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Maritime Football League
"On Field" Special Rules Summary for Officials    

Revised November 27, 2021

 (1) NUMBER OF PLAYERS ON THE 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 for 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 for 2021) and able to play at kickoff, the game will be canceled
for safety reasons and a forfeit awarded.

(2) NUMBER OF DOWNS-For all games teams will play 4 down football with the one yard neutral zone. There is NO requirement to pass on any down.

(3) 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.

      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.
      A player is considered to be inside "The Box" if their inside foot is in line with or inside of the outside foot of the outermost interior down offensive lineman (C, G, T, TE).
     There is no restriction on where defensive players can line up. This rule does NOT apply to special teams. This rule does NOT apply to plays inside the defensive 5 yard line.
     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.  

(5) TARGETING PENALTY-For any player penalized for Unnecessary Roughness 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:
       For fouls committed in the first half, the player is disqualified for the remainder of the game.
       For fouls committed in the second half, the player is disqualified for the remainder of the game AND for the first half of the next game in which the player participates. 

(6) 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 penalty. If the score is a lead of 8 points or less the QB must take a knee immediately once the ball is snapped.

(7) OVERTIME-No overtime during the regular season.

(8) 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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