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2018 Official Flag Football Rule Book

  1. Field

 

 

a. The field dimensions are 30 yards by 70 yards with two 10-yard end zones, and a midfield line-to-gain. No-Run Zones precede each line-to-gain by 5 yards. However, field size may vary based on field availability for each league.

b. No-Run Zones are in place to prevent teams from conducting power run plays. While in the No-Run Zones (a 5 yard imaginary zone before midfield and before the end zone), teams cannot run the ball in any fashion. All plays must be pass plays, even with a handoff.

c. Stepping on the boundary line is considered out of bounds.

d. Each offensive squad approaches only TWO No-Run Zones in each drive (one zone 5 yards from midfield to gain the first down, and one zone 5 yards from the goal line to score a TD).

 

  1. Rules

a. At the start of each game, captains from both teams shall meet at midfield for the coin toss to determine who shall start with the ball. The visiting team shall call the toss.

b. The winner of the coin toss has the choice of offense or defense. The loser of the coin toss has the choice of direction. Teams may not choose to defer to the second half.

c. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has three (3) plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, they have three (3) plays to score a touchdown.

d. If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team starts its drive on its own 5-yard line.

e. If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its own 5-yard line.

f. All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offense’s 5-yard line.

g. Teams change sides after the first half. Possession changes to the team that started the game on defense.

 

  1. Rosters

a. Home teams wear dark color jerseys; visiting teams wear light color jerseys.

b. Teams must start a game with a minimum of five players. In the event of an injury, a team with insufficient substitute players may play with four players on the field, but no fewer than four.

 

  1. Timing

a. All games must start on time.  1st/2nd starts at 11:30 and 3rd/4th starts at 12:30.  This responsibility falls on the coaches.  If your team wants to do warm-ups, you can arrive early and warm up by the baseball field.

b. Games are played on a 45 minute continuous clock. 1st Half is 20 minutes, 2nd Half is 25 minutes.  The clock stops only for timeouts or injury.

c. Halftime is 3 minutes long.

d. Each time the ball is spotted, a team should be able to snap the ball for the next play within 30 seconds.

e. Each team has one 60-second time out per half.

f. Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.

g. If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, the game should be determined a tie.

 

  1. Scoring

a. Touchdown: 6 points

b. PAT (Point After Touchdown) 1 point (5-yard line) or 2 points (12-yard line)

NOTE: 1 point PAT is pass only, 2 point PAT can be run or pass.

A team that scores a touchdown must declare whether it wishes to attempt a 1-pt. conversion (from the 5-yard line) or a 2-pt. conversion (from the 12-yard line).  Interceptions on conversions cannot be returned.

c. Safety: 2 points

A Safety occurs when the ball carrier is declared down in his/her own end zone. They can be called down when their flags are pulled by a defensive player, their flag falls out, they step out of bounds or they hit the ground with their knee or arm.

 

  1. Live Ball/Dead Ball

a. The ball is live at the snap of the ball and remains live until the official whistles the ball dead.

b. A player who gains possession in the air is considered in bounds as long as one foot comes down in the field of play.

c. Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.

d. Any official can whistle the play dead.

e. Play is ruled “dead” when:

1. The ball hits the ground.

2. The ball carrier’s flag is pulled.

3. The ball carrier steps out of bounds.

4. A touchdown, PAT or safety is scored.

5. The ball carrier’s knee or arm hits the ground.

6. The ball carrier’s flag falls out.

7. The receiver catches the ball while in possession of one or no flag(s).

8. Inadvertent whistle.

NOTE: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s feet were at the time of the fumble.

f. In the case of an inadvertent whistle, the offense has two options:

1. Take the ball where it was when the whistle blew and the down is consumed.

2. Replay the down from the original line of scrimmage.

 

  1. Running

a. The ball is spotted where the ball carrier has the ball when the flag is pulled.

b. The quarterback cannot directly run with the ball. The quarterback does have the ability to scramble in the back field, but cannot advance the ball beyond the line of scrimmage.

c. Absolutely NO laterals or pitches of any kind.  Only handoffs.

d. The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.

e. Once the ball has been handed off in front, behind or to the side of the quarterback, all defensive players are eligible to rush. 

f. Flag Obstruction – All jerseys MUST be tucked in before play begins. The flags must be on the player’s hips and free from obstruction. Deliberately obstructed flags will be considered flag guarding.

 

  1. Passing/Receiving

a. All passes must be from behind the line of scrimmage, thrown forward and received beyond the line scrimmage.

b. Shovel passes are allowed, but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage. 

c. All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback, if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage).

d. Only one player is allowed in motion. All motion must be parallel to the line of scrimmage and no motion is permitted towards the line of scrimmage until the ball is snapped.  

e. A player must have a least one foot inbounds when making a reception.

f. In the case of simultaneous possession by both an offensive and defensive player, possession is awarded to the offense.

g. Interceptions are returnable but not on conversions after touchdowns.

 

  1. Rushing the Passer

a. Only one player can rush the passer.  The player who is designated to rush the passer must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.  (Coaches please reinforce this prior to the snap of the ball) Any number of players can rush the quarterback.  Players not rushing the quarterback may defend on the line of scrimmage.

b. Once the ball is handed off, the seven-yard rule no longer is in effect and all defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage.

 

  1. Flag Pulling

a. A legal flag pull takes place when the ball carrier is in full possession of the ball.

b. Defenders can dive to pull flags, but cannot tackle, hold or run through the ball carrier when pulling flags.

c. It is illegal to attempt to strip or pull the ball from the ball carrier’s possession at any time.

d. If a player’s flag inadvertently falls off during the play, the player is down immediately upon possession of the ball and the play ends.

e. A defensive player may not intentionally pull the flags off of a player who is not in possession of the ball.

f. Flag guarding is an attempt by the ball carrier to obstruct the defender’s access to the flags by stiff arming, dropping the head, hand, arm or shoulder, or intentionally covering the flags with the football jersey.

 

  1. Penalties

a. The only penalty that will be strictly enforced is Flag Guarding. There will be one warning for each team.  If it happens again after the warning, there will be a 10 yard loss and Loss of Down.

b. I really need the coaches to police the game.  There will be contact on pass plays.  If it is blatant that the defensive player held the receiver, then work it out with the other coach to maybe replay the down or move on with the game.