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Fall League 2014 SOP's & Bylaws

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GRASSROOTS MIDDLE SCHOOL

FOOTBALL LEAGUE

 

Standard Operating Procedures

& Bylaws

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

GRASSROOTS MIDDLE SCHOOL FOOTBALL LEAGUE ................................. 1

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS .................................................................................................................. 2

 

ARTICLE  I. PURPOSE & BOARD OF DIRECTORS. .................................................... 3

 

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP ........................................................................................... 4

 

ARTICLE III. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS..................................................................... 5

 

ARTICLE IV. PLAYER IDENTIFICATION ......................................................................... 6

 

ARTICLE V. COACHES ....................................................................................................... 6

 

ARTICLE VI. TEAM & PLAYER REGISTRATION…........................................................ 6

 

ARTICLE VII. RECRUITMENT ............................................................................................ 7

ARTICLE VIII. DISIPLINE (CONDUCT) and SPORTSMANSHIP.................................... 9

ARTICLE IX. PENALTIES................................................................................................... 10

 

ARTICLE X. GAME PROTEST…………………….............................................................. 10

 

ARTICLE XI. EQUIPMENT.................................................................................................. 11

 

ARTICLE XII. LEAGUE CLASSIFICATION…………….................................................  12

 

ARTICLE XIII. LEAGUE STRUCTURE & SCHEDULING ........................................... 13

 

ARTICLE XIV. ROSTER LIMITS…………........................................................................ 15

 

ARTICLE XV. GAME CHECK-IN PROCEDURES…......................................................... 15

 

ARTICLE XVI. PLAYING RULES…………….................................................................. 15

 

ARTICLE XVII. STANDING & PLAY-OFFS…….............................................................. 16

 

ARTICLE XVII. OFFICIAL GAMES………..………........................................................... 16

 

Physician Release..………………………………………………………….……………….... 18

        I.            PURPOSE - The Grassroots Middle School Football League, is a unique fall football league committed to elevating the culture of youth football to a higher level of awareness and competition.  The GMSFL shall follow the rules of play of the National Federation of State High Schools, unless amended or modified herein.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS - The GMSFL Board of Directors shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the member organization Commissioners. The Executive Board consists of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.  The President has the power to appoint and remove the initial set of Executive Board members.  The current Executive Board has already been established and can be found below under the “Board of Director Meetings” section of this document.  The initial set of Executive Board members will not have term limits.  If any of the member organization Commissioners wishes to remove the President and/or any members of the Executive Board for any reason, they may “make a motion” to remove the member and they must show cause.  Only the member organizations will vote on the removal and it will take a unanimous vote of the organization commissioners to remove the President, or any Executive Board member.  Nominations to remove an Executive Board member must be made by the first meeting of the New Year (January) by any Commissioner.  A special vote will take place during the next monthly meeting (February).  If one of the appointed Executive Board members is removed by virtue of the unanimous vote, then the new Executive Board member will be elected by a majority vote to serve a 2- year term beginning in April. Remaining Executive Board members will vote on the new Executive Board Member.  Elections will be at the March meeting. Nominations must be made at the end of the February meeting when the removal took place.

 

PRESIDENT - The President shall have the authority to act on behalf of the Board and shall direct all activities of the GMSFL. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors. He shall appoint members of all committees and shall be an ex-officio member of all such committees, and shall perform such other duties as may be incidental to the office. The President shall have the power to forfeit games, reprimand, suspend or expel any player, coach, or team who is a member of the Grassroots Middle School Football League. The President also has the power to reprimand any organization or organization official. Such power to forfeit, reprimand, suspend or expel shall be exercised by him to be in the best interest of the GMSFL. Any forfeiture, reprimand, suspension or expulsion under this regulation is subject to an appeal to the Executive Committee. Until the Executive Committee’s hearing of the appeal, the President’s decision shall be stayed until the results of the appeals hearing. If the President’s decision is not appealed within 72 hours, his decision is final. The power to expel an organization from the GMSFL is regulated by a 2/3 majority vote of the Board of Directors and Commissioners of the organizations in the GMSFL.

 

VICE-PRESIDENT- The Vice-President shall act for the President in his absence and shall perform all other duties as the President may assign him. The Vice-President shall handle any conflict that involves the organization the President is associated with. The Vice-President shall also be responsible for the formation of the member portion of the Rules and Ethics Committee.

 

SECRETARY/TREASURER- The Secretary is responsible for: keeping minutes at the BOD meetings, scheduling of meetings, maintaining club rosters and player verification, updates to database program, maintenance of league web site, league fund raising and sponsorships, annual head coaches dinner, distribution of all league info to club commissioners, publishing and printing of league rule book, printing of schedules and ID’s for DC players. The Treasurer is responsible for: all league payments and deposits, yearly budget, invoicing of clubs, insurance arrangements for clubs that require it, accounting reports for BOD meetings.

