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Official Flag Football Rules
Team rosters shall include a minimum of 12 players, including at least 4 females.
The maximum number of players on the field is 7, including at least 3 females.
If a team does not have 7 players and at least 3 players of each gender, they may start with as few as 4 players (if all 4 players are guys, they will lose a down every third play).
When a team has fewer than the required number of players of a specified gender available, players of one gender may not be substituted for members of another gender. For example, if a team has 7 total players available at game time, but only 2 are female, the team must play short with 6 players and so on.
One team being short players for a full 7 on field does not obligate the opposing team to reduce their players on field.
Players may be substituted for each other at any time between plays, provided the on-field gender requirement is met at all times.
Late Registration: a team may add players to their roster throught the Absolute Deadline.
Referees are responsible for:
Enforcing all rules and penalties.
Announcing the 5-second count such that all players can hear.
Keeping and recording game score.
The football field shall measure approximately 80 yards long and 40 yards wide, or as close to those measurements as the game field will allow, with cones marking each 10-yard line on both sides of the field.
End zones shall extend an additional ten yards past the goal line. The dimensions may vary depending on the size and dimensions of the field.
The League shall provide the following equipment:
Official Youth-Sized football
Field markers every 10 yards
Players must wear their League-provided t-shirts of the appropriate color for their team.
Players must tuck in their shirts during play; no article of clothing may cover any part of the flag belt.
Steel cleats are prohibited.
Players must wear the League provided flag belts and flags must remain at the sides and back of each player at all times.
Start of Game
The referee will flip a coin, heads or tails to be called in the air by one of the team captains. The winning team will choose one of the following options (winner may not defer to the other team):
Choice of offense or defense
Choice of end zone to start the game
Posession and offense shall be the reverse as indicated by the coin toss at the start of the 2nd half.
Play will begin at the 5-yard line of the team with possession.
Each game consists of two 20-minute halves, with a 2-minute halftime.
Each team is allowed one one-minute time out per half. Unused timeouts in the first half do not carry over into the second half.
The game clock shall be a running clock, except in these cases:
A team uses one of their 1-minute timeouts
The difference in the score is 14 points or less and it is the last two minutes of the second half. In this case, the clock shall stop in the event of an incomplete pass, a team scores, if the ball carrier goes out of bounds, a change of possession, or a penalty. The clock shall be resumed upon the snap at the start of the next possession, or on the punt. The clock shall not be stopped in the first half except in the case of a timeout, regardless of the score.
The 1 point conversation attempt shall be permitted after a touchdown regardless of the time on clock.
There will be no overtimes in Regular Season Games.
Line of Scrimmage
The referee shall use a chip/bag marking the line of scrimmage and place the ball in the middle of the field after the end of each play.
The offensive team must have a minimum of 4 players set (3 players if fielding 5 players or less total) at the line of scrimmage at the snap. Players in motion are not considered set.
Once the center has placed his or her hands on the ball no player may enter the neutral zone until the snap occurs.
The referee shall blow his or her whistle to signify the play may begin.
The defense may not cross the line of scrimmage until the line judge (second referee) has provided a count of “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand, five one-thousand.”
The quarterback may not run for positive yards unless rushed after the five-second count. The Center may not go out for a pass or beyond the line of scrimmage until after the five-secound count, but can be thrown to at which point they can run upfield with the ball.
A pass is completed when the ball is caught by any player of the passing team who has at least one foot in-bounds.
An eligible receiver becomes ineligible if he leaves the field during the play and remains ineligible until the ball is touched by an eligible receiver or any defensive player. However, if an eligible receiver is forced out-of-bounds he shall be considered eligible as soon as he returns inbound.
If an ineligible receiver catches the ball the pass shall be considered incomplete.
The offensive team will have four downs to achieve a first down.
A first down is achieved by crossing either that 20 yard lines or the 40 yard line (midpoint of the field).
Female players must participate in a play at least once every three downs as either the quarterback, ball carrier or receiver. The "gender count" shall be the number of successive downs made involving only a single gender.
If the gender count is 2, i.e. if the offensive team has not played both genders during the first two downs, the referee shall announce a "gender play" and the gender affected, and the offensive team must play that gender in one or more of the following ways:
As quarterback; passes the ball to a receiver beyond the line of scrimmage.
As ball carrier; carries the ball across the line of scrimmage.
As receiver; receives or is intended to receive a pass from beyond the line of scrimmage.
If there are no players of the required gender available, the offensive team will lose a down.
During an announced gender play, the use of a player of the required gender as quarterback, ball carrier or intended receiver shall reset the gender count to 0. An incomplete pass to a player of the specified gender intended to be caught, as judged by the referee, shall count toward the gender count.
If a player of the required gender is not utilized as described in these rules during an announced gender play, any passes shall be considered incomplete, i.e. the offensive team will lose a down.
The offensive team may punt on any down.
All punts must be kicked and declared to the opposing team and to game officials.
Fake punts are not permitted.
Punts may not be blocked by the receiving team. However, the punter has a 5 Second Count before the play is dead and the line of scrimmage for the opposing team is where the punter was standing.
All members of the punting team must remain behind the line of scrimmage until the ball is punted.
At least five players from the receiving team must be on the line of scrimmage until the ball is punted.
The receiving team may either call for a fair catch or may catch and advance the ball.
Ball is dead on contact with the ground.
Ball that lands out of bounds will be spotted at the point of exit.
