5-Man Adult Flag Football Rules & Policies

(last updated: 4/2/2022)

  1. Flag Guarding: is now a 5-yard penalty, not 10, to keep our penalties consistent.
  2. Backfield Motion: Players can be in motion, along the lines of regular football rules.
  3. 2-second rush delay: The defensive rusher's starting line will still be at 7 yards there will be a 2 second delay. 
  4. Immediate backfield rush: Teams on defense will be allowed 1 immediate rush each series. A defender(s) still has to line up 7 yards from line of scrimmage. Defensive players must yell out blitz if they choose to rush right away. Once player blitzes there is no longer a 7 second count and QB is now eligible to run. You CANNOT blitz on PATs. If blitz occurs in the "no run zone", this is the only time the QB is eligible to run inside the "20" negating the no run zone rule. 
  5. Screens, Picks, Crossing Patterns: the rules for these are clarified on page 4
  6. Officials: Most games will have 1 official.
    • Enforcing the 2 second delay- Official will enforce the 2 second delay for rushers
    • Timing the QB- Official will time (stop watch) the 7-seconds for the QB to get rid of the ball. This official will not watch the clock, but will click the clock and click it again at the throw. Only after the play has ran to completion, the clock can be checked.
    • Roughing the passer- defensive players can only go after the QBs flags, they cannot strip or swipe ball while QB has possession of the ball
    • Illegal contact- Official will flag the rusher if he makes any unnecessary contact (cheap shots) on other players while rushing the QB. Watch the offense to make sure they are not blocking or setting intentional picks. If questionable, tell the head official what you see and the head official will warn the team OR the head official will throw a flag after this discussion.
    • Out of bounds- Official will watch for and mark out of bounds plays on his sideline
    • Forward progress- Official will assist with forward progress on all plays. 
    • First down determination- Official will assist on the first down determination in short yardage situations. 
    • Contact fouls - Official will assist will watch for contact fouls in his immediate area.
    • Catch/No catch - Official will assist or make calls in his immediate area
    • Unsportsmanlike acts - Official will watch for Unsportsmanlike acts, gestures, or comments
    • 25 second call - Offense has 25 seconds from the spotted ball to get a play off
    • Defensive Strip - Defenders are NOW allowed to strip ball while the receiver is in the process of a catch. Where as before this was called a Pass Interfence/Ruled a Catch. Defensive players are ONLY allowed to punch out/deflect ball while receiver is in the process of a catch. Once the receiver completes the catch and makes initial move/step to run, defenders are then not allowed to punch out ball. Additionally, defensive players cannot make contact with receivers arms or go through their body while attempting to strip the ball. There will be no "winding up". 

Other Clarifications:

  1. CLARIFICATION: players that are not a part of the 7 yard and 2 second delayed rush, cannot rush the quarterback as made clear, but this means also you can not rush AT the quarterback, nor can you rush the quarterback to block a pass. The only person(s) that can rush the QB, at the QB, or rush to block a pass are those players that started with the 7 yard and 2 second delay.
  2. It is almost impossible to knock down a pass made to a backfield player, because the only ones allowed in the backfield are those players that started with the 7 yard and 2 second delay, since the new rule does not allow (regular) defenders to go into the backfield until a backfield person touches the ball.
  3. Players should not wear pants or shorts with pockets (pockets are dangerous).
  4. Running up the score is discouraged, although we do want you to play full speed while you are out there. If the spread is bigger than 20, the league will treat the win only as a win by 20.
  5. We do allow extra point attempts (from the 7-yard line for 1 point).   If the defense intercepts the PAT try, they cannot run it back, but the defense will be awarded 1 point.
  6. Ball is spotted at the end of run on interceptions.
  7. Only two forward passes are allowed per down, not including pitch back with center.
  8. Snapping the ball above ground is allowed.
  9. Shirts must be tucked in thoroughly/tight; if not, all the opponent has to do is touch the ball carrier.
  10. The 5-man league demands cooperation from players.

