Game Rules


Tournament Vision

The Mission of the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship is to honor the heroes of the game, preserve its history, promote its values and celebrate excellence everywhere. The Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship was created to empower athletes to succeed, to be excellent on game-day and to reach their destiny through a world class platform that showcases the diverse talent and styles of every organization from all over the world through a world class character development program authored by the very best football to help young boys become great men.

Every league, organization, coach, and athlete face a unique and exciting journey. Since this journey is the ambition for excellence, it is our core belief that great players are made, not born. From these areas that encompass the heart of youth football, we present an opportunity to all teams that embody the indigenous values that set teams apart from each other but unite in the name of competitive competition under the core values of the Hall of Fame: Commitment, Integrity, Courage, Respect, and Excellence, while answering the debate on which teams are the best from across the world.

We brought together the nation’s best teams to provide an environment that promotes the opportunity to represent themselves on the highest level of equal talent.


Team Classifications

The age groups for the League Team Divisions are 7U, 8U, 9U, Mighty Mite, 10U, 11U Junior Pee Wee, 12U, Pee Wee, 8th Grade and JV.


  • Original roster: a certified list of players, prior to the season, certifying current age, grade & DOB
  • Qualified league: a governing body with defined mission statement and bylaws or registered under HOF

Tournament parameters:

  • No player over 14 or above 8th grade as determined by our grade/age matrix
  • League, travel, all-star must have different uniform
  • All rules subject to final interpretation and amendments by National Director only

League Team:

  • Season team in a qualified league
  • Gets together for the sake of playing a season under a qualified league
  • Pre-season roster for the duration of league season
  • Must play 75% of season games in state
  • Weighted/Unweighted
  • Notarized roster from league official


  • Plays during the season
  • Tryouts
  • Original roster has no boundaries
  • Age & Grade based as defined by our age appropriate for grade matrix
  • Roster developed preseason
  • Can play in/out of state during season
  • No weight restriction
  • Capability of recruit players


  • Try out
  • Regional
  • Team whose roster has no boundaries
  • Is grade based
  • Roster is developed after the season
  • No weight restriction

Game Play:

The World Youth Championship Regional Events and the World Championship Event will abide by the official NFHS Rules with the following modifications listed below:

Games Time:

  • Game is considered official after the completion of 2 quarters of play

Game Field Rules:

  • A visible spectator restraining line is required – a minimum of 10 yards from the playing field on fields
  • Responsible persons age 16 or older must work the sideline chains and down-box for all level of play. No on while working the chains will be allowed to coach players or teams. In the vent a warning will be given and upon the 2nd infraction the person will be removed, and game suspended until the position is filled.
  • All game clocks are kept by officials
  • If a player leaves a game and is recommend to seek medical attention by trainer, a physician’s note is needed to re-enter the tournament.
  • No wireless communication allowed between sideline to player (1ST offense removal of device and coach, 2nd offense in same game is forfeit of game)
  • Each team must bring one official team ball with team name on it for I.D. purposes (sharpie):

Ball Sizes:

  • 7U, 8U,9U and Mighty Mite = K2
  • 10U, 11U and JR Pee Wee = TDJ
  • Peewee = TDJ or TDY
  • 12U = TDY
  • 14U = Official
  • Please note that the football sizes above are a recommendation of the National Youth Championship and Wilson Sporting Goods.
  • However, the National Youth Championship will allow a team to use whatever football is approved by their own league for their division / age group.

Game Time:

  • 10-minute Quarters (Regular Running Clock)
  • 10 minute Half-Time

Mercy Rule:

  • If a team is ahead of the other team by 24 points or more, the game clock will switch to a running clock for the remainder of the game. Unless a team comes back to deficit of 20 points or less, than and only then will the clock return to regular running. Both head coaches will be notified before the change to and from regular running clock is enforced.

Overtime Rules:

  • Each team will have a chance to score during an overtime period.
  • The visiting team will call the coin toss to start off overtime.
  • The team that wins the coin toss will have a choice to take the ball first or defer to the other team.
  • Each team will start at the 10-yard line and will have 4 downs to score
  • If the first team scores and the second team does not score, the game is over.
  • If both teams remain tied after the first overtime period, the game continues into another overtime period until one team wins.
  • Whichever team goes second during the first overtime period, starts with the ball during the next overtime period (if another overtime period is needed).
  • If a game is tied after 2 overtime periods, then teams must go for 2 points after they score a touchdown.


  • Teams can Pass or Kick for 2 points after a touchdown.
  • Teams may run for 1 point after a touchdown.
  • 7U, 8U and Mighty Mite Teams may kick extra point with no rush.


  • Celebrations are allowed after scores in a tasteful manner.
  • Taunting the other team, any un-sportsmanship like celebrations and/or any sexual gestures will not be tolerated and will receive a 10-yard penalty. If penalty happens after a scoring play that penalty will be assessed on the following kick-off.

