Touch Football Game Rules
- PLAYERS MUST BE REGISTERED and have signed the Soccer World waiver prior to playing any games. Failure to have a signed waiver will result in a game forfeit.
- During regular season, a team that is found to be using a player that has not signed a Soccer World waiver form will incur a team fine of $50.00. The offending player will be ejected from the game and the fine must be paid before the team's next game in order to be eligible to play.
- During regular season, a team that is found the 2nd time to be using a player that has not signed a Soccer World waiver form will incur a team fine of $100.00. The offending team will also automatically forfeit the game. The fine must be paid before the team's next game in order to be eligible to play.
- During Playoffs, a team that is found to be using a player that has not signed a Soccer World waiver form in the playoffs will automatically forfeit the game and fined $50.00.
- Teams of 10 -14 players is recommended.
- Any Player who throws a forward pass during the SW season cannot throw a forward pass in a lower division team during that season. All QB/Optional QB’s however can play on another team as a receiver or defender. All designated QB’s who take a direct snap can only play for 1 team during that season. If an optional QB plays one week but not the next, this rule still applies.
Penalty: During a Game- 1st time offenders will receive a warning and loss of down. 2nd time offenders, that player will be ejected from that game. If this action is determined “After a game”, that team will forfeit that game.
• Schedules will not be adjusted due to players playing on more than one team
• All team rosters will be final after the 7th game of the Fall Season and the 11th game of the Winter Season. Players cannot be added to the rosters under any circumstances after the 7th game of the Fall Season and the 11th game of the Winter Season for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.
• Teams must provide 5 business days’ notice for any rescheduled game opportunity.
• Teams will be given one (1) rescheduled game at no cost. Any additional requests, a $50.00 administrative charge will apply to the team requesting the change. Game change requests are always at the discretion of the opposing team agreeing, the opposing team is not required to accept any game changes beyond what the original schedule states at the beginning of the season (unless the League changes the game schedule due to unforeseen circumstances). If the opposing team does not agree to a game change, then the team requesting the game change will automatically have to forfeit the game. RESCHEDULING OF ANY PLAYOFF GAMES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.
• 5 players aside (includes quarterback) but teams must have a minimum of 4 registered players to start a game. If that team does not have a 5th registered player before the 10 minutes of the 1st Half are completed, the game is over and that team will forfeit.
• When a team has a 5th player show up late, but within 10 minutes of the 1st Half, that team will be penalized accordingly:
Penalty: Lose all right to start with the ball in the 1st Half and 2nd Half.
Note: To determine the late time, referees will start the clock as per the schedule game time and determined the 10 minutes based on the Soccer World clock on that field.
• Substitutions can be made at any break in the game or between plays.
• Game time is 48 minute in total (continuous running time) with exception of time outs or referee time outs to deal with injuries, discipline, or at their discretion (two x 24 minute halves, with halftime approx. 2 minutes long).
• One 60-second timeout per team per half; which will stop the running game clock. In the event that a team calls a time out with 60 secs or less in each half, the referee will utilize the main clock, a personal watch or count down the time to zero (0). All other times the referee will stop and start the SW clock manually upon the snap of the ball.
• One hand touch only.
• Only indoor turf cleats (no spikes or metal cleats) and running shoes may be worn.
• All team players must have matching base uniforms or approved by SW.
• All uniforms must be numbered or approved by SW.
• Captains are responsible for validating game scores within 72 hours of game completion, if they notice an error in the score posting, they must submit an email to Soccer World within 72 hrs of game completion notifying Soccer World of the error and to ensure it can be corrected in a timely manner, otherwise, it may remain as originally posted.
• Any player who wears a hard cast during the game must provide a foam protection around the cast to eliminate any injury to other players. If they choose not too then the referees are instructed to remove the player from the field until the changes are made and the referee approves.
• Any player that receives an open wound or bleeding will be removed from the game and cannot return until the open wound is attended too and bleeding has stopped.
• Any player that wears any type of jewellery on their body during a game will be asked to leave the field until the jewellery is removed. This means any type of neck, arm, finger, ear, nose, mouth or eye jewellery that is exposed to the possibility of contact with another player.
