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Intramural Flag Football Rules

FLAG FOOTBALL RULES (PDF download)

All rules are that of the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association with slight modifications

1. Game, Field, Players, and Equipment

1.1 Shirts must be tucked in.

1.2 Pants or shorts with BELT LOOPS are prohibited.

1.3 Wearing a towel is prohibited.

1.4 All lose jewelry must be removed including watches, earrings, bracelets, etc. Players may wear soft, pliable basketball or wrestling knee pads on legs, knees and/or ankle.

1.5 The game shall be played between two teams of 7 players each on a rectangular field. Each team must have 5 players on the field in order to begin the game.

1.6 The field is divided into 4 zones of 20 yards each and 2 end zones of 10 yards each.

1.7 Each team shall designate a captain to act as team spokesperson and make decisions. Only the captain may talk to officials. Team representatives including players, spectators, team managers, coaches, and group members subject to the rules.

1.8 The use of dangerous equipment is prohibited. Shoes/Rubber sole cleats must be worn (metal cleats are prohibited)

1.9 Game balls will be provided but teams may choose to use their own footballs. Referees will not handle the football; the offense is responsible for the ball at all times.

2. Periods, Time Factors, Substitutions

2.1 The winner of the pre-game toss shall have the first choice of options:

  1. A.    offense/defense
  1. which goal to defend
  2. to defer their choice of A or B until the second half.

2.2 Playing time and intermissions: A game shall consist of 2 halves with a 2-minute intermission. Each half shall consist of 15 minutes. The clock will run continuously. During the last 2 minutes of the game, the clock will stop such as in college football:

  • Penalties
  • Scoring plays
  • Incomplete passes/out of bounds
  • Injured players
  • First downs (until the ball is set in play by referee s ready to play whistle).

2.3. Mercy Rule: If a team is ahead by 28 points at the end of the first half or 17 points at the two-minute warning in the second half, the game is over.

2.4. There are no Kickoffs: After every score the ball will be placed on the new offensive team's 10-yard line.

2.5 Each team is allowed two (2) timeouts per half (30-second time-outs); time-outs not used in the first half are not carried over into the second half. The clock will stop during the last two-minutes of the game during a timeout.

2.6 Free substitution is allowed after any whistle provided the substitution does not delay the game. However, no offensive substitute may enter unless he joins the huddle and is part of the huddle at the time when it breaks.

2.7 The offensive team has 20 seconds to put the ball in play after referee signals "ready for play." Penalty: 5 yards.

2.8 Tie Games: Ties will be broken by the "Texas Tie Breaker"

  1. A.    Play will begin on the 10-yard line and teams will have 4 plays each.
  1. A coin toss will precede "Tie Breaker". The team winning the toss has 2 options: Offense or Defense. The opposing team then has the remaining choice.
  2. The object is to score a touchdown and subsequent extra point (1 or 2 points). After team A scores, team B then has 4 plays within which to score. If no team has scored after their respective plays the process is repeated.
  3. When a pass is intercepted the defense becomes the offense and begins their series of 4 plays. If the interception is returned for a touchdown, the game is over.
  4. Penalties are assessed similar to the regular game. A team shall be given a new series of 4 plays when an automatic first down penalty is accepted. Dead ball penalties after a touchdown are penalized on the extra point attempt. Live ball penalties committed by either team after team B gains possession during an attempt or an overtime shall be enforced at the succeeding spot. Dead ball penalties following a successful attempt will be penalized from the succeeding spot, the team B 10-yard line, if accepted.

3. Definition of Playing Terms

3.1 Removal of flag belt: When the flag belt is clearly taken from the ball carrier the down shall end and the ball is declared dead. A player who removes the flag belt from the ball carrier should immediately hold the flag belt above his head to assist the official in locating the spot where the capture occurred. A player may dive to remove a flag belt as long as no contact is made with the opposing team.

