How to play flag football

How to play flag football

During a football game, we’ve all seen the officials pull a little yellow scarf out of their pockets and throw it onto the field. That little yellow scarf is known as a FLAG, and it signals that a rule has been broken and a penalty will be enforced on one the teams.

I’ve often wished I could throw Flags in my daily life ( Flag! unnecessary rudeness, Flag! bad pick-up line, Flag! driving too slo w) , but for now…

  • A foul is an infraction of the rules of the game (a player breaks a rule)
  • A penalty is the consequence of breaking the rule (usually a loss of yards)
  • A flag signals that a foul has been committed and a penalty will be enforced

The official will always announce the foul, the player who committed the foul, and the penalty. So when you see the flag, listen up!

How to play flag football

Remember, the line of scrimmage is the imaginary line that extends out from the football after the referee places the ball on the field. No player can have any part of his body on the line scrimmage except for the Center who snaps the ball to the Quarterback. This space between the two teams is also known as the Neutral Zone. (see pic)

Flag! OFFSIDE

How to play flag football

Offside occurs when any part of a player’s body (except the Center) is beyond the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. The player is OFF his SIDE of the line of scrimmage. This is typically called on the defense because the players are anticipating the snap of the ball and sometimes move early. However, it can also be called on the offense. Offside occurs when the football is snapped . If a defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage but jumps back before the ball is snapped, no foul has occurred.

Flag! FALSE START

How to play flag football

False Start is an offensive foul. An offensive Lineman cannot make any movement at the line of scrimmage, and the other offensive players are not allowed to make quick, sudden movements. This rule is in place to keep the offense from trying to trick the defense into moving early, or to “draw the defense offside.” If an offensive Lineman makes any movement before the ball is snapped, or if the other offensive players make quick, sudden movements before the ball is snapped, FALSE START.

Flag! DELAY OF GAME

How to play flag football

The Center must snap the ball to the Quarterback before the Play Clock runs out. This rule is in place to keep the game moving at a good pace. If the ball is not snapped by the time the Play Clock runs out, DELAY OF GAME.

Flag! HOLDING

How to play flag football

Holding is the most common penalty in football. Holding occurs anytime a player restrains another player who is not carrying the ball. Blocking is the legal attempt to obstruct and move an opponent by blocking the path with their own bodies or pushing the opponent in the middle of his body. Holding is any other attempt to hold the player back, for example: grabbing arms, shoulders, or jersey (see pic).

How to play flag football


Remember: Holding is illegal against any player who is not carrying the football. However, the ball carrier is free game to tackle and get down. Holding can be called on the offense or defense.

Flag! PASS INTERFERENCE

How to play flag football

A defensive player must give the offensive receiver reasonable space and ability to catch a pass. If the defensive player makes contact with the receiver, grabs the arms of the receiver (see pic), or in any way hold the receiver thus interfering with his ability to catch the pass, PASS INTERFERENCE. Pass Interference can also be called on the offense, although it’s rare. If a defensive player makes a move to intercept the pass and the offensive player pushes or makes contact with a defensive player, PASS INTERFERENCE.

How to play flag football

Flag! FACE MASK

If a player grabs any part of another player’s Face Mask (the grill part of the helmet)

Flag! BLOCK IN THE BACK

If a player tackles any non-ball carrying player from behind (again, the ball carrier is free game)

Flag! ROUGHING THE PASSER

If a defensive player makes contact with the Quarterback after the release of the ball. The act of passing puts the quarterback in a vulnerable position for injury because he can’t protect himself from hits. He is “defenseless,” and therefore this rule is taken very seriously by the officials.

Flag! ROUGHING THE KICKER

If a defender tackles or runs into the kicker while attempting to block the kick. This rule protects the vulnerable leg of the kicker.

Flag! UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS

If a referee judges any hit to be unnecessary, such as making contact after the play ends, tackling a ball carrier when he has already stepped out of bounds, or leading a tackle with the helmet. This is also known as a personal foul.

