Najiff Big Rules

“Main Rules that all Head Coaches and Referees Need to Know”

1)  ZERO TOLERANCE:  Profanity, unsportsmanlike conduct, bad attitudes, and rough play will not be accepted by the Officials from Players, Coaches and/or any other sideline personnel or from spectators.  Head Coaches and Commissioners are expected to control all the above for the entire duration of the day.

2)  Ejections.

a. A player ejected will result in at least a one game suspension (depending upon the severity of the alleged action.)  Suspended players may attend the game while suspended but must be in the spectator section of the field without any equipment.  The wearing of a jersey is permissible.  A player ejected for the second time will be automatically suspended for two games and will lose eligibility for All-Stars.  A third ejection will result in suspension for the remainder of the season and possible disqualification for the following season.

b. A coach or team parent who is ejected will result in at least a two game suspension.  Ejected and suspended adults must leave the playing field and adjacent areas and are not permitted within sight of the game field at any time.  Violation of this rule may result in further suspension or a fine per game assessed against that person.  A second ejection will result in suspension for the remainder of the season.  If an assistant coach or team parent is ejected, the Head Coach is also ejected for the remainder of the day but the Head Coach will not be subject to further suspension unless he/she is ejected for cause.

NOTE:   Head coach is responsible for the actions of his/her entire team to include the sidelines and the spectators.

3)  There will be no appeals for ejections or subsequent suspension.


4)  Actively recruiting another NAJIFF League’s player/coach will not be tolerated.  Once it is discovered that a prospective player/coach is a member of a NAJIFF League, an opposing league member must stop any attempt to recruit the player/coach.

a. If a coach is actively recruiting another league’s player, he may be suspended ranging from a single game to the entire season depending upon the severity of pressure to recruit player(s).  Providing/promising another league’s player with athletic shoes, other football equipment, rings, or promises of football trips are strictly prohibited and will be dealt with harshly.

b. If more than a single coach from the same team is discovered to actively attempting to recruit players from another NAJIFF League, the team, in addition to the coaches’ sanctions, may be disqualified from play-offs.

c. Teams participating in Winter/Spring football leagues and using another league’s certified player cannot and will not recruit that player for regular NAJIFF season play.

5)  Participants from other countries without a SSN may participate with a current passport/visa or legal US Residence Card (Green Card.)

6)  A protest of a game must be declared to the Head Official at the time of the alleged infraction.   No protest shall be allowed after the conclusion of the game.  The written notice of protest with the $100 protest fee must be submitted within 48 hours of the conclusion of the game to a NAJIFF Executive Board Member.  The protest fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.

7)  A player arriving late to a game needs to check his certification with opposing team and undergo an equipment check with an Official prior to entering game.  This eliminates waiting until half-time before entering game.  Rosters (Players’ name and number) must be exchanged at the time of “Checking the Books” and missing players will be annotated on the roster to validate late players and a copy to the Head Official.  The absence of a team roster is a loss of flip of the coin and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

8)  Coaches/Team Parents are not permitted to physically restrain participants in any way that includes grabbing and/or shaking a participant, grabbing a player by the facemask or any other physical attack.  Coaches /Team Parents may use minimal physical restraint contact to stop players from horseplay in an attempt to prevent players from injury to themselves or others.  Any Coach/Team Parent found to have violated this rule is subject to an indefinite suspension.

9)  Coaches will be limited to coaching only two teams maximum (only two coaching badges will be issued to any one individual.)  Coaches who coach another age group without the proper credentials shall be ejected and suspended in accordance with rule 2) b. above.

10)  Leagues are allowed to have a DJ at their game fields but they must be a safe distance away from the field.  Music may be played prior to the game, during time-outs, half-times and after the game.  However, music must be turned off during play.  The game officials shall have the authority to ask the DJ to turn off the music.  The game officials shall have further authority as may be necessary to enforce this provision.

11)  In accordance with NCAA rules, no player will be allowed to play with any type of cast on any part of their body.  Players must receive a “medical release to play” after any serious injury which required medical attention.