 

RULES & ETHICS COMMITTEE- The Rules and Ethics Committee shall consist of the Chairman of the Rules and Ethics Committee (“Ethics Chairman”), the Vice-President, the Director of Operations and three Commissioners appointed by the Vice-President. The Vice President will also appoint an Alternate Member, who will take the place of any Committee Member whose program is directly involved in a matter before the Committee. The Alternate Member participates only in circumstance involving an alleged violation by an Ethics Committee Member’s program. The Ethics Committee Chair will be selected by the President and will serve a 12 month term from January 1 to December 31. This authority shall include the interpretation and enforcement of the GMSFL rules and policies, the imposing of penalties for rule infractions, and other incidental matters not requiring full board action. The committee must report in writing any and all actions under the provisions of this authority within 15 days to the Board of Directors. All alleged rules violations must be reported the Ethics Chairman as soon as is practical. The Ethics Chairman will investigate the allegation and make a timely recommendation to the Rules & Ethics Committee. The Rules and Ethics Committee will vote on the recommendation and upon approval by a majority of the disinterested Ethics Committee members, the recommendation will be implemented. If the recommendation is not approved, the Chairman and the Committee will continue to discuss the matter until a recommendation is approved. The Chairman shall have the discretion to reconsider any recommendation if new information is brought to his attention and shall revise his recommendation if the circumstances warrant revision, or if the rules were not followed. The Ethics Committee will then reconsider the recommendation and re-vote. If the reconsideration is not approved by a majority of the disinterested Ethics Committee Members, the original decision will not be disturbed.

 

COMMISSIONERS - Each organization sponsoring a team shall appoint a Commissioner and as many Assistant Commissioners as deemed necessary to direct its football program. Only the Commissioner or his designated representative shall vote on matters placed before the Board of Directors. Any issue presented for a decision by the board that recommends change to an existing policy and/or rules must pass with a minimum of 2/3 of the members present voting in favor of it. All other issues will require a majority vote in favor of it to pass.

 

SPECIAL COMMITTE A Special Committee will be selected by the President and consist of three (3) Commissioners. The Special Committee will convene within three (3) business days of the request.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEETINGS- Attendance at GMSFL Board of Directors’ meetings is mandatory for each Commissioner or his/her designated representative.  Board meetings will be held on a quarterly basis.  Physical meetings with mandatory attendance will be held quarterly on the 2nd Wednesday of applicable months @ 7:30pm.  Physical board meetings will take place in January, April, July, and October of every year.  The President will coordinate the venue and communicate to all members at the beginning of each applicable month.  Conference calls will be held during months where there are no board meetings.  Conference calls will take place in February, March, May, June, August, September, November and December of every year.  Calls will also take place on the 2nd Wednesday of applicable months @ 7:30pm.  The President will provide the conference call numbers and communicate to all members at the beginning of each applicable month.  Attendance by the board members (or authorized representative of the club) is mandatory for physical meetings, as well as conference calls.  President reserves the right to call emergency meetings and/or conference calls if necessary.

 

2014 Executive Board of Directors:

President: Mike Anderson

Vice President: Tony Kennedy

Secretary: Tangie Golston

Treasurer: Tonya Anderson

 

    II.            MEMBERSHIP

 

A.      Any organization wishing to make a formal application to become a part of Grassroots Middle School Football League must do so, in writing, to the Executive Board on or before the regularly scheduled March conference call. (Assuming the organization wants to be considered for application in that calendar year). The Executive Board and membership will vote on any such application(s) at the regularly scheduled April monthly meeting, with the outcome of any voting to be announced during the April meeting.

 

B.      Membership may only be obtained upon majority vote of the voting members in attendance at a regularly scheduled meeting.

 

C.      No new organizations will be accepted after May 31st except where special consideration was granted for established organizations only. Established organization candidate must still meet all requirements for acceptance.

 

D.      Voting privileges shall be one (1) vote for any one (1) club and one (1) vote for each officer. No officer may vote both as an officer and an organization’s appointed representative. The president of the GMSFL will vote only in the event of a tie. New organizations will not have voting rights until the start of their second year in the league. There will be no proxy votes allowed. (Note: For the 2014 inaugural season a new organization is defined as one which makes application to GMSFL after 1 May and is subsequently “voted in” before the start of the season).

 

E.       Members will be expected to assist the GMSFL in any fundraising initiatives that are set forth.  We expect you to recommend and encourage participation from your players and parents for these important fundraising activities.

 

F.       Members are expected to support the Grassroots business model by marketing, recommending, and encouraging your player and parents to take advantage of the off season conditioning clinics, combines, positional skills training sessions, and other Grassroots programs that are designed to make them better football players.

