Rules - Backyard Flag Football

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1. Questioning of calls made by officials on the field
2. Coaches, assistant coaches and stat keepers trying to influence a referee to make a call or to
change his call in favor of their team
3. Throwing of playbooks, folders, clipboards, hats, etc.
4. Vulgar language from fans who feel they are a part of the team’s coaching staff
5. Coaches allowing players to complain, question or comment on a call from the referee
6. Coaches insinuating to an official or directly to a player on an opposing team that they are
deliberately trying to hurt players from their team
7. Too many parents on the sidelines who are not coaches, assistant coaches or stat keepers
8. Coaches arguing and repeatedly questioning referees about the spot of the ball on the field
9. Teams complaining about other teams tying their flag belts
10. Illegal blocking or setting of illegal picks
11. Coaches not distributing the ball evenly to all players but giving it to the same 2 or 3 players
12. Coaches running onto the field to protest a call made by a referee
13. Pushing or shoving of a player out of bounds so that an opposing player does not get a first
down or a touchdown
14. Parents of players running onto the field…absolutely not allowed unless a coach or referee
calls them to the field
15. Coaches pointing at opposing coaches and making comments towards each other
From this point forward, Backyard Flag Football will enforce the following disciplinary action if
any of the above incidents occur, prior to, during or after a game. If an incident occurs during a
game, there will not be a warning issued – the game will be stopped and the coaches, assistant
coaches, stat keepers or whomever incurred the infraction will be held accountable for having
his or her team forfeit that game. Regardless of the score, the opposing team will be awarded
the victory and the person or persons that have committed the childish act will be suspended
from coaching or being on the sidelines of any of the remaining games. If the infraction is
deemed serious enough, the team will ultimately pay the price by having to forfeit out of the
Backyard Sports has a “Zero Tolerance” for parents and spectators regarding the above issues
and to date, they have adhered to those rules. What concerns me and is quite disheartening to
me and several parents in the league is the outlandish behavior of some of the coaches,
assistant coaches and stat keepers. I personally love to win at everything I do; but each and
every one of us as coaches need to be reminded that we are coaching kids! Your actions can be
construed as threatening to players on your team and players from opposing teams as well as
parents and spectators. You may not realize it, but as a coach you can be a key player in a
child’s decision to continue playing the sport or turning him or her away due to your actions.
Never lose sight of that fact that you are a role model for these players. With that in mind,
think before you react!
Finally, how would you react as a parent if your son or daughter was refereeing a game and
being verbally assaulted by a coach? Keep in mind that the NFL has 6 officials on the field and
instant replay to review any calls that they feel were made incorrectly. We have 2 referees who
are young adults trying to make a few dollars. For what the league pays these referees, we
could pay a WPIAL referee. Instead, we believe in rewarding players who have played in the
league and are willing to help younger players out. All of these referees have or are still playing
tackle football for area high schools. To the younger players, they are seen as role models. Are
the referees going to make bad calls? This may come as a shock to you, but yes they are!
I have been refereeing for 26 years and I cannot begin to tell you how many bad calls I have
made during that time. No referee or official sets out to make a bad call before a game. All I ask
of these referees is to be respectful to the players, coaches and parents. In addition, I ask that
they teach the players on the field the rules of the game, hustle and be in the proper position to
make a call. Remember, our goal for the league and as parents should be and will be to present
an environment for which all players can learn, enjoy playing flag football, establish new
friendships and boost their social skills – all while having fun!
You don’t have the right to take away the enjoyment that each of these players deserve…be a
responsible coach!

Backyard Flag Football---The League that Defies the Odds!
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