Flag Football Rules
Rule 1. Field
A. The field will be 80 yards long from goal line to goal line with the end zones being 10yards each.
B. The field will be divided into four (4) zones of twenty (20) yards each.
C. The field will be forty (40) yards wide.
Rule 2. Equipment
A. Shoes Any flat soled or completely molded cleat shoes are acceptable. Removable cleats, baseball or track spike, or any shoes that have steel or metal tips are prohibited. All players must wear appropriate shoes. No street shoes will be allowed.
B. Protective Equipment Helmets, shoulder pads, thigh pads and any other padding is prohibited. Any question as to the legality of the equipment shall be decided by the referee. The use of any hard and unyielding substance cannot be used to protect any injury, no matter how well padded or covered.
C. Flags Each player on the field (7 offensive and 7 defensive) must wear 3 flags at the waist. The flags must be attached to a belt, and the belt will be worn snug around the waist.
Illegal alteration, securing, or substitution of flags or belt swill result in the removal of the player or players from the game and a 10 yard penalty from the previous spot if by the offensive team. The penalty on the defensive team will be marked off from the succeeding spot or the previous spot, whichever is the most advantageous to the offended team.
Any player with less than three (3) flags in the proper position at the snap shall be ruled de-flagged immediately at the point where he gains possession of the ball. Teammates must wear the same colored flags which will be provided for by the Recreational Sports Department.
Rule 3. Length of Games and Time Outs
A. Periods The game shall be played in four (4) quarters, three (3) of ten (10) minutes each with the fourth quarter being of eight (8) minutes and six plays. In all games the clock will run continuously, stopping only for time outs, injuries, to retrieve long incomplete passes, and for any other reason the referee deems necessary. Teams shall exchange ends at the end of the first and third quarters.
B. Half Time Half time will be five (5) minutes.
C. Time Outs Each team shall have two (2) 30 second time outs per half. Timeouts may be called by any player on the field.
Rule 4. Scoring
|PAT||1 point for a pass, 2 points for a run|
|Forfeit||6 – 0|
|Tie Break||1 point|
Rule 5. Players and Substitutions
A. Substitutions There will be free substitution as long as players being substituted for are off the field prior to the next snap or are out of the area of play and are departing the field in haste. There will be no “Hideout” plays. All players must be within fifteen (15) yards of the ball from the time the ball is marked ready for play and the ball is snapped.
B. Team Roster Players may be added to the team roster up to the championship game, so long as new players have not played on another team and are not on another team’s roster. No player may play on more than one team unless you play for a coed team then you are allowed to play for one women’s or man’s and the coed team. A team should have seven (7) players on the field (a minimum of four (4) to start or continue a game).
Rule 6. Playing Regulations
A. Coin Toss At the beginning of the game, a coin toss will be held with the winner getting his/her choice of goal or ball possession. The loser of the toss will have the option at the beginning of the second half.
B. Ball in Play The ball shall be put into play at the beginning of the half, after a touchback, and after a score at the twenty (20) yard line with 1st and zone to gain.
C. Huddle After the official marks the ball ready for play, the offense will have 25 seconds to put the ball into play or be penalized 5 yards for delay of game.
D. Motion A player must be going parallel to or away from the line of scrimmage to be legally in motion.
E. Offside If either the offense or the defense enters the neutral zone after the ball has been marked ready for play, they are offside. This is a dead ball foul and the penalty will be marked off (5 yards) without delay.
F. Zone to Gain A team will be allowed four (4) downs to advance the ball from one zone to the next. The next zone will be considered reached when the forward part of the ball, in possession, is blown dead touching or in advance of the ball into the next zone line. If after four (4) downs, a team has failed to advance the ball into the next zone, possession shall go to the defense at the dead ball spot.
G. Stances No 3 or 4point stance allowed.
H. Line of Scrimmage The offensive team must have at least three (3) people on the line of scrimmage at the snap. The defense has no maximum or minimum. On the line means having some part of the body within one yard of the neutral zone when the ball is snapped. No defensive player may be lined up “heads up” with the center.
I. Screening Only screen blocking is permitted. Screen blocking shall be defined as obstructing the rusher’s path to the ball carrier. There can be no independent movement of the elbows. A ten (10) yard penalty will be called if the blocker’s hand leaves the back in the process of blocking. A blocker may not leave his feet to block. The rusher may not run over the blocker. The rusher may not pull the blocker toward him or violently push the blocker away from him. A ten yard penalty will be called if the rusher touches the blocker’s head as long as the blocker is on his feet. Pick plays by receivers on defensive backs or linebackers are illegal. IT IS ASKED THAT BOTH THE BLOCKER AND THE RUSHERS STRIVE FOR NON-CONTACT
The blocker may not step into the rusher. If the rusher touches the quarterback in his attempt to block the pass; roughing the quarterback will be called. The defensive player may not have any contact with the quarterback until he releases the ball and becomes a potential blocker.
