Flag Football Rules
• Each team should start the game with 8 players on the field (5 Guy Maximum).
• A minimum of 6 players with at least two females is needed to avoid a forfeit.
• A player may play on only one team per football season (except for Sub-List players).
Game Length: For league play games consist of two 20 minute halves with a running clock and two minute warning that occurs during the second half. For TOURNAMENT play games are either two 15 or 18 minute halves depending on the tournament. A game will be considered played in full when second half starts. No games will be rescheduled for weather or for any other reasons once the second half starts in any game.
Two-Minute Warning: A two-minute warning is given to both team captains when there is two minutes remaining in the second half or immediately after the play if the two-minute point is reached during a play. The clock is stopped during the warning and starts at the next snap. Stopping the Clock: Prior to the two-minute warning the clock stops only during a timeout, during an injury, at an official’s discussion, or for a fight. The clock stops at the two-minute warning.
During the last two minutes of the second half, the clock stops for:
1. Incomplete Passes (Starts on snap)
2. Out of Bounds (Starts on snap)
3. Timeouts (Starts on snap)
4. Touchback (Starts on snap)
5. Official’s Timeouts (Starts on “ready” whistle)
6. Penalties (Starts on snap if clock was stopped. Starts on “ready” whistle if clock was running.)
7. Punts (Starts when ball hits foot)
The referees have the ability to stop the clock for judgment calls and re-setting the ball at the line of scrimmage.
Timeouts: Each team receives one timeout per half, which cannot be carried over into the next half. If an injured player delays the game, the officials stop the clock and the injured player must sit out at least one play.
Time Between Plays: The offensive team is allowed 30 seconds between plays including kickoffs.
The 30-second clock begins when the linesman sets the ball for the next play.
Teams will consist of 5 men and 3 women. Teams must have a minimum of 6 players (2 being women) to begin a game. There is no minimum for men as long as there are 6 total players. There is no limit to the number of players on your roster for league play. Tournaments is 16 players.
• Teams are strongly encouraged to wear their league assigned T-shirts or a similar color.
• No metal cleats allowed.
• There are no substances such as stick-um allowed either on the ball or on players hands.
• Flags must be worn at all times while players are on the game field.
• Flags must be worn on the outside of the participants clothing.
• Flags cannot be tied, tucked into clothing, or have a t-shirt covering them.
• The field of play is 60 yards long + both end zones, and 30 yards wide.
• A coin flip will determine which team chooses to start on offense / defense or field direction to start the game.
• The opposing team has the 2nd choice of one of the aforementioned options.
• Teams automatically switch ends at the beginning of the 2nd half and the other team starts the 2nd half with the ball.
• There are no kickoffs to begin games or after touchdowns. Instead, the ball will be placed on the offensive team’s 12 yard line.
• There are four sideline 1st down markers every 12 yards.
• 1st downs are completed when the ball crosses the next 1st down marker from the original line of scrimmage.
• The team on offense must have 5 players on the line of scrimmage.
• The football must be snapped from the ground.
• All members of the offense are eligible receivers.
• A ball carrier is down when his/her knee or body touches the ground.
• A receiver is not down if their flags are pulled before they have possession of the ball.
• If a receivers flags are pulled prior to catching a ball, he/she will be downed by the one hand touch method.
• Possession of the ball means: control of ball and one foot on the ground in bounds.
• Diving is allowed. Offensive players may dive to further advance the ball as long as they do not initiate contact. When this occurs the ball will be spotted where it is whenever the ball carrier is touched with two hands his/her knee touches the ground, or when the ball touches the ground. Diving into or over a defensive player, will result in the player being down at the point of takeoff and there will be a 5 pace/yard mark-off against the
Offense and loss of down.
• There is no flag guarding allowed (flag guarding is described as an offensive player purposely swatting an opponent’s hand away from their flag or by obstructing a defensive player from pulling their flag when they have possession of the football).
• Offensive blockers may not use their hands or arms in an aggressive or forceful manner, including pushing, pulling or grabbing. Elbows must be kept at the side of the body.
• A woman must be actively involved in a minimum of every 3rd play of the team’s offense. “Actively Involved” is defined by intent to pass, carry the ball forward, or throwing a pass to an intended women receiver. A lateral (side or backward) pass thrown by a woman to a man does not count as a women play, nor does the “hook and ladder” play.
◦ In order for an incomplete pass to be ruled a Girl Play the pass from the male QB must be a clear attempt towards a female player – a referee’s judgment call.
◦ Whoever catches the ball shall be deemed the intended receiver. If a male catches the ball during any play, it shall be ruled a male play (unless thrown from a female quarterback). Likewise, if a female catches the ball during any play, it shall be ruled a female play.
◦ A sack of a male QB during the mandatory Girl Play results in a failure to utilize the girl play and a penalty will be assessed. If the penalty is declined, the play counts as if a girl play was used.
• A pulled flag behind the line of scrimmage on the quarterback while the ball is in his/her hands results in a sack regardless of whether the QB’s arm is in motion for a pass or not.