Mechanics of the game
• The Men’s and Women’s league will play 5 downs (no kicking/punting plays).
• On the 5th down the Offensive team must declare whether they are playing the down or giving it up. If the Offensive team chooses to play the 5th down and they do not score a TD, the opposing team will take possession at the original line of scrimmage. If the team chooses to give up the play then the opposing team starts their 5 downs 5 yds from their goal line. NOTE: If the offensive team completes their 5th down pass but does not score then the line of scrimmage starts at the point of the touch
• Ball possession starts on 5-yard line in place of kickoffs.
• Any player who receives the ball in the backfield through a snap, a hand-off or lateral pass is considered to be a quarterback and can run. Optional QB can run.
• 1 foot inbound on all catches = completion.
• Any tipped or deflected balls by an offensive player to another offensive player or a defensive player to another defensive player that causes the ball to travel towards the opposing teams End Zone, shall be whistled dead at the point of the original tip.
• Fumbled balls are dead balls.
• Fumbled after reception, ball is dead at the point of fumble.
• Fumbled snap to QB - ball is LIVE and only available to the offense. Defense can touch it and ball is dead at the point.
• Any diving with the ball to avoid a touch or advanced the ball will be penalized:
Penalty: 5 yds back from the point of the dive and loss of down
• Any lowering of the head or upper portion of the torso to avoid a touch will result in a touch and the play is called and line of scrimmage is determined at the spot of the lowering.
• If an offensive player is pushed out of bounds, player is still eligible. If player goes out of bounds on his/her own player is ineligible for catch or play = loss of down if caught by ineligible player.
• All sidelines and dead ball lines are considered out of bounds.
• If ball hits ceiling or light fixtures, dead ball and loss of down.
• Each team is responsible to pick up own ball, if delay in retrieving ball 20-second count will commence.
• Rusher lines up 5 yards back from the line of scrimmage but within 5 yards lateral of the bean bag and must be at least 1 yd away on either side of centers feet to have all rights to the QB. If the QB receives the ball in motion right or left, the center must provide a direct line to the QB or be penalized for obstruction.
• Rusher advances when centre snaps the ball. Rusher loses right to the QB if he changes sides once the center sets. (Eg. Lowering the head) Referee determines the centers set position.
• Offside by the rusher occurs when any part of the body is within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped. All other players are eligible to rush but cannot cross the line of scrimmage before the rusher unless they are 5 yards back prior to snap.
• 6 points for a touchdown.
• 1-point (from 5 yards out) or 2-point (from 10-yards out) converts. Converts must be another play.
• 2 points for a safety. (Tag or ball lands in end zone or through end zone).
• Game is deemed over when a team is winning by 40 points or more with 2 minutes left in the game.
• Points will be awarded as follows: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss. If a team forfeits, the opposing team will show the game as a 7-0 win (3 pts will be assigned to the opposing team).
• If two or more teams in the same division are tied then the following format will be applied to determine ranking: (games between tied teams results used)
1. Games played between the tied teams (wins/loss record if still tied go to Points For)
2. Points for (if still tied then go to Points Against)
3. Points Against (if still tied then go to Total Points Scored)
4. Total Points Scored
• At the end of the season, it is at the discretion of the League Convenor to move the top 1-2 teams of each division up to the next division and/or the bottom 1-2 teams of each division down to the lower division for the next season if that team registers.
• If a team fails to field a team for at least two games without at least 5 days notice to the League Office, then on the third and additional missed games, the team will be fined $100 for the LOSS of game for the opposing team and will not be allowed to play any additional games until the penalty is paid in full. If the opposing team chooses to remain on the field for their scheduled game, they will forego the $100 bonus in lieu of the 1 hr field time.
• Taunting - There will be no taunting of opposing players = 5-yard penalty.
• Spiking - Any spiking of the ball at any time = 5-yard penalty. If spiking occurs after a touchdown the offending team will be penalized 5 yards on the convert.
