For Touch Football rules, click here.

For Men’s Flag Football rules  click here.

Rule Number One: Don’t be a D- BAG

The first and foremost rule of the game is to have fun! Volo City is all about playing a social game, having fun, and meeting new people. Absolutely no whining will be tolerated during the course of a game. The only players allowed to communicate with the referees are the captain and co-captain. Any abuse (verbal or otherwise) of the referees or other players will constitute an immediate ejection from the game. Repeated offenders will be banned from the league. No exceptions.

8 vs. 8 Coed 

Basic Rules

Overview:

  • Five males maximum on the field, at least three females (to have a full team)
  • Minimum of five players to start the game, at least one of which is female
  • Running clock with 23 minutes per half (clock only stops in the second half under two minutes
  • One timeout per half (does not carry over)

Captains:

  • Only captains may approach the refs about a rule call.
  • Do not bother refs over judgment calls. It slows the game and may result in a penalty.

Game:

  • Players must wait five seconds on the line to rush the QB
  • Each team gets a blitz once every set of first downs. You do not have to yell “blitz” on a blitz
  • Men cannot blitz on gender plays
  • All receivers are eligible
  • NO blocking at all
  • NO flag guarding
  • NO rushing inside five yards of the opponent’s end zone
  • To score, only the ball needs to break into the end zone
  • Any fumble is a dead ball (if a punt hits the ground it is dead at the spot.)
  • QBs are allowed to run on any play except within the 5 yard line, and male QBs in gender plays.
  • If your team has used the automatic blitz during the scoring set of downs, you do not have a blitz for the conversion. Ex: You blitz on second down and offense scores on third down. Your team cannot blitz on the conversion. You can rush the QB after a 5 count.

Gender Plays:

  • Offense must have one female involved in play once every three plays.
  • If the QB is male, all defensive men but one must play 10 yards back until the ball is thrown. Once the ball is thrown, male defensive players are able to break inside the 10 yard make on the ball/ball carrier. Exception: If offense puts more than the minimum number of females on the field, then the defense can designate a male to cover the extra female.
  • One male can stay on the line of scrimmage to guard a male QB. He may rush after five seconds, but cannot
  • On a gender play, if the operative female gets her flags pulled behind the line of scrimmage, the next down will be a repeat gender play.
  • A female can blitz the QB.
  • If the QB is female on a gender play, then the defense is only allowed to have a female rush the QB. The rest of the defense can line up however they would like.
  • A female score counts for one point extra on touchdowns and conversions. If a female throws to another female on a scoring drive, it is only worth one extra point, not two.
  • A female cannot hand off to a male- she can throw it forward to a man, but he must gain positive yardage past the LOS.
    • If a woman drops back 5 yards and throws the ball 3 yards to a male, gender is only good if the male then gains positive yardage past the line of scrimmage.
  • Offense must inform the referee if switching from a male to a female QB

Punts:

  • The offensive team must declare that they are going to punt.
  • No fakes or blocks allowed.
  • All offensive players must stay 10 yards off the line of scrummage until the ball is punted.
  • The ball does not need to be hiked, but it must be kicked.

Forfeits:

  • Teams should be present at least ten minutes prior to their scheduled game.
  • Teams will have ten minutes after the scheduled game time to have the minimum number of players present- if not, they will forfeit.
  • All teams make the playoffs at the end of the season, unless a team has forfeited twice.

For all other rules: http://www.usffa.org/rulebook.htm

 

Rules in Detail

Teams

Teams will field 8 players, with a maximum of 5 males on the field at any one time. The typical team will be 5 males and 3 females, but a team may have more females on the field, i.e. 4 males and 4 females. Games will start on time if teams can field the minimum number of 5 players, with at least 1 of those players being female.

Rosters

Rosters are not limited in size; additional players may be added during season. For any player additions, the player must play at least 2 games in order to be eligible for the playoffs. DURING THE PLAYOFFS ONLY PLAYERS ON YOUR ROSTER WILL BE ALLOWED TO PLAY.

The Field

The field is 80 yards with two 10-yard end zones. In some instances, the field might be shortened by 5 or 10 yards due to field conditions. Lines at both 20-yard lines and the 40-yard line (mid-field) will be marked off. Cones on the side of the field will also mark these lines. Cones will also mark the end zones. Hash marks for extra points will be at 5 yards (1 point conversion) and at 10 yards (2 point conversions).

Pre-game

Captains will meet at the center of the field before the game to do a coin flip and to discuss any questions regarding the game. This is the time to ask any questions about rules that may be unclear. The captains will also determine who will call the coin flip. The designated captain will call it in the air. The coin will be allowed to hit the ground. The referee will then determine on which side the coin landed. The winning captain will have a choice of receiving the ball or deferring the choice. If the captain decides that he/she wants the ball, the losing captain will have the choice of which end zones he/she wishes to defend. In the 2nd half, teams will defend opposite goals that they defended in the 1st half. The loser of the toss will get the ball. If the coin toss winner deferred, they will get the ball going the opposite way.

