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Rules

Flag Football
Rules of the Game

Team Members

  • Flag football teams consist of  7 members
  • Team member’s names must be listed on the official roster in the IM binder to be eligible players. Captains may add players to the official roster up to the first game. Rosters are frozen after a team completes their first game
  • A team must have eligible players to begin a game.
  • Individuals are only allowed to participate with one team.
  • A player must participate in ½ of the regular season games to be eligible to participate in the play-offs.

Equipment

  • Each participant will wear a belt with flags attached to each side.
  • Shirts MUST be tucked inside shorts/pants
  • Soccer or turf shoes are allowed; NO METAL CLEATS
  • Once a player drops a flag or has it pulled (whether intentional or not) the player is down and the play will be whistled dead.
  • Any player who gains possession of the ball without all of his/her flags attached is down on the spot.

Timing and Tie-Breakers

  • Two-20 minute halves with continuous running time; the clock stops when play stops during the last two minutes of each half. The clock will only be stopped for out of bounds, incomplete passes, first downs, scores, changes of possession, and penalties and will not start until the next snap. The clock does not run on conversion attempts, and will not be started on kickoffs until it touches a player on the receiving team.
  • Half time is limited to no more than 10 minutes.
  • Each team is allowed ONE time out per half. The timeout will last one minute. Unused timeouts DO NOT carry over to the second half.
  • Tie-breaker: Teams alternate possessions with the ball at the 20-yard line, 4 downs to score. If the ball is intercepted during overtime it is a change of possession (the pass MAY NOT) be run back for a TD.

The team that starts on offense the first overtime, would start the second overtime on defense, etc.

  • Teams must go for a 2-point conversion after the conclusion of the second overtime.

Scoring

  • Touchdown=6 points
  • Only 1 foot inbounds in the end zone to score
  • Going for 1pt conversion= ball at 5 yard line, score on pass or run play
  • Going for 2pt conversion= ball at 15 yard line, score on pass or run play
  • The defending team may return an interception on a 1 or 2-point conversion to the opposite endzone for 2 points.
  • safety=2 points
  • Mercy Rule: Team up by 30pts at the end of the 1st half

Down and Distance

  • A team has 4 downs to make a first down
  • A first down is made ONLY by crossing the mid-field line.

Penalties

  • Any offensive penalty after the snap will be a loss of down and yardage gained on the play.
  • Any offensive penalty before the snap will result in the loss of 5 yds (e.g. too many men on the field, delay of game, false start).
  • Any defensive penalty after the snap will be a 5 yd penalty with the down repeated (unless the offense declines it).
  • Any defensive penalty before the snap will be a 5 yd penalty with the down repeated and play stopped.
  • Offensive penalties on an extra point: if the penalty occurs before the snap there will be a 5 yd penalty and the down will be replayed. If the penalty occurs after the snap the down is forfeited an play resumes with the kick-off.
  • The neutral zone is off side
  • Off setting penalties will result in a replay of down.
  • STIFF ARMS AND WARDING (brushing away the opponents hands) ARE PENALTIES. BALL WILL BE SPOTTED AT THE PLACE OF THE PENALTY WITH A LOSS OF DOWN.
  • Fighting: at the discretion of the referees and/or league supervisor, players guilty of fighting will be automatically ejected from the game. If ejected from a game, a player is automatically suspended from his/her team’s next TWO scheduled competitions. Anytime a “bench” clears, a forfeit will be automatically called for that team(s) and individual penalties handed down after consultation with the Director of Intramurals and all parties involved.

Kicking

  • A kick off or punt will start the game and the second half.
  • All kickoffs will be from the 10 yard line. Kicks after a safety will be kicked off from the goal line.
  • A ball must be kicked 10 yards in the air, NO on-side kicks. If the ball does not reach midfield, the receiving team has the option to take the ball where it hits or at the 49 yard line.
  • A punt that goes out of bounds after hitting the ground in bounds will be placed where the ball goes out.
  • A punt that goes out of bounds before hitting the ground in bounds can be placed where the ball goes out or re-kicked at the receiving team’s discretion.
  • If the re-kick is out of bounds, the ball will be automatically placed at the 49 yard line.
  • If the ball is punted into the end zone, it will be brought out to the 10 yard line.
  • The ball is dead where the punt is muffed or touched by the received and hits the ground.
  • The receiving team may have 3 players back, all others must be within 3 yards of the line.
  • All play on the line is frozen until the punt is off.
  • The defensive team must be warned of a punt—quick kicks or fake kicks are prohibited.

