Abbreviated Rules - Important Points

TEAMS:

  • 7 players required to play
  • 1 required team captain

EQUIPMENT:
Provided by League:

  • Quick Release Style Flag Belts
  • Matching Jerseys

Not Provided by League (may be purchased from league):

  • Footballs (Each captain must agree to opposing team's football at coin toss, otherwise league will provide ball)
  • Mouthguards (optional)
  • Protective padding (optional)
  • Headgear (optional – no hard billed hats allowed. Headbands, bandanas or beanies are OK)

FIELD:

  • 100 Yards with 10 Yard End Zones
  • Field is Divided into 20 Yard Zones - The team in possession of the football has 4 downs to advance into the next zone for a new set of downs.
  • 5 yards from the end zone are no-run zones for the offense. No running plays shall be excuted in these zones.

Important markers and areas:

  • Line to Gain Zones: G , <20 , <40 , 40> , 20> , G
  • No Run Zone – 5 Yards from end zone
  • Neutral Zone – 2 Yards
  • Kickoff Neutral Zone – 10 yards
  • Touchback – Own 20 Yard Line
  • Kickoff – Own 40 Yard Line
  • Free Kick after Safety – Own 30 Yard Line
  • 2-Point Conversion – Opp 2 Yard Line (no run)

SCORING:

  • Touchdown: 6 points
  • Field Goal: 3 points
  • Safety (defense): 2 points
  • Successful try for point:  Run = 2 points, Kick = 1 point
  • Defensive return for TD on a 2 point conversion : 2 points
  • Forfeited game: 7 to 0 (if offended team is behind).  The score as of the time of forfeiture stands if offended team is ahead.

TIMING:

  • 2 20-Minute Halves
  • Each Team is granted 1, 1-minute timeout per half
  • Clock runs continuously in the first half and stops only for injuries and official timeouts, except for the last 2 minutes of the half, when it will stop for runners out of bounds, incomplete passes and unintentional defensive penalties. In the second half, the clock will run continuously and stop only for scores, injuries and official timeouts, except for the last 2 minutes of the half, when it will stop for runners out of bounds, incomplete passes and unintentional defensive penalties.
  • Two possession overtime, if necessary - each team will have a possession with 4 downs from their opponent’s 20 to score and convert an extra point. If score is still tied, the game will be a draw. If a turnover is committed by the team who has 2nd possession, the game is over.

UNIQUE RULES

  • On 4th down and kickoffs, a declared punt can be called which will move to ball to end of the 2nd furthest zone or as far as possible, if in opponent’s territory. For example, if the spot is your own 25 yard line and your captain declares a punt, the opponent will take over possession on their own 40 yard line.
  • Any fumble, muff or bobbled snap that hits the ground is dead at the spot. A fumble that does not touch the ground is a live ball.
  • Blocking technique will be with straight arm with no bended elbows, hands behind the back, down to the side or forearms crossed in front. Contact is allowed moving laterally or backwards and between the defender’s neck and waist area only.
  • Two players are required to be on the line of scrimmage on offensive possession. 3 are required on special teams. Defensive players are not required to be set on the line of scrimmage. Any defensive player may rush the quarterback or kicker.
  • Bump and run defensive back coverage is allowed within 5 yards of the defensive line of scrimmage.
  • Mercy Rule: At any time after the end of the first half, a game in which one team leads the other by 35 points or more, the trailing team has the option of ending the game early. If one team leads the other by 17 points at the 2 minute warning in the 2nd half, the game is over.
  • Onside kicks are not allowed
  • The center position is ineligible on passing plays, and must hold a blocking pad at the snap, and cannot cross the line of scrimmage before the pass is received.
  • Belts must be worn at all times by all players except for the center. Knotting your flag belt is cause for immediate ejection. 
  • Personal Fouls/Unsportsmanlike Conduct: The violating player will be ejected from play for four (4) plays to create a "Cool Down" period before resuming play. If the foul is flagrant, the player will be ejected completely from the game.
  • A player that has received 2 ejections is immediately suspended from league play indefinitely pending a review. A violating player that has been suspended twice in a season will be banned for life.
  • The league reserves the right to impose penalties, including warnings and suspensions for unsportsmanlike conduct, and unnecessary roughness, including shoulder crackback blocks, if they are seen on tape.


Complete Rulebook



Rule I: The Game, Field, Players, and Equipment

1.1 Flag football is played with an inflated football by two teams of ten players each, on a rectangular field as diagrammed below:


field-diagram

1.2 The field is 100 yards, with 10 yard end zones. The field is divided into 20 yard zones, including 2 red zones before each goal line. While the ball is alive, a period called a down is in progress and the team in possession of the ball attempts to advance it by carrying, kicking, or passing it. If a foul occurs, the penalty loss, if not declined, is measured during the period between downs. The team in possession of the football has 4 downs to advance into the next zone for a new set of downs. A team in possession of the football in the red zone has 4 downs to score a touchdown. Points are scored by touchdown, successful point after touchdown, 2-point conversion, field goal, or safety.

1.3 The game is administered by officials whose duties are stated in these rules.

1.4 The decision of the head official, whom is the referee, is final in all matters pertaining to the game.

1.5 The referee has the authority to rule promptly and in the spirit of good sportsmanship, on any situation not covered in the rules.

2.1 Minimum required markings upon the field will include:

End Lines Complete Side Lines (from End Line to End Line) Goal Lines Yard lines at 10 yards, at each end of the field

2.2 Goal Lines shall be entirely in the End Zone, so that the edge of the Goal Line toward the field of plane is the actual goal line. End Lines shall be entirely beyond the End Zone, so that the actual End Line shall be the edge of the line nearer to the field of play, so that the inside edge of the sideline shall be the actual out of bounds line.

3.1 The official ball used for games will be regulation size NCAA footballs, provided by the league.

3.2 The line-to-gain will be designated prior to each series of 4 downs awarded to the team in possession. It shall be the nearest of the minimum required cross-field markings in advance of the spot of the ball at the time of the award. The line-to-gain will not change until the series ends.

