Flag Football Rules
- ALL NIRSA RULES APPLY.
- Protest will only be allowed for player eligibility or a rule interpretation. An official’s judgment call CANNOT be protested. Rule interpretation protests must be made before the next live-ball snap. A rule interpretation protest on the last play of the game must be made before the officials leave the field. Protest and Eligibility rules and procedures can be found in the Intramural and Recreation Handbook.
- The Program Supervisor, Program Coordinator, and/or Intramural Assistant has the final say on protest during the game. The team captain is the only person allowed to talk to the officials and/or supervisor.
- Teams may use their own game balls. Game balls will be supplied by the Intramural and Recreation Department and will be:
- JV5 — Men’s
- JY5 — Women’s
- If a player receives two unsportsmanlike fouls during a game, that player is automatically ejected.
- Teams are responsible for their fans. Team captains will be notified if there is a problem.
- All games will be played at Lion’s Stadium.
- The field shall be 100 yards x 53 yards, including two 10 yard end zones. The width of the fields shall be lined at 10 or 20 yard intervals from goal line to goal line. The 3, 10 and 15 yard lines may be marked and if so shall be one yard wide.
- Seven players constitute a men or women’s team. A team must have no less then 5 players to start a game. IF FEWER THEN 5 PLAYERS ARE PRESENT AT GAME TIME THE GAME WILL BE DECLARED A FORFEIT BY THE SUPERVISOR ON DUTY. 8 players constitute a Co-Rec game and at least 6 players are needed to start the game. Minimum requirement of 4 men and 2 women or 2 men and 4 women.
- A minimum of one defensive player must be on the line. Defensive players must line up one yard off the ball even with the gold scrimmage line marker marked by the officials. The offensive teams must have a minimum of four players on the line. Only one offensive player may be in motion at time of snap.
- Each team shall designate to the referee one captain. The captain’s first choice of any penalty option shall be irrevocable. Decisions involving penalties shall be made before any charged time out is granted to either team.
- A player’s name must appear on the score sheet before s/he may enter the game. A team may add players to the score sheet at any time. If a player scores who’s name does not appear on the score sheet those points shall be disallowed and play will continue as normal.
- A player who is bleeding will be removed from the game without penalty or time out charged. Once the bleeding is stopped and/or covered the player may return to the game. No player may play with visible blood on their person.
- In the A-League only, three ex-varsity players shall be allowed per team. The Program Coordinator may increase or decrease the amount of players at any time. Final rulings on what constitutes an “ex-varsity” player shall be left up to the discretion of the Intramural Review Board and all decisions made on such matters are final.
- Alcohol is strictly prohibited. Any participant under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be suspended from all intramural participation and subject to penalties under the dean of student life office.
- The captains of each team will be responsible for the behavior of their spectators. If any intramural staff member asks a spectator to leave the facility and the spectator refuses the game is an automatic forfeit.
- GAME TIME IS FORFEIT TIME!
- In the event of inclement weather, a game is considered to be official after the first half is complete.
- Shoes must be soft soled soccer/football type cleats or cross-country, tennis of Astroturf shoes. NO HARD PLASTIC, LEATHER, OR METAL IS ALLOWED IN THE CONSTURUCTION OF CLEATS OR SHOES. WET TURF SOCCER SHOES (SCREW IN CLEATS) ARE NOT ALLOWED. BOOTS ARE PROBIHITED.
- Mouth guards are not required but are recommended.
- Jerseys must be long enough so they remain tucked in the pants/shorts during the entire down or short enough so there is a minimum of 4” from the bottom of the jersey to the players waistline.
- The use of headgear, jewelry, shoulder pads, body pads, or any unyielding or dangerous equipment is prohibited. Players may wear a knit or stocking cap and use pliable gloves if they desire.
- Tape or bandage on the hand, wrist, forearm or any other part of the body is prohibited except to protect an injury. Under no circumstances will a player wearing a cast or splint be allowed to play. Braces with exposed metal parts must be covered.
- The supervisor on duty, the intramural assistant, or intramural program coordinator will make any decision on the legality of any equipment on or being used by a player. The decision of the intramural staff will be final.
- Each player must wear a one piece belt, without any knots, at the waistline with three flags permanently attached, one flag on each side and one in the center of the back. The flags must be flags provided by the intramural department. The flags must be in contrasting color to the team's jerseys and the opponent’s and must be uniform throughout the team.
- No shorts or pants with pockets can be worn.
