a timeout for an injured player.

2. The player(s) may not return to the game until he receives approval of medical personnel designated by his team.

3. Officials and coaches shall give special attention to players who exhibit signs of a concussion. (See Appendix C.)

4. Whenever a participant suffers a laceration or wound from which 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.

f. After a timeout for an injured Team B player, the play clock shall be set at 40 seconds.

Approved Ruling 3-3-5

  1. At the end of a play, with the game clock running, the referee notices that A22 is bleeding. RULING: The referee stops the clock and declares an injury timeout. A22 leaves the field of play (or the end zone) for treatment by appropriate medical personnel. Unless there is also an injury to a Team B player the play clock is set to 25 seconds and starts on the ready-for-play signal (Rule 3-2-4-c-4). [Cited by 3-3-2-e-5, 3-3-5-a-4]
  2. After being treated for a bleeding or oozing wound, A22 (A.R. 3-3-5:I) attempts to enter the game before the next snap. RULING: Unless the period has ended or Team A has taken a timeout, A22 must remain out of the game for one play. [Cited by 3-3-2-e-5, 3-3-5-a-4]
  3. B52's jersey has blood spots on it. RULING: Unless the official determines that the jersey is saturated with blood, B52 may remain in the game. (Note: Saturated is defined as soaked with moisture or drenched. If blood has penetrated through a garment to the skin or can be transferred to another player or game official, the garment is saturated.) [Cited by 3-3-2-e-5, 3-3-5-a-4]
  4. An official notices that blood has soaked through B10's jersey. RULING: B10 must leave the game until medical personnel have determined if the jersey must be replaced. [Cited by 3-3-2-e-5, 3-3-5-a-4]
  5. B10 tackles A12. An official determines that B10's jersey is saturated with blood from a cut on A12's arm. RULING: Both players must leave the game - A12 for treatment of his open wound, B10 for a determination by medical personnel as to whether he has to replace his jersey. [Cited by 3-3-2-e-5, 3-3-5-a-4]
  6. During a dead-ball interval, A85 notices a bleeding cut on his arm. He voluntarily goes to the team area and is replaced by A88. RULING: This is a legal substitution and there is no variation in game timing. A85 may return to the game after the injury has been treated, but he must adhere to substitution rules. [Cited by 3-3-5-a-4]
  7. During a dead-ball interval, A12 notices that he has a bleeding elbow and runs to the sideline adjacent to his team's bench. Medical personnel at the sideline bandage the elbow and approve A12's immediate return to the game. RULING: Legal. The starting of the play clock will not be delayed to accommodate A12's trip to the sideline. [Cited by 3-3-5-a-4]
  8. On second down the Team A ball carrier is tackled inbounds. The clock is then stopped for an injury to a player of Team B. (a) No other players are injured on the play. (b) There is also an injury to a player of Team A. (c) The referee grants a media timeout. RULING: In (a), (b) and (c) upon preparing to resume play the referee will indicate that the play clock be set to 40 seconds. Both the play clock and the game clock will start on the ready-for-play signal.

Violation Timeouts

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).

Length of Timeouts

ARTICLE 7. a. A charged full team timeout requested by any player or head coach shall not exceed one minute 30 seconds. (Exception: Rule 3-3-4-e-3). This includes the 25-second play clock interval.

b. For live televised games only, a charged team timeout shall be 30 seconds plus the 25-second play clock interval.

c. 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.

d. Other timeouts shall be not 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).

e. 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.

f. The length of a referee's timeouts depends on the circumstances of each timeout.

g. The field captain must exercise his penalty option before he or a teammate consults with his coach on a sideline during a timeout.

h. The intermission after a safety, try or successful field goal shall be not more than one minute. It may be extended for radio or television.

Referee's Notification

ARTICLE 8. During a full team timeout (Rule 3-3-7-a) the referee shall notify both teams after one minute. Five seconds later he shall declare the ball ready for play. During a 30-second team timeout (Rule 3-3-7-b or 3-3-7-c) the referee shall notify both teams after 30 seconds. Five seconds later he 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 play-clock 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.

SECTION 4. Delays

Delaying the Start of a Half

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.

PENALTY -
15 yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and S21].

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.

PENALTY -
10 yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and S21].

Exception: The referee may waive the penalty for circumstances beyond the control of the home management.

Illegal Delay of the Game

ARTICLE 2. a. The officials shall make the ball ready for play consistently throughout the game. Consuming more than 40 seconds or 25 seconds to put the ball in play (Rule 3-2-4) after it is made 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).

