MDS Sports Men’s Flag Football Rules

Revised June 2017

Team/Basic Info:

  1. Game Play-
    1. Game play is an 8 versus 8 play format. Teams must field a minimum of six (6) players at game time, and a maximum of 8 players on the field at once. Eight (8) players is considered a “full” team.
    2. Games will consist of two (2), 30 minute halves and a 2 minute halftime.
    3. Games will start no later than 5 minutes past the scheduled start time.  At that time, it is up to the referee or staff member to allow play. If a game starts 5 minutes late, the game will be shortened or there will be NO halftime, at the referee’s discretion. The 2nd half will start immediately at the end of the 1st The referee will call a forfeit if a team cannot field at least 6 men after 5 minutes past the scheduled start time.
    4. If a team starts with at least 6 players, but an injury or other situation occurs that results in only 5 eligible players available, they may choose to continue to play with 5 men; however, teams MUST have 6 players to initially start the game.
    5. Any team who forfeits unexpectedly (no-show, no-call) MUST pay a $50 forfeit fine prior to their next game or season, whichever is first. All planned forfeits must be relayed to the league commissioner via email, text, or phone call by 9PM on the Thursday night prior to game day.
  2. Roster/Waiver – There is no maximum number of players on a team. Teams must sign up at least 12 players. ALL PLAYERS MUST COMPLETE PAYMENT BY WEEK 1. Everyone MUST wear their league t-shirt or jersey to participate in the game.
    • Players will NOT be allowed to participate without signing the MDSSC waiver/roster. Teams can retroactively receive a loss or losses for playing payers that have not signed the roster/waiver, player conduct form, or have not paid.
    • Captains may choose to add players through each season’s final roster add/drop date (Week 3), should a team have an injury or otherwise need more players prior to the playoffs.
    • All players must be paid and added to the Roster, and have signed the Waiver by Week 3 in order to be eligible for playoff games.
    • INELIGIBLE PLAYERS: Any player who has played Professional Football (ex. NFL, AFL), NCAA Division 1A, within the last 5 years is INELIGIBLE. This rule is to keep competition as fair as possible.
    • League participants must be 18 years of age by Game 1.
  • Player Apparel
    • All players MUST wear their league t-shirt or jersey to participate in the game.
    • Cleats and spikes are allowed with the exception of those with metal studs. NO METAL STUDS. It is recommended that earrings, body piercings, and sun glasses are removed.
    • Player flags are league provided and must be worn OVER the shirt/shorts. Referees will ask players to tuck in their shirts to prevent blocked flags as needed. A 15 yard penalty will occur for unapproved flag belts worn by any offensive or defensive player (must be a triple threat flag belt with all flags present, no snaps). (see Flag penalty section)
    • All baseball caps must be turned so that the rim is facing backwards. Quarterbacks are permitted to have their hat facing forwards.
    • Playbooks may be worn (window sleeve) or they must be folded up and kept off the field.
  • Football Sizes
    • All Pro — Must be played with a college or Pro sized ball
    • Pro — Must be played with a high school, college, or Pro sized ball
    • Semi-Pro Must be played with a high school, college, or Pro sized ball
  • Expected behavior
    • This is a competitive league. All players are expected to demonstrate sportsmanlike behavior towards each other AND towards the referees.
    • Any unsportsmanlike behavior (ex: aggression, offensive language, discriminatory behavior, threats towards players or referees) will NOT be tolerated and may result in seated penalties (3 minutes or 5 minutes) or expulsion from the game. Extreme instances may result in expulsion from the league. Penalties and expulsion are at the referee’s discretion.
    • All referee decisions and calls are final.
    • Any instances of physical fighting will result in league expulsion.
    • Captains should remind their players of sportsmanlike conduct. Only the captain may question the referee’s judgments/calls during game play.

