RULES

RULES

SUDBURY FLAG FOOTBALL LEAGUE – Sudbury, MA: (Summary of some of key rules (see rule book behind for complete set)

Games will consist of 20 minute half’s – The clock will be running for the entire first half.  There will be a 2-minute warning and the clock will stop at the 2nd half only.  NFL rules will apply including clock stoppage for incomplete passes, out of bounds, change of possession and penalties).  Each team gets 3 timeouts for the entire game.

REFS will be enforcing penalties (no warnings with the following points of Emphasis:

  • Side Snaps are allowed. 
  • Flag guarding (down instantly)- Game can’t end on Flag guard
  • Shirts must be tucked before the play or player is down when defensive player goes for the flag
  • Another offense player running with the ball carrier (play is dead when a defensive player comes within 3 yards) Not applicable K-2
  • Tackling/ blocking/ hitting–15 yard penalty automatic first down
  • Diving from behind/tackling to prevent touchdown – Touchdown counts
  • Un-Sportsman like comments by player/coach/assistant coach – 15 yard penalty and ejection at the discretion of the commissioner
  • 7 seconds for QB to pass ball Not applicable K-2
  • Rushers must be 7 yards back to rush the QB (not applicable once ball is handed off or to K-2)
  • Offsides – called with no warnings
  • No Forward hand-offs
  • A pass is considered any throw that goes forward (regardless if player is past line of scrimmage (includes shuffle pass)
  • Forward progress is stopped where the player’s front foot is (not the ball – e.g if a foot is on the ground in the endzone it’s a touchdown)
  • No mouth guard – results in ineligible player (no score & 5 yard penalty)
  • Coaches must be Away from the Play as Follows:
  • K-2 A distance away from the play
  • 3 -5 should be at their sideline or very close at the snap of the ball 6 – 9 should off the field completely at Snap

SFFL Flag Football Rules

General Rules:

  • 6 on 6 no contact flag football played on a 59 x 20 yard field  (Please note: 8-10 division play 5 on 5)
  • Coin toss determines:
    • First possession
    • Goal to defend
    • Or defer to 2nd
  • The away team calls all coin flips
  • The offensive team takes possession at their 5-yard line.  The offensive team then has (3) downs to either advance the football to mid-field or score a touchdown.  If the offense reaches mid-field it receives 3 more downs to score.  If the offense fails to reach mid-field or score, the football changes possession to the opposite team and it starts its own drive from their own 5-yard line.
  • All possession changes, except interceptions, start at the offense’s 5-yard line.

Players/Game Schedules:

  • All teams will advance to the playoffs.

Game Clock/OT:

  • Each game is 40 minutes in length with two 20-minute half’s.
  • There will be a 2-minute intermission.
  • After halftime, the team who started on defense will start on offense.
  • There will be a change of possession and direction at halftime.
  • The game clock will not stop at any time during play except for a team timeout or at the referee’s discretion or the last two minutes of the 2nd half.
  • Each team will receive three (3) 30 second timeouts per game.
  • Once the referee has spotted the football for play, the offensive team has 30 seconds to snap the football.  The referee will announce when 10 seconds remain before calling a delay of game penalty.  Please note:  The K-1 division will be allowed 45 seconds).
  • The offensive team may not snap the football until the referee has set the football for play.

Scoring:

  • Touchdown = 6 points
  • Extra Points:
    • 1 point = 5-yard line
    • 2 points = 12-yard line
    • 2 points = defense returns interception on extra point try for touchdown
  • Safety = 2 points

Running:

  • The Quarterback (QB) (player who receives direct snap) cannot run except:
    • When the football is handed off, lateraled, etc. to the QB by an offensive player other than on the direct snap.
  • All handoffs must be behind the line of scrimmage and behind the offensive player handing off or to the side (NO FRONT HANDOFFS).
  • Offensive teams may pitch, lateral, throw back; however, once the ball hits the ground the play is dead.
  • “No Run Zones” are located 5-yards from the mid-field line and end zones.  Once the ball has been spotted in these areas, no running plays are allowed.  (Please note:  does not apply to K-1 division)
  • The football is spotted where the ball carrier’s front foot is when their flag is pulled off the belt.
  • Spinning away from a defensive player is allowed.  This action must be deemed to be “under control” by the referee and the player’s arms may not swing wildly away from his/her body.
  • Offensive players may not guard their flags in any way by shielding, holding, moving, etc.
  • Offensive players may not block in any way.  The only acceptable scenario is a, “non-moving screen.”  A “non-moving screen” must meet the following criteria to be legal:
    • The player(s) feet must be stationary
    • The player(s) hands must be at their side or touching their own body.
    • The player(s) may not move until the ball-carrier has past them by 2 yards.
  • A “non-moving screen” may only be implemented to screen for an offensive ball carrier.

