Flag Football Rules
We request that captains from both teams gather teammates to the field's center upon the CONCLUSION of the match to pray and give thanks and glory to our Lord for the game played. This is not required for all participants, but highly encouraged.
FIELD AND PLAYERS
- The field will be 80-yards long with markers every 20-yards and 40-yards wide. The endzones will be 10-yards deep.
- Each team may play with a maximum of 7 players (a minimum of 2 must be female and no more than 5 males at any time). Teams may play with less than 7 players and there are no forfeits based on the number of players. ** Penalty: Too Many Players (5 yards, replay down) **
- If a team loses a player due to injury or ejection, the opposing team does not sit a player.
- Rosters are capped at 12 players per roster.
- There will be 2 to 3 volunteer officials that will call the best game possible. If there is a bad call, please accept it and move on with the game.
- The Captain is the only player for a team that is able to challenge a referee's call on the field.
- Penalties cannot be challenged
- The game clock will stop for challenges.
- No pads or braces are allowed above the waist. No casts are allowed.
- Each player must wear shoes. Cleats that have metal, ceramic, or sharp points are illegal.
- Official t-shirts and flags will be provided. Each flag belt will have 3 flags, 1 on each hip and 1 in the back.
- Shirts must be tucked into pants or shorts, or tucked under the flag belt. The flags may not be covered up by the jersey. Flag may not be tied and must easily be removed when pulled.
- There will be no kickoffs.
- Play will begin with the offensive team starting at their 20 yard line
- After scores, play will begin with the offensive team starting at their 20 yard line.
- Touchdown = 6 points (If a female scores or throws for a touchdown 8 points)
- After a touchdown, the team that scored may choose to go for 1 point from the 5-yard line, or 2-points from the 10-yard line.
- On a point conversion, if intercepted by the defensive team they may return the football to their endzone for 2-points.
- Safety = 2-points (offensive player's flag is removed or steps out of bounds in opponent's endzone). The team that scores a safety will get procession starting at their 20-yard line.
- If a team takes a lead of 35 points or more at any time in the game, the Mercy Rule is invoked, the game can be decided by the captains if game should continue.
- The game consists of two 20 minute halves.
- The clock is continuous except for timeouts. If the score is separated by 10 points or less, the clock will stop for incompletions, out of bounds, point conversions, and penalties during the last 2 minutes of the second half (Note: during this period, spiking the ball will not be considered intentional grounding).
- Each team is permitted two one-minute timeouts per half. Timeouts do not carry over between halves or into overtime.
- Players may substitute freely between downs.
- Each team will have an opportunity to score. The ball will be placed on the opponent's 20-yard line. The team will have 4 downs to attempt to score. If a touchdown is scored, the team MUST go for a 2-point conversion from the 10-yard line.
- Examples: If both teams score a touchdown or touchdown and 2-point conversion the game results in a tie. If neither team scores, the game results in a tie. If one team out scores the other team then that team wins the game (Exception: During playoffs, this format continues until a winner can be declared).
- There is no game clock.
- The winner of a coin toss (or rock-paper-scissors) will have the option of first or second possession.
BEFORE THE SNAP
- Each team must have a player designated as a center to snap the ball to the quarterback either between the legs or to the side. On a pass play this player is required to not move beyond the line of scrimmage until a defensive player crosses the line. At which time the center may act as a screen (blocking not allowed) or is eligible as a receiver. **Penalty: Illegal Procedure (5 yards from the previous spot) **
- The player receiving the snap must be at least 2 yards behind the scrimmage line. No team may have more than 3 players (including the QB) in the backfield at the start of a play. **Penalty: Illegal Procedure (5 yards from the previous spot) **
- No player on offensive team shall make a false start. A false start is any movement simulating the start of the play. **Penalty: Illegal Procedure (5 yards from the previous spot) **
- Encroachment - After the snapper has touched the ball, it is encroachment for any player to break the plane of his/her scrimmage line. **Penalty: Encroachment (5 yards from the previous spot) **
- All offensive players must be motionless for one second preceding the snap, except for a player moving parallel to or away from the scrimmage line. **Penalty: Illegal Motion (5 yards from the previous spot) **
- An offensive player that moves/shifts (other than going legally in motion) must stop for one full second before the snap. **Penalty: Illegal Shift (5 yards from the previous spot)
- The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball as long as he does not pass the line of scrimmage.