Pregame/Timing

  1. Coin toss/Start of play
    • The team that wins the coin toss (home team calls toss) at the start of the game must choose one of two options, with the team losing the coin toss choosing the other:
      • Which team will start with the ball
      • Which goal line his team will defend
    • There are no kick-offs. Play starts at the 1 pt conversion line.
    • To begin the second half, the team that started the game on offense will start on defense.  Teams will switch sides of the field.
  • Time
    • Game play consists of 2 thirty-minute halves. The clock only stops for injuries, rule challenges, and time-outs requested by either team in the 1st
    • The offensive team has 30 seconds to snap the ball from the end of the play. The offense is responsible for bringing the ball back to the line of scrimmage, getting the play called and initiated. If the referee feels that the offense is not attempting to get the ball in a timely manner, a delay of game penalty can be given. The offense must wait for the refs to either spot the ball or OK the placement of the ball, even with the hurry up offense.
  • Time-Outs
    • Each team is allowed two, 15 second time-outs per half.
    • During the final 2 minutes of the 2nd half, and the final minute of the 1st half, the referee will stop the clock if:
      • An incomplete pass is thrown
      • A player ends play by going out of bounds
      • A first down is earned (once the ball is spotted, time will begin)
      • Either team scores (clock remains stopped until opposing team snaps the ball AFTER the PAT attempt-clock does not  run during extra points)
      • Change of possession
      • A penalty which must be marked off occurs
      • A team declares a punt (clock will resume for the punt and the ensuing return. It will be stopped when the returnee is tagged, up until their first snap from the line of scrimmage.)
      • A team calls a time out
      • A penalty that stops the clock on the offense within the last two minutes of the game results in the yardage and a ten second run-off of time.
      • Rule challenge, if applicable
      • As long as hike is called before time expires, the play stands
    • Mercy Rule
      • If a team is up by 17 points or more at the 2 minute warning, the game ends
      • If a team is up by 45 points or more at halftime or at any point in the 2nd half, the losing team can opt to end the game. If both teams agree to continue play, the remainder of the game may be played out without score keeping.
    • Overtime – Regular Season
      • Overtime play is untimed, with the exception of the 30 second play clock.
      • Up to two (2) rounds of Overtime will occur at the end of regulation time if play is tied during the regular season.
      • Coin toss winner (home team calls it) decides who goes first on offense, with the alternate team choosing which side to defend for all rounds.
      • Play begins from the 1st and Goal line on the closest side to where the action ended. There will only be 4 downs and 1 blitz per team. If there is a pass interference (PI) call, it is an automatic 1st down at the spot. This results in a new set of downs AND a new blitz opportunity.
      • In the first round, either team can go for a one or two point conversion. In the second round, teams must go for two points.  If the teams are still tied after two rounds, the game will end in a tie.
      • An intercepted Overtime conversion may be returned for points.
    • Overtime – Playoffs
      • Coin toss (lowest seed calls toss) winner decides who goes first on offense, with the other team choosing the side to defend.
      • In playoffs only, if after the third (3) overtime round the game is tied, teams will start their possessions from the 2pt conversion line and have 1 play with an open blitz. Both teams get equal possessions and switch off each round for who goes first.

 

Schedules

  1. Scheduling – In extreme situations (ex: unforeseen weather related cancelations), the league may schedule play-offs, championships, or make-up games on alternate dates not listed on the schedule. Captains will be contacted in advance should this be necessary. Any special scheduling requests must be made AT LEAST 1 WEEK PRIOR to the start of the season. All requests will be considered but are NOT GUARANTEED.
  2. Playoff Seeding:
    • Win percentage
    • Teams’ head to head outcomes during the regular season
    • Net points
    • Points against
    • Points for
    • Strength of schedule
    • Coin toss

 

Game Play

  1. Scoring
    • Touchdowns – 6 points (Player celebrations are allowed in the end zone as long as they do not taunt the other team)
    • Extra Points –
  • 2 point conversion –  10 yards off the goal line
  • 1 point conversion – 5 yards off the goal line

* If a team changes their decision on a 1 pt or 2 pt conversion, they must take a timeout

