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Flag Football 2015 Rules and Guidelines


Flag football is intramural, 6 on 6.

Games will be held at Timberwolves, Fox Lake and Wauconda fields.

The intent is to provide introduction to organized football to participants 5 to 7 years old.



Players are to be in issued game jersey in order to participate in said game.


Mouth guards are required for games, and recommended for practices.


Football or soccer (soft) cleats are allowed.


Flag belts must be outside of game jersey, with a flag on each side of every player on the field. Coaches are responsible to ensure flags are visible and properly fastened.


For clarification, illegal equipment consists of:

  • Headwear containing any hard, unyielding, stiff material, including billed hats, or items containing exposed knots.
  • Jewelry.  Including but not limited to rings, earrings, exposed body piercings, bracelets (except medical), and necklaces.
  • Pads or braces worn above the waist that is not for medical purposes.
  • Shoes with metal, ceramic, screw-in or detachable cleats.
    • EXCEPTION: Screw-in cleats are allowed if the screw is part of the cleat.
  • Leg and knee braces made of hard, unyielding material, unless covered on both sides and all edges overlapped with a soft material.
  • Any slippery or sticky foreign substance on any equipment or exposed part of the body.
  • Exposed metal on clothes or person.
  • Towels attached at the player’s waist.


An official time out shall be declared to permit prompt remediation of equipment which becomes illegal or defective through use



A maximum of 2 coaches per team are allowed on the field during play.


Coaches are responsible for the enforcement of said rules (referee) during play, and shall be allowed use of a whistle and game clock (stopwatch) for such.


If a team does not have 6 players at the start of, or any point during the game, coaches may agree to share eligible players from other teams to allow the game to continue. For example, a team with only 5 players may use a player from another team as a center.



No kickoffs or punting.  Home team shall have choice of goal to defend for the first half. 


The playing field is 53 yards in length, includes two 10 yard end zones, and 25-30 yards wide.


Games will start with the visiting team having possession of the ball first, on their own “20” yard line.  Home team shall start the second half with possession at own “20” with respect to change of field direction.


Teams have 4 downs to cross midfield for a first down, and another 4 downs to score thereafter.  Turnover on downs results in the ball spotted at the “20” yard line of the team gaining possession.


Dead ball when:

  • The flag belt is pulled.  The ball shall be spotted where the ball carrier’s feet are when a flag belt is pulled. See “DEFENSE” section for special exceptions.
  • Ball carrier goes out of bounds, or when a knee touches the ground.
  • The ball is fumbled.  No turnovers shall result from a fumble, and LOS is where the ball hits the ground.  In the event the ball is advanced due to a fumble the LOS is where the ball carrier last had possession.    



Game duration is a “running clock” consisting of two halves at 25 minutes each, with a 5 minute halftime.


Teams are encouraged to snap the ball in a timely manner after ball is spotted; however, only excessive and repeated delays of game are to be penalized with a loss of down.


Teams are not allowed any time-outs to be called by any player or coach.


The Referee shall declare an official's time-out when a team is illegally consuming time.


The Referee may declare an official's time-out for any contingency not covered elsewhere by the Rules.  This includes time out for injuries.  If an injury time out is called for any player, said player must sit out a minimum of one (1) timed play before returning to game.


Extended Periods - A half may be extended by an untimed down when, during the last timed down, one of the following occurred:

  • There was a foul by either team, and the penalty is accepted.
  • There was a double foul.
  • There was an inadvertent whistle and the down is to be replayed.
  • A touchdown was scored.  The point after try is attempted.



Touchdowns are 6 points.


Successful point after attempt from the “2” yard line is awarded one point, and two points awarded if successful from the “10” yard line.  Any legal offensive play is allowed from either distance.


A safety is two points plus possession on own “20” yard line unless safety results in a lead of 16 or more points.  See sportsmanship rule.



A team ahead by 16 or more points shall forfeit possession of the ball to the opposing team until said deficit is less than 16 points. Offense shall start at midfield, and given 4 downs to score.  In lieu of turnover on downs, the ball is re-spotted at midfield, and a new set of downs is awarded.



Defense may not cross LOS until ball is handed off on a run play.  NO BLITZES!


Interceptions are returnable and will result in a change of possession at the spot of the flag pulled, with exception to a return not getting to the starting 20 yard line. Interceptions of point after attempt (PAT) will result in a failed PAT.


Any defensive player intentionally pulling a flag belt from an offensive player without the ball is illegal.  The official shall warn the team, and repeated infractions will result in unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.