3.3 There will be a 5 yard no-run zone in front of each goal line. The penatly for executing a run in this zone will be Illegal Procedure, 5 yards.

4.1 Each team shall designate a field captain, and only he may communicate with game officials. His first choice of any offered decisions is final.

5.1 Rubber soled shoes, rubber cleats, or rubber with steel tips, made specifically for use in football cleats may be worn. It is recommended that all members of a team wear the same color jerseys. Shirts, jerseys, or other clothing upon the player’s upper body must be tucked into the pants at or above the belt level. Hard billed hats may not be worn. Headbands, bandanas or soft beanie type caps may be worn. No sticky or slippery substances can be used to inhibit or enhance a player’s grip.

5.2 No hard surface padding may be worn by any player.

5.3 All players must wear a belt upon which three flags are attached. The flags shall be of the tearaway type, meaning the entire belt will come off once a flag is pulled. The belts will be supplied by the league.

5.4 When any required player equipment is missing from a player, or any illegal equipment is worn, correction must be made before participation. If an equipment failure occurs, a substitution must be made, or if no substitution is available, an official’s timeout will be called to correct the failure.

 

Rule II: Definition of Playing Terms

1.1 A live ball is a ball which has been legally snapped or free-kicked. The ball remains alive until the down in progress has ended. A dead ball is the status of a ball at all other times.

1.2 A ball in player possession is a ball held or controlled by a player after it has been snapped or handed to him, or after he has caught or recovered it.

1.3 A ball in team possession is a ball which is in player possession or one which is loose after loss of player possession. The ball, upon being legally snapped, is considered to be in team possession of the offensive team until the defensive team gains possession of it.

1.4 A loose ball is a pass, or fumble, or kick. A loose ball remains loose until a player gains possession of it or it becomes dead, whichever occurs first.

2.1 Blocking is obstructing an opponent by contacting him with any part of the blocker’s body.

2.2 Tackling is impeding or attempting to impede the ball carrier by contacting him with any part of the defensive player’s body.

3.1 A catch is the act of gaining player possession of a loose ball in flight. A catch of an opponent’s fumble or pass is an interception. When the ball hits the ground it is dead. If a player attempts a catch, interception, or recovery while he is in the air, the ball must be in his possession when he first returns to the ground in-bounds prior to touching out-of-bounds.

3.2 A fair catch is a catch of a kick, beyond the kicker’s line, by a receiver who has (before making the catch) extended and laterally waved one hand only, at full arm’s length above the head while the ball is in flight. The ball is dead at the point of the catch.

3.3 A simultaneous catch or recovery is a catch or recovery in which there is joint possession of a live ball by opposing players in bounds.

4.1 Clipping is blocking an opponent from the rear. Doubtful cases are to be resolved by whether the opponent was able to see or ward off the blocker. Unless the contact is with the back of the opponent, the block cannot be clipping. Doubtful cases include blocks on the side of the opponent toward the back, and cases where the opponent turns his back upon the blocker.

4.2 Blocking from the rear is not clipping within the free-blocking zone during initial line play after the snap, provided the blocker was in the zone at the snap.

5.1 A down is action which starts with a legal snap or free kick and which ends when the ball next becomes dead.

6.1 Encroachment is illegal presence in the neutral zone.

7.1 Force is the result of energy exerted by a player which provides initial movement of the ball. The term force only applies to the energy exerted which is deemed responsible for the movement of the ball from the field of play into the end zone. Force may be the result from a carry, fumble, kick, pass, or snap. ON A KICK GOING INTO THE RECEIVING END ZONE, FORCE IS NOT A FACTOR, SINCE THESE KICKS ARE ALWAYS A TOUCHBACK REGARDLESS OF WHO SUPPLIED THE FORCE.

8.1 A foul is a rule infraction for which a penalty is prescribed.

9.1 The free-blocking zone is a rectangular area extending laterally four (4) yards on either side of the spot of the snap and three (3) yards behind each scrimmage line. It exists from the time of the snap until the end of initial line charges.

10.1 A fumble is loss of player possession other than by a pass, kick, or hand-off.

10.2 A muff is the touching of a loose ball by a player in an unsuccessful attempt to secure possession. This includes an accidental kick.

10.3 Batting is intentionally slapping or striking a loose ball with the arm or hand, or in other than a legal kick, the leg or foot or knee.

10.4 Touching the ball refers to any contact with the ball, i.e. either touching it or being touched by it.

11.1 The goal line is the vertical plane which separates the field of play from the end zone. When related to a live ball in a runner’s possession, while the ball is over the out-of-bounds area, the goal line includes the extension of the plane beyond the sidelines. A team’s own goal line is the one it is defending.

12.1 Handling the ball, or handing off, is transferring player possession from one player to a teammate so that the ball is still in contact with the first player when it is touched by the teammate. A hand-off is not a pass.

13.1 Hurdling is leaving the feet by a ball carrier, by jumping an apparent attempt to gain yardage, or to avoid being deflagged.

14.1 The kicker is any player who punts or place-kicks. He continues to be a kicker until he has a reasonable opportunity to regain his balance. The letter “K” is used to refer to any member of the kicking team. “R” refers to any member of the receiving team.

14.2 A place-kick is a kick while the ball is on a fixed position either on the ground or on a pliable flat tee which raises the lowest point of the ball not more than two inches above the ground. The ball may be held in place by a place-kick holder who shall be any teammate of the kicker. The place-kick holder may place one or both knees upon the ground and/or the ball upon the ground (if no tee is used) without thereby causing the ball to become dead, so long as he does so in the act of preparing for the place-kick or fake.

14.3 A punt is a legal kick by a player who drops the ball and kicks it before it hits the ground. In lieu of a punt, a team may declare a punt, which will give the opposing team possession on their own zone 2 zones nearest from the spot. If the spot is inside the opponent’s territory, the ball will be spotted on the opponent’s 20 yard line on a declared punt. A declared punt must be announced to the official prior to setting the defense.

15.1 A free-kick is a kick which puts the ball in play to start a down, during which kick (until the ball is contacted by the kicker) every K player except the kicker and holder (if a holder is used) must be behind K’s free-kick line.

