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5on5 Flag Football Rules


Spectator Guidelines

No Pets allowed

No Alcohol, Drugs or Tobacco products

No Music Amplifiers/Speakers Allowed (ear phones are permitted)

No Cussing

No Heckling/Trash Talking of any kind towards other spectators, players, coaches or officials.

Spectators must remain on the perimeter of the fields, not on the sidelines or in between fields.

No ice chests, chairs or gear allowed on turf field or anything that could compromise the turf.

Penalties can be given to the team by the official that the spectator is associated with for whatever they deem necessary.  

Directors reserve the right to ask a spectator(s) to leave the tournament for not following guidelines.

The Game
No contact allowed. A coin toss determines first possession.  Only team captain and coach at the coin toss are allowed to approach the official in regards to rules or penalties in a respectful manner (clock will run unless a timeout is called). Team can elect to have offense, defense, defer, or direction.  Choice in the 2nd half will be awarded to the team that did not have 1st half election. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at their 5-yard line and has three plays to cross mid-field. Once a team crosses mid-field they have three plays to score.  If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession. If the off team fails to cross mid-field, the ball changes possession.  All drives start from the 5-yard line except INT.

Game Clock Format  
Tournament Play - each game is 30 minutes long.  Two 12 minute halves and a 1-minute halftime 

League Play - each game is 35 minutes long.  Two 16 minute halves
Each time the ball is spotted the offensive team has 20 seconds to snap the ball. (Officials will warn the offense when there are 10 seconds left to snap the ball).  Teams must wait until the referees are set or a referee acknowledges they are prepared to start the play.  Only one official needs to acknowledge prior to start of play.  If the score difference is less than 9 at the end of reg. there will be an additional 4 plays added to the end of the game.  Delay of game in last minute is loss of down and stops the clock. If a team is late 6 points will be given to the opposing team the first 5 minutes and 1 point every minute afterwards. Game will be called after 10 minutes of a team not showing up.

Time Outs
Each team has one 30 second timeout per game. If a time out is called after a TD the clock will not run until the change of possession and the offense snaps their ball.

Rushing the Quarterback
Players that rush the quarterback must be a minimum of 7 yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. An official will mark the 7 yard spot. Players that are not 7 yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped may not enter into the backfield until there has been a change of possession.  The official will designate 7 yards from the line of scrimmage.  The rusher is allowed a direct line to the quarterback as long as he rushes from either side of the center or bunch formation.  The offense must avoid interfering with the rusher if he has established his lane.

The quarterback may not run unless the ball has been thrown back, handed or pitched to him in the backfield.
Teams may handoff, pitch, or throw back the football in the backfield. The player who receives the pitch or handoff may throw the ball as long as he is not beyond the line of scrimmage.  Pitching (backward) is allowed downfield. If the ball is placed on the of ANY Player, the player MUST run the ball, no give and go to the QB on the back. No run zones are located 5 yards before mid-field and 5-yards before the end zone. You may not run the ball in the no run zone.  Only forward passes are allowed. Ball is spotted where the flag is pulled. The lead flag must break the plane of the midfield or goal line to be considered a first down or TD.  The ball doesn't have to cross. Players may screen block behind the line of scrimmage.  Players may not block down field.  Jumping is legal as long as it doesn't cause any contact.

The quarterback has 5 seconds to pass the ball if there is no rush. If the ball is not thrown, the play is dead. The ball returns to the line of scrimmage. (Once the ball has been handed off or pitched there is no 5-second count).
If the defensive team rushes the quarterback there is no 5-second count. Interceptions may be returned. The rusher may not hit the quarterback's arm, or knock the ball out of the quarterback's hand. The rusher must play the flags.  Ask referee about forward pass rules and crossing the line of scrimmage.

All players are eligible to receive a pass, including the quarterback, if the ball has been pitched back or handed off behind the line of scrimmage.  Players must have at least one foot in bounds when making a catch.  Players that run OOB during a play cannot be the first player to touch a ball when attempting to make a catch.

Play is ruled dead when:
The offensive player's flag is pulled.  Ball carrier steps out of bounds, Touchdown is scored. Ball carrier's knee touches the ground.  Incomplete pass. Ball hits the ground.  If a player loses a flag unintentionally, the defense only has to touch the ball carrier, not pull the flag.  If center starts a play without a flag the play is dead. All others must be touched if they only have one flag.

Defensive Penalties:
Offside-Illegal Rush.  Pass interference /Face Guarding (must play/look at ball).
Illegal contact (holding, bump and run, blocking) * Note the officials will determine incidental contact which may result from normal run of play.
Roughing the quarterback - the rusher may not knock the ball out of the quarterback's hand or bump into them.
Excessive contact even if the defender is making a play on the ball.  If the official feels it was intentional or with intent to harm the player will be ejected from the game and may be removed from the tournament.
All defensive penalties are five yards from the line of scrimmage and automatic first down except holding is a spot foul plus 5, and pass interference - 15 yards from LOS.

Offensive Penalties:
Pre-Snap Penalties are not a loss of down. Illegal motion /False Start/ delay of game/ illegal equipment violation - a player may not start a play without flags
Impeding the rush (the offensive players must avoid the rusher).
Flag guarding (players must keep their hands above their waist).  Charging (the offensive player must avoid the defender if they are set).
Delay of game (all delay of game penalties stop the clock).  Pass interference (illegal pick, pushing off defender).
Blocking Players may not block downfield, they may only screen block in the backfield.
Excessive contact If the official feels it was intentional or with intent to harm the player will be ejected from game.
All off penalties are five yards from the line of scrimmage and loss of down except flag guarding which is a spot foul and the pre-snap penalties mentioned above.

Sportsmanship / Roughing
Trash talking will not be tolerated.  The official has the right to determine language that is offensive.  (Trash talking is language that may be considered offensive to the official, opposing team, or spectators).  The official may eject players from the game for trash talking.  Cussing is not permitted and will receive a 15 yard penalty.  If the official witnesses any act of tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, or any other sportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will be ejected from the game. When a flag is pulled, place flag on the ground at pulled spot or hand flag back to the player it was removed from.

Overtime Extra Point Shoot Out
A coin flip determines first possession. Each team has one possession in overtime.  They may elect to go for one or two points.   If score is still tied both teams will have one play from the 5 yard line to gain as much yardage as possible.  Team with the most yardage will win.  An additional coin toss determines who goes first.

Players may not have pockets. Players may not have taped pockets. Players may have shorts with pockets if they have been professionally sewn or if they have zippers and the zippers remain zipped up. Players also must have same color shirts.  If teams are wearing the same color, there will be a coin toss, the losing team will need to change to a different color (suggestion, bring an extra white shirt or backup color). They don't have to be matching shirts, just the same color.  Teams must have Sonic Flag-a-Tag flags that have never been altered (cut/taped, etc.).  The flags cannot be the same color as a player's shorts. All players must start game with flags (offense and defense). 

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