HUB SPORTS BOSTON – FLAG FOOTBALL RULES MEN’S (6v6 & 7v7) OUTDOORS/INDOORS
START OF GAME/GAME PLAY:
- A coin toss will determine starting possession. The winner of the toss will have the choice of offense or defense. The loser of the toss will choose the direction they will go in the first half. For indoor flag football the away team will start with the ball in the first half, the home team will start with the ball in the 2nd half.
- The dimensions of the field are 30 yards wide sideline to sideline x 80 yards long end line to end line. Exact indoor field dimensions may change based on the facility being used.
- The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its own 10-yard line and has four (4) plays to cross midfield for a first down. Offense will have another four (4) downs to cross the opponent’s 10-yard line. The offense then has three (3) plays to score a touchdown.
- If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession. If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, the new offensive team takes over on downs at midfield. On 4th down the offensive team has the option to concede the possession to the defense which results in the other team gaining possession on the defenses 10 yard line. If the offensive team fails to score but crosses midfield, the new offensive team takes over at the spot of the ball.
5. Teams change sides after the first half.
TIME AND OVERTIME:
- Games are comprised two 20 (twenty) minute halves. Tournaments play two 15 (fifteen) minute halves.
- The game clock will be kept by a HUB official.
- Halftime is 2 (two) minutes long. Tournaments have a 1 (one) minute halftime.
- Each team is allowed two 20-second timeouts per game.
- The offensive team has 30 seconds to snap the ball, once the ball has been spotted. The offensive play clock will automatically start 10 seconds after the previous play has ended.
- A two-minute warning is given in the second half and the clock will stop.
During the final 2 minutes of the game, the referee will stop the clock if:
An incomplete pass is thrown.
A player ends a play by going out of bounds.
Either team scores (the clock remains stopped until the opposing team snaps the ball after the PAT attempt; the clock does not run during extra points).
Change of possession, including a turnover on downs and the ball being placed at the 10 yard line.
A penalty which must be marked off occurs.
A team calls a timeout.
If a team is up by 14 points or more, the clock runs continuously during the last two minutes of play.
OVERTIME SCORING – REGULAR SEASON
- If a game is tied at the end of regulation play, a tiebreaker will be played to determine the winner. Captains will meet with the official for a coin toss to determine possession of ball.
- Both teams are given 2 plays, with no time outs, from the opponent’s 10 yard line
- If the first team is unsuccessful in scoring, the opposing team takes possession at the 10 yard line with 2 plays to score. If they score, they win.
- If the first team scores they are given an opportunity to score a 1 or 2 point PAT
- The opposing team is then given 2 plays to score and the opportunity to score a 1 or 2 point PAT to determine a winner
- If there is an interception during overtime the defense will take over on the opponent’s 10 yard line.
- In the regular season games can end in a tie.
- In the post-season the above scenario is repeated until a winner is determined.
Only the ball must be over the goal line in order for it to count as a touchdown or extra point. No diving over the line will be allowed.
- Touchdown: 6 points
- PAT (Point After Touchdown)
1 point try – the ball will be placed 5 yards from the goal line
2 point try – the ball will be placed 10 yards from the goal line. The clock does not stop during a PAT, except within the last two minutes of a game when applicable. A PAT is allowed if the touchdown was scored as time ran out to end either half. If a two point conversion is intercepted it may be run back for two points.
- Safety: (2 points) A safety occurs when the ball carrier is declared down in his/her own end zone. They can be called down when their flags are pulled by a defensive player, they step out of bounds, the ball is fumbled, or they hit the ground with their knee or arm. A safety also occurs when there is an offensive penalty in the end zone.
STARTING OF PLAY / HIKING THE BALL:
An eligible center will snap the ball to the Quarterback. The center can then leave the line of scrimmage as an eligible receiver. The center must be on or behind the line of scrimmage.
RUSHING THE QB:
The defense may not pursue the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage until completing a five-second count, at normal speaking cadence, as determined by the referee. After the five-second count is completed, any number of defensive players may rush behind the line of scrimmage. If the defense rushes prematurely, the offense may either play the down over or decline the penalty.
If the ball changes possession in the backfield (i.e. lateraled) the defense may rush in immediately. If the offense fakes a change of possession and the defense advances behind the line of scrimmage, no foul will be called if the defense returns to in front of the line of scrimmage immediately, and continues the five-second count.
A Quarterback is not eligible to run the ball downfield.
A Quarterback can’t throw a forward pass to himself. It has to be at least touched by a player on the offense or defense (with some intent of doing so).
A Quarterback cannot bounce the pass off a defender and run with it as a completed pass. Both of these calls will result in an incomplete pass and are at the discretion of the officials.
