Referees

GAME FORMAT

  1. NFL Flag Football is played by 5 players on 5 players.

  2. A coin toss determines first possession

  3. Only coaches and players are on the sidelines, and all coaches must call plays from the sideline, unless during a timeout. In all divisions (Rookie League coaches are allowed on the field). Family members, parents, spectators are required to observe the contest from the designated areas. This will be strictly enforced

  4. Possession starts at the five-yard line.

  5. There are "no rushing zones" five yards from the first down and five yards from the end zone. If you forget to pass within these zones, you will have a loss of five yards, the down repeated, and still must pass the ball.

  6. You will have three downs to get a first down and a touchdown. On fourth down ONLY BEFORE THE FIRST DOWN, you have the option of going for the first down. If you choose not to go for fourth down, the other team takes over at its five-yard line. If a team decided to go for it on fourth down and doesn't make the line to gain, then the opposition takes over possession at that spot at the end of the play.

    • Offensive Teams MUST declare 4th down intent when asked by the officials.

  7. Interceptions can be returned in both age groups.

  8. There are no fumbles. The ball is dead when it hits the ground or comes out of the runner's hands.

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

PLAYER REGISTRATION

  1. All players are required to submit a form of identification and a current photo.“Acceptable forms of identification are the following:

Birth Certificate, Passport, Report Card, Official State ID, Medical Records, School ID.

  1. The registration deadline is Sunday, May 1st.No roster changes or substitutions will be allowed after this date.

ROSTERS

  1. Home teams wear dark color jerseys. Visiting teams wear light color jerseys.

  2. Team Rosters must consist of at least 5 players with a maximum of 10 players.

    • The team may play with no more than 5 players and no less than 4 players on the field.

    • In the event of an injury, a team with insufficient substitute players may play with 4 players on the field but no fewer than 4.

SEASON

  1. Teams will play 8 regular-season games..

  2. Playoffs will be held June 10th and 11th (the number of teams in the playoffs will depend on the number of teams in each division).

  3. Playoff rounds are single elimination.

  4. Divisional playoff seeds are determined by:

    • Overall record

    • Points allowed

    • Points scored

    • Coin toss

TIMING

  1. Games are 40 minutes, 2 halves, 20 minutes per half.

  2. The clock continuously runs the entire game. The clock will only stop with timeouts or stopped by an official.

  3. If a team goes up by 28 points at any time, the mercy rule gets put into effect, and the game ends. (Mercy Rule)

  4. Once the ball is spotted, your team will have 30 seconds to snap the ball. If the ball is not snapped in time, a delay of game penalty will be enforced.

  5. Each team gets three (3) timeouts per game.

5. If the game is tied, we go into overtime. A coin toss will determine who gets the ball first, and they have the option to go for one or two.  Each team will get the ball at the five-yard line in the same endzone. If the first team scores, the other team has a chance to match it. If they do, then we go into a second overtime. If not, the game is over. If the first team doesn't score and the second team does, the game is also over. If after second overtime and the game is tied, the game will be decided on the longest play.  Each team will get one play from the 5-yard line.  The team that goes first will be the same team that started the first overtime.

 

 EQUIPMENT

  1. All players must wear official NFL Flag belts and mouth guards at all times while on the playing fields.

  2. Players must wear shoes, preferably cleats. However, cleats with metal are never allowed and must be removed.

  3. Players must remove all jewelry, hats with brims.

  4. Player’s jerseys must be tucked into shorts or pants.

  5. We recommend players wear shorts or pants that do not have pockets. Pockets must be taped; games will not be delayed for a player to tape his/her pockets.

  6. Flag belts cannot be the same color as the shorts or pants.

FIELD

  1. The field dimensions are 30 yards by 70 yards with either 10-yard endzones or 7-yard endzone depending on the size of the actual playing field.

  2. No-run zones are in place to prevent teams from conducting power-run plays. While in the no-run zones (5yards midfield, and before the endzone) teams cannot run the ball in any fashion. All pays must be a pass play. However, in the Rookie League, there are no no-run zones.

 

 

SCORING

  1. : 6 points

 

  1. Extra point: 1 point (played from 5-yard line and must pass)

                    2 points (played from the 10-yard line and can either run or pass)

  1. :        2 points      

  • A safety occurs when the ball-carrier is declared down in his/her own end zone. Runners can be called down when their flags are pulled by a defensive player, a flag falls out, they step out of bounds, their knee or arm touches the ground, a fumble occurs in the end zone, or if a snapped ball lands in or beyond the end zone.

 

  1. Extra points that are intercepted and returned equals 2 points

  2. A team that scores a touchdown must declare whether they wish to attempt a 1-point conversion (from the 5-yard line) or a 2-point conversion (from the 10-yard line). Any change, once a decision is made

  3. to try for the extra point, requires a charged timeout. A decision cannot be changed after a penalty.

 

  1. After one team is winning by 28 points or more, the game is over. Once a 28 or more-point advantage is game, no PAT will be attempted.

  2. Forfeits are scored 28-0 for the winning team.

 

 

RUNNING

  1. The quarterback cannot run with the ball.

  2. Only direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are allowed

  3.  Laterals or pitches are not allowed.

  4. Spinning is allowed, but players can't leave their feet to avoid the defense.

  5. The ball is placed where the ball is when the flag is pulled.

  6. There is no blocking allowed.

  7. Any player who receives a handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.

  8. Once the ball has been handed off, all defensive players are eligible to rush.

 

RECEIVING

  1. All players are eligible to receive passes.

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

  3. Only one player is allowed in motion at a time. All motion must be parallel to the line of scrimmage and no motion is permitted toward the line of scrimmage.