- If a team causes a delay penalty with less than 2 minutes left in the game, the first infraction shall be loss of down and stoppage of the clock. A second delay of game infraction will result in a loss of possession and stoppage of the clock with the change of possession.
- If the defense commits a dead ball foul under 2 minutes left in the game, the first infraction shall be a 5 yard penalty and stoppage of the clock. If the defense commits a second dead ball foul under 2 minutes, the clock will stop and the offense shall have a choice of:
- Ball at their opponent's 3 yard line; repeat down.
- Yardage from the penalty; repeat down.
BALL IN PLAY
- Offensive players are responsible for retrieving the ball after each play. The offense must snap the ball within 30 seconds after the Referee has sounded his/her whistle to start the play clock. **Penalty: Delay of Game (5 yards) **
- No team may call more than two timeouts in a half. If a team attempts to call a 3rd timeout, then that team will have a penalty called against them and the clock will be run down by 30 seconds. **Penalty: Illegal Timeout (5 yards) **
BALL IS DECLARED DEAD WHEN
- A forward pass strikes the ground.
- A player carrying the ball, drops the ball, whether by contact or not by contact. The ball is considered down at the point at which the ball carrier lost possession of the ball.
- A runner has a flag belt removed by a defensive player.
- A runner is touched with ONE hand once the flag belt is no longer attached.
- A passer's flag is pulled before releasing the ball.
- A runner dives or leaps forward to advance the ball. The ball will be declared dead immediately, and the ball will be spotted where the runner left his/her feet.
- Any time a referee blows the whistle. Once the whistle is blown, the play is over and the ball is dead.
- A player carrying the ball touches the ground with any part of the body other than the feet and/or hands.
- Exception: A ball is not dead upon a defensive interception. The return play remains live until the ball carrier is considered down.
OUT OF BOUNDS
- A player must have ONE foot inbounds during a reception for the catch to be considered inbounds.
SERIES OF DOWN, NUMBER OF DOWNS
- A team has four downs to attempt to score or earn a first down.
- First down lines are clearly marked at the 20-yard lines and 40-yard line. First downs are achieved when the ball crosses those lines.
- The ball does not have to completely cross the line to get a first down. If the nose of the ball is touching the line at any point, the result is a first down.
- Each team is allowed ONE running play per four downs. A first down does not reset the running play. You must wait 3 more downs until you can run again. **Penalty: Illegal Run (5 yards, loss of down)**
- A female must be the intended target or touch the ball at least ONCE every 4 plays . A first down does not reset the female play. She may throw the ball, catch, or run the ball. (No lateral passes back to the QB.) **Penalty: Illegal Play (5 yards, loss of down) **
- On 4th down, the team has the option to punt the ball. A punt results in the ball being placed 40 yards from the line of scrimmage.
CARRYING THE BALL
- Offensive players may NOT protect the runner or passer by blocking or screening. (Exception: only the center is allowed to screen following the snap) Illegal contact between the blocker/defender will be called against the player determined to have initiated the contact.
- **Penalty: Illegal Contact (10 yards, from the previous spot) **
- The ball carrier shall NOT guard their flags by blocking with arms, hands, or use of a stiff-arm, thereby denying an opponent the opportunity to pull or remove the flag belt. **Penalty: Illegal Contact (10 yards, spot of foul) **
- Defensive players may NOT grasp and hold on to the jersey and/or the shorts of the ball carrier in an attempt to stop or slow the ball carrier down.-**Penalty: Defensive Holding (10 yards, from spot of foul) **
- A fumble is not a live ball. The ball is considered dead where the ball carrier lost possession of the ball.
- A backwards pass that is not caught, is not a live ball. The ball is considered dead where the ball first touches the ground.
- Any attempt to strip the ball from the runner will result in a penalty. **Penalty: Illegal Strip (10 yards, from the spot of the foul) **
HANDINGOFF THE BALL
- Any player may hand the ball backward to another player on their team at any time.
- No player may hand the ball forward to a teammate.
- A team is allowed one running play per 4 downs. **Penalty: Illegal Run (5 yards, Loss of Down) **
- All players are eligible to touch or catch a pass. Only one forward pass per down.