3.2 The position of the ball when a player is de-flagged determines the spot of the next line of scrimmage.

3.3 A defensive player may not hold, push, or knock down the ball carrier in an attempt to remove the flag, nor shall an offensive player hold, block, or run through a defensive player trying to remove the flag belt.

3.4 When a runner loses his/her flag belt, either accidentally or inadvertently, play continues. The de-flagging reverts to a two-hand tag of the runner.

3.5 Scrimmage line: The scrimmage line for team A is the yard line and its vertical plane which passes through the point of the ball nearest its own goal line. The scrimmage line for team B is the yard line and its vertical plane, which passes one yard from the point of the ball nearest its own goal line. A colored puck will signify each.

4. Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out-Of-Bounds

4.1 The ball is declared dead when the ball touches the ground: A) on a fumble B) on a lateral or C) on a pass.

4.2 The sideline and end lines are considered out of bounds. (Only one foot needs to touch in bounds in order for a pass to be complete).

4.3 Once an offensive or defensive player steps out of bounds, that player is no longer eligible to touch the ball. Penalty: 5 yards and replay the down.

4.4 Interception can be returned for a touchdown.

5. Series of Downs, Number of Downs

5.1 In a series of 4 downs, the ball must be advanced forward into the next zone in order for a new series of downs to be awarded. Yardage lines are considered part of the forward zone.

7. Snapping, Handling, and Passing the Ball

7.1 The ball may be snapped between the legs or to the side of the snapper.

7.2 The player who receives the snap must be at least 2 yards behind the offensive scrimmage line. Always Shotgun snaps. Direct snaps are always illegal (under center).

7.3 It is defensive pass interference if an eligible receiver is de-flagged prior to touching the ball on a forward pass attempt.

7.5 The offensive team must have a minimum of four players on the line of scrimmage.

7.6 All players are eligible for a forward pass. The passer may pass from anywhere behind the LINE OF SCRIMMAGE.

7.7 The passer shall not intentionally ground the ball in order to avoid a sack. Penalty: 10 yards and loss of down

7.8 Passer is allowed to run the ball passed the line of scrimmage only if passer is being blitzed.

7.9 Defense can blitz after the 5 second count of the lead official.

7.10 The passer must have the ball leave his/her hand before the lead official finishes his 10 second count or play ends resulting in a sack. (Yardage will not change)

8. Scoring Plays and Touchbacks

8.1 A team is given the choice of going for 1 or 2 points after scoring a touchdown. Once the captain makes the choice, it may only be changed if a time out is called. Ways of scoring a successful point-after-attempt: A) By passing from 3 yards = 1 point. B) By passing from 10 yards = 2 points.

8.2 Touchdown Verification: The player scoring the touchdown must raise his/her arms so the nearest official can de-flag the player. If the player is not de-flagged with one good pull, and the official determines the flag belt has been secured illegally, the touchdown is disallowed. The player is disqualified, and it is a foul. Penalty: 10 yards from the previous spot and a loss of down.

8.3 Play after safety. After a safety is scored, the team that is awarded 2 points will automatically gain possession at their own 10-yard line. (No kick will take place)

9. Players' Conduct

9.1 It is illegal to steal or attempt to steal (strip) the ball from a player in possession. The object of the game is to de-flag a ball carrier, not to steal the ball. Penalty: 10 yards from the end of the run.

9.2 Roughing the passer. Defensive players must make a definite effort to avoid charging into a passer after it is clear that the ball has thrown and may not make contact with the throwing arm. Penalty: 10 yards and automatic first down, tack on the end of the play (if positive yards have been gained), if not, 10 yards from the original spot and automatic first down.

9.3 Guarding the flag belt. Ball carriers shall not guard their flags by blocking, with arms, hands or ball, the opportunity for an opponent to pull or remove the flag belt. Penalty: 10 yards.

9.4 The defensive player shall not (intentionally or accidentally) hold, grasp, or obstruct forward progress of a ball carrier when in the act of removing the flag belt. Penalty: 10 yards.

