5v5 Flag Football Rules

This is a “contact minimized” league. Physical contact that is inadvertent or marginal will occur throughout the game. However, aggressive behavior (e.g. body tackles, dropping of shoulders, pushing, unintended infractions if habitual, etc.) will result in penalties (including ejections).

1. Number of Players. Teams may field up to 5 players in the 5v5 Delayed Rush program (5v5 format), 7 players in the Delayed Rush program (7v7 format), and up to 8 players in the No Count program (8v8 format). The 5v5 format does not require a minimum amount of females on the field at a time, but both the 7v7&8v8 format require at least 3 female players at all times to avoid penalties.

Game Time. Teams will play two 20-minute halves with a running clock. The clock will only stop during time outs, referee conferences, injuries, and the final two minutes of the second half. There will be a Two Minute Warning where the clock stops for all incompletions, plays that run out-of-bounds, and penalties.

Scoring. All touchdowns in the recreational and competitive leagues will count as 6-points

regardless of gender play. For the extra point attempt, teams will have the option of scoring 1
extra point from the 5-yard line or 2 extra points from the 10-yard line.

Number of Downs. Each team has four attempts (“downs”) to move the ball past the next marker to obtain a First Down or Goal. The number of markers varies on the program format (Delayed Rush programs have one marker and No Count programs have two). First Down occurs when the ball – not the player – crosses the closest marker from where the ball was spotted on the initial First Down. A loss of yardage behind the marker does not reset the number of downs.


a. Delayed Rush – Referees will count “1-one thousand. 2-one thousand. 3-one thousand. 4-one thousand. 5-one thousand. GO!” Quarterbacks cannot cross the line of scrimmage or run with the ball until the referee announces, “GO!” Defensive rushers may not cross the line of scrimmage unless the referee announces, “GO!” or the Quarterback hands off or laterals the ball to another player behind the line of scrimmage.
b. No Count – Defensive rushers may not line up at the line of scrimmage. Rushers must start 5 yards in front of the line of scrimmage (“buffer zone”) as marked by the referee.
All other defenders may position themselves in the buffer zone. Once the Quarterback
hands off or passes the ball, then all defenders may engage behind the line of

Blocking. Players may use their bodies to shield an opposing player (e.g. basketball block) at the line of scrimmage. Blockers must keep their arms at their sides or behind their back. Downfield blocking is not permitted after an attempted pass. Direct blocking (e.g. pushing, body checks, etc.) and illegal blocks result in a 5-yard loss from the line of scrimmage or point of infraction, respectively.

Tackles. A player is “tackled” once a flag belt (or any portion of the belt) is pulled. If a flag (or

any portion of the belt) falls off the operative player without any prior contact by a defenseman,
then a one-hand touch will result in a tackle.

Possession. Receivers need only one foot in-bounds with clear possession of the ball (no

bobbling) to be considered a catch. If a Receiver is pushed out-of-bounds before possession can be determined, then the receiver will be awarded with the catch.

Dead Ball. Play is stopped on all fumbles, dropped laterals, and muffed punts. The ball will be set at the location of the dropped ball, not the original line of scrimmage.

Interceptions. Laterals may be intercepted and run back for a touch down. Fumbled laterals are considered a dead ball at the spot of the ball. Extra point attempts cannot be intercepted or

returned for points.

Time Outs. Teams have 2 time-outs per game that may be used at any time of the game.

Substitutions. Teams may recruit substitutes from other teams during the regular season to satisfy field requirements (e.g. number of females, minimum number of players)

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