• Delay of Game: when a team refuses to start or continue a game at the point of the referee blowing the whistle to start the play (20 secs will pass) then a penalty to the team will be applied:
Penalty - 5 yard penalty and loss of down
2nd Time - If a team refuses to start or continue a game at the point of the referee blowing the whistle in:
Penalty – 10 yd penalty and loss of down
After the 3rd refusal, the team will forfeit the game and score of 1 – 0 awarded to non-forfeiting team. If the non-forfeiting team is leading at the time of the forfeit, the score will stand.
• Defensive holding = down over and 5-yard penalty.
• Offensive holding = loss of down and 5-yard penalty.
• When a player with the ball is advancing, team members cannot block the opponent. Eg. Hand blocking or impeding is not allowed.
Penalty: dead ball at place of infraction... no loss of down.
• Catchable Balls: (Target)
Defensive: pass interference at the spot of the foul and repeat down.
Offense: A. 1st-2nd-3rd-4th downs, change of possession at the point of the foul. B. 5th down, Option # 1 – defence accept change of possession at point of scrimmage Option # 2 – defence decline 5 yd penalty, down repeated
• Non-Catchable Balls: (Remote/Non-Target)
Defensive = 5-yard penalty and repeat down.
Offense: A. 1st-2nd-3rd-4th downs, 5-yard penalty and loss of down regardless in field of play or end zone. B. 5th down the defense has the choice to decline the penalty and take ball over on downs
• A player who interferes with another player, i.e. grabs hands or in some way prevents a player from catching a tipped or deflected ball is guilty of Pass Interference when the ball remains catchable.
• 2ND RIGHT TO THE BALL: Any player has 2nd right to a ball after being tipped or deflected. If either player interferes, a Target PI penalty will be applied.
• On 5th down live ball fouls, if accepted by the defence, the offence will have the option to go for it or give it up. If it is a dead ball foul then it turns over on downs.
• Illegal Re-entry – An offensive or defensive player is not permitted to leave the field of play under their own accord during a play, return to the field of play, and then participate in the play. The following penalties will be applied:
1. Offensive Player – On a scrimmage play, if the foul occurred before the team who put the ball into play lost possession, apply the penalty from the spot where the ball was put into play and repeat the down. On a scrimmage play, if the catch is made by the offending player, then the defence has the option of declaring the pass incomplete. On a convert attempt, a score will not be awarded or replayed. If a change of possession occurred during the play, apply the penalty from the spot where the ball was when the foul occurred.
Penalty: 5yd from original line of scrimmage, loss of down
2. Defensive Player – On a scrimmage play, apply the penalty from 1 of the following 2 spots at the option of the offence: the spot where the ball was put into play and repeat down; the spot where the ball was when the foul occurred. On a convert attempt, if the foul occurred in the end zone, the offence will be awarded the points. If the foul occurred in the field of play, apply the penalty from the point where the ball was put into play. On any play, if a score definitely would have been made without the illegal entry, award the score.
Penalty: 5-yard penalty and repeat of down for the offense.
3. If both teams have a player with illegal re-entry then they become offsetting and down is repeated.
Note: If a player is forced out, (Referee to determine) Remote or Target PI could be called. If a player is aggressively forced out (Referee to determine) then a UR could be called Vs Remote or Target PI.
4. If a QB steps out of bounds after the ball is snapped in the endzone, this becomes a touch back and 2 points are awarded to the opposing team and ball changes hands to the opposing team on their 5 yard line.
• Extension – The ball carrier is not allowed to extend the ball with the arms in an effort to gain extra yards. This is applied as a dead ball foul from the point of the torso of the ball carrier when the extension took place.
Penalty: 5 yds from the line of scrimmage.
• Aggressive hand or body contact either before or after a reception Note: If co-incidental contact, both players going for the ball, no penalty.
Penalty: 10 yards, down over and completed yards. (possible UR could be applied)
• In the END ZONE, any defensive rough play toward the intended receiver will be called PI and a penalty is applied:
Penalty: the ball is placed on the 1-yard line and down repeated.
• In the END ZONE, any offensive rough play towards a defensive player:
Penalty: is a loss of down & 5-yard penalty. If after a TD and during a convert the offense will lose their attempt to convert.