What rules are we under: NFL Flag, Air It Out, and a few other leagues were reviewed, and we assembled these rules to fit our taste. The main Portland variation is that the width of field is bigger than any other league. While the other leagues have fields averaging 28 yards wide by 70 yards long, we have fields 35 yards wide and between 70 + 80 yards long. .

Timing: Game length is two 20-minute halves. There will be a halftime period of 2 to 3 minutes between the first and second half. If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, the game stands as a tie. Officials can stop the clock at their discretion. The teams will be warned when there are two minutes left to play in the second half. For the final 2 minutes, if the game is within 17 points, the official will stop the clock according to standard football rules (high school rules). 5-man Football will be played mostly on Sunday evenings

Uniforms: Pants or shorts must be a different color than the flags. To purchase flags, call Frank Bashor’s Sporting Goods. They are located downtown at 112 NW 20th (near the Fred Meyer on NW 20th). Tell them you need the adult recreational flag football flags, called Triple Threat. Bashor’s can be reached at (503) 226-3696. The visiting team will make any changes required. No article of clothing may cover any portion of a player's flag (excludes belts)- this means shirts are required to be tucked in and tight. If your clothing covers any portion of the flag, the referee has the right to make you down upon touch; also, if your shirt gets ripped off because it is hanging out, you have no right to get angry. We also require undershirts to be the same color if you are to wear them. Dark blue with black will work as an undershirt. Captains are required to have extras in case players forget. Penalty: 5 yards.

Players may play on 2 teams: Players may play on 2 teams during the season, but no more than 2 teams. With 3 games left on your schedule, it is too late to add players. For a player to be eligible in the playoffs, that player must have played at least 1 season game with that team. To be eligible to play on 2 teams in the playoffs, you must have played at least 2 season games on both teams. EXAMPLE: If you played 1 game with one team and a few with the other, you can only play on one team- the one you played more games for.

Payment & Registration Rules: Teams choose the dates and amount of games they would like to play each season (see web site). Payment is due the Tuesday before any league start date.  Individuals are encouraged to pay one full week in advance of the start date. To see about start dates and registration information and how to pay, see the web site at www.portlandfoottball.com. There will be no refunds for any reason. The web site is where you go to find everything: rankings, schedules, directions to fields, past season rankings, etc.

Rainy Weather Cancellation Policy: We do not cancel due to rain or cold, at any point. Teams are required to bring players to every game.

Snow or Ice Cancellation: We will not cancel due to snow, unless the highways are snowy or if the highways have ice on them. We do not cancel for cold weather or because it is ‘snowing’. To find out if there is a cancellation due to icy or snowy road conditions, call (503) 462-4627. 

Offensive Rules

Offensive formation: Offense can have players in the backfield.

To start the play: the ball must be snapped between the legs of a center in the fall season. For winter and spring seasons, the center can lateral it to the quarterback upon a verbal command from the quarterback.

Once a ball is spotted: team will have 25 seconds to get a play off. This league highly encourages teams to develop no-huddle offenses (calling out patterns by numbers right before the snap, rather than in a huddle). Teams are encouraged to keep the plays moving, so as to maximize the workout.

Jogging to the spot: On a change of possession, teams are required to jog to the 5-yard line. This encourages athleticism, but also encourages maximizing your playing time. Once the ball is spotted on the 5-yard line (by the referee), teams have 20 seconds to get a play off.

The quarterback cannot run with the ball past the line of scrimmage even if rushed.

An offense may use multiple handoffs behind the line of scrimmage. Only backward or lateral handoffs are allowed during a down.

Tosses or sweeps behind the line of scrimmage are allowed and are running plays.

"No-running zones" are located 7 yards from each end zone. When the ball starts on or inside the 7-yard line going towards the opponent's end zone, the offense cannot run. On extra points, there will be no running plays (there must be a pass, even a backward pass is okay- to score)

The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.

All defensive players are eligible to rush once the ball has been handed off or tossed, or there is a play-action fake or fake handoff.

The ball is spotted where the ball carrier's feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is.

No Stiff Arming: A ball carrier may not stiff-arm, slap at, or push away any defender (flag guarding).