- On defense, whoever is rushing the QB must start 7 yards off the line of scrimmage. The rusher can rush the QB as soon as the ball is snapped as long as he/she starts 7 yards off the line of scrimmage. The offensive designated center may act as a screen to the quarterback and/or become an eligible receiver once the defensive team crosses the line of scrimmage.
- Only one player may rush and cross the line of scrimmage during a pass play. ** Penalty: Illegal Procedure (5 yards, replay down) **
- The passer's foot is beyond the scrimmage line when the ball leaves his/her hand. ** Penalty: Illegal Forward Pass (5 yards, replay down) **
- If intentionally grounded to save loss of yardage. ** Penalty: Intentional Grounding (5 yards, and loss of down) **
- If a passer catches his/her untouched forward or backward pass. ** Penalty: Illegal Forward Pass (5 yards, loss of down) **
- Second forward pass in that down -**Penalty: Illegal Forward Pass (5 yards, loss of down) **
- After a legal forward pass, Offensive Pass Interference is not allowed. Offensive Pass Interference is contact by the offensive player with the defender at any time before the ball is caught (intercepted). -Penalty: Offensive Pass Interference (10 yards, from the previous spot, loss of down) **
- After a legal forward pass, Defensive Pass Interference is not allowed. Defensive Pass Interference occurs when the defender contacts the offensive player before the ball is caught. **Penalty: Defensive Pass Interference (Automatic first down, at the spot of the penalty) **Face guarding is allowed as long as contact is not made with the receiver.
- If opposing players catch a pass simultaneously, the ball becomes dead, is considered a completed pass, and belongs to the offensive team.
HALFBACK OPTION PASS
- The QB hands off or latterals the ball backwards to the running back behind the line of scrimmage. The running back has the option of advancing the ball past the line of scrimmage or throwing a forward pass.
- If the runner advances the ball past the line of scrimmage, the play is considered a run and counts against the one running play per 4 down series rule.
- If the runner does not advance the ball past the line of scrimmage and has their flag pulled prior to throwing a legal forward pass, the play is considered a run and counts against the one running play per 4 down series rule.
- If the runner advances the ball past the line of scrimmage, and then attempts a forward pass, there will be a penalty of Illegal Forward Pass (see above penalty), and the play is considered a run and counts against the one running play per 4 down series rule.
- If the runner does NOT advance the ball past the line of scrimmage and throws a legal forward pass, the play does not count as a run, and therefore does NOT count against the one running play per 4 down series rule.
UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT ** Penalty: Unsportsmanlike Conduct (15 yards) **
- Referees may disqualify any participant (players and/or substitutes) for any personal foul they deem to be a flagrant offense.
- Referees are only to be talked to by Captains of the football teams.
- Any players that RAISE their voice to the referee
- Spiking, kicking, or throwing the ball unnecessarily
- Illegal Contact: Using a fist, foot, knee, or leg to contact an opponent.
- Tackling the ball carrier (automatic player disqualification)
- Unnecessary Roughness
- Roughing the Passer (when the defender contacts the passerÃ¢??s arm during the throw)
- Tampering with the flag belt in any way to gain an advantage including tying, using foreign materials, or other such acts.
- Foul language including: threatening, swearing, taunting, yelling, etc.
- One or more unsportsmanlike penalties OR fighting may result in removal from the series, game ejection, or suspension for the remainder of the season per the discretion of the referees and/or Red Rocks Sport Ministry.
All Rules and regulations are derived from the 2004-2005 NIRSA Flag and Touch Football Rules Book. Modifications have been made to suit the RRCFFL. Your help in making the RRCFFL as fair as possible is very much appreciated, and all formal protests assist the organizers in providing a fair and safe league. For any questions or clarifications, please contact Curt Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIST OF PENALTIES
5 Yard Penalties
Too Many Players, Illegal Procedure, Encroachment, Illegal Motion, Illegal Shift, Delay of Game, Illegal Timeout, Illegal Run, Illegal Play, Illegal Procedure, Illegal Forward Pass, Intentional Grounding,
10 Yard Penalties
Illegal Forward Pass, Offensive Pass Interference, Illegal Contact, Defensive Holding, Illegal Strip, Penalty Spot Foul, Defensive Pass Interference,
15 Yard Penalties
(See rules section for list) Let Red Rocks Staff know of any personal foul deemed to be a flagrant offense.