Ball will be placed at the 5 yard line if it lands in or beyond or inside the end zone.
Turnovers and Stoppage of Play
Possession will change from one team to the other when:
A team scores. Play will start again at the 5 yard line.
Four downs are counted without obtaining a first down. Play will start at the previous line of scrimmage.
A forward pass is intercepted (play does not stop).
On Change of Possessions, the official will set the ball and give 10 seconds for teams to substitute and get off the field. If there is less than 1 minute, in either half, it will be untimed and not count towards the game clock.
Play will stop when:
When ball carrier's belt is removed by an opposing player or falls off.
Receiver catches the ball while not having belt attached.
The ball carrier leaves the field of play.
A team scores a touchdown or extra point.
The ball touches the ground because of a fumble or incomplete pass.
Any part of the ball carrier's body, including hands, other than his or her feet touch the ground.
A defensive player intercepts an extra point pass attempt.
A referee inadvertently blows his whistle.
All penalties may be declined by the opposing team should the penalty be to their detriment.
All penalties will be imposed at the line of scrimmage. Should the full imposition of the penalty carry the line into an end zone, the ball will be spotted at the one-yard line.
The following shall incur a ten-yard penalty:
Running into an opponent, including using a “stiff-arm.”, without having made a reasonable effort to avoid contact.
Reckless play. Players must make every effort to avoid contact.
Blocking. Players may not use their hands, elbows, or any other part of their body to block opponents.
Flag guarding. Players may not intentionally block access to their belt, including those worn by teammates.
Stripping the ball from the ball carrier.
Intentionally removing an opponent's belt who has not yet taken possession of the ball (enacted spotted at location of catch, and an automatic first down).
Unsportsmanlike conduct/Personal Foul.
(If a player accrues 2 personal fouls in a single game, they are ejected). If a player is ejected they also miss the next scheduled game.
Holding. Defenders may not touch the receiver prior to catching the ball.
Face guarding. Players may not use their hands to block the sight of the receiver.
Pass interference. Given that no player shall be obligated to give up a position once gained, a defender shall not deliberately obstruct an intended receiver from obtaining a position to catch the ball.
Offensive pass interference. No player shall obstruct another player from obtaining a position from which to go to and catch the ball, given that neither shall any player be obligated to give up such a position once gained.
The following shall incur a five-yard penalty:
Offsides. A defensive player is off sides when any part of his body crosses the line of scrimmage before the five-second count is called.
Encroachment. A defensive player may not enter the neutral zone prior to the snap.
Delay of game. The offensive team has 30 seconds from the referee's whistle to snap the ball.
Illegal participation. Teams may not have more than 7 players on the field, including at least 3 of each gender, or in accordance to the on-field rules per the "Team" section of these rules.
Illegal cadence. The player calling the cadence must receive the snap.
False start. At least 4 players (or 3, if only 5 players or less are on the field) must be set at the line of scrimmage for a minimum of one full second prior to the snap. Play is blown dead when False Start occurs.
Illegal motion. No player is permitted to move forward toward the goal line until the snap.
Illegal forward pass. The ball may be passed forward only once and only from behind the line of scrimmage. A forward pass must cross the line of scrimmage. Lateral passes are permitted at any time.
Intentional grounding. A passer may not throw the ball without a realistic chance of completion, with the exception that a passer may ground the ball to stop the clock with less than two minutes to play in the game. Also penalized a a loss of down.
A player shall score when and only when the ball and the player's entire body has crossed the plain of the goal line. The ball crossing the goal line is insufficient for a score.
A touchdown shall count for 9 points when scored by a female player, or by a male player who catches a pass in the end zone from a female quarterback.
A touchdown scored during a play involving a lateral pass beyond the line of scrimmage shall count for 6 points, regardless of the gender of the individual who scored.
All other touchdowns shall count for 6 points.
A ten-yard conversion shall count for 1 point.
A twenty-yard conversion shall count for 2 points.
A "safety" counts for 2 points.
Each game won shall count as 2 points in the League standings. A tie shall count as 1 point. Losses and forfeits shall count as 0 points.
A game shall be immediately called whenever a team achieves a 50-point or more advantage.
Teams must be ready to play and meet game start requirements at the posted game time. Any team not ready to play at this time shall forfeit, and the opposing team shall take a default win.
If neither team is ready to play, both teams shall forfeit.
Any team found to be playing with a player not registered with the League or team shall endure a 10 point penalty.
Playoff Tie Breaker
Ties are not permitted in playoff games. If a regulation game ends in a tie, it shall be broken using the following method: The winner of a coin flip will have the option of starting on offense or defense. The ball will be put into play at the 20-yard line. Each team will have 4 downs to advance the ball past the goal line. If a team does not score by four downs, their total yardage is counted. If a team loses possession of the ball, the opposing team takes over on offense and the ball will be placed again on the 20-yard line; all the opposing team will have to do is advance the ball past the yardage mark where the team who had the ball first ended their possession. If there is an interception that results in a touchdown, that team will win. If the ball is intercepted and not returned for a touchdown, the opposing team will just have to advance the ball past the line of scrimmage from where the ball was thrown from. A team that loses possession does not regain their downs. In the playoff tiebreaker, when a team scores there will not be 1 or 2 point conversions. If both teams score, the team that scored in the fewer amount of plays wins. If both teams scored in the same amount of plays, the tiebreaker will be repeated including a new coin flip.