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BY-LAWS OF THE 
MARITIME FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Amended December 3, 2022

(1) MARITIME FOOTBALL LEAGUE DUES

·        All  MFL teams will be responsible for an equal share of all officiating fees charged to supply officials
     by the Provincial Officials Associations for all regular and post season games. 

·        All  MFL teams will contribute equally toward the cost of league awards.  

·        All  MFL teams will contribute equally toward the cost of provincial football organization membership dues.  

·      The League Fee for 2023 is  $5,500 per member team. .  The league fee is based on 35 players per team. For each player on the roster above 35 players, the team will also have to pay the per player fee for the province in which the team is located. There will be no reduction in fees if a team has less than 35 players. All team fees are due May 15. Any team having an unpaid balance as of May 31 will not be permitted to play any more games until all outstanding fees have been paid. Island Mariners are permitted to deduct $600 from the league fee to help offset bridge costs. 

(2) SCHEDULE

·        The preparation of the schedule shall be the responsibility of the MFL Commissioner.

·        All games will be played as scheduled. Any changes in game time and/or location must be communicated one week before the game's originally scheduled time and location. For Saturday INTERprovincial games kickoff times must be between 2-4 pm unless otherwise agreed.    For Saturday INTRAprovincial games kickoff times must be between 2-7 pm unless otherwise agreed.

(3) CONDUCT AND REGULATION OF TEAM UNIT

a.      New players may be added to a team's roster until 5 pm of the Thursday of week 5 of the regular season. Any team dressing a non-roster player after this date will forfeit said game and be fined. The head coach will be suspended for the next game. Players must play at least ONE game to be eligible for the playoffs. Players must be at least 18 years old on December 31 in the year of play.

b.      Unsportsmanlike conduct or violation of the Code of Ethics on the part of any team, team official or any individual
     player will be dealt with by a Discipline Commissioner appointed by the League Council. If there is no Discipline     
     Commisioner or they are unable to serve then the MFL Commissioner will rule on the matter. The offending           
    person or persons may be subject to suspension. Each team shall be held responsible for the conduct of its players and   its staff, whether individually or collectively. The Discipline Commissioner or MFL Commissioner may, if  they deem  it beneficial to the MFL, suspend any team personnel. All decisions of the Discipline Commissioner or MFL Commissioner can be appealed to the League Council. 

     Any team personnel ejected from a game for rough play will be automatically  suspended for the following game. Any appeals of such suspensions must be submitted to the MFL Commissioner no later than noon on the Monday following the game. All evidence supporting the appeal is due no later than noon on the Tuesday following the game.  

    Any player ejected from a game for the second time in the same season  for rough play is subject to minimum 2 game
    suspension.  Any player ejected from a game  for the third time in the same season  for rough play will be automatically
    suspended for one calendar year. 

    Any ejected player must remove his uniform and leave the team's bench area immediately.

     Any suspended player is not permitted on the field during the team's pregame warm up or in its bench area during        
    the game.  

c.      Each visiting team must contact the home team prior to the playing date, provide rosters to each other 
     and confirm playing field and locker room locations. Each team is to provide the opposing team with any
     roster changes prior to game time. Failure to adhere to any of the above will result in the violating team 
    being referred to the League Council for possible disciplinary action.
    There will be a pre game meeting between the referee and both head coaches to exchange game day rosters.

    All players participating in any MFL game must be added to the team's roster on the League Roster Website by midnight of the Thursday prior to the game. Any team using players who have not been added to the roster by this deadline will forfeit said game. 
    
     Teams must update what players participated in a game on the League Roster Website by Monday at noon. If this is not done the League Council will  be informed. First offence will result in a $100 fine to the team. Second offence will result in all players not having that  game count as a game played.