  • 1 and 2 pt conversion attempts may be intercepted and returned for 2 points with the defense retaining possession at their 5 yard line after the play.
  • First Downs
    • There is no first downs based on two completions, rather it will be based on distance.
    • There will be a line across the field 25 yards from the goal line from both goal lines. These are lines where the ball needs to be at or across to get a first down.
    • The blitz remains the same – one per 4 downs
    • At the start of the half and after scores possessions will start at the 5 yard line. The offense will have 4 downs to get the ball to or across the 1stt 25 yard line. If they do they will get another set of downs.  They will need to get to the next line to gain the last set of downs.
    • A possession from turnover on downs, INT or a punt may start anywhere.  In these cases the offense will still need to get to the closest line to gain a first regardless of how close it may be.
    • Offensive Penalties – The penalty will be marked off which will push the offense back. There is only one puck needed.  If the offense incurs a penalty that moves them from in front of a first down line to behind it, they still need to get to the original first down line.
    • Defensive Penalties – If the defense incurs a penalty, then this moves the offense forward. If it moves the offense across a first down line, then the offense can get a first down from the penalty.
  • Completions – A receiver needs to have one foot in bounds with control of the ball.
  • If a receiver (catching the ball) is pushed out of bounds or the end zone the catch will count.  The defensive player may be assessed additional penalties.
  • If the receiver’s flag falls off, then it is a one-hand touch rule. A foul will not be called for being touched except if excessive force is used.
  • If in the referee’s eyes, a receiver would be able to catch a pass, but was pushed out of bounds by a defender while in the air, a catch will be rewarded.
  • Receivers intentionally leaving the field of play are ineligible to receive a pass. This includes the back of the end zone.
  • If a player gets forced out of bounds by a defender, he may return in bounds and be the first to touch the ball legally unless this force out is within the 5 yard bump area.
    • If a player catches the ball with his fingers underneath the ball and those fingers touch the ground, it is a good catch. If he catches the ball with his fingers partially on the ball and the ground helps him to gain control of the ball, this is NOT a catch.
    • Underhand throws (shovel passes) are allowed. If the pass is completed past the line of scrimmage, it is considered a completed pass.
  • You can only have one legal forward pass.  If the QB passes it forward but it is caught still behind the line of scrimmage (LOS), then the receiver cannot either throw it forward or lateral it to someone else to throw forward.
  • Runs – No QB TD runs inside the 5 yard line. If the QB runs the ball after the ball started inside the 5 yard line, the play is subject to a 5 yard penalty and loss of down.  The QB may only run for a touchdown after starting inside the 5 yardline if the blitz comes.  On the five count, the QB still may not run the ball across, he must throw it or hand it off to another player.  Players who receive hand offs, laterals or passes are eligible to run the ball in. The QB may also run the ball in but it must be after a double toss/lateral (ie. the QB takes the snap, laterals to another player and then receives it back. The final rule is that all snaps inside the 5 yard line must be in the shotgun.  There are no direct center to QB snaps (handing the ball between players).  This eliminates the center touching the ball to the QB’s hand and then the QB pushing the center over the goal line.  It is an obvious safety issue.
  • Punts – A punt must be declared and CANNOT BE FAKED.  All punts are “free” punts.  A team need not snap during a punt.  A dropped snap during a punt is not a fumble.
  • Punts must be kicked- punts cannot be thrown.  The punter only has 5 seconds from the snap to kick the ball or the play is dead.  If it is the 4th down and the punter does not get the play off, it is a turnover on downs.
  • The receiving team can move on punts but cannot impede any defenders ability to get to the runner.  If this occurs, it is a 5 yard penalty at the spot of the infraction.  Receiving team members can trail for a lateral.
  • There are no attempts to block the punt.  This will result in a 5 yard penalty and a replay down.  There is no downfield blocking or blocking at the line of scrimmage.
  • The kicking team may not cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
  • There is no minimum number of players on the line of scrimmage during a punt.
  • If a punt is “shanked” and caught, it is a live ball and is returnable.
  • If the ball comes into contact with the ground after it has been punted, it is a dead ball, spotted at the point where it hit the ground, and may not be returned.
  • A punt through the end zone (or if a player drops the ball in the end-zone) is spotted 5 paces/yards out from the goal line and is NOT counted as a safety.
  • Continuance of Play – Play will continue until:
  • Ball carrier’s flag is pulled off or falls off.
  • Ball carrier touches the out of bounds line with any part of their body.
  • Ball carrier scores.
  • If a player loses their flag and then catches the ball, the pass is legal; however, they are NOT down until they are touched with ONE HAND. This also goes for defensive players when they intercept the ball.  This is not the same as prior contact by a defender, where the flag falls off or a player makes a move to avoid a defender and their flag dislodges.
  • Ball touches the ground as a result of a fumble, punt, or incomplete pass (the ball is not an extension of the arm. If the ball is pinned between the ground and the ball carrier’s hand, the play is dead).
  • You are NOT down by having a knee(s) down.  You are down when your flag is off or if you are touched by a defender with a knee or body on the ground.
  • Spot of the Ball
  • The ball will be spotted where the ball is at the time the ball carriers’ flag comes off or dislodges (not where the flag hits the ground or where the defender stops his motion and drops the flag).