15.2 A free-kick punt, or declared punt may be  used for kickoffs or following a safety.

15.3 A kick-off is a free-kick, punt or declared punt which puts the ball into play at the beginning of each half, after a successful field goal, or after any try-for-point.

16.1 A scrimmage-kick is any legal kick from behind K's line of scrimmage other than a declared punt.

17.1 The scrimmage line for each team is a vertical plane through the point of the ball nearest that team's goal line.  It is determined when the ball is ready for play and remains until the next ready for play signal.

17.2 An offensive player is on his line of scrimmage when he faces his opponent's goal line and breaks the plan of an imaginary line drawn through the waistline of the snapper and parallel to the line of scrimmage.  At the snap, both feet of any offensive player on the line of scrimmage shall be outside the outside foot of any adjacent player other than the snapper.

18.3 An offensive player who is not on the line of scrimmage must NOT line up so as to break the plane of an imaginary line drawn through the waistline of the nearest offensive players who is on the line of scrimmage (the line parallel to the line of scrimmage).

19.1 A defensive player is on his line of scrimmage if he is within three yards of the line of scrimmage at the snap.

20.1 The line-to-gain is the yard-line which the offensive team must reach to either gain a new series or (if the line-to-gain is the goal line) score a touchdown. 

21.1 The neutral zone is a 3 yard space between scrimmage lines or free-kick lines.  It is established when the ball is ready for play.

22.1 A player or other person is out-of-bounds when any part of him touches anything (other than another player or official), which is on or outside the sidelines or end-line.

22.2 A ball in player possession is out-of-bounds when the runner of the ball touches anything (other than another player or official), which is on or outside the sideline or end-line.

22.3 A loose ball is out-of-bounds when it touches anything (including a player or game official), which is out-of-bounds.

23.1 Passing the ball is throwing it.  In a pass, the ball travels in flight.

23.2 The passer is a player who throws a forward pass.  He continues to be the passer until the pass ends or until he moved to participate in the play.

23.3 A forward pass is a pass thrown toward an opponent's end line.  A backward pass is a pass thrown parallel with or toward the passer's end line.  The initial direction of the pass determines whether it is forward or backward.

24.1 A runner is player in possession of a live ball.

25.1 A snap is the legal act of handling or passing the ball backward from its position on the ground, The snap begins when the snapper first moved the ball legally (other than to turn it on the ground in a non-deceptive adjustment).  In a legal snap, the motion must be a quick and continuous motion of the hand or hands during which the ball actually leaves the hand or hands of the snapper and touches a backfield player.  The snap ends when the ball touches the ground or any player.  The player who snaps the ball is called the snapper.

27.1 The inbounds spot is the intersection of the in-bounds-line (a line connecting all hash marks on a given side of the field) and the yard-line:
a.  through the point where the ball becomes dead in a side zone.
b. through the spot on the sideline between the goal lines over which a loose ball, which became out-of-bound, passed.
c. Through the spot over which the foremost part of the ball in possession of a runner passed when he crosses the plane of the sideline and goes out-of-bounds.

If a penalty measurement leaves the ball in a side zone, the new in bounds spot is fixed by the yard-line through the spot of the ball after measurement.

27.2 The out of bounds spot is where the ball becomes dead because of going out of bounds.  (See Rule IV 4.2) The previous spot is where the ball was last snapped or free-kicked

27.4 The spot where the run ends is where the player loses player possession or where the ball becomes dead in his possession.

27.5 The succeeding spot, as related to any foul, as related to any foul, is where the ball would next be put in play if the foul had not occurred.  The succeeding spot, for any scoring play or try-for-point, with the exception of a safety, is the 40 yard-line of the team which next kicks off.

27.6 The spot of a player foul is the spot where the foul occurs.  All non-player fouls are dead-ball fouls, administered from the succeeding spot.  A player foul occurring out of bounds has a spot being the intersection of the in-bounds-line and the yard-line extended where the foul occurred.

RULE III:  Periods, Time Factors and Substitutes

1.1 Two halves shall be played and consist of 20 minutes each, with a continuous clock stopping only on scores and time outs.  At the last 2 minutes of play each half the clock will stop also on out of bounds plays and incomplete passes: including only the following:
a. Any down started with a legal snap, exclusive of declared punts, and also exclusive of any down which is not counted by reason of any accepted penalty, or inadvertent whistle .

1.2 Half-time intermission shall consist of five (5) minutes, unless both teams are   ready for play within a sooner period of time.

1.3 When weather conditions are construed to be hazardous to the life or limbs of participants, the crew of officials may suspend the game.

2.1 Each half of a flag football game shall commence with a kick-off.  Immediately prior to the commencement of the game, captains of each team shall meet with the referee for the coin toss.  The visiting team (or, if no visitor is designed, the team selected by the referee) shall call the toss.     The winner of the toss shall elect one of two (2) options:
a. To kick off
b. To receive
The loser will choose which goal to defend.

3.1 The referee shall notify the field captains of both teams at the 2-minute mark in the half being played.

3.2 If on what would otherwise be the last timed play, if a foul is committed by the offense, the period is ended. If a foul is committed by the defense, the offense will play one untimed down.

3.3 A half will be extended only under the following circumstances:
a. A touchdown is scored on the last timed play of that period (period extended for the try);
c. The last timed play includes a fair catch interference penalty, and the distance penalty is accepted OR an awarded fair catch is elected.  (If the period is the first or third period, the offended team can elect not to have the period extended on an awarded fair catch only).
d. The kicking team commits a foul during the last timed play of the period, and the penalty is accepted.

4.1 From the time the ball is declared ready for play, the offensive team shall put the ball into play within twenty-five (25) seconds, except on a declared punt.

4.2 On a declared punt, the receiving team shall snap the ball within twenty-five seconds of the ready-for-play signal, if not made before it.

5.1 Each team shall be entitled to call two (2) time-outs during each half.  Time-outs not used during the first half will not carry over to the second half.  Time outs not used during the second half will carry over to any overtime periods.  An additional time-out will be allowed to each team for each overtime period played.