 

G.      Members are expected to support any tryouts for Fall and Spring Football activities that can benefit the league.  For example, if the GMSFL schedules tryouts for the Fall Football season in your regions that will help each member organization to add quality players to their rosters.  Member organizations are expected to market, promote, and assist in execution of July tryouts, as needed.

 

H.      Members are expected to be in full partnership with the GMSFL and the GYFL and market and support any initiatives that will be beneficial to the success of the league, it’s member clubs, and most importantly, the student-athletes.  For example, promotion of the Football University Camp, and Rivals All Star Showcase, etc.

 

I.        Any organization that drops out of the league for any reason must reapply for membership. If accepted, a probation period of one (1) year will be applied.

 

J.        Any regular member organization may be dismissed from the GMSFL upon a (3/4) majority vote of the voting members/ officers in attendance at a regularly scheduled meeting.

 

 III.            PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

 

A.      While not required the GMSFL Board highly recommends that all players be given a physical examination by his/her personal physician before participating in football practice and/or games. No player shall be allowed to participate in the GMSFL if non-play is recommended by a physician. It is the responsibility of parents and each respective organization to determine and monitor the health of individual players on a continuing basis.

 

B.      While not required the GMSFL Board highly recommend that all players obtain a concussion baseline test prior to participating in the GMSFL.

 

C.      Any Player with an injury requiring a cast or other such brace must provide a Physician’s Release Form prior to any involvement in practices or game play. A copy of the form is provided.

 

A.      PLAYER IDENTIFICATION – Each player must have proper Identification which will be certified by GYFL Staff prior to playing in any games.  State Issued Identification Cards are accepted as official player identification at all GMSFL/GYFL certifications, sponsored games, and events.  These are the following acceptable forms of ID information to be certified.

A.      State Motor Vehicle Administration Identification Cards

State issued motor vehicle administration ID cards may be obtained from all local DMV offices for a minimal charge and are good for 5 years. You must provide Birth Certificate, Social Security Card and Parents Identification. – These cards should be kept by the teams, but must provide a copy to the league/ B.O.D. for our records.

 

B.      Official Military Identification Cards

Identification cards issued by various branches of the Armed Forces of the United States of America must be current. Card must display photograph, date of birth, date of issue, date of expiration, players printed first and last names.

 

C.      United States Passports

As issued by the United States of America, Department of State. Card must be current. Card must display photograph, date of birth, date of issue, date of expiration, players printed first and last names.

 

D.      GMSFL Issued Certification

In special circumstances when a State ID is unable to be obtained the GMSFL Board may certify an ID card for a player, who will be responsible to provide the following information:

·         Current Head Shot

·         Official Birth Certificate

 

E.       Official School Documentation

Current class schedule or other documentation on official school letterhead, for current grade verification must be provided.

 

 IV.            COACHES

 

A.      Coaches will be required to obtain coaching certifications as required to be coaches in their organization.

 

B.      Coaches will be required to obtain and pass a valid back ground check. (County background checks will be allowed to meet this requirement). It is the commissioner’s responsibility to ensure their coaches and team staff meets and maintains the back ground check requirement. – Copy of successful background checks must be provided to the league/B.O.D. 

 

 

      V.           TEAM & PLAYER REGISTRATION

 

A.      Each team registration in the GMSFL will be $600.  Each organization can have up to 2 teams in either of the 3 GMSFL Leagues (8th Grade, 7th Grade, or 6th Grade). The fee is due from each member organization by the close of business on August 15th of every year.  It is not mandatory that each organization register a team in both divisions, but recommended.  We must be flexible in year #2 with regards to the number of teams that we will have in each division.  There is a tremendous effort to stop the GMSFL from having success, but they will not stop us.  However, we need to be prepared to be flexible in this first year until we can show the whole region what we have to offer.  After this year, we should have NO problems filling any of our rosters, but we need to be flexible out of the gate, just as we were in the spring.

 

B.      If the 2014 season we are implementing a GMSFL Membership fee for 2014, similar to what AAU does and players will need to have a GYFL membership to participate in the league.  The membership will be $25.00.  The players will still pay standard registration fees to the member organizations, in addition to this GMSFL Membership Fee.  Member organizations can choose whether to have their parents pay the $25 directly to the clubs and the clubs pay us.  Or the parents can pay the fee directly to GYFL on our website.  This is NOT an additional fee for the clubs and we DON’T expect the clubs to pay it, it is for the individual parents and guardians to pay.  If there are any parents that have financial hardship, all they need to do is fill out a Financial Aid request on the GYFL website and if deemed legitimate, we will waive the $25.00 fee.

