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FLAG FOOTBALL RULES


Hopewell Recreation Ministry Leadership reserves the right to make any changes that they deem necessary for the betterment of the league and its play.


Unsportsmanlike Conduct


No coach or player shall belittle or berate the players or coaches of another team. This type of action will NOT be tolerated. First offense: Warning. Second offense: Ejection from game. Their team will play a man down for the rest of the game. PENALTY: Any coach or player ejected from a game will be suspended for a minimum of 1 game up to a maximum of the remainder of the season. Their team will play a man down for the rest of the game. Any coach ejected from a game will be required to meet in person with the Hopewell Recreation Minister before coaching another game. The coach is responsible to set up this meeting.


Coordinators & Referees may issue warnings to players or teams for team and personal unsportsmanlike conduct or safety concerns. (Yelling to frighten someone making a catch is considered unsportsmanlike and will be penalized without warning). Referees and HBC Staff may also ask players to leave the game for a specified amount of time if they feel it is for the betterment of the team and/or game. If a player fails to respect a referee or HBC staff member’s decisions or heed their warnings, they may be ejected from the game, season or an indefinite amount of time.


Any individual who by his/her misconduct (profanity, gestures, physical or verbal abuse toward officials, players, etc.) causes himself/herself to be removed from a contest is automatically ineligible to participate for the remainder of that contest, any other games that day and at least one full week. Their team will play a man down for the rest of the game. That person may also be assessed additional suspensions.


Harassment of officials and Hopewell Recreation Ministry Staff will not be tolerated. Questions should be asked by the HEAD COACH ONLY and done in an ORDERLY HUMANE and RESPECTFUL fashion about rule interpretations only. Judgment calls are NOT to be argued. Failure to comply with this rule will result in immediate ejection of the guilty party and possibly forfeiture of the game. Their team will play a man down for the rest of the game. NO WARNINGS WILL BE GIVEN!!


Judgment calls made by the referee shall NOT be contested.


There will be paid refs for each game.


Team rosters with names and jersey numbers will be turned in at the start of each game. Each player must play at least 2 games to be eligible to play in the tournament. No roster additions will be allowed beyond the mid-point of the season and each coach will be notified of the season’s mid-point at the start of the season.


Profanity: strictly dealing with downs instead of yardage. The player who uses profanity will sit for 10 minutes.

·         Offensive Team: if profanity is heard/caught - they lose a down.

·         Defense Team: if profanity is heard/caught the offense gets an extra down

called back to line of scrimmage.

* If defense gets caught mid play, offense can elect to decline or accept penalty, thus keeping result of play or redoing last play.

 

Equipment

1.  Molded cleats or tennis shoes are the only allowable footwear. NO METAL CLEATS ARE ALLOWED. Shoes must be worn at all times. Shirts must be worn and tucked in.

2.  No denim or khaki pants/shorts are allowed.  Sport clothes must be worn.  Shorts/Pants with belt loops are not allowed.
Shorts/Pants with pockets are no longer allowed.

3.  Flags must be evenly distributed, one on each side and one on the back. If a player falls before their flag is pulled, players are ruled down when touched.

4.  All balls must be official NCAA or NFL weight & size. No junior balls are allowed. Balls must be adequately pumped up. Any discrepancies on weight, size or inflation will be settled by officials & staff.


Game Duration

1.  A game shall consist of two 22-minute halves with a continuous running clock.

2.  Two-minute NFL clock stoppages will be used during the last 2 minutes of each half. At that time the clock will stop on all incomplete passes, out-of-bounds, change of possession, penalties, injuries if necessary, extra point attempts, and time outs. Teams shall be notified, and the clock shall stop at the beginning of the 2-minute period.

3.  The clock will run during all Extra Point attempts (except in the final 2:00 of each half).

4.  Two 1-minute timeouts are allowed per game. (Timeouts may not be carried over to overtime).

5.  After a stopped clock, time will begin at the snap of the ball.

6.  There will be a 20 second play clock.  You will have 20 seconds from the time the official considers the ball placed, until the time the ball must be snapped. You are in charge of retrieving the marker and placing it.

7.  During a change of possession, the offense must allow the defense to set. The offense cannot begin play until the official has signaled ok.

8.  Half time shall be 5 minutes in duration.

 

 How the Game is Played


Players & Formations

1.  Play will be 7v7.

2.  All plays must originate with a snap from center. The ball must be snapped to the quarterback from the ground.  There must be a verbal call for the snap. The player who calls “hike” must be the player who receives the snap. If the center picks up the ball and replaces it on the ground without snapping, this will be considered a false start penalty.

3.  Players may line up in any formation as long as they are behind the line of scrimmage.  Motion from the players prior to the snap is allowed as long as no one advances towards the line of scrimmage.

