MCC Sports Rules - Flag Football

MadCity Sports League Rules: Flag Football

Overview:

  • Regulation consists of two 20-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time. In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, there will be an additional 5-minute break, and then a 5-minute sudden death overtime period (first team to score wins). If there is still a tie at the end of this overtime period, the game ends in a tie.
  • The game clock is a running clock and will only stop for time-outs and injuries, going out of bounds and incomplete passes do not stop the clock.
  • 7 players on the field at a time. There is no requirement for teams to match the number of girls on the field.
  • Teams will elect a representative to play rock, paper, scissors, with the winning team choosing whether they want to play defense or receive the ball. The other team gets to decide the direction they want to go in. Direction will switch at halftime.
  • Substitutions are allowed at any stoppage of play
  • Each team will have one timeout per half.
  • No-huddle offense must be used at all times. If you want to take time to draw up a play, you must use a time out. Try to snap the ball within 15 seconds of the end of the last play. Refs can call a delay of game penalty at their discretion.

Gameplay:

  • At period start and after an opposing team touchdown, the offense starts with the ball at their own one-yard line.
  • When catching the ball, only one foot needs to land in bounds
  • No stiff-arms, trucking, or flag guarding with your arms/hands is allowed. Trucking and aggressive stiff arms will be a 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul, casual stiff arms and flag guarding will simply stop the play at the spot of the foul
  • Offense
    • The only first down marker is the mid-field line. The offense has four chances to get a first down (or score a touchdown, if across mid-field). If they fail to do so, it’s a turnover on downs, and the other team takes possession at the previous spot.
    • Punts are allowed – on fourth-down, the offense may elect to punt the ball to the opposing team, changing possession. Players can actually punt the ball or just throw it. No returns are allowed, the other team will take over at the spot the ball rests or goes out of bounds. No rushes or attempts to block the punt are allowed.
      • In the event the ball goes into the end zone, a 10-yard touchback will take effect. The ball will be placed by the referee.
    • Teams may only move the ball down the field using forward passes and lateral/screen passes, NO running plays are allowed. Note that all players are eligible receivers.
      • In the event that a defensive player blitzes the quarterback, the quarterback may run with the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. This is the only “running play” that would be allowed.
    • Plays starts with one player snapping the ball to the quarterback. Can be an actual snap or just a handoff
    • All offensive players must be behind the line of scrimmage before the snap. Being in front of the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap will be an offensive offsides penalty for 5 yards. If a defensive player is across the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap, it would be a 5 yard penalty.
    • Reception: A receiver makes a reception of the ball when they possess the ball and make a football move (catch the ball and make at least one step in any direction). For plays in the end zone or near the out of bounds, the receiver needs to catch the ball with at least one foot in bounds. If they make a catch with one foot in bounds and their football move then brings them out of bounds that will count as a catch or touchdown.
    • Blocking: Intentional physical contact is not allowed, but offensive players may guard the ball carrier by getting in the way of defensive players. Players throwing intentional and obvious blocks will be a 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul.
    • Scoring:
      • Touchdowns – 6 points
      • Extra points – after a touchdown, teams may go for one extra point from the three-yard line, or two extra points from the eight-yard line. If the defense returns an interception for a touchdown on one of these plays, they score the number of points the offense was going for
  • Defense:
    • Rushing: Defensive players may rush the quarterback after a count to 7. The count must be audible to the quarterback and the referee. Failure to start counting will mean the quarterback gets more time before you’re able to rush. Rushing before a count of 7 or after an inaudible count will result in a 5-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage if the offensive play goes for less than 5-yards.
    • Tackling: Tackling is NOT allowed. Ball carriers are stopped by removing their flags. Tackling or excessive contact while trying to get a flag will result in a 15-yard penalty from the spot of the foul. Additionally, intentional and overly aggressive behavior could result in ejection of the defensive player, based on the referee’s discretion.
    • Flags may not be removed early by the defense. This is how removed flags will be treated:
      • A defensive player removes one flag before the ball carrier receives the ball - play continues as normal, and the player is not down until their flag is removed
      • A defensive player removes all flags before the ball carrier receives the ball - a 15 yard penalty against the defense is assessed from the spot of the catch
      • Any number of flags fall off of the ball carrier naturally before they catch the ball: the play is dead at the spot of the catch.
  • Turnovers:
    • Interceptions: defensive player intercepts a pass and lands in bounds. May be returned.
    • Fumble: ball carrier loses possession of the football - first player to place a hand on the ball gains possession for their team. Not allowed to be returned.
  • Penalties:
    • Delay of game - 5 yards
    • Offensive/defensive offsides - 5 yards
    • Early rush by defense - 5 yards
    • Defensive/offensive pass interference - 10 yards
    • Physical block - 10 yards
    • Stiff arm (minor)/flag guarding - stops play
    • Trucking/aggressive stiff arm - 10 yards
    • Tackling/early removal of all flags - 15 yard penalty
    • Penalties do offset - if a penalty is committed by both teams, the play is redone