Rules of the Game

RULES OF PLAY

Outlined below are the rules of play. If the rules of play are accessed when a game is in progress, the game will go into pause mode. 

THE CLOCK >
A new game starts with 15 minutes on the game clock. A “CASUAL” game will not include a play clock. A “COMPETITIVE” game will include the play clock.

In a competitive game, players must be attentive to a 15 second play clock and will be penalized with a DELAY OF GAME (-5 Yard) penalty if more than 15 seconds elapse between the previous button press and the subsequent button press. This may become relevant for players that attempt to “manage the clock” by stalling as the game draws closer to a conclusion.

Players are allocated two (2) timeouts each and can stop the clock as they deem appropriate whether they have possession of the ball or not.  To use a Timeout, press the number next to the TOL (timeouts left) button on the scoreboard. The Game Clock will be stopped, and at the next valid button press it will resume its countdown.

START OF PLAY >     

The Red team is considered the Home team and starts the game with possession of the ball. The line of scrimmage begins at the 25 yard line; first down and 10 yards to go for a new set of downs.

The Game Clock starts counting down immediately after a NEW GAME begins. The Red team will slide a puck at either the Run or Pass targets in the Blue target area. Next, press the button on the game-tracker keypad that corresponds with the target where the puck has come to a rest.

The target that is determined to be in the dead center of the final resting place of the puck is the outcome of the puck slide. The player that did not slide the puck determines which target value will be awarded if the final resting place is questionably between two of the targets. Typically, if the dead center is squarely on a line, the value of the target inside of the line is awarded.  Traditionally, a casual game sees all questionable calls go in favor of the slider whereas a competitive game is just the opposite.  

The score board tracks the line of scrimmage as it moves forward or backward based upon the puck slide outcome and the button presses on the game-tracker keypad.  After the player with possession of the football slides the puck, the opposing player returns the puck to the player that slid it if possession hasn’t changed as a result of the target (ie., fumble, interception).

OBJECT OF THE GAME >
The object of the game and gameplay follows that of American Rules Football;

Advance toward your opponent’s end zone in order to score points either by a field goal (3 points) or a touchdown (6 points). Players are permitted four (4) downs to advance ten (10) yards.

A new set of four (4) downs is allotted after the line of scrimmage has advanced ten (10) yards.

PUCK SLIDES >
Pucks are slid at the target areas with the intention of having them stop on favorable outcomes. If a puck is slid towards the PASS targets and doesn’t reach the target area, this is considered SACKED -6.  If the puck is slid toward the RUN targets and doesn’t reach the target area, this is considered STOPPED FOR A LOSS -2. 

If a puck is slid toward the PASS targets and comes to rest in the trough (off the end of the playing surface), in the center circle area, or otherwise not on an easily identifiable target, the result is INCOMPLETE.  Likewise, if a puck is slid toward the RUN targets and comes to rest in the trough, in the center circle area, or otherwise not on an easily identifiable target, the result is NO GAIN.

FOURTH DOWN >
On fourth down, a player can choose to either;

“Go for it” - try to obtain a new set of downs by advancing a total of ten (10) yards from the original line of scrimmage, or

Kick a field goal by verbally declaring your intention to attempt a field goal to your opponent and then sliding a puck at the field goal targets. Field goals can only be attempted when the line of scrimmage is at or closer than the 45 yard line in the opponents end of the field, or

Punt by verbally declaring your intention to punt and then sliding a puck at the punt targets. The worst punt possible is 30 yards if your puck slide comes to rest outside of the circles corresponding to the punt target area. It is also noteworthy that a “touchback” is possible. For instance, if the line of scrimmage is at the 50 yard line (too far for a field goal) and the puck comes to rest on the punt target of 60 yards, the player on offense presses the +60 button and the punt is assumed to have gone into the end zone. The offense and defense switch, and play resumes in the opposite direction starting from the 20 yard line – a touchback.  A 50 yard punt when the line of scrimmage is at the 50 yard line is also considered a touchback. There is not a 0 yard line.

DEFENSE >
For the Table-Top edition of Fozzy Football, players discuss and choose to play with defenders or no defenders.  Three (3) defenders are provided for each side.  Use one (1) defender for a High School Level game, two (2) defenders for a College Level game, and three (3) defenders for a Professional Level game. Expert-level players may choose to use four (4) defenders at a time for Championship level of play.  If no defenders are used, it is considered a “Rec” or Recreational Level game.    

If it is decided that defenders will be used, the player on defense can place defenders anywhere on the green grass. Place the defenders at the edge of the green grass, just in front of the colored target area in order to obstruct pucks that are slid towards RUN and PASS targets.  There is no concept of inbounds or out of bounds for the defenders but they must be placed entirely on the green grass.  Defenders can only be used when the player on offense is aiming for RUN or PASS targets, and not for field goals, PATs or punts. In some cases if one player is substantially better than the other, players can agree to allow one player to use defenders while the other player goes without defenders as a way to even the matchup. 

PENALTIES >
It is not possible for the defense to decline a penalty. Most penalties are followed by a repeat of the down after the penalty yardage is applied. For instance, if it is second down and 4 yards to go for a first down and the puck stops on the “Holding -10” penalty; the line of scrimmage is moved backward 10 yards and second down is repeated, now with 14 yards to go in order to get a first down.