Spinning: Players will be allowed to spin, however players cannot spin into contact. An official can deem a spin as dangerous, in that case a flag will be thrown and a 5 yard penalty will be assessed. 

Players cannot leave their feet to avoid a defensive player (no diving).

No Flag Guarding: Players are not allowed to bend over, to use stiff arms, to chop down with the arms or in any way guard the flag from being taken by the defense. Some spinning can be a form (perhaps accidental) of flag guarding. He may not shield or guard his flag belt in any manner. This will be at referee discretion.

No Diving: an offensive player may not dive anywhere on the field once he has possession of the ball (no diving for 1st downs or touchdowns). A defensive player may dive to catch the ball or to deflag an opponent.

A defensive player is allowed to dive to obtain a ball carrier

CLARIFICATION: Screen blocking, Picks, and Crossing Patterns- Contact is not a part of this league. The general rule is that you are to avoid contact on both sides of the ball; therefore screens, picks, and crossing patterns are all borderline as to their legality in this 5-man league. The screen should be set in a manner that the opponent knows the pick is coming; has time, distance and ability to get around the pick. The only goal of the pick should be to slow the defender from getting to your man. If danger is a part of the pick, even if due to the defender not looking, the fault will be to the person that sets the pick. Some teams never set picks; the league would prefer that, but because some teams use ‘running plays’ every once in a while-picks are needed (and safe for running plays). Restatement- if the screen/pick/crossing pattern causes contact with an unaware defender, the team may be flagged for unsportsmanlike behavior. Screen blocking is legal, but must have these characteristics; there is no way the referees can call this correctly (with 5-man football) every time- it is up to the players to try to play within the rules:

  1. Distance screen should be from opponent- You must be set 2 full steps before opponent runs into you. It must be a basketball style pick (screen). The pick itself can only be as wide as your shoulder width to the ground- meaning of course that your arms cannot be extended beyond the width of your shoulders, nor can your legs be extended out.
  2. Time opponent needs to change direction- You must give the opponent two full steps to change direction
  3. Intent- The pick/screen’s intent must be to slow the defender from getting to your man- it is not intended to actually ‘pick’ someone off.
  4. Ability to avoid contact/opponent must see pick- the person you are trying to pick or screen must have the ability to see the screen and choose to avoid contact with you (meaning- you have to be spaced to where that person can see the contact). A great pick in basketball (blind side) would be illegal in 5-man football; moreover a blind side pick would be unsportsmanlike behavior in this 5-man league, because this is a no-contact league. You could be set for 3 or 4 steps, but if your pick takes a person by surprise and causes physical contact, you may be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. The opponent has to see it coming.

Scoring: Touchdown will award 6 points, Safety will award 2 points, and the extra point is worth 1 point (the extra point attempt will always be from the 7 yard line).

Running up the score: We do want you to go full speed for the hour you are playing, but running up the score will be discouraged.

No kicking or punting is allowed. Teams open the half, and after scores, from their own 5-yard line. If a team elects to “punt” it will turn the ball over to the opposing team at the 5-yard line.

Flags: Each player on the field must wear a ‘Triple Threat One Piece Belt’ with 3 flags, unaltered in any way. The flags must be of contrasting color to the pants. To order flags by mail, call Triple Threat at (928) 445-0456 or call (877) 656-2236, or you can FAX to (928) 445-2642. To pick up flags in Portland, call Frank Bashor’s sporting goods in Portland. Their phone number is (503) 226-3696 and their address is 112 NW 20th in Portland. Explain what league you are in (Mikal Duilio’s league), and that you need adult flag football flags.

Flag Removal: Offensive players must have possession of the ball before they can legally be deflagged. A flag removed inadvertently (not removed by grabbing and pulling) does not cause play to stop. It should continue as if the flag had not been removed. In all situations where a play is in progress and a ball carrier loses his flags either accidentally or inadvertently, the deflagging reverts to a one-hand touch of the ball carrier between the armpits and knees. It is unsportsmanlike conduct and penalized as such for a player to remove his own flags before or during a live ball period. A player may leave his feet to remove opponents' flags. A referee may signal a player down with 1 hand touch.

