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 OWFL 2024 Operations and Procedures

Section 1 - Playing Season
a) The OWFL will have two playing seasons: the Summer season will run from May to August and the Fall season will run from September to November.
b) Game days are Saturday or Sunday, Friday nights are available provided travel time is an hour or less.
c) The playing season shall include all games played, including preliminary/development games.

Section 2 - Playing Rules
a) All OWFL conference and playoff games shall be played in accordance with the Canadian Amateur Football Rule Book (the White Book).
b) OWFL will play three (3) down Canadian Football rules with four,12-minute quarters at U19 and U16.
c) Each team will have two (2) time outs per half.

Section 3 - Roster
a) Players can be added to the roster up to and including the last game before the playoffs.
b) There is no maximum roster size for gameday.
c) Minimum roster for U19 is 12 players dressed (6v6), or 15 players dressed (9v9).
d) Once a player is rostered to an age division they may only play for that division,with the exception of a call up.
e) No player will be able to play down a division.
f) A “call up” is the process where a U16 player in their final year of eligibility for that division is temporarily added to the U19 division. If a player is called up three times, they are permanently bound to the U19 team. A call up may not participate in two games within 72 hours.
g) A player may be registered to play up a division provided: They are in their last year of eligibility for their own division All parties agree - parents, coach and centres board.

Section 4 - Registration
a) For definition. Registration with a centre means: a player is registered to play in the OWFL summer or fall season.
b) OWFL registration does not include any “PERFORMANCE” camps centres are hosting. Those registrations are solely for the purpose of the centre hosting the camps and do not apply to the OWFL playing season.
c) At the conclusion of an OWFL playing season all players will be deemed released from their centre.
d) Non Canadian residents shall not be eligible to participate in the OWFL.
e) Out of Province Players may participate in the OWFL.
f) Centres are responsible for age verification of registered players. Acceptable identification includes government issued ID that includes the registrants name and date of birth. Presidents of Centres will confirm they have verified the age and certify player registration. The OWFL reserves the right to request proof of age verification.
g) Centres may register players as of January1st in their participation year.

Section 5 - Age Divisions
a) U19 - birth years 06/07/08
           i) 2009’s are eligible for U19 where a centre does not operate a U16 program
b) U16 - birth year 09/10/11
           i) 2008’s are not eligible for U16
a) Players age is determined as of midnight on December 31 of the playing year.
b) Where there is no U16 league, players born in 08 are eligible to play in the U19 Age Division. Players born in 09 are eligible on an exemption for 1 season on the strict conditions the players have a signed waiver from a parent or legal guardian allowing the player to play and the player receives an evaluation conducted by the head coach of the Centre on the player’s skill development and football ability, and is deemed safe for the player to play.
Section 6- Player Releases
a) Provided a player does not have any outstanding fees/debt owed to a centre or has unreturned equipment, evidence/documentation of such shall be provided by the centre, said player shall be granted an immediate release up to the first game (1st) of the playing season.
b) A player may request a release up to the third game (3rd) of the playing season provided all parties involved agree, a release shall be granted. In the event that an agreement cannot be met, said player may file an appeal to be heard by the OWFL Chairs. After review of all information the Chairs will make a decision on the release and that decision shall be final.
c) After the completion of the third game (3rd) of the playing season no further releases shall be granted and the rosters will be considered set.
d) A release is not required for any player wishing to play for another centre if that player has been cut/removed from their original teams roster.
e) A release is not required should a centre fold a division.
f) No player may practice or play with another team until a release has been granted.

Section 7- Tampering
a) Officially OWFL registered players shall not be approached by any other centre, they shall be considered signed until a release is granted.
b) Any centre that approaches players shall be deemed to be found tampering and shall be subjected to four (4) step progressive discipline as laid out by the OWFL Chairs.
c) Step 1 : written warning to the individual approaching a player, a copy of which will be provided to the President of the centre involved.
d) Step 2 : suspension of the individual approaching a player for a minimum of 1 game, if the severity of the infraction warrants further investigation from the OWFL Chairs, a suspension of up to a full year may be applied to that individual. This will be determined on a case by case basis
e) Step 3 : 1 game suspension of the entire centre approaching a player at all age levels
f)  Step 4 : 3 game suspension of the entire centre approaching a player at all age levels
g) Players that are officially registered for the OWFL spring/summer playing season may reach out to other centres for information. This communication must be initiated solely by said player of their own accord.