- Participants cannot wear jewelry of any kind.
- A game shall consist of two (2) halves each consisting of 18 minutes. There will be a running clock until the last 2 minutes.
- Halftime shall be 5 min long or left to the discretion of the Intramural Staff.
- If overtime occurs, there will be a one minute intermission between the end of the game and overtime.
- Each team is permitted two (2) time-outs per half and one time-out for overtime. Time-outs do not carry over.
- In case of a game ending in a tie, the two captains will determine the options by a coin flip. The options are the same as the start of the game. The home captain will call the toss. Teams will alternate choices if additional overtime periods are played. Both teams will go in the same direction. Each team will be given a series of 4 downs from the same ten yard line to score. If the first team scores a touchdown, the second team still receives a series of 4 downs to score. Extra points will be attempts and scored as previously stated. If the defense intercepts the ball and returns it for a touchdown, they will win the game. If it is not returned for a score, the ball will be placed at the 10-yard line. The game will continue until a winner is determined.
- MERCY RULE - The mercy rule will be used if a team is leading by 19 points with 2 minutes left in the game. The game will be called at that point.
- Each touchdown shall be worth 6 points.
- An opportunity to score 1 point for the 3 yard line, 2 points for then 10 yard line, or 3 points from the 20 yard line by running or passing only shall be granted the team scoring a touchdown.
- A safety is worth 2 points.
- The Referee must speak to the field captain only, asking him/her where the Try shall be from. Once the Captain makes a decision it may only be changed when either team calls a timeout.
- A player scoring a touchdown or P.A.T. must raise his/her arms so the nearest official can de-flag the player with one firm pull. If the flag-belt is secured illegally, the touchdown is disallowed, the player is ejected, there is a 10-yard penalty assessed from the previous spot, and the down is lost.
- An intercepted try-for-point cannot be returned for points. The ball is dead when intercepted.
- A team in possession of the ball shall have 4 plays or downs to advance the ball to the next zone and a first down.
- The most forward point of the ball shall be used when establishing distance gained or lost by each team in a down.
- When a backward pass or fumble by a player touches the ground, THE BALL IS DEAD.
- A ball snapped from scrimmage that hits the ground before the intended receiver touches it, THE BALL IS DEAD.
- It is illegal to attempt to steal a ball in a player's possession. The object of the game is to de-flag a ball carrier. This will result in a 10-yard penalty from point of infraction.
- The quarterback MUST be 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage when receiving the snap. NO QUATERBACK SNEAKS.
SCREENING, RUSHING, AND CONTACT
- All blocking shall be non-contact screen blocking, which is legally obstructing an opponent without contacting him/her with any part of the body. OFFICIALS’ JUDGEMENT!
- When the following acts are deliberate or flagrant, the players involved shall be disqualified from the game:
- Using fists, kicking, or kneeing
- Using locked hands, elbows, or any part of the forearm or hand in blocking
- Tackling the ball carrier
- Any other deliberate or flagrant acts
- The ball carrier shall not grasp a teammate or be grasped, pulled, or pushed by a teammate.
- The offensive team shall be prohibited from obstructing an opponent with an extended hand or arm. This includes the use of a stiff arm extended to ward off an opponent attempting to de-flag.
- Teammates of a runner or passer may interfere for him by screen blocking, but they shall not use interlocked interference by grasping or encircling in any manner.
- The offensive screen block shall take place without contact. The screen blocker shall have their hands at their side or behind the back. Any use of arms, elbows, or legs to initiate contact during an offensive player’s screen block is illegal. A blocker may use their arms or hand to break his/her fall or to keep their balance. A player must be on his/her feet before, during, and after screen blocking.
- A player who screens shall not:
- Take a position closer than a normal step when he/she is behind a stationary opponent
- Make contact when he/she assumes a position at the side or in front of a stationary opponent
- Take a position so close to a moving opponent that the opponent cannot avoid contact by stopping or changing direction. The speed of the player shall determine where the screener may take his stationary position. This position may vary between 1 or 2 normal steps or strides from the opponent.
- After assuming his/her legal screening position move to maintain it, unless he/she moves in the same direction and path as his/her opponent.
- If the screener violates any of these provisions and contact results, he/she has committed a personal foul.
- Defensive players must go around the offensive player’s screen block.
- Flag-belt Removal:
- Offensive players must have the ball before they can be legally de-flagged.
