Last Updated: March 28, 2017

FLAG FOOTBALL RULES

Except as designated below, CIF rules will apply.

PLAYING PROCEDURES

Sec-1         Team Size/ Rosters/ Playing Time

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. (In both the Varsity & JV divisions, the head coaches will exchange rosters with the opposing coach before each game. All players names that are present at the game need to be noted on the roster.  A player must play in four regular season games to be eligible to participate in the season end playoff tournament.  All rosters collected by the coaches are to be turned into your schools AD on a weekly basis).

Sec-2         Equipment

No helmets or shoulder pads allowed. Only soft (knee) pads are legalAll players must have a mouth piece. Any child with a cast is not allowed to play.  All players must wear shoes (football or soccer cleats desired). No metal spikes allowed. All player shirts must be completely tucked in.  Football pants or shorts are allowed. Only Triple Threat Flag belts will be used, Velcro Flags & Quick Release Flags are not acceptable. Flags should measure 2"x15". Flags of any color are acceptable, however; they cannot be the same color as your teams pants/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. The game ball will be intermediate size for the varsity and junior size for the J.V. Each team will be allowed to use its own ball on offense.

Sec-3         Field dimensions

The field will be divided into five equal sections. 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 gammust 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.

Sec-6         Scoring

A touchdown will be worth (6) points. An extra point play from three yards out will be worth (1) point. A kicking extra point will be worth (2) points. A safety will be worth (2) points. A field goal will be worth (3) points. In addition, teams may attempt a (2) point extra point play from (10) yards out. A (2) inch kicking block may be used for field goals and extra points. 

Sec-7         Coin toss

The winner of the coin toss at the beginning of the game shall choose whether 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. Offensive substitutes must pass within ten yards of the ball to enter the game.

Sec-9         Ball placement        

At the start of each half, and after a touchdown the ball will be placed at the offensive teams (30) yard line. After a safety the ball will be placed on the offensive teams (40) yard lineAfter a touch back the ball will be placed on the (20) yard line. After a missed field goal the ball will be placed on the (20) yard line or spot of the kick whichever is to the benefit of the team on offense. There will be no kickoffs.

Sec-10      Line of scrimmage and back field 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.

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 offensive backs and the two players on either end of the line are eligible to receive a forward pass. Only one forward pass may be attempted per play. Once the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage on any 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      Down field blocking

Down field blocking is permitted on all running plays and on pass plays only after the pass has been completed. No down field 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, 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 quarterback will be allowed.

Sec-17      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.

Sec-18      Field goals       

While kicking a field goal or extra point a defensive player cannot make contact with an offensive player.  There is no rushing, only jumping in an effort to block a kick.  If contact is initiated by the defense, the penalty will be unsportsmanlikconduct.

Sec-19      Downed ball carrier

A balcarrier is considered down anytime 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-20      Legal catch

A pass receiver must have at least one foot (first foot) ibounds after gaining possession of the ball for the catch to be legal. This is provided 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-21      Dead ball

A live ball becomes dead when: a)score is made, b)ball goes out of bounds, c)an errant snap from center or a lateral touches the ground, d)pass falls incomplete, e)a punt is dropped, or 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-22      Loose ball

All loose balls are dead upon touching the ground. 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 and field goals 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-23      Punt returns

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 is considered a dead ball and may not be advanced. The ball shall be spotted according to sec-20. A ball that bounces before being touched can be picked up and advanced by the receiving team. A blocked punt may not be advanced, unless caught in the air. In addition, the kicking team can only advance a blocked punt if it gains possession behind the line of scrimmage. In all other instances of blocked punts, the receiving team will gain possession where the ball hit the ground. 

Additional general rules

1.) Coaches are responsible for the behavior of their schools parents, fans and players.  Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated.  A team may be penalized,  a player and/or coach thrown out of the game and/or a team will forfeit the game if the referee deems necessary. 

2.) If a varsity team is going to be short players, they may borrow players from the same schools JV team, in an effort to avoid a forfeit.   No players can be borrowed for playoff games.

3.) The top 8 teams in each division will compete in the end of season playoff tournament.  There will be two playoff brackets - (teams 1-4) will compete in the gold bracket and (teams 5-8) will compete in the silver bracket.  If there are less than (8) teams in the division, the top (4) teams will compete in the playoff tournament. 

4.) If necessary, the following tie-breaker system will be used for playoff seeding.... A) head to head - who won when the teams tied in the standings faced off during the season. B) best win - which team beat the higher ranked opponent.  C) coin flip - A coin flip to determine the higher seed.

5.) Each team should gather in prayer before every game.

PENALTIES

Sec-1         Illegal procedure 

          The following violations shall constitute illegal procedure and a penalty of (5) yards will be assessed against 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 game

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 (9) players on the field while the ball is in play.

E)              Off sides

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 the forearms, a blocker's hands and arms may not extend further than the vertical plane of his elbows.

3)            Contact cant be made with the fists or elbows.

4)            Contact cant 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 about to be blocked turns his back to the blocker within (3)yards of contact, no penalty will be called.

Penalty Enforcement: (15) yards from the spot of the foul.

C)             Unnecessary roughness

1)            Any action which in the opinion of an official may cause injury to another player (even if unintentional).

2)            Ball carriers must make an effort to avoid potential flag pullers and may not run over, straight arm, or in any way ward off a defender.

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: If penalty is on the defense - (15) yards forward from the end of the play and automatic first down.   If penalty is on the offense - (live ball infraction - 15 yards) back from the original line of scrimmage,  (dead ball infraction - 15 yards) back from the infraction. If the penalty moves them behind the first down marker, a first down is not awarded.

4) If two 'unnecessary roughness' penalties are called on the same player, during the same game, that player will be ejected from the game.  

 

D)           Roughing the passer

1)            Any time a defensive player makes contact with the quarterback, without making an effort to avoid contact, roughing the passer will be called.

2)             Any time a defensive player hits the quarterbacks hand or arm, without deflecting the ball, roughing the passer will be called.         

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 back from the line of scrimmage.  Defensive Holding - (5) yards forward 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 flagsAll 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 back from the line of scrimmage.

B)             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 back from the line of scrimmage.                         

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.

4)            Ineligible receiver catching a non-deflected forward pass.

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 - (10) yards back from the line of scrimmage.

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

Only one overtime in regular season games. If score still tied after one overtime, the score will be recorded as a tie.  In the playoffs, overtime may be used multiple times to determine the winner of the game (see below for procedure).  The overtime period begins immediately 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. The team can keep possession of the ball until one of the following happens:

1. They score a touchdown

2. Attempt a field goal

3. Turn over the ball

Once the first teams 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

If both teams score the same amount of points, by touchdown or field goal, then a second round of overtime is played following another coin toss.   Same procedure, except the ball starts on the (20) yard line.

Triple overtime

If a third overtime is needed, then teams are forced to convert a 2-point conversion following a touchdown. They cannot kick an extra point.

The one and only way for the overtime period to end without one team getting an offensive possession is if the first team turns the ball over and the defense is able to convert a touchdown on the turnover. Otherwise, each team is afforded the same number of possessions.