 

C.      For the 2014 season, there will NOT be a series of evaluations in the month of July designed to attract players from other programs to play in the GMSFL.  We reserve the right to revisit these evaluations for the 2015 season.  The league will market the evaluations, along with individual member clubs and there will be a fee associated for the evaluation that will go the GMSFL.  Member clubs are expected to market, promote, attend, manage, and evaluate the prospects.  Any athletes that are deemed worthy of playing in the league will be assigned to one of the 8 member organizations. 

 

D.      It is the organizations commissioners’ responsibility to validate all documents and ID’s to be provided during the team/player registration process. Invalid or fraudulent documents will be grounds for suspension.

 

E.       Each organization will provide an official typed team roster, Birth Certificate, Player ID, Player GMSFL/GYFL Waiver, Coaching Contract, and Grade verification at the August board meeting for certification.  The Roster Certification Day will be the third Saturday of August every year (2 Weeks prior to the first game of the season).  For 2014, the Roster Certification Day will be Saturday, August the 16th at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Center.  Time will be communicated to each Commissioner prior to Aug 1st, 2014.  President reserves the right to change the date in future years as deemed necessary.

 

F.       After each player is certified the original roster shall be collected by the Vice President. The original certified roster will be returned and stamped official by the first game.

 

G.      Roster/Player certification will consist of verifying Date of Birth, Name, Grade and Picture ID.

 

H.      The certification process will be the only time that all documents listed above will be required to be on hand. During the game Photo ID and Official roster are the only two items need to allow a player to participate.

 

I.        Players may be added to rosters up to week three (3) of the regular season by submitting all additions to a team roster to the Vice President. A new certified roster will created to reflect these changes.  For 2014, 6th grade additions can be made up to Thursday Sept 18th, while 7th and 8th grade additions can be made up to Friday Sept 19th.  After those dates, no other players may be added and rosters will be laminated.

 

J.        The added players are eligible immediately upon being added to the certified rosters.

 

 VI.            ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT

 

A.      Recruiting is the life blood of any organization, High School, or College.  It is the life blood of any business and we support effective recruitment of players.  We don’t have regional boundaries in Grassroots so member clubs have the ability to recruit from any region.  We would prefer for teams to be regionally based and have the majority of the players come from the region that they live in, but we understand that parents deserve the right to choose where they want their children to play and if they are not satisfied with the local team, they must have the option to play where they choose to play.  This is why we have no regional boundaries.  We encourage every organization to recruit within and outside their boundaries so that the parents understand that they do have options and may the best organization win the recruiting battles.

 

B.      With that being said, once a parent has made their decision, paid their registration fee, and had their child’s name as a part of a certified roster, ANY Active recruitment of players from another GMSFL member program’s current year roster (Spring and Fall) is prohibited and will be deemed a rule violation which will be subject to a Rules Committee review.

 

C.      Current year Fall GMSFL roster is defined as beginning with the actual Roster Certification Day and ending with the GMSFL Championship Game.  For 2014, that beginning date will Saturday August 30th and the ending date will be November 16th.  Once the rosters are certified, the recruiting rules will be in effect until after the completion of the Post Season, which ends with the GMSFL Championship Game.   Current year Spring GYFL roster is defined as beginning with the first game of the spring season and ending with the GYFL Championship Game in 2014.

 

D.       Violations could result in suspension, game forfeiture, playoff ineligibility, organization probation and expulsion for all involved parties. Recruitment violations are described as:

 

1.       Telephone calls, personal home visits or meetings with the individual player or family member to discuss the benefits of joining your program, after the current year roster has been certified will be deemed illegal recruiting.

 

2.       Emails or letters to the individual player or family member to discuss the benefits of joining your program after the current year roster has been certified will be deemed illegal recruiting.

 

3.       Public announcements via newspaper advertisements, TV advertisements, Movie Theater advertisements, signs or posted fliers will not be deemed as recruiting. However the sending of these items to a targeted individual player coach or family member after the current year roster has been certified will be deemed illegal recruiting.

 

4.       At the completion of the post season, players may be contacted by organizations other than that which they played that current season.

 

5.       Illegal Recruiting is NOT defined as a disgruntled parent or child reaching out to another member club expressing interest in joining them for the next season (See Section E for details of procedure).  Once players are on a certified roster, they will NOT be allowed to switch from team to team in a current year.  However, if they make first contact with another member team during the current season about playing with that team in the following year, then that is NOT considered illegal recruiting.

 

6.       A club that makes a recruiting violation complaint against another organization will have the burden of proof that the other club did in fact initiate contact with the player and/or parent between the timeframe that the Certified Roster was submitted and the current season concluded.  That burden of proof will include evidence such as text messages, emails, and parental testimony at a Board meeting.

 

7.       If illegal recruiting can’t be verified, the athlete will be allowed to switch organizations for the next season, pending leaving the first organization in good standing.  For example, they left the initial organization with no outstanding equipment and/or no bills.  Until the initial organization signs off on a waiver stating that they are in good standing, that player will not be allowed to play in the league for any other organization.

