7th-8th Grade Tackle Football Rules

« Back to Tackle Football Rules

7th-8th Grade RULES

Kidsports 7th-8th Grade Tackle Football games will be played according to the official rule book approved and published by the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations. Some of the Federation rules have been changed and/or modified by Kidsports. These modifications are listed herein:

7th & 8th Grade – Teams in this league will use an intermediate size ball approved by Kidsports. Both striped and non-striped balls are legal.

Kickoffs –
There will not be kickoffs during the first 3 quarters of the game. Instead of a kickoff, the receiving team will start their offensive possession with the ball on their own 25 yard line.
4th quarter – There will be normal kickoffs in the 4th quarter.

  1. LENGTH OF TACKLE GAMES/TIME FACTORS
    1. Periods – All games will be played with four (4) ten (10) minute stop clock periods.
    2. Half-Time Period – After completion of the second period a half time intermission of ten (10) minutes shall be observed with three (3) minutes allowed for warming up prior to starting the third period.
    3. Time-Outs – Each team may have a maximum of three (3) time-outs per half.
    4. Tie Games – All regular season games that end with a tie score will continue with a Kidsports Tie-Breaker format until a winner has been determined.
  2. PLAYER SUBSTITUTION RULE
    1. General Rule – Each player must play at least two (2) full quarters on either offense or defense during each game, pre-designated on the line-up cards before the game begins. Each player on your roster must only be listed once on your line-up card and only the player’s (2) designated quarters must be marked.
    2. Each team will be allowed two (2) offensive position (4 players) and (2) defensive position (4 players) as play runners. Play runners in and out of the game must exchange places on every down that the unit is in the game for the entire game (all 4 quarters). This will satisfy the participation requirements for both of these players. Play runners are designated by placing a PR following their name for all four quarters on the line-up card.
    3. Instructional Substitution – A coach may substitute for a player during that player’s designated quarter(s) only one time each quarter for a maximum of two (2) plays. This substitution is intended for the purpose of coaching of the designated player only and should not be used for strategic purposes.

      Kidsports playing requirements for minimum playing time are not intended as recommendations for maximum playing time or to limit a player’s time due to ability. Do not sacrifice a child’s positive experience by not playing that child as much as possible beyond the minimum requirements in every game.
    4. Penalty – Any time that substitution violations occur, the first step that should be taken is to CORRECT the violation. Plays will not be played over, and the correct players must be placed into the game. Repeat or flagrant violations MAY be penalized by Kidsports with penalties including possible forfeiture of the game or suspension or termination of the coach. All decisions by Kidsports staff as to the penalties for substitution violations will be FINAL. It is important that coaches learn and apply the proper substitution rules.
  3. POINT AFTER TOUCHDOWN
    1. Attempts: All conversion tries will be made from the three (3) yard line.
      1. Run: One (1) point will be awarded for a successful conversion by run or pass from the 3 yard line of scrimmage
      2. Kick: Two (2) points will be awarded for a successful conversion that is kicked from the 3 yard line.
  4. DEFENSIVE ALIGNMENT
    1. Kidsports will play by High School defensive rules.
  5. OFFENSIVE PLAYERS ALIGNMENT MODIFICATIONS
    1. Interior Linemen – Five (5) interior linemen (center, two guards, and two tackles) must adhere to spacing of approximately three (3) feet or less. Stance is optional.
    2. Ends & Backs – Spacing and stance of ends and backs is optional.
    3. Tackle Eligible – The tackle-eligible pass play is NOT legal.
    4. Unbalanced line – The unbalanced line is NOT legal.

7th-8th grade Clarifications

  1. WEIGHT LIMITS
    1. Players who do not make the initial weight by the weigh-in date deadline are restricted to the offensive interior line (center, guard, tackle). There are no defensive weight restrictions for playing positions.
    2. 7th-8th Grade – Over 170lbs. restricted to interior lineman offensively.
  2. OFFENSIVE ALIGNMENT
    1. Interior offensive linemen stance is optional.
  3. DEFENSIVE MODIFICATIONS:
    1. Kidsports will play by high school defensive rules.
  4. ROSTER SIZE
    1. Minimum team size 16, Maximum team size 35. Roster exceptions must be approved by Kidsports.
  5. PLAY RUNNERS
    1. Each team is allowed 2 offensive position (4 players) and 2 defensive position (4 players) as play runners. Play runners must be designated on the line-up cards for all four quarters. Play Runners must alternate each down their respective units are in the game for all 4 quarters.
  6. TIE GAMES
    1. All games that end with a tie score will continue with a Kidsports Tie-Breaker Plan until a winner has been determined.
  7. MERCY RULE
    1. If the point differential of 35 or more occurs at halftime or any time thereafter, a running clock shall be used, kick-offs eliminated and play will begin with the possession of the ball on the 50 yard line. The ball will return to the 50 yard line after each field goal try or point after attempt. The running clock shall be started with the ready-for-play signal from the official. Once the running clock is started, it shall be stopped only for the following reasons:
      1. For measurement of a possible first down.
      2. For a player who appears to be injured.
      3. For unusual heat or humidity which may create a health risk to players.
      4. For a one-minute intermission between the third and fourth periods and following a try, successful field goal, or a safety.
      5. A team time out is granted.
      6. Any unusual circumstances (dog on field, etc)