  • If the ball crosses the plane of the goal line before the flag is pulled, it will result in a touchdown, ball extension will now count.  Diving for the goal line is NOT allowed.  However, if a player is stumbling and falling over, this is NOT diving.  Diving will result in a 5-yard penalty from the initial spot of the dive.
  • If a player touches the ball inside the pylon (imaginary line extended out of bounds for catches) before going out of bounds, without having his flag pulled off or falling down, it is a Touchdown.
  • Scoring – To be awarded a TD, only the ball needs to cross the plane of the goal line. There is no rule for ball + 2 feet.
  • Turnovers
  • A change of possession can only occur due to downs, an interception on a forward pass or an interception of a lateral.
  • A fumble is not a turnover (the ball is dead at the point of the fumble and the offense retains possession)
  • If an offensive player looses grip of the ball on his own (void of any contact from a defensive player) and the ball is caught in the air by a defensive player (whether forward of backwards), then it is considered a turnover. Any “fumbles” as the result of defensive contact are marked back to the spot of the fumble and are subject to the stripping/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the discretion of the referee.
  • Fumbles – If on a fumble, the ball is bobbled forward before touching the ground, the ball will be spotted where the bobble was initiated.  In all other cases, the ball will be spotted where it hits the ground.  The offense retains possession on all fumbles, except if the ball is fumbled on 4th down and the resulting spot results in a turnover on downs.
    • Exceptions: If an offensive player fumbles the ball into the end zone without contact from a defensive player (on their way to scoring touchdown); the ball reverts back to the team on defense.
    • Exceptions: If an offensive player fumbles the ball into his own end zone, then the result is a safety; this goes for fumbles, lateral passes, and forward passes that fall incomplete in the end zone
  • Laterals
  • A lateral is an underhand pitch of the ball to a fellow team member next to you or behind
  • A player can run alongside another player so long as the teammate without the ball does not obstruct a defender from being able to make the flag-pull; this includes if the runner uses the teammate as a pick. Penalty is 5-yards back from the spot.
  • Laterals are legal, they must be behind the person with the ball or at the same level; there cannot be forward laterals.
  • QB can be a receiver after a lateral or hand-off in the back field; although the QB can’t block prior to receiving the lateral
  • A lateral can be overhand.
  • Contact at the line of scrimmage
    • Players acting as offensive lineman must have hands behind their back when protecting their quarterback from pursuing defensive rushers; they must stay in place and not move side to side to protect the QB. (This usually occurs on downs where the offense thinks the BLITZ IS COMING. On these plays, if the referee determines that when the receiver or lineman releasing as a receiver intentionally (not accidentally blocks a defender or rusher this will be an illegal blocking penalty on the offense.
    • Contact may be within the first five yards from the line of scrimmage AND may only be hand checking – it may NOT be any of the following
      • Holding shirt/jersey – 5-yard penalty (unless ball is in the air; then subject to pass interference)
      • Hands to the neck or face – 15-yard penalty
      • Preventing a player from releasing off line – meaning that a player intends to run a down and out and he is “checked” repeatedly and simply never gets an opportunity to run the route – 5 yard penalty
      • Defenders need to be careful of checking a player while the ball is being thrown to them. While there is a 5-yard chuck rule, the receiver must have an opportunity to catch the ball.
      • Hand Checking – Can be done by both offense and defense, however the offensive player can’t push off to gain separation, nor can the defensive player hand check to prevent receiver from running pattern
      • The defense must be careful not to contact the receiver while the ball is in the air.
      • Offensive lineman can position their body at any particular angle in an attempt to direct the rushers to a particular area, but they may not physically direct them.
      • Teams do not have to keep any guys in to block, they can send out all other 7 men
  1. Offensive Charging – Occurs when the ball carrier intentionally runs into a defender. Play is dead and next play is run 5-yards back. This is similar to a basketball charge and the offensive player must make an “attempt” to avoid the defensive player
  • Sneak Plays – Team may run a no-huddle offense but they must allow the refs to spot the ball
    • If the player calling the cadence does not receive the snap, the play will not stand and will result in a 5-yard penalty, with repeat of down.
    • Illegal forward pass: If the QB crosses the line of scrimmage and then throws a forward pass, it is an illegal forward pass and will be a 5-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, and loss of down.
      • It is illegal when the player’s entire body is beyond the neutral zone when he releases the ball.
    • If the ball hits the ground on the snap for either a pass or running play, the play is dead and the ball is spotted where it hit the ground.  It is also a loss of down and counts toward limit of the four (4).
    • The QB may not snap the ball to himself.  If this happens, play will stop immediately and it will result in a 5-yard penalty and repeat the down.
    • MOTION – One player may run side to side –meaning laterally.  One player could start off in the backfield and take a step forward or backward to run laterally in motion.  They may not be running towards or backwards from the line at the time of the snap.  A player may start off on the line, drop back a step or two or into the backfield, and then get set before the snap or move laterally in motion.  Illegal Procedure is a 5-yard penalty and repeat down.
  • QB Protection – All rushers must go after the QB flags.  They may not go after the QB’s arms.  Contact with a QB’s arm is an automatic 15 yard penalty and a first down.
    • This also applies to players intentionally going after QB legs with their bodies.  A rusher is either going for the flag or is a few feet away and looking to intercept or possibly block the pass.