4.  Players may not break the neutral zone until the ball is snapped. If a player steps into the neutral zone, but gets back before the ball is snapped, there will not be a penalty.

5.  Offensive players are responsible for retrieving the disc after a down has ended.


Carrying the Ball

1.  During the game, the ball will be spotted at the location where the flag was pulled, NOT where the ball is. This is a judgment call and will NOT be argued.
- Example: If a player is straddling the line of the end zone and their foot is in, but the flag was pulled out, the ball will be marked outside the end zone.

2.  The quarterback will NOT be able to run for positive yardage until after the 3-count. He CAN run if blitzed and when the 3-count expires (regardless if defense rushes). Anyone he/she pitches the ball to before the 3-count expires, can also run.

3.  A ball carrier may not deliberately guard their flags. “Spinning” to avoid being de-flagged is legal. Actions such as slapping with the hand or stiff-arming are examples of flag guarding. Hands or arms down the side of the body while spinning are considered guarding.

4.  If a player inadvertently loses their flags, or the opposition pulls a flag before gaining possession of the ball, the play will continue and the player must be downed by a one-hand touch.

5.  A player will be ruled “down” when their flag is pulled. If the flag falls off play continues until the player is one-hand tagged down.

6.  A fumbled or muffed ball is dead when it strikes the ground.

7.  There is a “No Run Zone” from the 1-point line. When the spot of the ball is within this “No Run Zone” the ball must be passed across the line of scrimmage. If a player attempts a running play within his zone, a penalty of 10 paces and loss of down will occur. If the new line-of-scrimmage is outside the “No Run Zone,” the team is able to run. The line-of-scrimmage for the current down determines whether a running play is allowed.

8.  It is illegal to attempt to steal a ball in a player’s possession. The object of the game is to de-flag a ball carrier, not steal the ball.

9.  In pulling a flag or making a play on a ball, a player’s feet MAY leave the ground. Diving is legal by the defense, however; the diving player is still responsible for any contact they initiate. A defender cannot dive directly TOWARD an offensive player. It must be from the side or behind and solely an attempt to pull a flag and NOT to hinder the player’s progress. An offensive player must make an effort to avoid contact if a defensive player has obtained “the spot” first and vice-versa.

10. A player cannot jump to ADVANCE the ball.  A jump backwards or sideways is legal, as long as the player is not moving FORWARD. This is a judgment call and will NOT be argued.
11. If a player, in procession of the ball, falls down the player is eligible to get up and run unless they are tagged while on the ground (NFL Style).


Blocking & Defense (Rushing, Blitzes)

1.  No blocking, tackling, or unnecessary roughness.  This includes defensive players avoiding contact with the quarterbacks arm (illegal contact).

2.  During all plays, players will not be allowed to cross the line of scrimmage until the rush count 3 count is completed, unless they blitz or the quarterback pitches the ball.

3.   The defense has five blitzes per game. There are no restrictions on how many can be used in a half.  At the time of blitzing, you can blitz as many players as you would like. Diving and jumping are NOT allowed for any offensive possession in an effort to advance the ball after securing possession. Diving/Jumping on defense as an effort to pull a flag from the side or behind, while not hindering a player’s progress or creating an unsafe situation will be allowed. It will be at the ref’s discretion what is and what is not a dive or jump. This is a judgment call and will NOT be argued.

Passing

1.  A forward pass may be thrown from any point behind the line of scrimmage. Once the line of scrimmage is crossed, a player cannot go back and throw.

2.  All incomplete backward passes shall be marked down at the point of ground contact.

3.  Only one forward pass may be attempted from behind the line of scrimmage on a given play. The ball may be passed behind the line of scrimmage and then passed forward by the player catching the initial pass.

4.  A forward pass is illegal if:

      1. It is thrown from beyond the line of scrimmage. The quarterback’s entire body AND ball must cross the line of scrimmage for it to be an Illegal Forward Pass.
      2. It is intentional grounding. (An intentional grounding foul is called when the passer throws a forward pass that has no realistic chance of being completed. To be considered a realistic pass, there must be an eligible offensive player in the area where the ball lands. The passer can avoid an intentional grounding penalty if he is able to scramble out of the “pocket” and throw the ball away. To be considered out of the pocket, the passer must be outside the boundaries set by the first player on the left and right of the snapper. The ball must be thrown at least as far as the line of scrimmage, but it may land out of bounds as long as it reaches the proper distance forward.
      3. It is the second forward pass during a play.

5.  A player must have complete possession of the ball and land with at least one foot or knee inbounds, to be a legal reception.

6.   If an offensive player goes out-of-bounds on his or her own accord and returns inbounds, it is an illegal participation foul (dead ball and loss of down) if they catch the first pass. Such a player cannot be the intended primary receiver and can only catch a tipped ball. This is a judgment call and will NOT be argued.


