Sportsmonkey will follow T.A.A.F. Flag Football rules with some exceptions.
8 players on the field (5 males/3 females)
Two 19 minute halves w/7 play Period (There is a 5 minute grace period to start the game) - 2 time outs First half/3 time outs Second half. NOTE ***NEW RULE***: Mercy rule in second half is now 23 point lead and 7 play Period will be waived.
Running clock for entire game except time-outs and serious injury
(Note: time-outs called during extra points will keep the clock stopped until the next offensive possession.)
Must cross 20 yard markers to obtain first downs.
6 points for a male touchdown.
***New Rule*** A female touchdown is worth 8 points (throw, run or catch).
The Female must be the operative player in order to receive the 8 points.
8 points awarded as follows:
1. Female player catches a thrown pass in the end zone and or runs after receiving the pass into the end-zone.
2. Female is quarterback and either runs or throws a pass for a touchdown.
3. Female is handed the ball behind the line of scrimmage and runs the ball into the endzone.
4. Female intercepts the ball and returns it for a touchdown.
Not an 8 point touchdown. Male catches the ball and laterals to the female.
(Extra point tries are as follows: 3 yards is worth one point, 10 yards is worth two points and 20 yards is worth three points.)
All extra points are live and can be returned by the defense if intercepted. Defense will be rewarded one point more than the point after try is worth.
(For example: 1 point try worth 2, 2 worth 3 and 3 worth 4 points.)
NO SHORTS OR PANTS ARE TO BE WORN WITH POCKETS. NO JEWELRY MAY BE WORN. If a player is caught with pockets they will be immediately removed from the game and their team will be penalized 15 yards. The offending player will also be suspended for any additional game(s) that their team is scheduled to play that night. Repeating offenses are subject to removal from the league.
Dead Ball on all fumbles
A five second rush count will be used and counted by the official out loud.
Note: Defensive team has three blitzes per half of play.
Note **** NEW RULE *****: No more Defensive Neutral Zone. Defense may line-up at the LOS; but cannot bump or hold receivers. No defensive player may line-up over the center. Must be at least five yards back if THE DEFENSE IS over the center.
Bubble zone is in effect around the center.
Offense may screen block (with hands behind back or tucked in the front belt area) on the offensive line and behind the line of scrimmage. No down field blocking is allowed.
NOTE: Fighting is an automatic two game suspension, and could result in a league suspension or total ban from any and all Sportsmonkey leagues depending upon the severity of the incident. Fighting can also result in legal issues for all involved.
NOTE: All incidents involving (Player Conduct Rules) will be tracked and recorded. A player does not have to be ejected from a game to be suspended for violations. If a player is receiving un-sportsmanlike penalties on a regular basis even though he/she is not ejected from any game; that player could be suspended under the Player Conduct Rule without having been ejected from any one game.
All Player Conduct infractions are reviewed by The Head of Officials and Sportsmonkey Directors. Fighting will be stopped.
THERE IS A 30 SECOND PLAY CLOCK WHEN THE REFEREE BLOWS HIS WHISTLE. REFEREES WILL NO LONGER WARN THE TEAMS WHEN THE CLOCK IS ABOUT TO EXPIRE. DELAY OF GAME PENALTY IS NOW 10 YARDS FROM THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE.
If the offensive team has possession of the ball on their end of the field (their side of the 40 yard line) and leading by 8 or less points; all plays in the play period must be played out. There is no assumption by the officials that the team will just down the ball. Mercy rule is 23 point lead in second half will result in no 7 play period.
Coin Flip/beginning of game
The team that wins the coin flip at the start of the game has a choice of taking the ball, playing defense or deferring their choice to the second half. The team that doesn't have the ball in either half has choice of direction. There are no kick-offs; play begins on the 20 yard line.
Team Size: Each team shall field a team of no more than 8 players, with at least three women (five men and three women.) Teams not able to field a "full" team may play with a minimum of 6 players with a maximum of no more than 5 male players. If less than 6 players arrive, a five minute grace period is allowed for all games. If the team fails to have enough players to play after the grace period, it is up to the official and the opposing team to allow the game to be played without a forfeit being recorded.
Substitute players may enter the game on all dead ball whistles and prior to the cadence of the next play. Eligible players must be on the field before cadence starts.
Operative Player Rule: There is no maximum limit to the amount of females that must be on the field. To ensure co-ed participation a penalty will ensue if the offensive team fails to use a female as an operative player within 3 consecutive downs.
Operative is defined as a player who:
1. Is the intended receiver in the eyes of the official.
2. Runs the ball as the primary runner.
3. Receives the snap as a QB and must attempt to be the person who initiates the ball crossing the line of scrimmage-unless she is sacked.
4. On a closed play, if the primary runner is female she must advance the ball across the line of scrimmage for positive yardage or be sacked for a loss of five yards or more for the play to count as a female play.
Penalty for running 3 consecutive plays without a female as an operative player will be the defenses choice.
1. Ten yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, down the same and play still closed.
2. Decline the penalty, take the result of the play, advance to next down and open for two plays.
3. Plays utilizing a female player in the Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??loss of downÃ???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? penalty will still be considered a female play.
4. Plays utilizing a female resulting in a non-loss of down penalty will not count as a gender play. The play never existed.
Operative Player is not defined as a player who:
1. Hands off the football.
2. Snaps the ball in play.
3. Receives a hand-off only to give it back to a male before crossing the line of scrimmag
Examples operative and non-operative plays:
1. A pass deflected by a male and caught by a female is not a female play.
2. A pass defected by a female and caught by a male is a female play.
3. A pass thrown by a male, received by a male and pitched to a female is not a female play.
4. If a female pitches the ball to a male behind the line of scrimmage this will not result in a female play.
5. A forward pass thrown to a female or thrown by a female that falls incomplete and is deemed catchable by the official will result in a female play.