Capture of Flag: If a flag inadvertently falls to the ground, a one-handed tag between the armpits and knees constitutes capture. It is up to the discretion of the officials as to whether a flag fell or came off by being pulled, you are reminded to play until you hear the whistle. A player while in possession of the ball who touches the ground with any part of his body other than his hands or feet is down at the spot of such touching.

Flag Guarding: Ball carriers will not protect their flags by blocking with arms, hands, or the ball- the opportunity of an opponent to pull or remove a flag. Penalty: 5 yards from the spot of the foul and the down counts. If after a penalty, the ball did not advance beyond the zone line-to-gain and the foul occurred during the fourth down, the ball belongs to the opponents.

Passing Rules: Only players starting 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage can rush the passer.

  • The quarterback has seven seconds to throw the ball. If a pass is not thrown within the seven seconds, play is dead, loss of down and the ball is spotted at the previous line of scrimmage. The play may go past 7 seconds, but after the play is finished, the clock will be checked. Once the ball is handed off or tossed, the seven-second rule no longer is in effect.
  • Interceptions change the possession of the ball. Ball is spotted at end of runback.
  • Interceptions that occur in the end zone can be returned or downed. If a player gets de-flagged while in the end zone, the result would be a safety for the other team.
  • Shovel passes are allowed but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage.
  • Passing: There is no limit to the number of forward passes per down. Unlimited number of legal laterals, pitches and hand-offs are permitted anywhere on the field.
  • If the ball carriers flag falls off, the player will be down upon any one hand ‘touch’.
  • There are no fumbles. The ball will be spotted where the ball carrier's feet were when the fumble was made. I.e. a bad snap will be blown dead and the ball will be spotted at the center’s feet. There is no stripping of the ball.

Receiving Rules: All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage). Players can be in motion, along the lines of regular football rules. A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception. Players cannot return on to the playing field from an out of bounds position (unless they were pushed out of bounds and immediately come back in).

Interceptions: On an interception, you can try to run it in for a touchdown. If you come short of the touchdown, the ball will be put at the end of your runback.

Rushing the Quarterback: All players who rush the passer must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage and delay two second from the center’s snapping motion. Any number of players can rush the quarterback. Players not rushing the quarterback may defend on the line of scrimmage. Once the ball is handed off or tossed, or there is a play-action fake or fake handoff, the seven-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 seven yards from the line of scrimmage.

It is okay to line up defensively on the line of scrimmage, but you cannot rush or enter the backfield, unless someone is handed the ball, passed the ball, etc. Referee note- we use 1 referee- it is best to stand at this 7-yard mark until the ball is snapped. Upon recognition of a pass, this would be a good point to make strides downfield to watch the ball.

REMEMBER, blocking or tackling is not allowed.

Sportsmanship/Roughing: Foul play will not be tolerated - If the referee witnesses any acts of flagrant contact, tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will be ejected from the game.

Trash talking is illegal (trash talk is talk that may be offensive to officials, opposing players, teams, or spectators). Officials have the right to determine offensive language. If trash talking occurs that disrupts the game, the referee will give a warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.

Fighting:  The league has a zero tolerance for fighting.  We will suspend teams and players without refund for any physical altercations.


  • All penalties are 5 yards (except for Pass Interference - 15 yards). The down will be repeated unless otherwise noted, and will be assessed from the line of scrimmage.
  • All penalties can be declined.
  • Penalties will not exceed half the distance to the opposing team's goal line from the line of scrimmage.
  • Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play.
  • All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage.
  • Only the team captain may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players cannot question judgment calls.
  • Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.

