Flag Football Rules


  • A coin flip at the midline before the game will determine ball possession. The winner of the flip can choose ball or side, the loser gets to choose the remaining entity.  Whoever kicks off to begin the game will receive the kickoff to start the 2nd half, after switching sides.
  • 5 players on the field at a time, at least 2 male and 2 female, unlimited substitutions
  • Kickoffs will be made from the 10-yard-line. Receiving teams must begin on their half of the field.  An onside kick can be picked up if the ball exceeds the midline.  Touchbacks will bring a team to the 10-yard-line to begin the possession.  Kicks out of bounds will be moved up 10 yards from the spot at which the ball went out of bounds.
  • The offense can punt the ball on their last down. They can fake the punt and go for the first down, however, the punter must throw the ball to a receiver, he/she cannot run it.
  • The offense will have a set of 4 downs to reach the midfield line, then another set of 4 downs to reach the endzone.
  • The ref will place a sidelined marker at the line of scrimmage before each play.
  • Running plays are forbidden; however, the QB can run if the defense crosses the line of scrimmage on a blitz only. If the defense has finished calling 8 Mississippi- aloud- and crosses the line, the QB cannot run across the line of scrimmage, he/she must get rid of the ball or take the sack.
  • The halfback pass is not permitted (in which the ball is pitched to another player- via lateral or screen pass- and then that player throws the ball).
  • QBs can back up as far back from the line of scrimmage as they like before self-hiking.


  • Flag belts must be worn on top of all clothing (cannot be beneath a baggy shirt) and the 3 flags must be all on the backside of the player, not in the front.
  • If a flag falls off a receiver while in a route, the receiver can still play on and still receive a pass; however, he/she is down at the point of reception (no yards-after-the-catch). For instance, if a receiver with a fallen flag catches a pass in the end zone, it will be a TD because no yards-after-the-catch are necessary.


  • The defense is permitted one blitz per set of downs, which does not need to be announced. When not using the blitz, if a defensive player wants to cross the line of scrimmage, he/she must count aloud to 9 Mississippi before crossing the line.
  • The defense is not permitted any contact on the offensive player, unless deemed incidental by the ref (such as the defender going for the ball himself or an accidental collision away from the ball).
  • Pass interference will be called if the defender physically obstructs the receiver. If the defender is going for the ball him/herself, contact may be deemed incidental.  Offensive pass interference can also be called- same circumstances apply.


  • There is no contact allowed at all, aside from light defensive blocking by the offense- in which your hands stay right in front of your body, tight to your body- in a defensive stance- as opposed to extended hands in an offensive/aggressive stance. Any blocking that is active- extended arms or legs in any way- or intentionally colliding with an opponent- and any actions deemed remotely dangerous by the ref will be called as a penalty.
  • Defenders are not allowed to swat at the ballcarrier’s football to attempt to force a fumble. Ballcarriers are not allowed to swat at the hands of defenders attempting to grab their flag belts.  No arms extended to touch the other players or the ball in possession.
  • The only time contact is permitted: a light touch on a down player.  If a ballcarrier goes to the ground and is untouched and was untouched on the process of going down, he/she can get up and progress the ball.  When a knee or elbow or more is on the ground, if touched by a defender’s hand, that player is down- no flag belt removal needed.

PENALTIES (this is a formality cus there should be NONE):

  • Unnecessary roughness (contact) will result in a 10-yard penalty and replay of down if it’s against the defense, loss of down if it’s against the offense.
  • Pass interference will result in a 10-yard penalty and automatic first down (or half the distance to the goal) if it’s against the defense, loss of down if it’s against the offense.
  • Any egregious action that is not acceptable by 6PS standards can result in league suspension (intentional violence, inappropriate language at opponents or refs, etc). A suspension has not happened once in 7 years of 6PS flag football, don’t be the first.


  • As long as it is past midfield, the offense can elect to attempt a defenseless field goal (3 pts) at any time. After the attempt- even if it’s on second down- it is an automatic change of possession.  A field goal consists of a 40-yard kick (regardless of where the offense was on the field) that needs to land anywhere in the endzone or beyond.
  • A touchdown (6 pts) involves the ball, two feet and flag crossing the plane of the endzone. Two feet must be in bounds on endzone receptions.
  • If a player’s flag is pulled as he/she enters the end zone, it will only be a TD if the flag was pulled from the end zone. If the flag was pulled at the one-yard line- even if the ball was over the line or part of the player’s body was over the line, he/she is down at the one.
  • The touchdown-scoring team can elect to go for the extra point by attempting a 31-yard kick into the endzone.
  • The touchdown-scoring team can also elect to go for the two-point conversion, which is a play from scrimmage from the 10-yard-line (no blitz). If the defending team returns a fumble or interception back for a score on a two-point attempt, that team will get 2 pts.
  • A safety (2 pts) can be scored if the defense grabs the offensive ballcarrier’s belt in the offense’s endzone or an offensive fumble goes out of its own endzone. The offense scored upon will then kick off the ball to the defense.


  • The ref will keep a 30-min running game clock for each half, announcing 5 min left, 2 min left, 1 min left and 30 seconds left. The clock only stops if and when a team uses its timeout- each team is given one timeout per game.  There will be no intentional stalling nor rushing if the other team isn’t ready- gentlemen’s rules will be adhered to at all times.


  • If the game is tied at the end of regulation, one overtime session will take place. In overtime, each team will have one possession beginning at midfield (coin flip to determine which team starts first).  In regular-season OT, no field goals are permitted and no extra points are permitted, two-point conversions must be attempted if the offense scores.  If the first defense scores a TD, the game is over, there is no need for that team to have an offensive possession, that is the only exception.  If it’s a regular season game, at the end of each team’s possession, if the score is still tied, the game ends in a tie.  Playoff games continue, college football style, until there is a winner- and in playoff OT, field goals will be permitted but not extra points.


  • At the end of the 5-week regular season, the top 4 teams will be seeded 1-4; the 1 seed will play the 4 seed in one semis, the 2 will play the 3 in the other semis- with the winners playing the following week in the championship.  If two teams are tied in the standings, the tiebreaker is head-to-head results.  If those teams tied head-to-head, the teams’ seeds are determined by ref and commissioner votes on sportsmanship.  If three teams are tied, head-to-head applies first if one team beat both of the other two- if not, the three teams’ seeds are determined by ref and commissioner votes on sportsmanship.  The cooler you are on the field, the better your image in the eyes of your refs.  All teams play both weeks of the playoffs, regardless of seed and regardless of win/loss in the first week of playoffs.