2015 Flag Football Rules


**Only a overview listing of the Rules - Download Rules PDF for full Rules


  1. At the start of each game, captains from both teams shall meet at midfield for the coin toss to determine who shall start with the ball. The visiting team shall call the toss .
  2. The winner of the toss has the choice of offense or defense. The loser of the coin toss has the choice of the direction. Teams may not choose to defer to the second half.
  3. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has three (3) plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, they have three (3) plays to score a touchdown.
  4. If the offense fails to score, 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, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its own 5-yard line.
  6. All possessions changes, except interceptions, start on the offense’s 5-yard line.
  7. Teams change sides after the first half. Possession changes to the team that started the game on defense.

Timing and Overtime

  • Games are played on a 40 minute continuous clock with two twenty minute halves. The clock stops only for timeouts and injuries.
  • Halftime is one minute long.
  • Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 30 seconds to snap the ball. Teams will receive one warning before a delay-of-game penalty is enforced.
  • Each team has two 60- second time outs per half.
  • Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.
  • In the event of an injury the clock will stop and restart when the injured player is removed from the field of play.
  • If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, the game should be determined a tie.
  • In tournament or playoff situations, an overtime (OT) Period will be used to determine a winner. OT format is as follows:
    1. Each team is allowed a minimum of one possession. The only exception is if the first offensive team throws an interception. In this case, the game ends with the intercepting team winning.
    2. All regulation period rules and penalties are in effect.
    3. There are no timeouts.
    4. In OT, the winner will be decided by the team that scores the most points in the same of amount of offensive possession.  Except in the case of an interception ran back for a TD.


  1. Touchdown : 6 points
  2. PAT(Point After Touchdown)1 point (5-yard line) or 2 points ( 12-yard line)Note 1 point is pass only, 2 point PAT can be a run or pass.
  3. Safety: 2 points
    1. A safety occurs when the ball carrier is declared down in his or her own end zone. They can be called down when their flags are pulled by a defensive player, their flag falls out, the step out of bounds or they hit the ground with their knee or arm. A Safety also occurs when there is an offensive penalty in the end zone.
  4. A team that scores a touchdown must declare whether it wishes to attempt a 1-pt. conversion (from the 5-yard line) or a 2-pt. conversion (from the 12 yard line). Any change, once a decision is made to try for the extra point, requires a charged time out. Decision cannot be changed after a penalty. Interceptions on conversions cannot be returned.
  5. Mercy Rule: After one team is winning by twenty eight points or more, the losing team gets one offensive series to continue regulation play. If they do not score, the game goes into scrimmage mode playing up to the fifteen minute mark in the second half if time allows. After the fifteen minute mark, the game is over.
  6. Scrimmage mode: The losing team gets the ball for up to three possessions. Each possession lasts until the team scores or fails to achieve the line-to-gain. Points do not count in final score. After three possessions the game is over.


  1. The ball is spotted where the runner’s feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball carrier has the ball. Forward progress will be measured by the player’s front foot.
  2. The quarterback cannot directly run with the ball. The quarterback does have the ability to scramble in the back field, but cannot advance the ball beyond the line of scrimmage, unless the defense passes the line of scrimmage.
  3. Handoffs, tosses, pitches, and reverses are allowed behind the line of scrimmage.
    1. “Center sneak” play- the ball must completely leave the center’s hands on the snap and he/she must step backwards off the line of scrimmage in order to receive a direct handoff from the QB before advancing the ball.
  4. “No RUN ZONE” located 5 yards before each end zone and 5 yards on either side of midfield are designed to avoid short-yardage power running situations. Teams are not allowed to run in these zones if the subsequent line is live. ( reminder each offensive squad approaches only two no run zones in each drive – one 5 yards from midfield to gain a first down, and one 5 yards from the goal line to score a TD).
  5. The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
  6. Once the ball has been handed off in front, behind or side to side of the quarterback all defensive players are eligible to rush.
  7. Runners may not leave their feet to advance the ball. Diving, leaping, or jumping to avoid a flag pull is considered flag guarding.
  8. Spinning is allowed, but players may not leave their feet to avoid a flag pull. Jumping in the air in a forward motion to advance the ball, while attempting to avoid a flag pull, is not allowed. Lateral moves left or right are permitted.
  9. Runners may leave their feet to avoid a collision with another player without a flag guarding penalty enforced.
  10. No blocking or “screening” is allowed at any time.
  11. 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.