NIFC Quick Reference Rules

Updated 9/2019

Game-Day Weigh-ins - Fly Through Heavy 

  • Thirty minutes prior to the start of the game all players must be weighed in wearing their own jerseys for identification purposes. All players will be marked on the roster as Ball Carrier Eligible, Play Eligible, or Weight Ineligible. Weight ineligible players will not be allowed to play in the game. Players arriving after the start of the game may weigh in at half time to be eligible to play the second half of the game. (08/Mar/2016)

Mercy Rule: 

  • If a point spread of twenty-four (24) points or more exists at any time during the game, coaches of the winning team are required to substitute lesser skilled players at quarterback, running backs, receivers, and skilled defensive players. An official time out must be called to substitute 
  • The players and coaches must meet at mid field. The time out needed for this substitution will NOT be charged against either team. When substituting players due to a point spread, key players may not be substituted to other key positions. (23/Apr/2012) 
  • The receiving team, when trailing by 24 points or more, shall retain possession of all Kickoffs under all circumstances. This includes fumbles (whether or not the ball is advanced), on-side kicks, and kickoff recoveries by the kicking team. In the event the ball is fumbled, the ball shall be spotted at the spot of the fumble. (12/Feb/2011) 



Point After Touchdown: (11/Feb/2014) 

  • Extra points run or passed are worth 1 point and will follow IHSA rules. 
  • Extra points kicked are worth 2 points.
  • Flyweight through Middleweight: For PAT kick attempts, IHSA rules will be followed except for the following exceptions: (08/Mar/2016) 

  1. Both offense and defense shall line up in accordance with the attempt 
  2. There will be no rush by the defense, that is, neither the offense or the defense
    shall engage at snap or anytime during the attempt 
  3. The offense shall declare their decision of kick or run to the officials and opposing
    head coach prior to the attempt 
  4. Fake kicks are not allowed and shall disqualify the PAT attempt 
  5. At the snap, if the ball does not make it to the placeholder (et al - goes wide, over
    the placeholders head, stops short of the placeholder), the placeholder shall gain possession/control of the ball and return (if necessary) to the kicking tee, then place the ball on the tee for the kick 

  • Heavyweight: IHSA rules will apply (except 2 pts kick, 1 point run) 7th & 8th Grade: IHSA rules will apply. (08/Mar/2016) 

Punting and Kickoffs: (12/Feb/2011) 

  • Heavyweight Division: Kickoffs and Punting are required. 
  • Middleweight Division: Kickoffs are required. No-rush Punting is required. 
  • Lightweight Division: Kickoffs are required. Punting is disallowed. Punts will be a walk-
    off of yardage. 
  • Flyweight Division: Kickoffs and Punting are disallowed.  

                 Punt and Kick Definitions: 

  • Middleweight No -Rush Punts - Neither the punting nor receiving team may advance or engage prior to the ball making contact with the punters foot. Other than stepping forward in the punting motion, the punter may not advance or move the ball before kicking. The punting team shall inform the game officials of the intent to punt prior to punting. 
  • Not less than seven (7) players must line up on the LOS, including the gunner coverage players. No more than two players (2) may be deeper than 10 yards from the LOS (07/Mar/2017)
  • Punt walk-offs (lightweights and flyweights): 25 yards will be walked off in lieu of punting. If the line of scrimmage is within the opposing team’s 35-yard line, the ball will be placed on the 10-yard line. Teams have the normal play timer to decide to punt or not. If/when the offense decides to punt, the clock will be stopped, 10 seconds will be wound off the play clock, the ball will be spotted by the officials, and the time will continue when the receiving team begins the next play.
  • Kickoffs (flyweights only): The ball will be placed on the 35 yard line.