Intentional grounding will be called by the official on any play where the quarterback does not make a legitimate attempt to complete a pass.
1. Throwing the ball at the feet of the receiver or throwing the ball away to avoid a sack. The Key: Is the thrown ball a legitimate attempt to complete a forward pass? (Penalty is 10 yards from the LOS and loss of down.)
The Dreaded Sack
If a male player is the QB on an open play and is sacked the ball is spotted where he was sacked and counted as a male play. No matter whom the intended receiver was.
If the QB is sacked during a closed play, the play will only be open if the sack resulted in a 5 yard or more loss of yardage. If the sack was for less than 5 yards, the Operative Player penalty will be in effect.
SNAPPING THE BALL:
The ball must be snapped between the legs of the center to the QB. The ball must travel 5 yards or more to the QB. A snapped ball that bounces to the QB and fielded cleanly may be played. Any ball that the QB drops or the snap travels over his head is whistled dead and played from the spot it hit the ground.
Each team shall have 4 downs to either score or earn another first down. First downs are achieved when a team crosses one 20 yard marker based on the original field position. Failing to score or earn a new set of downs results in the opposing team taking possession of the ball at that point.
Note: Offensive teams may elect to punt on fourth down. There is no blocking of punts allowed. Defense may field a punt in the air or while it is still rolling as long as the ball is handled cleanly and not dropped.
1. Anyone may punt the ball on the offensive team even if the play is closed.
2. There is no set amount of offensive players required on the LOS. They must wait until the ball is kicked to go downfield.
3. Defense may have only three players back to receive a punt. The five remaining players must line-up within 5 yards of the LOS and stay there until the play is whistled dead or the returning player has passed them.
Continuance of Play:
Play shall continue until
1. Ball carrier has at least one flag pulled by an opponent.
2. Ball carrier leaves the field of play.
3. Ball carrier scores.
4. If a flag falls (without being pulled) from the belt of a player and they have possession or receive possession the play is whistled dead at that spot.
5. Ball touches the ground as a result of a fumble or incomplete pass (the ball is not an extension of the arm. If the ball is pinned between the ground and the ball carriers hand, the play is dead.)
6. Ball carrier's knee touches the ground.
Spot of the Ball:
The ball will be spotted where the ball carrier's hips are at the time the flag is pulled.
1. Ball extension does not apply and could result in flag guarding.
2. Diving to gain a first down or touchdown will result in the ball being placed at the point the ball carrier left their feet. If the runner is deemed to be out of control while leaving their feet and making contact with the defense a penalty will be called.
A change of possession can only occur via an interception of a forward pass, lateral or turnover on downs. A fumble that touches the ground is a dead ball. Offense retains possession.
Receivers need only one foot in bounds for a reception. If in the eyes of an official a receiver could have caught a pass but was pushed out by the defense; the catch and pass interference will be awarded to the receiver.
1. Regular season rules: The Four-Down and Out format will apply to overtime. (Mimics High School and College Rules) The winner of OT coin toss will choose either Offense or Defense. The official will choose the direction. Each team will be given a first and goal from the 20 yard line. If a team scores during their possession; they will have the option to go for 1, 2 or 3 on the PAT (point after attempt). During the regular season if neither team scores the winner will be decided by who gained the most yardage during their overtime.
2. A female play must be used on one of the first three plays or on 1st and 4th downs where applicable. The winner will be the team that scores the most points in an over time. There will be no first downs awarded during overtime unless a penalty warrants a first down.
3. Playoffs: The same rules as Regular season apply with the exception that the winner will be determined by who scores the most points. No matter how many overtimes it takes. A second or more overtime will require teams to try a 2 or 3 PAT. (point after attempt)
4. Interceptions in overtime will result in change of possession. Extra point attempts will be the only time that the Interception is live. The PAT can be returned by the defense for 2,3 or 4 points.
5. Choice of possession will alternate after each overtime.
6. Each team will have one blitz and one time-out per overtime.
1. Penalties occurring by the defense in the end-zone will move the ball to the one yard line and an automatic first down.
2. If the offense is pinned deep in their own end of the field and commit a penalty while in their own end-zone a safety will be awarded to the opposing defense and then a free kick for the offense from their own 20 yard line.
3. Plays that have penalties occur while in the act of a scoring a touchdown will be enforced on the next offensive possession.
Penalty explanations during play period:
When penalties occur during the play period; the actual play can be burned or saved depending on what hurts the offending team the most.
1. If the offense is leading during the seven play period and flag guards on play number 4 (just an example). The flag guarding penalty is enforced, down loss but the play 4 is not lost. The play is repeated.
2. If the offense is trailing and committed flag guarding. The penalty enforced the down lost and the play is not repeated.
3. Penalties by the defense in the end-zone will result as a first down on the one yard line and offense awarded one additional play during the play period if needed.
4. Pass interference in the end zone, tackling on a breakaway touchdown or roughing the passer will result in a first down, ball placed on the field on the proper mark and ONE extra play added to the play period if the team with the option chooses the extra play.
Note: All other penalties in the play period are ruled as instructed above.
PLAYING EQUIPMENT AND UNIFORMS:
(Ball & Socket type flag belts and the "mushroom" style sonic or supersonic belts are illegal and cannot be used in our league or at the regional or state level.)
Flag football is built around the offense and scoring. It is also for the most part a non-contact sport. Minimal contact will happen and it will be the judgment of the official as to whether or not it warrants a penalty.