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Middle TN Junior Football League

Middle TN Junior Football League

MTJFL Rules and Regulations

Middle Tennessee Junior Football League, Inc.
Rules and Regulations
(Updated January 2023)

Section I: League officers, League standards, members, governing body, jamboree, play-offs, Super Bowl, and game times.
Section II: Sign-ups, practices, equipment and playing time.
Section III: Eligibility of players.
Section IV: Weight and field positions of players.
Section V: Jamboree Roster and player activation.
Section VI: Game day, field specifications and specific rules.
Section VII: Player safety focus.


Section I: League Officers, League Standards, Members, Executive Board, Jamboree, Play-offs, Super Bowl, and Game Times

1. The League Officers will consist of a Corporate President, League President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasury. The above officers also make up the Executive  Board of the League and it is their responsibility to enforce the league's Rules as written and handle any issues that may arise until they can be addressed by a written rule. Additionally, it is their responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the League and its product is maintained and that all enforcements are fair, equitable and consistent in respect to each member community of the League.

2. Each Community will appoint a Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner to represent them in all League matters. The Commissioner/ Assistant Commissioner have the responsibility for making the operational rules for the League and ensuring the adherence of these rules with their organizations and community. New rule changes will be submitted to the Executive Board in February and will be voted on at the January MTJFL board meeting. 

3. League community members with their colors:
Cheatham County (Stars) ................. maroon, gray & white
East Robertson (Indians) .......... maroon & white
Greenbrier (Bobcats) ................. green & white
Jo Byrns (Red Devils) ................ black, red & white
Joelton (Vikings) ........................ purple & gold
Nashville (Titans) ....................... Columbian blue, navy, gray, white & red
Portland (Panthers) .................... purple, silver & white
Springfield (Yellow Jackets) ....... white & gold
South Cheatham (Indians) ......... red & white
White House East (Warriors) ............. black & blue
Dickson (Dolphins)..................... gray, black, orange, and teal
Nashville (Royals Athletic Club) ..... orange, purple, gray
Adairville (Wildcats)........................ gray, blue & black
White House West (Warriors) & black

4. Each community will be allowed only one vote on all League matters. If a community splits, it still only has one vote.

5. New members or rule change must be approved by majority of the commissioners present at that meeting.

6. Executive League President will only vote to break tie votes.

7. League teams are composed of four divisions: 6U, 8U, 10U, & 12U. A New league community must have all four teams to join MTJFL. If an existing community does not field a particular age group, they will be on probation for that year and if scheduled as a host site for play-off, will lose their play-off hosting. Failure to field the required number of teams the following year will result in suspension from the league. League suspension in 6U Pee Wee Division will start in 2025 with probation starting in 2024 since Pee Wee league was sanctioned in 2023.

8. If a community splits, they are required to split all four age groups and will pay double fees. 

9. All games will be played on Saturday with game times being: 9:00 am 10:30 am, 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm, with one exception, Games may be scheduled at night as long as the MTJFL scheduler is notified one-week prior to Jamboree.

10. Three officials will be required for all games except the Pee Wee Division only two are required.

11. Rotation of the Jamboree is as follows:
Cheatham County (Stars) .................. 2023
Joelton (Vikings) ....................... 2024
Greenbrier (Bobcats) ................. 2023
Jo Byrns (Red Devils) ................ 2024
Portland (Panthers) ................... 2025
South Cheatham (Indians) ........ 2025
White House West (Warriors) ......2026
Springfield (Yellow Jackets) ....... 2026
East Robertson (Indians) ........... 2027
Nashville (Titans) ....................... 2027

12. Rotation of the Super Bowl is as follows:
Springfield (Yellow Jackets) ...... 2023
South Cheatham (Indians) ....... 2024
East Robertson (Indians).". ........ 2025
Nashville (Titans) ...................... 2026
Cheatham County (Stars) .......2027
Joelton (Vikings) ........................ 2028
Greenbrier (Bobcats) ................. 2029
Jo Byrns (Red Devils) ................ 2030
Portland (Panthers) ................... 2031
White House (Warriors) ............ 2032

13. Rotation of play-off sites are assigned yearly, Communities that host a Jamboree or Super Bowl in the past year and present year cannot host a play-off. Play-off sites will be selected from the remaining communities. NOTE: Communities may trade dates, give up hosting sites, doing so, will not alter their next regular scheduled time with  Executive Board APPROVAL. The Super Bowl Trophy will be called the "Jack Combs Memorial Trophy," it shall be 24" in height.

