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Rules and Regulations

RULES & EQUIPMENT

  • FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS” (FNL) Flag Football is a 6 on 6 game filled with fun and action.  The offensive team plays for a first down at midfield and a touchdown in the end zone.  Running and passing plays are allowed, although there are “no running zones” at midfield and near each goal line.  The defensive team covers receivers, rushes the passer and grabs flags to make “tackles”.  It is intended to be a “non-contact” sport

THE BASICS 

  • A coin toss determines first possession.
  • The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5 yard line and has 3 plays to cross midfield for a 1st down.  Once a team crosses midfield, it has 3 plays to score a touchdown.  If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team takes over on its 5 yard line..
  • If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its 5 yard line.
  • All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offenses 5 yard line.
  • Interceptions may be returned
  • Teams change sides after halftime.  Possession changes to loser of coin toss. 

PLAYERS/GAMES

  • Teams must field a minimum of 5 players at all times.  Teams consist of 8 players – 6 on the field, with 2 substitutes.  ALL PLAYERS MUST PLAY A MINIMUM 3 OUT OF THE 4 QUARTERS (EVERYONE SITS ONE FULL QUARTER).    SUBSTITUTIONS ARE ONLY ALLOWED AT THE QUARTER BREAKS UNLESS THERE IS AN INUJURY.  If team A does not have 8 players at the game, the coach of team A will determine which of his players will get to play the entire game.  

TIMING/OVERTIME

  • Games are played with 10 minute running quarters (40minutes), 1 minute water break between quarters and a 5 minute halftime.  If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, teams move directly into overtime (EXCEPT 1ST/2ND GRADE AND 3RD/4TH GRADE DIVISION WHICH WILL REMAIN A TIE).  The following tie-breaker system will be used for all overtime games.
  • **NEW**
    • Coin flip determines possession
    • Ball is placed at Midfield
    • After 3 plays, the referee will mark where the ball ended up (cone, flag, etc)
    • Opposing team will now take over at Midfield run their 3 plays going in the same direction.
    • Whichever team gains the most yards on 3 plays wins the game
    •  If both teams are tied after 3 plays, we do it again until there is a winner.
    • Negative net yards on offense will count against you. Other team must still run their 3 plays.
    • If ball is intercepted and returned for a touchdown, game is over.
  • Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 30 seconds to snap the ball.  Teams will receive one warning before a delay of game penalty is enforced.
  • 2 timeouts per half and they do not carry over to 2nd half if unused.

SCORING

  • Touchdown = 6 points
  • Extra Point:
    • 1 point (played from 5 yard line) or
    • 2 points (played from 12 yard line)

RUNNING

  • The quarterback cannot run with the ball.
  • Handoffs, laterals and pitches are allowed as per NFL rules.
  • NO CENTER SNEAKS!!
  • No-Running zones located approx. 5 yards from each end zone (as marked) and approx. 5 yards on either side of midfield (as marked) are designed to avoid short yardage, power-running situations.
  • The player who takes the handoff, lateral or pitch can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Once the ball has been handed off, lateraled or pitched, all defensive players are eligible to rush.
  • Spinning is allowed, but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a defensive player (no diving).
  • The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is.

RECEIVING

  • All players are eligible to receive passes (including the QB, if the ball has been handed off, lateraled or pitched behind the line of scrimmage as per NFL Rules).  As in the NFL, only one player is allowed in motion at a time.  A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception.

PASSING

  • The QB has a seven second “pass clock”.  If the QB does not get rid of the ball within the seven seconds, play is dead, loss of down.  Once the ball is handed off, the seven second rule no longer is in effect.
  • Shovel passes are allowed
  • Interceptions may be returned.

DEAD BALLS

  • The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start play.
  • Play is ruled “dead” when:
    • Ball carrier’s flag is pulled
    • Ball carrier steps out of bounds
    • Touchdown or safety is scored
    • Ball carrier’s knee hits the ground
    • Ball carrier’s flag falls out
  • **NOTE: THERE ARE NO FUMBLES (therefore NO STRIPPING OF THE BALL).  THE BALL IS SPOTTED WHERE THE BALL HITS THE GROUND**

RUSHING THE QUARTERBACK

  • All players who rush the QB must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage (as marked by ref) when the ball is snapped.  Any number of players can rush the QB.  Players not rushing the QB may defend on the line of scrimmage only until the ball leaves QB hands.
  • Once the ball is handed off, the seven – yard rule no longer is in effect, and all defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage.  A special marker, or the referee, will designate seven yards from the line of scrimmage.  Remember, NO BLOCKING, TACKLING, OR STRIPPING OF THE BALL IS ALLOWED

SPORTSMANSHIP/ROUGHING

  • If the field Official/Referee or Commissioner witnesses any acts of tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking orANY unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player/coach or fan may be ejected from the game.  The penalty if called is a dead ball at point of infraction and automatic 1st down.  It will ALWAYS benefit the other team.
  • **FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED**
  • Trash talking is illegal.  Officials have the right to determine offensive language.  (Trash talk is talk that may be offensive to officials, opposing players, teams or spectators.)  If trash talking occurs, the referee may give one warning and if it continues, the player(s), coach’s and fans will be subject to ejection from the field and premises.   The game will not continue until the ejected party has left the premises.  If they do not leave, the ref will forfeit the game immediately and award the Win to the opposing team.
  • Anyone ejected from a game (player, coach, fans), for any reason,  will not be allowed on the premises for the next game.   If they are ejected a 2nd time during the season, they will not be allowed on the premises for the next TWO games and are subject to dismissal from the league with NO REFUND.
  • UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT BY ANYONE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!!

PENALTIES (ALL PENALTIES CAN BE DECLINED)

  • All penalties will be called by the referee.

DEFENSE:

  • Offsides:
    • 5 yards and automatic 1st down
  • Interference:
    • 10 yards and automatic 1st down
  • Illegal Contact:
    • (Holding, blocking, etc)
    • 10 yards and automatic 1st down
  • Illegal Flag pull
    • (before receiver has ball)
    • 10 yards and automatic 1st down
  • Illegal rushing
    • (starting rush from inside 7-yard marker)
    • 10 yards and automatic 1st down
  • “Last Man Standing” - **NEW**
    • (last defender tackles ball carrier, instead of pulling flag)
    • Automatic Touchdown

OFFENSE:

  • Illegal motion
    • (more than one person moving, false start, etc.)
    • 5 Yards and loss of down
  • Illegal forward pass
    • (pass thrown beyond line of scrimmage)
    • 5 yards and loss of down
  • Offensive pass interference
    • (Illegal pick play, pushing off/away defender)
    • 10 yards and loss of down
  • Flag guarding
    • 10 yards (from line of scrimmage and loss of down)
  • Delay of Game
    • Clock stops, 10 yards and loss of down

Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play.  All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage!!

Only the team captain may ask the referee questions about rue clarification and interpretations.  Players cannot question judgment calls.
 
Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.
 
ATTIRE

  • Cleats are allowed, except for metal spikes.  Inspections will be made.  All players must wear a protective mouthpiece; there are no exceptions!! 
  • Official FNL Team jerseys must be worn during play.

 
NOTE: THERE ARE NO KICKOFFS, AND NO BLOCKING IS ALLOWED