The East Coast Football Association Bylaws are in place as a guide. This guide is governed by the ECFA Staff and adhered to by ECFA Team Ownership. This guide will not be used to benefit any one team more than another and the league President and Staff has the authority to make common sense judgements to maintain good order and discipline.
ARTICLE I - NAME Section 1. - The name of the organization shall be the East Coast Football Association (ECFA) Section 2. - The names of the Divisions shall be determined by the Administrative Council at the Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE The East Coast Football Association is formed for the following purposes: (a) To provide a football league that fosters and facilitates amateur tackle training and competitions regionally, nationally, and internationally (b) To support the growth of amateur football regionally, nationally, and internationally (c) To organize, coordinate, and support football games with other regional, national, and international; football teams and leagues (d) To train, educate, and promote football players who desire to play on regional, national, and international football teams (e) To publish information which discusses subjects described in (a) through (d) above (f) To solicit, receive, maintain, invest, and reinvest funds of real and personal property and to contribute its income and principal as deemed advisable for the purposes provided in (a) through (e) above.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP Section 1. - The East Coast Football Association shall consist of all current member teams meeting admission requirements, teams that are in good standing and teams that have paid the league fees due at the Annual Meeting, unless otherwise approved by the Admissions Committee. Membership is recognized as being year-by-year.
Section 2. - Each member team in good standing shall be entitled to one (1) vote, when a voting situation is presented.
Section 3. - A team shall be considered not in good standing if it has forfeited a game or if, in the judgment of the Judiciary Committee, it has acted in willful violation of the East Coast Football Association By-Laws or Standing Rules. A forfeited game is defined as a game played, not played or not completed because:
One of the teams failed to show up to the designated competition site
The home team changed the game time, day or location without proper notification as outlined in the ECFA ByLaws per Conduct and Regulation of Team Unit, Section 9
The game was called by the ECFA Referee Official for failure to follow ECFA regulations
One of the teams used an ineligible player. An ineligible player is defined as a player who is paid to play, a player without a release from his former team and who has left an ECFA team, joined and played in a game in another league in the same season. (A players ineligibility must be document prior to completion of the event)
Section 4. - All new teams are on a one year probationary period with voting rights, with exception of By Laws issues. Probationary status will be reviewed at the ECFA Annual Meeting. A team needs President and Commissioners vote to pass from probationary status to good standing. If there is a negative vote in which 80% of teams within good standing vote for a team to be removed, the President and Commissioners will strongly consider the vote into the final decision.
Section 5. - All league debts are to be paid in full one month prior to opening date of the current season. Every week after, a fine of $25 will be levied and will be due along with the current dues. This must be paid within the week between the team's first games. If payment is not made, the team is placed on a one year leave of absence. Regardless of which team violates this, it shall be punished on a no excuses basis.
Section 6. -A team on a year's leave of absence will pay the league dues and will attend at least 2 meetings, one of which will be the Annual Meeting.
Section7. -Players cannot play in 2 winter/spring leagues during the same calendar year. Violators will be banned from the ECFA for the remainder of the season. If an ECFA team willingly violates this policy, they will forfeit the game(s) and will be subject to a fine.
ARTICLE IV – LEADERSHIP & OFFICERS Section 1. - The East Coast Football Association leadership shall consist of league President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Section 2. - President shall hold office for a three (3) year term with second and third term options. No President shall hold office more than four (4) consecutive terms. The President CANNOT be voted out for any reason besides the following: Instances of documented failing mental or physical health and criminal actions detrimental to the league
Section 3. - The East Coast Football Association Vice President(s) shall hold office for a three (3) year term with second and third term options. No Vice President(s) shall hold office more than four (4) consecutive terms. Vice Presidents CANNOT be voted out for any reason besides the following: Removed by League President Instances of document failing mental or physical health and criminal actions detrimental to the league
Section 4. – The East Coast Football Association Officers shall consist of a Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner(s) and Head of Officials
Section 5. – The ECFA Officers shall hold officer for a two (2) year term or until successors are named. ECFA Officers can serve up to 4 terms. ALL ECFA officers are eligible for the title of President after their second term.
