Pikes Peak YMCA

719-282-9622 4025 family place, Colorado Springs, CO, 80920

Youth Flag Football Rules

Posted by Sarah Medina on 3/29/2014
Youth Flag Football Rules
-A coin toss determines first possession.
-The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has three (3) plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has three (3) plays to score a touchdown. If thee 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 offense’s 5-yard line.
-Teams change sides after the first 20 minutes, but possession does not change and the clock does not stop.
-If the defensive team scores a safety, they will take possession of the ball at mid-field.

-Teams must field a minimum of 7 players at all times. The offense must have 3 linemen and the defense must have 2 linemen.
-Teams consist of 14 players (7 on the field with 7 substitutes).
-All players must play at least half of each game.

-Games are played to 40 minutes running time. There will be four 10-minute quarters, with a 5-minute half time and 1 minute between quarters. Play will be with a running clock.
-During the last two (2) minutes of each half, the clock will stop on every dead ball.
-Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.
-If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, teams move directly into overtime. The first team to score wins.
-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.
-Each team has one 60-second and one 30-second time out per half. Timeouts cannot be carried over to the second half. Use them or lose them.
The YMCA emphasizes fun and skills. Score will not be kept for 6-8 yr. old league.
Touchdown: 6 points
Extra point: 1 point (played from 5-yard line) or 2 points (played from 12-yard line)
Safety: 2 points

-The quarterback cannot run with the ball.
-Only direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. Offense may use multiple handoffs.
-Absolutely NO laterals or pitches of any kind.
-No-running zones,” located 5 yards from each end zone and 5 yards on either side of midfield, are designed to avoid short-yardage, power-running situations.
-The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
-Once the ball has been handed off, 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.

-All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off
behind the line of scrimmage).
-As in the NFL, only one player is allowed in motion at a time.
-A player must have at least one foot inbound when making a reception.

-All passes must be forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage.
-Shovel passes are allowed but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage.
-The quarterback has a seven-second “pass clock.” If a pass is not thrown 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.
-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.

-The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start play.
-Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.
-Play is ruled “dead” when:
— Ball carrier’s flag is pulled.
— Ball carrier steps out of bounds.
— Touchdown or safety is scored.
— At the point of an interception (interception returns are not allowed).
— Ball carrier’s knee hits the ground.
— Ball carrier’s flag falls out.
Note: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball hits the ground.

-All players who rush the passer must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage when the
ball is snapped. Any number of players can rush the quarterback. Players not rushing the quarterback
may defend on the line of scrimmage.
-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 or tackling is allowed.

-If the field monitor or referee witnesses any acts of tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any
unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will be ejected from the game. 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
will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.
Note: Please remember that this is a YMCA league and that we are here to have fun and for the kids to enjoy
the program. Thank you.

-The referee will call all penalties.
-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 rule clarification and interpretations.
-Players cannot question judgment calls.
-Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.
1. Offsides 5 yards and automatic first down
2. Interference 10 yards and automatic first down
3. Illegal contact 10 yards and automatic first down (holding, blocking, pushing, etc.)
4. Illegal flag pull 10 yards and automatic first down (before receiver has ball)
5. Illegal rushing 10 yards and automatic first down (starting rush from inside 7-yard marker)
6. Roughing the Passer 15 yards and automatic first down
(any unnecessary physical contact with the passer)
7. Delay of game Clock stops, 10 yards and loss of down
1. Illegal motion 5 yards and loss of down (more than one person moving, false start, etc.)
2. Illegal forward pass 5 yards and loss of down (pass received behind line of scrimmage)
3. Offensive pass interference 10 yards and loss of down (illegal pick play, pushing off/away defender)
4. Flag guarding 10 yards (from line of scrimmage)
and loss of down
5. Delay of game Clock stops, 10 yards and loss of down (BFC - 5 yards)
6. Clipping 15 yards and loss of down
(block into the back of the opponent)
7. Intentional Grounding 5 yards and loss of down
(throwing the ball to avoid a sack)
8. Straight Arm 5 yards
(extended to ward off an opponent)
9. Lowering Head 5 yards
(ball carrier may not run over a defensive player)

-Tennis shoes or rubber cleats are allowed. Metal cleats are not permitted. Pre-game inspections must be made.
-All players must wear a protective mouthpiece; there are no exceptions.
-No obstructing clothing may be worn that might harm members of the other team or cover the flags.
-Players must wear the uniform and flags provided by the YMCA during play, no personalized jerseys will be accepted.
-All players must wear a set of flags. A tackle is made by removing a flag and holding it aloft