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

PASSING

  1. All passes must be forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage.

  2. Shovel passes are allowed but are to be caught beyond the line of scrimmage.

  3. In both age divisions, the QB has seven seconds to pass the ball. Once the ball is handed off, the seven-second rule is no longer in effect.

    • If the QB is standing in the end zone at the end of the 7-second clock, the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage.

  4. A player who takes a handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.

 

DEAD BALLS

  1. The ball must be snapped between the legs to start the play.

  2. Play is ruled dead when the following happens:

  • Ball carrier's flag is pulled or falls off during the play

  • Ball carrier steps out of bounds

  • Touchdown or safety is scored

  • Ball carrier's knee hits the ground

  • Ball carrier loses control of the ball, and it hits the ground

  • Ball carrier catches the ball or receives handoff with one or no flags on. Where they get the ball will become the new line of scrimmage.

RUSHING THE QUARTERBACK

  1. Players who rush must be seven yards back from the line of scrimmage.

  2. Any number of players can rush the quarterback.

  3. Players not rushing the quarterback may defend up near the line of scrimmage.

  4. A marker or the referee will designate the seven-yard mark.

  5. Once the ball is handed off, any defender can go after the ball carrier.

  6. The defense cannot cross the line of scrimmage until the quarterback hands the ball off.

    • A legal rush is:

      • Any rush from a point 7-yards from the defensive line of scrimmage.

      • A rush from anywhere on the field AFTER the ball has been handed off by the quarterback.

    • A penalty may be called if:

      • The rusher leaves the rush line before the snap and crosses the line of scrimmage before a handoff or pass – illegal rush (5-yards from the line of scrimmage)

      • Any defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped – defensive offsides (5-yards from the line of scrimmage)

      • Any defensive player not lined up at the rush line crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is passed or handed off – illegal rush (5-yards from the line of scrimmage).

      • If the offense draws the rusher(s) to jump the 7-yard marker prior to the snap of the ball, that rusher(s) CANNOT rush during that play. However, any other defender that is seven yards back may rush instead. Jumping the rush is not a penalty the rusher crosses the line of scrimmage prior to the handoff or passed ball.

    • Special circumstances:

      • Teams are not required to rush the quarterback with the seven-second clock in effect.

      • Teams are not required to identify their rusher before the play.

  7. Players rushing the quarterback may attempt to block a pass; however, contact to the QB unless ruled incidental by the official, would result in a roughing the passer penalty.

  8. The offense cannot impede the rusher in any way. The rusher has the right to a clear path to the quarterback, regardless of where they line up prior to the snap. The PATH is set pre-snap from the rusher or rushers directly to the QB.PATH does not move once the quarterback moves. If the “path or line” is occupied by a moving offensive player, then it is the offense’s responsibility to avoid the rusher. Any disruption to the rusher’s path and/or contact will result in an impeding the rusher penalty. If the offensive player does not move after the snap, then it is the rusher’s responsibility to go around the offensive player and avoid contact.

FLAG PULLING

  1. A legal flag pull takes place when the ball-carrier is in possession of the ball.

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

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

  4. If a player’s flag inadvertently falls off during a play while that player has possession, the player is down immediately and the play ends. The ball is placed where the flag lands.

  5. If a player who has one or no flags in their belt takes possession of the ball, the play is dead at that spot on the field.

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

  7. 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.

PENALTIES- All penalties and punishments are up to the referee's discretion based on the seriousness of the play.

  1. Defensive penalties

  • Offsides (or crossing the line of scrimmage before handoff)- 5 yards and automatic 1st down

  • Pass Interference - spot foul and automatic 1st down

  • Illegal contact (holding, tackling)- 10 yards and and automatic 1st down

  • Illegal Blitz (starting rush from inside 7-yards)- 5 yards and automatic 1st down

 

  1. Offensive penalties

  • False Start- 5 yards and loss of down

  • Delay of Game- 5 yards and loss of down

  • Offsides- 5 yards and and loss of down

  • Illegal forward pass- 5 yards and loss of down

  • Offensive pass interference- 10 yards and loss of down

  • Flag Guarding- 5 yards from spot of the foul and loss of down

  • Blocking- 5 yards from the spot of the foul and loss of down

  • Illegal Snap- 5 yards and loss of down

  • Impeding the rusher- 5 yards and loss of down

 

  1. Unsportsmanlike conduct

    • If a referee witnesses any acts of intentional tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocks, or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will be ejected from the game. The decision is made at the referee’s discretion.No appeals will be considered. FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!

    • Offensive or confrontational language is not allowed. Officials have the right to determine offensive language. If offensive or confrontational language occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.

    • Players may not physically or verbally abuse any opponent, coach, or official.

    • Ball-carriers MUST make an effort to avoid defenders with an established position.

    • Defenders must give free releases off the line of scrimmage to offensive players and are not allowed to run through the ball-carrier when pulling flags. ROUGH PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!

    • Fans must also adhere to good sportsmanship as well

 - 1st offense- out for a possession, 2nd offense- ejected from the game.  Anytime a player gets ejected, he or she will be out for their next game as well. In a result a player gets ejected from two games they are suspended for the remainder of the season.