2023 LYFC Flag Football Rule Book
1. At the start of each game, captains from both teams meet at midfield for the coin toss to determine who starts with the ball. The visiting team calls the toss.
2. The winner of the coin toss has the choice of offense or defense. The loser of the coin toss has the choice of direction. Possession changes to start the second half to the team that started the game on defense.
3. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has four (4) downs to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has three (3) downs to score a touchdown.
4. If the offense fails to score, after crossing midfield, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team starts its drive on its own 5-yard line.
5. If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, on 3 downs, and elect to "punt" on 4th down, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its own 5-yard line. If the offensive team goes for it on 4th down and does not cross field, the opposing team will start its possession from the spot.
6. Teams change sides after the first half. Possession changes to the team that started the game on defense.
1. The field dimensions are 30 yards by 70 yards with two 10-yard end zones, and a midfield line-to-gain. No-run zones precede each line-to gain by 5 yards. However, some tournaments may use smaller fields because of field space available or to complete tournament scheduling on time.
2. No-run zones are in place to prevent teams from conducting power run plays. While in the no-run zones (a 5-yard imaginary zone before midfield and before the end zone), teams cannot run the ball in any fashion. All plays must be pass plays, even with a handoff.
3. Stepping on the boundary line is considered out of bounds,
4. Each offensive team approaches only TWO no-run zones in each drive (one zone 5 yards from midfield to gain the first down, and one zone 5 yards from the goal line to score a TD).
1. Home teams wear dark color jerseys. Visiting teams wear light color jerseys.
2. Teams must consist of at least five players with a maximum of 10 players.
3. Teams must start games with a minimum of five players. In the event of an injury, a team with insufficient substitute players may play with four players on the field but no fewer than four.
Timing and Overtime:
1. Games are played on a 40 minute continuous clock with two 20 minute halves unless one team gains a 28-point advantage, which will then end the game. Clock stops only for timeouts or injuries.
2. Halftime is one minute,
3. Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 25 seconds to snap the ball. Teams will receive one warning before a delay-of-game penalty is enforced.
4. Each team has three 30-second timeouts per game.
5. Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.
6. In the event of an injury, the clock will stop then restart when the injured player is removed from the field of play.
7. If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, an overtime period will be used to determine a winner. Overtime format is as follows: a. Home team calls the coin toss to determine the team that chooses to be on offense or defense first. i. If a second round of overtime must be played, the team that lost the coin toss will get to choose offense or defense for the start of the second round of overtime. This process continues with teams alternating who gets to choose to be on offense or defense to start out during every round of overtime. ii. The referee will determine which end of the field the overtime will take place on. b. Each team will take turns getting one (1) play from the defense's 5-yard line for one point or the defense's 10-yard line for two points.
Whether to go for one or two points is up to the offensive team. Whether or not the team that begins on offense converts the team that started on defense gets a chance on offense to win or tie by converting a one- or two-point play of their own. i. Example: Team A starts on offense and chooses to go for one point from the 5-yard line and is successful. Team B is then on offense and can choose to either go for one point from the 5-yard line to tie and force a second round of overtime or to go for two points from the 10-yard line for the win. i. i. If the second team on offense in an overtime round fails to beat or match the team that went first, the team that went first wins. c. Both teams must "go for two" from the 10-yard line starting with the second round of overtime. d. Starting with the 3rd overtime, each team will get 1 play from the 5 yard line going out from the endzone. The team with the most yards will be the winner. The team with the most yards will be awarded 1 point added to their final score. e. All regulation period rules and penalties are in effect. f. There are no timeouts. g. Interceptions are returnable in OT, and worth 2 points
1. Touchdown: 6 points
2. PAT (point after touchdown) 1 point (5-yard line) or 2 points (10-yard line) a. Note: 1 point
3. PAT is pass only; 2 point PAT can be run or pass.
4. Safety: 2 points a. A safety occurs when the ball-carrier is declared down in his/her own end zone. Runners can be called down when their flags are pulled by a defensive player, a flag falls out, they step out of bounds, their knee or arm touches the ground, a fumble occurs in the end zone or if a snapped ball lands in or beyond the end zone.