J. Passing There can be only one (1) forward pass per down. A direct or a bobbled, but complete, hand-off shall not be considered a forward pass.
If the passer is beyond the previous spot when the football is released on a forward pass, this action is illegal and will result in a ten (10) yard penalty and loss of down from the spot of the foul or previous spot whichever is more severe.
Once the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage it cannot be brought back and then thrown forward. This is an illegal pass and will be penalized accordingly. Intentional grounding is also an illegal pass.
K. Receiving All players of both teams are eligible pass receivers. A pass receiver must come down inbound with any part of his body, in possession, for a legal forward pass to be complete. If a receiver comes down with one foot inbounds and one foot out of bounds simultaneously, the pass is incomplete. All sidelines and end lines are out of bounds. A double reception always goes to the person who comes down first.
L. Pass Interference Pass interference rules shall apply on any legal forward pass to offense and defense equally. After the pass is in the air, neither the receiver nor the defender may interfere with the other until one of them touches the ball. If one of them touches the ball, pass interference cannot be called.
All offensive pass interference plays, whether they occur during the regulation game, the 6-play period, the tie-breaker, or the PAT, (which are accepted),shall be marked 10 yards from the previous spot or the spot of the foul, whichever is most advantageous to the offended team. This is also a loss of down penalty.
Defensive pass interference which occurs during the regulation game, the 6-play period, and the tie-breaker shall be penalized by a ten (10) yard mark off from the previous spot and an automatic first down, or an automatic first down from the spot of the foul, whichever is more advantageous to the offended team. This does not apply in a tie-breaker situation. (As far as the first down is concerned)
Defensive pass interference which occurs in the end zone will be penalized from the one (1) yard line. During the 6-play period the down counts.
M. Pulling the flags. The ball carrier is down and the ball is dead when the flag belt is detached from the player’s body or when any part of the ball carrier’s body (other than the hands or feet) touches the ground. A defensive player may leave his feet to pull the flag, but not make contact with the ball carrier. When the belt is pulled it must be held over the head to let the official know the play is over.
Tackling is prohibited. Tackling is grasping or encircling the body of the ball carrier with the hand or arm, thus impeding his progress.
Grabbing the ball carrier’s clothing shall be penalized as tackling. If the defensive player reaches across the body of the ball carrier and contact occurs, the responsibility for the contact rests with the defense.
The penalty is ten (10) yards from the end of the run. If the contact prevents a touchdown and was deliberate, with no attempt to pull the flags, a touchdown may be awarded. The premature pulling of an opponent’s flag with the intent of making him ineligible is a ten (10) yard penalty from the spot of the foul, the end of the run of the previous spot. The intended receiver of a backward or forward pass may only be de-flagged after the ball has touched. A defender may not push or knock a ball carrier out of bounds. Penalty is ten (10) yards from the spot of the foul or an awarded touchdown if appropriate.
N. Inadvertent Whistle. If an official whistles the play dead inadvertently, the offended team has the choice of taking the ball at the point the whistle blew or replay the down.
O. Ball Carrier The responsibility for avoiding contact rests with the ball carrier. The ball carrier must make an effort to avoid the defensive player. The ball carrier may spin or jump, but must realize that while spinning or jumping he is out of control and could be penalized if contact occurs. The stiff-arm is illegal. The penalty is ten (10) yards from the previous spot. The ball carrier shall not protect his flags by blocking with hands, arms, head or body. He must give un-obstructed opportunity for the defensive player in the act of pulling the flags. The penalty is ten (10) yards from the previous spot.
P. Fumble When a backward pass or fumble hits the ground between the goal lines, it becomes a dead ball and belongs to the team last in possession at the spot where the ball hits the ground or goes out of bounds. When the ball is fumbled into an opposing team’s end zone it is a touchback.
Q. The Center Snap The center snap must be one continuous motion. It may be made between the legs or from the side. A false movement shall constitute encroachment. Five (5) yard penalty.
R. Punt If a punt is to be made, the offense must announce it to the referee before the ball is made ready for play. Penalty = delay of game. After the offense declares the punt the referee will mark the ball ready for play and the offense will have 25seconds to punt the ball. After a punt has been declared IT MUST BE KICKED. Neither team may enter the neutral zone until the punt has been made. Both the offense and the defense must have a minimum of three (3) people within one yard of the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped and punted. The punt receiving team may field a punt in the aid off the ground. When a punt touches a player on the receiving team and then touches the ground, the ball is dead and the whistle is blown. No QUICK KICKS are allowed. Penalty = ten yards and loss of down. A punt muffed by the receiving team in the end zone and the ball hits either in the end zone or out of the end zone will be touchback. If a punt receiver gains possession of the punt in the end zone and is de-flagged prior to his entering the field of play, it is a touchback.