Section 6. – ECFA Officers can be voted out by ECFA Members pre-completion of term via 80% vote. ECFA Officers can be removed by the league President and Vice President(s) for cause.
Section 7. - The East Coast Football Association shall have 3 directors who report to the Vice President as requested: Head of Officials, Director of Marketing, and Director of Player Personnel.
Section 8. - The Director positions are appointed and Directors will maintain the status until resigning or removal by the ECFA President.
ARTICLE IV – DUTIES OF ECFA PERSONNEL President Duties: Preside over all ECFA meetings (if present) Presides over the Leadership and Admissions Team Responsible for ECFA Scheduling Have general supervision over the affairs of the ECFA Have final authority over ECFA decisions that affect league image It shall be the duty of the Vice President(s) to: Assume the duties of the President in his/her absence, incapacity or resignation Assist the President in whatever capacity the President deems necessary Have direct purview over director positions
Secretary Duties: Keep accurate records of all ECFA meetings Notify all ECFA members of meetings at least two (2) weeks in advance of such meetings Circulate copies of the minutes of each meeting within two (2) weeks of the last meeting
Treasurer Duties: Maintain complete and accurate records of the ECFA's income and expenditures Have charge of all ECFA finances; will have two person integrity with the league President Present a current report on the ECFA's finances at each league meeting
Commissioner(s) Duties: Responsible for game day execution Cannot be a member of an active ECFA Team Responsible for league and player discipline in there conference/division Handle all necessary ECFA correspondence Handle disciplinary issues that occur on game day It shall be the duty of the Deputy Commissioner(s) to: o Assume the duties of the Commissioner in his absence, incapacity or resignation o Assist the Commissioner in whatever capacity the Commissioner deems necessary
Head of Officials Duties: Responsible for ensuring all ECFA games have assigned referees weekly Responsible for ensuring the quality of officiating is consistent with ECFA standards Understand current NFL rules and making modifications to ECFA rules to ensure safety and great entertainment Obtaining and distributing weekly reports on game day happenings Ensuring accurate weekly scores reporting
ARTICLE V – LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE Section 1. - The Leadership Committee of the ECFA shall consist of the ECFA President, Vice President(s), ECFA Secretary, ECFA Treasure, and three (3) SENIOR ECFA Owners with teams in good standing. This Leadership Committee shall determine all policies are in effect. It shall select delegates from the ECFA to attend the meetings if required and shall adopt standards governing the operation of ECFA games and the rules that shall govern those games. The meetings of the Leadership Committee shall be called by the ECFA Secretary at the direction of the ECFA President.
The first meeting in for the year of play shall be known as the Annual Meeting. The agenda for this meeting shall contain, as a minimum, the following items: Reports/Minutes Review of League Statistics Election of Officers Admission of New Teams By Laws Scheduling Amendments to By-laws
ARTICLE VI - JUDICIARY COMMITTEE Section 1. - The Judiciary Committee shall consist of all ECFA Commissioners and VP. If the Judiciary Committee falls below the membership minimum of three (3), then the committee's power shall revert back to the ECFA President.
Section 2. - The members of the Judiciary Committee shall hold office for their entire term or until successors is named.
Section 3. - It shall be the duty of the Judiciary Committee to settle grievances between teams and to rule on any disciplinary action to be administered as per the current By-Laws. Grieving teams may present such facts or arguments that they deem proper, subject to the control of the Judiciary Committee who will conduct the hearing. They will answer all questions put to them by the other members of the Judiciary Committee, after which they will retire to another room to allow discussion and judgment by the Judiciary Committee. The majority vote will dictate the judgment. o All judgments shall go before the ECFA President and to be made official prior to team notifications. o The ECFA President will cast a vote in the event of a tie. o The President has the power to veto a judgment based on best interest of the league. Veto of judgments can only occur five (5) times per year.
Section 4. - In the event of an emergency situation, the Judiciary Committee may act upon the grievance prior to the receipt of written copy of said grievance.
Section 5. - All ECFA grievances must be submitted within twelve (12) hours, by phone, electronic correspondence or Email to the ECFA Commissioners for action by the Judiciary Committee.
