2013 Game Rules

One of the top priorities of the Save-An-Eye Game is to showcase the football players and have an exciting game maximizing scoring and shifts in momentum. We do not want 3 yards and clouds of dust. These rules modifications are designed by a joint committee representing the regional coaches, officials, and the Erie Lions Club in order to accomplish this while still preserving the integrity of the game.

The key to the implementation of the rules is dependent upon the head coaches and how well they cooperate with each other. All rules regarding safety and fair play will remain the responsibility of the officiating staff in accordance with PIAA official rules and regulations. Any “special” rules related to the special nature of this game as outlined below will be the responsibility of the designated Erie Lions Club personnel who will provide consistent communication to both the coaching staff and officiating crew for enforcement as appropriate.

The Save an Eye Game Committee reserves the right to modify any rule contained in this document in the best interest of the Game.


A)   Only seniors from their school’s most recent graduating class and in good standing with their school are eligible to play in the Save-An-Eye All-star game.

B)   Any exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Save-An-Eye game committee.

C)   Players may only be selected from schools, which reside within Erie County.

D)   Only PIAA sanctioned schools are eligible for player participation in the Save an Eye Game. There are no exceptions to this requirement.  Due to the turnover rates and special circumstances surrounding youth-service homes and similar organizations, player eligibility and participation in the game must be discussed and approved by the Save-An-Eye game committee on a case-by-case basis.

E)   First team all-region/conference players receive an automatic invitation to the game.

F)   Coaches may then make additional player selections based on positional need, preferably taking into consideration Lions Players-of-the-Week and players from the second all-region/conference elections and honorable mention players.

G)   Maximum of 33 players per team.

H)   No additions to a team may be made after the 4th practice day.

I)  No more than 9 players from any one school district may be selected.

a. Only exception to this rule is if more than a collective total of 9 players for an individual school have been selected to their respective first team all-regional/conference teams.

b. If more than 9 players from any individual school have been selected to their respective first-team all-regional/conference teams, no other players from that school will be considered for eligibility without consideration from the Save-An-Eye game committee.

c. At no time in the game may more than 5 players from any one school be on the field of play.



A) The base defense will be a five (5) man front with two (2) linebackers and a four (4) back secondary.

B) The defense is a READING DEFENSE reacting to pressure.  Each covered lineman is expected to engage and contact their opposing player, read the blocking pressure, and then react accordingly. AT NO TIME IS SLANTING OR STUNTING ALLOWED. Swim, Rip, or any other technique as part of a pass rush may only be utilized after a defensive lineman has engaged their opposing player.

C) The nose guard is positioned nose-to-nose with the offensive center.  The defensive tackles may assume a head up or outside eye alignment over the offensive tackles (no eagle positions over the guards are allowed). The defensive ends must assume an outside eye alignment over the offensive tight ends.

a. In cases where there is either a wing in place of a tight end or no tight end, the defensive end may treat the situation as though there was a tight end aligning accordingly.

b. In cases where there is a wing in outside of a tight end, the defensive end may move as far as 2 yards to a head up position over the wing.

D) Both defensive ends must rush the passer.  This will give a five (5)-man rush.  The nose guard may not drop off into pass coverage.  If less than a five (5) man rush is used, a five yard penalty will be assessed (no warning).

a. Any defensive lineman who reads a screen may be permitted to react to disrupt the play. In doing so the defender may only make a play on the ball if it is on the line of scrimmage or in the offensive backfield. Any participation by a defender downfield in the defensive secondary will be assessed a 5 yd penalty (no warning).

E) The linebackers will align in an outside shoulder relationship to the offensive guards.  The feet of the linebackers must be deeper than the feet of any down lineman. In short yardage situations (i.e. ? down and 2 or any play inside the 10 yd line), linebackers can play as tight as possible and may assume a (2) two, three (3), or four (4) point stance.

a. Linebackers react, but never are allowed to stunt or blitz.

b. Consideration will be given to the aggressive play of a linebacker on running plays who meet the ball carrier in the hole or running downhill off tackle making a play in the backfield (including a QB rolling out). However any linebacker discovered making a tackle on a QB during a drop back situation will be assessed a 15 yd penalty without warning.

F) The secondary must play either a straight man-to-man or a three (3) deep zone. Combinations are permitted allowing a 3 deep shell to one side with man coverage to another. Positioning rules must be followed as outlined below:

a. Only 2 corners are permitted in the game at any given time and must play between 1yd to 7yds from their designated receiver remaining a minimum of 1 yd outside the TE position at all times (not permitted inside the box which for the purpose of this game will be defined as an area with boundaries 1 yd outside the defensive ends and 10 yds from the line of scrimmage). Corners are not allowed to stunt or blitz.

b. Only 2 safeties are permitted in the game at any given time. Safeties are not permitted to enter “the box”. Safeties positioned within the alley are not permitted to approach the line of scrimmage beyond linebacker depth. Safeties positioned behind the box must maintain a 10 yd or greater depth from the line of scrimmage at all times. Safeties are not allowed to stunt or blitz.

1. In short yardage situations, both safeties may align in the alley but not permitted to approach the line of scrimmage beyond linebacker depth which as defined above may be on the line of scrimmage, however must maintain positioning outside of “the box”.

2. In short yardage situations, an individual safety may also align in a tightened position behind “the box” but must be at least 3 yards deeper than the deepest middle linebacker from the line of scrimmage.