Defensive Penalties

  • Offside 5 yards 
  • Pass Interference 15 yards & automatic first down
  • Illegal contact (holding, blocking, etc.) 5 yards 
  • Illegal flag pull (before receiver has ball) 5 yards
  • Illegal rushing (starting rush from inside 7-yard marker) 5 yards 
  • Disconcerting signals (signals to distract opponent or simulate offensive signals prior to snap) are not allowed. There is no penalty, only a warning/reminder.
  • The defensive restraining line is the line of scrimmage. As explained, if you are rushing the quarterback, you must start 7 yards back and with a 1 second delay, but defenders can line up anywhere, as long as it is on their side of the line of scrimmage.
  • A defensive player must go around a screen blocker who has been set for two running strides. The defender may use his hands only to maintain balance while going around a blocker. The defender may not push, pull or initiate contact with the screen blocker or any opposing player. Penalty: Play continues; behind the line of scrimmage; 5 yards marked from the line of scrimmage, repeat the down. Penalty: Play continues; beyond the line of scrimmage; 5 yards marked from the POI; repeat the down.
  • A defender may not rough the passer. Roughing the passer is defined as any contact with any part of the passer, with or without contact of the ball. If the defender is trying to block the ball, he may not touch the passer’s arm or run into the quarterback. Penalty: 5 yards from the line of scrimmage or end of play; automatic 1st down.
  • A defender may not hit or chuck a player off the line of scrimmage (no contact at anytime). Penalty: Play continues; 5 yard penalty from previous spot
  • A ‘tackle’ is made when a defender detaches the ball carrier’s flag belt. The location of the ball at the time of the "tackle" determines where the ball is to be marked for the next play. When a flag belt is detached (but not cleanly pulled by a defender and does not fall to the ground for several yards down the field) the ball is marked at the spot of the initial pull (where the clip was broken).
  • A defender must use one-hand touch between the shoulders and knees to "tackle" a ball carrier that loses his flag belt. Note: A defender may not touch the head of the ball carrier.
  • A defender may not hold or grab any part of a ball carriers body or uniform. He may not detain a ball carrier by any physical contact when "tackling". He may not slap at, bump or knock the ball from a ball carrier’s arms. He may not try to steal a ball. Penalty: Play continues; 5 yards POI; repeat the down.
  • A defender may not tackle or push a ball carrier out of bounds (unsportsmanlike conduct).

Offensive Penalties (all 5 yards)

  • Delay of game 5 yards
  • Substitution fouls 5 yards
  • Illegal motion (more than one person moving, etc.) 5 yards 
  • False Start 5 yards
  • Illegal Snap 5 yards
  • Offensive holding 5 yards Illegal shift or failure to pause for one second 5 yards
  • Player out of bounds (if player goes out of bounds, player cannot return to the field and catch ball) 5 yards
  • Illegal forward pass (pass received behind line of scrimmage) 5 yards & loss of down
  • Offensive pass interference (illegal pick play, pushing off/away defender) 5 yards & loss of down
  • Flag guarding 5 yards from the point of foul & loss of down
  • A ball carrier must attempt to avoid contact with a defender. Offensive charging occurs when a ball carrier runs into a stationary defender. Accidental brushing/unavoidable contact is not charging. Penalty: 5 yards if accidental. Considered unsportsmanlike if intentional.
  • A ball carrier may not hurdle or jump over a defensive player (whether standing or fallen down). Officials will not allow any vertical leap by a ball carrier. However, officials will tolerate moderate spinning* and lateral movements as long as the ball carrier does not commit a foul during play. Penalty: Play continues- 5-yard penalty, repeat down. NOTE: spinning can be viewed as flag guarding by some officials- they will have the right to make that judgment call.
  • A fumble, muff or dropped ball that lands in the playing area is immediately dead at that spot. The ball belongs to the team that last had possession unless; the ball lands on or behind that team’s goal line (safety is charged), the ball lands on or behind opponent’s goal line (touchback; opponents ball on their 5- yard line), or if the ball is fumbled on a 4th down that does not gain a 1st down. Fumbles are dead to avoid two players diving after the ball. Exception: If a player intercepts a ball behind their own goal and then fumbles the ball behind their goal, it is a touchback. Note: If a player pretends to fumble and causes the ball to go forward, it is a forward pass and may be illegal. Penalty: Play continues; 5 yards from the spot of the pass and loss of down. Note: When a ball is fumbled forward, the referee will spot the ball at the location of where the player initially fumbled the ball, not the forward spot where the ball lands.
  • Screen blocking is permitted- The screen block must be stationary and must be set at least TWO running strides from the defender. The screen blocker may not extend or stick out a knee, hip, shoulder, leg, arm or foot when blocking. The screen blocker and only the screen blocker’s feet may be in contact with the ground when blocking. An offensive player that runs a pattern in front of the rusher may be called for an illegal screen. Moving screens and any other types of blocking are not permitted: this is considered illegal screen blocking. Penalty: On or behind the restraining line; play continues; 5 yards from the line of scrimmage; repeat the down. Penalty: Beyond the restraining line; play continues; 5 yards POI


