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1st and 2nd Grade Rookie Tackle Rules


gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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I'm helping one of our long time friends coach a 1st/2nd grade rookie tackle team. He's also helping with my 5th graders. I attend 1 of his practices per week, he attends 1 of mine. Last night, I looked over the "rookie rules". Hold on to your butts because the brain trust has really jumped the shark this time. It seems that they took the Flex football rules and just RAN with them after a week long cocaine/meth bender.

8 man football - nothing weird here. Makes sense.

No patch rule - umm . . . so it's safe for 1st and second graders to play without a patch rule and it's safe for 6th, 7th and 8th, but 3rd, 4th and 5th is too dangerous?

40 yard field. Offense always goes from midfield to endzone. 2 games on one field going in opposite directions. So due to safety concerns of one game spilling into another:

  • All interceptions and fumble recoveries are blown dead. No advancing.
  • No special teams.
  • No safeties.
  • Offensive penalties from the 40 yard starting point are loss of down with no yardage marked off.

Personal fouls come with a mandatory substitution for 1 play as a "cooling off period", but personal fouls are 10 yards instead of 15 due to the shortened field.

No special teams

Offense:

  • The only player allowed in a 3 point stance is the center. 
  • Maximum distance between center and gaurds is 3 yards.
  • No unbalanced lines.
  • No unbalanced backfields, specifically, no "trips", but this does not apply to backs inside the "guard box"
  • Offensive line must raise their hands after breaking the huddle to identify themselves as offensive linemen. This is due to the "all players, all positions" philosophy. (???)
  • No QB sneaks
  • Motion is allowed, but must not result in a "trips" formation.
  • No blocks below the waist. I guess if the guy across from you (more on that in the Defense section) outweighs you by 40lbs, you just need to suck it up.

Defense:

  • Defense may only have 2 men on the line of scrimmage, head up on the Guards with no shading . . . unless the offense has a TE, in which case you may put a defender over the TE(s).
  • If the offense has no TEs, defense may put more players on the LOS, but they must be head up on "the man they are covering".
  • Every defensive player who is not covering an offensive player must start 4 yards from the LOS.
  • One player MUST line up 10 yards from the LOS. (not kidding)
  • All defensive players must be in a 2 point stance.
  • This next one is a direct quote because there is no way I can paraphrase it: "No blitzes are allowed. Players within the box at the snap can penetrate upon the snap. Linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks (both on the line and at depth) can flow to the ball naturally after a handoff is made, but predetermining penetration to a specific gap is illegal." umm . . . okay? So give every possible advantage to the "fast kid to the outside" offense?
  • "The box includes offensive players who line up within two yards of the ball and on the line of scrimmage along with the defensive players lined up directly over them. On pass plays, anyone outside the box on the snap cannot rush the quarterback and must remain behind the line of scrimmage in pass coverage. Coaches are encouraged to be creative with their formations but not use "the box" to delay defensive penetration." . . . umm . . . okay? So no QB draws or scrambles?

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Joined: 12 years ago
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Next they will stop keeping score. 

Some things I get. If you look at 8 man and 6 man HS Rules there are some oddities but its all meant for leveling the playing field being that unique advantages do exist with less players. As it was described on Hueys...the field size does not change from 11 man to 8 man so some adjustments are necessary. I do believe the field size changes for 6 man. 

Playing two games on one field is a financial decision. There are Orgs in the League that have access to only one field anymore. Football has become an afterthought for many Parks and Recs Districts. If AYFA can play all games on Friday night they save $20K, for example and since AYFA is fielding the most Rookie teams...financial decision. 

I spent 5 years coaching Pro Indoor Arena. All these Belt and Alley Rules of alignment seemed silly until you realized they were needed to sell tickets. The Fans are not interested in watching 7-3 battles which would happen if you didn't mandate certain things for the Defense. 

So now one thing leads to another. LB'rs cant blitz and must stay behind the "Belt" ( 4 yards deep ). OK so now you have to kill all QB sneaks or the Offense will gain 3 yards every snap automatically....and so on. 

Everything else just hurts my brain like what about on side kicks?

The game is changing. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 12 years ago
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Topic starter  

@mahonz What it says to me is "this is 1st/2nd grade football, so let's not take it seriously. In that spirit, let's cater to mediocrity."

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9631
 

Hell, if they really want to go in the direction I think they want with those lineman restrictions, they should adopt my idea and eliminate the neutral zone, and allow players on both lines to make contact before the snap as long as they don't put a foot or hand on the ground beyond the far point of the ball, and don't touch the snapper or the ball (unless they're the snapper, of course).  But you'd also have to outlaw backstepping by players in contact with their opponents before the snap, to keep them from pulling them offside.  Aside from that, no movement by linemen other than the snapper would be considered a false start.  So, like a 1-row rugby scrum, but no binding with teammates.  Much as football was played on the line in the 19th Century.

