5th / 6th Grade Tackle

Ankeny Junior Football Rules

Last Updated 8/8/18

1. Official

    • Each regular season game will have two IAHSAA certified officials to officiate the game. All officials must be eligible and certified to referee Iowa High School games. The lessee of the field being utilized is responsible for providing qualified officials for all regular season and championship games.

2. Trainer

    • Each regular season game will have a licensed medical practitioner on the sideline (PT, PTA, DPT, EMR, EMT, AEMT, Paramedic, etc.). The trainer is expected to aid all teams.

3. Coaches

    • The Ankeny Junior Football coaching staffs will be compromised of one head coach and up to three assistant coaches. Only league approved coaches are allowed to instruct, direct, supervise, assist, or be involved in any form at all games, scrimmages, practices, or any other league sanctioned events. If a team is caught utilizing any unauthorized individual, the team coaches will be subject to disciplinary action.
    • Coaches are expected to set a good example on the practice field and game field at all times.
    • All coaches are expected to know the rules of Federation Football.
    • All coaches are expected to be familiar with the disciplinary policy detailed in the Coaches Code of Conduct.
    • The head coach is responsible for practice schedules and team compliance with established practice policies.
    • All rules, regulations, and policies enforced by the Ankeny Junior Football apply equally to head and assistant coaches unless stated otherwise.
    • Coaches will serve from season to season. Each year, all coaches are required to go through the application process established by AJF. Ankeny Junior Football reserves the right to deny any coaching renewals should they find it necessary.
    • Ankeny Junior Football can remove any coach at any time should they find it necessary.

4. Sportsmanship

    • Bad sportsmanship is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Ankeny Junior Football. Coaches, players, and all others in attendance of any event sanctioned by the Ankeny Junior Football League are required to demonstrate good sportsmanship.
    • Ankeny Junior Football has a zero tolerance policy for coaches that display unsportsmanlike conduct. Should a coach receive a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct:
      • 1st offense will be a 15 yard penalty.
      • 2nd offense, the coach will be subject to an immediate expulsion from the game in which the penalty was received. Upon expulsion, the coach is required to vacate the venue where the game is being held. (If the offending coach refuses to leave, this will result in permanent league expulsion.) In addition, the offending coach will be suspended for the next game. No appeal will be heard by the board.
    • Players that are penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct due to a late hit will be ejected from the game. The player’s head coach is to notify the Ankeny Junior Football Board of the penalty immediately following the game. Should a player receive two unsportsmanlike penalties due to a late hit in a season, the player will be permanently expelled from Ankeny Junior Football.
    • Participants and spectators are required to demonstrate good sportsmanship. Participants and spectators who do not demonstrate good sportsmanship will be suspended and may be permanently expelled from all Ankeny Junior Football events.
    • Please reference the below explanations of ejection types:
      • Permanent Ejection: If a player is permanently ejected, that player will be ejected for the remaining game and the following game. If a player is ejected in the last game of the season, the one game suspension will be carry over to the first game of the next season.
      • League Expulsion: Any participant that has been permanently ejected twice will be immediately expelled from the league. The participant will be expelled regardless of whether the ejections occurred in the same season or over the course of several seasons.
    • Practice Schedules
      • Each year Ankeny Junior Football will determine the official start date of the season. No practice may occur prior to that date.
      • A practice is defined as any organized team activity relating to the game of football.
      • Teams may practice a maximum of 5 hours per week. Coaches are responsible for ensuring that players receive a five minute break every hour. These five minute breaks do not count against the total practice time.
      • Head coaches are responsible for setting practice dates and times that are in compliance with Ankeny Junior Football Guidelines.
      • Pregame warm-ups must be less than 45 minutes. If the pregame warm-up exceeds 45 minutes, the warm-up will be counted as a practice.

5. Equipment

    • Only league approved equipment will be allowed in Ankeny Junior Football sanctioned events. Chin straps, forearm and elbow pads, gloves, and protective cups will be the only permitted additions to the issued equipment. The only exception to this rule is if a player must wear additional equipment in order to protect an injury. All equipment must be certified to manufacturer’s standards.
    • The maximum size of the cleat is 1.5 inches, measured from the tip of the cleat to the base of the shoe. Any cleat that has any metal is not allowed.
    • Jewelry of any kind is prohibited at all practices and games. No stickers shall be removed from or added to any of the equipment supplied by Ankeny Junior Football unless permitted by the league.
    • All players must wear a mouth piece during all practices and games where any form of contact may be initiated.
    • The regulation football for league play is as follows:
      • 5th and 6th Grade/Junior/Wilson TDJ