Extra Point: DECLINING A PENALTY

Sometimes the penalty includes replaying the down. A team may decline the penalty if the results of the play were more beneficial than the penalty. For example, if the offense scored a touchdown during a play, but accepting a penalty against the defense required replaying the Down, the offense can decline the penalty and keep the results of the play.

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One of the largest sports in American history has to be American Football. It’s known for its exciting gameplay, but also rough characteristics. Luckily, for us an easier version called Flag Football has been created that makes for a great playground game.

According to Sportsvite.com, the Football game had already become popular during the 1800s, and was played in colleges especially. There are several national and international tournaments held but also many local football clubs, where it is played to a lesser extent.

If you have played football before, then learning how to play Flag Football should be easy for you! If you haven’t played football before, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. By following these simple Flag Football rules you’ll turn into a champion before the day is over.

Flag Football Requirements

You will need a large field so that there is enough space for everyone to play. You must mark off end zones on each side of the field. You will also have to gather round some friends to play with you. Divide them up into teams of 4 – 9 players per side. Also be sure to attached different coloured flags to each member of a team. You will also need a timer as most games are 40 minutes long, stopping the clock only for timeouts or half-time (1 minute).

How to Play Flag Football

  1. Flip a coin to decide which team should go first. The team that goes first will place the ball on the opponent’s 5-yard line.
  2. From there each team will have 3 tries to get the ball to the midfield. If the team gets that right, they will have 3 more tries to score a touchdown. A touchdown is scored when the player places the ball in the other team’s end zone.
  3. If the team cannot cross to the midfield in 3 tries, the other team will have possession and try to do the same thing as mentioned above.
  4. Instead of tackling a player, you have pull the receiver’s flag. The receiver may not attempt to dodge a flag pull. Once the flag has been pulled, the play ends.
  5. The scoring of flag football is similar to the scoring in normal football. Each touchdown counts as 6 points. Points can also be accumulated after touchdowns, where the ball is placed at the opponents’ 5-yard line. This counts for 1 point. Similarly if the ball is placed on the opponents’ 12-yard line your team will receive 2 points.
  6. Usually in flag football there is no kicking as this is a non-contact sport, but if you want to spice things up a bit a add kicking as an option, you may do so. If you choose to do this, you have to score points according to regular football rules.

Flag Football Game Variations

It would be a great idea for you to involve all your friends and their families to create your own Flag Football Superbowl. Make it an outdoor activity by providing snacks, drinks, and letting teams compete against each other until you reach the ‘final’.

Flag Football Video Tutorial

The U.S. National Team program isn’t just about representing your country on the gridiron, it’s also about skill development and character growth.

Each Regional location will also feature flag skill elements and is a step for flag football players on their path to the U.S. National Flag Team.

Refine your techniques with the top NCAA and high school coaches in the nation and choose your own path within our U.S. National Team program.

How to play flag football

Combine

1-Day Invite-Only Showcase

Option one to enter the National Team Program

  • NFL-style Combine with NCAA Coaches to help with evaluations and National Team selection
  • Onsite Selections for International Bowl
  • Combine Drills for Player Evaluation:
    • 5-10-5
    • “L” Drill
    • Broad Jump
    • Vertical Jump
    • Electronic 40 Times
    • Height & Weight Checks
  • Individual and 1-on-1 Drill Work
  • College Football Recruiting Media Invited
  • Walk away with U.S. National Team-verified stats to help take you to the next level

How to play flag football

U.S. National Team Regionals

2-Day Non-Contact Tryout

Option two to enter the National Team Program

  • Designed for athletes to build skills in a non-contact environment
  • Led by top high school, NCAA and NFL coaches
  • Features 1-on-1, 7-on-7 and group drills
  • Smallest coach-to-player ratio of any similar program
  • Get evaluated to compete on the National Team
  • MVP Chains awarded to top performers in each position and a Gold Ball award given to the overall top athlete at the end of each Regional – Gold Ball winners get an automatic invite to attend High School Training Camp

