Website Manager

Columbia Youth Football League

Columbia Youth Football League

3rd & 4th Grade Tackle Football Rules

2020 CYFL 8-Man Tackle Football Rules


All rules follow 11-man football rules with the exceptions below:


1.            Player age: division will consist of teams comprised of 3rd and 4th grade players.

2.            Field size: games will be played on an 80 by 40 yard field.

3.            Minimum roster size for 8-man football is 10 players needed to form a formal squad.

4.            Weight Certification: All players must be certified by a CYFL official before playing in a game. Certified weight at certification shall determine a player's eligibility to advance the ball as a ball carrier. Dates for Height and Weight Certification shall be determined in August.

     A) Weight Limits (Regular Season & Playoffs):      

o   3rd/4th Grade = 100 lbs

     B) Ball Carrier Eligibility: Any player that exceeds the specified weight limit at the certification shall be prohibited from advancing the ball throughout the season.    

o   "Striped" players are permitted to line up anywhere on the field for blocking purposes only.

o   If an offensive "striped" player attempts to advance the ball, the play shall be whistled "dead". A 15 yard penalty plus a loss of down shall be assessed to the offense.

o   The only exception is a recovery of a fumble, interception or a catch of a deflected ball by a "striped" player whereby the team shall not be assessed a penalty. The ball shall be placed at the spot of the recovery or deflected catch.

Football Size

   3rd/4th Grade:  Pee-Wee or K2 Football 


5.            The game will consist of four (4) 15 minute quarters.

6.            Half-time will be 15 minutes and End of Quarters will be 5 minutes

7.            The game clock will not stop except for time-outs and/or injuries

8.            The last 2 minutes of each half will be played like regular football (clock only stops on incomplete passes, running out of bounds, time out etc.)

9.            Each team will get 2 time outs per half and they cannot be carried over

10.            Play Clock is 40 seconds.  Time starts once the ball is placed by the referee.

Special teams 

11.         No punts are allowed: If a punt is declared, the ball will be advanced 25 yards from spot of the ball, then a change of position.

12.         No kickoffs are allowed: Teams start on the 20 yard line on an 80 yard field at beginning of halves, after scoring, etc.

13.         Extra point attempt is allowed after a touchdown: Kicked extra points with no be contested with any defensive rush... 10 second countdown until ball must be kicked!

14.         Field goal attempts are allowed: Field goal attempt will not be contested with any defensive rush... 10 second COUNTDOWNS until ball must be kicked!


15.         Td = 6 points

16.         Extra points/kicking extra-point = 2 points no rushing allowed / see rule 12

17.         Running or passing extra point = 1 point

18.         Field goals = 3 points no rushing allowed / see rule 13


Lineman stance 

19.         Defensive lineman can be in 3-point or 4-point stance.  Offensive lineman need to be 3-point stance.

20.         No one can line up directly in front of the center. Defensive player helmet cannot be in front of center, includes shading the center’s shoulder pad.  Center should be free and clear of defensive opponent.  Defensive players are otherwise allowed in “A” gaps, if they do not shade center in any way.

21.         Defense maybe have 2 down lineman.  One over each guard.   All other players in the box, must be 3 yards off the ball.  Only time this will not apply is when the ball is inside the 5 yard line.



22.         At least 5 offensive players will be on the line of scrimmage at the start of snap

23.         Only players at the right and left ends of the line are eligible to receive passes.

24.         No Trips Formations.

25.         No Blitzing



26.         All backs are eligible pass receivers (if) they are legally behind the line of scrimmage at the snap

27.         The passer cannot catch his own pass

28.         Only direct running is allowed in 8-man football (if you are on the line, you can’t receive a hand- off)

29.         The tackles cannot run the ball (they are part of the line of scrimmage)

30.         All fumbles are live and can be recovered (behind the line and in from of the line) as in regular football

Coaches on field 

31.         One (1) coach from each team are permitted to be on the filed with the team. Once the center touches the ball all on-field coaching must stop. All coaches must stand 20 yds behind the line of scrimmage, behind their own team. 


32.         Before the snap dead ball penalty enforced 5 yard penalty replay down after the snap

33.         Offence interference 5 yard penalty from the line of scrimmage loss of down

34.         Defense interference 5 yard penalty from end of run or line of scrimmage, automatic first down

35.         Penalty yardages should be 5 or 10 yards on 80 yard field (15 yard penalties not allowed on 80 yard field)

36. Targeting 
First Offense by a player - 10 yard penalty and a warning.
Second Offense by the same player - 10 yard penalty and ejection from game. 
Third Offense by the same player - 10 yard penalty and 2 game suspension. 

37. Horse Collar
10 yard penalty

38. Chop Block
10 yard penalty

39. Blind Side Block
10 yard penalty

Series or downs  

40.         Each team will have four (4) consecutive downs to advance the ball into the next zone (10 yards) or to score a touchdown

41.         Once a team advances to the zone (10 yards) it will result in a 1st down and a new series of downs

42.         The ball will be placed in the center of the field after each down by the spotter/clock keeper

42.         A team failing to move the ball into the next zone (1st down) will lose possession. The opposing team will take over at the point where the ball is declared dead and will start it’s series of downs from that point.

Spread rule 

43.         When one team is 28 points or more ahead at any point in the game

44.         The clock will not stop: time-outs, scores, or the last two minutes of the half or game

45.         Only for injuries or medical attention (will clock stop)

46.         Failure to comply will result in 5-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage for each instance

Offense (when in spread-rule) 

47.         The team that is ahead by 28 points (or more) must run the ball between the tackles and cannot pass the ball at all.

48.         However, you will be allowed to split one offensive back no more than five (5) yards outside the tight end.

49.         The team that is behind 28 point or more will start all offensive series on the 10-yard line going in for the remainder of the game even if the score goes under the 28 point spread

50.         Once the game enters the spread-rule it will remain in spread-rule for the remainder of the game.

Dead Balls

51.         ALL fumbles that happen during the exchange between Center and QB while under center will be considered a Dead Ball.  During the first game, this type of fumble will be replayed and NO loss of down.   After the first game, this type of fumble will be a Dead Ball and a LOSS of down. 


Targeting means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting include but are not limited to:

Launch — a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make forcible contact in the head or neck area

A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area, even though one or both feet are still on the ground

Leading with helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area

Lowering the head before attacking by initiating forcible contact with the crown of the helmet.

Horse-Collar - All players are prohibited from grabbing the inside back collar of the shoulder pads or jersey, or the inside collar of the side of the shoulder pads or jersey, and immediately pulling the ball carrier down.

Chop Block - A Chop Block is a block by the offense in which one offensive player (designated as A1 for purposes of this rule) blocks a defensive player in the area of the thigh or lower while another offensive player (A2) engages that same defensive player above the waist.

Blind Side Block - A blindside block is defined as a player initiating a block when his path is toward or parallel to his own end line, and he makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm, or shoulder.


Columbia Youth Football League
PO Box 7052 
Columbia, Missouri 65202

Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2021 Columbia Youth Football League  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In