6. League Playing Rules

    • The Ankeny Junior Football League will comply with all rules and regulations as outlined in the current National Federation of State High School Associations rule book. In the event that one of the following league rules conflicts with the current NFHS rules, league rules will have priority.
    • All games will be played on high school regulation sized fields.
    • Teams must be on opposite sidelines.
    • All participants must be in 5th or 6th grade. Players are required to play in the division of their current grade.
    • A 25 second play clock will be in effect.
    • Each team is allowed two timeouts per half. Timeouts will last for one minute. During a timeout, only one coach and one additional staff member who is not a coach may be on the field and approach the huddle.
    • Minimum Play
      • It is the Head Coach’s responsibility to ensure all players play a minimum 50% of each game and has a starting position on offense or defense. If a playing time is being limited to less than the 50% for any player for any reason, the head coach is required to notify the player’s parents, the opposing head coach, and the League Administrators.
    • The following are acceptable reasons for limiting a play to less than 50% of a game.
      • Missing Practice
      • Illness/Injury
      • Disciplinary Action
      • Academic Concerns
      • Limited Preparation (Player is not on team at start of season)
    • Injuries
      • If game play is halted due to an injury, the injured player must sit out for at least one play.
      • Under no circumstances should a league coach treat a player for an injury unless the injury is minor. The only exception to this is if the coach is a licensed medical practitioner.
5th/6th Tackle Specific Rules

IAHSAA rules are in effect unless modified below.

Game Clock

There will be four quarters of play in each game, consisting of 15 minutes of continuous running time in each quarter. Halftime will be 10 minutes long unless dictated by the league administrators in order to prevent scheduling conflicts. During the last two minutes of each half, standard regulation time will be in effect.


May have one coach on the game field during live play. The coach must be 10 yards removed from the deepest athlete on both offensive and defensive plays. The on field coach is allowed to direct the huddle and other activities, but as soon as the quarterback starts the cadence, all on field coaches must cease any verbal and nonverbal communication. Should an official find a coach interfering with a play in progress, the official will penalize the coach, 1st offense 5yards, 2nd offense and after 15 yards each. If the interference caused a change in the game that results in a score change, the official can decide if it is necessary to remove or add points to the scoreboard.

After the 3rd game of the season our intent is to move the coaches off the field for the remaining 3 games.  This will be discussed at the mid-season coaches meeting. 

Playing Time

Each player must play 50% of the game and have a starting position on either offense or defense. 

    • ·       Example: If a player only plays defense then he must play defense the entire game. 



·        Potential Ball carrier weight limit

o   115 lbs.(Note: Fullbacks and TE must be under weight limit)

o   Players that weigh in at 115 lbs. or more may play Quarter Back or Tight End.   They may not run the ball past the line of scrimmage.  If they catch the ball the play is down immediately and the play will be whistled dead at the spot of the catch. 

§  Coach must notify officials and opposing coach before the player enters the game at the QB or TE position. 

§  Players over the ball carrier limit will be identified with a stripe on their helmet and may not line up at any other position in the back field (wingback, fullback, tailback, etc.) and may not line up as a split receiver off the line of scrimmage. 

·        Motion is allowed.

·        At least two backs must be in the backfield at the snap of the ball. A wing back that is aligned just outside the tackle or tight end and is off of the line of scrimmage is considered in the backfield.

·        All offensive lines must be balanced.

·        You may have one twin wide receiver set on one side of the line. Only one may be on the line of scrimmage.

·        Point After Touchdown

o   Point After Touchdown Kick/Run (1 Point)

o   Point After Touchdown Pass (2 Points).


       Except for defensive ends, all defensive linemen must be in a three-point or four point stance.


       Linebackers must line up at least 3 yards off of the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs must line up at least 5 yards off of the line of scrimmage. One defensive back or linebacker per every wide receiver may line up on the line of scrimmage as long as the defensive player is lined head-up on the wide receiver.

       The defense may deploy a goal line formation when the ball is inside the defenders’ five yard line. Linebackers must be 2 yards off of the line of scrimmage and defensive backs must be 3 yards off of the line of scrimmage. One defensive back or linebacker per every wide receiver may line up on the line of scrimmage as long as the defensive player is lined head-up on the wide receiver. A goal line formation is defined as any defensive front containing 6 players.  This includes stand up defensive ends, down defensive linemen, and stand up linebackers on the line of scrimmage. If the linebacker is covering a wide receiver, the linebacker will not count as part of the defensive front.


       No blitzing or stunting (with the exception of pinching or slanting the defensive line) is allowed. Defensive linemen are the only defensive unit that is allowed to rush the passer unless the passer moves outside of the tackles. Linebackers and defensive backs must read and react to the offensive plays. Linebackers and defensive backs should not be moving toward or rushing the line of scrimmage before the snap of the ball.

Punt/Punt Return

·        Auto Punt

o   The ball will placed 30 yards from the line of scrimmage or half the distance from the goal line if the offense is inside of the 30 yard line. The ball will never be placed inside of the 10 yard line during an auto punt.

Kick Off/Kick Return

·        All kick offs will be dead ball downs. The ball will be placed on the offensive team’s own 35 yard line.

Field Goal/PAT

       There is no defensive rushing allowed during the kick.

       After the kick, the ball is dead.

       Fake field goals and fake PATs are not allowed.


       Following a safety. The ball will be placed on the defensive team’s 35 yard line.

Mercy Rule

       Should a team lead another team by 21 points or more, a mercy rule will be in effect. When in effect, the winning team must run the ball. Passing is not allowed by the winning team as long as the mercy rule is in effect.



       IAHSAA rules are in effect. If a winner has not been decided at the end of 2OT, the game will result in a tie.

Home / Away

·        Home team will be BLACK jerseys

·        Away team will be YELLOW jerseys

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