14. Each team will play within its own division each year as many teams as the schedule and number of teams in the League will allow. At the end of the regular season, considering overall records, the top four teams in each age group from each Division will be in play-offs. East #1 vs West #4 East #2 vs West #3 and West #1 vs East #4 West #2 vs East #3. In the second round, highest remaining seeds from the East will play the lowest remaining seeds from the West and the highest remaining seeds from the West will play the lowest remaining seeds from the East. NOTE: for play-off seedings, tie breakers will be followed in the following order: Division Record, Head-to-Head, Points Allowed, Non-Division record, and Coin Toss. Highest seeds will play at home if hosting playoffs.  

15. All play-offs and Super Bowls will be played according to League Rules.

16. Maximum gate admission are as follows:
Jamboree  $5.00 Regular Season $5.00
Play-offs  $7.00 Super Bowl $7.00

17. Because we consider the overall safety of our athletes to be of utmost importance, each member of the League is required to be a part of the USA Football Heads Up Program, under the umbrella of the League and must follow their training and certification guidelines. USA Football Heads Up Program is to be added as an additional insurer on your Football Liability Insurance policies.

18. Any Fines collected will be paid to the League and will be used in determining the following year's community League fee. Fines and or penalties are as follows (not all inclusive):
a. Any Coach not certified by USA Football through MTJFL Umbrella - fined $100.00 and cannot coach until properly certified.
b. Player penalty for an altered birth certificate - player suspended for remainder of the regular and post season play.
c. If Coach knew about the above alteration - coach suspended for remainder of the regular season and post season play.
d. If Commission knew about the alteration - banned from MTJFL.
e. Program in which the player was discovered - Program on probation the following year.
f. Programs that allow a player to change numbers, participate under false name or plays a player who has not been officially placed on roster - Community on probation. 
g. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated in this League. Cases of this behavior may be addressed by the League based on the merits of each situation. Examples of this behavior are: Abusive Language, abusive play, unsportsmanlike like acts, threatening of players, coaches or game officials by fans or coaching staff members. This is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated in this League.
h. Any community that is placed on probation will be notified between the Super Bowl and the end of the calendar year. If any community causes themselves to be placed on probation, they will be ineligible for the next MTJFL post season hosting. Any community on probation two (2) years in a row will be dismissed from the League at the end of second year. NOTE: Each year ends on December 31.
i. As other actions merit being placed in these standards, they will be added.

Section II: Sign-ups, Practices, Equipment and Playing Time                          
1. Sign-up dates will be at the discretion of each Commissioner.

2. Practice with helmet only will be five weeks prior to the Jamboree and practice with full pads will start four weeks prior to the Jamboree.  After the Jamboree, practices are limited to 2 hours for a maximum of 2 times a week. Coaches may add a non-contact film night if they choose. If caught violating this rule, the head coach will be suspended for 2 games the first time. If caught again, the head coach will be suspended for a full year, starting day caught. Practice with NO pads or helmet after the Super Bowl and prior to five weeks before Jamboree is unlimited.

3. All players must be equipped according to rules when playing.

4. Jerseys must be uniformly numbered with 4-inch numbers on the front and back in a color arrangement that is easily readable. Players cannot play in un-numbered Jersey. Jersey numbers shall be numbered O through 99 inclusive.

5. Shoes may be of the molded variety with soft rubber or nylon cleats. No metal or metal-tipped cleats may be worn. Shoes with removable cleats made of soft rubber or nylon are acceptable.

6. Game ball must be a rubber or leather ball. Any questions about a ball must be settled by the Commissioners before the game starts. 6U and 8U Division will us a Pee Wee size football. 10U will use a junior size football and 12U will use a junior or youth size football. 

7. Each player must participate in four plays in an official four quarter game. Exception: If a game ends due to mercy rule the four-play rule will not apply and only one play will be required per player.  although it is strongly encouraged that if a game ends on a mercy rule that all players receive more than four plays if time allows.  Note: Violation of rule 7 will be a one game suspension for the head coach. (Next Game) 

Section III
: Eligibility of players
1. Peewee Division - players ages 6U

2. A Division - players are ages 8 U

3. AA Division - players are ages 10 U

4. AAA Division - players are ages 12 U

5. Each player's age on July 31 of the current season will determine the player's age.

6. To retain their eligibility, players must have passing grades in their schoolwork. Players found to be deficient in their grades will be placed on probation until a more favorable report is given to the commissioner. Continuation of deficient grades will require possible discontinuance of eligibility to play in this League.

