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YAP Flag Football Rules

Flag Football Rules      



Teach football fundamentals & teamwork.
Provide a safe environment.
Measure our success by the above and by our improvement, not by wins & losses.

Age Groups / General Rules

Division 1 - EC-4 / Kindergarten
Division 2 - 1st / 2nd Grade
Division 3 - 3rd/4th Grade

Division 4 - 5th/6th Grade

Each division will play 5 vs. 5 and two 20-minute halves with a ten minute halftime. Each player will play a minimum of half the game and one coach is allowed on the field to direct players. Once the play begins, the coach must step back and not interfere with the play. One certified referee will be present.


  • All games and practices are at the St. Lawrence field.
  • Players are asked to arrive on time for practice and 20 minutes before each game.
  • Each player should bring a filled plastic water bottle to all games and practices.
  • Coaches will provide football for practice and games. Ball size "Pee Wee" recommended for both Division 1 & 2.
  • A parent or guardian is required to be in attendance at each practice and game.


  • Each player will receive a uniform shirt and shorts.
  • All players must wear the same uniform and shirts must be tucked in the shorts. Shorts can not match the color of the flag belts. Shorts must be a different color.
  • Football cleats are recommended; metal cleats are not allowed.
  • All players must wear a protective mouthpiece at all times on the field.
  • Players are not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind.
  • Players cannot chew gum or eat food on the field.
  • Players cannot play with a cast of splint of any kind.

League Rules

  1. The Start of Play - A coin toss determines first possession; other team gets choice of goal to defend and first possession for the second half.
  2. General Rules of Play
    • There are no kickoffs or punts.
    • The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 10-yard line and has three (3) plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has three (3) plays to score a  touchdown. If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team takes over on its 10-yard line.
    • If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its 10-yard line.
    • All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offense's 10-yard line.
    • Teams change sides at halftime. The other team gets possession at the start of the second half according to the coin toss at the beginning of the game.
    • There must be three linemen on the line to start any play (offense) and two "crushers" on the line to start the play (defense).
    • All quarterback/center exchanges must be with quarterback under center, i.e. no shotgun formations.
    • No blocking is allowed.
    • The ball must be snapped between the legs to start play.
    • Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 30 seconds to snap the ball.
    • Each team has one 60-second and one 30-second time out per half.
  3. Running
    • The quarterback cannot run with the ball
    • Division 1 modification - the quarterback can run with the ball.
    • Hand-offs, laterals, pitches and screen passes are allowed only behind the line of scrimmage. A lateral, pitch or screen pass must be behind the QB and not forward.
    • If the ball hits the ground, it is a dead ball. If it is forward, it must pass the line of scrimmage.
    • "No-running zones", are located 5 yards from each end zone and are designed to avoid short-yardage, power-running situations. In this situation a team may on run to the outside, such as a sweep. No running up the middle.
    • Division 1 modification "no running zones" eliminated.
    • A player who takes the handoff, pitch or screen pass can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
    • Once the ball has been handed, pitched, or screen pass, all defensive players are eligible to rush.
    • A ball carrier can not leave his feet when running with the ball.
    • Spinning is allowed, but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a defensive player (no diving).
    • The ball is spotted where the ball carrier's feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is.
  4. Passing
    • All passes must be forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage.
    • Shovel passes are allowed but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage.
    • The quarterback has a five-second "pass clock." If a pass is not thrown within the five seconds, play is dead, loss of down. Once the ball is handed off, the five-second rule no longer is in effect.
  5. Receiving
    • All players are eligible to receive passes.
    • The quarterback is eligible to receive passes if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage.
    • No motion is allowed prior to the snap of the ball.
    • A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception.
    • If a receiver (offensive or defensive) has no flags on when catching the ball the ball is dead where the ball is caught.
  6. Defense/Rushing the Quarterback
    • All players who rush the passer must be a minimum of five yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped, which will be marked by the official.
    • A maximum of two players can rush the quarterback.
    • Players not rushing the quarterback may defend on the line of scrimmage.
    • Once the ball is handed off, the five-yard rule no longer is in effect, and all defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage.
    • A special marker, or the referee, will designate five yards from the line of scrimmage.
  7. Scoring
    • Touchdown = 6 points
    • Extra point: = 1 point (played from 5-yard line no-run zone)
    • Safety = 2 points (plus possession of the ball)
  8. Overtime - there will be no overtime periods.
  9. Dead balls
    • Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.
    • Play is ruled "dead" when:
      • Ball hits the ground.
      • Ball carrier's flag is pulled.
      • Ball carrier steps out of bounds.
      • Touchdown or safety is scored.
      • Ball carrier's knee hits the ground.
      • Ball carrier's flag falls off
    • There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball hits the ground.
    • The center to QB exchange can hit the ground. This will not be counted as a dead ball.
  10. Penalties
    • Offense - All penalties are five yards and the down is replayed
      • Flag guarding: using hands to \u201cswat\u201d defensive hands from pulling flag
      • Illegal motion: more than one person moving, false start, etc.
      • Illegal forward pass: pass received behind line of scrimmage
      • Illegal Blocking: moving screens and picks are not allowed
      • Offensive pass interference: illegal pick, pushing off defender
      • Face Mask: intentional/unintentional grabbing of the face mask
      • Delay of game: There is a 30 second play clock
    • Defense: All penalties are five yards and the down is replayed
      • Off-sides: being across the line of scrimmage when ball is snapped
      • Illegal contact: holding, blocking, bump & run guarding
      • Illegal flag pull: before receiver has ball
      • Pass Interference: contact with the receiver before the ball arrives
      • Illegal rushing: starting rush inside five-yard marker
      • Face Mask: intentional/unintentional grabbing of the face mask
    • Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play.
    • All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage.
    • Games and/or halves cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.
    • Teams have the ability to decline penalties called against the opposing team.
    • All penalties will be called by the referee. PLEASE RESPECT THEIR DECISION. Only the head coach may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players and parents cannot question judgment calls.
  11. Misconduct and Sportsmanship Tacking, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act, including trash talking, can result in ejection from the game.
    • The No-Run Zones are eliminated.


All players (parents) will be required to complete a waiver and release form at the first practice.

If a player is injured, play will continue until the whistle is blown. The referee will stop the game if a child appears to be seriously hurt or if there is blood. If the game is stopped for injury, you should have your players immediately stop and sit or kneel down where they are. It is recommended that each coach become familiar with the proper procedures in the event of an injury. An injured player should sit out and receive appropriate treatment.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 August 2012 10:54

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