6. Putting the ball in play before it is ready for play (Rule 4-1-4).

7. Sideline interference (Rule 9-1-6).

8. Action clearly designed to delay the officials from making the ball ready for play (A.R. 3-4-2:II)

PENALTY -
Dead-ball foul. Five yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and S21].

Approved Ruling 3-4-2

  1. After any timeout, one of the teams is not ready to play. RULING: Illegal delay. Penalty - Five yards from the succeeding spot. [Cited by 3-4-2-b-3]
  2. On a running play late in the half the Team A ball carrier is tackled inbounds. Team B players are deliberately slow to "unpile" in an obvious attempt to consume time and prevent the officials from making the ball ready for play. RULING: Team B foul for delay of game. Penalty -- five yards at the succeeding spot. The game clock will start on the snap (Rule 3-4-3). [Cited by 3-4-2-b-8]

Unfair Clock Tactics

ARTICLE 3. The referee shall order the game clock or play clock started or stopped whenever either team conserves or consumes playing time by tactics obviously unfair. This includes starting the game clock on the snap if the foul is by the team ahead in the score. The game clock will start on the ready-for-play signal after Team A throws an illegal forward or backward pass to conserve time (Rule 3-3-2-e-14). (A.R. 3-4-3:I-IV)

Approved Ruling 3-4-3

  1. In an attempt to consume time in the fourth period, Team A stalls and exceeds the 40- or 25-second count. RULING: Foul for delay of game. Penalty - Five yards from the succeeding spot. The clock starts on the snap. [Cited by 3-4-3]
  2. A Team B player, late in either half and with no timeouts remaining, crosses the neutral zone and touches a Team A player in an effort to conserve time. RULING: Dead-ball foul. Penalty - Five yards from the succeeding spot. The clock starts on the ready for play signal. At his discretion, the referee may have the play clock set at 40 seconds. [Cited by 3-4-3]
  3. A ball carrier, late in the second period, throws a backward pass out of bounds from behind or beyond the neutral zone to conserve time. RULING: Penalty - Five yards from the spot of the foul and loss of down. The clock starts on the ready for play signal. [Cited by 3-4-3, 7-2-1 Penalty]
  4. A ball carrier throws a forward pass while beyond the neutral zone to conserve time. RULING: Penalty - Five yards from the spot of the foul and loss of down. The clock starts on the ready for play signal (Rule 7-3-2 Penalty). [Cited by 3-4-3, 7-3-2 Penalty]
  5. Late in the fourth quarter Team A trails by four points and is driving for a potential score. After a running play on which the ball carrier is tackled inbounds, Team B players are obviously and deliberately slow in letting him get to his feet or otherwise are employing tactics to delay the officials in making the ball ready for play. RULING: Dead-ball foul against Team B, delay of game. When the ball is ready for play, the referee will signal the 25-second clock to start, but the game clock will start on the snap.

10-second Subtraction from Game Clock

ARTICLE 4. a. With the game clock running and less than one minute remaining in either half, if a player of either team commits a foul that causes the clock to stop, the officials may subtract 10 seconds from the game clock at the option of the offended team. The fouls that fall into this category include but are not limited to:

1. Any foul that prevents the snap (e.g. false start, encroachment, defensive offside by contact in the neutral zone, etc.);

2. Intentional grounding to stop the clock;

3. Incomplete illegal forward pass;

4. Backward pass thrown out of bounds to stop the clock;

5. Any other foul committed with the intent of stopping the clock.

The offended team may accept the yardage penalty and decline the 10-second subtraction. If the yardage penalty is declined, the 10-second subtraction is declined by rule.

b. The 10-second rule does not apply if the game clock is not running when the foul occurs or if the foul does not cause the game clock to stop (e.g. illegal formation).

c. After the penalty is administered, if there is a 10-second subtraction, the game clock starts on the referee's signal. If there is no 10-second subtraction, the game clock starts on the snap.

d. If the fouling team has a timeout remaining they may avoid the 10-second subtraction by using a timeout. In this case the game clock starts on the snap after the timeout.

SECTION 5. Substitutions

Substitution Procedures

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).

Legal Substitutions

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.

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)

c.

1. An incoming legal substitute must enter the field of play directly from his team area, and a substitute, player or departing player must depart at the sideline nearest his team area and proceed to his team area.

2. A departing player 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.

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:III)

PENALTY -
[a-d] For a dead-ball foul: Five yards from the succeeding spot [S22]. For a live-ball foul: Five yards from the previous spot [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 is 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.

