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After Further Review

Modified Clock

How does the "Modified Clock" work?


"Modified Clock" means that the clock will stop briefly as normal (incomplete pass, out of bounds) but will return to a running clock once the ball is reset for play.  

This is in effect for the whole game except the last two minutes of each half, where the clock will act as normal for that level of play and not use the modified clock rules.


At levels without kickoffs, what happens after a safety?


After a safety at these levels, the ball will be placed at the 35-yard line of the team that will be going on offense.  This is outlined in Pop Warner Rule 20.

Lower Level MPR

Are there different and specific MPR requirements at 6U, 8U, Tiny Mite and Mitey Mite?


Mitey Mite and 8U MPR require two extra plays when compared to the MPR requirements by roster size for all older levels as detailed in Pop Warner Rule 10.

Tiny Mite and 6U MPR will be 15 plays per player as outlined in Pop Warner Rule 35.

10-Second Run-Off

If a penalty is committed by the offense in the last two minutes of a half that stops a running clock, is there a 10-second run-off?


While this is a thing at the professional level, this is not specifically addressed by Pop Warner so NHFS rules would apply here...and the reality is that there is no 10-second run-off in the NHFS rules.


Isn't clippling allowed in the free blocking zone?


No!  Per Pop Warner Rule 15, clipping is illegal anywhere on the field INCLUDING the free-blocking zone.

Roughing the Snapper

Wait...what on earth is roughing the snapper?


According to NHFS Rule 9-4-6, a defensive player shall not charge directly into the snapper when the offensive team is in a scrimmage-kick formtion.  Penalty is 15 yards and automatic first down from previous spot.

Roughing the Holder can't rough this guy either?


According to NHFS Rule 9-4-5, running into or roughing the holder (and kicker) is also a thing.  There are exceptions (ball tipped and contact unavoidable, defender blocked into holder/kicker) but in general, contact with these players is prohibited during the process of the kick.  Penalty is 15 yards and automatic first down from previous spot for roughing, 5 yards from previous spot for running into the holder or kicker.

Horse Collar Tackle

So, what exactly is a horse collar tackle?


According to NHFS Rule 9-4-3-k, a horse collar tackle is defined as grabbing the inside back or side collar of the shoulder pads or jersey of the runner and subsequently pulling that opponent to the ground, even if possession is lost.  Penalty is a 15-yard, live-ball foul.

Unnecessary Roughness

My player made a legal block or hit, why was this called?


According to NHFS Rule 9-4-3-g, unnecessary roughness can be called any time a player makes contact with any other player (including a defenseless opponent) which is deemed unnecessary OR excessive and incites roughness.  A common example of this is violently blocking a defending player 30-40 yards behind a TD run or interception return. Penalty is a 15-yard personal foul.

Illegal Helmet Contact

What makes this kind of contact a penalty?


The most important thing to remember, is that the helmet is not a weapon!  NHFS Rule 9-4-3 is definitely getting a workout here, but many of these definitions are also listed in NHFS Rule 2-20-1.

Rule 9-4-3-i states that illegal helmet contact includes:  (Head)Butt Blocking, Face Tackling (using defenders facemask to initiate contact), Spearing (using crown of helmet to initiate contact).

Additionally, the following can be considered a flagrant foul.  Helmet contact against an opponent lying on the ground, helmet contact against an opponent being held up by other players and helmet-to-helmet contact against any defenseless player. 

All instances invoke a 15-yard, personal foul penalty.


Hey ref...I saw holding!
Holding I tells ya!!
That's holding!
Isn't that holding?
C'mon ref...hoooollldddding!!!!


Every team has a "Holding Coach".  You know, the coach that sees every penalty on the field, every play.  They're called the Holding Coach because upon further review,  there is very likely some form of holding going on during every play at every level of football.  So...once we get the Holding Coach to find something else to do, lets see what NHFS Rule 9-2-1-c says about a definition of holding.  It says that:

"An offensive player shall not use his hands, arms or legs to hook, lock, clamp, grasp, encircle or hold in an effort to restrain an opponent."

So...holding likely happens a lot.  It's a fine balance of realizing when it is actually affecting the outcome of a play and asking the refs to call a penalty on every play.  Let's give everyone, including the refs a break and stop screaming "Holding!" on every play.  Have you fired your Holding Coach lately??