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Stowe Area Flag Football League

Game Rules

The Mission of Stowe-Morrisville Flag Football League: To provide an opportunity to teach the fundamentals of flag football to children in grades 3-12 and to provide a safe environment during this process.

Field, Equipment & Players

For Division 3, the field shall be 80 yards long by 40 yards wide with 2 end zones 10 yards deep.. For Division 2, the field should be 80 yards long by 40 yards wide with 2 end zones 10 yards deep. The field shall be divided into 4 - 20 yard zones by markers. For Division 1 the field shall by 60 yards long by 30 yards wide.

Two marks shall be placed on the 30 yard line in the center of the field to designate kick-off spots.

Rubber football, soccer or running shoes must be worn. No metal cleats. No hats, sunglasses, jewelry are allowed on the field of play. Mouth guards will be mandatory for all players.

Uniform belts which are part of the registration must be worn.

Flags must be a different color from the player’s pants.

Free substitution is allowed and all players on a team must enter each game at some point. Substitution must adhere to a 25 second time limit. Each player must play at least ½ of the game.

Shirts must be tucked into shorts at all times with the flag fully exposed. Flags must be on the hips.

Time Factors and Rules

The game shall consist of four 15-minute quarters, with the clock stopping for: time outs, out of bounds, and touchdowns. Half time will be 5 minutes long.

Each team is entitled to 2 time outs per half

The offense must put the ball into play within 25 seconds after the ball is marked for play by the official. Infractions result in delay of game penalty.

The last 2 minutes of each half will be a stopped clock for out of bounds play and incomplete passes.

Infractions and Penalties

Five Yard Penalties: Offside, illegal Motion or Procedure, Illegal use of hands by offense or defense, Intentional grounding of ball by passer (loss of down in addition to 5 yards), Too many players on the field, Down field screening before pass is caught, Delay of game , Kick off out of bounds, Frozen punt movement (by offense and defense)

Ten Yard Penalties: running over defensive or offensive player, Offensive pass interference (Defensive pass interference. See below # 5), Personal foul, Clipping, Tripping, Illegal screen, aggressive us of hands by offense or defense.

Fifteen yard penalties: Unsportsmanlike conduct, Foul Language, Taunting in any form constitutes an automatic ejection (excess celebration in the end zone) A 2nd unsportsmanlike conduct is automatic ejection from the league for a player or coach. An inadvertent hit at the end of a game, the player will sit out the next game + a 15 yard penalty.

Ejections for fighting shall be mandatory.

Defensive pass interference results in the ball being placed at the point of infraction, except when the infraction occurs in the end zone. Then the ball is placed on the seven yard line. Automatic first down in all cases.

Flag guarding (slapping or elbowing hand of defender away from Flag) or stiff arming by the ball carrier or pushing out of bounds by a defender is penalized with a 10 yard penalty at the point of infraction. The football cannot be used to guard the flag. The above applies to flag guarding with the football.

Administering an offensive clipping penalty: During a running play (including punt and kick-off returns) If clip is ahead of ball carrier, 10 yard penalty taken from marked end of run, If clip is behind ball carrier, 10 yard penalty taken from the point of infraction, During a passing play, 10 yard penalty taken from previous line of scrimmage.

No offensive play is allowed inside the defense’s 7 yard line.

If a penalty is assessed on an extra point, Offensive yards are marked off. Defense, can bring the ball to the 7 yd. line. If already on the 7 yd. line then the penalty will be assessed at kickoff.

An intentional penalty within 7 yards of the goal line by the defense will cause the ball to be placed on the 3 yard line and the defense will line up 4 yards deep in their end zone.

The Game

One team calls the toss of the coin. The winner of the toss chooses: to receive to receive in the 1st or 2nd half. The loser of the toss has the choice to defend which goal.