And then to go with that, every player not on the line would have to be clearly in the backfield on either team.  But none of that 4 yards business.  And players on the line would have to be within arm's length of their opponents' line.  This would practically eliminate 3- and 4-point stances on the lines, as players would rather reach out and engage before the snap, and cut blocking, while not outlawed, would be hard to execute.  If the O line used wide splits, it would be to the advantage of both sides to be in 2-point, as the D line would often shade or play a gap rather than lay both hands on an opposing line player before the snap.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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Posted by: @mahonz

I spent 5 years coaching Pro Indoor Arena. All these Belt and Alley Rules of alignment seemed silly until you realized they were needed to sell tickets. The Fans are not interested in watching 7-3 battles which would happen if you didn't mandate certain things for the Defense.

But that was true only because they insisted on 8 a side in that amount of space.  Even 7 a side could've been feasible with fewer restrictions, and women had a 6-a-side indoor version (they called it "Sixxes") that was unrestricted.

Jim Foster explained to me that with fewer than 8 a side it wouldn't've sold as really resembling the 11 a side outdoor game.  I'd've sold the distinctions rather than the similarity, but when you consider his original idea (or maybe it was that of someone else he knew) was to be an entrepreneur of indoor soccer, for which he couldn't get funding, then you can see him thinking how he could make it look as much like football as he could.

This post was modified 2 months ago by Bob Goodman

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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 387
 
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

I'm helping one of our long time friends coach a 1st/2nd grade rookie tackle team. He's also helping with my 5th graders. I attend 1 of his practices per week, he attends 1 of mine. Last night, I looked over the "rookie rules". Hold on to your butts because the brain trust has really jumped the shark this time. It seems that they took the Flex football rules and just RAN with them after a week long cocaine/meth bender.

8 man football - nothing weird here. Makes sense.

No patch rule - umm . . . so it's safe for 1st and second graders to play without a patch rule and it's safe for 6th, 7th and 8th, but 3rd, 4th and 5th is too dangerous?

40 yard field. Offense always goes from midfield to endzone. 2 games on one field going in opposite directions. So due to safety concerns of one game spilling into another:

  • All interceptions and fumble recoveries are blown dead. No advancing.
  • No special teams.
  • No safeties.
  • Offensive penalties from the 40 yard starting point are loss of down with no yardage marked off.

Personal fouls come with a mandatory substitution for 1 play as a "cooling off period", but personal fouls are 10 yards instead of 15 due to the shortened field.

No special teams

Offense:

  • The only player allowed in a 3 point stance is the center. 
  • Maximum distance between center and gaurds is 3 yards.
  • No unbalanced lines.
  • No unbalanced backfields, specifically, no "trips", but this does not apply to backs inside the "guard box"
  • Offensive line must raise their hands after breaking the huddle to identify themselves as offensive linemen. This is due to the "all players, all positions" philosophy. (???)
  • No QB sneaks
  • Motion is allowed, but must not result in a "trips" formation.
  • No blocks below the waist. I guess if the guy across from you (more on that in the Defense section) outweighs you by 40lbs, you just need to suck it up.

Defense:

  • Defense may only have 2 men on the line of scrimmage, head up on the Guards with no shading . . . unless the offense has a TE, in which case you may put a defender over the TE(s).
  • If the offense has no TEs, defense may put more players on the LOS, but they must be head up on "the man they are covering".
  • Every defensive player who is not covering an offensive player must start 4 yards from the LOS.
  • One player MUST line up 10 yards from the LOS. (not kidding)
  • All defensive players must be in a 2 point stance.
  • This next one is a direct quote because there is no way I can paraphrase it: "No blitzes are allowed. Players within the box at the snap can penetrate upon the snap. Linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks (both on the line and at depth) can flow to the ball naturally after a handoff is made, but predetermining penetration to a specific gap is illegal." umm . . . okay? So give every possible advantage to the "fast kid to the outside" offense?
  • "The box includes offensive players who line up within two yards of the ball and on the line of scrimmage along with the defensive players lined up directly over them. On pass plays, anyone outside the box on the snap cannot rush the quarterback and must remain behind the line of scrimmage in pass coverage. Coaches are encouraged to be creative with their formations but not use "the box" to delay defensive penetration." . . . umm . . . okay? So no QB draws or scrambles?

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't USA Football involved with this? I seem to remember the rec trying to introduce this last year when we were worried about numbers. The coaches -- especially those that practiced during the summer -- revolted. I was ready to run the double wing without a FB. Thankfully, we had enough for five teams (technically four, but some odd ball named Johnson split 30 kids into two teams) and didn't have to play this way.

This type of league is a perfect example about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions..

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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