If there ever is an instance where the penalty would cause the line of scrimmage to be backed up beyond the goal line, the penalty is enforced by moving the line of scrimmage “half the distance to the goal.”  If the line of scrimmage is on a player’s own 8 yard line and the puck stops on a “Holding -10” penalty, play resumes with a repeat of the same down from the 4 yard line, which is half the distance to the goal after enforcing the penalty.  When the line of scrimmage is on an odd numbered yard marker and the penalty is greater than the distance to the goal, the offense gets the benefit of “half the distance to the goal.”  If the line of scrimmage is at the player’s own 5 yard line and the puck lands on “Holding -10” penalty, the line of scrimmage is moved back to the 3 yard line and the down is repeated.

There is one exception to penalties being followed by a repeat of the down – the PERSONAL FOUL -15 penalty results in a loss of down.  The penalty of -15 is applied but the down also advances. If the PERSONAL FOUL penalty occurs during a PAT attempt, the penalty is assessed on the ensuing kick-off and results in the starting Line of Scrimmage at the 40 yard line instead of the 25. 

SCORING >
Safety (2 points) >
A safety cannot occur as the result of a penalty. However, any time the line of scrimmage is close enough to the goal line that the result of the puck slide is a loss of yards equal to or greater than the yard line associated with the line of scrimmage, the result is a safety.

If the player on offense has a line of scrimmage at the 1 or 2 yard line and the result of the puck slide is a loss of 2 yards, a safety is awarded.  Likewise, if the line of scrimmage is at the 6 yard line or closer to the end zone and the puck lands in the “SACKED” area, the result is a loss of 6 yards and a safety is awarded.  If a safety occurs, the team on defense is awarded 2 points and play restarts with the same team that was on offense performing a punt (considered a “free kick”) from their own 20 yard line.

Field Goal (3 points) >
While it is most common to attempt a field goal on fourth down, the team on offense can attempt a field goal on any down as long as their line of scrimmage is at their opponent’s 45 yard line or closer.  Add 10 yards (the width of the end zone) to calculate the distance of the field goal attempt from the line of scrimmage. A field goal attempt when the line of scrimmage is at the 30 yard line is considered a 40 yard field goal attempt, and so on.  A field goal is considered “good” if the puck slides and stops in the area that corresponds to the distance attempted or greater. If a 35 yard field is attempted, the field goal is good if the puck stops in any of the field goal circles in the target area. However, if a field goal is attempted between 46 and 55 yards, it is only considered “good” if the puck stops in the inner-most circle. 

If a field goal attempt is “missed” then the player on offense presses the “FG IS NO GOOD” button and possession changes while the Line of Scrimmage remains the same. The team that was on defense now takes over on offense from the location of the line of scrimmage where the field goal was attempted. If the field goal is “good,” the kicking team presses the “FIELD GOAL IS GOOD” button and is awarded 3 points. Possession changes and the team that was on defense now takes over on offense at their 25 yard line with a new set of downs; first down and 10 yards to go.

Touchdown (6 points) >
There are two ways to score a touchdown; 1) obtain a target with positive yards equal to or greater than the distance from the line of scrimmage to the end zone, or 2) slide a puck where any portion of the inside cross hairs “hangs” off of the furthest back edge of the game surface – this is called “taking it to the house.” If the puck is touching the wooden game board or off the back edge and sitting on an angle, this is not a touchdown.  It is either INCOMPLETE or NO GAIN.  

Taking it to the house can occur from anywhere on the field regardless of the location of the line of scrimmage.  Players should consult and agree with each other or an unbiased third-party if there is any question on the ruling.  If a player is determined to have taken it “To the House” the player on offense will press either the “TOUCHDOWN (HANGER)” button and will be awarded 6 points. Taking it “To the House” is treated the same as a regular touchdown for scoring and restart of play.

It is not possible to possess the ball on the goal line.  Therefore, if the line of scrimmage is the 4 yard line and the result of a puck slide is a 4 yard gain, the result of the gain will be considered a touchdown. A touchdown is declared when the player touches the +4 button. It is also not possible to overshoot the end zone. With the Line of Scrimmage at the 1 yard line, pressing the +20 button is still considered a touchdown.  

Point(s) After Touchdown or “PAT” (1 or 2 points) >
The player that just scored the touchdown must verbally declare whether they are kicking an extra point or going for 2 points. If they declare they are going for 1, they will slide a puck at the kicking targets and 1 point is awarded for a puck slide that lands anywhere within the circular rings that make up the kicking target area.

If the puck lands anywhere outside of the kicking target area, the button “PAT IS NO GOOD” will be pressed; 0 points will be awarded and the opposing team will get the ball, 1st and 10 at their 25 yard line.  If the player declares they are going for 2, they will slide the puck at either the RUN or PASS targets but a two-point conversion can only be successfully achieved if the puck lands on either a 6 YARD RUN (there are two of these targets) or an 8 YARD PASS (there is only one of these targets). 

During the PAT Attempt, if there is any other result of a puck slide besides the successful results outlined above, the extra point attempt is considered to have failed (ie., penalties, turnovers, hanging puck outside of the kicking target area).    

DETERMINING A WINNER >
End of Regulation:  The player that accumulates the most points is declared the winner at the expiration of the time on the game clock.

Overtime:  If the score is tied after time has expired and a winner must be determined, players may choose to play a “Sudden Death” overtime.  The game clock is not needed for this extended period of play.  The Red, or Home, team slides the first puck and players alternate sliding pucks until one of the players takes it “To the House” (a puck with cross hairs that hang off the edge). This player is declared the Sudden Death winner.