PENALTY -
(First offense) Dead ball foul. Delay of game on Team B for not completing its substitutions promptly, or delay of game on Team A for causing the play clock to expire. Five yards from the succeeding spot [S21]. The referee will then notify the head coach that any further use of this tactic will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.
PENALTY -
(Second or more offense) Dead-ball foul, unsportsmanlike conduct. An official will sound his whistle immediately. 15 yards from the succeeding spot. [S27].

Approved Ruling 3-5-2

  1. Any player(s), in excess of 11, obviously is withdrawing but has not reached a boundary line when the ball is put in play and he does not interfere with play or players. RULING: Penalty - Five yards from the previous spot (Rules 7-1-3-b Penalty and 7-1-4-b Penalty). [Cited by 3-5-2-b]
  2. A1 enters from outside his team area. RULING: Illegal substitution. Dead-ball foul. Penalty - Five yards from the succeeding spot. Sound the whistle.
  3. A33, an incoming substitute, enters the huddle or assumes a position in a formation and (a) after approximately two seconds, A34 leaves the huddle and departs the field of play at his sideline, or (b) after approximately four seconds, A34 leaves the huddle and departs the field of play at his sideline. RULING: (a) Legal. (b) Foul. (Note: A departing player who leaves the huddle or his position within three seconds is considered to have left immediately.) [Cited by 3-5-2-d]
  4. After the ball is made ready for play, substitute B12 enters the huddle or defensive formation and the departing player delays more than three seconds before leaving the huddle or formation and departing the field of play. RULING: Violation of the substitution rule. Dead ball foul. (Note: The referee is not required to warn a departing player to leave the huddle immediately.)
  5. After a change of team possession or any timeout, the ball is declared ready for play. When Team A has completed its offensive formation, Team B must promptly position its personnel. Team B will be allowed time to complete substitutions. RULING: Either team is subject to a delay of game foul - Team B for not completing its substitutions promptly (Rule 3-4-2-b-3) or Team A for causing the 25 second clock to expire. Penalty - Five yards from the succeeding spot.
  6. On third down (no change of team possession), ball carrier A27 goes out of bounds or Team A's legal forward pass falls incomplete. During this interval between downs, there is no other referee's timeout. Before the fourth down snap, substitute B75 enters the game and then departs without remaining in the game for one play. RULING: Live-ball foul. Penalty - Five yards from the previous spot.
  7. Team A has 11 players in the huddle. A81 mistakenly thinks he has been replaced and runs to his team area. He is immediately sent back onto the field and assumes a position on the line of scrimmage near his sideline. The entire team has been stationary for one second prior to the snap and there has not been a referee's timeout. RULING: Live ball foul. A player loses his status as a participant when he enters the team area while the ball is dead, and then must adhere to substitution rules. Penalty - Five yards from the previous spot or 15 yards from the previous spot, depending upon defensive coverage (Rules 3-5-2-d and 9-2-2-b).
  8. Team A has 11 players in its huddle when A27 approaches the huddle (within 10 yards) as it breaks. RULING: Dead-ball foul. Penalty - Five yards from the succeeding spot (Rule 2-27-9-a).
  9. After the ball is ready for play and the umpire is in his regular position, Team A quickly replaces some players with substitutes, gets set for the required one second and snaps the ball. The umpire is attempting to get to the ball to allow the defense to match up, but he is unable to prevent the snap. RULING: The play is shut down, the game clock is stopped and the defense is allowed to substitute in response to Team A's late substitutions. No foul. The play clock is set to 25 seconds and starts on the ready-for-play signal. The game clock starts on the ready-for-play signal or the snap, depending on its condition when play was stopped.

More than eleven players on the field

ARTICLE 3. a. Team A may not break the huddle with more than 11 players nor keep more than 11 players in the huddle or in a formation for more than three seconds. Officials shall stop the action whether or not the ball has been snapped.

b. Team B is allowed to briefly retain more than 11 players on the field to anticipate the offensive formation, but it may not have more than 11 players in its formation if the snap is imminent. Whether the snap is imminent or has just occurred, the officials shall stop the action.

PENALTY -
[a-b] Dead-ball foul. Five yards at the succeeding spot. [S22]

c. If the officials do not detect the excessive number of players until during the down or after the down is over, the infraction is treated as a live-ball foul.

PENALTY -
Live-ball foul. Five yards at the previous spot. [S22]

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Editor: Jim Briggs, BAFA/BAFRA Rules Committee
rules@britishamericanfootball.org