 

  • QB – Throwing the ball away – When there is a blitz, the QB may not spike the ball.  The QB must get the ball “TO” or “PAST” the line of scrimmage.
    • Exceptions
      • If the QB throws the ball and the ball touches a player on either team regardless of where they are standing then it is NOT a penalty.
      • If the game is in the last two minutes and the score is 16 points or less and a QB spikes the ball to stop the clock then that is not a penalty—also, on that same play if the rusher tried to come across on the “stop clock” play it will depend on what happens as to whether it is a used blitz.
        • If the QB spikes the ball immediately then it is NOT a used blitz.
        • If the QB waits to see if the rusher is coming and then spikes it then it IS a used blitz (QB can only do this in the 2 minute drill).
      • When there is an INT or a Punt return for a TD, in the ensuing conversion the blitz is closed.

Flags/Flag Penalties

  1. All Players must make their best efforts to put their flag belts back on.  If in the refs judgment, a player does not reasonably try to put their belt back on and catches a pass they are down where they catch the pass without any contact.
    • If a defensive player fails to attempt to get their flag on by the start of the play, the offense can take the result of the play or take a 5-yard penalty and replay down.
    • If an offensive plays fails to attempt to get their flag on by the start of the play, then the play should be blown dead as a dead ball foul.  5-yard penalty and clock runs in the 2 minute drill
  • A player with the ball cannot block a defender from pulling his flag intentionally or unintentionally. A player may not stiff arm another player at any time – 5 yard penalty from spot and down counts
  • Flags must be worn with a flag on each hip and one down the back.
  • Flag belts must contrast with the player’s pants/shorts.  If a player comes with clothing that conceals the belt they may NOT play.
  • Shirts must be tucked in and not covering the belts at any time.
  • A player may not lower a shoulder to shield a flag or to feign a hit – 5 yard penalty from spot and down counts (subject to unsportsmanlike penalty).
  • Flag belts must be fastened without a player attempting to gain an advantage.  Players caught tying or taping their belts are immediately ejected.
  • If after a score the flag belt is checked and is not in line with fair play, then the points are waived off.  Flag belts must be over a player’s shirt (except if pulled out by the defense in attempt to get flag).
  • A player shirt must be under the belt.  A defender may not hold an offensive player to gain access to their flag, this is defensive holding and is a penalty.
  • A player may spin to avoid a flag pull so long as they do not break the above rules.
  • A player may not intentionally discharge a flag on the opposite team who does not have possession of the ball.  (Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty – 15 yards).
  • QB towels or pockets – QB’s (and all players) are not permitted to play with any towels or hand-warmers around their waist
  • Flag Belt Penalties
    • Flag Guarding – 5-yards from the spot and loss of down.
    • Offensive flag belt penalty – 15 yards, replay down
    • Defensive flag belt penalty – 15 yards, from the line of scrimmage. If there is a scenario where a defensive player intercepts the ball and it is then discovered that he has an unapproved flag belt, the interception stands and the penalty is enforced from where the interception occurred (half the distance to the goal if inside 15 yard line).