5.2 A charged time-out occurs when:
a. Any player on a team request and is granted a time-out;
b. The repair of player equipment takes more than twenty-five (25) seconds after the official time-out is granted;

5.3 No charged time-out shall exceed one and one-half (1.5) minutes.  If teams are ready to play prior to the ready-for-play signal (given after one minute and five seconds or a charged time-out has elapsed), the charged time-out shall be shortened and the ready-for-play signal immediately given.

5.4 An official time-out shall be called:
a. For repair of illegal or defective player equipment which became illegal or defective through play;       
b. When field captains are notified that 2 minutes remain in the  half
c. When a player appears to be injured;
d. When the ball must be cleaned or dried, or a substitute ball put in play;
e. When a captain-referee conference concerning a rule application or interpretation results in an altered ruling;
f. When in the referee's judgment, a delay in the game is necessary for some other valid reason.

6.1 No substitute shall enter the game during a down.

6.2 A replaced player or substitute who fails to complete his substitution shall be off the field of play, to the side upon which his team bench is located, before the ball is snapped.

RULE IV:  Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds

1.1 To start each half and to resume play after a field goal or try for point, the ball shall be put in play with a kick-off.

1.2 A free kick, punt or declared punt shall also put the ball in play after a saefety.

1.3 A snap shall put the ball in play for all downs except those for which a free-kick is specified.

1.4 A legal snap or free kick shall be started in the field of play and between the in-bounds-lines.

1.5 After being put in play, the ball remains alive until the down ends.

1.6 The ball remains dead and a down is not begun if a snap or free kick is attempted before the ready-for-play signal or there is snap infraction.

2.1 An official shall cause the ball to remain dead by sounding his whistle  when a foul occurs before a legal snap or free kick.

2.2 The ball becomes dead and the down is ended;
a. When any player in possession of the ball does not have his flag belt attached; if the ball carrier loses his flagbelt without being pulled, one hand touch prevails.
b. When a runner goes out of bounds or touches the ground in bounds with any part of his person other than a hand or foot (except for a place-kick holder). 
c. When a live ball goes out of bounds;

d. When any live ball touches the ground except:
i. In the possession of a place-kicker holder (See Rule II. 14.3);
ii. During a free kick prior to player possession being established;
iii. During a punt, declared punt or place-kick from scrimmage, before the ball has been touched beyond the line by any R player.  (A blocked kick is dead if it touches the ground behind the line of scrimmage.  Once it crosses the line, it is treated under the general rule).
e. When any kick touches anything while the kicked ball is on or behind R's goal plane (During a try or a field goal attempt, touching a goal post or crossbar or R player in the end zone is ignored if the kick is good)
f. When any live loose ball is on the ground
g. When the kickers catch or recover any kick beyond the free-kick line or the neutral zone, whichever, is applicable;
h. When the kickers are first to touch a scrimmage kick at rest beyond the neutral zone;    
i. Following any fair catch signal, when the ball is caught or recovered by any receiver beyond K's line;
j. When a score occurs;
k. When a try is obviously successful (on a kick) or when the defense team gains possession of the ball;
l. When an official sounds an inadvertent whistle.

3.1 When the penalty is not accepted for a foul during a down ended by an inadvertent whistle, then;
a. The down will be replaced if the inadvertent whistle occurred while a pass, snap or kick was in flight or while the ball was loose behind the line of scrimmage with no change in possession having occurred.  (The pass must be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage with no prior change of possession.);
b. The team last in possession shall have the choice of taking the ball at the point at which player possession ended (with the down counting) or having the down replayed, if the inadvertent whistle occurred while the ball was loose beyond the line of scrimmage (other than by reason of the events described in IV, 3.1.a);
c. The team in possession shall be the choice of taking the ball at the point it was blown dead (with the down counting) or replaying the down if the inadvertent whistle occurred while a player was in possession.

4.1 The dead ball spot is the spot under the foremost point of the ball when the ball becomes dead.

4.2 When the ball goes out of bounds, the out of bounds spot is fixed by the yard-line through the ball's foremost point if it becomes dead while in the field of play, by the yard-line through the point where the ball crossed the sideline if it becomes dead outside of the field of play.  The succeeding spot shall be either the in bounds spot, or the appropriate spot by application of other rules if the ball went out of bounds behind the goal line, or as a result of a free kick or forward pass which was incomplete.  On an incomplete forward pass, the succeeding spot is the previous spot.

4.3 If a ball becomes dead in such a fashion that the succeeding spot would be in a side zone, the succeeding spot is the in bounds spot.

RULE V:  Series of Downs, Number of Downs and Team Possession After a Penalty

1.1 The team which next puts the ball in play by scrimmage down after a free-kick, scrimmage kick, declared kick, declared punt, touchback, or fair catch is awarded a series of four (4) downs, consecutively numbered, in which to advance the ball to the next zone line-to-gain.

1.2 Each awarded first down starts a new series.

1.3 When a scrimmage down, other than a scrimmage kick, ends with the ball in the field of play or out of bounds between the goal lines, a new series is awarded:
a. To team A if the ball belongs to A on or beyond the line-to-gain;
b. To team B if the ball belongs to team B, or after 4th down, if the ball belongs to team A behind the line-to-gain;
c. To the team in possession at the end of the down if a change of possession occurred and no penalty was accepted for any foul which occurred prior to the change of possession.

2.1 When a penalty is declined, the down counts and is treated as if the penalty had not occurred.

2.2 If each team commits to foul during the same live ball period, and both penalties are accepted, the down shall not count for any purpose, and shall be replayed from the previous spot.

2.3 A foul which occurs prior to or simultaneously with the snap shall be administered from the spot of the snap, and the number of the down after measurement shall be the same as established before the foul occurred (unless measurement on a foul by B results in a new series).  After a distance penalty, the ball belongs to the team in possession at the time of the foul (team possession may then change if a new series is awarded).

2.4 When a foul occurs during or prior to a free kick down and before any change of possession (team), the down which follows measurement is a free kick down, unless the free kick were elected, in which case the electing team has the same options as before.