Ball Put Into Play

  • The ball is ready for play when: it has been spotted for a down, the referee has made the ready for play signal and the 25-second count begins.
  • The ball must be stopped during the 25-second period. Failure to snap the ball in time is a delay of game 5 yd penalty (re-play down)
  • For the snap the ball MUST be on the ground and MUST be on the side of the snapper or between the snapper’s legs.
  • A snap shall put the ball in play.
  • A snap or fumble that touches the ground is dead IMMEDIATELY and remains in possession of the offensive team (except on 4th down)
  • Only two people at the line of scrimmage before snap can be in motion—5yd penalty re-play down.
  • In the event of an inadvertent whistle, the team with possession of the ball will begin a new play from the location of the ball when the whistle occurs without a loss of down.

Offensive and Defensive Line Play

  • It is illegal to push, trip or hold (5 yd penalty)
  • A blocker may not leave his feet to block—NO chop blocks or diving blocks
  • Screen blocks are the only legal blocks allowed down field. No body or crack blocks (blind side hits)
  • Blocking is only allowed between the waist and the shoulders. THE BLOCKER MUST KEEP HIS ELBOWS AND ARMS WITHIN THE FRAME OF HIS BODY.

Any illegal block is a 5 yard penalty and loss of down

  • You may use hands to ward off a block, but may not grab hold of opponent’s jersey.
  • No head or face contact to ward off blockers
  • Rushing is only allowed after a 3-second count which MUST be loud enough for everyone on the field of play to hear. The 3-second count is off when the ball is thrown or pitched back.
  • Defensive rushers MUST make an attempt to side step or elude the offensive blocker, he cannot bull rush or charge the blocker.
  • The QB may not run unless flushed out of the pocket by a pass rush

Running Plays

  • STIFF ARMS AND WARDING (brushing away the opponent’s hands) ARE PENALTIES. BALL WILL BE SPOTTED AT THE PLACE OF THE PENALTY WITH A LOSS OF DOWN.
  • The ball carrier may NOT at any time attempt to directly run over an opponent. HE/SHE MUST ATTEMPT TO DODGE A DEFENDER ATTEMPTING TO GRAB A FLAG.
  • An offensive player may not leave his or her feet while attempting to score in the end-zone—DIVING INTO THE ENDZONE IS PROHIBITED. If the referee rules that a player dove for the end zone the ball will be spotted where he left his feet.
  • A runner is automatically down any time any part of the body other than his hands or feet touch the ground.
  • Those attempting to grab a flag may not hold up the runner while a teammate grabs the flag.

Passing Plays

  • All players are eligible to receive a pass
  • STIFF ARMS AND WARDING (brushing away the opponent’s hands) ARE PENALTIES. BALL WILL BE SPOTTED AT THE PLACE OF THE PENALTY WITH A LOSS OF DOWN.
  • The ball carrier may NOT at any time attempt to directly run over an opponent. HE/SHE MUST ATTEMPT TO DODGE A DEFENDER ATTEMPTING TO GRAB A FLAG.
  • An offensive player may not leave his or her feet while attempting to score in the end zone—DIVING INTO THE ENDZONE IS PROHIBITED. If the referee rules that a player dove for the end zone the ball will be spotted where he left his feet.
  • Ball is dead from the point of the throw when intentional grounding occurs (5 yd penalty and loss of down)
  • Pass interference consists of pushing, pulling, or blocking to prevent the catch (automatic 1st down from the spot of the foul)
  • If a pass is made backwards and behind the line of scrimmage, the ball may still be passed.
  • Those attempting to grab a flag may not hold up the runner while a teammate grabs the flag.
  • A runner is automatically down any time any part of the body other than his hands or feet touch the ground.


Rev.10/17/2010