Flag football will consist of 3 levels:
- Junior Flag - Pre-K through Kindergarten
- Senior Flag - 1st and 2nd Graders
It is the decision of each organization on which levels they will provide.
- Games at the flag level will be 8 on 8
- Teams should consist of at least 10 players and no more than 14. This is to fit in with CDYFLs vision of inclusion.
- Each player must START on at least 1 side of the ball. If a player does not START on offense, they must START on defense. All players should have the opportunity to play offense and defense.
- Pee Wee Size Football
- Each team may have 2 coaches on the field. The offensive coach may help set up their team’s alignment, but must retreat to the huddle area before the ball is snapped. The defensive coach may do the same, but must retreat to at least 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
- 1 coach from each team will stand on the line of scrimmage and act as a referee. They may still coach, but they will spot and set the ball after each play.
- All coaches should have a whistle and can blow any ball dead if needed.
- The playing field will be 40yds x 25yds (the 20 yard line will be considered midfield and first down). On a regulation football field you will be playing on a quarter of the field. All other boundaries may be utilized. You may also set up a flag field independent of a regulation football field using the above dimensions. This will allow for more than one flag game to be played at the same time. The offensive team will start at the 40 yard line going in. The offensive team will always go the same direction and the defensive team will always defend the same end zone.
- One (1) 20 yard marker shall be used to mark off the 1st down zone. A down marker can be used to indicate the down number or a coach/volunteer may use their fingers to display the down. When the ball is within the opposing team’s 20 yard line, it is considered 1st and goal.
- Game Ball- a Pee Wee football will be used at the flag level.
- Flags- each player must wear a quick release belt with 3 flags attached. The flags will hang down from each side and rear of a player’s body.
- Jerseys must be tucked in at all times and the flags may not be covered or secured.
- If a player’s flag becomes inadvertently lost, the player is down when he/she is tagged by the opposition.
- All team members must wear the same colored jersey.
- All jerseys must be numbered, front and back, preferably.
- Any type of shorts or pants may be worn provided they do not have pads and preferably no pockets.
- Jerseys must be tucked in at all times. Flags must not be covered.
- Molded cleats are suggested.
- Mouth Guards are required. Coaches if you see a player without a mouth guard, please send that player off the field. No Exceptions!
- Athletic supporters, although not required, are recommended.
- As stated above in the Coaching Section. There will be 2 referees, 1 from each team and they should work together to ensure clean, fair play. All coaches should have a whistle and may referee and blow a play dead if they see fit.
Rules of Play
- Games are contested 8 vs. 8, free substitution rule is in effect and a player(s) may enter the game any time the ball is dead.
- Games will consist of two (2) 25 minute halves with running time. A halftime can last 5-10 minutes as decided by the coaches.
- 1 pass must be attempted every 4 downs (except in Junior Flag)
- There should not be more than 2 coaches per team on the field. 1 coach’s main job will be to call/set up the offensive and defensive teams and 1 to act as referee.
- At the start of the game, halftime and following all scores the ball shall be placed at midfield (40 yard line).
- Each team will have 4 consecutive downs to advance the ball into the next zone or to score a touchdown.
- Once a team enters into the next zone, it is a first down and a new series of downs begins
- When a team fails to move the ball into the next zone, they will lose possession. The opposing team will take over possession and start on the 40 yard line.
- When the offensive team moves within the last zone with a first down, it will be considered 1st and goal.
- At the conclusion of each down, a referee will place the ball in the center of the field.
ALTHOUGH THERE IS NOT A TIME CLOCK AT THE FLAG LEVEL, EVERY EFFORT SHOULD BE MADE TO GET IN AND OUT OF HUDDLES IN A TIMELY MANNER.
- There is no tackling of the ball carrier, defensive players must attempt to grab the flag. We are teaching proper tackling progressions, as per USA Heads Up Football, so our flag players should practice and perfect their tackling skills to be in excellent tackling position with the goal of pulling the flag.
- A ball carrier is considered down when their flag has been pulled. In the event that an offensive player’s flag inadvertently falls off, the ball carrier is down when they are tagged.
- A defensive player must go after the quarterback’s (passer) flag, no attempt should be made to touch the quarterback’s (passer) arm.
- All offensive players are eligible to block a defensive player, they can use their hands within their shoulders and are restricted to blocking an opposing player’s chest and shoulder area.
- There is no blocking in the back.
- Players should make every effort to keep hands away from opposing players' head and face area.
- The ball carrier may not use their hands to block or protect their flag. Flag Shielding is not allowed. The defensive player must have the opportunity to remove the flags.
- Ball carriers may make football moves, stiff arming and spin moves are allowed.
- The ball carrier may not lower their head and shoulders to drive into a defensive player.
Center and Lineman
- The center must snap the ball between their legs. A Shotgun or Pistol snap may be used as well. It is up to the coach’s discretion how many snap do-overs will be allowed. Remember the players are here to learn football, so please take that into account when snaps are fumbled. With that being said, after 3 botched snaps, there should be a loss of down.
- Offensive and Defensive Linemen must assume an athletic (2 point) stance prior to the snap.
- Lineman should be onside prior to the snap.
- Any backfield player is eligible to attempt a pass.
- Passes must be attempted from behind the line of scrimmage.
- 1 pass must be attempted every 4 downs.
- All offensive players are eligible to receive a forward pass.
- Balls that are not caught are considered incomplete and the ball is dead.
- Any time the football hits the ground, the play should be blown dead immediately. There are no fumbles, they will be blown dead. This is why all coaches should have a whistle.
- When a ball carrier’s flag is pulled or they are down by contact.
- Following a touchdown or safety.
- When the ball and/or ball carrier goes out of bounds.
- When there is an incomplete pass.
- Offensive line should have fingertip splits.
- There is no Split End, you may set up the Wing formation with a Running Back 1yd x 1yd outside of the tackle.
- There are no QB sneaks. The QB may run outside the ends immediately or they may run a QB draw by dropping back for a pass prior to running up the middle. This will allow the defense to get off their blocks and make an adjustment to the QB run
- Defensive line must play head up on the offensive line and the Center is uncovered. Defensive ends may play outside shade of the offensive tackle.
- Defensive lineman cannot shoot gaps, they must engage the offensive lineman first.
- Linebackers should be 2 yards behind the defensive line. Linebackers may not blitz, they may cross the line of scrimmage once the ball is handed off. Outside linebackers cannot be outside of the defensive end. We want them in the box.
- DBs and/or safeties can be up to 10 yards behind the linebackers and must be inside the box as well.
- Interceptions CAN be returned for a pick 6 if the player makes it past the 40 yard line. Up to coaches discretion if they allow this.