Flag Football Rules

FLAG FOOTBALL RULES

Rules that are in large blue text are unique to the NCPL.


CIF rules will apply except as specified below

PLAYING PROCEDURES

Sec 1 Team Size

A team consists of (9) players playing on the field at one time. Girls are eligible to play if they meet all the other requirements. A team must have (6) eligible players ready to play at game time or a forfeit will be declared. All players present should play in every regular season game.


Sec 2 Equipment

All players are required to wear mouthpieces. No helmets or shoulder pads will be allowed.

Any child with a cast is not allowed to play.

Only soft padding (i.e. kneepads) are legal. All players must wear shoes.

No metal spikes will be allowed, only rubber molded cleats.

All player shirts must be completely tucked in.

Only Triple Threat Flag belts will be used, Velcro Flags & Quick Release Flags are not acceptable.

Flags cannot be the same color as shorts.

Any tampering with the flags will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct and will result in a 15 yard penalty

and/or ejection from the game.

Each team will be allowed to use its own ball on offense.

The game ball must be junior size for both JV and Varsity.

Sec 3 Field Dimensions

The field will be 80 yards long by 40 yards wide.

The two end zones will be 10 yards deep.

The side and end lines are considered out of bounds.

Coaches and players not in the game must stand between the 20 yard lines.

Sec 4 Game Time

Varsity and J.V. games will consist of two 20-minute halves. The clock will stop on all scores, change of possession and time-outs. The last two minutes of each half will be regulation CIF stop time. Teams will switch directions at halftime.

Sec 5 Time Outs

Each team will be allowed (2) time-outs per half. Unused first half time-outs will not carry over to the second half. No timeouts in regular season overtime games. One time out per team in playoff overtime games.

Sec 6 Scoring

A touchdown will be worth 6 points. A safety will be worth 2 points. An extra point play from (3) three yards out will be worth 1 point. There will be a 2 point conversion option from (10) ten yards.

Sec 7 Coin Toss

The winner of the coin toss at the beginning of the game shall choose whether or not to start on offense or defense, or which goal to defend. In the second half, the teams will change sides and the team that started the first half on defense will be given the ball.

Sec 8 Substitutions

There will be unlimited substitutions during any dead ball situation. Substitutes must remain in the game for at least one play. Entering offensive substitutes must pass within ten yards of the ball.

Sec 9 Kickoffs

There will be kickoffs at the beginning of each half. Kickoffs are from the 30 yard line. The ball is dead if fumbled after possession.

"Muffed" (contact without possession) balls are live and may be played by the offense. The defense may not play the kickoff.

Sec 10 Line of Scrimmage and Backfield Player Positioning

A minimum of five offensive players must be positioned on the line of scrimmage. All offensive players, except for the back in motion, must be set for one second prior to the snap of the ball. All offensive players must line up at least five yards from the sidelines.

The three-point stance is not allowed.

Sec 11 Man-In-Motion

Only one member of the offensive backfield may be in motion at any one time. A man in motion must be aligned in the backfield position. In order to be eligible to go in motion, a wide receiver must be lined up off the line of scrimmage.

Sec 12 Eligible Pass Receivers/Legal Forward Pass

All players are eligible receivers.

Only one forward pass may be attempted per play. Once the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage on a given play, no passes may be attempted.

Sec 13 First Downs

Four downs are granted to make a first down. A first down will be awarded for advancing the ball across any section line. If the section line had been previously crossed during the same series, a first down will not be awarded. Exception: If a team is awarded a first down because of penalty, they must only cross the next section line, whether or not it had been previously crossed, in order to get another first down. Section lines are every 20 yards on the field.

Sec 14 Downfield Blocking

Downfield blocking is permitted on all running plays and on pass plays only after the pass has been completed. No downfield blocking is allowed while the ball is in the air or before a pass is thrown. Violations of this rule will be penalized the same as offensive pass interference. Defensive players are allowed to block on potential receivers within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Violations of this rule will be penalized the same as defensive holding.