9.5 The flag belt removal. Intentionally pulling or removing a flag belt from an offensive player without the ball by a defensive player is illegal. Penalty: 10 yards.

9.6 Offensive screen blocking. 5 Mississippi rush rule. The offensive screen block shall take place without contact. The screen blocker shall have his/her hands and arms behind his/her back. Any use of the arms, elbows, legs, or knees to initiate contact during an offensive player's screen block is illegal. A blocker may use his/her feet in order to gain position before, during and after screen blocking. Penalty: 10 yards.

9.7 Screen blocking fundamentals — a player who screens shall not: A. when he/she is behind a stationary opponent, take a position closer than a normal step from him or her; B.when he/she assumes a position at the side or in front of a stationary opponent, make contact with him/her; C.take a position so close to a moving opponent that his opponent cannot avoid contact by stopping or changing direction. The speed of the player to be screened will determine where the screener may take his/her stationary position. This position will vary and may be one to two normal steps or strides from the opponent. D.After assuming his/her legal screening position, move to maintain it, unless he/she moves in the same direction and path of his/her opponent. Penalty: 10 yards.

9.8 Blocking and interlocked interference. Teammates of a runner or passer may interfere for him/her by screen blocking, but shall not use interlocked interference by grasping or encircling one another in any manner. Penalty: 10 yards.

9.9 Use of hands or arms by the defense. Defensive players must go around the offensive player's screen block. The arms and hands may not be used to grab or push the opponent aside. The application of this rule depends entirely on the judgment of the official. A rusher may use his/her arms or hands to break a fall or retain his/her balance. Penalty: 10 yards.

9.10 There shall be no bumping, checking, or other intentional contact between a defender and an offensive pass receiver. Both offense and defense are limited to screening an opponent.

9.11 If a player attempting a diving flag removal trips the ball carrier there is a penalty of 10 yards from the spot of the foul.

9.12 Only QB can run when rush out of the box. Only passing

10. Player Conduct

The Ref has the right to eject without warning.

10.1 No player shall commit the following acts: Penalty: Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 10 yards. If flagrant the offender shall be disqualified.

  1. a.     Intentional kick the ball.
  1. Intentionally kicking at any opposing player.
  2. Intentionally swinging an arm, hand or fist at any opposing player.

10.2 Prohibited acts: Penalty: Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 10 yards. If flagrant the offender shall be disqualified.

  1. a.     Disrespectfully addressing an official.
  1. Using profanity, taunting, insulting or vulgar language or gestures.
  2. Intentionally contacting a game official physically during the game.
  3. Fighting an opponent

10.3 Personal Fouls: Penalty: 10 yards, and if flagrant, the offender will be disqualified.

  1. a.     Punch, strike, strip, steal or attempt to steal the ball from a player in possessions.
  1. Trip an opponent
  2. Contact an opponent who is on the ground.
  3. Throw the runner to the ground.
  4. Deliberately drive or run into a defensive player.
  5. Clip an opponent.
  6. Tackle the runner.

11. Clarification

11.1 Any contact with the quarterback is considered roughing the passer. Penalty: 10 yards and automatic first down.

11.2 Pushing a receiver/defender is not allowed. Penalty: Illegal use of hands, 10 yards.

11.3 Any dead-ball penalty on the defense occurring during a touchdown or a successful PAT will be assessed on the next play from scrimmage at the 15 yard line.

11.4 When an inadvertent whistle is blown by an official, the ball is dead at the point when the whistle was blown. The team against which the inadvertent whistle was blown dead has the option of accepting the play or replaying the down.

11.5 Spiking, taunting, and any intentional antagonizing of the opposing team will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct. Penalty: 10 yards.

11.6 The offensive team is responsible for retrieving the ball to an official at the line of scrimmage. However, the offensive team may bring the ball into the huddle in an attempt to keep the ball dry.