Kicking

1.  There will be no kickoffs. Possessions beginning a new half will begin at the ten-foot “No Run Zone.”

2.  Following any touchdown, the ball shall be placed on the 10-foot line, possession being given to the opponent of the scoring team.

3.  Following a safety, the ball shall be punted from the 10-foot line with possession belonging to the team who just scored the safety.

4.  If a kick is to be made, the kick must be made immediately upon receiving the snap. There will be a 5-second count once snapped. The ball shall be spotted at the place where it hit the ground.

5.  Once a team captain declares to punt, he/she may change the decision only through the use of a charged time-out or delay of game penalty.

6.  On 4th downs, the offensive team does have the option to punt the football.  The offensive team must declare if they intend to punt or go for the first down.  If they declare they are punting, the offensive team must allow the defensive team time to set up for the punt return. The snap is required and the football must be kicked immediately.  If the ball is kicked out of bounds, it will be spotted where it left the field. Players must wait until the ball is kicked to cross the line of scrimmage.

7.  From the time the ball is snapped to the time the ball is kicked a player will have a maximum of 5 seconds to hold the ball.


Penalties

1.  Teams can accept or decline all penalties, even if it takes you in/puts you out of the No Run Zone. Referees will have actual flags to throw so teams can see there was a penalty on a play. For simplicity, all penalties are live until the ref blows the whistle dead.

2.  The line-of-scrimmage for the current down determines scoring/running options. If a penalty takes a team outside the “No Run Zone,” they will be able to run.


Offensive Penalties (All 10 PACES from the line of scrimmage & loss of down):

§  Offsides

§  Blocking/Picking

§  Illegal Contact

§  Illegal Forward Pass

§  Illegal Motion

§  False Start

§  Delay of Game

§  Fielding Too Many Players

§  Flag Guarding – From the spot of foul

§  Diving & Jumping – From the spot of foul

§  Pass Interference – From the original spot

§  Unsportsmanlike Conduct – Can be in addition to another penalty. Player must sit one play.

§  Intentional Grounding – If foul occurs inside 10 paces from own end zone, penalty is half the distance to the goal. If QB is in his/her own end zone, a safety is awarded.

 

 

Defensive Penalties (10 PACES from line of scrimmage & replay the down):

§  Offsides

§  Illegal Contact

§  Holding

§  Fielding Too Many Players

§  Diving with contact – Spot of the foul, automatic first down

§  Pass Interference – Spot of the foul, automatic first down

§  Unsportsmanlike Conduct – automatic 1st down. Can be in addition to another penalty. Player must sit one play.


Scoring

1.  Point values will be as follows:
A. Touchdown: 6 points.
B. Safety: 2 points (and reception of a punt from the offensive team).

C. PAT: 1 point will be from 10-foot line.
~ Defensive player returning an intercepted pass on this attempt: 1 point.
D. PAT: 2 points will be from the 20-foot line.
~ Defensive player returning an intercepted pass on this attempt: 2 points.

E. PAT: 3 points will be from the 30-foot line.

~ Defensive player returning an intercepted pass on this attempt: 3 points.

2.  Once a team captain declares the his/her choice of going for a 1, 2 or 3-point conversions after scoring a touchdown, he/she may change the decision only if a charged time out is granted to either team, or be issued a delay of game penalty.

3.  If a ball is intercepted on a 1, 2 or 3-point conversion and the now-defensive team commits a penalty, the intercepting team will automatically be awarded the 1, 2 or 3 points.


Tie Breaker

OT rules: college format, both teams get ball at the 20yd line, 4 attempts to score. Repeat until one team doesn’t score. One extra blitz added per OT, NO ROLLOVERS.


First Downs, Field Setup & Substitutions

1.  There will be a 10-foot “No Run Zone” prior to each end zone.

2.  A team shall have four downs to complete the task of a first down.

3.  Play will start from the ten-foot “No Run Zone” at the start of the game and after each score.

4.  There are no kick-offs.

5.  All substitutions must be made on one side of the field only.

6.   Picking up players: can only pick up enough players to make 8 total. (ie. Cannot add 5 good players and play them instead of your own team) Picking up players during playoffs is prohibited. Any team that can’t field 6 rostered players can pick up players to total 8 players to play the game but, without 6 rostered players the game will count as a forfeit.

Field Status

Open Open

Victory Campus (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Field 2 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Field 6 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Field 4 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Soccer Field 1 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Football Field 1 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Field 3 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Field 1 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Field 5 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)

Open Open

Field 7 (02:55 PM | 06/19/20)

Open Open

Field 8 (03:17 PM | 06/19/20)

Closed Closed

Central United Methodist Church (11:46 AM | 02/20/20)

Open Open

Field 1 (09:55 AM | 03/10/20)