• The defender/rusher will be called for a Personal Foul if they make ANY kind of contact with the Quarterback’s throwing arm or hand or above the Quarterback’s shoulders while the Quarterback is attempting to make a pass, this includes the Quarterback’s natural follow-through motion.
Penalty: 10-yards and can be live or dead ball fouls
Note: if the bodily contact was caused by the passer’s sudden stop or change of direction and the player attempted to diminish the contact, no foul. If the player made an extraordinary attempt to diminish the contact or to prevent the passer from injury, the referee shall use discretion as to whether or not a personal foul should be called.
• Any additional rough play or roughness not mentioned above is at the discretion of the official. Offending player(s) will be cautioned and/or removed from the game and/or face possible suspension.
• FIGHTING. Any person(s) fighting, AUTOMATIC EJECTION FROM THE FACILITY for the day and suspension until the disciplinary review is completed.
• TACKLE = IMMEDIATE EJECTION from the game
• Swearing or abusive language directed at an official may result in an Objectional Conduct, when the same player receives a 2nd OC in a single game, an IMMEDIATE EJECTION FROM THE FACILITY and a one game suspension from the league.
• An accumulation of five OC’s by a single player through-out the season will result in a one game suspension, this may carry-over to the next season.
• When a team receives its second OC in the same game the player receiving the OC is their first of the day will be ejected from the game.
• De-escalation: An official may suggest that a player deescalate and sit out a series to compose themselves. After the series the player may return.
• ANY PERSON STRIKING DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY or THREATENING A REFEREE OR EXECUTIVE OFFICIAL OF THE LEAGUE WILL BE SUSPENDED FROM THE LEAGUE, until a disciplinary review is completed.
• Team captains have the right to remove a player on his team from the field of play due to poor conduct or unsportsmanlike behavior. Refusal of the player to leave will result in an automatic league suspension.
• A breach of any of the above deemed to be aggressive by an official, can be followed up by game ejection of the player(s) or team from the game and/or banishment from the league without refund of team fee, or any proportion thereof.
• Players must play 50% of the schedule games to be eligible for playoffs. If a player is injured during the regular season games, that player must inform SW on his date of injury and his date of return to confirm his eligibility.
• All team captains prior to the start of their game will meet with the referee to confirm or decline their player attendance by check marking or placing an X beside their player picture on the game score sheet provided. Referees will confirm attendance prior to the start of each game.
Note: if a team is found to be marking players NOT in attendance, that team will forfeit that game.
o For Divisions with 8 or more teams, the top 8 teams will advance to the playoffs.
Possession will be determined by coin toss at the beginning of the game, Home team gets to call it
Quarter Finals: 1st vs 8th, 2nd vs 7th, 3rd vs 6th, and 4th vs 5th (based on end of season standings)
Winner of quarter finals will be reseeded and advance to Semi-finals based on standings after quarter final results
Winners of semi-final games advance to finals
Quarter and Semi-final games may be played on the same day, as scheduling permits.
Games are same format as regular season: 2 x 24-min halves.
o For Divisions with less than 8 teams, the top 4 teams will advance to the playoffs.
Possession will be determined by coin toss at the beginning of the game, Home team gets to call it
Semi-Finals: 1st vs 4th, 2nd vs 3rd (based on end of season standings)
Winners of Semis advance to finals
Games are same format as regular season: 2 x 24-min halves.
o Any teams that have players participating on more than 1 team must choose 1 team to play for in the event of a playoff scheduling conflict (ie. Games will not be rescheduled to accommodate player absences).
Format for Tie Games in Regular or Play-Off Games:
o Coin toss to determine which team has first choice. Highest ranking team to call.
o 3 attempts per team either from the 5 yard line or 10 yard line alternating.
5 yard line completion = 1 point 10 yard line completion = 2 points
o At the end of 3 plays/team, total score determines winner.
o If tie remains, then a coin toss will be done again and it becomes sudden death from this point. Highest ranking team determines heads or tails.
• Note: Defensive players during converts or overtime rules can return the ball to the line of scrimmage and will be awarded those points. Point(s) nullified if the defensive player is touched prior to him reaching the line of scrimmage.