S. Tie Breaker In the event of a tie game at the end of the fourth quarter the following method will be used to determine a winner: During the (2)minute intermission a coin toss will be held with the winner choosing to have the first or the last possession or a goal to defend. The loser of the toss will have one of the remaining choices. The ball will be placed on the forty yard line and each team will have four alternating downs in which to score the most points or gain the most yardage. The team that scores the most points is the winner. If both teams score the same number of points, or no points, the team in possession in the opponent’s territory shall be awarded one point and declared the winner of the game. If a team scores a touchdown in the tiebreaker a free down will be awarded for the PAT and the ball will be returned to their forty and given to the opposing team for their next alternating down. An interception is a dead ball, no run back will be allowed. The defense may have the ball at the point of the interception or return the ball to the previous spot for their next play.
T. Penalties All live ball fouls require a captain’s choice from the offended team. All dead ball fouls will be enforced in the order in which they occur. A live ball foul and a dead ball foul do not offset even if they are on opposing teams. After a penalty is called, only the captain of the offended team may discuss it with the referee. The captain’s first choice will be final. If in the judgment of any game official, the following acts are committed and are deemed to be intentional and flagrant the play(s) is/are to be ejected and will receive a minimum of one (1) game suspension.
1. Slugging, kicking, or kneeing
2. Illegal use of hand, forearms or elbows
4. any act which could cause injury
5. Any un-sportsmanship-like conduct
6. Abusive language toward opponents or officials
U. Illegal Advancement Advancement may not occur by the ball being slapped, kicked, or pushed by either team in the direction of their goal line. The ball will be declared dead at the spot and a five (5) yard penalty assess. if offsetting fouls occur the down shall be played over.
All rules not covered by this supplement shall be governed
by current NCAA football rules.
Co – Ed Flag Football Rule Modifications
UTEP Recreational Sports Flag Football Rules will apply with the following exceptions:
Seven players, four men and three women, shall constitute a team. A team appearing with less than seven play may compete against the team of seven if it is agreeable to both sides. At no time may a team have fewer than three women on the field if playing with less than seven players.
2. Ball Carrier(s)
Advancement of the ball is restricted by the following circumstances depending on the sex of the ball carrier.
a. Scrimmage play via the run – advancement from behind the line of scrimmage to beyond the line of scrimmage is restricted to women only.
Penalty: Loss of 5 yds from the line of scrimmage and loss of down
b. Scrimmage play via the pass:
(1) A male passer cannot penetrate past the line of scrimmage under any circumstances.
Penalty: Loss of 5 yds from the line of scrimmage and loss of down
c. There are no advancement restrictions to a male once he has obtained possession beyond theline of scrimmage.
d. Backward Pass: A mail or female may execute any number of backward passes to receivers of either sex behind the line of scrimmage. However, only females may advance the ball beyond the line of scrimmage.
3. Kicking Game
A punt may be made by either sex, but advancement of the ball from either of these two techniques is restricted by the following circumstances:
a. Male punt receiver-cannot advance the ball forward from his point of contact with the ball, but may however, move backwards or perpendicular to that first point of contact. Advancement is only possible by a female ball carrier.
b. Female punt receiver-can advance the ball in any direction she deems necessary. If, however, she laterals to a male teammate, he cannot begin forward advancement, but is restricted to a retreat or lateral movement from the point of reception.
Penalty: Loss of 5 yds from the point of infraction.
c. Blocking rules for receiver of punt follow those of any scrimmage play.
4. Passing Game
The passer may be either male or female. The receivers are restricted by the following circumstances:
a. Male Passer-can complete his forward pass to a female receiver only; no male-to male combinations.
Penalty: Loss of 5 yds from the point of scrimmage and loss of down.
b. Female Passer-can compete her forward pass to either sex with no advancement restrictions unless it is a male receiver who must be beyond the line of scrimmage at the point of reception. No forward pass may be thrown legally from a point beyond the neutral zone.
Penalty: Loss of 5 yds from the line of scrimmage and loss of down.
c. Male Pass Receiver-must receive all forward passes beyond the line of scrimmage from a female.
Penalty: Loss of 5 yds from the line of scrimmage and loss of down.
Screen block is the only legal block. Penalty: Loss of 10 yds from the point of infraction or previous spot.
|PAT||(1) by running play – 2points|
|(2)by passing play – 1 point|
a. Teams must use a large regulation size leather football on offense.
b. Teams should make every attempt to wear colored T-shirts as shirts and skins would be inadvisable.
All rules and penalties shall be governed by
the Recreational Sports Dept. Flag Football Regulations