How to play flag football

Training Camp

3-Day Position-Specific Tryout

Option three to enter the National Team Program

  • Padded Event: Athlete will be required to wear shoulder pads and helmets
  • Focused on helping athletes advance their skills with position-specific training
  • Features high-level teaching, film and classroom sessions with college coaches
  • Get evaluated to compete on the National Team
  • Top performing athletes in each position group will be awarded MVP Chains at the end of camp

Orders places after 1 pm eastern time will be shipped the following business day

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Check out our shop to purchase any additional gear you may need for the upcoming flag football season. Our custom line of gear is the perfect compliment to outfit your player to look well and play better!

How to play flag football

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How to play flag football

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How to play flag football

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How to play flag football

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How to play flag football

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How to play flag football

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How to play flag football

For the last 13 years, young women in the state of Florida have been afforded the opportunity to play football – flag football that is – with the chance to compete for a state championship like their male counterparts get to do in traditional tackle football.

However, the lack of Girls Flag Football being covered by a statewide media outlet is coming to an end, starting this season as Florida High School Football takes on giving the other side of football coverage.

We will start simple with our coverage. That means providing comprehensive schedules, some games stories, tournament coverage and providing live scoreboards for teams to report their score each game day. We will also provide weekly rankings during the season and we are also hoping to carry Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings, something that will give fans both the human opinion as well as the computer opinion.

How to play flag football

So how does flag football work compared to traditional tackle football? Take a look below with just some of the similarities and differences with the rules as described as part of the National Intramural-Recreation Association’s Flag Football Rules book. Some rules have been slightly modified by the FHSAA for the use at the high school level.

SIMILARITIES TO TACKLE FOOTBALL

There are many similarities to football when it comes to flag football.

  • You can throw the ball
  • You can run with the ball
  • Interceptions are allowed on defense
  • Punting or going for it on 4 th down is allowed
  • Punt returns are allowed
  • All games have four quarters with 12 minutes clocks as it is in traditional tackle football at the high school level. However, there is a difference that will be explained in the differences.
  • Team are allowed three (3) time outs per half.

A lot of the same formations that are used in traditional tackle football are also used in flag football between both offense and defense.

However, here come the differences

DIFFERENCES TO TACKLE FOOTBALL

Just as there are many similarities to tackle football there are just as many things that go the opposite direction for flag football.

  • You cannot physically tackle your opponent. Tackles are done by pulling the flags.
  • The offensive line and defensive line are nonexistent in flag football as there is no physical tackling. Only the center has to be on the line of scrimmage which is a change from requiring five players to be on the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
  • The field is 80 yards long divided up in sections with markings at the 20 yard line, 40 yard line and at the 20 yard line. End zones make up both ends of the field and 10 yards deep on each end.
  • At the start of a game there is no kickoff to the receiving team. Instead the ball is placed on the 14 yard line where the team that gets the ball first will start the game at. This also applies after the opposing team scores.
  • To gain a first down you must advance the ball past each of the line markers at 20, 40, 20 and the Goal Line.
  • Although playing a full four (4) quarters each game is similar to tackle football at the high school level as mentioned above, the clock consistently runs until the last two minutes of each half where a stop clock is utilized for different situations.

SCORING IN FLAG FOOTBALL

Scoring is very similar in flag football as compared to tackle football, but there are some differences when it comes to the extra points.

  • Touchdowns are worth six (6) points.
  • Teams may go for a point after try where they can either get one (1) point, two (2) points or three (3) points.
  • No kicking is allowed for point after try.
  • No field goals are allowed to get points if a team fails to get the ball in the end zone after three downs. Team must go for it on fourth down.