Sec 15 Putting the Ball in Play

To put the ball in play (exception punts), the center must pass the ball to the quarterback in a single continuous motion. Prior to putting the ball in play, the center may adjust the ball one time only. After such an adjustment, further movement before the snap will be considered illegal procedure.

Sec 16 Runs from Scrimmage

Direct runs by the quarter back will be allowed.

Sec 17 Downed Ball Carrier

A ball carrier is considered down any time he has possession of the ball and his flag belt is removed by a defender or it falls off accidentally. If a pass receiver loses his flag, the ball will be considered dead at the point of reception. A ball carrier will also be considered down if he contacts the ground with any part of his body other than his feet or hands.

Sec 18 Legal Catch

A pass receiver must have at least one foot (first foot) in bounds after gaining possession of the ball for the catch to be legal. This is providing that his other foot is not already out of bounds at the time of the catch. If a receiver catches the ball while suspended in the air in bounds, and is forced out of bounds by a defensive player before hitting the ground, the pass will be ruled completed. A defensive player cannot force an offensive player out of bounds while in the air trying to catch a pass.

Sec 19 Dead Ball

A live ball becomes dead when:

a) a score is made

b) the ball goes out of bounds

c) an errant snap from center or a lateral touches the ground

d) a pass falls incomplete

f) an official blows his whistle, even though inadvertently. In this case, the team in possession will be given the option of taking the ball at the spot of the whistle or taking the entire play over. Exception: if there is a penalty against the team in possession, the penalty will be enforced.

Sec 20 Loose Ball

All loose balls are dead upon touching the ground except on a kickoff.

In the case of a fumbled lateral, the ball will be spotted at either the point of contact with the ground or at the point the ball was last controlled, whichever creates the greatest disadvantage for the team in possession. On extra points if the ball touches the ground it will be dead. At no time can you attack the ball while a ball carrier has possession of the ball. This includes any person in possession of the football including the quarterback while attempting to hand the ball to a running back or receiver. (You must go for the flag, if you attempt to strip the ball it will be considered tackling or unsportsmanlike conduct).

Sec 21 Punt Returns

A ball that bounces before being touched may be picked up and advanced by the receiving team. A punt may not be returned if the ball is not fielded cleanly by the receiving team; any punt that is fielded and then dropped (muffed) is considered a dead ball and may not be advanced.

The defense may not rush the punt.



Sec 22 Defensive player movement/ alignment

Defensive players can move around on the defensive side of the ball, however, can not intentionally try to cause the offensive player to jump. Also, any encroachment where the defensive player goes over the line of scrimmage a penalty will be enforced immediately. No defensive player can lineup on the center position. The penalty for any of the above will be (-5) yards from the line of scrimmage.

PENALTIES

Sec 1 Illegal Procedure

The following violations shall constitute illegal procedure and a penalty of 5 yards will be assessed the violating team. All illegal procedure penalties will be enforced from the line of scrimmage.

A) Illegal Snap from Center

1) Further movement of the ball by the center after initial adjustment.

2) Advancement of the ball by the center.

B) Illegal Motion

1) Failure of all offensive players except the man in motion to come set one second prior to the snap of the ball.

2) Movement towards the line by the man in motion.

3) Movement within 5 yards of the sideline by the man in motion.

4) Having two or more players in motion simultaneously.

C) Illegal Delay of the Game

1) Failure by the offensive team to snap the ball within 30 Seconds of the time that the referee has placed the ball ready for play. Delay of game violations committed by a team that is leading or tied in the last three minutes of the game shall automatically stop the clock.

D) Illegal Substitutions

1) Failure of all entering offensive substitutes to pass within 10 yards of the ball.

2) Having more than 8 players on the field while the ball is in play.

E) Offside

1) Once the offensive team comes set, neither team can cross the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped. .

2) The play will be blown dead and the penalty will automatically be assessed.

Sec 2 Personal Fouls

A) Illegal Block

1) A blocker may not leave his feet to make contact with an opponent.

2) When blocking with open hands, arms may not be fully extended and must be kept within the frame of the body.

3) Contact cannot be made with the fists, elbows, or forearms.

4) Contact cannot be initiated below the waist.