Section 8 - Officials
a) Appointment of game officials is the duty of the Referee in Chief.
b) Officials will be selected by local reffing organizations except for playoffs.
c) OWFL will assign and cover the expense of the officials for playoffs.
d) Unless otherwise stated by the Referee in Chief, games require: four officials.

Section 9 - Equipment
a) All teams are required to dress in a professional manner.
b) No player shall wear equipment that may cause injury to an opponent.
c) All players shall wear: knee pads, thigh pads, hip pads, tailbone pad (or girdle),
shoulder pads, cleats, and a helmet that meets CSA standards.
d) Adhesive or grease that affects the football is illegal- offending player will be removed from the game until such time a the illegal item is replaced and such player will be penalized according the the White Book.
e) Immediate substitution is allowed to avoid delaying the game.
f) Jersey numbers will match the numbers on the game sheet and players will retain the same jersey number throughout the game - unless torn and the officials approve a new numbered jersey.

Section 10 - Game Responsibilities
  Game Day Rosters
a) Each centre must provide their game day rosters to the OWFL Registrar 48 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the Game
b) Each centre must provide their own certified trainer/athletic therapist, however if agreed upon sharing a trainer is permitted.
c) Primary trainer must be female. Secondary trainers may be male or female.
d) It is recommended the minimum requirements for a trainer are: post secondary educated for treatment of athletic injuries, concussion protocols, taping and bracing, current CPR certified.
e) Trainers are to arrive on time to prepare for pre game treatments.
    Home Team
a) Provide suitable lined regulation field
b) Have a working clock
c) Provide stick crew
d) Provide equal spotting location
e) Provide 2 regulation footballs
f) Provide water and ice
g) May charge gate fees up to a maximum of $10.
h) Provide suitable change rooms with showers or use local facility if possible- provided there is compliance for covid protocols.
i) Managers shall ensure that they have: full copies of both teams rosters to provide to the timing official, have a copy (either binder or electronic device) of proof of player registration and a copy of government issued ID - passport or birth certificate
j) Post game managers will be required to complete the following: ensure score sheets are completed and signed by an official and head coaches, ensure within 24 hours of the completed game a copy of the score sheet and both team rosters is submitted to the OWFL Chairs
k) Score sheets are to be downloaded from the OWFL website and when submitted must include: scoring players name and jersey number, any penalties or ejections with players name and number
     Visiting Team
a) On game day, advise host centre of any last minute roster change
b) Provide alternate jerseys should there be limited colour distinction between the opposing team.
c) Teams need to arrange this prior to game day.

Section 11 - Tie Games/Rescheduling Postponed Games
     Tie Games
a) Tie games will be settled by “Texas ShootOut”
b) At the completion of regulation time the referee will toss a coin to determine which team will possess the ball first in overtime.
c) Visiting team captain will call the toss.
d) The winner chooses either offense or defense or which side of the field- this cannot be deferred.
e) The team that loses the coin toss must exercise the remaining option
f) In each overtime period, teams are granted one possession beginning at the opponents 35 yard line, unless a penalty occurs and they are moved back.
g) The offense can place the ball anywhere on or between the hash marks.
h) Each team retains the ball until it fails to score,fails to make a first down or turns the ball over.
i) A maximum of two possessions per team will be played.
j) The first team that fails to match their opponents score is deemed to have lost.
k) If the teams remain tied after two possessions, the score is tied.
l) The winner in overtime will be granted 2 points and the losing team will be granted 1 point. If the game ends in a tie, both teams receive 1 point.
      Rescheduled/postponed games/Forfeits
a) During a regular season game the 3rd quarter must be finished for a game to be completed.
b) Prior to the 3rd quarter a game will be considered a tie.
c) Should a partially completed game need to be rescheduled the game will resume from the time play was suspended, noting the time, score, downs, field position.
d) All efforts need to be made to reschedule a game-if a game cannot be rescheduled it will be considered a tie.
e) In the event of an electrical storm and a game is interrupted, teams will wait 1 hour before officially calling a game. All reasonable attempts will be made to complete the game as scheduled - if the game cannot be completed or rescheduled it will be deemed a tie.
f) In the event of a forfeit the team forfeited against will receive a win in the standings with points awarded as 21-0. If a game is forfeited without sufficient notice, a minimum of 15 days, after either party has incurred cost such as busing or field rentals, including lost revenue in gate fees, those costs will be the responsibility of the forfeiting team.