       Opposing coach has one week  after the game to dispute any player's participation.

d.      No player or player coach shall be paid for participation in any MFL game. Any member team found
     in violation of this rule shall be subject to immediate suspension. Travel money to practice shall be 
     considered as paying the participant and shall not be allowed by the MFL.

e.      The field must be adequately marked in accordance with league rules. Separate shower and locker 
     room facilities will be provided for each team if reasonably available.
     Proper rest room facilities must be provided for the fans.

f.    All teams must make available any and all details of their Home Field.  This is to include directions and location of
     hospitals or clinics.  It is also to include in detail how the field differs from the stated Regulation field requirements.
     These details will be posted on the website prior to the first game of the season.

g.  Each home team must provide certified medical personnel at MFL games. Failure to do so will result in a fine of 
    $150.  The certified medical personnel via direct communication will call ambulances if necessary. The certified medical 
    personnel's identification will be shown, upon request, to the visiting team.   

h.  Teams must charge a minimum registration per player of $100. 

i.  Where a player has participated in two games for a team during the season that player must receive a
    written release from that team before playing for another team in the subsequent season. The releasing 
    team has the right to a face to face meeting with the player before granting the release. Releases shall 
    not be unreasonably withheld. Where a player has been refused his release he may appeal to a committee
    made up of the Commissioner and Conference Presidents. This committee has the power to grant a player a
    release. This clause shall override any contract between a player and a team.
   All teams will send the Commissioner a list of players owing money by September 30. 

     In the event a player seeks a release during the current season, the MFL will be cognizant of the fact that it
    may not be in the best interest of the releasing team to grant a release for that player.  This is an issue once
    a player has played 1 (one) game in the current season.  This is not to say that a player will not be granted
    the release, rather it is in recognition of the fact that the released player may have information of current systems
    of the releasing team.
    Any player owing money to a team will not be permitted to transfer to another team until the debt is settled.

j.   There is no restriction on where a player lives in order to determine which team he is eligible to play on.  Teams
    that share a common geographic region are encouraged to keep an open dialogue in the recruitment of common
    talent pools.

k.  In any situation which results in a conflict of colours, the Home Team will maintain their colours, and the Visitors are obliged to  make alternate arrangements. 

l.  Tinted visor rule is governed by the Canadian Rulebook for Tackle Football.   

m. Any team forfeiting any game without providing the home team with at least 5 days notice shall be fined $500.
    Any team forfeiting a game will be have a point deducted in the standings. The game score will be recorded as 28-0
    and the team awarded the win will receive the appropriate number of points in the league standings. 

n.  All teams must ensure their players, staff and regular volunteers are registered on the League Roster Website by May 1st of each year.  After this date new members of their organization must be registered prior to any
  organized activity, practice or game.  The Roster will be deemed official for game time, non-registered members will 
  not be eligible to play or participate under any circumstances. Also see 3c.

o. All players on a team should wear the same colour game socks. The other option is bare legs.

p. deleted

q.  All teams must have a "Team Conduct" coach at every game. This coach cannot be a player, either active or injured.
  The Team Conduct coach is charged with ensuring that the team's players show respect for their opponents both
    physically and verbally. Prior to each game the Team Conduct coaches will meet together with the referee to make sure
  that the MFL's Mission Statement is given top priority during the game. All Team conduct coaches must be approved by
  the Commissioner. All Team Conduct coaches must be submitted to the Commissioner two weeks before first game.   

r.   Video is mandated for all teams in the league. Each team will video home games and upload within 48 hours. All teams will contribute equally to the cost. All-star and MOP nominations are to include video highlights. The Home team must upload game film within 48 hours of end of game. Film should be wide angle and elevated.

s. Teams are limited to two practices per week during the regular season. There is no limit on the number of practices in the preseason or during the playoffs.

t. For venues that use announcers and/or music, the following rules apply:
  1) Announcing and music must stop when play is ready to commence-
  a) When the Referee blows their whistle to start a kickoff.
  b) When the offence breaks the huddle
  3) Announcing and music can be played once the play has ended an until #1 above comes into play.
  4) The Referee can penalize the home team for Objectionable Conduct if there is significant violation of this by-law.  

u. Each team is required to appoint a Social Media Coordinator to liason with the League Social Media Coordinator.

(4) GAME PROCEDURES

a.     MFL games shall be played in accordance with the Canadian Rulebook For Tackle Football except 
     as modified by the MFL in its Special Rules . See (5) below.

b.      A crew of officials, qualified and certified by a Provincial Officials Association shall work each game.

c.      The home team shall furnish chain crews, chains and sideline markers. The visiting team has the right to
     place one (1) member of its organization on the chain crew if it desires. The visiting team however, must 
     notify the home team of such decision at least fifteen (15) minutes before the scheduled game time. 
    All members of the stick crew must be mature and competent.

