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Missouri High School Football Officials
Rule 3 Section 2


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Rule 3- Periods, Time Factors, and Substitutions


Section 2- Starting a Period- Half


  • Art. 1- Each half of the game shall be started by a kickoff.  Before the scheduled game time, the referee, in the presence of the field captains, shall toss a coin which the visiting captain shall call.  If the coin toss, or simulated coin toss, is held on the playing field, it shall be held three minutes prior to the scheduled game starting time, or as otherwise specified by individual state associations.


  • Art. 2- Not more than four captains from each team may be present at the coin toss and only one from each team shall be designated as its spokesman.  All team personnel on the playing field, other than the team captains involved in the coin toss ceremony, shall be restricted to their respective team box areas or well away from the vicinity of the toss.


  • Art. 3- The winner of the toss shall have first choice of options for the first half of to defer and have first choice for the second half.  The loser shall have the first choice of options for the half the winner of the toss did not select.  The options for each shall be:


    • To choose whether his team will kick or receive.
    • To choose the goal his team will defend


The captain not having first choice of options for a half shall exercise the remaining option


  • Art. 4- Between the first and second half and between the third and fourth periods, the teams shall change goals.  Team possessions, number of the next down, the relative position of the ball and the line to gain remain unchanged.