As you can see, there is not too much difference to the game other than pure tackling is not allowed. They do warn incidental contact can occur and is something that will never be completely avoided in any game situation.

Flag Football vs. Touch Football

Flag football is an excellent way to enjoy the game of football while minimizing the risk of injury. The rules of flag football are very similar to football, with the main difference being that players must remove a flag from the belt of the ball carrier, which is known as deflagging, instead knocking the player down with a tackle. In this article, I’ll examine some of the finer points of how to play flag football as well as outline the differences between flag and tackle football.

When teaching how to play flag football , begin by sitting all players down and asking what they already know about the game. Correct them lightly when wrong, and encourage all players to contribute something to the discussion. Once players have exhausted their knowledge of the game, it’s time to review the rules.

One thing to keep in mind with regards to how to play flag football is that there is no one definitive set of rules, since the game has many incarnations. Use the following as general guidelines only and make sure to check with the sanctioning body in your region for their official rules.

The Rules and Regulations How to play flag football

Flag football is played on a field that is 80 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide, with two 10-yard end zones on either end of the field. Each end zone contains a metal goal post with two upright posts 23 feet apart. In some cases, the field is marked with white paint in 20 yard intervals. The four corners of the field are marked by orange plastic cones.

Players on each team must wear standard football jerseys without padding. Players’ shoes cannot contain cleats or spikes. Each player must wear a flag belt which holds two flags, one for the left side and one for the right. Flags cannot be tied to the belt and must be at least 3 inches wide.

A flag football game lasts 60 minutes, with game play being divided into four fifteen minute quarters. The game time is kept by an official or coach, and the clock only stops at the end of a quarter, following a touchdown, and when a time-out is called by either team.

Before the game begins, a coin toss decides which team will be kicking off. The team that wins the coin toss gains first possession of the ball, and receives the kick off from their opponent. The third quarter also commences with a kick off, this time by the team with the lower score. Players switch goals at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters.

During game play, each team is allowed eight players on the field. Substitution of players is only permitted during dead ball situation, and any substituted player must remain on the field for the duration of at least one play.

Deflagging your Opponent

Once the ball carrier is deflagged by a member of the opposite team, the ball is declared dead. The play resumes from the location of the ball carrier when the flag was removed. While tackling is illegal in flag football, blocking is permitted as long as it is between the opponent’s waist and shoulders. If a ball is fumbled, it remains live and in play for either team to recover and retain possession.

To earn a first down, a team must gain 20 yards on the field in four downs. Touchdowns earn a team six points, field goals three, and safeties two. After a touchdown, a team has the opportunity to earn an additional point, which is awarded for a kick through the goal posts or a completed pass in the end zone. Two points go to the team that is able to complete a running play that reaches the end zone.

Try Out the Flag Football Drills and Practice Plans Tonight. Click Here.

By: Steve Silverman

Published: 31 October, 2018

How to play flag football

Playing defense in a flag football game can be challenging. The difficult part comes when a receiver has caught the ball in the open field. The rules of the game prevent you from bringing your opponent down to stop him. The only thing you can do is pull one of the two small flags that hang from his waistband. This can be a difficult maneuver because you can’t get physical with your opponent. You can hold him up in an attempt to grab the flags, but there can be no physical punishment administered.

Put your best athletes at the linebacker spot. Unlike touch football, offenses will try to put together a decent running game in flag football. But the majority of the running plays will go to the outside. Linebackers with speed can chase the running backs to the sidelines or pull the flags to prevent big plays.

Keep your hands up when rushing the quarterback. In tackle football, pass rushers want to sack the quarterback. When rushing the quarterback in flag football, reaching down with your hands to pull a flag may give the quarterback a clear throwing lane. Keep your hands up once you get past your blocker so you can obscure the quarterback’s vision. If the quarterback is right-handed, keep your left hand up in front of his passing arm, then attempt to pull the flag with your right hand.