Captains

Each team will have a designated captain who will be the official representative of the team. The captain is responsible for his/her teams and their behavior. Referees and staff will come to the captains if there are any problems or for any information that needs to be given. During the game, only captains are permitted to talk to the referees. This is to prevent too many people from distracting the referee. Only captains may call time outs. Referees will give the time to the captain only when they ask. If a captain is not present, the team must designate an on-field captain to take his/her place. The preference is that the QB and the designated rusher to take that role since they are closest to the ball and the referee at all times.

Forfeits

Teams should be present at least 10 minutes prior to the game. Teams will have 10 minutes after the scheduled start time to have the minimum numbers of players present. If they do not, they will have to forfeit.

The Clock, Time and the Start of the Game

Games will be 46 minutes in duration with two 23 minute halves. The clock will run continuously in the 1st half. The clock will stop only in the 1st half when a) a team is attempting an extra point inside of the 2-minute warning and b) when there is a change of possession. The clock will run continuously through the 2nd half until the 2-minute warning. At the 2-minute warning, the clock will automatically stop and then restart once the ball is hiked. After that point, the clock will stop for incomplete passes, when a player steps out-of-bounds, turnovers, sacks, when the winning team is on offense and stopped behind the line of scrimmage, and for all types of scoring. The clock will restart once the ball is hiked. The clock will not stop for 1st downs after the 2-minute warning in the 2nd half. The referee also has the authority to stop the clock at any time for injuries or administrative matters. The clock will start at the hike of the ball. The clock will also stop for time-outs. If a mercy rule is in effect the clock will run, even in the second half. If you take a knee and the mercy rule is not in effect, it will be considered a sack.

Time-Outs

Each team has 2 time-outs per game, 1 per half. Time-outs will last 1 minute. The clock will restart when the ball is hiked. Unused time-outs for the first half do not carry over to the second half.

Scoring

Touchdowns are worth 6 points (or 7, if a girl throws or receives the touchdown). Extra point conversions from the 5 yard line are worth 1 point (or 2, if a girl throws or receives the conversion). Extra point conversions from the 10 yard line are worth 2 points (or 3, if a girl throws or receives the conversion). Safeties are worth 2 points. Turnovers on an extra point conversion may be returned. A return by the defensive team is worth 2 points (or 3, if the ball is returned by a girl), even if the offensive team was going for a 1 point conversion.

Safeties

A safety may be scored when a player is tagged in his/her own end zone when that player is on offense. A safety will also be called if a player snaps the ball out of the end zone. The defensive team will be awarded 2 points and then take the ball on their 5-yard line. If a player is catching a punt, has not caught it yet, and fumbles in his/her own end zone when he does try initially fielding it, the ball is dead. The receiving team retains possession. The ball is placed on their own 5-yard line and they begin an offensive series.

Operative Player

A female player must be the operative player once every 3 downs. An operative player is an intended receiver in the eyes of the referee, one who actually catches (or attempts to catch) the ball for a positive gain, attempts a pass as a quarterback, or is the primary runner. If acting as the primary runner, the female player will need to gain positive yards for the play to count as a female play.

An operative player is NOT a quarterback who hands the ball off to a male player or snaps the ball into play. If taking part in a “flea flicker” play, for it to count as a gender play, the female receiver must first secure a reception for positive yards before she can lateral the ball to a male player.

A male QB cannot run the ball on a gender play, and can only throw the ball to a female. During this time, all other male players on offense must wait on or behind the line of scrimmage until a female touches the ball past the line of scrimmage.

Gender Plays:

  • Offense must have one female involved in play once every three plays.
  • If the QB is male, all defensive men but one must play 10 yards back until the ball is thrown. Once the ball is thrown, male defensive players are able to break inside the 10 yard make on the ball/ball carrier. Exception: If offense puts more than the minimum number of females on the field, then the defense can designate a male to cover the extra female.
  • One male can stay on the line of scrimmage to guard a male QB. He may rush after five seconds, but cannot
  • On a gender play, if the operative female gets her flags pulled behind the line of scrimmage, the next down will be a repeat gender play.
  • A female can blitz the QB.
  • If the QB is female on a gender play, then the defense is only allowed to have a female rush the QB. The rest of the defense can line up however they would like.
  • A female score counts for one point extra on touchdowns and conversions. If a female throws to another female on a scoring drive, it is only worth one extra point, not two.
  • A female cannot hand off to a male- she can throw it forward to a man, but he must gain positive yardage past the LOS.
    • If a woman drops back 5 yards and throws the ball 3 yards to a male, gender is only good if the male then gains positive yardage past the line of scrimmage.
  • Offense must inform the referee if switching from a male to a female QB

1st Downs

1st downs are made when a team reaches the 20, 40, or 20-yard line. A team has 4 downs to make a first down. If the offensive team does not make a 1st down in four downs, a change of possession occurs. The ball is marked where the player with the ball was tagged.

