LEAGUE RULES & AMENDMENTS
MWFL RULE ADAPTATIONS
UPDATED FOR 2023 SEASON
Unless noted below or otherwise agreed upon, MWFL will use
common high school football rules. The MWFL exceptions to high
school playing rules are as follows:
1) MWFL will use the “Down by Contact” rule.
Down by Contact rule: Ball carrier may get back up after contacting ground if no contact
has been made by an opponent. A runner who “gives himself up,” or goes into a feet first
slide, is considered down by rule and forward progress is ruled where the player begins
the motion of his slide. In the event that an official blows a whistle when a player is down but not downed by
contact, it may be treated as an inadvertent whistle. An inadvertent whistle ends the
down. Inadvertent whistles are administered as follows:
a. The down shall be replayed if, during a down or during a down in which the penalty
for a foul is declined, an inadvertent whistle is sounded while a legal forward pass or
snap is in flight, or during a legal kick.
b. The team last in possession may choose to either put the ball in play where
possession was lost or replay the down if, during a down or during a down in which the
penalty for a foul is declined, an inadvertent whistle is sounded
while the ball is loose following a backward pass, fumble, illegal forward pass or illegal kick.
c. The team in possession may choose to either accept the results of the play
at the dead-ball spot or replay the down if, during a down or during a down
in which the penalty for a foul is declined, an inadvertent whistle is sounded
while the ball is in player possession.
d. The penalty shall be administered as determined by the basic spot and
takes precedence over inadvertent whistle administration if, during a down, a live-ball
foul occurs prior to the inadvertent whistle and the penalty is accepted.
SECTION 3 OUT-OF-BOUNDS AND
) MWFL will use a 2-minute warning at the endat end of each half. This is an official’s time out.
The clock will stop and start again at the snap.
3) MWFL will allow passers to "throw the ball away to avoid a loss of yardage”
provided the passer is outside of the “tackle-box” and the ball crosses of line of
scrimmage in the air either in bounds or out of bounds.
4) *** For Games played in conjunction with Stars and Stripes Academy (SASA)
and related post-season games when Game Officials are provided by SASA: the
following exceptions to MWFL playing rules apply only to games administered by
SASA Game Officials include but are not limited to:
1. The line of scrimmage will be governed by the college rule that allows a defensive
player to jump into the neutral zone and return before the snap (as long as there is
no contact with the offense, and his movement does not cause an adjacent
offensive player on the line of scrimmage to jump. Games which are NOT a
part of SASA, will be governed by the high school rule of a dead ball
encroachment foul immediately when a member of the defensive team clearly
enters the neutral zone.
2. Timing: All NCAA timing rules apply but with 12 minute quarter length, and a
time out for “two minute warning.” Games not part of SASA will use regular
High School timing, 12 minute quarters, with a two minute warning in the
2nd and 4th quarters.
3. Players penalized for targeting will not be disqualified unless foul is deemed
4. During a Try (PAT) Team B (Defense) may score even when a scrimmage kick
fails. (SASA games only, NON SASA games are governed by regular NFHS
rules regarding a Try)
5. All other playing rules for SASA games shall be governed by NCAA rules,
unless expressly included in this document. If and when in question, SASA
games shall be governed by NCAA rules.
5) All quarterbacks shall be tackled above the waist when they are in the pocket in a
passing posture or not scrambling (i.e. he may run out of the pocket, but then set to
throw, a below the waist tackle would then result in penalties). A QB can be tackled
below the waist if he is running with the ball. The penalty for this rule will be a personal
foul. Enforcement can be done if the pass was thrown by calling a "roughing the passer"
and if the ball is not thrown, the penalty is just a personal foul and enforced as such.
6) MWFL will allow celebrations that are not extended, vulgar in nature, or directed
towards opposing teamsteam or fans (taunting). Celebration fouls will be counted towards two
(2) unsportsmanlike disqualifications.
7) As per the MWFL Constitution, officials will be directed to penalize a player, coach,
or team attendant for using vulgarity that can be heard by spectators as an
unsportsmanlike penalty. Officials are instructed to use discretion in allowing vulgarities.
As a guideline, such actions and words should be more tolerable in the middle of the field
provided comments are not considered taunting or demeaning to opponents or game
officials, racial slurs of any type will not be tolerated and should be flagged without
warning. Two such fouls in one game, or three in one season, will subject the person to
suspension and fine.
8) MWFL will continue to apply theapply “eligibility by position not number” system. Players
don’t need to report if playing with a normallywith normally ineligible number in an eligiblein eligible position.
9) Player and game equipment:
a. MWFL will continue to NOT make pants pads mandatory.
b. MWFL will require all players to All players to wear legal shoulder pads unaltered
by manufacturer, legal mouthpieces, a legal helmet, and a legal four-point
c. MWFL will allow tinted, reflective and mirrored visors.
d. There are few restrictions on footballs, Team A may change balls as frequent as
they need or want to as long as it is within the flow of the game IE field goals,
punts, point after touchdowns, game balls still need to be official size, weight,
properly inflated, and approved by the referee prior to the game.
e. Game officials are allowed discretion in allowing players to wear
equipment/adornments which are not typically legal per high school rules. As a
general guideline, equipment may be disallowed by the game officials if it is
deemed unsafe or provides an unfair competitive advantage.
10) Kickoffs are to be kicked from the 35 yard line.