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Section 158 – Football Qualifications

Athletic By-Laws
Sections 130-198

  1. Schools
    1. Schools shall be assigned to a football division for TAPPS competition
      1. 6-man football is divided into three divisions
      2. 11-man football is divided into three divisions.
  2. District Play Teams must qualify for the state playoffs by competition in district play.
    1. Exception: Based on travel or other criteria the board may designate schools as independent and allow for possible inclusion into the playoffs based on record and wild card points.
  3. Calendar
    1. Dates for the first practice,
    2. first interscholastic scrimmage and
    3. contests (Week 1-Week 11) shall be posted on the approved TAPPS calendar.
  4. Fall Practice Schedule
    • For the days shown on the calendar as no pads,  fall practice shall be limited to no pads or contact activity.  Helmets may be worn during this time.
    • For those days which occur after the date of first pads as indicated on the calendar, there is no equipment restriction.
    • Schools may not schedule more than three practices in any two day period, nor more than two practices in any one day.
      • If two practices are scheduled on day one, day two is limited to one practice session.
      • No school may schedule nor require a student to participate in more than three practices in any two day period regardless of level of participation.
    • On days when two practices are held, the padded session shall not last longer than three hours. the other session shall not last longer than two hours and limited to
      • no conditioning
      • no contact activities
      • no player equipment –helmets may not be worn during this time
      • there shall be a minimum break of at least two hours between sessions
    • On days when one practice is held
      • the session shall not last longer than three hours
    • The following activities are considered practice activities or practice
      • On field practice
      • Sport specific instruction
      • Mandatory conditioning
      • Water break
      • Rest breaks
      • Voluntary conditioning (may not be coach directed or supervised)
      • Weight training
    • The following are not considered practice activities
      • Film Study
      • Meetings
      • Injury Treatment
    • Equipment may be issued prior to the fourth day of practice.
  5. In Season Contests
    1. TAPPS football season shall
      1. Consist of 10 Varsity contest which may be played over 11 weeks
      2. There must be five (5) days between varsity contests.
        1. The five day restriction applies to
          1. Scrimmages and
          2. Games
      3. Division V or teams playing independent schedules may not play contests after week 9 as indicated on the current year TAPPS calendar.
    2. Students are limited to no more than 6 quarters in a given 5 day period.
      1. This includes varsity and sub-varsity contests
      2. A  quarter shall be counted  towards this limit if the student participates in one or more plays from scrimmage.
        1. Exception: For the 2018 Football Season special team plays shall not count towards this limit.
    • Football Intermission between halves is determined by Rule 3.2.1.b of the NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations. The intermission shall be 20 minutes.
    • Football Intermission between halves may be changed with the mutual agreement of both schools.
      • Change must be approved by both schools prior to the contest
      • Change must be in writing
      • Change must be communicated to the officiating crew
    • Football Intermission between halves shall be split equally between the two schools unless mutually agreed to by both teams in advance of the contest.
      • Change must be approved by both schools prior to the contest
      • Change must be in writing
    • 6 Man Exception: Halftime shall be 15 minutes unless mutually agreed prior to the contest.
  7. Mercy Rule – 11 Man Football
    • In the event the score differential of an 11 MAN FOOTBALL contest reaches 40 or more points, the following provisions are to be implemented.
    • First half time keeping will not be affected.
    • After half time, once the 40 point differential is reached, the Clock will run continuously except for the following stoppages:
      • Time Outs
      • Quarter End
      • Injury Time Outs
    • Once the Continuous Clock has begun, time keeping does not revert back to normal procedures even if the point differential is reduced to below 40 points.
    • Applies to all contests involving two TAPPS schools.
    • Schools will be allowed a total of fourteen days to conduct contact football drills/practice,
      • including full pads and helmets
      • and must be completed before school is out for the summer.
    • No interschool scrimmages are allowed during spring football
    • Participation
      • Students not enrolled and attending the member school may not participate in Spring Football.
    • In order to maintain a proper perspective and to insure equity in competition for the participating teams, the following guidelines must be followed.
    • The guidelines apply to
      • Marching Bands
      • Drum Lines
      • Other live performance groups
      • Music played over sound systems
    • Band instruments, including drums, are not to be played at any time other than when the entire band is playing.
    • During the contest, bands are to play only
      • during pregame,
      • halftime,
      • postgame,
      • the time between quarters,
      • time-outs (except injury time-outs) and
      • between plays (stopping prior to the referee’s whistle for “ready for play”).
    • Bands seated near the end zone should not play if the line of scrimmage is inside the 10-yard line on the end close to the band.
    • The band may play the school fight song, etc
      • After a touchdown,
      • field goal,
      • extra point, or
      • safety
      • However, the director must be sure to stop playing when the official blows the ready for play whistle to start the next play.
    • When bands want to warm-up prior to halftime, directors should arrange this so that it is done in an area that is not a distraction to the contest. Note: No whistles may be used while the game is in progress.
    • Because the band acts as a spirit group,
      • members should always act in a positive manner and
      • must not do anything to distract or negatively affect the opposing team.
      • It is the director’s responsibility to prevent his/her band from
      • playing at inappropriate times,
      • playing inappropriate music, or
      • taunting the opposing team.