11.7 Each member of a team is eligible to receive a pass unless the player voluntarily goes out of bounds during the play.

11.8 No player shall attempt to steal the ball, trip an opponent, contact an opponent who is on the ground, make unnecessary contact with an opponent, deliberately dive or run into an opponent or tackle the ball carrier or push the ball carrier out of bounds to stop the play. Penalty: Personal foul, 10 yard (flagrant offenders will be ejected).


 

SUMMARY OF FOULS AND PENALTIES

Loss of 5 Yards:

  1. Required equipment worn illegally.
  2. Delay of game.
  3. Illegal snap.
  4. False start.
  5. Encroachment.
  6. Illegal procedures.
  7. Illegal forward pass (5 yards from point of pass and loss of down).
  8. Intentional grounding (5 yards from point of pass and loss of down).
  9. Helping the runner: the runner shall not grasp a teammate or be grasped, pulled or pushed by a teammate.
  10. Unfair tactics.
  11. Offensive player not within 15 yards of ball.
  12. Illegal Shift.

Loss of 10 Yards

  1. Delaying the start of either half.
  2. Illegal participation.
  3. Offensive pass interference. (Loss of down).
  4. Defensive pass interference. (Automatic 1st down).
  5. Illegally secured belt on touchdown. (Revoke touchdown and loss of down).
  6. Unsportsmanlike conduct.
  7. Spiking the ball or not returning the ball to the official during the dead ball.
  8. Attempt to steal the ball from the carrier.
  9. Hurdling.
  10. Unnecessary contact of any sort.
  11. Roughing the passer (Automatic 1st down).
  12. Defensive use of hands.
  13. Guarding the flag belt (and stiff arming).
  14. Illegal batting.
  15. Illegal flag belt removal.
  16. Personal foul.
  17. Flagrant Unsportsmanlike conduct. (Disqualification).
  18. Flagrant personal fouls. (Disqualification).
  19. Intentionally tampering with flag belt. (Disqualification).

 

SPORTSMANSHIP

PHILOSOPHY

Sportsmanship is individuals or teams doing unto others as they would have others do unto them. Sportsmanship is individuals containing an understanding and appreciation of the rules developed for sport. Players enjoying the recreational experience and encouraging others to participate regardless of skill level will help enhance the integrity of the program. All participants will take responsibility for his/her own actions regardless of the repercussions, which involves not blaming others for mistakes made or making excuses for wrong doings. Sportsmanship is recognizing and acknowledging character and honor among team members and opponents while practicing such characteristics themselves. Participants will respect officials, supervisors, and opponents during, before, and after a contest. Finally, sportsmanship will portray an overall respect and passion for the sport and recreation.

SPORTSMANSHIP MISSION

Ferrum College and the Intramural Sports program are dedicated to promote and enforce positive sportsmanship among all Ferrum College participants. Through each contest participants must portray fair play, respect for opponents, and intramural staff, as well as, graciousness in winning or losing. In order to encourage proper conduct during games, officials, supervisors, and administrative personnel will make decisions to warn, penalize and/or eject players, coaches, teams, and/or spectators for poor sportsmanship. The decisions made by these individuals are final and will be reviewed by the Coordinator of Intramural Sports. In the instance teams challenge their rating, only the captain will meet with the Coordinator of Intramural Sports to discuss the issue. All captains are responsible for the conduct of their teams during an intramural contest. The sportsmanship rating can be affected by actions occurring before or after a contest.

 SPORTSMANSHIP CRITERIA AND RATINGS

Based on this philosophy the following system will be used to evaluate a team’s sportsmanship during each contest in which they participate:

Teams will receive a rating each week that will create an average at the end of the season. Teams in Level I must have an average of 3.0 at the end of their fourth week to continue play. Teams in Level II and Level III must have an average of 3.0 to be eligible for playoffs.

