Flag football rules

Please bring your student ID with you, it is required in order to play.

Players should not play on men’s and co-ed teams which play on the same night.

General Rules

  1. A maximum of 6 players may play at one time. A minimum of 4 players are needed to start a game. For coed there must be a minimum of 2 of each gender on at a time.
  2. Substitutions will be allowed only when the ball is dead. Substitutions can only occur on one side of the playing field.
  3. Footwear — only plastic cleats or running shoes are allowed.
  4. Players who arrive late must be present and signed in prior to the start of the second half.
  5. Only the captain or assistant captain may address an official. When addressing an official, the captain is expected to be courteous. The penalty for any other player addressing an official or directing remarks at him shall be 15 yards.
  6. There shall be no diving with the ball or to get a flag–you may dive to catch the ball.
  7. Converts and kickoffs are not considered a play. The offensive team does not have to state when they are punting the ball. Only the rusher may cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is passed off. Intentional penalties on the last 3 plays = penalty + replay.
  8. Default score is 21-0.


  • Touchdown – 6 points
  • Safety – 2 points- pinned kick-of (not punt) from goal line
  • Convert – 1 point (from 5 yards out), 2 points (from 10 yards out)


The game shall be divided into two 20-minute halves. No rest period at half-time. The game must start no later than 10 minutes from the scheduled time, or the game is defaulted. The referee shall inform both teams when there is 5 minutes remaining in the half and the game. Last 3 plays will be called with two minutes remaining in the half and the game.


  1. A flip of the coin shall give a team the choice of ends OR choice of kicking or receiving at the start of the game. The team which receives to start the game, will kick-off to start the second half. NO ONSIDE KICKS.
  2. A kick-off will be used to start each half, and then commence play after each touchdown. On the kick-off, the ball shall be PINNED by hand (not punted) from the 10 yd. line. A kick which travels out of bounds before being touched by a player on the field shall: a) be kicked over 10 yards back, OR b) receiving team will have the choice of playing the ball where it went out of bounds. A ball that is kicked through the endzone will be placed at the 20 yard line. THERE IS NO BLOCKING ON THE KICK-OFF (5 yard penalty).
  3. If the ball is touched by a player and then lands in the end-zone, the ball will be spotted 5 yards from the goal line.
  4. Punt. On any down in a series, a team may punt the ball. The ball may be blocked only by the designated rusher. If it is blocked, the ball is dead when it hits the ground. The receiver of the punt must be given 5 yards.
  5. Offensive team CANNOT punt the ball through the end-zone for 1 point. If the ball does go through the end-zone, the receiving team gets the ball at the 1/3 line.


  1. The offensive team is allowed 20 seconds to huddle and get the ball into play after the referee has positioned the ball from the previous down. Officials will count intervals – 20, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 seconds.
  2. In order to put the ball into play, the offensive team must have the ball centered from a snapper to a receiver or passer in a “Shot Gun” fashion. The ball must be snapped through the legs and the quarterback must be 5 yards back.
  4. A lateral pass is legal. A lateral is any pass thrown parallel to or behind the player in possession of the ball. MAY BE OVERHAND.
  5. A player must have one foot in, on an inbound catch.
  6. If a receiver only has one flag when receiving the ball, the ball is dead at the point they caught it (no further forward motion permitted). If a receiver (offensive player) loses a flag while running, the play is over and moves to where the flag falls.
  7. One in every three plays must be a play or attempted play to a female.
  8. Fumbles – The ball is dead where it strikes the ground. No forward gain is made by a fumbled ball.
  9. Once the ball carriers’ one knee touches the ground, he/she will be considered ‘touched’ and all play is stopped.
  10. First downs – A first down will be awarded for every play that crosses a 20 yard line marked by bean bags. NOTE: A maximum of 3 plays will be allowed to make a first down.
  11. When an offensive player’s flag falls off, play is dead.


  1. The defensive team will have ONE designated rusher who lines up 5 yards from the line of scrimmage, two yards to either side of the marker. The rusher must declare that they are rushing by raising one arm (corresponding to the side they will run) prior to the snap of the ball. 10 yards penalty for not raising an arm OR for passing on the wrong side of the snapper.
  2. No defensive player can cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is passed off by the quarterback, and only one person and the rusher can be across the line.
  3. On an interception in the end zone, where the ball is downed in the end zone, the intercepting team gets control of the ball on the 10 yd. line.
  4. Once the snapper passes the rusher, they are both allowed to run through the bean bags.

Dress Code

  1. Players’ shirts must be tucked in.
  2. Flags must be velcroed to the outside of the belts, and not wrapped around the belt.


  1. Obstruction of flag removal (hand sweep): stoppage of play, ball returns to the original scrimmage line and loss of down
  2. More than 20 seconds: 5 yards and down repeated
  3. Offsides:
    Offensive – 5 yards or loss of down – defensive choice
    Defensive – 5 yards or gain on play – offensive choice
  4. No Yards: 10 yards from where the ball is first touched or option to non-offending team. If the ball goes out of bounds, the ball will be placed from the spot where it went out.
  5. Rusher – no hand raised: 10 yards and down over, or gain on play
  6. Holding: 10 yards from point of infraction (behind the line from the scrimmage line)
  7. Interference:
    Offensive – loss of down and 10 yards
    Defensive – completed pass at point of infraction and 1st down OR in end zone – 1st down from one yard line
  8. Blocking: 15 yards (rusher as well).
  9. Rough Play: 15 yards
  10. Fighting with players of opposing team: Ejection from game, plus 3 game suspension
  11. Verbal Abuse of Official (profanity) =: Ejection from the game, plus minimum 1-game suspension
  12. The non-penalized team gets the choice of declining the penalty. Any defensive infraction behind the line of scrimmage is marked from the line of scrimmage

Note: Teams may play with the game ball or one of the teams own footballs.