Rule 3 – Periods and Timing

SECTION 1. Start of Each Period

ARTICLE 1. First Half

Each team has to announce a maximum of 2 coaches and a maximum of 2 captains to the referee.
3 minutes before the scheduled starting time, the referee shall toss a coin at midfield in presence of the captains from each team, first designating the captain of the visiting team to call the coin toss.
The winner of the toss will have the option to put the ball in play first by a snap at its own 5-yard-line in the first half or in the second half. If the winner chooses the first half, the other team will elect which side to defend. If the winner chooses the second half, he will elect which side to defend and the other team will put the ball in play in the first half.
There are no kickoffs.

ARTICLE 2. Second Half

In the second half, the teams shall defend the opposite goal line to the one they defended in the first half. The team not starting with the ball in the first half, will put the ball in play by a snap at its own 5-yard-line.

ARTICLE 3. Overtime (Tiebreaker)

The tiebreaker system will be used when a game is tied after 2 halves and the competition mandates a winner must be determined.
a. After a 2 minute intermission, the referee shall toss a coin at midfield as at the beginning of the game.
b. The winner of the toss will choose to start each following period as Offense or as Defense. If the winner chooses to start with Offense, the other team will elect which end of the field they will defend. If the winner chooses to start with Defense, he will elect which end of the field they will defend.
c. No charged team timeouts will be granted.
d. The first extra period consist of 2 series with each team putting the ball in play by a snap at the middle line for one series of downs (no first down at middle), except when the defense scores during the first series other than on the try.
e. Each team retains the ball during its series until it scores, including try downs (extra points for 1 or 2), or fails to score. The ball remains alive after a change of team possession until it is declared dead; the series is ended even if there is a second change of possession.
f. If after the first period (with 2 series including tries) the score is still tied, the second and following periods consist of series with each team playing a 1-point-try from the 5-yard-line.
The overtime ends when the score after a period is no longer a tie or the defense scores during the first series.
g. The team scoring the greater number of points during the regulation and overtime shall be declared the winner.

ARTICLE 4. Tournament Tie breaker system

If 2 or more teams in a tournament have the same total percentage (win-tie-loss), the following procedure will decide the order of the teams step by step:
1. Head to head percentage, if all teams played each other.
2. Head to head net point differential, if all teams played each other.
3. Head to head points scored, if all teams played each other.
4. Total net point differential.
5. Total points scored.
6. Coin toss.
The organizer of a tournament has to decide the order of teams if the tie breaker system does not fit.

SECTION 2. Playing Time

ARTICLE 1. Length of Play and Intermission

The total playing time shall be 40 minutes, divided into 2 halves of 20 minutes each, with a 2 minute intermission in between.

ARTICLE 2. Extension of Periods

A period shall be extended until a down has been played which is free from live ball fouls for which the penalty is accepted. If offsetting fouls occur during a down in which time expires, the down will be repeated.
No period shall end until the ball is dead and the referee declares the period ended. [S14]

ARTICLE 3. Timing Devices

Playing time and 25-Second-Clock shall be kept with a game clock that may be either a stop watch operated by an official or a game clock operated by an assistant under the direction of the appropriate official.

ARTICLE 4. When Clock Starts

When the game clock has been stopped by rule it shall be started when the ball is legally snapped.
Exception: The game clock will start at the ready-for-play when it was only stopped at referee’s discretion.
AR 3-2-4-I to III

ARTICLE 5. When Clock Stops

The game clock shall be stopped when each period ends, for a charged team timeout, for an injury timeout or at referee’s discretion.
Within the last 2 minutes of each period the clock shall stop:
1. To award a first down, also after a change of possession.
2. To complete a penalty.
3. When a ball or runner goes out of bounds.
4. When a pass or fumble strikes the ground.
5. When a score is made.
6. When a charged timeout is granted.
The game clock shall not run during a try within the last 2 minutes, during an extension of a period or during an extra period.

SECTION 3. Timeouts

ARTICLE 1. How Charged

The referee shall declare a timeout when he suspends play for any reason. Each timeout shall be charged to one of the teams or designated as an official timeout. [S3]

ARTICLE 2. Charged Team Timeouts

An official shall allow a charged team timeout when requested by any coach or inbound player when the ball is dead.
Each team is entitled to 2 charged team timeouts per half. Unused timeouts may not be carried over to a subsequent period.

ARTICLE 3. Injury Timeout

In the event of an injured player any official may declare an official timeout, provided the player for whom the timeout is taken is removed from the game for at least one down.

ARTICLE 4. Length of Timeouts

A charged team timeout shall not exceed 90 seconds (this includes the 25 seconds after the ready for play).
The referee shall notify both teams 30 seconds before a charged timeout expires and 5 seconds later shall declare the ball ready for play (R 3-3-5).
Other timeouts shall be no longer than the referee deems necessary to fulfill the purpose for which they are declared.

ARTICLE 5. Referees Notification

Unless a visual game clock is the official timepiece, the referee shall inform all coaches when the ball becomes dead and 2 minutes or less (in case of a live ball) of playing time remain in each half. The clock will not be stopped just for the notification.