Receiving:

  • All offensive players are eligible to receive passes.
  • Players must have at least one-foot inbounds when making a catch.
  • Players who run out of bounds are not eligible to make a reception.
  • An offensive player can be in motion when the football is snapped provided they do not cross the line of scrimmage.
  • QB’s must pass the football within 7 seconds after the snap.  If the football is not thrown within 7 seconds, the play is ruled dead.  There is no penalty.
  • If the football is handed off, lateraled, etc. the 7-second rule is no longer in effect.
  • Intentional grounding is not a penalty.
  • Interceptions may be returned by the defense.  Interceptions downed in the end zone will result in the football being placed at the 5-yard line.
  • The intercepting team may not implement a “non-moving screen” during an interception return.

Rushing the Quarterback:

  • Any defensive player(s) that rush the QB must start 7 yards off the line of scrimmage when the football is snapped.  Any number of players may rush the QB or none at all.  Players not rushing the QB may defend at the line of scrimmage.  Please note:  All defensive players must stay 5 yards off the line of scrimmage in the K-1 division until the football is snapped.  Once the football has been handed off to an offensive player, by the QB, the 7-yard rush rule is no longer in effect.
  • Defensive players defending the line of scrimmage may not follow offensive players behind the line of scrimmage.  Defensive players who are not 7 yards off the line of scrimmage may only cross the line once the ball has been handed off or lateraled by the QB.
  • The referee will designate the 7-yard mark before the ball is set each play.
  • There is no tackling, blocking, pushing or contact of any kind allowed.
  • Defenders are not allowed to “bump” receivers at any time.
  • Defensive players may not charge thru an offensive player in a “non-moving screen,” they must go around.
  • Defensive players may not attempt to strip the ball from the ball carrier.
  • Defensive players may not dive from behind to pull the flag.  Doing so will results in a touchdown for the offense.

Dead Balls:

  • Side snaps are allowed to start a play.
  • Substitutions may only be made during dead ball situations.
  • Dead ball situations include:
    • Ball carrier’s flag is pulled
    • Ball carrier steps out of bounds
    • Touchdown is scored
    • Ball carrier falls on the ground of their knee or the ball touches the ground.
    • Incomplete pass
    • 7-second QB pass rule violation
    • Any player who starts the play without a flag belt and touches the football
    • Any time the ball is fumbled the play is dead where the football hits the ground

Attire:

  • All players must wear their official NFL Flag Jersey, official flag belt, shorts or pants and a protective mouthpiece must be worn on every play!  No exceptions!
  • Players may wear wristbands and gloves.
  • No cleats Allowed
  • All players shirts must be tucked in at all times and their flag belt worn properly with no obstructions to the flags.

Penalties:

  • Defensive:
Off sides/Illegal Rush 5 yards
Pass Interference Spot of penalty + 1st down
Holding 10 yards from spot + 1st down
Illegal Contact 10 yards from spot + 1st down
Illegal Flag Pull 10 yards from spot + 1st down
Illegal Attire 10 yards from spot + 1st down
Roughing QB 15 yards from spot + 1st down
Delay of Game 10 yards + 1st down + clock stops
  • Offensive:
Off sides/Illegal Motion 5 yards
Illegal Forward Pass Loss of Down – no gain
Flag Guarding Spot fowl –Game can’t end (if last play 5 yard penalty and redo
Illegal Attire 10 yards + loss of down
Impeding Rusher 10 yards + loss of down
Illegal Screen Spot fowl
Delay of Game 10 yards + loss of down

Sportsmanship:

Foul play of any kind will not be tolerated!!!

  • If the referee or any league official witnesses any acts of elbowing, tackling, blocking, pushing or any other form of unsportsmanlike conduct, the game will be stopped, the player ejected.  The football will also automatically be turned over to the other team and the ball placed at the defensive team’s 5-yard line. *
  • Trash talking also is not permitted.  Any form of taunting, of language, which is deemed offensive to any person on or near the field will not be tolerated.  This action will result in a 15-yard penalty and the player will be ejected from the game.
  • Any player ejected from the game is automatically suspended from the league until further review by league officials.

* Referees will use their discretion to determine if the tackling was intentional or accidental.  If a player was about to score and he/she was deliberately tackled, the score counts.