5) Any contact above the shoulder even if unintentional is strictly prohibited.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT: 15 YARDS FROM THE SPOT OF THE FOUL.

B) Clipping

1) Contact on a block must be made within the blocked player's field of vision. The position of the blocker's head at the time the block is delivered will be used to determine the block's legality.

2) If a player is about to be blocked turns his back to the blocker within 5 yards of contact, no penalty will be called.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT: 15 YARDS FROM THE SPOT OF THE FOUL.

C) Unnecessary Roughness

1) Anytime a defensive player who does not deflect a quarterback's pass makes contact with the quarterback, roughing the passer will be called.

2) Ball carriers must make an effort to avoid potential flag pullers and may not run over, straight arm, on in anyway ward off these defenders.

3) Defensive players must go for the ball carrier's flags. They may not tackle, hold, block, or shove a ball carrier out of bounds.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT 15 YARDS FROM EITHER THE END OF THE PLAY (DEAD BALL) OR THE SPOT OF THE FOUL (LIVE BALL).

D) Roughing the Passer

1) Anytime a defensive player who does not deflect a quarterback's pass makes contact with the quarterback, roughing the passer will be called.

2) A defensive player who does make contact with the pass must still make an effort to avoid contact.

3) Any defensive player who is blocked into the quarterback will not be guilty of roughing.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT: 15 YARDS FROM THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE.

E) Holding

1) Offensive players may use their hands to block, but may not hold or hook an opponent.

2) Offensive players may not put their hands wider apart than the width of their shoulders.

3) Defensive players can use their hands to push or move blockers out of the way but may not tackle or hold any potential ball carrier or receiver.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT: OFFENSIVE HOLDING - 10 YARDS FROM THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE.

DEFENSIVE HOLDING - 5 YARDS FROM THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, AND AN AUTOMATIC FIRST DOWN.

Sec 3 Major Pass/Run Procedure Penalties

A) Flag Guarding

A ball carrier may not use his hand stop or prevent a defender from pulling his flags. All ball carriers must keep arms and hands above the waist while in the immediate vicinity of defensive players. Spinning is legal.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT: 10 YARDS FROM THE SPOT OF THE VIOLATION AND LOSS OF DOWN.

Hurdling

A ball carrier may not attempt to jump over a potential flag puller. He may jump over a fallen player or players.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT: 10 YARDS FROM THE SPOT OF THE VIOLATION AND

LOSS OF DOWN.

C) Illegal forward Pass/Lateral

1) More than one forward pass in one down.

2) Throwing a forward pass while past the line of scrimmage.

3) Passer catching his own pass, unless deflected first by a defender.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT: 5 YARDS FROM THE SPOT OF THE VIOLATION AND LOSS OF DOWN.

D) Pass Interference

1) Making contact with an opposing player which hinders him from catching the ball.

2) Waving hands in the receiver's face.

3) Incidental contact occurring when neither player has an obvious advantage will not be considered a violation.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT OFFENSIVE INTERFERENCE: 15 YARDS FROM THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE AND A LOSS OF DOWN.

PENALTY ENFORCEMENT DEFENSIVE INTERFERENCE: AUTOMATIC FIRST DOWN AT THE SPOT OF THE INFRACTION. IF DEFENSIVE INTERFERENCE HAPPENS BEHIND THEIR OWN GOAL LINE, THE OFFENSE IS GIVEN A FIRST DOWN AND GOAL AT THE ONE-YARD LINE.

OVERTIME

Overtime will be used only in the playoffs. During the regular season, any game ending in a tie will remain a tie.

The overtime period begins with the coin toss to see who gets possession or who defends their goal first. There is no game clock in overtime, only the normal play clock. The team that gets possession first receives the ball on its opponent’s (10) yard line (1st & goal). The team can keep possession of the ball until one of the following happens:

1. They score a touchdown

2. Turn over the ball

Once the first team's possession is over the second team gets possession and follows the same format. If the first team scored a touchdown and an extra point, then the second team must do so in order for the overtime period to continue. If not, the game is over when the second team losses possession. Double overtime is from the (5) yard line. There will be no timeouts during overtime.