7. Players who have met the requirement of the League and wish to play in the League may not be members of any other organized football team.

8. One of the most important eligibility rules is that of being courteous. Competitiveness in the League must be balanced by good sportsmanship by all.

Section IV:  Weight Limits and Field Positions of Players
1. No player in the League can be reclassified regardless of the amount of weight they may lose after the Jamboree weigh-in.

2. If a player in the Pee Wee Division weighs over 140 pounds at the Jamboree weigh-in, they must move up to A Division. This is a safety consideration only.

3. In Peewee Division, to play in the backfield or end position a player must not weigh over 70 pounds at the Jamboree weigh-in.

4. If a player in the A Division weighs over 160 pounds at the Jamboree weigh-in, they must move up to AA Division. This is a safety consideration only.

5. In the A Division, to Play in the backfield or end position a player must not weigh over 90 pounds at the Jamboree weigh-in.

6. In the AA Division, to play in the backfield or end position a player must not weigh over 110 pounds at the Jamboree weigh-in.

7. In the AAA Division, to play in the backfield or end position a player must not weigh over 130 pounds at the Jamboree weigh-in.

8. Players in excess of the weight limits above must play as monster men and will be classified as interior linemen.

9. Monster men must wear one stripe on their helmet. The stripe must run from front to back of the helmet and cannot be covered by anything and must be distinguishable from the primary color of the helmet.

10. Monster men have the following restrictions:
a). The maximum number of monster men per team that can be on the field at the same time is 5.
b). All monster men must be on the line of scrimmage lined down ( three point stance) at the time the ball is snapped. (This does not apply on kick-offs).
c.) No monster man may advance his own team's fumble. When recovered, ball becomes dead at that spot.
d). Offensive monster men may advance a free kick if they possess it before it has gone 15 yards, after 15 yards the ball is dead at spot of possession.
e). Defensive monster men may advance the other team's fumble anywhere on the field. They may advance a blocked kick or pass from behind the line of scrimmage only. They may not be used in defensive secondary, Penalty 5 yards first occurrence, 15 yards unsportsmanlike thereafter.
f). A monster man may be used as a punter but cannot advance the ball by run or pass. NOTE: If a monster man tries to advance the ball without punting, ball is dead at that spot.
g.) A monster man on defense can line up one yard outside the offensive tackle or can be heads up on the tight end.
h.)  Linebackers and/or defensive backs who come to the line of scrimmage between the defensive tackles in the Peewee Division, A Division, and AA Division must line down. Penalty, 5 yards first time, 15 yard unsportsmanlike thereafter. This rule does not apply in AAA Division. AAA Division Linebackers and/or defensive backs who come to line of scrimmage do not have to line down. 
I.)  AA and AAA Division can go for it or punt on fourth down. (Punts are live) 

Section V:  Roster and Player Activation.                                                                 
1. Official weigh-in, classification and team rosters will be determined at the Jamboree. All League teams must participate in the Jamboree.

2. At the Jamboree weigh-in each player must have the following: Birth Certificate or applicable court document, recent picture showing the jersey number and the player's name, in the Roster Book. If these documents are not available, any document meaning to be a replacement must be authorized prior to the Jamboree weigh-in by the League President. If the playing jersey is not available for the picture, anything reasonable can be substituted for the jersey if the playing number is put on the substitute in some manner.

3. Classification as to age will be made at the Jamboree weigh-in according to the birth certificate. Verification of the picture, weight and date of birth is the sole responsibility of the League Offices at the weigh-in station. The League will provide 2 copies per age group of the
official forms to be used at the weigh-in. These forms are to be filled out and turned in at the weigh-in to League Officials. These records of the team rosters must be kept by the Commissioners and be present at all games.

4. All players must be weighed in and listed on the team's official roster. NOTE: This is the only acceptable way a player may be weighed-in and verified. Each player must have on the following items at the weigh-in: Socks, Football Pants with Pads, T-Shirt or Jersey. Holding the jersey up before the player steps on the scales is allowable if the player has on a T-Shirt. The player will be assigned a jersey number. This will be their number for the entire season. If the assigned number is not worn during a game, they become ineligible unless the opposing Commissioner agrees to him playing without his assigned number.