 

E.       Process for Parent or Athlete Outreach to other member organization will be as follows. 

1.       If a parent or an athlete reaches out to a member organization to inquire about joining them (inside of the Spring or Fall Season), the contacted organization is required to contact the President of the GMSFL within 48 hours of the contact. 

2.       This contact will be 100% confidential in order to protect the identity of the parent or athlete. 

3.       The contacted organization will inform the President in writing that contact was made. 

4.       The President will contact the parent/athlete and make them aware of the process.  He will ensure the parent that the original organization will not be notified that the athlete is considering another member organization. 

5.       The president will do a fact check to determine the reasons for the desire to move and document all findings in writing. 

6.       If it is not deemed legitimate (i.e. the player thought the coach was coaching him too hard), then president will advise the parent/athlete to remain with the current organization and the president will intervene to try to work out the problem. 

7.       If the president deems that the desire to move is in the best interest of the athlete/parent, he will assist in the process of finding a better fit for the athlete/parent. 

8.       Once that fit is made, the president will contact the former organization and inform them of the decision, the process, and provide details in writing as to why the athlete/parent felt that a change was necessary. 

9.       This process will keep animosity between the member organizations in check as the former organization will have details to verify who made the first contact and what the nature of the issue was. 

10.    The main goal will be to work out any issues with the current organization, but if that can’t be done, this process will allow for a smooth transition with no member organizations feeling that their players were illegally recruited.

 

 

VII.            DISCIPLINE (CONDUCT) and SPORTSMANSHIP

 

A.      The Head Coach shall be responsible for the conduct of their players, parents, fans and assistant coaches. Improper conduct, in the judgement of the game officials, on part of the players, coaches or spectators may result in penalties, expulsion, suspension and forfeiture of the game.

 

B.      If at any time the GMSFL finds the conduct of any coach to be detrimental and contrary to the best interest of this program, such individuals may be suspended from further participation for whatever period of tie may be deemed reasonable and proper. Detrimental conduct by any coach shall first be investigated by his Organization Commissioner.

 

C.      No Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Parent, or any other organization official shall illegally recruit players from another GMSFL organization during the fall season (Aug – Dec).  Any member of an organization so accused shall be required to appear before the Ethics Committee.  The burden of proof will be on the accusing organization.  PENALTY – IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION.

 

D.      Any Player who is ejected from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct will be suspended for the next played game. Any player allowed by game officials to return to a game shall not be considered as being ejected from a game. A player removed from the game on the final play of the game shall be considered ejected from a game and will be suspended for the next played game.

 

E.       Game officials shall notify GMSFL representative at the game field at the end of each game played.

 

F.       Commissioners shall notify the President and Vice President in writing as soon as possible.

 

G.      All coaches and assistant coaches of the GMSFL must read, understand and sign the GMSFL code of conduct form. The code of conduct form is due at the time of player/team registration.

 

H.      All players and parents must read, understand and sign the GMSFL code of conduct form. The code of conduct form is due at the time of player/team registration.

IX.  PENALTIES

A.      Where penalties for rule violations are not specified, they will be decided by a vote of the GMSFL Board.

 

B.      An over age player/grade. The penalty for over age/ grade player’s participating in games, if discovered whether protested or not, will result in forfeiture of all games in which the player was on the certified roster regardless if the individual participated or not. The organization will be given a $100 fine and the head coach will be suspended from any further league activities for the current season and possible further penalties deemed appropriate by the GMSFL Board.

 

C.      Player’s Name not on the certified roster. If a player enters the game after the pre-game check-in that was not present for the check-in and is not on the roster it will be an immediate suspension of the illegal player, head coach and probation for the organization and $100 fine.

 

D.      Any coach suspended for a current season, can only be re-instated for the following season by a majority vote of the GMSFL board, at written request of the organization representing the coach.

 

X.    GAME PROTEST

 

A.      All protest and appeals must be submitted with a $50.00 fee.

 

B.      There shall be no protest allowed involving a judgement call by a game official.

 

C.      The following procedures must be followed in the event of a protest :

 

1.       Protesting coach and commissioner must notify the Vice President in writing within 24 hours of the incident.

 

2.       The Vice President will render a decision within 48 hours.

 

3.       The Protested organization will have 48 hours from the Vice President’s decision to appeal.

 

4.       The Appeal will be handled by the President and a special appeals committee, which will consist of three league commissioner and one board of director member. The special committee will meet within three (3) working days to discuss and answer question from both parties. Both parties will have 10 minutes to state their case after with a brief discussion between members of the special committee will be held. After this discussion their decision will be rendered and this decision will be final.