Short yardage is two (2) yards or less, anywhere on the field.  Goal line is on or inside the defense’s ten (10) yard line.



A)   Line splits may not exceed three (3) feet.

B)   One back, in addition to the QB must be in the backfield at all times which is defined as the area behind the offensive line from offensive tackle to tackle.

a.  Motioning out of the backfield is only permitted when at the snap of the ball there remains one back and the QB in the backfield.

b.  Motioning into the backfield is permitted to create a 2 or more back set. Motioning from a wing or slot position to create a one back set from a zero back set is not permitted.

c.  QB motion is not allowed.

B) No shifting or unbalanced lines are allowed.

C) The offensive team must huddle at least 3 yds. from the line of scrimmage except in the last two minutes of each half.

D) Each team must attempt to pass the ball 15 times throughout the course of a game which is defined as an actual or apparent attempt to deliver a ball to another eligible offensive player as outlined below:

a. Tosses, pitches, or options do not count as a pass.

b. Any drop back, quick, play action, shovel, or screen pass is permissible and counted.

c. Any draw is counted given the quarterback presents an obvious presentation of pass with the ball held at chest level or higher. Play action draws will count as a run.

d. Any sac or scramble may be considered a pass attempt.

e. All judgments as to what may be determined as a run or pass is at the sole discretion of the Erie Lions Club field staff and will be communicated accordingly.

E)  Each coach will be provided a count on the number of passes at the beginning of the 3rd and then 4th quarters. Failure to pass on each play after 4 minutes are left in the game, if the required minimum of 15 passes has not been met, will result in a 5 yard penalty and loss of down on each play until the minimum requirement is met.




A)   Kickoff:

a. Kickoffs will be from the 35-yard line.

b. No-onside kick is permitted by a team who is winning by more than 14 points or more.

c. If a team after scoring is behind by 14 or more points and elects to take advantage of their “free return” (see Kick Return below), the kick off team is permitted to perform an onside kick.

B)   Punt:

a. As with offense, one back must be present in the backfield with the punter at all times.

b. A direct snap to any back in the backfield is allowed.

c. Only the last players on the line-of-scrimmage and backs, wings, or slots may release upon the snap. Any interior lineman from offensive tackle to tackle is not permitted downfield until the ball is kicked.

C)   Kick Return:

a. Must have a minimum of 5 individuals on the front line.

b. Must have a minimum of 2 individuals deep to receive the ball.

c. Kicks may be returned if kicked into the end zone.

d. If a team after scoring remains (14) or more points behind, that team may elect to receive the kickoff one time and one time only, including the second half kickoff (assuming said team was last to score prior to the end of the 2nd quarter).

D)   Punt Return:

a. As with defense, 5 linemen must be on the line of scrimmage.

b. As with kick returns, must have a minimum of 2 individuals deep to receive the ball.

E)   Field Goals:

a. May be attempted at any time throughout the game.

b. As outlined under offense, when going for 3 points all said rules must be obeyed.

c. Failed attempts may be returned for 6-point touchdown.

F)   Extra Points:

a. Teams may elect to attempt for 1 or 2 points as with any game as outlined by the rules above.

b. No “muddle huddle” is permitted during an extra point attempt.

c. As outlined under offense, when going for 1 or 2 points all said rules must be obeyed.

d. Failed attempts may not be returned by the defense for points.



A)   In the case of a tie game, the sudden death rule adopted by the PIAA will be in effect.

B)   Infraction rules will be enforced in the following manner:

a.    Violations that significantly affect a play or a game situation will result in a 15 yd penalty with no warning unless otherwise defined above. An example includes where an offensive play results in a sac or loss of distance due to an obvious stunt or blitz.

b.    Violations that do not significantly affect a play or game situation will be given a warning first, then a 5-yard penalty with each successive infraction unless otherwise defined above.

c.    Dead ball fouls are automatic 5-yard penalties. An example includes an illegal shift as defined above or an unbalanced line.

C)   All players are expected to attend 8 of 12 practices.

a.    The Save an Eye Game Committee will schedule Media Day prior to Game Day. All players and coaches are required to be in attendance for Media Day. Media Day counts as one of the 12 scheduled practices. All program photos and news media interviews take place on Media Day therefore it is imperative that we have full cooperation of players and coaches.

b.    Players who do not attend at least 8 practices must be reported to the Save-An-Eye game committee for consideration by both committee and head coach.

c.    Coaches should notify the Game committee of any player not attending practices as soon as possible. This may allow the SAE committee to find a replacement player.

d.    No contact is permitted during the first 2 practices

D)   All players are expected to play in multiple plays from the line of scrimmage throughout the game. However the extent of playing time remains in the hands of the coach. To help facilitate the playing time, the Save-An-Eye game committee asks that no individual player be considered a “two-way starter” on both offense and defense.

E)   Both teams are asked to uphold the Save-An-Eye game tradition. Do not throw helmets, do not loose poise on the field or on the sidelines, and do not taunt other players. Taunting or showboating will not be tolerated.

F)   Any player, coach or sideline staff who is ejected from the game must leave the sideline immediately.




The following are the anticipated participating schools:

Cathedral Prep Corry
Central Fairview
East Fort LeBoeuf
McDowell General McLane
Mercyhurst Prep Girard
Strong Vincent North East
Union City
Harbor Creek