Section 6. - The Judiciary Committee may elect to conduct hearings in person, electronic correspondence or by conference call. All notes will be made public by request.
Section 7. - Any Judiciary Committee decision will be immediately released to the ECFA membership by the ECFA President
Section 8. - Any grievance decision by the Judiciary Committee may be appealed to the Leadership Committee. If the Judiciary Committee's decision is upheld by the Leadership Committee, then the appealing team will be charged a $25 fee.
Section 9. – The Judiciary Committee has the authority to recommend the removal of teams who are in violation of ECFA By-Laws or if they are operating in a manner that may be determined to be detrimental to league business.
Section 10. – A recommendation of removal will go to the Leadership Committee for action, implementation and/or approval
ARTICLE IX - AMENDMENT PROCEDURE These By-Laws may be amended at the ECFA Annual Meeting by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the membership present in good standing, provided that written or verbal notice of the proposed change or amendment has been given to the ECFA President no later than January 1st yearly.
ARTICLE X - ADMISSION OF NEW TEAMS: ADMISSIONS COMMITEE The Admission Committee shall consist of the President, VP, Commissioners, and a minimum of three (3) SENIOR members as appointed by the ECFA President.
It shall be the duty of the Admissions Committee to: Receive applications from new teams. Review and recommend applications for meeting minimal requirements. Investigate new team applications and present at the Annual Meeting. All teams meeting minimal requirements shall be invited to the Annual Meeting for presentation to the Administrative Committee.
In order for a new team to be admitted into the ECFA, a minimum 75% vote is required. Unless league President exercise his/her right for direct entry of teams. If there are less than ten (10) teams in good standing, the approval will be based on a majority plus one vote. The focal point for this measurement shall be the established playing field that meets ECFA standards, for that franchise. (President’s Office Reserve the right to allow or decline admission despite vote) ****A team returning to the ECFA that has won an ECFA title is eligible for automatic re-entry. ****
Upon admission to the ECFA, the team will pay to the ECFA a league fee of two hundred and fifty ($250) dollars for the normal ECFA fees due prior to the Annual Meeting.
Total ECFA dues are eight hundred ($800) dollars yearly.
There will be a one-time two hundred ($300) dollar forfeit fee for ALL NEW ECFA teams. Non-refundable. The fee will be applied to next season’s league fees.
A team not in good standing will be required to reapply for admission to the ECFA as a new applicant not currently in operation. Forfeits shall result in reapplication for admission unless forfeit is declared No Fault by the Judiciary Committee.
ARTICLE XI - SCHEDULE: The preparation of the schedule shall be the responsibility of the ECFA President and Vice President. All special requests for home game dates must be submitted to the ECFA President’s office thirty (30) days prior to the release of the regular season schedule date. Once the regular season schedule is released to the league members there can no more changes made of opponents and game dates.
All games will be played as scheduled; there will be no postponements. Games with prior approved permission from the Commissioner’s office for relocation due to fire, flood, other acts of God, or the Stadium Facility management access denial will be acted upon by the Commissioner’s office. Once all information related to the relocation request has been submitted, the Commissioner’s office will hand down a final determination.
Request for relocation of game field must be submitted as soon as possible. The ECFA understands that certain events may take place that are out of the control of the home team but in order for the league to assist the home team, the league must be notified as soon as possible. If a delay in notification to the Commissioner’s office has been found, then the game may be awarded to the visiting team. Other disciplinary actions can be administered against the home team by the Judiciary Committee.
A – PRESEASON SCHEDULE Each team may schedule their own preseason games. Their opponents can be interleague, utilizing teams from other leagues. Both teams will need to govern a set of rules either NFL or NCAA collegian rules to play by. The teams win loss record will be not utilized nor acknowledged for ECFA regular season records unless authorized by the league President. All ECFA game rules still apply and violations of league rules will go in front of the judiciary committee.