2.5 Following a foul, a new series is awarded to team A if the penalty is accepted for defensive pass interference or roughing the passer or kicker.

2.6 If a penalty is accepted, the down during which the foul, for which the penalty is administered, occurred shall not be counted for any purpose, unless:
a. The foul is either illegal forward pass or pass interference by the offense, in which case the down counts for all purposes.

RULE VI:  Kicking the Ball and Fair Catch

1.1 For any free kick, a free kick line (corresponding to the scrimmage line) is established each time.  The lines are ten (10) yards apart.  Unless moved by penalty, K's lines are:
a. For kick-off -- its 40 yard-line
b. For free kick after safety -- it's the 30 yard line;

1.2 The free-kick may be made from any spot on or behind the free kick line between the in bounds lines.

1.3 After the ball is ready for play the space between the free kick lines is the neutral zone, for purposes of encroachment.  Other than the kicker and holder, no player of either team may legally be in the neutral zone once the ball is declared ready for play.

1.4 After the ball is declared ready for play; at least three(3) R players must be and remain within five (5) yards of their free kick line until the ball is kicked.

1.5 Any receiver may catch or recover a free kick between the goal lines and advance it.

1.6 If any free kick goes out of bounds between the goal lines, without R touching it last, R shall put the ball in play either ten (10) yards behind the in bounds spot on its free kick line (30) or the out of bounds spot, whichever is closer to K's goal line.  If a free kick goes out of bounds with R touching it last, R shall put the ball in play at the in-bounds spots.

2.0 Team A may punt or place kick from behind its scrimmage line before team possession has changed.

2.1 Any player of either team may catch a scrimmage kick while it is behind K's line and advance it (except for a try for point).  A scrimmage kick which has not been blocked may likewise be recovered and advanced from behind K's line (except for a try point).

2.2 Any receiver may catch or recover a scrimmage kick and advance it, unless a fair catch signal has been given.

2.3 It is "first touching" if K touches a scrimmage kick beyond the neutral zone (including any expansion of the neutral zone) before it is touched by R beyond the neutral zone.  R may elect to take the ball at the spot of first touching or take the outcome of play. 

2.4 A blocked scrimmage kick is dead where it hits the ground.  It belongs to A, unless the down was 4th down, in which case A's failure to reach the line-to-gain would result in a change of possession after the down.

2.7 A scrimmage kick which goes out of bounds between the goal lines or becomes dead anywhere in the field of play with no player in possession or in joint possession, belongs to B.

3.1 If any kick touches anything while the ball is on or behind R's goal line (plane) the ball is dead and it is a touchback (except for touching the goal posts, cross bar or an R player in the end zone on a field goal or try which is good).

3.2 If any kick becomes dead in K's end zone, it is a safety.  Note:  If R has gained possession prior to the ball becoming dead, the kick has ended, and it would be a touchdown.

4.1 If a fair catch signal is made by any R player, the ball is dead if any R player thereafter gains possession.

4.2 It is fair catch interference for any K player to touch a kick in flight (unless R touches it first) or impede any R player's progress to a kick in flight, beyond the line of scrimmage or free kick line of K.

RULE VII:  Snapping, Handling and Passing the Ball

1.1 No player shall encroach on the neutral zone after the ball is ready for play and before the snap by touching the ball or an opponent or by being in or beyond the neutral zone or to give any signals which hinder or deceive an opponent. After the snapper has made his final adjustment of the ball, it is encroachment for any player to break the plane of his line of scrimmage (except for the snapper's right to be over the ball).  When over the ball, the snapper shall have his feet behind his line and no part of his person other than a hand or hands on the ball may be beyond the foremost part of the ball.

1.2 After the ball is ready for play, and before the snap, no false start shall be made by any A player.  A false start includes a shift or feigned charge which simulates action at the snap and any action intended to cause an opponent to commit a foul.  It is also a false start if any interior lineman, after placing his hand or hands near the ground or assuming a three or four point stance, moves the hand, makes any quick movement or comes up out of his stance (unless his movement is the result of B players moving into the neutral zone).

1.3 All of the provisions of 1.2 apply to the snapper.  The snapper also shall not move the ball, after adjusting it by turning it so the laces are in the desired position, other than in a legal snap, nor tilt the ball to more than a 45 degree angle from the ground.

2.1 At least two (2) offensive players shall be on the line of scrimmage at the snap.

2.2 Of the offensive players not on the line of scrimmage, only one may violate the restrictions of ii.1.18.3, and only if that one player is immediately behind the snapper and in a position to receive the snap as direct hand-off rather than a backwards pass.

2.3 After the ball is ready and before the snap, every offensive player must momentarily be within fifteen (15) yards of the spot where the ball is to be snapped.

2.4 Not more than one player on the offensive team may be in motion at the snap, and then only if the motion is clearly backward.  A player in motion (other than the player described in 2.2 above) who did not start at least one (1) yard behind his line players (i.e., clearly in the backfield) must be at least five (5) yards behind the line of scrimmage at the snap.

3.1 Any player may hand the ball backward at any time.  During a free kick down, no player may hand the ball forward.

3.2 The ball may not be handed forward, except under the following conditions:
a. During a scrimmage down, behind the line
i. To any back;
ii. To any end;
iii. To any interior lineman who has turned to face his goal line and moved at least a yard behind his line of scrimmage before receiving the hand off.

4.1 A fumble or backward pass is dead whether it hits the ground.  The succeeding spot shall be the spot where the ball first hit the ground.

4.2 A player of either team may catch a fumble or backward pass and advance it.
4.3 A fumble or backward pass which becomes dead with no player in possession belongs to the team last in possession, subject to the line-to-gain and new series requirements.

5.1 During a scrimmage down and before team possession has changed, one or more forward passes may be thrown by team A, provided that when the ball leaves the passer's hand, it is on A's side of the defensive team's line of scrimmage.  Such a pass is a legal forward pass.

