Intramural Flag Football games will be conducted under the rules of the NIRSA Flag and Touch Football Rules, listed below is a quick overview of the rules.
- The game shall be played between 2 teams of 7 players each. Five players are required to start the game and avoid a forfeit. The game may be continued with less than 5 players as long as the team has a chance to win.
- The game shall be played under the supervision of 2 to 4 officials.
- Each coach or player shall designate to the Referee the captain (s). If more than 1 player is designated, a speaking captain must be selected to make all decisions.
- 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’s decisions are final in all matters pertaining to the game.
- The field shall be 100 yards by 40 yards, including two 10 yard end zones. The width of the field shall be lined at 20 yard intervals from goal line to goal line. The 3 and 10 yard try for point lines shall be 1 yard wide.
- To avoid a forfeit, a team must have at least 5 players to start the games.
- A minimum of 7 players is allowed on the roster.
- A maximum of 15 players is allowed on the roster.
- Only 2 ex-varsity athletes per team, NO EXCEPTIONS
Start of the Game
- A coin toss shall determine first possession to begin the game. The winner of the toss shall have 3 options. 1. Offense or Defense, 2. Choose a goal to defend, or 3. Team MUST say whether they defer options to the second half.
- Players may enter or leave the game an unlimited number of times. Substitutions may only enter during a dead ball.
- Each team is allowed 3 timeouts per game. These timeouts shall be 1 minute in length.
- The following is a list of scoring opportunities and their point values
- Touchdown = 6 points
- Safety = 2 points
- Extra point try from 3 yard line = 1 point
- Extra point try from 10 yard line = 2 points
- Extra point try from 20 yard line = 3 points
- If a team is 19 or more points ahead when the referee announces the 2 minute warning for the second half, the mercy rule takes effect and the game is over. The same rule applies if a team scores in side 2 minutes with this differential.
The following is a complete list of 5 and 10 yard penalties:
5 yard Penalties
- Delay of game (Dead Ball)
- Unfair tactics
- Substitutions rules infraction
- Infraction of free kick formation (Dead Ball)
- Encroachment of free kick lines (Dead Ball)
- Free kick out of bounds
- Infraction of protected scrimmage kick formation – Line players infractions of protected scrimmage kick formation – Kickers Encroachment (Dead Ball)
- False Start (Dead Ball)
- Illegal Snap (Dead Ball)
- Offensive player not within 15 yards of ball
- Infraction of scrimmage formation
- Player out of bounds when ball is snapped
- Infraction of scrimmage formation
- Player out of bounds when ball is snapped
- Offensive player illegally in motion
- Player receiving snap within 2 yards of scrimmage line
- Illegal shift
- Illegal handing of ball forward
- Helping the runner
- Intentional Grounding (Loss of Down)
10 yard penalties
- Quick kick
- Kick catch interference
- Two or more consecutive encroachments during same interval between scrimmage downs
- Forward pass interference – Offense (Loss of Down)
- Forward pass interference – Defense (Automatic First Down)
- Unsportsmanlike player conduct
- Steal, strike or attempt to steal ball
- Trip an opponent
- Contact with opponent on ground
- Throw runner to the ground
- Hurdle any player
- Contact before or after ball is dead
- Unnecessary contact of any nature
- Drive or run into any player
- Position upon shoulders or body
- Tackle runner
- Roughing the passer
- Illegal offensive screen blocking
- Interlocked interference
- Defensive use of hands
- Guarding of the flag belt
- Stiff Arm
- Obstruction or holding runner
- Batting a free ball
- Illegal kicking
- Illegal participation
- Flagrant unsportsmanlike player conduct
- Flagrant personal fouls
- Shirts must be long enough to tuck in so that they remain tucked in the pants/shorts during the entire down or short enough so there is a minimum 4” from the bottom of the shirt to the player’s waist line
- Pants or shorts with Belt Loops are prohibited
- The use of dangerous equipment is prohibited. Shoes must work, metal cleats are prohibited
- Game balls will be provided but teams may choose to use their own footballs. If teams use their own balls, they must be approved by the Intramural Director
- Flags and flag belts will be provided
Definition of Playing Terms
- Removal of flag belts: When the flag belt is clearly taken from the ball carrier the down shall end and the ball is declared dead. A player who removes the flag belt from the ball carrier should immediately hold the flag belt above his head to assist the official in locating the spot where the capture occurred. A player may dive to remove a flag belt as long as no contact is made with the opposing team.
- The position of the ball when a player is deflagged determines the spot of the next line of scrimmage.
- A defensive player may not hold, push or knock down the ball carrier in an attempt to remove the flag, nor shall an offensive player hold, block or run through a defensive player trying to remove the flag belt.
- When a runner loses his belt, either accidentally or inadvertently, play continues. The deflagging reverts to a one handed tag of the runner.
- Scrimmage line: The scrimmage line for team A is the yard line and its vertical plane which passes through the point of the ball nearest its own goal line. The scrimmage line for team B is the yard line and its vertical plane, which passes one yard from the point of the ball nearest its own goal line.
- Spinning is allowed
Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds
- The ball is declared dead when the ball touched the ground:
- On a fumble
- On a lateral
- On a pass
- After touching a player on a punt
- The sideline and end lines are considered out of bounds. (Only one foot needs to touch in bounds in order for a pass to be completed)
- Once an offensive or defensive player steps out of bounds, that player is no longer eligible to touch the ball. Penalty: 5 yards and replay the down.
Snapping, Handling and Passing the Ball
- The ball may be snapped between the legs or to the side of the snapper
- The ball must be snapped from the ground
- The player that receives the snap must be at least 2 yards behind the offensive scrimmage line. Direct snaps are always illegal (under center)
- It is a defensive pass interference if an eligible receiver is deflagged prior to touching the ball on a forward pass attempt
- During the interval between downs, when 2 or more consecutive encroachments are committed by the same team, the penalty will be 10 yards for the second encroachment foul
- The offensive team must have a minimum of four players on the line of scrimmage
- All players shall not intentionally ground the ball in order to avoid a sack. Penalty: 5 yards and a loss of down
Scoring Plays and Touchbacks
- A team is given the choice of going 1 or 2 points after scoring a touchdown. Once the captain makes the choice, it may only be changed if a time out is called. Ways of scoring a successful point after attempt:
- By running or passing from 3 yards = 1 point
- By running or passing from 10 yards = 2 points
- Touchdown Verification: The player scoring the touchdown must raise his arms so the nearest official can deflag the player. If the player is not deflagged with one good pull and the official determines the flag belt has been secured illegally, the touchdown is disallowed. The player is disqualified, and it is a foul. Penalty: 10 yards from the previous spot and a loss of down.
- Play after safety. After a safety is scored, the team that is awarded 2 points will automatically gain possession at their own 15 yard line. (No kick will take place)