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 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.

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

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].

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. 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.

EXAMPLES:

  1. After each team has put the ball in play by snap at the beginning of its series, the score is tied or there has been no score. 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.
  2. Other than on the try, Team B intercepts a pass or fumble for a touchdown or recovers a fumble or a backward pass and scores a touchdown RULING: Period and game are ended, and Team B is the winner.
  3. During the first series of a Period, Team B intercepts a pass or fumble or recovers a fumble or a backward pass and does not score a touchdown. RULING: Team A series is ended and Team B, which becomes Team A, starts its series of that period.
  4. During the first series of a period, Team A attempts a field goal and the kick is blocked. Team A recovers the kick, which was never beyond the neutral zone, and runs for a touchdown. RULING: Six points for Team A, and Team B begins its series of the period after the try.
  5. Team A attempts a field goal and the kick is blocked. Team A recovers the kick, which was never beyond the neutral zone, and runs for a first down. RULING: Team A’s ball, first and 10.
  6. Team A attempts a field goal on first, second or third down, and the kick is blocked. Team A recovers the kick, which never crossed the neutral zone, and does not gain a first down. RULING: Team A’s ball, next down.
  7. Team A attempts a field goal and the kick is blocked. Team B recovers the kick and runs it into Team A’s end zone. RULING: Touchdown, game is ended.
  8. During the first series of a period, Team B – after gaining possession – loses possession to Team A, which scores a touchdown. RULING: The score counts, and Team B begins its series of the period after the try.
  9. During the first series of a period, Team B – after gaining possession – loses possession to Team A, which fails to score a touchdown. RULING: Team A series is ended, and Team B begins its series of the period.
  10. During the first 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 series of that period is ended. Team B series of the period begins.
  11. During the first series of a period, B10 intercepts a forward pass on his three-yard line and downs the ball in his end zone (no momentum involved). RULING: Score two points for Team A. Team A’s 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.
  12. Team A’s field-goal attempt is untouched beyond the neutral zone until it is muffed by B17 at the five-yard line. A75 recovers at the three-yard line. RULING: First down for Team A at the three-yard line.

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.

EXAMPLES:

  1. On the first possession 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 is awarded the ball on the 25-yard line to start its series of the period with the overtime score 6-2.
  2. If a touchdown is scored that determines the winning team in an extra period, the try is cancelled.

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.

EXAMPLES:

  1. After the end of the first series of a period by Team A, Team B commits a dead-ball foul. RULING: Team B starts its series on the 40-yard line, first and 10.
  2. During the first series of a period, Team A passes and a Team A back is illegally in motion during the down. The pass is intercepted, and Team B commits a foul before scoring a touchdown. RULING: Score not allowed. The series is ended, and Team B begins its series on the 25-yard line.
  3. During the second series of a period, Team B intercepts a pass and runs for a touchdown. During the run, Team B clips at midfield. RULING: Nullify the score, and if the score is tied, the next period will start with first and 10 at the 25-yard line.
  4. During the first series of an extra period, B37 intercepts a forward pass and has a clear field to the goal line when he makes an obscene gesture towards the nearest opponent. RULING: Team B’s score is cancelled and Team B begins its series on the 40-yard line (Rules 3-1-3, 3-1-3-g-1 and 3-1-3-g-2).

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.

SECTION 2. Playing Time and Intermissions

Length of Periods and Intermissions

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.

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 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.

Extension of Periods

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.

  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 (Rule 10-2-2-e Exception 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 or 15 yards from the basic spot, the period is extended. Fifteen yards from the previous spot, if the foul occurs behind the neutral zone. [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 10-2-2-g-3, 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. Personal fouls may be enforced on the subsequent kickoff. [Cited by 10-2-2-g-5, 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 dead-ball foul penalty will then also be enforced on the replayed try. The period is not extended to enforce a dead-ball foul. If accepted, the penalty must be enforced on the kickoff to start the next period. [Cited by 10-2-2-g-5, 3-2-3-a, 8-3-3-d-2]

Timing Devices

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.

When Clock Starts

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.)

  1. Team B makes a fair catch. RULING: Clock starts on the ready for play. The clock stopped at the end of a legal kick down. ( 3-2-5-a). [Cited by 3-2-5]
  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 snap because there was no change of possession. [Cited by 3-2-5]
  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 snap because there was no change of possession. [Cited by 3-2-5]
  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 snap because there was no change of possession. [Cited by 3-2-5]

When Clock Stops

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)

  1. The ball is snapped before it is declared ready for play, or a false start occurs. RULING: The ball remains “dead” and “timeout” and “no play” signals should accompany immediate sounding of the whistle to prevent possible consumption of playing time or action during which injury or personal fouls might occur (Rules 4-1-1, 4-1-4 and 7-1-1). [Cited by 3-2-6, 4-1-1, 7-1-3-a-5-a]

SECTION 3. Timeouts

How Charged

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).

Timeout

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.

  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-a-2]
  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: (a) The referee immediately will signal the clock to start. (b) The clock will start on the ready for play signal. [Cited by 3-2-5-a-3, 3-3-2-a-9]
  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. [Cited by 3-2-5-a-3]
  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. Upon positive knowledge of who recovered, the referee will (a) if recovered by Team A, point in the possession direction and start the clock (if no first down), or (b) if recovered by Team B, point in the possession direction and start the clock on the ready for play. [Cited by 3-2-5-a-3, 3-3-2-a-9]

Referee’s Discretionary Timeout

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.

  1. 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 3-3-3-a, 3-3-3-f-1]
  2. A shoelace, padlace, jersey, number or equipment breaks or tears. RULING: No referee’s discretionary timeout permitted for repair or replacement. [Cited by 3-3-3-a]

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 5-2-10 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.

  1. Before the snap, a Team B linebacker requests a timeout. RULING: Timeout request granted. [Cited by 3-3-2-a-10, 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-a-10, 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-a-10, 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-a-10, 3-3-4-b, 7-1-3-a-2-a]

Injury Timeout

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.

  1. At the end of a play, with the game clock running, the referee notices that A22 is bleeding. RULING: The referee will stop the clock and declare an injury timeout. A22 will leave the field of play (including the end zone) for treatment by appropriate medical personnel. [Cited by 3-3-2-a-2, 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-a-2, 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-a-2, 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-a-2, 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-a-2, 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 25-second count will not be delayed to accommodate A12’s trip to the sideline. [Cited by 3-3-5-a-4]

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 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.

Referee’s Notification

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.

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 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).

PENALTY –
Five yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and S21].
  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]

Unfair Game Clock Tactics

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)

  1. In an attempt to consume time in the fourth period, Team A “stalls” and exceeds the 25-second count. RULING: 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: Penalty – Five yards from the succeeding spot. The clock starts on ready for play signal [Cited by 3-4-3]
  3. A runner, 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 runner 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]

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. (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].

PENALTY –
If the ball is dead: Five yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and S22]; otherwise, 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 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.

PENALTY –
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 25 second clock to expire. Five yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and S21]. The referee will then notify the head coach that any further use of this tactic will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct foul.
PENALTY –
Dead-ball foul. An official will sound his whistle immediately. 15 yards from the succeeding spot. [S7 and S27].
  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. [Cited by 3-5-2-c]
  3. After the ready for play signal, 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-c]
  4. After the ready for play signal, 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.) [Cited by 3-5-2-c]
  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. [Cited by 3-5-2-c]
  6. On third down (no change of team possession), runner 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. [Cited by 3-5-2-c, 3-5-2-d]
  7. Team A has 11 players in the huddle at the ready for play signal. 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). [Cited by 3-5-2-c]
  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). [Cited by 3-5-2-c]