Example:

Game 1: 3.0

Game 2: 3.0

Game 3: 2.5

Game 4: 3.0

Total 11.5

           

Average Conversion: 11.5 / 4 = 2.875. This team would not be eligible for continued play or playoffs.

 

Superior: 4.0 “Win with class – lose with dignity”

  • Teams must display absolute respect for opponents, officials, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Teams respect all decisions made by the intramural staff.
  • All questions to the sport official must be respectful and reasonable. Statements are not questions and will not be recognized.
  • Teams are responsible for their actions and spectators they bring to the event.
  • Teams state positive comments of encouragement towards teammates and opponents.
  • Teams accept a loss and congratulate the opponent on their success.
  • Teams receive absolutely no warnings, ejections, yellow cards, unsportsmanlike penalties or technical fouls.

 

Excellent: 3.5

  • Teams must display absolute respect for opponents, officials, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Teams will ask questions and make statements in regard to the game.
  • Teams are responsible for their actions and spectators they bring to the event.
  • Teams state positive comments of encouragement towards teammates and opponents.
  • Teams accept a loss and congratulate the opponent on their success.
  • Teams receive absolutely no warnings, ejections, yellow cards, unsportsmanlike penalties or technical fouls.

 

*Note: All teams that request to cancel within 24 hours of their next contest will receive a 3.5 rating. The opposing team will also receive a 3.5 rating.

 

Good: 3.0

  • Teams must display absolute respect for opponents, officials, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Teams will ask questions and make statements in regard to the game.
  • Teams are responsible for their actions and spectators they bring to the event.
  • Teams state positive comments of encouragement towards teammates and opponents.
  • Teams accept a loss and congratulate the opponent on their success.
  • Teams receive and adhere to verbal warnings, but receive no ejections, yellow cards, unsportsmanlike penalties or technical fouls.

 

Average: 2.5

  • Teams must display absolute respect for opponents, officials, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Teams will ask questions and make statements in regard to the game.
  • Teams are responsible for their actions and spectators they bring to the event.
  • Teams state positive comments of encouragement towards teammates and opponents.
  • Teams accept a loss and congratulate the opponent on their success.
  • Teams receive a technical foul, yellow card, or unsportsmanlike conduct, but receive no ejections.

 

Below Average: 2.0

  • Teams must display absolute respect for opponents, officials, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Teams will ask questions and make statements in regard to the game.
  • Teams are responsible for their actions and spectators they bring to the event.
  • Teams state positive comments of encouragement towards teammates and opponents.
  • Teams accept a loss and congratulate the opponent on their success.
  • Teams receive two technical fouls, yellow cards, or unsportsmanlike conducts, but receive no ejections.

 

*Note: Teams that forfeit through a no show will automatically receive a 2.0.

 

Poor Conduct: 1.0

  • Teams must display absolute respect for opponents, officials, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Teams will ask questions and make statements in regard to the game.
  • Teams are responsible for their actions and spectators they bring to the event.
  • Teams state positive comments of encouragement towards teammates and opponents.
  • Teams accept a loss and congratulate the opponent on their success.
  • Teams receive an ejection.

 

Unacceptable: 0

  • Teams must display absolute respect for opponents, officials, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Teams will ask questions and make statements in regard to the game.
  • Teams are responsible for their actions and spectators they bring to the event.
  • Teams state positive comments of encouragement towards teammates and opponents.
  • Teams accept a loss and congratulate the opponent on their success.
  • Teams receive multiple ejections or the game is forfeited by intramural staff.

 

SPORTSMANSHIP SANCTIONS

The intramural program contains the right to address all issues that pertain to sportsmanship issues. Players that are ejected from an event will receive an automatic one game suspension and will have to meet with the Coordinator of Intramural Sports. The captain of the team will have to attend this meeting to discuss the sportsmanship issue and the rating system. The intramural program also reserves the right to contact Judicial Affairs to resolve extreme disciplinary situations. All situations will be handling individually and sanctions may vary.