NFL FLAG Rules
Below are the basic rules for NFL FLAG Football with some video demonstrations. All players, coaches and referees should review these basic rules often. Click here for the complete NFL FLAG Football Official Rule Book.
PENN Athletics Rule Exceptions
Rule: Coaches are allowed on the field to direct players according to need and division. Coaches must move to the sidelines before the snap of the ball.
Exception: Coaches may remain on the field in our 1st Grade and younger leagues.
Rule: The center must snap the ball with a rapid and continuous motion between his/her legs to a player in the backfield, and the ball must completely leave his/her hands.
Exception: Side snaps are permitted in our First Grade Leagues.
Exception: Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten is coach snap, where a coach takes a knee and side snaps the football.
- A Coin Toss determines Offense and Defense
- All jerseys MUST be tucked in before play begins.
- Flags must be pointed down and out before, and during, the game.
- The Line of Scrimmage and the Rush Line seven yards from the Line of Scrimmage will be marked with orange cones.
- Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 30 seconds to snap the ball.
- The quarterback has a seven-second “pass clock.”
- Shovel passes are allowed, but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage.
- Only direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted.
- Absolutely NO laterals of any kind.
- “Center sneak” play is no longer allowed. The QB is not allowed to handoff to the center on the first handoff of the play.
- Interceptions are returnable, but not on conversions after touchdowns.
- Interceptions change the possession of the ball at the point of interception.
- Interceptions are the only changes of possession that do not start on the 5-yard line.
- No Run Zone. 5-yard no run zones precede the half field line and goal line for the offense.
NO Flag Guarding.
- Flag guarding is an attempt by the ball-carrier to obstruct the defender’s access to the flags by stiff arming, dropping the head, hand, arm or shoulder or intentionally covering the flags with the football jersey.
- Runners may not leave their feet to advance the ball.
- Diving, leaping or jumping to avoid a flag pull is considered flag guarding.
- Deliberately obstructed flags will be considered flag guarding.
- No blocking or “screening” is allowed at any time.
- Offensive players without the ball must stop their motion once the ball has crossed the line of scrimmage. No running with the ball-carrier.