Quad Indoor Sports  

2017 Youth Flag Football Rule Book

In‐Game Rules

  • The referee, coaches and at least one representative player from each team should meet at midfield before the game for a coin toss to determine which team shall possess the ball to start the
  • The team that wins the coin toss has the choice to take possession of the ball at the beginning of the first half or defer to the second
  • Teams switch sides at
  • Each game consists of two 20 minute halves with a five minute halftime.
  • Each team has two timeouts per half each 30 seconds in length
  • The game clock continues to run unless a team uses one of their timeouts.
  • Officials may stop the clock at their discretion (eg. in the case of injury).
  • Flags must be on the outside of the players’ clothing and easily accessible by the opposition. Thus, flags must be on the sides of the players’ body not in the front or the
  • Coaches are allowed to be on the field pre‐snap, but must be off the field when the ball is
  • Teams must play with seven players on the field at all times. If a team cannot field seven players, the coaches may agree to play with (Except for 3rd and 4th Grade League. Each Team must play with five)
  • Play begins with an offensive player snapping the ball between their legs to the quarterback. The quarterback may either be behind the center or in the shotgun
    • Balls snapped improperly will result in a dead ball and a loss of down.
  • After a play ends, the offensive team has 30 seconds after the referee spots the ball to run the next play. Teams will receive one warning before a delay‐of‐game penalty is

  • A play is considered dead when:
    • The ball carrier’s flag is pulled or falls off;
    • The ball carrier steps out of bounds;
    • The ball carrier’s knee, back, elbow or shoulder touches the ground whether it be during the normal flow of play or via a penalty;
    • The ball is fumbled and hits the ground;
    • A touchdown or safety is scored;
  • A touchdown is scored when the front foot of a player possessing the ball crosses the goal
  • If a scoring player is considered to have been wearing illegal flags, the touchdown will be taken away and a penalty will be
  • The game score will be kept by referees and each team will have a stat keeper for
  • There is no overtime session during the regular
  • At the conclusion of each game, the teams should line up and respectfully shake hands with their
  • Referees, coaches and stat keepers are responsible for reporting the results to the league commissioners at the end of the

Offensive Rules

  • The offensive team has six players on the field.
  • Running and passing plays are allowed, although there are no‐ running zones five yards before mid‐field and five yards before each goal line. The offensive team may not use a running play when the line of scrimmage is within a no‐running
  • The quarterback cannot run the ball unless the ball is handed off first and then handed back to the quarterback
  • The offensive team starts possession of the ball at its 5‐yard line and has four plays to get a first down at
  • Once a team crosses midfield, it has four plays to score a
  • If the offense fails to score or get a first down, the ball changes possession and the opposing team takes over on its own 5‐yard
  • Players are not allowed to receive a pass or advance the ball past the line of scrimmage on two consecutive plays. An individual player is allowed to throw the ball on two consecutive
  • Offensive players may go in motion before the play is run, but:
    • Only one player is allowed in motion at a time;
    • The player may not be moving towards the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped;
  • Direct hand‐offs, pitches and laterals are only allowed behind the line of scrimmage. Hook‐and‐ladder plays are not
  • Players receiving a hand‐off/pitch/lateral behind the line of scrimmage are eligible to throw a
  • After the ball is snapped, quarterbacks have 7 seconds to throw the ball or hand the ball off, If one of these actions is not completed before that time, the play is considered

  • Multiple hand‐offs/pitches/laterals are allowed on a play, unless:
    • One of the exchanges is beyond the line of scrimmage;
  • The player ultimately receiving or running the ball past the line of scrimmage advanced the ball or caught a pass past the line of scrimmage on the previous
  • All fumbles are considered dead balls and play resumes at the yard marker where the ball was
  • If an offensive player fumbles the ball in their own end‐zone, it is considered a
  • The ball is spotted where the offensive players’ front foot is when their flag was pulled, not where the ball was located. Thus, stretching the ball in front of them will not earn the player extra
  • If an offensive player jumps, the play is considered dead and the ball is spotted where the player left his/her
  • Offensive players may utilize spin
  • Offensive players may not stiff‐arm or guard their flags with their hands.
  • Offensive players may not block defensive players at any time. They may screen back provided the offense player does not initiate contact and is set in a spot prior to the defensive player getting there
  • On a pass play, the receiver only needs one foot in‐bounds for it to be a successful
  • Passes may be backwards or forwards; however, backwards passes are considered laterals. Thus, if the ball is not caught the next play begins where the ball lands. If the ball lands in the offensive teams’ end‐zone, it is considered a
  • Shovel passes are
  • Underhand forward passes are allowed.

Defensive Rules

  • Defensive players may not cross the line of scrimmage at any time before a play
  • Defensive players may return interceptions for
  • Defensive players may not recover fumbles that hit the ground. If a fumble is still in the air defensive players may recover the fumble provided the ball was not stripped out of the ball carriers hands.
  • Defensive players may intercept tipped
  • Defensive players may not hold on to the offensive players clothing in order to stop their progress and subsequently pull their flag. Incidental grabbing of clothes is
  • When the quarterback distributes the ball to another player behind the line of scrimmage, all defenders are eligible to
  • After a safety the defensive team takes over at their own 5 yard line


  • Touchdowns are worth 6 points, Extra points from the 5 yard line are worth 1 point and extra points from the 10 yard line are worth 2 points and safeties are worth 2 points. (No run zones will still be used on the 1 pt conversion.)
  • Penalties


False start 5 Yards
Delay of game 5 Yards
Too many players on the field 5 yards
Holding 5 yards
Illegal Forward Pass 5 yards and loss of down
Pass Interference 10 yards
Flag guarding 5 yards
Illegal flag placement 5 yards and loss of down





Offside/illegal rushing 5 Yards Replay
Pass Interference Ball placed at the spot of the infraction / automatic first down
Too many players on the field 5 yards Replay
Holding 10 yards Replay
Tackling 15 yards First Down


Clear path rule:

In the event that a player is tackled from behind and the player had a “clear path” to the end zone within 10 yards of the end zone (meaning there were no defenders left in front of the runner) that player will be awarded a touchdown.

All penalties that have a distance more than half the distance to the end zone will be marked off half the distance. (IE. Line of scrimmage on the 5 yard line offense called for a false start the ball will be spotted at the 2.5 yard line.) If the ball carrier runs for a first down and the offense is called for a penalty in which the spot of the foul is prior to the first down line the offense does not get the first down. If the spot of the penalty is after the first down line then the offense will receive the first down and after the penalty is enforced it will be first and goal from the new spot.

Sportsmanship/Code of Conduct

If the referee witnesses any acts of unsportsmanlike conduct including:

  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Elbowing
  • Shoving
  • Spitting
  • Swearing

The game will be stopped, the offending player, coach or parents’ team will be assessed a 15 yard penalty, and the offending person may be ejected from the game at the referee’s discretion.


Rubber Cleats are allowed, but metal spikes are not.

No hats with brims or bills are to be worn by players during the game. No jewelry may be worn during the game.