Defense

  1. Zone defense is allowed.
  2. Defense needs at least one person to line up on the line.  This player may drop off at the hike but must be within 2 yards of LOS at hike.
  3. Rush
    • The referee will shout the rush count as 1-one thousand, 2-one thousand, 3-one thousand, 4-one thousand, Go!
    • The defense may not cross the line of scrimmage to pursue the quarterback until the referee says “Go.” If so, the play will result in an off-sides.  If you cross on “Four- One Thousand” you either used your blitz or are offside if blitz is closed.
    • Defense may rush before the 5-count if the ball changes hands behind the line of scrimmage (ex: hand off or lateral)
  • Blitz
    • The defense can blitz once in every series of downs. This means that the defensive rusher runs across the line of scrimmage before the 5-count is up.  If a team blitz’s twice in a series the offense can take the result of the play or the play is replayed but moved 5-yards up.
    • If the offense scores and the defense has not already used their blitz yet, they can use their blitz on the conversion.
    • All 8 men can blitz at one time if they wish.
  • Stripping – There is no attempts of stripping the ball. This is aggressive play and will not be tolerated.  Unnecessary roughness will be called.  This can be a 5-yard, 10-yard or 15-yard penalty according to ref discretion.
  • Safeties – A safety will be scored if a player is:
    • Tagged down in their own end-zone (except in a punt return)
    • Knee or ball touches ground in the end zone, plus being down or flag off, except for downing a punt
    • Runs out of bounds in their own end zone.
    • Snaps the ball out of the end-zone
    • If the offense fumbles the ball in their own end zone.
    • An offensive player attempts to block a defensive player in the end zone
    • A player having intercepted a pass or received a punt in the end-zone, cannot be tagged in the end-zone for a safety unless he/she has previously crossed the plane of the end-zone with the bal
  • End of Game Tackle or Unsportsmanlike push out – If the defensive team tackles the offensive player or pushes him out to end the game there will be a penalty walk-off of 15 yards and one untimed.  If the blitz was closed on the down that caused the penalty then it will also be closed on the untimed down.
  • Defensive Blocking
    • When a defender runs and then jumps into the path of the ball carrier to force the ball carrier to run into them or when the defender jumps in front and makes no earnest effort to pull a flag rather they initiate contact.  5-yard penalty from spot on first offense for that team, repeated offenses will all be 10-yards from the spot.