d.      The home team will furnish two (2) league footballs, of which at least one (1) will be a new football. 
    The game officials must approve the two footballs prior to game time. The official football of the Maritime Football League is the Wilson F2000 leather ball. Away teams can supply their own game balls so long as they are the Wilson F2000 leather ball. All game balls must be inspected by the officials before the game and reside with the timer/scorer when not in use. 

e.      The home team will provide access to the locker room , for the visiting team, at least two (2) hours prior
     to kickoff. Access to field facilities should be provided at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff.

f.      The team with the better record has the first option of hosting playoff games. Upon mutual consent of 
    both teams, the team with the lower record could host the game. Any additional financial agreements 
    between the two teams must be submitted to the MFL Commissioner and will be enforced by the MFL.

g.      MFL Tie Breakers:

      i)    Head to head games

     ii) Least  points allowed head to head

      iii)  Least  points allowed versus common opponents

      iv)  Least  points allowed overall

      v)  Coin toss

(5) SPECIAL RULES

1-NUMBER OF PLAYERS ON FIELD-Teams must declare that they are playing 12 aside or 10 aside, for the entire season, at least one week before the first game. Status can be changed at any point during the season if circumstances warrant. Any change in status, both temporary and ongoing, needs to be communicated to the Commissioner and next opponent by the Monday before the team’s next game. Changes in status must be due to uncontrollable factors such as injury, attrition or work commitments and NOT to gain a competitive advantage.  

Games will be played 10 aside unless both teams have declared 12 aside.

1-If either team has less than 24 players dressed (30 in 2021) and able to play at kickoff, the game MUST be played 10 aside for safety reasons.

2-If either team has less than 18 players dressed (26 in 2021) and able to play at kickoff, the game will be canceled
for safety reasons and a forfeit awarded.

2-GAME LENGTH-All games will consist of 4 quarters of 15 minutes, timed in accordance with the Canadian Rulebook for Tackle Football. Halftime is 10 minutes during the regular season and 15 minutes in the playoffs.

3-NUMBER OF DOWNS-Teams will play 4 down football with the one yard neutral zone.

4-BLOCKING BELOW THE WAIST will be in accordance with the Canadian Rulebook for Tackle Football. Blocking at or below the knee is not permitted. The only place where blocking below the waist (and above the knee) can occur is in the "Blocking Below the Waist Zone" (BBWZ). This zone is defined as: From TE to TE (or where a TE would be) plus two yards in advance of the line of scrimmage towards the defence PLUS back to protect the QB (or Kicker) in shotgun, pistol or dropping back from under center. (See Rulebook for exact wording) Any player blocking below the waist must be in the BBWZ and set at the snap.

5-PRESUURE DEFENCE RESTRICTIONS (BOX RULE)-FOR 10 ASIDE GAMES ONLY
a)-Defensive players may blitz from any depth inside "The Box". Players outside "The Box" are not allowed to blitz. There is no limitation on the number of players allowed to blitz.
b)-A player is considered to be inside "The Box" if their inside foot is in line with or inside the outside foot of the outermost interior offensive lineman (C,G,T,TE).
c)-There is no restriction on where defensive players can line up.
d)-This rule does NOT apply to special teams.
e)-This rule does NOT apply inside the defensive 5 yard line.
f)-If this rule is violated, the defence will be penalized 5 yards for "illegal defence"
Note: The purpose of this rule is to protect a quarterback attempting to pass from within the pocket.

6-TARGETING PENALTY
For any player penalized for UR against a player in a "defenseless posture" under Rule 7, Section 3, Article 16; the following will be added to the standard 15 yard penalty:
a)-For fouls committed in the first half, the player will be disqualified for the remainder of the game.
b)-For fouls committed in the second half, the player will be disqualified for the remainder of the game AND for the first half of the next game in which the player participates.

7-TAKING A KNEE PROTOCOL
When a team tells the Referee that they are taking a knee for the purpose of ending the half or a game, the Referee will advise both teams so that there is no misunderstanding. Any player crossing the neutral zone may be subject to a penalty. If the score is a lead of 8 points or less, the QB must take a knee immediately once the ball is snapped. 

8-OVERTIME
No overtime during the regular season.

9-HALFTIME
Regular season-10 minutes/Playoffs-15 minutes

10-TECHNICAL TIME OUT
Each team will be permitted one technical time out per half to ask for rule clarification relating to a particular call. This time out is NOT to be used to protest an official's decision.

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