 

D.      Recognized Reasons for Protest:

 

1.       Player did not legally register and is not on the certified roster

 

2.       Player is playing while on suspension from league play

 

3.       Player is over age for the level of play registered (i.e. playing in the Junior Varsity level and turned 14 prior to 1 September 2014).

 

4.       Player is above the grade for the level of play registered (i.e playing in the Junior Varsity level but is actually in the 8th grade).

 

5.       Fraudulent ID

XI. EQUIPMENT

A.      All players must be properly equipped at the pre-game check-in as follows:

 

1.       Helmet with face guard – NOCSAE approved. Helmet shall not be worn during pre-game check-ins.

 

2.       Mouth Piece must be colored and attached to the face guard.

 

3.       Shoulder pads.

 

4.       Team matching Game Jerseys with contrasting color numbers on front and back.

 

5.       Socks and Cleats. Cleats must be rubber molded; can be detachable but no longer than ½ inch. Socks must correspond with team colors/jersey’s.

 

6.       Regulation football pants.

 

7.       Thigh, Knee, Tail and Hip pads

 

B.      Authorized footballs

 

1.       Varsity League: TDJ or equivalent ball approved by the Vice President.

 

2.       Varsity League: TDY or equivalent ball approved by the Vice President.

 

3.       Ball composition may be obtained from various manufactures under several name designation. Ball composition and construction however must meet the requirements of the NHSF rules with size dimensions modified to match the balls listed in the previous section. Rubber, Plastic and Composite balls are not acceptable.

XII. LEAGUE CLASSIFICATIONS The league will be comprised of the following classifications.

A.    6th Grade League

Players must be in the 6th (5th graders are allowed based on coaches discretion).  Any player turning 13 years old before September 1, 2014 is not eligible to play at this level. There will be no 7th graders allowed at this level.

B.     7th Grade League

Players must be in the 7th (6th graders are allowed based on coaches discretion).  Any player turning 14 years old before September 1, 2014 is not eligible to play at this level. There will be no 8th graders allowed at this level.

C.     8th Grade League

 

Players must be in the 8th Grade (7th graders are allowed based on coaches discretion).  Any player turning 15 years old before September 1, 2014 is not eligible to play at this level. There will be no 9th graders allowed at this level. 

 

XII. LEAGUE STRUCTURE & SCHEDULING

B.      GMSFL Division Breakdown:  Teams will be placed in one of two division’s North or South for the purposes of playing a regular season and determining playoff seedings.  The number of teams in each league classification will determine how that league’s schedule will be set up and how the playoff spots will be determined.  There will be a number of variations based on how many teams we have in each league classification and we will have a different scheduling methodology and playoff selection methodology based on the number of teams in any given classification.

 

1.       For the 2014 season, there will be a different scheduling methodology for a 6 team league classification, a 7 team league classification, and an 8 team league classification.  As we expand in future years, 9 and 10 team league scheduling methodology will be developed.

 

2.       We prefer not to play a season with less than 6 organizations in a league classification.

 

3.       Currently for 2014, we have the following number of teams per league:

 

                                                                           i.      6th Grade (7 Teams)

1.       I5 Elite

2.       Hamilton Tigers

3.       Westlake Bulldogs

4.       Fatz Bulldogs

5.       MoHo Co Lions

 

 

                                                                          ii.      7th Grade (6 Teams)

1.       I5 Elite

2.       Hamilton Tigers

3.       Westlake Bulldogs

4.       Fatz Bulldogs

5.    MoHo Co LIons

 

                                                                        iii.      8th Grade (4 Teams)

1.       MoHo Co Lions

2.       Hamilton Tigers

3.       Westlake Bulldogs

6.       Ft. Hunt Federals

 

                                                             

4.       The following bullet points illustrate the division breakdown and scheduling methodology for the 6 – 8 team league classifications. 

 

C.      8 Team League Methodology:

 

1.       GMSFL will have two 4 Team Divisions, using an 8 Team Round Robin format with no separate bye week for each team.  Each team in that scenario will play 7 regular season GMSFL games between Sept 6th and Oct 25th.  All teams will make the playoffs and be re-seeded based on regular season standings. 

 

D.      7 Team League Methodology:

 

1.       Although those teams will technically be in divisions, each team will play each other one time.  The 7Team season will be based on an 8 Team Round Robin schedule.  There will be a 7 week schedule, with one team being listed as a Bye for each week. Each team will play 6 regular season GMSFL games between Sept 6th and Oct 25th.  Each team will have a bye week that they are free to fill with a non league game that will not count in GMSFL standings.  All teams will make the playoffs and be seeded based on regular season standings.  #1 Seed will have a first round tournament bye.