- In all situations where the play is in progress and the ball carrier loses the flag-belt accidentally, inadvertently, or on purpose, with one hand tag it between the shoulders and knees.
- Inadvertent whistle: When an official sounds his/her whistle inadvertently during a down or during a down in which the penalty for a foul is declined, when:
- The ball is in player possession - the team in possession may elect to put the ball in play where declared dead or replay the down.
- The ball is loose from a fumble, backward pass, illegal kick, or illegal forward pass - the team in possession may elect to put the ball in play where possession was lost or replay the down.
- During a legal forward pass or punt - the ball is returned to the previous spot and the down replayed.
- If a foul occurs during any of the above downs, an accepted penalty shall be administered as in any other play situation. When the foul is accepted, disregard the inadvertent whistle.
KICKING & PUNTING
- There are no kick-offs. To begin a game the ball will be spotted on the 15-yard line. The team that wins the coin toss has the choice of first possession, side, or defer their choice to start of the second half.
- Defensive team must be warned of an attempt to punt. There are no quick kicks. After receiving the snap the kicker must kick the ball immediately and in a continuous motion. The defensive team may block punts, but the defensive team cannot cross the line until the ball has been kicked.
The kicking team must have 4 players on the scrimmage line.
- Punts may be blocked - defensive players can stand on defensive line with arms raised and if ball comes in contact with them then ball is dead when it hits ground.
- If the ball is kicked out of bounds the receiving team gets the ball where it landed.
- No fair catches.
- Once the ball breaks the goal line it is a touchback. The ball cannot be advanced downfield.
- Loss of 5 Yards
- Failure to have the flag belt legally attached at the snap
- Failure to wear required equipment
- Delay of game *
- Unfair tactics
- Substitution rules infraction
- Putting the ball in play before declared ready by the referee
- Exceeding 25 second count
- Encroachment of free kick line
- Illegal ball adjustment by center
- Illegal snap
- Defensive encroachment
- False start
- Failure to pause a full second following a huddle or shift
- Infraction of scrimmage formation
- Offensive player illegally in motion
- Offensive player not within 15 yards of ball
- Intentionally throwing backward pass, fumbling out of bounds
- Illegal forward pass *
- Illegally handing the ball forward *
- Helping the runner
- Loss of 10 Yards
- Two or more consecutive 5 yard penalties
- Illegal participation
- Flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct of coaches, players or fans ***
- Spiking, kicking, or throwing the ball during a dead ball period
- Steal, bat, or attempt to steal the ball from runner
- Contact with opponent on ground
- Throwing runner to ground ***
- Contact before or after the ball is dead
- Unnecessary contact of any nature
- Deliberately dive or run into a defensive player
- Purposely tackling a runner ***
- Roughing the passer **
- Illegal blocking *
- Pass interference on the offense *
- Illegal use of the hands
- Guarding the flag-belt
- Stiff arm
- Obstruction of runner (holding)
- Unsportsmanlike conduct
- Re-entry of disqualified player
- Illegal kicking
- Illegal flag-belt removal
- Defensive Pass Interference
- Ball shall be spotted 10 yards from the previous spot and result in automatic first down
* Loss of down
** Automatic First Down
*** Player Disqualification
- The Co-Rec game shall be played between 2 teams of 8 players, 4 men and 4 women. Teams of 7 players shall have a ratio of 4:3. Teams of 6 shall have a ratio of 3:3.
- If a team begins the game with the minimum number of players required to avoid forfeit and falls behind by 23 points the game shall be ruled complete at that point, unless the team can gain 7 players (then there will be no point restriction.)
- A male runner cannot advance the ball over his line of scrimmage. However, a defensive male player can.
- Pass completion rules:
- The term "closed" means a male player may NOT throw a legal forward pass completion to another male player. The term "open" means any player can complete a legal forward pass to any player.
- During the offensive team's possession there may not be 2 consecutive legal forward pass completions from a male passer to a male receiver. This rule also applies to extra points.
- If a male passer completes a legal pass to a male receiver, the next legal forward pass must be to or from a female for POSITIVE yards. There is no foul for a female receiver being tagged or deflagged behind the line of scrimmage. The next legal forward pass completion remains "closed."
- Any foul whether accepted or declined has no effect on determining open or closed plays.
- A touchdown scored by a male is worth 6 points, and a touchdown scored by a female is worth 9 points.
- MERCY RULE - The mercy rule will be used if a team is leading by 25 points with 2 minutes or less left in the game. The game will be called at that point.