5. A team that scores a touchdown must declare whether it wishes to attempt a 1-point conversion (from the 5-yard line) or a 2-point conversion (from the 10-yard line). Any change, once a decision is made to try for the extra point, requires a charged timeout. A decision cannot be changed after a penalty.
6. After one team is winning by 28 points or more, the game is over. Once a 28 or more point advantage is gained, no PAT will be attempted.
7. Forfeits are scored 28-0 for the winning team.
8. The coaches, officials and scorekeeper must sign the score sheet. If a coach does not sign the score sheet before leaving the field, the scorekeeper will note on that score sheet and the score will be FINAL.
1. Coaches are expected to adhere to NFL FLAG philosophies, coaching guidelines and code of conduct.
2. Only two coaches per team are allowed on the sidelines. All team photographers, managers, position coaches, team moms, fans, etc. must remain a minimum of 10 yards off the field in the end zone area. a. Coaches, this is your responsibility to keep your fans in the designated areas.
Live Ball/Dead Ball:
1. The ball is live at the snap of the ball and remains live until the official whistles the ball dead.
2. The official will indicate the neutral zone and line of scrimmage. a. It is an automatic dead ball foul if any player on defense or offense enters the neutral zone. In regard to the neutral zone, the official may give both teams a "courtesy neutral zone notification to allow their players to move back behind the line of scrimmage.
3. A player who gains possession in the air is considered In bounds as long as the first foot contacts the ground in the field of play.
4. The defense may not mimic the offensive team signals by trying to confuse the offensive players, while the quarterback is calling out signals to start the play. This will result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
5. Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.
6. Any official can whistle the play dead.
7. Play is ruled "dead" when: a. The ball hits the ground as a result of a bad snap, the ball is then placed where the ball hit the ground. b. The ball-carrier's flag is pulled. c. The ball-carrier steps out of bounds. d. A touchdown, PAT or safety is scored. e. The ball-carrier's knee or arm hits the ground. f. The hall-carrier's flag fails out. g. The receiver catches the ball while in possession of one or no flag(s). h. The 7 second pass clock expires. If an inadvertent whistle. NOTE: There are no fumbles. The ball becomes a dead ball. (If the ball is fumbled forwards then it will be spotted where the ball carrier lost possession.
8. If inadvertent whistle occurs the offense has two options: A) take the ball where the whistle blew and the down is consumed B) replay the down from the original line of scrimmage. If it occurs on the last play of the half or game, the offense will be awarded one untimed down and given those two options
9. A team is allowed to use a timeout to question an official's rule interpretation. If the official's ruling is correct, the team will be charged a timeout. If the rule is interpreted incorrectly, the timeout will not be charged and the proper ruling will be enforced. Officials should all agree upon any controversial call in order to give each team the full benefit of each call.
1. The ball is spotted where the ball is when the flag is pulled.
2. The quarterback cannot directly run with the ball. The quarterback is the offensive player who receives the snap.
3. Only direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. Handoffs may be in front, behind or to the side of the offensive player but must be behind the line of scrimmage. The offense may use multiple handoff’s a '"Carter sneak" play is no longer allowed. The 08 is not allowed to handoff to the canter on the first handoff of the play.
4. Absolutely NO laterals of any kind.
5. No-sun Zones are located 5 yards before each end zone and 5 yards on either side of matched are designed to avoid short-yardage power-running situations. Teams are not allowed to run in these zones. The subsequent line is LIVE. (Reminder: Each offensive team approaches only TWO no-run zones in each drive - one 5 yards from midfield to gain the first down and one 5 yards from the goal line to score a TD).
6. Any player who receives a handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
7. Once the ball has been handed off in front, behind or to the side of the quarterback, all defensive players are eligible to rush.
8. Runners may not leave their feet to advance the bail. Diving, leaping or jumping to avoid a fag pull is considered fag guarding.
9. Spinning/Jump Cuts are allowed, but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a flag pull, a.
Players spinning out of control will be called for fag guarding.
10. Runners may leave their feet if there is a clear indication that heishe has done so to avoid collision with another player without a flag guarding penalty enforced.
11. No blocking or "screening' is allowed at any time.
12. Offensive players without the ball must stop their motion once the bail has crossed the line of scrimmage. No running with the bell-carrier.