Kicking (7U, 8U and Mighty Mite):

  • Prior to start of game, both teams can agree to punt the ball live the entire game or choose a 25-yard walk off on 4th down for the entire game if they choose not to go for it.
  • Prior to start of game, both teams can agree to kick-off the entire game after a score or choose to start on their own 35-yard line the entire game after a score.


  • Onside kicks are allowed during the entire game (if there is kicking involved in the game – 7U, 8U and Mighty Mite).
  • Kickoffs are permitted only if Both coaches agree. If both parties do not agree team will start at 35-yard line after scores, halftime and start of game.


  • Blitzing is allowed during the entire game at all levels except 7U, 8U and Mighty Mites.


o There is no chop or cut blocking allowed at any level.

Athlete Playing Time:

o There are no restrictions on athlete playing time. This decision is at the coaches’ discretion.

Team Personnel On-Field:

o 7U and 8U teams can have one coach on the field at a time on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.


o Any head injuries / concussion protocol is at the event’s Athletic Trainer / EMT discretion. The Athletic Trainer / EMT will provide their recommendation if an athlete can continue playing in the current game, for the remainder of the event and/or needs immediate attention after a sustained head injury.

o Other injuries - The Athletic Trainer / EMT will provide their recommendation if an athlete can continue playing in the current game, for the remainder of the event and/or needs immediate attention after a sustained injury.

o Each coach is response for reporting all athlete injuries that have not been recognized by referees, event staff or event Athletic Trainers on the field to event staff.

o The Event Director has final discretion on all decisions relating whether an athlete can continue playing in the current game or for the remainder of the event after that athlete has been fully evaluated by the event Athletic Trainer / EMT.

Football Equipment / Protective Wear:

o All athletes must always wear full protective equipment during game play (all pads and mouth pieces).

o All athletes must always have their chinstraps buckled.

o All athletes must always wear their mouthpieces.

Positional Jerseys:

o Any athlete, regardless of jersey number can play any position.

Pre-Game Coin Toss:

o Each team will be asked to pick 4 team captains for every pre-game coin toss.

Team Sportsmanship / Conduct:

o Coaches are responsible for the behavior of their coaching staff, team manager, parents and athletes always.

o Referees have final say on the field. Harassment of the referees by coaches, players, or fans will not be tolerated.

o The World Youth Championship staff have the right to eject anyone and no refunds will be given.

o The Event Director has final discretion on conduct matters which supersede any referee’s call pertaining to sportsmanship / conduct.

o an athlete can be ejected for a single game or for the entire tournament for misconduct. The Event Director has final discretion on the amount of games an athlete can be ejected for based on the severity of the misconduct.

o All players, coaches, parents, and any representatives of an organization must adhere to code of conduct of the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship and uphold the best interest of the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship both on and off the field. In the event a person, player, or group is banned or removed from a World Youth Championship event, any further altercations will have the team held responsible. The National Director has the authority to override or extend as a final decision.

Tournament Advancement:

o Tie Breaker Criteria (If there are multiple teams within a division that are tied after an advancement round):

#1: Point Differential Points against

#2: Head-to-Head

#3: Points for

#4: Coin Toss

Instant Replay:

  • There will be no instant replay during any game until World Championship Day.

In Championship play (Dec 7-16), the event director has discretion/decision making power to determine if a player in weighted divisions is eligible to play where that athlete is within a few pounds of weight limit with consent of the opposing team.

Championship Process Standards:

  • No game schedules will be handed out or revealed until registration check in Regional and Championship play
  • Special needs list (date cut-off TBD)
  • All rosters must be submitted by November 1st
  • $300 retainer - if you leave and not play a game your retainer goes to team you were supposed to play
  • 4-8 team format only
  • Direct bids get no byes in Championship rounds
  • Teams must be from states that are indigenous to regionals
  • No team in a regional will get direct bid from other regions if they are losers of regional play
  • If a regional champ declines to attend championship, runners up will be offered spot
  • All special requests must be submitted to main office and by cut-off date
  • Email address designated for all questions, special needs, etc. (


  • If a team has a league mandated cutoff year for age that is different than stated in the rules for the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship rules, and is documented with a hard copy of the bylaws, confirmed by league officials (not affiliated with the targeted organization) The adjusted age cutoff can be amended up to but no more than 4 months of the stated July 31st date.


  • Current Championship registration fee is $895.00
  • Regional game play can be between 1-3 games, but there is no guarantee of number of games you will play
  • Championship game play can be between 2-4 games, but there is no guarantee of number of games you will play until release of schedule at registration
  • No discounts will be given for any reason
  • All hotel issues and inquires are not World youth Championships responsibilities. Teams must take up issues with hotel or PSE staff.