Punts

A team will have the option of punting on the 4th down. The offensive team must declare that they are going to punt. No fakes are allowed. All offensive players must stay on the line of scrimmage until the ball is punted. The ball does not need to be hiked. The ball must be punted and not thrown. The defensive team may not attempt a block. The receiving team may fair catch the ball or may attempt to advance it. Once a punt is dropped or touches the ground the ball is dead. The defense cannot recover a fumble.

Turnovers

Turnovers may occur by interception. For our purposes, an interception occurs when the ball leaves the possession of an offensive player, is in the air, is recovered by the defensive player, and does not touch the ground at any time. Ex: If the QB passes the ball and it is caught by a member of the defensive team, or if the ball is lateraled by an offensive player and caught by a member of the defensive team. Interceptions may be advanced.

Rushing the Passer

The defense can rush the passer after the referee issues a 5 count from the LOS. Only two defensive players may rush the passer at a time. The defensive player is not allowed to cross the line of scrummage until the count reaches 5. Do not float or drift in before the count, as this will be considered a blitz and if you do not have one this will be an illegal rush that will result in a penalty. If the QB tries to run, the defensive player may not cross the line of scrimmage until the QB has crossed the line of scrimmage and then turns back. Once the QB hands off/ passes to another player behind the LOS, the defense may rush everybody and no count is needed.

Blitzing

The defense may blitz once every set of first downs. No five count is needed for a blitz. On a gender play, only female defensive players can blitz. If you have already used a blitz on a scoring set of downs, you do not have an additional blitz for the extra point conversion. You do not have to yell “blitz” when blitzing. If an offensive player is lined up behind the QB, the defense can rush on person without a five count.

Blocking

No active blocking of any kind is allowed.

Inadvertent Whistle

If the referee blows an inadvertent whistle, then the play is dead. If the play was for positive yardage, then it is the offensive teams’ ball at the spot of the ball carrier when the whistle was blown and the down counts. The offensive team may opt to do the play over. If the offensive play was developing in the backfield or if the ball was in flight, then the play is dead. The play will be done over from the line of scrimmage.

Passing

A pass is complete when a player catches the ball with at least one foot in bounds. The same rule applies for interceptions. The other foot may be out of bounds after the catch. If a player catches the ball and is tagged/pushed out of bounds, then it is up to the referee to decide if he/she would have landed in bounds. The play would then stand as a legal reception by the offensive player.

Fumbles

Any time the ball hits the ground the ball is dead. This includes the ball hitting the ground on a punt play.

Motion

One player may move laterally parallel to the line of scrimmage prior to the play. If the player moves up the field at any time except to set on the line of scrimmage (for at least one second) then it will be considered illegal motion.

Penalties

All penalty decisions are made at the discretion of the referee. Arguing with a rule call may result in an additional penalty. The clock will still run when the ref is marking off the penalty. The clock will stop under two minutes in the 2nd half if the offensive team is ahead.

5 Yard Penalties

  • Shirt holding
  • Any contact with an offensive receiver that hinders their ability to catch the ball. Inadvertent contact does not count as pass interference.
  • Not using the operative player (5 yards from LOS and loss of down)
  • Delay of game (5 yards from LOS)
  • If the offensive team does not get a play of in 30 seconds after the ball is in play
  • If the defensive team interferes with the offensive team at any time, hindering their ability to get a play off in 30 seconds after the ball is in play
  • Illegal participation (5 yards from LOS)
  • More than 8 players on the field when the ball is snapped, or more than 5 males on the field when the ball is snapped.
  • Offensive offsides (5 yards from LOS)
  • Any player not being set for one second except a player in motion
  • Defensive offsides (5 yards from LOS)
  • When a defensive player crosses over the LOS and does not get back prior to the snap, or makes contact with an offensive player when they cross over the LOS.
  • Illegal forward pass (5 yards from the LOS and loss of down)
  • If the QB crosses the LOS and then throws the ball
  • Intentional grounding (When the QB throws the ball into the ground or into an area where the referee decides that is was only an attempt to avoid being sacked).
  • If the ball is thrown out of bounds without crossing the LOS first.

 10 Yard Penalties

  • Defensive blocking (10 yards from the LOS)
  • Offensive blocking (10 yards from the spot)
  • Offensive Picking/ Offensive Pass interference (10 yards from LOS)
    • When an offensive player initiates contact, such as pushing off. Picking will be called when a receiver comes off the LOS and picks a defensive player, allowing another offensive player to shake that defender. If a catch is made after a pick, it will be ruled no catch.

15 Yard Penalties

  • Unsportsmanlike conduct (15 yards from LOS, ejection, and/or suspension.)