A Quarterback can lateral or hand off the ball and become an eligible receiver once he crosses the line of scrimmage.
Forward passes behind the line of scrimmage are illegal.
BLOCKING – THIS IS A NO BLOCKING LEAGUE:
Blocking is considered the movement, whether deliberate or unintentional, that impedes a defensive player’s pursuit of the ball carrier, unless movement is to avoid personal injury (as interpreted by the referee). This also includes the deliberate or unintentional movement of limbs by a stationary player. More leeway may be given to players moving at the time of a reception, but this is up to the referee’s discretion.
A violation of this rule will result in the play being called dead and the ball is spotted at the point of the infraction, or the ball carrier’s position at the time of the infraction, whichever is in favor of the defensive team. If the referee considers the blocking incident excessively aggressive, a 15-yard penalty will be assessed from the spot of the ball (or to the one-yard line if the offense is under 15 yards from their own goal line). Depending on the severity of the infraction, the offending player may be ejected from the game and/or league.
LATERALS & RUSHING:
A lateral is an underhand pitch of the ball to a fellow team member next to you or behind you. Laterals are legal only behind the line of scrimmage. A dropped lateral is a fumble and the ball is spotted at the point of the fumble and the offense retains possession. If the lateral is picked off, the defensive team has the ability to advance the ball.
The offense may rush the ball an unlimited amount of times per possession. The quarterback may not rush the ball, they must hand the ball off or lateral to be considered an eligible rush attempt. Once the ball is handed off or lateraled any and all defensive players may cross the line of scrimmage in an attempt to “tackle” the ball carrier.
Running backs are permitted in the backfield but must line up parallel with the QB. A running back can never take a direct snap from the center. The QB will be considered the one calling the cadence.
For a pass to be legal the receiver must have one foot in bounds at the time control is achieved. No part of the body may be touching an area out of bounds.
Teams must have a minimum of 4 players on the line of scrimmage. The Quarterback must be off the line of scrimmage. Teams may not overload one side of the ball. Receivers can go in motion but cannot cross the center-line. Motion can also only be lateral on the line of scrimmage. Teams can never overload to one side of the center, one player must line up on the other side of the QB.
A player is “tackled” by pulling at least one flag from the ball carrier’s belt.
- A legal flag pull takes place when the ball carrier is in full possession of the ball.
- If a flag is removed by a defensive player, prior to full possession (as determined by the referee), the offense is not considered tackled and play continues with no infraction charged.
- It is illegal to attempt to strip or pull the ball or pull from the ball carrier’s possession at any time.
- If a player’s flag inadvertently falls off during the play, the defense must touch the player with one hand and then he is considered down and the play will be whistled dead.
- A defensive player may not intentionally pull the flags off of a player who is not in possession of the ball.
- Flag guarding is not allowed
An offensive player may not avoid a tackle by guarding his/her flag. Flag guarding consists of the following:
- Pushing an opponent’s hand away from the flag.
- Pushing an opponent or stiff arming.
- Lowering an arm to shield the flag.
- Dipping the shoulder.
- No jump stopping.
If a player is called for flag guarding, the play is dead at the point of the infraction.
Spinning to avoid a tackle is legal, as long as none of the above listed events occur simultaneously.
Each team may earn only two first downs during each drive. A first down may be achieved by:
(a) advancing the ball to or past the 50 yd line cone and then to or past the 30 yd line cone.
No diving over the line will be allowed.
A ball spotted on the line shall be considered a first down.
A first down may also be awarded due to a defensive foul (i.e. interference). A defensive foul is the only way that a team may be awarded more than two first-downs.
CHANGE OF POSSESSION:
A team has 2 opportunities to make a first down. If a team fails to make their first 1st down the defensive team takes over at midfield unless the offensive team on 4th down chooses to concede their possession. If a team concedes position before making their first 1st down then the opposing team will take over possession at midfield. If a team fails to make their second 1st down past midfield the defensive team takes over at the spot of the ball. If a team fails to score after making their 2nd first down the defensive team takes over at the 10-yard line.
If a player fumbles the ball, the play is blown dead at the spot where the player lost possession. The offensive team remains in possession of the ball unless it is 4th down and they would have lost the ball on downs. If a player on either team takes possession of the ball, prior to the ball hitting the ground, possession goes to that team and that player may attempt to advance the ball towards his own end zone. There is no stripping of the ball.
Interceptions of forward passes may be advanced. If a defensive and an offensive player appear to both have possession or are struggling for possession, the reception is granted to the offense.
- Offsides: 5 yards & replay the down.
- Delay of Game: 5 yards & replay the down.
- Offensive Holding / Illegal Block: 5 yards & replay of down.
- Quarterback crossing the line of scrimmage prior to pass: 5 yards & loss of down.