5. The weigh-in instructions will be published as part of the rules well in advance of the Jamboree. Commissioners/Coaches are responsible for having all the requirements in order. If proper documentation is not present at the designated weigh-in time, the player will not be approved for the roster purposes at that time.

6. The roster of each team will be made from the official weigh-in sheets and given to the League President.                      
7. Any player officially entered on the team roster and unable to attend the Jamboree must be weighted-in at the League President's discretion but must be done before Jamboree.

8. No player may be assigned to a team roster after the Jamboree unless the community needs to add a player(s) to their roster because their number of players has dropped below 11. The League President will then ask for a majority of the Commissioners approval for the addition(s).

9. Any player who moves to a different zone may play for the team he wishes before the season starts. If he moves during the season, he retains his eligibility to play for his original team as decided at the Jamboree.

10. Players may not be solicited (recruited) from any other teams in the MTJFL. Any league found guilty of recruiting existing MTJFL players will be put on probation for one year and players must return to their previous league. Second offense will result in termination from MTJFL.  

11. Playing of an illegal or ineligible player will result in the forfeiture of all prior games the player played in, plus a two-game suspension of the Head Coach and if done again by the same coach he is banned from MTJFL.

12. If a team fails to have 11 players at game time, the affected team may move up enough players to make 12 players for that game. These players must come from the division below the affected team and will play under the new weight requirements.

13. A player who has an injury that requires the protection of a cast or splint will not be allowed to play in a game.

14. A player may only be rostered to a single age division with the ability to play up if the affected team drops to under 11 players. A player may only participate in post season play for the age division that they were rostered on at the jamboree. To qualify for post season, play for an age division, you must have 11 rostered players.

Section VI: Game Day, Field Requirements and Specific Rules

1. Location of games and game times are listed on the official schedule and can only be changed by agreement of both Commissioners. If an agreement cannot be reached, the home team forfeits their right to host the game and the game goes to the visitors to be played at the regularly scheduled time. If visitors elect not to host the game, the game goes back to the home team, and they set the time and place.

2. All games will be played on Saturday according to schedule.

3. Home team Commissioners will cancel games that cannot be played due to weather conditions. A four (4) hour notice is to be given if possible. Games cancelled due to weather will be played the following day on the same field starting at 2:00 pm, unless otherwise agreed to by opposing Commissioners.

4. When games are cancelled due to weather, the following guidelines will be followed:
a). The Assignor of the Officials must be called two (2) hours before the scheduled game time.
b). If Officials arrive at the game site without notice, that the game has been cancelled, they will be paid $30.00 per Official.
c). If the first game starts and is then cancelled, officials will be paid $45.00 each. If cancelled during the second game, Officials will be paid $90.00 each. If cancelled during the third game, officials will be paid $105.00 each.

5. The field will be 80 yards in length not including the end zones. Fields can be standard high school width. No goal posts are required as the League does not allow for field goal or extra point attempts.

6. The home team host will be responsible for the scorekeeper, and chain crew. Chain crew will be kept on home side of the field.

7. It is recommended that a prayer and the playing of the national anthem be done prior to the first (1st) game each week.

8. Homecomings are recommended but cannot delay the start of any game.

9. Each team must have a commissioner or Assistant present at every game. Opposing Commissioners, if called on, will settle problems immediately, if possible, with no delay to the game. Coaches and parents must address all complaints or concerns to their Commissioner and the Commissioner will decide whether to address the concerns to the League.

10. Only 7 Adults (must be 18 years or older) may be on the sidelines. A Commissioner may coach, however, if he coaches, his assistant is the Acting Commissioner. While coaching, he is subject to the coaching rules. A non-coaching Commissioner may be on the sidelines and does not count as 1 of the 7 Adults. 2 water boys/girls under 17 years old allowed on the sidelines. MTJFL highly recommends that all participating MTJFL sanctioned leagues require that all their coaches/volunteers pass state and national background checks. The responsibility to enforce background checks falls entirely on each individual leagues board and not MTJFL. 

11. All penalties will be 5 and 10 yards in length except for unsportsmanlike penalties which will be 15 yards in length.

12. All quarters will be 8 minutes in length in all Divisions with the clock being run using NFHS timing rules with a 10-minute break at the half. 

13. Teams in AA and AAA Divisions must get the play off in 25 seconds after the ready for play whistle is blown. In Pee Wee and A Division must get the play off in 30 seconds after the ready for play whistle is blown. 

14. Scoring will be as follows: Touchdown 6 points, Safety 2 points. Extra points from the 2-yard line 1-point, Extra point from the 5-yard line 2 points.