Team Protest Procedures
Step 1 – prior to the start of the game team captains must inform the HD Referee on their protest and they will determine if it requires immediate action prior to the start or it can be handled after the game.
Step 2 - Following the game the team captain must fill out a SW Protest Form in full and submit to the Desk Referee. The protest form goes to the Grievance Committee for review and they will determine the action to take within 48 hrs. The RIC will then communicate with the team or player in concern and copy the team captain who submitted the protest.
Step 1 – If the protest is after the game, the team captain must inform the Desk Referee and fill out a Protest Form in full.
Step 2 - The protest form goes to the Grievance Committee for review and they will determine the action to take within 48 hrs. The RIC will then communicate with the team or player in concern and copy the team captain who submitted the protest.
Soccer World Adult Touch Football Indoor Rules have been developed to suit the indoor game and field and adjusted accordingly using outdoor touch rules.
Outdoor touch rules have been developed using various Ontario Touch Referee Associations along with Ontario T-Font Outdoor Touch Football Rules and specific rules from GHTFA and HTFA Leagues.
Following those rules, Football Canada Touch Rule book will be utilized (issue 2013-2015) for any questions that are not clear or defined in our SW rules provided.
Touch Football Definitions
For Indoor and Outdoor Games
Bad Snap – When the snapped ball does not travel 5 yds before it hits the ground or is not touched by the QB.
Blocking – When a player deliberately impedes an opponent’s approach to the ball, ball carrier or potential ball carrier/receiver by making bodily contact with the opponent.
Bobbled Ball – When a player attempting to complete a pass touches the ball loses contact with the ball, and then catches the ball without the ball touching another player.
Bodily Contact – When a player contacts an opponent in such a manner as to stop the opponents forward motion, to push the opponent backwards, to knock the opponent down or to move the opponent off stride or away from the opponents intended direction or position.
Control – When a player has the ball firmly held in 1 or both hands, arms or legs or holds the ball firmly under the body without having the ball touch the ground. The grip of the ball must be firm enough to enable the player to stop the rotation of the ball and to exhibit influence over its direction.
Dead Ball – When the ball is not playable by either team.
Deliberate Grounding – When the passer deliberately throws the ball out of bounds or to an area where there is no receiver in an apparent attempted to avoid a loss of ground.
Diving – When the ball carrier deliberately lunges forward to gain extra yds or to avoid a touch.
Dribbled Ball – When a player deliberately or accidentally kicks the ball with the foot or leg below the knee, without having had control of the ball in the hand.
Extension – When the ball carrier extends the arm(s) in an obvious attempt to gain extra distance by moving the furthest advance of the ball forward.
Forward Pass – When the ball is deliberately thrown by any offensive player from behind the line of scrimmage toward the opponent’s dead line
Dead Line – The line marking the end of the end zone; it is not in the end zone itself. For the purpose of certain rules, when this line is not entirely parallel to the goal line, the furthest point away from the goal line with be considered the dead line.
Foul – A violation of the rules which allows a player to take unfair advantage of the opponent.
Free Ball – A live ball that is not in a players control and can be legally recovered and advanced by either team. The ball is considered to be free from the time it leaves a players body until it touches the ground.
Illegal Participation – When a fan or team member enters the field long after the play has begun and interferes with a player who is legally on the field.
Illegal Re-Entry – When a player unintentionally leaves the field while a play is in progress, then returns and interferes with the play.
Illegal Use of Hands – Any contact with the hands that is made by a player on an opposing player which clearly detains the latter from playing the position desired, or the use of the goal posts to change ones direction.
Impede – To force an opponent to change direction or to slow down with or without contact.
Inadvertent Whistle – When the whistle is blown inadvertently by an official, the play shall stand unless the referee decides that the whistle affected the result of the play. The referee will decide which team is adversely affected by the whistle; the team may choose to let the play stand when the whistle blew or repeat the last play. If the referee cannot decide which team is adversely affected the play shall be repeated. Any fouls which occur during the play and are allowed to stand will be administered as they would be in a regular play situation. Dead ball fouls will be administered in all cases.
Incidental Contact – When a player makes contact with an opponent without moving the opponent off stride or away from the opponents intended direction or position.