12) Playing Fields –    All Divisions play on 100 yard Field and penalties will be assessed in all divisions according to NCAA rules.

13) Game Times –

 FLAG:  10 Minutes.  A running clock will be used with the exception that the clock will stop for injuries,

Timeouts, and touchdowns.  The clock will stop in accordance with NCAA RULES during the last two minutes of the 2nd and 4th quarters.

7-8:  10 Minute quarters.  No running clock.  Clock will stop as per NCAA rules

9-12:  12 Minute quarters.  No running clock.  Clock will stop as per NCAA rules

NOTE: For Flag Football, the flags of the runner scoring a touchdown will be checked by the official to ensure no tampering or flags are missing.

14) No blocking below the waist, no crack back blocks (this includes defensive linemen, diving and sub-marining into an opponent’s knees.)

15) All coaches of the team playing shall have a photo badge for their age group to include team parents on the sidelines.  No other personnel are allowed on the sidelines other than coaches, team parents and players of the team playing from time that the officials enter the field until the end of the game.  Commissioner may be on the sidelines outside of the coaching box but cannot coach unless he/she has a coaching badge for that age group.

16) Over time game rules are strictly in compliance with the current year NCAA rulebook with the exception that the ball will be placed on the 20 vice the 25-yard line.

17) The only brands and models of footballs (leather or composite) to be used:

Only the official NAJIFF Ball with the NAJIFF Symbol burned on may be used for each age division.

Note: If a ball is used other than the one prescribed above, the following will occur:

  1. First offense: Warning and removal of the ball
  2. Second offense: Unsportsmanlike Penalty and ejection of the head coach

18) Each team is authorized one head coach and no more than 6 assistant coaches with three team parents (who cannot coach), creating a team staff of no more than ten persons.  Referees must/will check sideline badges to match the team/person that is playing at that time.  Coaches should be dressed professionally in like manner and team parents cannot match attire of coaches.

19)  All team books must be checked to verify all players are certified 15 minutes prior to game time, subject players must remain within sight of playing field until the end of the game.  Referees will check player’s equipment prior to the game.

20) The head official will submit a report detailing the ejection and the name(s) of removed participant(s) within 48 hours after the ejection.  All ejections will be reviewed by the Executive Council.

21)  The head referee will be responsible for calling in or e-mailing scores of that day and report of ejections by the following Monday by 12 Noon.  The phone number and e-mail address are marked on the official NAJIFF Scorecard.

22)  In the second half of the game when the point spread is 35 points or greater, the clock shall become a running clock, the losing team becomes the kick-off receiving team regardless of who scores and the ball will be placed at midfield and it will be first and ten at that point.  If the score reverts to less than 35 points, normal clock and kick-offs procedures will be restored at that point.

23)  Players, coaches or other individuals within the sideline Coaching Box are prohibited from being equipped with digital, electronic, mechanical or other signal devices to include blue-tooth devices for the purpose of communicating with any other player or coach.  (Exception: A medically prescribed hearing aid of the sound amplifier type for hearing-impaired player/coaches or mobile/smart phones in the pocket in a non-communicating mode.)

Penalty: Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and the device(s) must be removed immediately and if a second occurrence within the same game, ejection of the guilty parties and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

24)  Teams must have 11 players to start and finish the game.  In the event of an injury(s) and the team no longer has 11 players to continue the game with a full squad, the game will continue as a practice game but the team with a full squad will be awarded the game without financial penalty to the losing team.

25)  Any player, coach, team parent or staff member that is flagged by an official for saying any racial slur or ethnic derogatory remarks towards anyone to include an opponent, fans on the sideline, officials or another member of his/her team will be suspended for at least two games and be declared ineligible to participate in the current year’s All-Star Games in any capacity.  If the incident is deemed significant, violator(s) may be disciplined appropriately to include expulsion from the NAJIFF Program.

NAJIFF will not tolerate racist, prejudicial or inhumane remarks/conduct towards anyone at any time.

26)  If a coach feels it necessary to question a call, the answer will be provided by a game official during a charged time-out.  Questioning the official about who committed a foul/violation is not subject to this rule.