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5on5 Flag Football United Rules

Basic Rules

  • 5 on 5 Men’s Division (3 players needed to avoid a forfeit)
  • Football: NFL “Wilson” or NCAA Leather Football
  • Flags: 5 on 5 Sonic Pop(You must provide your own flags)
  • Field Dimensions: 62 yards x 30 wide (2 x 25-yard zones with 7 yard end zones)
  • Scoring: Touchdown = 6pts.; Safety = 2 pts.; Extra Points: 5-yard Line = 1 pt. or 10-yard Line = 2 pts.; Return of Extra Point Point try = 2 pts.
  • Extra Points are declared, a time out must be called to change the play.

Basic Rules of Play

  • Coin Toss to begin Game: Choices are – 1) Offense, 2) Defense, 3) Designate Goal
  • Ball Spotted on 5 yard line to begin play. 
  • 3 Downs to cross mid-field and then 3 downs to score TD
  • Receiving: Everyone Eligible, Control and one foot in bounds for a reception. Interceptions are live.
  • No Run Zones: Short Yardage Plays including the five yards before the first down and end zone.
  • Game Balls: Teams are to provide their own football.

Game Clock Format

  • Each game is played in two 16-minute halves. A running clock format is used. In the second half, after the 16 minutes is up, the official will declare the start of “4 plays”. Once the “4 plays” has begun, the game will end after 4 plays have been made. *"4 plays" are made only if the score is 8 or less.
  • Each team receive one timeout per half.
  • The game clock does not run during extra-points after a time out has been called.
  • There will be a 2-minute break at halftime and between each game for warm-ups.
  • Offensive has 25 seconds from the time the ball is set by the official to snap the ball.


  • Touchdowns: 6 points; Safety: 2 points
  • Extra Points 5 yards out: 1 point – no run zone; 10 yards out: 2 points – running play allowed.
  • If an extra point is intercepted and returned for a touchdown 2 points will be awarded.


  • All drives begin on the five-yard line with the exception of interceptions.
  • Interceptions may be run back and the drive will begin where the player’s flag was pulled.
  • Interceptions on an extra point attempt that are not returned for two points will begin on the 5 yard line, unless there is a defensive penalty during the run back, in which case the ball be spotted at the point of infraction.

First Downs

  • 5 on 5: The offense has 3 plays to advance the ball beyond mid-field for a first down.
  • After the offense crosses mid-field they have 3 plays to score.
  • 3 downs to cross mid-field and 3 downs to score touchdown.

Centering the Ball

  • The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start each play.
  • A five-yard penalty will be assessed for delay of game.
  • Officials will warn teams when there are 10 seconds left.
  • The ball must be snapped from where it is placed by the official.
  • If the ball is not spotted in the middle of the field the offensive team may request to center the ball.


  • Players may substitute during a dead ball but must be off the field before the next play is snapped. The offense may not have one player step off of the field and another player step onto the field in an effort to confuse the defense.

Running Plays

  • There is no limit to the number of handoffs made behind the line of scrimmage.
  • The quarterback does not have to be lined up behind the center.
  • There are no limit of laterals in one play.
  • If the pitch is forward, the recipient must run the ball.
  • The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball as long as the does not pass the line of scrimmage.
  • Players MAY NOT receive a handoff where the ball is placed on their back.
  • Once the ball has been handed off or pitched, all defensive players are allowed to rush even if they aren’t behind the 7-yard rushing marker.

“No Run Zone”

  • The “No Run Zone” is designated to avoid short yardage power running. It is located five-yards from the mid-field first down marking and the end zone.
  • In the “No Run Zone” the offense may only advance the ball by throwing the ball beyond the line of scrimmage.
  • Handoffs are allowed in the “No Run Zone” however the player receiving the handoff may not run. He must pass the ball.


  • All players are eligible to receive passes, including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage.
  • A player must have at least one foot in bounds when making a catch.


  • Shovel passes are allowed.
  • The quarterback will have a five-second-pass clock if no defensive players rush. If a pass is not thrown within that five seconds, the play is dead and treated as an incomplete pass.
  • Interceptions may be run back.
  • If a lateral, pitch, or backwards pass is batted down it will be treated like an incomplete pass and the ball will return to the original line of scrimmage.

