Orange County Youth Football League
D3 Game Rules

Cornwall – Goshen- Highland – Kingston – Marlboro – Middletown – Minisink Valley – Monroe – Monticello – Newburgh – City of Newburgh – Pine Bush – Port Jervis – Valley Central – Wallkill – Warwick – Washingtonville

These are Game Rules Only. For complete rules and regulations on eligibility, registration, conduct, coaching requirements, practice, safety and more refer to OCYFL Rules, Regulations and Procedures Manual

Primary Rules: The Orange County Youth Football League will follow National Federation of High Schools and NY State Section 9 rules. The following rules are the only modifications or exceptions to these rules.

Age: 12 and 13 years old on or before 11/1 of current calendar year.

Age Limit: 12 and 13 years old on or before 11/1 of current calendar year. 14-year old's who turn 14 on or after August 1st of current season. No player shall enter the 9th grade during the season.

Weight Limit: 166 pounds

Eligible Players: Only players on the official OCYFL board member signed roster who make weight are eligible to play. See official OCYFL rules and regulations for penalties regarding ineligible players.

Pre-Game Weigh In: Weigh in will be conducted at half time of previous game, or 30 minutes prior to the first game. Each town must provide a medical scale for weigh in. A coach from each town will meet at the designated weigh in area with a completed OCYFL board approved league roster that will be exchanged and kept by other team. Any player not on this roster will not be allowed to weigh in or play. Failure to provide an approved roster will result in that team forfeiting the game, but the game will still be played. Each player will be weighed. They will be allowed 3 pounds for mandatory equipment at weigh in (football pants with knee, thigh, hip and tail pads, and athletic cup) A standard medical scale will be set at 169 pounds. If a player tips the scale, they will be considered overweight and not eligible for the game. If a digital scale is used, a player will be given until 169.9 pounds before they are considered overweight and not eligible for the game.

Each player will only be weighed once. If they have on helmet, shoulder pads, jersey, shirt, socks or cleats, they will be allowed to immediately remove them at the weigh in area and then be immediately weighed again.

If a player arrives after the weigh in, but before the coin toss, they will be allowed to weigh in and play if they make weight. If a player arrives after the coin toss, they must sit the first half and may weigh in at half time and play the second half if they make weight.

Players who are ineligible for the game must be indicated to the opposing coach at weigh in (ex. required practices not met, medical excuse, overweight, not properly equipped). All ineligible players may remain on the sideline, but must remove helmet and shoulder pads.

Referees: Each town will supply at least two referees for all games at their site. If no referees show up within a half hour of posted game start time, the home team will forfeit the game and it will be played as a controlled scrimmage. If only one referee is present at the start of the game, the game will be delayed up to a half hour for the second referee to show up. If the second referee does not show up, the home team will forfeit and the game will be played as a controlled scrimmage. All games are to be played whether they are protested or a controlled scrimmage. In the case of a protest, the OCYFL Executive Board will rule on the game afterwards.

Playing Fields: Must be regulation size for high school and contain full markings as for yardage, yard lines and goal lines. The bench will be marked between the 25 yard lines. Chains will be kept on the home sidelines with volunteers from the home team.

Game Balls: Each team must supply its own game ball. Game balls must be of good grade leather or composite leather and be official youth size.

Equipment: All players must wear the following equipment in order to eligible to play.

  1. Helmet: League issued bearing NOCSAE seal of certification
  2. Shoulder Pads
  3. Thigh, Knee, Tail, and Hip Pads
  4. Pants and Jersey
  5. Sneaker or Rubber Cleats. No screw in or metal cleats
  6. Athletic supporter/cup
  7. Mouthpiece with strap

At no time is any league equipment to be altered or modified in any manner.

Clear face shields are permitted, tinted ones are not.


Length of Periods: Four 12-minute quarters.

Intermission: There will be an 8-minute break between the second and third quarter.

Cheerleaders will be allowed to perform during this break. Away team performs first.

Scoring: Scoring is as follows:

  1. Touchdown: 6 Points
  2. Field Goal: 3 Points
  3. Safety: 2 Points
  4. Kick PAT 2 Points
  5. Run or Pass PAT 1 Point

Run Up Score Substitution

Both the letter and the spirit of this rule are expected to be followed.

Any time a team goes ahead by 18 points or more, the following shall be instituted and remain in place for the remainder of time that the point difference is 18 or more points.

The team with the low score will receive the ball on the 50-yard line after an opposing team score.

At the beginning of the second half, the low scoring team will receive the ball on the 50-yard line regardless of who received the ball at the beginning of the game.

**Post Season Only** In both cases, the low scoring team will receive the ball on their 35 yard line, not the 50 .

The coaches of both teams will request an official time out to give the referee notification that the mercy rule has been reached. The official will warn the high scoring team's head coach regarding player substitution requirements as follows:

No running clock to allow teams to get all players mandatory plays.

The high scoring team must remove the starting quarterback, backfield, and receivers from the game on the next offensive possession. (They are allowed to remain in the game for the completion of the extra point of score that results in the 18 plus point difference.).

Starting backfield and ends may renter the game as interior lineman only if the number of eligible players is below 17.

Starting defensive players on the high score team may remain in the game, but team should substitute in non-starting players as much as possible. One extra timeout will be given to the high score team to make these changes.