SHOES: If a player is caught wearing illegal shoes during the game (from the inspection to the end of the game), that player will be ejected and the team charged with a penalty. What is illegal: Metal tipped cleats will not be worn on either grass or synthetic field. At synthetic fields, you must wear turf shoes or basketball/tennis shoes only- turf shoes are those defined as ‘non-screw in’ or molded cleats. Restated: Screw in cleats are allowed on grass, but not artificial turf. Metal cleats are not allowed on either.

Uniforms: All players are required to wear the official team uniform of like color jerseys. All jerseys must be tucked inside shorts/pants. A defensive player that grabs the lower part of a ball carriers jersey that is not tucked-in while attempting to "tackle" that ball carrier will not be called for holding or hindering a ball carrier. A jersey that is cut must be short enough so that there is a minimum of four (4) inches from the bottom of the jersey to the player’s waistline. Each player must wear pants or shorts without any belt(s), belt loop(s), pockets or exposed drawstrings. The pants or shorts must be different color than the flags.

All players must sign a waiver and consent form prior to playing in any game. Rosters are limited to 8 players. Teams may add/delete players from the roster up until the 5th week of the season. Rosters are frozen after Week 5.

Field Dimensions and Markings: Length: Each field may vary a bit, but our fields will always be as big or bigger than the national standards for 5 Man Football. Length standards range from 50 to 80 yards, while width standards range from 20 to 30 yards. End Zones range from 7 to 10 yards deep. Our league will have fields 65 to 80 yards long, by 30 to 35 yards wide, depending on the field and whether we are playing the game as a 4-person or a 5-person game.

Possession: a coin toss determines first possession. Loser of the coin toss has choice of end zone to defend. The team that loses the coin toss gets possession at the beginning of the second half starting at its own 5-yard line.

There are no kickoffs: the offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 7-yard line and has three plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has three plays to score a touchdown. If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team takes over on its 5-yard line. An automatic first down by penalty will overrule the other requirements regarding three plays to make either a first down or score. If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its 5-yard line.

All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offense's 7-yard line.

Teams change sides at half time.

If a captain of a team requests a time out for explanation of a rule and/or penalty, the time out will be charged to a team. Once the rule has been explained to the captain and all discussion is over, referee to start the clock. The captains of the teams may not take advantage of this rule to stop the clock; referee will use judgment in all cases.

No individual may threaten to throw a punch at or inflict bodily harm towards any other individual or taunt verbally or physically any official or referee (unsportsmanlike conduct). Ejected player or players must leave the park in a timely manner.

The officials have the final say on all judgment calls. No protest of a referee’s judgment call will be permitted. Only the captain of the team may approach the referee on a rule interpretation. The referee has authority to rule promptly and, in the spirit of good sportsmanship, on any situation not specifically covered in the rules. The referee decisions are final in all matters pertaining to the game.

Penalties of an intentional manner to stop the clock, at the referee’s discretion, will not stop the clock. Quick whistle: When a referee blows the whistle before a play actually ends, the team in possession of the ball at the time of the whistle may either return to the previous line of scrimmage and repeat down or take the yardage gained up to when the whistle was blown, loss of down.

JOGGING TRACKS: Respect other park users and stay off of jogging tracks. Please do not park on city grounds. Please respect the field we are at, as you would your own yard. Please pick up litter after your games.

RELEASE FORMS: Every player must fill them out and sign online through the player registration.