• If the quarterback is sacked on a female play the play either stands and the yard loss is counted or a penalty is accepted with a loss of down, 5-yard penalty, and the play remains closed.
• The only penalties that include loss of down is intentional grounding, illegal forward pass, and offensive pass interference.
Scoring & Extra Points
• A touch down is worth 6 points.
• Extra points are worth:
◦ 1 point – from the 3 yard line (2 if woman used)
◦ 2 points – from the 10 yard line (3 if woman used)
• Extra points may be scored by either running or throwing the ball into the end zone
• An interception of an extra is a dead ball; no defensive points may be scored
• The mandatory “Women Play” is not in effect on extra points
Mercy Rules: If a team is ahead by 17 points at or after the 2nd half two-minute warning, the clock does not stop.
Special Teams & Fumbles
• On 4th down, teams must announce their intention to either punt or play out the 4th down situation. There are no fake punts.
• In a punting situation neither the offensive nor defensive team may cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is punted.
◦ All offensive players other than the punter must stand on the line of scrimmage until the ball has been kicked.
◦ The defense must keep four players on the line of scrimmage.
◦ When the ball is punted, the ball is downed when:
◦ Touched by the kicking team
◦ The receiving team touches the ball and then it hits the ground
◦ If the punted ball hits the ground first, it is still a live ball
• Blocking down field – only screen blocking is allowed – no contact is allowed.
Minor incidental contact is the maximum contact permitted.
• The are no fumble recoveries. All fumbles are a dead ball when it hits the ground. The new line of scrimmage will be marked at the point of the fumble. (No fumbling the ball forward) A fumble in the air or a lateral pass can be caught by the defense and this will be ruled a turnover.
• The defense must line up behind the defensive line of scrimmage (approximately 2 yards back from the line of scrimmage). A cone will mark the defensive line on each play.
• Defensive rushers must be lined up on the line of scrimmage from a standing position.
• If a team scores a safety, they will be awarded 2 points and the ball on their own 12 yard line.
• Only after the 4 second count may any other player begin to move/run toward the QB.
Immediate rush is allowed only when:
• The QB hands the ball off or throws to another player including laterals and balls thrown to a receiver behind the line of scrimmage.
• The QB makes an obvious attempt to advance the ball beyond the line of scrimmage by tucking the ball into the body. This does not include a QB roll-out or plays of this type.
Once the ball has been snapped:
• Defensive rushers must give a loud 4-count (1-thousand, 2-thousand, 3-thousand, 4- thousand) before crossing the defensive line of scrimmage. Warnings may be issued to rushers by the referee for counting to fast. If after a team is warned the defensive line may be called offside’s (this is a referee’s judgment).
• 5 Yard infraction – Any non-aggressive or non-flagrant foul
• 10 Yard infraction + player warning – Any aggressive or flagrant foul or un-sportsman-like conduct
• Any player involved in fighting or excessive un-sportsman-like behavior will be ejected from the game and automatically be suspended from a minimum of 1 game.
• Defensive pass interference is an automatic 1st down plus 10 yards. If defensive pass interference occurs in the end zone, the ball will be placed half the distance to the goal line.
• Failure to utilize the mandatory “Woman Play”; Results in a 5-yard penalty, loss of down, and the play remains closed. The defense has the option to decline this penalty. If declined the girl play will be considered to have been utilized and play will resume with next down.
• Offside’s on the Offense will result in a 5-yard penalty. Play is ruled dead immediately, no option to decline, down is replayed.
• Offside’s on the Defense will result in a free play and will not be blown dead. If the penalty is accepted by the offense, there is a 5-yard mark-off from the line of scrimmage against the defense and the down is repeated. If the penalty is declined, the play will stand and it will be the next down.
• Players may not be in motion towards the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
This will result in a dead ball, 5-yard penalty on the offense and repeat of the down.
• Offensive Picking: The offensive team may not initiate a pick/block while in motion down field. This is a 5-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage. Some acceptable and incidental contact will occur while running routes and within the normal course of play which will not be called.
• Unnecessary Roughness will result in a 10-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage and a loss of down. If the penalty occurs after the play the penalty will result in a 10-yard penalty from the end of the play. Extreme roughness or fighting will result in ejection from the game and or league
• Intentional Grounding: This penalty will be called when a passer facing an imminent loss of yardage because of pressure from the defense, throws a forward pass, without a realistic chance of completion. This will result a 10-yard penalty and a loss of down.
Overtime (Playoffs Only)
• In the playoffs if the score is tied at the end of the overtime period, sudden death overtime will occur. Sudden death overtime will follow the following procedure.
• A coin flip will start the sudden death overtime
• The team that wins the coin flip has the option to choose to begin the overtime period on offense or defense
• The ball will be placed on the 5 yard line
• Each team will be given 1 play to score a touchdown
• After each offensive play teams will switch from offense to defense
• The team who scores on a possession while there opponent does not will be deemed the winner
• The mandatory “Women Play” is still in effect but starts over at the beginning of overtime
Playoff seeding is determined by the following three factors.
1. Season Record
3. Point Differential