 

E.       6 Team League Methodology:

 

1.       GMSFL will have two divisions with 3 teams in each division.  The 6 Team season schedule will be based on each team playing the other teams in their division twice (4 games) and the teams in the other division once (3 games).  6 Team divisions will play a 7 game GMSFL regular season schedule between Sept 8th and Oct 25th.  All teams will make the playoffs and be seeded based on regular season standings.  #1 and #2 Seeds will have a first round bye.

 

 

F.       North Division (Based on 8th Grade/8Team League)

 

1.       Hamilton Tigers

2.       I5 Elite

3.       Fatz Bulldogs

4.       MoHo County Lions

 

G.      South Division

 

1.       Marlboro Mustangs

2.       Fort Hunt Federals

3.       Westlake Bulldogs

4.       Beacon House Falcons

 

H.      Note: Divisions are subject to change based on the number of teams in the league.  For example, if we have a 6 team 6th grade league this year, Fatz Bulldogs will move into the South Division replacing Beacon House, and Fort Hunt will not be in the league.

 

I.        Once the regular season ends, teams will be seeded 1 through 8 based on record and tie breakers to set the playoffs.  Divisions will be null and void at that point.

 

J.        Additional Scheduling Requests:

 

1.       Based on the # of Teams per league classification, the GMSFL will schedule between a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 7 League games from September 6th – October 25th.  See schedule below.  Games will begin the weekend of September 6th unless additional scheduling is requested.  6 Game GMSFL schedules will be spread out over a 7 week period, with 1 non league weeks that clubs can schedule non-league games on their own if they choose to, or they can have up to 1 bye week.  7 Game GMSFL schedules will be spread out over a 7 week season, with no bye.  The league has one self imposed bye week for the Annual Burning Sands invitational.

 

K.      GMSFL Weekly Schedule:

 

1.       Week #1 Sep 6th

2.       Week #2 Sep 13th

3.       Week #3 Sep 20th

4.       Week #4 Sep 27th

5.       Mid Season Burning Sands Invitational Oct 4th and 5th.

6.       Week #5 Oct 11th

7.       Week #6 Oct 18th

8.       Week #7 Oct 25th.

9.       First Round of Playoffs Nov 1st

10.    2nd Round of Playoffs Nov 8th.

11.    GMSFL Championship Nov16th.  

 

XIV. ROSTER LIMIT

A.      Teams must have a minimum of 15 players on their certified rosters and will be allowed to carry 40 players maximum on their roster.

 

B.      Teams are required to have 10 eligible and rostered players on the field at the game kick-off. The game may proceed afterwards with a minimum of nine (9) players if necessary. The opposing team is under no obligation to play down their number of players on the field but may do so without penalty.

 

XV. GAME CHECK-IN PROCEDURES

A.      Both teams will report to their side line 15 minutes before scheduled game time.

 

B.      Before the start of the game, both teams will line-up at a designated area by a league official in roster order. Players will be dressed in full playing equipment with the exception of helmets.

 

C.      Coaches will exchange team ID cards and rosters.

 

D.      The Head Coach or designated coach/ team parent will check the roster and ID cards of the opposing players with one member of the opposing teams coaching staff.

 

E.       A player without his ID is not eligible to play unless approved by the opposing teams Head Coach (remember all ID’s were validated during the player/team registration process).

 

F.       If a player is not present before the kick-off he is ineligible to play in the first half of the game. If a player arrives before halftime, he may play in the second half, provided that the player checks in with both the referee and the opposing coach at halftime.

XVI. PLAYING RULES

A.      GMSFL will follow the National High School Federation rules except where noted below:

 

1.       Point after touchdown will be one (1) point for run or pass and two (2) points for kicking.

 

2.       All 8th Grade and 7th Grade Games will be: four (4) ten minute quarters.  6th Grade Games will be: four (4) 8 minute quarters.

 

3.       Jersey Numbers – There shall be no restrictions as to jersey numbers by player positions.

 

4.       TIE GAMES:

 

                                                                                                   i.      During the regular season, there will be a maximum of two (3) overtimes to determine a winner. 

                                                                                                  ii.      A coin toss determines who gets the ball first during overtime play.

                                                                                                iii.      Play starts on the 10 yard line. A team is given four (4) downs to advance the ball and score.

                                                                                                iv.      Following four (4) downs by the team winning the coin toss, the opposing team is given the same opportunity to score (10 yard line, 4 downs to score).

                                                                                                 v.      All normal penalties are in effect (even though a first down cannot be earned- and penalty that would result in a first down remains in effect).

                                                                                                vi.      An overtime period ends after each team has been given an opportunity to score. If after the end of the 1st overtime a team is ahead that team wins the game.

                                                                                              vii.      The second overtime is played exactly like the first with the following exception: there is no coin toss needed. The team that won the first coin toss is given the first opportunity to score followed by the opposing team.

