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SIX-MAN FOOTBALL RULES Print

SIX-MAN FOOTBALL

A Texas Tradition.

 Six men on offense.  Six men on defense.

The game differs a bit from the eleven man version.  Here are the main differences:

  • ·         Six-man is played on an 80 X 40 yard field. 
  • ·         The ball must be advanced 15 yards to make a first down.
  • ·         If you run or pass an extra point attempt, you get 1 point.
  • ·         If you kick an extra point attempt, you get 2 points.
  • ·         A field goal earns you 4 points.
  • ·         Everyone is eligible to receive a pass.
  • ·         The quarterback has to either pitch or pass the ball before he can run with it.
  • ·         There is a “mercy rule.”  If a team is ahead 45 or more points at halftime or at any point after halftime, the game is over.  This is called “getting 45’d.”

Six-man is a fast-paced, high-scoring, run ‘til you puke and hit ‘til you collapse kind of game.  Maybe that’s why country boys play it so well.  It is not uncommon to see the same boys on both offense and defense, playing both ways.  You must have 6 boys suited up and on the field to begin the game, but games have been known to end with fewer on the field.

Click HERE and HERE for more on the history of Six-Man Football.
~ UIL/NCAA SIX-MAN FOOTBALL RULES COMPARISON ~

General: Texas Six-Man Football Rules are the same as NCAA Football Rules except for the following variations.  

(Note: NCAA Rule References are indicated in parenthesis).

(1-1 & 2) 1. Each team has six players. Unless necessary to use the eleven-man field, the six-man field is 80 yards by 40 yards, with the 40 yard line being the center of the field. The two inbound lines (hash marks) are 40 feet from the sidelines. There will also be marks that are measured 13 feet from the sidelines. Goal posts are 25 feet apart and the crossbar is 9 feet above the ground. 

(1-1-3) 2. When one team is 45 or more points ahead at the end of the first half or if a team achieves a 45 point
lead during the second half, the game is ended immediately.

(3-2) 3. Length of quarters is 10 minutes; between quarters; 2 minutes. Between halves, 15 minutes.

(4-1-3) 4. During a try after touchdown the ball becomes dead when Team B gains possession or it is obvious
that a kick is unsuccessful. 

(5-1) 5. Offense must advance 15 yards instead of 10 yards in four downs. 

(6-1) 6. Unless relocated by penalty, the kicking team’s restraining line on a kickoff is the 30 yard line on a six-man field and the 20 yard line for a free kick after safety. The receiving team’s free kick
restraining line is 15 yards from the point of kickoff. There is no requirement to have a minimum number of players on either side of the kicker. 

(6-1) 7. The ball must travel 15 yards on a kickoff (or place kick/punt after a safety) or be touched by the
receiving team before members of the kicking team are eligible to touch it. 

(6-2) 8. A free kick out of bound between the goal lines untouched inbounds by a player of Team B is a foul
(A.R. 6-2-1-I-IV). PENALTY—Live-ball foul. Five yards from the previous spot or the receiving team may put the ball in play 20 yards beyond Team A’s restraining line at the inbounds spot (S19).

(7-1-3) 9. Unless the ball is kicked or forward passed, it may not be advanced beyond the neutral zone until AFTER AN EXCHANGE has been made between the receiver of the snap and another player. EXCEPTION: Any player of Team A may advance a loose football after it has been touched by a
Team B player. PENALTY: 5 yards plus loss of down (illegal procedure) from previous spot (S19 & S9). An exchange is completed when possession of the football is gained by a receiver of the snap, given up voluntarily or involuntarily by the receiver of the snap, and possession is regained by another player of Team A. 

(7-1) 10. If the snap is muffed and a Team A player catches or recovers the ball beyond the neutral zone, he
may not advance it. PENALTY: Loss of down (illegal procedure) from previous spot (S19 & S9), 5 yards from the previous spot is also assessed if the Team A player advances the ball. If a Team A player catches or recovers the muffed snap behind the neutral zone, he may legally advance it only after a legal exchange.

(7-1-3) 11. At least 3 Team A players shall be on their line of scrimmage at the snap. 

(7-1-6) 12. The ball may be handed in any direction to any player during a scrimmage down behind the neutral zone. A linesman may receive a forward hand-off at any time and is not required to be 2 yards behind his line of scrimmage and does not have to face his goal prior to receiving the hand-off. EXCEPTION: The ball may not be handed forward to the snapper through his legs.
PENALTY: 5 yards from previous spot and loss of down (S19 & S9).

(7-3) 13. The ball is dead when a passer catches his own pass (untouched by B), and it is ruled as an incomplete forward pass. 

(7-3) 14. All players are eligible to catch a forward pass, except that a pass is ruled incomplete when caught by the passer (see preceding rule). If a forward pass is thrown to the snapper, it must travel at least
one yard in flight.

(8-1) 15. Field goals count 4 points; successful try, 2 points if successful through place or drop kick and 1
point if successful by pass or run. The defense may not score on a try. 

(8-1) 15. Field goals count 4 points; successful try, 2 points if successful through place or drop kick and 1
point if successful by pass or run. The defense may not score on a try.

(9-1-2) 16.  When a team is in an offensive or scrimmage kick formation, a defensive player may not initiate contact with the snapper until one second has elapsed after the snap.  

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