Interference – Any obstruction, blocking, pushing off, screening, or illegal contact committed by a player of either team against an opponent.
Interference in the Remote Area – Interference made by either team in an area remote from the arrival point of any pass.
Interference in the Target Area – Interference made by either team in the area close to the arrival point to which a pass is thrown.
Interference with the Rusher – When the offense does not provide the rusher(s) with direct access to the QB or Punter
Live Ball – When the ball is considered to be in play. This begins when the ball is snapped of kicked off, after the referee has blown the whistle to indicate that a play may begin and continues until the ball is considered to be dead.
Loose Ball – A live ball that is not in players control and can be legally recovered and advanced only by the team considered to be in possession. The ball is considered to be loose from the time it leaves the ground until it touches a player’s body. A snap is considered loose in flight from the center to the QB.
Major Foul – An act which severely threatens a player’s safety or is intended to injure any participant.
No Yards – When a player of the punting team touches the punted ball first or is within the restraining zone at the time the ball is touched by an opponent.
Objectionable Contact – The use of intimidating, profane, obscene, insulting language or gestures to an opponent, official, administration or spectator by any player or occupant of a team bench. Conduct such as throwing the ball at an opponent official or occupant of a team bench or the threatening of striking of an official, player or occupant of a team bench shall be penalized as objectionable conduct. Prolonged arguing with the officials is also considered objectionable conduct.
Obstruction – When a player impedes an opponent’s approach to the ball, ball carrier or intended receiver with or without contacting the opponent.
Offside – When a player is in or beyond the neutral zone the instant the ball is snapped or kicked off; or when a player is closer to the opponent’s dead line the instant that a teammate touches the ball.
Pass Interference – Any interference made by a player against an eligible receiver before an eligible receiver has caught the ball.
Personal Foul – An act whereby a player does not control their body motions and thereby threatens the safety of others by making aggressive bodily contact.
Pick Play – An offensive player cannot prevent a defensive player from pursuing another offensive player by impeding that defensive player’s direct path to the teammate. The defensive player must be moving towards the 2nd offensive player to be considered as a pursuing that player. If the 1st offensive player is playing the ball, that player cannot be considered as impeding the defensive player from pursuing the 2nd offensive player. Violation of this regulation is pass interference in the remote area.
Pushing Off – When a player pushes an opponent, other than the ball carrier, with sufficient force to knock the player off stride or away from that players intended direction.
Rouge – A score of 1 point earned by a team when it legally punts or kicks off the ball into the opponent’s end zone or beyond, and the opponents are not legally able to bring the ball out of their own end zone. Ball placed on the 35 yd line.
Safety Touch – A score of 2 points against the team which does not legally carry, punt or pass the ball out of its own end zone after 1 of its players has caused the ball to enter its own end zone from the field of play. Option: the non scoring team may kick off from their 35 yd line or the scoring team may take possession at their own 35 yd line.
Screening – When a player who is not playing the ball extends the arms or waves a hand in an attempt to distract a receiver, to block a receiver’s vision or to touch the ball. The player must look back for the ball during this process to eliminate any screening.
Set – When the ball is resting on the ground or the scrimmage bag while in the centre’s hand(s) ready to be snapped. Referee to determine the centers set position.
Target Area – The area in the immediate vicinity of the arrival point of a pass.
Time Count – A period of 20 secs given to the offense prior to a scrimmage play to huddle and put the ball into play.
Tipped Pass – A pass that is touched by 1 player then caught by the same player, a teammate or an opponent.
Unobstructed Path – When the opponents allow a player to continue running the intended path without causing the player to slow down or change direction to avoid contact.
Rule Changes as of 2015
Muffed Onside Pass – When an offensive player muffs an onside pass while behind the line of scrimmage and before a forward pass has been thrown, the ball is free to both teams until it touches the ground. When it touches the ground, the ball is dead and offence remains with control unless 5th down. New line of scrimmage is adjusted.
Extension of the Ball - A touchdown or convert cannot be scored by extension. A safety touch or rouge cannot be prevented by extension. Penalty is applied accordingly.