Rushing the Quarterback

  • All players that rush the quarterback must be a minimum of 7 yards beyond the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
  • However, once the ball has been handed off, all players are eligible to rush from anywhere in front or beyond the 7-yard marker.
  • Any number of players can rush the quarterback providing they are behind the seven-yard marker at the start of the play.
  • Official will designate 7 yards from the line of scrimmage.
  • If the rusher enters the 7-yard neutral zone before the snap, he must get back before the ball is snapped in order to rush.
  • A rusher must go for the quarterback’s flags.
  • The rusher may attempt to block the pass but it is a penalty to make contact with the quarterbacks’ body or arm even if the ball is deflected.
  • If no one rushes, the quarterback will have 5 seconds to release the ball.
  • The rusher has a direct line to the quarterback provided they do not rush from up the middle.
  • The center and receivers must avoid contact with the rusher.
  • The offense must avoid the rusher even if the quarterback rolls out or hands off.
  • If the rusher changes direction for any reason they must avoid contact with the center and receivers.
  • Only players who start behind the 7-yard mark may cover receivers in the backfield.
  • Defensive players who are not behind the 7-yard mark when the ball is snapped may not cross the line of scrimmage until the ball has left the quarterbacks hand.
  • 5 second count is not in effect if rushed.

Dead Balls

  • Play is ruled over when:
  • The ball hits the ground
  • The defense has pulled the ball carriers flag.
  • The defense has touched a player who either:
    1. started the play without a flag
    2. inadvertently had the flag fall off

Note: if the defense intentionally pulls the flag prematurely they must touch them.

  • When the ball carrier’s knee touches the ground
  • When the ball carrier steps out of bounds
  • If there was an inadvertent whistle.

Note: If there is an inadvertent whistle the offense has the choice of accepting the ball where it was whistled dead or replaying the down.


Overtime only exists in a declared playoff or championship game.

  • Coin toss determines first possession.
  • Overtime is a two-minute college rules that start on the halfway mark.
  • Four downs to score in the Youth League. Three downs to score in the Adult League.
  • If the first team scores, then the second team will have an opportunity to tie the game.
  • If the second team scores first, the game is over.
  • If the score is tied at the end of the second OT, there will be an extra point shootout from the 5-yard line.
  • Each team will receive one time out.


  • Referees determine incidental contact, which may result from normal run of play.
  • Only the team captain may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations.
  • Players cannot question judgment calls.
  • All interactions with captains and referees should be made in a sportsmanlike manner.
  • The end of the half or game cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.

Defensive Penalties

  • Off-sides
  • Pass interference / Illegal contact – the defense may not play bump and run.

    A defensive player shall not make ANY contact with an offensive player.

  • Holding – the defense may not hold on to the rusher or the flag belt to assist in pulling the flag. Holding will not be a defensive penalty if the offensive player with the ball has pockets in his/her shorts. If the defensive player holds the offensive player on purpose or excessively, through the discretion of the referee, the penalty may still be called.
  • It is not a penalty if the flag belt is pulled off instantaneously.
  • Illegal rush – players that are not lined up seven yards off the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped may not enter into the backfield until the ball has left the original quarterbacks hands.
  • Roughing the quarterback – the rusher may not make contact with the quarterbacks throwing hand or arm, or hit the ball while it is in the quarterbacks’ hands.

*All defensive penalties are 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and automatic first down except holding which is marked off from the point of infraction.

Offensive Penalties

  • False start – Movement by the offense that simulates a snap.
  • Illegal pass – passing the ball beyond the line of scrimmage, or 2 forward passes.
  • Offensive pass interference
  • Pick – receivers may not set a pick to free up other receivers.
  • Flag guarding
  • Illegal block / screen
  • Charging – Running through a defender who has established position
  • Impeding the Rusher / Hurdling / Diving – Hurdling over a player on the ground or diving to advance the ball.
  • Delay of Game – Offensive exceeding the 25 second play clock.

*All offensive penalties are 5 yards from the line of scrimmage except flag guarding which is marked off from the point of infraction. All offensive penalties result in a loss of down except illegal motion / false start & Delay of Game. Note: If the offense crosses midfield and commits a penalty after crossing midfield which when assessed puts them behind midfield, it will be first and goal from where the ball is placed.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

  • Any player, coach or spectator may be ejected from the building if the Facility Manager or Referee feels that they are being disruptive. All persons ejected MUST leave building. PLAYERS or COACH receiving ejections will be asked to leave park’s vicinity. And be banned for the next 8 Days.
  • Excessive contact or rough play: If official decides excessive contact was “with intent to harm” the player will be ejected from game. Depending on the severity of the incident the player may be tossed out of the league. Note: excessive contact may be called even if the contact was unintentional.
  • Excessive arguing with officials
  • Using vulgar language


  • Fighting can result in an 2 game suspension, permanent suspension.
  • If a fight is started between teams during the course of the game, the referees may call the game.
  • The score at when the referees had called the game, will be placed into the standings
  • The referees will fill out a report to determine who started the fight.
  • If both referees agree to (a) specific player(s) who started the fight, they’re consequence will be determined by the Director.