All ECFA games shall be scheduled for Saturday, day or night: (Kick-off Classic is the Exemption) o Teams traveling less than 1hour: games can be scheduled as early as 1:00 pm o Teams traveling 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours: games can be scheduled no earlier than 2.30 pm o Teams traveling greater than 2.5 hours: games can be scheduled no earlier than 5:00 pm
Games can be played on Friday nights after 7:00pm and Sundays before 3pm, with prior consistent from the conference commissioner and opposing owner.
ARTICLE XII – ACTIVE ROSTERS Each of the ECFA teams shall furnish the ECFA President with a full and complete roster listing the full names, addresses and telephone numbers of all players, coaches and team officials of his team. These rosters should be in
sufficient quantity to provide one copy for each member team and one copy for the ECFA files and shall be provided four-teen (14) days prior to the kickoff of the regular ECFA season. Amendments to the team roster will be handed in Friday prior to 10:00am. A team is allowed to have a maximum of sixty (60) player roster active roster.
Every player in the ECFA must have a current team picture in a team jersey on file. This will serve as the player contract. The player has the option to void the picture contract by submitting a written request to their respective team. Pictures must be in prior to week three (3) roster cut-off. All pictures must be reviewed; it’s in the best interest for all teams to submit changes at least 12hrs prior cut off time to allow for the Commissioners review.
In order for new players to be added to a team's roster, the team must submit the name and picture prior to the Friday 10:00am roster cut-off time. The Commissioner’s office will research the candidate and determine if the player is eligible to be added to the team’s roster. It’s in the best interest for all teams to submit changes at least 12hrs prior cut off time to allow for the Commissioner’s review.
The Commissioner’s office will then distribute to all teams a weekly update of team roster changes. Final roster changes must be submitted to the President’s office, post marked no later than the Saturday of the 5th game of the season by midnight. Additions to the active roster after this date will need to be accompanied by a written document disclosing the reasons for adding the player and showing hardship via loss of players on the active roster. Requests will be reviewed and ruled upon by the Commissioner’s office. If the Commissioner’s office rules against the addition of player(s) to a team’s roster, the team may request an appeal to the Leadership Committee regarding the player(s) denied by the Commissioner’s office. All players added to a team’s active roster will be eligible for the playoffs.
Players contracted with an ECFA organization can only participate in the ECFA for the 2018 season. Once players have played one game with an ECFA team, with picture on file, a player may not switch to another ECFA team without release. If a player is on an active roster for three (3) ECFA games WITH picture on file, a player CANNOT switch to another ECFA team no EXCEPTIONS.
If the release is not provided, the player can send a request to the Commissioner’s office. The Commissioner will review all information and the make a determination. If the ruling is for the team, then the player may be released only at the team's discretion. If the ruling is in favor of the player then they are determined to be a free agent and may then sign with any other team. The player has the right to sit out the season if their request for release is not agreed upon.
After the ECFA has officially completed its season, all players are declared free agents and are permitted to change from one team to another without consent. However, each player must fulfill their financial or equipment obligations to the player losing team. Each team is to notify the ECFA with a list of outstanding financial and equipment obligations at both
ECFA meetings prior to the start of the season. If the equipment is not returned by the date of the Annual Meeting, acceptance and subsequent release is the option of the team.
Roster checks are optional each game. Roster checks must be done prior to the game’s kickoff, during warm ups. All Commissioners, Referees, and Owners can call for a random roster check. All players must have photo I.D. to compare to compare with picture on league website. It’s advised that roster checks are done at the entry point to avoid stadium delays.
No player or coach shall be paid for participation in any ECFA game. Any player or coach that is being paid in an arena league or other paid league is considered a professional and therefore cannot play for an ECFA team, in that year of play. Any member team found in violation of this rule shall be subject to immediate suspension. Travel money to practice shall NOT be considered as paying the participant however, must be documented and within a $40 limit per travel occasion. Travel for players or coaches are any travel outside of 90min radius of practice and home game facilities. Failure to adhere to any of the above will result in an automatic $150 fine payable to the league within five (5) days and forfeiture of games the player(s) participated in.