5.2 Any of the following are illegal forward passes:
a. A pass which leaves the passer's hand on B's side of B's line of scrimmage;
b. A pass purposely incomplete into an area not occupied by an eligible receiver;
c. A pass after team possession has changed during the down.

5.3 A forward pass (legal or illegal) is complete and ball may be advanced when caught by any player of either team.  A forward pass simultaneously caught by players of both teams is complete, the ball is dead, and it belongs to the passers.

5.4 A legal forward pass is incomplete and the ball is dead when it touches the ground or is out of-bounds before being completed.  The down counts (unless penalty rules apply to prevent it from counting.  The succeeding spot is the previous spot.  The ball belongs to the passers (unless line--to-gain and new series rules apply).  An illegal forward pass is likewise ruled incomplete or dead.  The down counts.  The succeeding spot is the end of the run, unless the distance penalty was accepted, in which case it is measured from the end of the run, and established the succeeding spot.  Likewise, the spot for enforcement of the penalty for an illegal pass is the spot of the pass even if the illegal pass was completed.

5.5 All offensive players are eligible to catch a pass.

5.6 No player of either team shall interfere with an eligible opponent's opportunity to catch a legal forward pass which crosses the line of scrimmage (B's line).  The restriction upon A starts with the snap and continue until the last forward pass is touched.  The restrictions upon B start when a forward pass is thrown and continue until that forward pass is touched. 

5.8 A pass defender is allowed to make body contact with the receiver once within five (5) years of the line of scrimmage during the execution of a pass pattern.

RULE VIII:  Scoring Plays and Touchbacks

1.1 The game is won by the team which scores the most points.  Points are scored as follows:
a. Touchdown:            6 points
b. Field Goal:              3 points
c. Safety (defense)      2 points
d. Successful try for point:  Run = 2 points, Kick = 1 point
f. Defensive return for TD on a 2 point conversion : 2 points
e. Forfeited game: 7 to 0 (if offended team is behind).  The score as of the time of forfeiture stands if offended team is ahead.

 1.2 When a ball in player possession (or any portion of it) is on or behind the opponent's goal line, it is a touchdown.

1.3 After a touchdown, the team scoring it is afforded one down (which shall not count as an offensive play for purposes of Rule III) to try for point.  The ball will be spotted anywhere between the in bounds line (at the scoring team's option) on the three (3) yard line of B.  The down begins with a snap and ends when the try is good or, if a kick, is clearly not good, or when B gains possession, or when the ball becomes dead for some other reason.  During the try, the scoring team will be awarded two (2) points for what would be a touchdown, and one (1) point for what would be a field goal.

1.4 If A fouls during the try, and either the foul would involve loss of down or the try was unsuccessful, the live ball foul will not be administered, the try is over, and no points are awarded.  Any non-loss of down foul by A during a successful try, a double foul, or a foul by B during an unsuccessful try, and the try will be repeated after administration.  If B fouls during a successful try, A has the option of repeating the try after administration of the penalty, or taking the score and accepting the penalty on the ensuing kick-off, or succeeding spot (for overtime).

1.5 A field goal shall be awarded if a place-kick from scrimmage shall pass between the vertical uprights or the inside edges of the uprights extended and above the crossbar of the opponent's goal without touching the ground or any K player beyond the neutral zone (including any expansion of it).

2.1 Responsibility for forcing the ball from the field of play across the goal line is attributed to the player who carries, snaps, passes, fumbles or kicks the ball, except a kick or pass caught by R/B inside the five (5) shall be returned to the spot of possession if the player's momentum carries him into the end zone and the ball remains behind the goal line and becomes dead in R/B's team possession.  (Momentum Rule).

2.2 It is a safety whenever the ball becomes dead in a team's end zone, with that team in possession and responsible for forcing the ball from the field of play into the end zone.

2.3 It is also a safety when an offensive player commits a foul penalty which is accepted and measurement is from any spot on or behind the goal line of the offending team.  It is also a safety if an offensive player throws an illegal pass from his own end zone and the penalty is declined in a situation which leaves the offensive team in possession at the spot of the foul and responsible for forcing the ball into the end zone.

2.4 It is a touchback when the ball becomes dead so that the succeeding spot would be behind a team's goal line, either that team is in possession or no player is in possession when the ball becomes dead, and the force which responsible for the ball going from playing field to end zone is the other team.

2.5 A team whose goal line is involved in a touchback shall put the ball in play anywhere between the in-bounds lines on it's twenty yard line, by a snap after a touchback, by a free kick after a safety.

3.1 There will be no onside kickoffs or punts.

RULE IX:  Conduct of players and non-players

1.1  Blocking technique will be straight arm with no elbows bent, hands behind the back, down to the side or crossed in front.  No drive blocking, meaning the blocker cannot advance forward while blocking and can only move laterally or backwards in an attempt to force the defender to either side. Incidental contact may occur. No blocking below the waist or to the face.  No forearms or elbows.  Offensive players must keep arms inside the defensive players upper body parameters, between the lower neck and waist. 

1.2 Blocking is allowed during scrimmage kicks, punts and turnover returns.

1.3 It is not blocking, and is therefore never prohibited, for a player ( offensive or defensive ) to come to a stationary position without initiating contact, and maintain that position so that an opponent must go around him. 
NOTE:  Maintaining such a position so that an eligible opponent must go around in an attempt to catch a pass would be pass interference.  Doing the same down field so a receiver must go around in an attempt to catch a kick in flight would be fair catch interference.

1.4 When a player of either team has established a legal stationary position (see 1.3 above), an opponent must go around.  An opponent who attempts to go through a player having such a legal stationary position commits a personal foul.  This includes the runner.

2.1 Any other usage of hands or arms by an offensive player, to ward off or impeded an opponent, is illegal, including:
a. Pushing, holding, grasping or encircling and opponent;
b. Pushing, pulling or lifting the runner;
c. Grasping or encircling and teammate.

2.2 A defensive player shall not use his hands or arms to grasp or hold an opponent, add momentum to a teammate at the line of scrimmage by shoving him, or to tackle the ballcarrier.

