In addition to the Official NFL Flag Rules (2017 edition), the following rules apply within New England Football:*

  • Soft Shell Helmets
  • Slaughter Mercy Rule
    • If at any point during a game a team has a 28 point advantage, the officials will pull the head coaches of both teams aside (out of earshot of the players) to discuss how to handle the remainder of regulation time, with the losing coach choosing from the following options:
      • Continue to play by normal game rules.
      • End official scoring and opt to have the losing team run three consecutive offensive series beginning from their 5 yard line.  Any points scored will not count towards the final game score.
      • End the game.
  • Overtime: if regulation time ends in a tie the overtime period will be handled as follows (college rules):
    • Each team will be given the opportunity to score a touchdown (or field goal if the goal posts are on the field) by running an offensive series that begins on the opponent’s 10-yard line (two point conversion line). After the first team completes its drive with a score or turnover, the opposing team has the same opportunity from the 10-yard line. If the teams are still tied after the second team’s possession, they will play another overtime period, changing the order in which the teams have their offensive possessions. Beginning with the second overtime period, two point conversions are no longer allowed – teams must “go for one” following a touchdown. Play will continue as time allows until a winner is determined or as time allows.
    • A coin toss will determine the order in which the teams take the ball during the first overtime period.
  • Standings and Playoff Seeding is determined as follows:
    • Winning Percentage:  (Wins + (Ties * 0.5)) / Total Games Played
    • Head to Head results
    • Net Points (less is better to discourage mercy rule occurrences)
    • # of Mercy Rule victories (less is more)
  • Flag Belt Tampering
    • New England Football uses Triple Threat Flag belts that simply clip on around players’ waists, and the entire belt is designed to come off when a flag is pulled.  Rigging belts to not come off by tying them, tucking the clip through the loop of the belt, etc., is, simply stated, cheating (and a penalty):
      • 1st offense
        • Ball returns to the 5 yard line – regardless of where it is on the field – and loss of down
      • 2nd offense
        • Ball returns to the 5 yard line – regardless of where it is on the field – and loss of down
        • Head Coach and offending player ejected from the game
  • Facing a fourth down? You have options:
    • Punt – elect to have the opposing team take over possession at their own 5 yard line – no kick required (the way things have always been).
    • Go for it – you now have the option to run a fourth play in a series in hopes of picking up a 1st down (or scoring). Not for the faint of heart, this risky move COULD work out in your favor. Make it and you keep the rock (or score) – WOO-HOO!!!!! However, should you fail to convert, the opposing team takes over where the play ends instead of their own 5 yard line.
    • Kick a field goal (when available) – WHAT???? Yep.  If goal posts are on your field and you want to pick up three points try a field goal! Here’s how field goals work:
      • Grades K-1, 1-2, and 3-4 divisions: The offense will identify one player (“the kicker”) who will attempt the field goal, every other member of the offense and the entire defense will clear the field. The ball will be placed on a kicking tee (by the kicker) on the line of scrimmage. The kicker has until the play clock expires to kick the ball. If she/he puts it through the uprights, 3 points for the offense! If the kick is no good, the defense takes over on downs at the spot of the kick.
      • Grades 5-6 and 7-8 divisions: The offense will identify three players as the kicking team, a long snapper, a holder, and a kicker; every other member of the offense and the entire defense will clear the field. The ball must be snapped through the long snapper’s legs to the holder who will then place (and hold) the ball on a kicking block, after which the kicker kicks the ball. If she/he puts it through the uprights, 3 points for the offense! If the kick is no good, the defense takes over on downs at the spot of the kick (not the line of scrimmage).
      • Note: field goals (and extra points) are the only plays in New England Football that are not blown dead when a hiked ball hits the ground – the holder can pick the ball up off of the ground and place it on the kicking block/hold it for the kicker.
      • An added twist, the kicking team is subject to the dreaded seven second rule — the entire process, from the time the ball is snapped until when it is kicked — must be completed within seven seconds or the play is blown dead.
  • Extra Points: If the goal posts are on your field (we may move them around from week to week) – you can choose to kick an extra point instead of running a play from the 5 yd line; the field goal rules by division apply (but you only get one point).
  • Brimmed hats (baseball caps) may not be worn during games.
  • Want to throw a screen pass (behind the line of scrimmage)?  Go for it.  Note – screen passes and laterals DO NOT COUNT as passes in the dreaded no run zone and cannot be used as a substitute for a forward pass on no run plays.  NOTE: Incomplete backwards screen passes will be treated as a fumble and be marked dead at the spot at which the ball hits the ground.
  • Feel like running a toss play?  No problem – laterals are allowed in New England Football.  Note – laterals beyond the line of scrimmage, while technically legal, can only be made to a stationary teammate as per NFL Flag Rules (Section XI rule 12), offensive players (not in possession of the ball) must stop their motion once the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage. No running with the ball carrier.  NOTE: Dropped backwards laterals will be treated as a fumble and be marked dead at the spot at which the ball hits the ground.
  • Only players that have registered with New England Football may participate in New England Football games.  Additionally, teams may not use registered New England Football players in games that are not part of their official roster unless doing so is pre-approved by the league and the opposing team’s head coach. Illegal use of non-rostered players will result in a forfeit by the offending team.

* Should discrepancies between the NFL Flag rules and the local New England Football rules exist, New England Football rules shall take precedence.