Penalties

  1. Normal rules and penalties of the NCAA apply unless exceptions have been made herein.  Excessive roughness will not be tolerated and may result in ejection from game or league.
  2. If there is a penalty on the offense, then the offense will be moved back to a new line of scrimmage (LOS)
  3. Penalties incurred on the 4th down play by the offense (mainly flag-guarding after the first down has been reached) – Determination of whether or not the first has been made, shall come after the penalty is marked off.  Flag-guarding is enforced 5-yards from the spot and the down counts, so as long as the ball remains past the first down after the enforcement of the 5-yards then it is a first down for the offense.  If it is 4th down, and the ball is marked prior to the line to gain after enforcement of the penalty then it is a turnover on downs.
  4. Ball in Advance of Line to gain- if the ball is in advance of the line to gain after the enforcement of a distance penalty for a foul by team A during a play of scrimmage, it is first-and-10 for Team A.
  5. Dead Ball Fouls
    • Eligible receivers must be on the playing field before the cadence is complete (penalty dead ball foul – 5-yard penalty, repeat downs).
    • Offensive off-sides – 5-yards repeat play
    • 5-yard sideline mark — for offense lining up – 5 yards repeat play
    • More than 8 players breaking the huddle- 5-yard repeat play
    • Delay of game – offense – 5-yard repeat play
    • Bench players must remain outside the 10 yard line – Standing inside the 10 yard buffer from the goal lines is a 5-yard dead ball foul
    • Pushing the offensive player out of bounds without any attempt to grab their flag – 10-15 yard penalty depending on severity, ref’s discretion.
    • Deliberately tackling or pulling the carrier with the ball or a potential carrier to prevent a big play without any attempt to pull the flag will result in a 15 yard penalty.
  • Non-Dead Ball Fouls
    • 5-Yard Penalties
      • Defensive off-sides — offense can take result of play or 5-yards repeat play.
      • Defense not having a player lined up on the line of scrimmage to start play (within 2 yards) – 5-yards repeat play
      • Player with ball diving into end zone
      • Defensive player not attempting to put flag belt on by start of the play
      • Flag Guarding – 5-yards from spot and a loss of down.
    • Defensive Holding – 5-yard penalty from line of scrimmage, replay down – Offense can accept or decline penalty
    • Defensive Checking – 5-yard penalty from line of scrimmage, replay down; defensive player can not initiate contact across the LOS (they risk using the blitz)
    • Delay of game – defense
    • Person receiving snap does not call cadence
    • Illegal forward pass – attempt to pass the ball twice or past LOS
    • False start/player in motion towards line or 2 players in motion (a player may run motion laterally)
    • Attempting stripping (can be 5, 10, 15 yards, depending on severity)
    • Picks – If an offensive player is not turned to his QB (ready for the pass) but is turned toward a defender and picks one or more defenders, this IS offensive picking. If the offensive player is turned towards his QB, it is not a pick; If two or more offensive players set themselves or are running to where the defensive player cannot cover the offensive player without contact where the offensive players are not making any real attempt at being a receiver than this is also picking. The offensive team may not initiate a pick/block while in motion.  5-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, loss of down.
    • If a catch is made after a clear pick, it will be ruled “no catch,” 5-yard penalty from line of scrimmage and loss of down.
  • 10-Yard Penalties
    • Unnecessary Roughness – This includes any illegal tag such as grabbing jerseys or excessive pushing.
    • Attempted stripping (5, 10 or 15 yard penalty depending on severity)
    • Hands to the face (offense/defense))
    • Intentional Grounding (ie: not getting the ball back to the line of scrimmage) – if the ball touches an offensive or defensive player, then it is NOT intentional grounding.  Penalty: offense is backed up 10 yards from LOS or to the spot of the foul, whichever is more disadvantageous to the offense; if a pass goes backwards (lateral or a fumble)) from the passer and it hits the ground, then the ball is marked where it hit the ground.
  • Pass Interference – When the ball is thrown, both the defender and receiver have a right to go for the ball. If both players catch the ball at the same time, the possession goes to the offense. If both players are going for the ball and initiate contact at the same time, this is NOT pass interference
    • If the offensive receiver has position and the defensive player initiates contact, this is pass interference.
    • If the defensive player has position and the offensive player initiates contact, then that is offensive pass interference. The penalty is 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and replay down.
    • Pass interference – (Defensive) – There is no such thing as face-guarding.  It is either pass interference, or not. Pass interference is a spot foul, automatic first down.
      • Ball is spotted at the point of the infraction and offense is awarded an automatic 1st down. 1st downs earned by penalties do not count towards your limit of 3.
      • If the pass interference is in the end-zone, the ball comes out to the 1-yard line and it will be 1st down.
      • Offense may decline the penalty and accept results of the play.
    • Conversion Penalties
      • If the defense commits a penalty on a 2-pt conversion attempt, the down is replayed from the 1-pt conversion.  The conversion is still worth 2-pts.
      • If the offense commits a penalty on any conversion, the down is over, except for a dead ball foul because the play hasn’t begun yet.
      • If the defense commits a penalty on a 1-pt conversion attempt, the offense has choice of ½ the distance to the goal for one point or remaining at the 1-pt line and going for a 2-pt conversion.

Time Penalties

  • If the game is within 2-minutes and there is a purposeful defensiveness penalty just to stop the clock (the team on defense is losing) then there will be an automatic 10 second runoff.
  • If the team on defense is winning, they cannot create a penalty to run off time to automatically win.
  • If the offense during the last 1 minute of the 1st half or last 2 minutes of the 2nd half of the game intentionally delays the game then the defense has the option of adding 10 seconds back on the clock.
  • Miscellaneous
    • There is no refund for shortened seasons due to weather, field conditions, or any other reason.
    • Games for teams that have forfeited will not be made up for the team that won the forfeit.