The ball is put into play by a kick. The ball should be on a tee, but may be held as long as one end of some part of the ball is in contact with the ground, at the 30 yard mark. If the ball is kicked out of bounds, it should be put in play either at the out of bounds spot or kicked over from 5 yards behind the original point of kick off. (This option is for the receiving team.) After this kick, if a kick immediately following that is kicked out of bounds it gives the receiving team 3 possible options: Defense re-kicks 5 yard further back, Play ball from out of bounds mark, Play ball from 49 yard line. If the kick is dropped, it may be picked up and run back. However, if the defense touches it, it is a dead ball.

On any kickoff, the ball must go 10 yards and the receiving team shall be at least ten yards from the kick-off line until the ball is kicked. No onside kicks are allowed.

A downed ball in the end zone on a kick-off will be brought out to the 20 yard line.

The team shall receive four downs to make a first down. In each series, the first time the ball crosses any one of the marked 20 yard lines gives the offense a first down.

Punt: the offensive team will inform the defensive team of a punting situation. (Four defenders must be on the line of scrimmage for a punt) They may not rush the punter. The offensive team may not move until the ball has been punted. Twenty-five seconds is given to the teams to allow for punting or receiving team substitutions.

Scoring: Touchdown 6 points, One point conversion (from the 7 yard line), Two point conversion (from the twelve yard line), Safety 2 points. If a team intercepts the ball in the end zone and tries to run it out and goes out of the end zone and back in and gets caught in the end zone, it is a safety. (2 points and kickoff to the opposing team). If the team intercepts in the end zone and takes a knee, or gets caught in the end zone without going out it is a touchback and they take the ball out to the 20 yd. line.

All players on the offensive team are eligible to catch a pass. For Division 1 only, one coach is allowed in the offensive huddle.

All players on offense must come to a complete stop for one second before the ball is snapped. One player may start in lateral motion after the team has come to its stop.

The entire flag and belt must be exposed at all times. That implies that players must have their shirts tucked in.

The ball is automatically dead on any fumble and the team in possession of the ball before the fumble maintains possession with a loss of down. When a player has been downed or his flag has been pulled, or falls off, the ball is automatically dead. Pulled flags are held in the air until the whistle has blown. Flags should then be returned to the offensive player. A pass receiver, upon catching a pass with a flag missing, is down immediately at the point of completion.

Neutral Zone: A distance of seven yards between offensive and defensive teams will be required at all times.

Screen blocking is permitted. The screen must be stationary and set a least two running strides (4 yards) from an opponent. The blocker may not extend or stick out a knee, hip shoulder, leg, or foot when setting a screen. The blocker may not lean into or initiate contact with a defender. The arms must be kept straight down along the blocker’s body and only the blocker’s feet may be in contact with the ground when setting a screen.

A defensive player must go around a legal screen. The defender may use hands only to maintain balance while going around the screen. The defender may not push, pull, grab, initiate contact, or charge into a screen.

The ball carrier must side step a defender. No stiff-arming. No flag guarding. No leaving your feet. (except on the spin see below). A passer can leave his feet to throw as long as he is not avoiding a flag pull. Leaving your feet on the spin is allowed as long as you come down on 2 feet. . The spin move is legal as long as you do not spin into the defender. (an effort to elude contact)

A dropped snap from center is considered a fumble. The ball is put back at the line of scrimmage. (Dead ball and loss of down)

If a passer’s arm is in forward motion while throwing a pass and his flag is pulled, he is not down and the play should continue.

A pass receiver needs to have only one foot in bounds in order to complete a pass.

There is no center snap run where the QB touches the ball and the center runs with the ball. The ball must be exchanged between the center and the QB.

If a game ends in a tie, each team receives 4 plays from the 20-yard line. If a touchdown is scored, the offensive team then tries for an extra point. (Depending on time) This is not a sudden death situation.

The ball carrier is not allowed to be pushed out of bounds by a defender.

Multiple passes: Only one forward pass is allowed per down.

A player must have one foot over the goal line for a touchdown