ARTICLE XIII- CONDUCT AND REGULATION OF TEAM UNIT Unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of any team, team official or any individual player, whether it be on the field or off, shall be dealt with by the Judiciary Committee. The offending person or persons may be subjected to disciplinary measures up to and including suspension. Each team shall be held responsible for the conduct of its players and its staff, whether individually or collectively. The Judiciary Committee may, if they deem it beneficial to the ECFA, suspend any team personnel. A second violation in the same season results in an automatic suspension for the rest of the year. Assault on an official results in a lifetime ban.
Any team not on the field, ready to play within fifteen (15) minutes before the scheduled time for the game, may be subject to such fine as the Judiciary Committee shall impose. If said team has not appeared, ready to play within one hour (60 minutes) after the scheduled time for the commencement of the game, the game may be played with the consent of both teams. If this game is not played, it will be forwarded to the Judiciary Committee for a decision.
The ECFA Administration has the authority to remove any organization that is not abiding to the by-laws or any acts deemed as detrimental to the league.
ARTICLE XIV – UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT The ECFA will follow the NFL dress code with matching pants, jersey, and helmets. Each team shall be equipped with two (2) sets of jerseys, one dark and one light of the team colors, to allow for the use of contrasting uniforms in each game. All players must wear the same number at home and away games. If a change absolutely has to be made, the
opposing team, PA announcer and members of the press must be informed and it must be reflected on the roster for that game. The roster will be sent to the other team on the Friday prior to the game. Failure to adhere to any of the above will result in an automatic $25 fine payable to the league within five (5) days. ****Double numbers will be allowed for five (5) jersey numbers only****
Each visiting team shall contact that week’s opposing home team on Tuesday prior to the playing date, and confirm playing field location and locker rooms. If home team cannot provide field location prior to Wednesday by 12pm the away team can then choose to host the game. If the away team chooses not to host the schedule home team has until Thursday at 8pm to provide details or a forfeit will be issued. Teams must exchange rosters by the Friday 10:00am prior to their game. The home team has the right to choose whether to wear dark or light jerseys each week. Each team is to provide the opposing team with any roster uniform changes at least 60 minutes prior to game time and/or post it on the Facebook Owners Forum. Failure to adhere to any of the above will result in an automatic $25 fine payable to the league within five (5) days and/or forfeit of game.
Teams are required to have uniforms on order NLT 1 February each season. If a team is not fully uniformed week 1 of the season and proof of order is NOT presented, the team will be fined $250.00
ARTICLE XV – GAME DAY FACLITIES Each team must submit for league approval, the name, address of the facilities and a facility contact that the team proposes to utilize for home games. This information must be submitted for verification, thirty (30) days prior to the release of regular season schedules.
Required Game day facilities: 1. Must play its home games at a field surrounded by secured fencing 2. The field must have proper yard marking and properly lighting for night games. 3. Facilities for adequate crowd control and security must be present. 4. Security must be present and prominent at all times during the course of the event. 5. Separate shower and locker room facilities will be provided for each team. (Travel over 3 hours) 6. Proper rest room facilities must be provided for the fans.
Each team will appoint a team statistician, who will gather all required statistics for ECFA regular season, Playoff and Championship games. Each team is to report the game stats for its team to the ECFA Statistician by noon the Tuesday following the game. Failure to complete this required ECFA task will result in a fine of $10 per day for each day delinquent. Statisticians and Spotters will be offered equal opportunity to perform their duties in the press box at all ECFA games.
No ECFA team shall play any non ECFA team if that team owes funds to the ECFA and/or any ECFA member team.
Each home team will be responsible for providing authorized medical personnel at ECFA games which include medical doctors, physician’s assistants, EMTs, Registered Nurse and/or certified trainers. Ambulances will be called if necessary by the authorized medical personnel via direct communication. The authorized medical personnel's identification will be shown, upon request, to the visiting team. An effort will be made by the home team, as often as possible, to provide an ambulance at the game. If no medical personnel are present, the game will be delayed for ½ hour for medical care to arrive.
ARTICLE XVI – GAME PROCEDURES 1. The ECFA rules shall be the NFL rules except as modified by the ECFA.
2. Each game shall be worked by a crew of officials, qualified and certified by a recognized association of Certified Football Officials. The crew of officials shall be paid in accordance with the determination by the ECFA Director of Officials.
