Each and every league seems to have its own variation of the game. In most cases the League Board decides which additional rules will be implemented and the rules often change from year to year. My youth football coaching experience has shown the more competitive the league, keo bong da the fewer special rules in place. Many times special rules are added to take away perceived advantages of certain teams to create a “more level playing field.”
Unfortunately many of these special rules do nothing to improve the competitive level of the league. These rules are often used to help lazy coaches compete with better prepared teams. I could go on and on about the silly rules some youth football coaches have to deal with, but the net result is your team has to play by whatever set of rules your league dictates. Both teams have to play by the same set of rules and you know the rules in advance, so your job is to adapt and coach. It serves no purpose to whine and moan about silly rules, just refine your system to account for these rules and move on. The time to concern yourself with special rules is when your league has its rules meeting. Too many coaches dwell on the unfairness or silliness of the special rules rather than adapting and coaching around them.
Since these special rules often change from year to year it’s a good idea to make sure you are kept abreast of any changes that could affect your team. One year we had an excellent first team PAT kicker, he was good on about 75% of his kicks. We worked real hard on our kicks since the PAT kick was worth 2 points and running or passing was only worth one point. Because most teams were not able to convert their PAT kicks, when we scored and kicked our PAT kick, we were up by 8-0 and it was in effect a 2 score lead, a huge psychological advantage for our team.
We have to be aware that many youth football referees, work games in various youth football leagues and do High School games as well. Since many youth football leagues have different sets of “special rules” and these special rules change from year to year, it can be very confusing for even the best referees. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure you have a printed set of “special rules” on your person during all games.
In both our Omaha and Rural leagues there are “striper” rules that say that if a player is above a certain weight he must have his helmet striped in a particular manner and he must play from tackle to tackle. In one particular age 11-12 game there was a 170 pound “striped” player playing defensive end that was giving us fits, a clear violation of the rules. In these cases it makes sense to let the referee know of the problem, this isn’t a judgment call situation. Having your “special rules” sheet with you comes in real handy in these situations. Most referees do not appreciate being showed a thick NCAA or NFHS rule book, but most have no problem taking a look at “special rules” sheets. There have been a number of situations in games I’ve coached where the referees either forgot or were unfamiliar with the leagues special rules.