In circumstances where a flag belt is removed illegally, the ball carrier shall be allowed to advance the ball and not considered down until a defender gets two hands on the ball carrier (two hand touch).


In circumstances where a flag belt falls off accidentally, while the ball carrier is running and without being touched by a defensive player, the ball carrier shall be allowed to advance the ball and not considered down until a defender gets two hands on the ball carrier (two hand touch).



Any number of linemen allowed.  All offensive players are eligible for a pass or handoff.


No blocking is allowed (warning, loss of down penalty thereafter); however, a lineman may hold his/her place (position) provided lineman does not extend any part of their body as an attempt to impede a defender’s progress.


No “moving screens”, blocking or shadow blocking of any kind (warning, loss of down penalty thereafter).


The same offensive player may not advance the ball past the line of scrimmage two (2) consecutive plays in a row.



Anyone running with the ball is allowed to spin, but no dives, stiff arms, or guarding of flags is allowed.   Said infractions will result in runner being called down at spot of infraction.


Quarterback cannot run the ball beyond the LOS unless a previous ball exchange, not counting the center snap, has taken place.



The center may snap the ball either between the legs or offset to one side of the ball.  No “shotgun” snaps.


If the ball hits the ground (botched snap) during the center to quarterback exchange, referee shall whistle the play dead, and replay the down without the offense allowed a huddle.  This rule means: line up and run the same play, or face a loss of down.


The quarterback must take possession of the ball from the center.  No center sneaks.


Multiple handoffs, pitches, laterals, etc. are allowed, provided they occur behind the line of scrimmage (LOS).   Penalty for illegal handoff is down at spot of infraction.


Quarterbacks have 7 seconds to throw the ball.  A countdown shall be performed by an on-field coach, with encouragement to said quarterback to throw the ball.  Excessive and repeated time consumption shall result in a penalty (loss of down).


No running past LOS by Quarterback (loss of down) unless a legal pass or handoff to another player has occurred first.  Passes are allowed to be behind LOS (i.e.: screen pass).


An incomplete pass is any pass attempt not caught by any player, regardless of the pass being forward, lateral, or backward.


If a player is in the air attempting to catch a ball, the player must contact the ground with at least one foot in-bounds with the ball in their possession prior to going out of bounds, unless contact by an opponent causes the player to first touch out-of -bounds.


If possession of the ball is lost simultaneously when player hits the ground, it is not a catch.


If a forward pass is caught simultaneously by members of opposing teams, the ball is dead at that spot and belongs to the team that snapped the ball.



Any contact that, in the view of the official, interferes with the attempt to catch a pass (offensive or defensive player) is pass interference unless it occurs when two or more eligible players make a simultaneous attempt to reach, catch, or deflect a pass.  Hindering an opponent’s vision without making an attempt to catch, intercept or deflect the ball is pass interference, even though no contact was made.


Should a receiver be illegally deflagged prior to a catch, said receiver shall be allowed to advance the ball and not considered down until another flag is removed and/or a defender gets two hands on the receiver (two hand touch).


Defensive pass interference results in first down at spot of infraction.  Offensive pass interference results in loss of down.


These penalties may be declined by the opposing team with respect to the result of the play.



Any act listed below or any other act of unnecessary roughness is a personal foul. Players shall not:

  • Punch, strike, strip, steal, or attempt to steal the ball from a player in possession.
  • Trip an opponent.
  • Contact an opponent who is on the ground.
  • Throw the runner to the ground.
  • Contact an opponent either before the ball is put in play or after the ball is declared dead.
  • Make any contact with an opponent that is deemed unnecessary.
  • Deliberately drive or run into another player.
  • Tackle the runner.
  • Intentionally delay the game
  • Interfere with the spotting of the ball by referee


Roughness and foul play from players and coaches will NOT be tolerated.  This includes, but not limited to tackling, elbowing, “cheap shots”, trash talk, arguing with referee, etc.


It is the referee’s discretion to penalize with an automatic first down after first warning to offending team, and 10 yards with automatic first down thereafter.



You may have up to two practices per week.



Game cancellations, rescheduling of practices or games, and forfeits of games are determined by each organization. Notification of any changes in game schedules will be communicated by the host site to the designated representative of each organization who will then be responsible for communicating to their teams.



We are here to teach football not to win games! Every child should be given the opportunity to play on offense and defense. I want to see constant rotation throughout the course of the game with equal playing time and sitting out time. NO EXCEPTIONS!