3. The home team shall furnish chain crews, chains and sideline markers. The visiting team has the right to place one (1) member of its organization on the chain crew if it desires. The visiting team however, must notify the home team of such decision at least fifteen (15) minutes before the scheduled game time.
4. Visible security of some kind must be present for each event. The security must be identifiable.
5. The home team shall furnish fifty (50) pounds of ice and water for the visiting team. The each team will furnish three (3) NFL or College (GT 1003) regulation footballs. The game officials must approve the three footballs prior to game time.
6. The home team will provide access to the locker room and field facilities, for the visiting team, at least two (2) hours prior to kickoff.
7. The presence of an ECFA Official is preferred at all ECFA post season games. ECFA officials should be present at all games (if possible) to ensure that the facilities and game conditions meet ECFA standards. If no ECFA official is available for a game, the visiting coach will prepare a game report (verbal or written). The ECFA officials will rotate each week. No team should go more than a 4 week without coverage.
8. For every ECFA sanction game, the visiting team is responsible for their transportation expenses.
9. All teams must accept playoff ranking and participation. Any team that qualifies for the playoffs should meet that obligation. Failure to participate will be forwarded to the Judiciary Committee for review.
10. For all playoffs games, the Head of Officials will assign all game day officials. There will be a total of 6 to 7 officials for all Playoff games. The home team is responsible for acquiring a clock operator.
11. The team with the better record has the first option of hosting play-off games. Upon mutual consent of both teams, the team with the lower record could host the game. Any additional financial agreements between the two teams must be submitted to the ECFA President and VP and will be enforced by the ECFA Commissioners.
12. ECFA (8) Tie Breakers: 1. Head to head games (If split games, the better of the scores) 2. Best team with least points scored against them 3. Best win/loss record within the division 4. Best win/loss record in conference 5. Best win/loss record outside the division 6. Best win/loss record against common opponents 7. Best win/loss record against common opponents, outside the division 8. Best win/loss record among tied teams 9. Coin toss
Appendix 1 Conduct Rules
1. All persons participating in ECFA events (games, fundraisers, etc.) will conduct themselves in a professional manner.
2. Poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated. Consequences that may be assessed include but are not limited to suspensions and/or fines. These consequences are at the discretion of the ECFA President and League Commissioner.
3. Absolutely “NO FIGHTING” will be tolerated. Players and Coaches will be ejected from the game if any fighting occurs: (Players and Coaches Ejected by the Refs.)
NO appeal process for ejected players or coaches by the Referees. Progressive Disciplinary Suspensions:
A. 1st Offense – suspended for 1 game. $50 fine to the team
B. 2nd Offense - suspended for 3 games- $100 fine game to the team
C. 3rd Offense - suspended for the remainder of the ECFA Season -$250 fine game to the team
D. The ECFA board reserves the right to review the game film to access the severity of the players actions.
E. The ECFA Board reserves the right to hand out suspensions for actions not caught by the Referees but we're visible on film.
F. The ECFA Board also reserves the right to bypass the Progressive Disciplinary Action guidelines dependent on the severity of the players actions and the results.
G. If game film is not available, the board will rely ONLY referee’s report.
H. In order for player(s) to be reinstated they must go in front of the disciplinary board. This is done AFTER fine has been paid, and suspension has expired. Note: This is to be reinstated, this is not an appeal.
I. If anyone caught spiting on another person will be removed from the game and suspended for the remainder of the season.
J. NO smoking or use of any tobacco products as well as alcohol at any ECFA function including games. This includes pre-game, during the game and post-game. Teams will be fined $100 for violating this Policy.
4. Fines –Any fines assessed must be paid in full before player/teams can resume play. No refunds will be given.
5. Suspensions made by the ECFA Board aside from Referee Ejections can be appeals to the ECFA Leadership Committee.
6. All Appeals MUST be initiated by a Team Owner, not a player, in writing within 12 hours of the notice of suspension.
7. Any violations ECFA facility requirements will result in $75.00 fine per violation.
8. Any violations ECFA uniform policy will result in $25.00 fine per violation.