- Offensive pass interference: 5 yards & replay of the down.
- Flag guarding: 5 yard penalty from spot of infraction & loss of down. 1st down yardage prior to penalty results in 1st down. Flag guarding can be called even if the flag is pulled.
- Unsportsmanlike conduct: 10 yard personal foul from end of play (the down counts). First unsportsmanlike penalty will result in the player sitting out a possession. Second offense, the player will be suspended for the rest of the game. NOTE: Loss of down penalties on a PAT attempt nullify the try (whether successful or not).
- Impeding the rusher: The offensive receivers must avoid the rushers beyond the line of scrimmage. Contact or not, getting in the pass rusher’s way is impeding the rusher. The penalty is 5 yards and loss of down. This does not apply to the ineligible offensive linemen.
- Holding ball carrier / Illegal flag pull: 5-yards added to end of run.
- Stripping: 5-yards from the spot of the foul.
- Roughing the passer: 5 yards & automatic 1st down.
- Illegal rush (not 5 seconds): 5 yards & replay the down or result of the play (offense may decline).
- Illegal contact (the ball has the not left the qb’s hand): 5 yards & replay the down.
- Pass interference: Automatic 1st down at the spot of the foul.
- Pass interference in the end zone: 1st & goal at the one-yard line
- Unsportsmanlike conduct: 10 yard personal foul (automatic 1st down).
- Forceout by defender will result in a spot foul and automatic first down.
- First personal foul: Player will be suspended for 1 possession (offense or defense). Second personal foul: Player is ejected from the game.
- Fighting: Player is ejected from the game, potentially suspended, expelled from The HUB.
- Official clock: The clock will not stop if the losing team commits a penalty.
- Zero tolerance for any verbal or physical abuse by any player or fan towards any HUB official (referee, Field Manager, owner, etc). Violation of this rule could result in an automatic ejection for the game and will be subject to further discipline by HUB management.
- The league provides each player with flag belts and “pop flags”, they are to be returned at the end of the night.
- No metal cleats are allowed. Players may wear sneakers, turf shoes or molded plastic cleats.
- Players may tape their forearms, hands and fingers. Players may wear gloves, elbow pads, and kneepads. Braces with exposed metals are not allowed.
- Players must remove all watches, earrings and any other jewelry that the officials deem hazardous.
- Players’ jerseys must be tucked in at all times, jerseys must be tucked into belts.
- Pants or shorts with belt loops or not permitted.
- Each team is allowed up to 12 players on their roster.
- Players must be at least 18 years of age
- All Players must create a HUB Sports Boston account to be linked to their team roster
- Players cannot be rostered on two teams in the same league at once.
- Players may use fill-in players only to meet the format minimum
CODE OF CONDUCT:
This a no-blocking recreational league and as such the following codes of conduct are expected to be adhered to at all times:
- All players shall respect the calls of the officials. Players may not physically or verbally abuse any opponent or official. Only team captains may discuss calls with an official.
- No intentional tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act which will cause the game to be stopped and the player maybe be ejected from the game. The decision is made at the referee’s discretion. No appeals! FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
- Offensive or confrontational language is illegal. Officials have the right to determine offensive language. If offensive or confrontational language occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.
- Any player involved in fighting will be immediately ejected from the game and subject to further suspension at the discretion of the league. Games may be “double-forfeited” due to fights. Teams instigating fights will be expelled from the league. League fees will not be refunded for team expulsion due to fighting.
- Ball carriers MUST make an effort to avoid defenders with an established position.
- Defenders are not allowed to run through the ball carrier when pulling flags.
- No Alcohol at or near the field or in the parking lot. Teams may not bring coolers onto the sidelines. Game play will be stopped if alcohol is brought to the field.
- No seeds, gum or food may be brought on to the turf. Water and sports beverages are the only liquids allowed. Please clean up your sideline after the game
PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY AND TIE BREAKERS:
- Players must have a completed player waiver form on file by the 3rd game of the season in order to be eligible to play in the playoffs
- Players must play in at least 3 regular season games to be eligible to play in the playoffs
The following tiebreakers will be used to determine playoff eligibility and seeding:
In the case of two teams ending the season with identical records.
- Head to Head record
- Overall points against
- Overall points differential
If three or more teams end the season with identical records:
- Head to Head record among the tied teams
- Followed by overall points against.
- Followed by overall point differential
- Followed by a coin flip
- Any team with a forfeit is automatically seeded lower.
Mercy Rules –
8 minutes or less – 40 point lead, the game is over
5 minutes or less – 30 point lead, the game is over
2 minutes or less – 20 point lead, the game is over
Forfeit Fees –
Before 2 PM of the game day = no fee
After 2 PM of the game day = $60
1 hour or less before game time = $110