FLAG FOOTBALL - RULES
MIXED FLAG FOOTBALL
1) TIMING AND CHOICE OF RECEIVING
- At the start of the game, A team will perform a coin toss or game of “paper, scissors, rock” to determine choice. The winner shall have 3 options available to them:
- They may choose to kickoff (defend first) or receive (start with ball) a kickoff from the opposing team.
- They may choose an end of the field to defend
- They may choose to defer choice to the second half
2) GENERAL SCRIMMAGE RULES
- The offensive team consists of a quarterback and 6 receivers/running backs.
- The defensive team consists of 7 defenders.
- The offense has 4 ‘downs’ or scrimmage plays in which to cover a 10-yard-distance. If the 10 yards are not covered in the 4 plays, the ball is turned over to the defense, the defense then becomes the offense.
- At least 2 players of each gender have to be on the field at all time during plays.
- Play starts with the “receiving team” placing the ball at their 10-yard line. There is no kicking.
- A touchdown Counts for 1 pt. There are no converts. After the touchdown is scored, the opposing team will take possession of the ball from their 10 yard line.
- The offense may place the ball at any point laterally on the field. Ideally the ball should be positioned as close to the middle of the field, however it is the choice of the offense to place it where they choose.
- The offensive team puts the ball into play by having the center snap the ball to the quarterback. Snap can be conventional or a lateral from the centre.
- The Quarterback cannot run with the ball past the line of scrimmage. The offense may pitch or hand off the ball to another player to run with the ball past the line of scrimmage. If the quarterback crosses the line of scrimmage the play is deemed dead and the next play will commence at the line of scrimmage.
- On 4th down, the offense has the choice of running the play or calling “punt”. Choosing to punt means turning the ball over to the opposing team, with them starting on their own 10 yard line. Kicking of the ball is not allowed.
- A team should take no more than 20 seconds between plays. The defense has a right to count from 20 down once the ball and players are back behind their line of scrimmage if necessary. Etiquette suggests this is only necessary if a team is attempting to run out the clock at the end of a game.
- There are two ways to rush determined at beginning of game by Referee or Monitor and Team Captains:
Option 1:The rusher should be lined up a minimum of 1 yard from the line of scrimmage. After counting out loud 4 steamboats the rusher or any other defensive player can cross the line of scrimmage to pursue the quarterback for a flag.
If the offense hands off the ball or pitches it to another player behind the line of scrimmage before the 4 steamboats have been counted, the defense, including the rusher have the right to cross the line at that point.
- Option 2: The rusher lines up 7 yards away from line of scrimmage (indicated by a cone). Once ball has been snapped, rusher is free to rush to pursue the quarterback for a flag
- If the offense hands off the ball or pitches it to another player behind the line of scrimmage, the 7 yard rush rule does not apply to the defense, including the rusher and have the right to cross the line at that point.
- If the rusher leaves before the ball is snapped they are offside and not allowed to rush. Rusher is allowed to rerush if they return to the cone.
- A play is considered stopped when:
- A pass attempt is incomplete.
- A player with possession of the ball goes out of bounds. A player is out of bounds when any part of the player’s body touches the ground on the out of bounds line or beyond.
If the offensive team is flagged. If a player is flagged in their own endzone, this play is considered a safety and the defensive team will be awarded possession of the ball from their 10 yard line. No points are awarded.
- If a forward pass is incomplete, the play restarts at the same scrimmage line and a down is lost. Any laterals or fumbles backwards are marked dead at the point the ball hit the ground. Any fumble forward is dead where the player fumbled. If the snap is fumbled, ball is dead and is placed at line of scrimmage and it is a loss of down. Any illegal forward pass is marked dead at the spot of the forward pass, unless the opposing team intercepts the pass. The defending team then gains possession of the ball.
- All players on the field are eligible to catch a pass. If the defense catches (intercepts) a pass, they become the offense after the person who intercepted the pass has been flagged or scores a touchdown.
- A forward pass may not be thrown if the ball has been advanced across the line of scrimmage. The play is dead at the line of scrimmage.
- Only one forward pass may be thrown on each play. The pass can be underhand or traditionally thrown as long as it goes forward..
- On any play, any number of ‘laterals’ (directly sideways or backwards passes) may be thrown from any point on the field but eventually the ball must be passed over the line of scrimmage. A lateral pass can be intercepted and than becomes a change of possession.
- “Pick Plays” are illegal by the offensive team. A pick play is when one receiver/offensive player runs interference on the defensive player that is covering another receiver. Blocking, or moving to create interference on a defender while in front of a receiver with possession of the ball is also illegal. The play will be considered dead and the ball marked where the receiver with the ball was at the time of the infraction.
- For a pass to be complete, the receiving player must have control of the ball and have at least two feet in bounds before any other piece of his/her body lands out of bounds. The defense will determine if the offense was in bounds on close plays in an honour system.
- Defensive players should avoid screening (waving hands in front of a receiver’s face and not looking at the ball) or contacting a receiver. If a contact is made or the defensive player waves his hands without looking at the ball and before the catch is made, a pass interference is called and the offensive team gets the first down where the fault has been committed. If the defense player waves trying to intercept the ball by looking at the ball, there will be no penalty.
- If the defense intercepts a pass in their own end zone and subsequently fail to advance the ball out of the end zone (called. a touchback), they shall gain possession and scrimmage the ball (1st down) on their own 10 yard line. No points are awarded.
- This is a non-contact league; all physical blocking is illegal.
- A player is entitled to his/her stationary position or immediate path on the field, and physical contact is to be avoided. On offence, the offensive players without the ball must not block for the runner - they must either stand still or get behind the runner for a lateral pass.
If a block is committed the play is called dead and the ball is placed at site of infarction.
4) FOULS AND PENALTIES
- There is no officials judging our games, so it is up to individual players and teams to point out when they feel they have been fouled.
- If an obstruction occurs causing a missed pass, offense gets the down and the play restarts where the fault occurred
- ANY AND ALL DISAGREEMENTS SHOULD BE HANDLED WITH A « RE-DOWN » REGARDLESS OF OUTCOME OR POTENTIAL OUTCOME. NO DOWNS ARE LOST.
- Fouls that teams should avoid:
- Offensive players should not cross the line of scrimmage before their quarterback puts the ball into play. (known as Offside) If an offside is committed the play is called dead and the ball will be placed 5 yards back from the line of scrimmage and repeat the down. If offside is committed within 5 yards of own goal line, ball is moved half the distance to the goal line.
- Blocking and physical contact (includes pushing out of bounds) MUST be avoided. FLAG GUARDING IS FORBIDDEN.
- Defenders cannot screen or touch a receiver while the receiver is attempting to catch the ball. (A defender legitimately attempting to intercept the ball may end up screening the intended receiver; this is okay.)
- Holding of any kind is illegal.
- A defensive player may not slow an opponent by grabbing their clothes or body.
- What happens if, after regulation, the game is tied?
- In Regular season: The game is a tie, no extra time is played.
- In Playoffs: A battle of converts will apply in playoffs. Each team will get 3 chances from either 5 yards (1 point) or 10 yards (2 points) away from the goal line. The team with the most points at the end of the converts will be deemed winner. If at the end of the 3 convert attempts there is still a tie, sudden death will apply with the first team converting a convert deemed winner.