Section 12: OWFL Playoff Format
a) Up to four teams will make the playoffs in each age group. The format for determining playoff teams is as follows:
           i. Standings: the final regular season standings will determine ranking.
           ii. If there is a tie between one or more teams based on regular season standings, the following tie breaker rules will apply.
                    1. Head-to-Head: if needed, the second tie breaker is head-to-head (win/loss);
                    2. Point Differential: the first tie-breaker rule to determine rankings is point differential;
                    3. Common Opponents: if needed, the third tie breaker rule is win/loss record against common opponents; and
                    4. Coin Toss: the last tie breaker rule is a coin toss.
b) The top four ranked teams will compete for the OWFL Championship as follows:
          i. Semi-Final; Game #1: First Place Team (home) vs Fourth Place Team (away) and Game #2: Second Place Team(home) vs Third Place Team (away).
          ii. Championship Game: Game #3: Winner of Game #1 vs Winner of Game #2 (the highest-ranking team will be the home team). If there are less than four teams competing for the Championship, then the winner of Game #1 is the First Place Team that gets a bye directly into the Championship Game.

Section 13 - Coaching and Bench Personnel
a) All coaches and bench personnel will have all required qualifications, training, certificates and police clearances as laid out by Football Ontario.

Section 14 - Coaches and Players Code of Conduct
a) All coaches, players and administrators will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
b) The use of profanity, hatespeech, derogatory comments, bullying, and acts of violence are strictly prohibited and will result in disciplinary action by the OWFL Executive. 
c) Only head coaches, team captains and team managers are to communicate with the Officials.
d) Officials will be provided a copy of the code of conduct.
e) Repeated violations to the code of conduct will result in involvement by the leagues disciplinary committee and fines or penalties may be imposed.

Section 15 - Misconduct
a) Players receiving a combined total of 3 UR and OC penalties in a single game will be ejected and will be suspended for the next game
b) The player serving the suspension will attend the next game and sit out wearing their game day jersey- this player will be noted on the game day roster.
c) Players removed from a game by an Official for offenses committed under the Rule of Rough Play is automatically suspended for the remainder of that game and the next.
d) If the offense is sufficiently serious enough the OWFL may increase the penalty after hearing from the player, reading a written report from the Officials on the back of the game sheet and input from coaches.
e) Any player ejected from a second game in a season shall be suspended until such time as the OWFL Executive reviews their case.
f) Any player ejected for their first time Targeting, will be considered warned and not suspended from their next game. A second Targeting call will result in a suspension from the next game.
a) Any coach or club official will be suspended for violations to the Code of Conduct.
b) Any actions detrimental to the OWFL or any centre by a coach or club official will result in a suspension.
c) A first offense will result in a one game suspension, and will escalate if further offenses occur.
d) A suspended coach or club official will not be permitted to attend the next game.
e) Depending on the severity of the offense, a hearing with the OWFL Executive will be granted within 10 days of the suspension at which time a decision will be made on any further penalties.

Section 16- Protests
a) No game shall be protested on an Official or referee’s interpretation of the rules.
b) Protests in conference of playoff games shall be ruled on by the OWFL Executive.
c) Protest must be made in writing or by email from the President of the centre.
d) A fee of $500 is due at the time the protest is sent forward- to be held until an outcome is decided.
e) The OWFL Executive will make a ruling on the protest as soon as possible.
f) The OWFL Executive decision is binding.
g) The protested game may be awarded to the team making the protest. That team would be awarded 2 points in the standings.
h) A replay of the game may be ordered.
i) The protest may be disallowed.
j) If the protest is disallowed the $500 fee shall be forfeited to the OWFL.