Keep the receiver in front of you when you are in pass coverage. Trying to catch a receiver from behind so you can pull the flag is very difficult. But if you can keep the receiver in front of you, you can wrap him up with your arm and shoulder, then grab the flag and pull it.

Read the quarterback’s eyes if you are in coverage. In flag football, most quarterbacks will stare down their receivers before throwing it. A smart defensive player will be able to take advantage of that by jumping the pass route and intercepting the pass whenever possible.

Pull the flag on the opposing ball carrier but do not take the man down. If you inadvertently trip somebody while diving to pull out the flag, the referee will likely let that go with a warning on the first offense. If the referee sees your play as too aggressive, you will get an unnecessary roughness penalty called that will be either 5 or 10 yards. If the referee believes you are reckless or trying to cause physical punishment by tackling, you will be ejected from the game and written up by the official. Players who are written up normally are not allowed to play the next game.

How to play flag football

For the last 13 years, young women in the state of Florida have been afforded the opportunity to play football – flag football that is – with the chance to compete for a state championship like their male counterparts get to do in traditional tackle football.

However, the lack of Girls Flag Football being covered by a statewide media outlet is coming to an end, starting this season as Florida High School Football takes on giving the other side of football coverage.

We will start simple with our coverage. That means providing comprehensive schedules, some games stories, tournament coverage and providing live scoreboards for teams to report their score each game day. We will also provide weekly rankings during the season and we are also hoping to carry Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings, something that will give fans both the human opinion as well as the computer opinion.

How to play flag football

So how does flag football work compared to traditional tackle football? Take a look below with just some of the similarities and differences with the rules as described as part of the National Intramural-Recreation Association’s Flag Football Rules book. Some rules have been slightly modified by the FHSAA for the use at the high school level.

SIMILARITIES TO TACKLE FOOTBALL

There are many similarities to football when it comes to flag football.

  • You can throw the ball
  • You can run with the ball
  • Interceptions are allowed on defense
  • Punting or going for it on 4 th down is allowed
  • Punt returns are allowed
  • All games have four quarters with 12 minutes clocks as it is in traditional tackle football at the high school level. However, there is a difference that will be explained in the differences.
  • Team are allowed three (3) time outs per half.

A lot of the same formations that are used in traditional tackle football are also used in flag football between both offense and defense.

However, here come the differences

DIFFERENCES TO TACKLE FOOTBALL

Just as there are many similarities to tackle football there are just as many things that go the opposite direction for flag football.

  • You cannot physically tackle your opponent. Tackles are done by pulling the flags.
  • The offensive line and defensive line are nonexistent in flag football as there is no physical tackling. Only the center has to be on the line of scrimmage which is a change from requiring five players to be on the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
  • The field is 80 yards long divided up in sections with markings at the 20 yard line, 40 yard line and at the 20 yard line. End zones make up both ends of the field and 10 yards deep on each end.
  • At the start of a game there is no kickoff to the receiving team. Instead the ball is placed on the 14 yard line where the team that gets the ball first will start the game at. This also applies after the opposing team scores.
  • To gain a first down you must advance the ball past each of the line markers at 20, 40, 20 and the Goal Line.
  • Although playing a full four (4) quarters each game is similar to tackle football at the high school level as mentioned above, the clock consistently runs until the last two minutes of each half where a stop clock is utilized for different situations.

SCORING IN FLAG FOOTBALL

Scoring is very similar in flag football as compared to tackle football, but there are some differences when it comes to the extra points.

  • Touchdowns are worth six (6) points.
  • Teams may go for a point after try where they can either get one (1) point, two (2) points or three (3) points.
  • No kicking is allowed for point after try.
  • No field goals are allowed to get points if a team fails to get the ball in the end zone after three downs. Team must go for it on fourth down.

As you can see, there is not too much difference to the game other than pure tackling is not allowed. They do warn incidental contact can occur and is something that will never be completely avoided in any game situation.