2.3 No player shall tackle the runner.  Tackling is always illegal, and is a personal foul.  A flagrant personal foul is a disqualifying foul, and this includes tackling and blocking illegally.

3.1 No player shall strike an opponent with his fist, locked hands, forearm or elbow, nor shall any player kick or knee an opponent.

4.1 No player shall trip or clip an opponent, nor shall any player:
a. pile on a player who is down;
b. fail to wear proper equipment during a play;
c. position himself upon the shoulders or body of a teammate to gain an advantage;
d. hurdle;
e. initiate any unnecessary rough contact;
f. while a runner, use the hand, elbow, arm or forearm to prevent an opponent from deflagging by guarding the flag or pushing away the opponent's arm;
g. "roll", "tuck" or apply extra securing of flags.

4.2 Defensive players shall not contact the passer.  Any contact other than incidental contact, regardless of whether the ball is touched or not, is prohibited.  Incidental contact is body or arm contact which is not violent, could not be reasonably avoided, and which is not likely to cause injury of any kind.  Contact which is the result of the defender being blocked into the passer, if in the referee's judgment that was the sole caused of the contact, is not illegal.

4.3 A kicker on any scrimmage kick may not be contacted.  The same restrictions apply as are states in 4.2 above as to the passer.  The place-kick holder is protected by the same restrictions.

5.1 No player shall act in an unsportsmanlike fashion during a period or intermission.  Included among unsportsmanlike acts prohibited are:
a. Insulting language or baiting an opponent;
b. Disconcerting acts or words prior to the snap, in an attempt to interfere with the opponent's signals, movement or play exception;

c. Intentionally kicking at another player (even with no contact being made) or at the ball in other than legal kick;
d. Spiking the ball, or any variation upon spiking it (unless in celebration for a score. End zone celebrations are  acceptable, so long as there is no taunting toward the opposing team.)
e. Swinging a hand, fist or arm at a player (even if no contact is made);
f. Disrespectfully addressing an official;
g. Any other conduct inconsistent with the orderly and sportsmanlike conduct of the game.

6.1 Any flagrant foul, whether personal or unsportsmanlike, shall result in immediate disqualification of the offender.

7.1 No player shall participate by touching the ball, hindering an opponent or attempting to deflag the runner after having been out of bounds during the play.

7.2 No player shall bat a loose ball, other than a pass or fumble in flight, or a scrimmage kick which has not crossed the line of scrimmage or touched the ground.  No offensive player shall bat a backward pass or fumble in a forward direction.

8.1 No non-player shall engage in unsportsmanlike conduct (non-players include all team members, coaches, and team attendants, other than the five properly participating players).

8.2 No non-players shall participate in any down.

9.1 No player shall hinder play by an obviously unfair act which has no specific rule coverage.

9.2 No team, player or non-player shall commit any act which (in the opinion of the referee) tends to make a travesty of the game.

9.3 When two or more players collide during a play, with no player having established legal stationary position (and the contact no being legal blocking) it shall be a judgment call for the covering official to rule the contact incidental, or to call a personal foul on the player who, in the official's judgment, had a reasonable opportunity to avoid the contact and did not do so.  Factors involved include whether a player had established a direction of travel into which another player came without leaving sufficient room for change of direction or travel, whether a player dropped his head and/or shoulder to initiate or intensifying the contact, whether a player attempted to stop or avoid the contact, and whether a player's actions leading up to the contact were consistent with flag football principles of speed and skill rather than contact football principles.  A double foul can be called, and if flagrant, would result in disqualification of both players.

RULE X:  Enforcement of Penalties, Overtime, Mercy Rule

1.1 The penalty of delay of game shall be five (5) yards from the succeeding spot.  Delay of game is a dead ball foul. 

1.2 The penalty for offisides is five (5) yards from the succeeding spot. Encroachment is a dead ball foul.  

1.3 Illegal procedure is a five (5) yard penalty from the previous spot. It is a live ball foul.  Illegal procedures includes:
a. Too many men
b. Forward handling illegally
c. False start
d. Snap infraction
e. Fewer than two (2) men on the offensive line
f. Fewer than three (3) men within five (5) yards of the defensive free kick line
g. Hurdling, flag guarding;
h. An illegal running play.  Repeated illegal running plays may, in the referee's discretion, be penalized as unsportsmanlike conduct.

1.4 An illegal forward pass carried a ten (10) yard penalty from the spot where the pass was thrown.  It also includes loss of down.  If the penalty is declined, and the pass is incomplete, the succeeding spot is the spot where the pass was thrown. 

1.5 Helping the runner is a five (5) yard penalty from the basic spot. 

1.6 Holding is a ten (10) yard penalty from the basic spot. 

1.7 Illegal use of hands (flag guarding) is a ten (10) yard penalty from the basic spot. 

1.8 Illegal block is a ten (10) yard penalty from the basic spot.

1.9 Clipping is a fifteen (15) yard penalty from the basic spot. 

1.10 Personal foul is a fifteen (15) yard penalty from the basic spot. 

1.11 Illegal batting is a fifteen (10) yard penalty from the basic spot. 

1.12 Flag guarding or hurdling or penalty signal is illegal procedure and is a five (5) yard penalty from the basic spot. 

1.13 A stiff arm by a ball carrier and if determination is intentional is a fifteen (15) yard penalty from the point of infraction. 

1.14 Rolling, tucking or other extra securing of flags may be construed as willful obstruction of flags and is a fifteen (15) yard penalty.  A second violation of this rule by the same player is cause for expulsion from the game.

1.15 Roughing the passer or kicker (including place-kick holder) is a fifteen (15) yard penalty from the basic spot and roughing the kicker is also an automatic first down. 

1.16 Pass interference is a fifteen (10) yard penalty from the basic spot.  Offensive pass interference is also loss of down.  Defensive pass interference is an automatic first down. 

1.17 Fair catch interference (15) yard penalty from the basic spot.  The offended   team can, instead, take an awarded fair catch at the spot of interference. 