15. In Pee Wee and A Divisions:
a). Pee Wee and A Division will have the ball moved 20 yards or if applicable half the distance for punt.
b). 2 Offensive and 2 Defensive Coaches may be on the field in the Pee Wee Division, and 1 Offensive and 1 Defensive Coach may be on the field in A Division. They are to assume a position of 5 yards behind their deepest player.
c). As offense breaks huddle all coaching must stop and Coaches are to assume a position of 5 yards behind the deepest player. Coaches on the field are to stop coaching, remain quiet and not use their position on the field to influence the play, show out or question officials. Violation of this rule will be an unsportsmanlike foul with a 15-yard penalty. Second violation coach will be ejected from the game and receive a one game suspension.
d). In the Pee Wee division all offensive players must be within 15 yards of the ball.
e). In Pee Wee Division and A Division there are NO unbalanced lines. 

16. TSSAA tie-breaking rules will be used with one exception: After the second overtime period, the ball will be placed on the 5-yard line to start the third series and any other series.

17. All game problems will be handled by the Officials. Officials will only discuss game situations with the head coach, game situations of any kind will not be discussed with assistant coaches, water boys/girls. Problems concerning the Officials will be addressed by the Commissioner to the Assignor of officials, if the problem with an official persists it will be brought to the attention of the Executive Board where a decision will be made on how to proceed further.

18. The official game will be ended when a team leads by 30 or more points at half time or later. The score at that time is the official score. If both coaches agree, the game can be finished using a running clock. No punts or kickoffs will take place and the team that won cannot call any time outs, all other rules apply.

19. A player who is ejected from a game will receive a 1 game suspension that will be served the following game, either that year or the next year. If a player receives two ejections in the same season, they are suspended for the remaining season this includes playoffs, Super Bowl and all practices. failure to comply will result in permanent suspension from MTJFL. 

20. A Coach who is ejected from a game must leave the premises immediately and will receive a 1 game suspension that will be served the following game, either that year or the next year. The coach is not permitted to be in the stadium or on the premises during the team's game. Any coach that receives two ejections in the same season will be suspended for the remainder of the season. This includes playoffs, Super Bowl and all practices. failure to comply will result in permanent suspension from MTJFL. A Coach that is suspended by the League will be under these same guidelines.

21. If contact to an official occurs before, during, or after a ballgame that individual will be ejected and suspended for the remaining season. This includes playoffs, Super Bowl and all practices. failure to comply will result in permanent suspension from MTJFL. If contact occurs before or during the game the game will be terminated and forfeited.

22. All kick-offs will be from the 30-yard line unless changed by the penalty.

23. Filming of games is permitted in all League play. Access to the press box will be determined by the home Commissioner.

24. If playing on a high school field the team box will be between the 30-yard line. If on a Jr. Pro field, the 20-yard line.

25. Unless stipulated as an exception above, all other rules shall be enforced by the National Federation of State High School Associations rule book. The TSSAA is a member of this association.

26. Jamboree playing rules will be published separately each year.

Section VII: Player Safety Focus.                 
1. On January 1, 2014, Senate Bill 822 was made effective in Tennessee. Even though we had already started moving toward a concentrated focus on player safety, this law mandated the implementation of this focus. The following are the main features of this Law.
a). All community Commissioners and coaches are to be annually required to complete a head injury education course.
b). This education must be completed annually, and a copy of the current season certificate be on file with the community Commissioner.
c). Prior to the beginning of practice all Coaches, parents, and players must review and sign a concussion and head injury information sheet.
d). Any youth player who shows signs, symptoms; and behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the activity or competition and must be evaluated by a licensed medical professional with concussion training.
e). Any youth player who has been removed from practice or play who has suffered or suspected to have suffered a concussion, shall not return to practice or competition until the player has been evaluated by a health care provider and received written clearance from that health provider for a full or graduated return to play.
f). All the above signed documents and certifications are to be maintained for a period of 3 years.
g). The Middle Tennessee Junior Football League (MTJFL) has elected to go above the state law requirements in trying to provide maximum safety for our young athletes. We also believe that in addition to concussions, proper equipment fitting, heat and hydration, proper tackling techniques, proper blocking techniques and sudden cardiac arrests are very important in trying to keep the players as safe as possible.
h). The MTJFL has partnered with USA Football and their Heads-Up Football Program to assist us to meet our commitment to our youth athlete's safety.



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