The high score team may run any offense as long as they do not run a hurry up style offense and the quarterback are the only one who passes or hands off the ball. No trickery is allowed.

Punting or kicking are considered offensive plays. As such, starting backfield may not be in the backfield for these. This includes holding, kicking or punting. This rule applies to Kick offs, punts, field goals and PAT's (except for the initial PAT after the touchdown which puts the 18-point difference.

Mandatory Playing Time: Mandatory playing time rule will be determined by the approved roster and total number of eligible players at the start of the game.

The penalty for failing to substitute or illegal player re-entry into the game will result in that team's final home game being moved to opponents' field. (With the penalized team responsible for paying the opponents referee fees). The high score team's head coach will be suspended for a minimum of one game and subject to multiple game suspension at the discretion of the OCYFL Executive Board.

If it is the team last game of the season, the loss of home game will apply to the following season. If it is the last game of the regular season, the coach suspension will apply to playoffs if the team makes them. If team does not make playoffs, suspension will apply to first game(s) of the following season.

Referrers should be notified of any violation of the run-up rule.

Town president needs to file an official incident report with the OCYFL Executive board for investigation.


  1. Roster 30 or More: Minimum of (6) plays per player per game
  2. Roster 25 - 29: Minimum of (8) plays per player per game
  3. Roster of 19-24: Minimum of twelve (10) plays per plater per game
  4. Roster 18 or Less: Minimum of (12) plays per player per game


The penalty for not meeting the minimum playing time for players will be a one game suspension for that team's head coach and possible forfeiture of that game, after review by OCYFL Executive Board.

To avoid any confusion, if a player refuses to go into the game, a designated coach will consult with that player's guardian, and player is to remove helmet, signaling that they are no longer eligible.

Game Start: Teams must be ready to take the field immediately at the conclusion of the proceeding game. If not, a 10-yard penalty may be imposed.

Coaching: The coaching staff is under the direction of the head coach who will assume the responsibility for the actions of any and all assistants.

A total of 10 credentialed members (head coach, asst. coach, trainer, team mom, junior coaches) are allowed on the sideline for a game. All sideline staff must wear a town issued photo ID and be attired in a town coach's shirt.

Two coaches are allowed on the field during a time out, except during an injury where more are allowed to clear the field so medical personnel and vehicle can get to the injured player.

Any ineligible coach on the field at any time will receive a 15-yard penalty for misconduct.

Coaches are responsible for completing an injury report by the following day.

Any coach ejected from a game will be automatically suspended from the next game at a minimum.

A longer suspension may be added after an OCYFL Executive Board Review.

Kick Offs: Conform to High School Rules

PAT and Field Goals: Conform to High School Rule

Punt: Conform to High School Rules

Defense: Conform to current NY State High School Rules, except that when teams line up to kick, either punt, PAT or Field Goal, any man lined up on the center must be 3 yards off the ball.

Offense: Formations and plays should conform to local high school.

Mandatory splits for offensive linemen are fingertip to fingertip or less.

All offensive backs excluding the quarter back, cannot line up less than 3 yards off the ball while they are on or between the tackles. The only exception is a back in motion at the snap of the ball. After one warning, for less than 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage, the offensive team is subject to a 5 yard penalty every time thereafter.

There shall be no blocking at or below the defensive players knees.   The penalty for this shall be 15 Yards

The OCYFL does not conform to High School Rules in reference to jersey numbers. The position of the player dictates their eligibility for that particular play. (ex. 62 can be an offensive end and 54 can be a running back etc.)

Safeties: Conform to current NY State High School Rules

20 Yard Line overtime Procedure: The NYSHSAA overtime procedure will be followed. The highlights of this are:

  • There will be a 3-minute intermission.
  • Coin toss in which away team calls toss.
  • Winner of coin toss can decide to be on offense or defense first or decide which end of field the overtime will be played on.
  • The same end of the field will be played on when both teams are on offense.
  • The loser will have their choice of the other option.
  • Penalties do carry over from last play of game.
  • Each team is given 1 timeout per overtime period (an offensive series for team A and Team B).
  • The team scoring the most points in the overtime period will be declared the winner.
  • To start the overtime, the offensive team shall put the ball in play first and 10 on the defensive team's 20-yard line or succeeding spot of carry over penalty.
  • The offensive team will have a series of 4 downs to either score or gain enough yardage for a first down. If the offensive team gains a first down, the possession will continue, with the ball in play as either first and 10 or first and goal if the ball is snapped inside the defensive team's 10-yard line.
  • The series shall be terminated by any score of the offensive team, or if the defensive team has possession of the ball. If the team on offense scores a touchdown, it is entitled the opportunity for a PAT try, unless the points would not affect the outcome of the game.
  • A field goal attempt is permitted on any down.
  • If the defensive team gains possession, the ball becomes dead immediately and the offensive team's series of downs is ended.
  • If the defensive team scores a safety or a touchdown, the game is over.
  • After the first team on offense has completed its possession, the first team on defense will become the offensive team with the ball on the defense's 20-yard line.
  • If the score remains tied after each team has had 1 possession, the procedure will be repeated from the ten-yard line until a game winner is determined. The loser of the original overtime coin toss will be given first choice of option. If additional overtime periods are required, then first options will be alternated with no coin toss.
Revised February 21, 2024
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