                                                                                             viii.      In the playoffs, overtime will continue until there is a winner.

 

5.       All player ejections must be reported to the Ethics Committee by both coaches. Failure to report an ejection may result in disciplinary action to the coach and/or the program.

 

6.       Suspended games – player eligibility: if a game is suspended in the first half, all players who are eligible may participate in the resumption of the game. If the game is suspended in the second half, only players who were eligible in the original contest may participate.

 

7.       Any player who is ejected from a game must leave the field (off the side lines completely) immediately and will face a suspension of a minimum of one game. Players serving a suspension may attend the game but may not be in uniform during the play of the game.

 

8.       Any coach who is ejected from a game must leave the premises (stadium area) immediately and will face a suspension of a minimum of one game. All coaches serving a suspension will not be allowed to attend his team’s game while on suspension and must not be on the property (with in the gated area, parking lot is ok) of where the game is being played during the entire game.

 

XVII. STANDINGS & PLAY-OFFS

A.      Please refer to the section on League Structure and Scheduling for more clarity.  Standings and playoff seedings will be determined by conference record and winning percentage.

 

B.      In the event of a tie for any placement, head-to-head competition will be the tiebreaker.

 

C.      In the event of a tie for any placement, and the head-to-head tie breaker between two teams is also a tie; the tie breaker for this will be the largest point differential between points scored and points scored against.

 

D.      As long as the leagues have equal to or less than 8 teams, all teams will make the playoffs. There will be two rounds of playoffs and a Championship week.  Where there are 8 team leagues, Seed #1 will play Seed #8, Seed #2 will play Seed #7, Seed #3 will play Seed #6.  Seed #4 will play Seed #5.  Where there are 7 teams leagues, Seed #1 will have a bye during the first round.  With 6 team leagues, Seeds #1 and #2 will have byes.

 

E.       Note:  Playoff format subject to change based on the number of teams in each league.

XVII. OFFICIAL GAMES

A.      All games shall be played as originally scheduled.  Only the GMSFL Board of Directors will make any changes to the schedule.

 

B.      All 8th Grade and 7th Grade games will be played with four (4) officials.  All 6th Grade games will be played with (3) officials.

 

C.      Official games are any game that completes three (3) quarters of play. Any game that does not meet this requirement is not considered an official game and the make-up must be started from the beginning with a score of 0 to 0.

 

D.      Make-up games may be scheduled on open weekend dates and or weekdays.

 

E.       GMSFL will pay officials for all official games (regular season/post season).

 

F.       Home team shall provide a chain crew of adults (18 or older) to work with the officials on the home side of the field. Visiting teams have the option of providing one (1) of the three (3) chain crew members.  Home team shall provide a clock operator and game statistician.

 

G.      Chain Crew Volunteers are not permitted to heckle, coach or use electronic devices to signal information regarding the opposing team or it could result in team penalty.

 

H.      Teams will be responsible for providing their own water jugs, water bottles, ice, and water.  It is the GMSFL’s responsibility to ensure that each facility will have a water source available for both sidelines.  All items and essentials needed for game day will be provided by the member teams.

 

I.        Teams will be responsible for having a First Aid Certified and CPR certified member on their sidelines.  Certified Athletic Trainers will NOT be provided for the Fall League.

 

J.        GMSFL will be responsible for the Emergency Plan and access to emergency health personnel (i.e. Ambulance, Fire Department, 911, etc.).


 

PHYSICIAN’S RELEASE FORM

GRASSROOTS MID-ATLANTIC YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE

 

National Federation Football Rule Book – Rule 1; Section 5; Article 3c: “Hard substances in it final form such as leather, rubber, plastic, plaster or fiberglass when worn on the hand, wrist, forearm or elbow must be covered on all exterior surfaces with no less than ½ inch thick, high density, closed cell polyurethane, or an alternate material of the same minimum thickness and similar physical properties to protect an injury as directed in writing by a licensed medical physician.”

 

INSTRUCTIONS TO PHYSICIAN: This form must be completed in its entirety. Failure to provide any of the requested information will invalidate the form thereby requiring game officials to disqualify the athlete from participation in the game of football. Please indicate exact dates athlete is permitted to participate in any GMSFL football contest with hard cast, splint, or any other protective appliance.

 

Player Name:_________________________________________________________________________________

 

Organization:________________________________________ Weight Class:_____________________________

 

Name of Physician:____________________________________________________________________________

 

Address:_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

City:________________________________________ State:_______________ Zip Code:___________________

 

Protected Extremity: ____ Left ____ Right

 

 

Description of Injury:__________________________________________________________________________

 

Special Instructions:___________________________________________________________________________

 

Beginning:_____________________________________ through _______________________________________

 

(Be specific with beginning & ending dates for approved participation while wearing appliance)

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