13. Flag obstruction - All jerseys MUST be tucked in before play begins. The flags must be on the player's hips and free from obstruction. Deliberately obstructed flags will be considered flag guarding.
1. All passes must be from behind the line of scrimmage, thrown forward and ball out of hand prior to breaching the line of scrimmage a. All passes that do not cross the line of scrimmage, whether received or not, are illegal forward passes. b. The quarterback may throw the ball away to avoid a sack. Pass must go beyond the line of scrimmage.
2. Shovel passes are allowed but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage.
3. The quarterback has a seven-second pass clock." If a pass is not thrown within the seven seconds, the play is dead, the down is consumed and the bail is returned to the line of scrimmage. Once the ball is handed off, the 7-second rule is no longer in effect. a. If the QB is standing in the end zone at the end of the 7-second clock, the ball is returned to the line of scrimmage (LOS).
1. All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage).
2. Only one player is allowed in motion at a time. All motion must be parallel to the line of scrimmage and no motion is permitted toward the line of scrimmage.
3. A player must have at least one loot in bounds, contacting the ground first
4. In the case of simultaneous possession by both an offensive and defensive player, possession is awarded to the offense.
5. Interceptions are returnable on conversions after touchdowns (2 points)
Rushing the Passer:
1. All players who rush the passer must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. Any number of players can rush the quarterback. Players not rushing the quarterback can defend on the line of scrimmage.
2. Once the ball is handed off, the seven-yard rule no longer is in effect and all defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage.
3. A special marker, or the referee, will designate a rush line seven yards from the line of scrimmage. Defensive players should verify they are in the correct position with the official on every play. a. A legal rush is: i. Any rush from a point 7-yards from the defensive line of scrimmage. ii. A rush from anywhere on the field AFTER the ball has been handed off by the quarterback. b. A penalty may be called if: i. The rusher leaves the rush line before the snap crosses the line of scrimmage before a handoff or pass - illegal rush (5-yards from the line of scrimmage and first down). ii. Any defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped - offsides (5-yards from line of scrimmage and first down). iii. Any defensive player not lined up at the rush line crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is passed or handed off - illegal rush (5-yards from the line of scrimmage and first down). c. Special circumstances: i. Teams are not required to rush the quarterback with the seven second clock in effect. il. Teams are not required to identify their rusher before the play.
4. Players rushing the quarterback may attempt to block a pass; however, contact to the QB, unless ruled incidental by the official, would result in a roughing the passer penalty.
5. The offense cannot impede the rusher in any way. The rusher has the right to a clear path to the quarterback, regardless of where they line up prior to the snap. If the "path or line" is occupied by a moving offensive player, then it is the offense's responsibility to avoid the rusher. Any disruption to the rusher's path and/or contact will result in an impeding the rusher penalty. If the offensive player does not move after the snap, then it is the rusher's responsibility to go around the offensive player and to avoid contact.
6. A sack occurs if the quarterback's flags are pulled behind the line of scrimmage. The ball will be spotted where possession of the ball is once the flag is pulled, a. A Safety is awarded if the sack takes place in the offensive team's end zone.
1. A legal flag pull takes place when the ball-carrier is in full possession of the ball.
2. Defenders can dive to pull flags but cannot tackle, hold or run through the ball-carrier when pulling flags.
3. It is illegal to attempt to strip or pull the ball from the ball-carrier's possession at any time.
4. If a player's flag inadvertently falls off during the play, the player is down immediately upon possession of the ball and the play ends. The ball is placed where the flag lands.
5. A defensive player may not intentionally pull the flags off of a player who is not in possession of the ball.
6. Flag guarding Is an attempt by the ball-carrier to obstruct the defender's access to the flags by stiff arming, dropping the head, hand, arm or shoulder or intentionally covering the flags with the football jersey.
1. Offenses must have a minimum of one player on the line of scrimmage (the center) and up to four players on the line of scrimmage. The quarterback must be off the line of scrimmage. a. One player at a time may go at least 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage b. No motion is allowed toward the line of scrimmage.
2. Movement by a player who is set or a player who runs toward the line of scrimmage while in motion is considered a false start.
3. The center must snap the ball with a rapid and continuous motion between his/her legs to a player in the backfield, and the ball must completely leave his/her hands.