1.18 Illegal participation is a fifteen (15) yard penalty from the basic spot. 

1.19 Unsportsmanlike conduct is a fifteen (15) yard penalty from the basic spot.

2.1 The referee has the authority to declare a game forfeited if:
a. Fewer than seven (7) players are available to play for a team;
b. The conduct of one or more players or non-players with one of the two teams merits a forfeit.

2.2 The decision of the referee to forfeit a game is final.

3.1 The officials' usual responsibilities during a game are as follows:
Final authority on all disputes, NOTE THAT THIS USUALLY DOES NOT INCLUDE OVER-RULING THE COVERING OFFICIAL ON A JUDGMENT CALL; play behind the line of scrimmage and around the passer or kicker; whether a kicked try is good; delay of game; time-outs left and score; deep coverage of free-kicks; lining up the out of bounds spot on a scrimmage kick; delayed running plays; administration of penalties.

4.1 When a choice is presented as a result of a foul, either live ball or dead ball, the referee will explain the options to the captain of the offended team, and administer thereafter in accord with the choice made.  If both teams have fouled, choices are presented in the order of occurrence of the fouls.

4.2 If a live ball foul and a dead ball foul both occur, they are administered separately, and in the order of occurrence.

4.3 A double foul is a foul by each team during the same live ball period and:
a. there is no change of team possession during the down; or
b. there is a change of team possession, and the team in final possession fouls before gaining final possession; or
c. there is a change of possession and the team in final possession accepts the penalty for its opponent's foul.
A double foul results in no penalties being administered for either of the live ball fouls, and the down being replayed.

4.4. If each team foul during a play in which there is a change of team possession, the team gaining final possession may retain the ball, providing its foul(s) are not prior to the final change of possession and it declines the penalty for its opponent's foul.

4.5 When two or more live ball fouls are committed by the same team during a down, only one penalty will be administered unless a foul or fouls for unsportsmanlike conduct follows a previous foul.  In the latter case, the penalties or penalty for the unsportsmanlike foul or fouls will be administered from the succeeding spot.  When only one penalty will be administered, the captain of the offended team may choose which it will be, or may decline all penalties.

4.6 Dead foul penalties are administered separately and in the order of their occurrence.

5.1 The basic spot, for enforcement of any penalty is as follows:
a. For a foul during a loose ball, the basic spot is the previous spot, unless the foul is by the offense and the spot of the foul is behind the previous spot, in which case, the penalty is administered from the spot of the foul; (A loose ball in play is action during a scrimmage or free kick, a legal forward pass, a backward pass or fumble from A from behind his line, AND the run or runs which precede the pass, kick or fumble.)
b. For a foul during a running play, the basic spot is the end of the run (the spot where the runner fumbled), passed or where the ball became dead in his possession) unless the foul is by the offense and the spot of the foul is behind the end of the fun, in which case the penalty is administered from the spot of the foul (A running play is all action which is not during a lose ball play).

5.2 Dead ball fouls and non-player fouls are administered from the succeeding spot.

5.3 Fouls which occur simultaneously with the snap or free-kick are administered   from the spot of the snap or free-kick.

5.4 Fouls occurring during a running play or loose ball play are administered in accord with 5.1 above.

6.1 No measurement can take the ball more than half the distance to the offending team's goal line.

6.2 For a defensive team foul, if the enforcement spot is on or behind the offended team's goal line, any measurement is from the goal line.

6.3 If there is a foul by the defense during a play on which there was a successful field goal, touchdown or try, the penalty is administered from the succeeding spot (unless, on a try, the offense elects to take the distance penalty and replay the try).

7.1 Mercy Rule: At any time after the end of the first half, a game in which one team leads the other by 35 points or more is immediately over. If one team leads the other by 17 points at the 2 minute warning in the 2nd half, the game is over.

8.1 A game which ends, after both halves, in a tie score shall be extended into overtime.

8.2 After the conclusion of the second half, in an overtime game, there shall be a two- minute intermission, after which the referee shall meet with the team captains:
a. To go on offense;
b. To go on defense;
c. Which goal shall be involved in the overtime.

If the winning team selects either option (a) or (b), the losing team shall choose which goal shall be involved.  If the winning team chooses a goal, the losing team shall elect between options (a) and (b).  If more than one overtime is played, the teams shall alternate first choice of options, with the team losing the coin toss before the first overtime having first choice before the second overtime.

8.3 The team going on defense shall defend the chosen goal.  The team going on the offense will have four (4) plays to score, with the ball being put in play, on first down, at the twenty (20) yard line (unless a penalty shall alter the location of the ball).  If a touchdown is scored, the try shall be attempted (unless a winner has already been determined). The team first on defense shall have (4) plays to score at the same goal, after the team first on offense has either utilized its full series, or scored (whichever comes first).

8.4 The team ahead at the end of overtime is the winner.

8.5 Team A shall be awarded a new series:
a. If the penalty for defensive pass interference or roughing the kicker shall be accepted;
b. There is a change in team possession during the down and A is in final possession (after penalties);
c. A scrimmage kick is recovered by A after it has been touched first by B beyond the line of scrimmage.

8.6 Any time during an overtime that the team in possession of the ball at the conclusion of a down is ahead, the game is over. (This does not include tries).

Player Safety and Personal Injury Rules

Any player who, while in the course of play, inflicts injury on another player during a violation of unnecessary roughness rules, personal fouls, righting or any other recognized aggressive action will be subject to the following policy:

1. The violating player will be ejected from play for four (4) plays to create a "Cool Down" period before resuming play. If the foul is flagrant, the player will be ejected completely from the game.

2. The violating player that has received 2 ejections is immediately suspended from league play indefinitely pending a review. A violating player that has been suspended twice in a season will be banned for life.

3. The violating player is financially responsible to the victim for any medical expenses that may be incurred.  The league will confirm satisfaction of the financial obligation prior to the violating player resuming active play.

4. The League will cooperate with the injured player in the pursuit of criminal or civil action to attain a fair and just resolution against the violating player.

5. Queens Athletic Federation is not responsible for any payment of personal injury.

6. Individual players must fill out waiver form and have them turned with the captain’s Roster Sheet prior to the start of the season. 

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