COIN TOSS: At the coin toss in the center of the field, the visiting team Captain will be given the privilege of calling the coin while it is in the air. The winner of the toss will be given his choice of defense, offense, or of designating the end of the field at which the ball will be put in play or may defer his choice to the second half.

ENTRY FOR SUBSTITUTES: No substitute will enter during a down. Between downs any number of eligible substitutes may replace players provided having the replaced players off the field before the ball becomes live completes the substitution.

RE-ENTRY: During the same dead ball interval, no substitute will become a player then withdraw. No player will withdraw and then re-enter as a substitute unless a dead ball foul occurs or there is a charged time out or period ends. Penalty: 5 yards from previous spot

THE BALL: The official ball will be pebble-grained leather or rubber covered and will meet the recommendations for size and shape for a regulation football. The Referee will be the sole judge of any ball offered for play and may change the ball during play at his discretion. During the game each team must use a legal ball of its choice when it is in possession. Exception: The team in possession must use the same ball for third down and fourth down, unless a ball change is necessitated by inclement weather. Penalty: 10 yards

ILLEGAL EQUIPMENT: The use of headgear, shoulder pads, body pads, or shoes with metal tipped cleats, regardless of material is prohibited. Additionally, any unyielding or dangerous equipment is prohibited. Players may use an ace bandage. A soft yielding material not to exceed 3/8” thickness will cover knee braces. No loose jewelry of any kind will be worn (stud earrings and necklaces worn under the jersey accepted).

Unavoidable, incidental contact occurs in flag football. Referees have discretion in assessing penalties.

When teams are short players: How to run 4-man flag football

There are no forfeits in this league. We know that some Sundays, teams may have only 4 players, or even 3 players. We know that on some Sundays, weather may scare some people from coming out... but we will not accept forfeits. When you show up, you should always get a full workout. Out of courtesy for your opponent, you must show up with whatever number of players that you can- even 3 will allow us to make a game happen for your opponents.

Below are SCENARIOS and how to deal with them. Some of the scenarios call for the game to switch to official 4-Man Flag Football rules. Luckily, the only difference with 4-man flag football rules is that the field is only 30 yards wide, not 35 (once the game is officially changed to 4-Man, referees will adjust cones and the game will go on with the same rules as 5-Man).

  • SCENARIO 1: What do you do if your team is short a player (and the other team wants to run 5-Man, as opposed to volunteering to switch to 4-Man)? You can ask guys who just finished in another game that may have just finished up if they want to play, or you must ask your opponents (if they have extra players) if they would like to play with you.
  • SCENARIO 2: What do you do when one team brings 5 players and the other team brings 4 (and after trying to recruit, there is just no one to recruit)? Games in this predicament can do a variety of things:
    1. The game can be played 5 versus 4
    2. The team with 5 can choose to just run 4-Man rules and they will of course have 1 substitute.
    3. A referee may be asked to play to make it 5 on 5 (the game becomes call your own, with the referee/player making the final determination of a tough call).
  • SCENARIO 3: What do you do when one team brings 5 or more players and the other team brings only 3 players, and there are no extra bodies? The team with 5 will be asked to donate 1 player to the other team so that the game will be played 4-Man.
  • SCENARIO 4: What do you do when there are 7 players between the two teams (and there are no extra bodies and you cannot get the referee to play)? The teams will play 4 versus 3 with one team playing with 4 players, the other team playing with 3 players; however, the game length will be reduced by 12 minutes. Instead of a 52-minute game, the game will be 40 minutes. Also, the field will be narrowed into the 20-yard range.
  • SCENARIO 5: What to do if there are 6 players total between the two teams (and there are no extra bodies)? The game will become 3 on 3 game played on a 4-Man football field; the game will be 40 minutes straight with no halftime.
  • SCENARIO 6: What to do if you have 5 or fewer players between the teams and nobody in site to be the 6th the field time for whatever you want. A makeup game will not be given to any team at any point, except under one circumstance- a team had 5 players at game time, but this team did not get a game. That is the only circumstance a makeup game will be given.