Flag Football Rules & Regulations    



6 vs 6 Youth Flag Football Rules

Covid-19 Rules and Restrictions:

-Players and coaches must practice social distancing whenever possible.

-Coaches must wear masks when in a huddle or on the team bench. 

-If a team decides to huddle for a team meeting before the game, all involved must wear a mask for the duration of the meeting. There will be no team meetings on the field or after the game is over. Teams deciding to meet may do so outside of the field at their own discretion.   

-We encourage Parent(s) to wear masks when not able to socially distance themselves at least 6 feet apart. 

-Parents or spectators will not be allowed on the same side of the field as players. There will be a section for parents / spectators located on the other side and off of the field of play. This is for the safety of the players, coaches, officials, and spectators. 

-Players must bring their own water or drink with their name on it. Players will not be allowed to share water bottles or squeeze bottles.

-Players should not share football gloves, cooling towels, or mouth pieces. 

-Players, Coaches, and Spectators must wait until their scheduled game to enter onto the field and should not gather in crowds to wait.  

-Handshakes after the game will not be allowed, However, teams will line up and wave to their opponents to show Good Sportsmanship.  

General League Information:

Coaches are responsible for the care of their equipment.   

1. Only the parks and recreation department can postpone and reschedule games.  

2. Games maybe rescheduled only for school functions (which may prohibit the team from fielding enough players.) (OTS Manual Article 15) . However, if teams have the minimum number of players to start than the game must be played

3. Coaches should check the website in the event of a rainout. Under the Parks and Recreation tab GAME CANCELATION on the website 

4. Alcoholic beverages will not be allowed at youth games and youth practices. (OTS Manual Article 32)  

5. Smoking Vaping, Tobacco (dip/chew) will not be allowed on the field, in the dugouts, and in the bleachers. May result in a forfeit.

6. A player shall not be allowed to play with any type of plaster or metal cast on any part of their body. 5 years – 14 years of age PLAYERS MUST WEAR MOLDED CLEATS OR PLASTIC SCREW IN CLEATS. 

7. Coaches, players, parents, and spectators are required to adhere to parks and recreation department rules and regulations. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary actions, including suspensions and or termination in involvement with the program.  

*If a coach or player is ejected from the game for any type of gross misbehavior including verbal or physical abuse against any other player, coach, official or spectator they must leave the park immediately and will be required to sit out the next game as well. If a coach or player is ejected from a game a second time for any of the infractions above, they will face disciplinary actions and will not be allowed to coach or play in any recreational program for a matter of 2 years.* 

Any coach, player, parent, or spectator who physically assaults an official, coach, player or other spectator will be removed from the field or facility and will not be allowed to participate in Recreation Department sponsored events for a period of two (2) years.  If any person who is asked to leave the area due to ejection and does not will be subjected to having law enforcement called on them for removal. 

(State Law); Louisiana Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 14-34-4 p34.4.  Battery of a school or recreation athletic contest official 

A.(1)  Battery of a school or recreation athletic contest official is a battery committed without the consent of the victim when the offender has reasonable grounds to believe the victim is a school athletic or recreation contest official. 

(2)  For purposes of this Section, "school athletic contest official" means any referee, umpire, coach, instructor, administrator, staff person, or school or school board employee of any public or private elementary and secondary school while actively engaged in the conducting, supervising, refereeing, or officiating of a school sanctioned interscholastic athletic contest.

(3)  For purposes of this Section, "recreation athletic contest official" means any referee, umpire, coach, instructor, administrator, staff person, or recreation employee of any public or quasi-public recreation program while actively engaged in the conducting, supervising, refereeing, or officiating of a sanctioned recreation athletic contest.

B.(1)  Whoever commits the crime of battery of a school or recreation athletic contest official shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars and imprisoned not less than forty-eight hours nor more than six months without benefit of suspension of sentence, except as provided in Paragraph (2).

(2)  The court, in its discretion, may suspend the imposition of the sentence and place the offender on probation with the condition that he shall perform five days of community service work.  Failure to successfully complete the community service work, as determined by the supervisor of the program to which he is assigned, may result in revocation of probation. 

Acts 1990, No. 675, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1046, §1.   


I. Game 


1. Games consist of two 20 min halves, running clock, each team has 2 timeouts a game.


2. At the start of each game, captains from both teams shall meet at midfield for the coin toss to determine who shall start with the ball. The visiting team shall call the toss. 1 Coach will be allowed on the field for both the 5-6 and 7-8 old age groups. Once the official blows the line set whistle the coach on the field must not talk. Only coaches from the sideline can speak to their players.  


3. The winner of the coin toss can choose to defer or take the ball. 


4. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at the 5 yard line and has 4 plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has 4 plays to score. 


5. On 4th down you can choose to “punt” and the opposition takes the ball on their 5 yard line.


6. Teams change sides after the first half.


7. QBs can only run ONE time per set of downs!


8. If a team is losing by 28 or more points they can play with a 7th player on the field. 


II. Terminology 


Line Of Scrimmage– an imaginary line running through the point of the football and across the width of the field.


Line-To-Gain– the line the offense must pass to get a first down or score.


Rush Line– an imaginary line running across the width of the field 7 yards (into the defensive side) from the Line of Scrimmage.


Passer– the offensive player that throws the ball and may or may not be the QB.


Rusher– the defensive player assigned to rush the Quarterback to prevent him/her from passing by pulling his/her flags or blocking the pass. 


Live Ball– the period of time that the play is in action. Generally used in regards to penalties, Live Ball Penalties are considered part of the play and must be enforced before the down is considered complete.


Dead Ball– the period of time immediately before or after a play.


Inadvertent Whistle– an official’s whistle that is performed in error.


Charging– the movement of the ball carrier directly at a defensive player who has established position on the field. This includes lowering the head, making contact with the defender with a shoulder, chest or forearm.


Flag Guarding– an act by the ball carrier to prevent a defender from pulling the ball carrier’s flags by stiff arm, lowering elbow or head or by blocking access to the runner’s flags with a hand or arm.


Shovel Pass– a legal pass attempted behind the line of scrimmage by throwing the ball underhand or pushing it towards a receiver in a shot put type manner.


Lateral– a backwards or sideways toss of the ball by the ball carrier.


Unsportsmanlike Conduct– rude, confrontational or offensive behavior or language.


Blocking-Intentionally pushing or using hands to create forward movement and obstruct a player. No down field blocking at all. This is illegal in flag.


III. Eligibility


1. All players must be on a roster and must play with the booster club where they physically reside.


2. All players must have waiver of liability on file with their affiliated booster club.


IV. Equipment


1. The Department of Parks and Recreation will provide both the flags and game balls for teams. 5-6 & 7-8 will use the K2 Ball 9-10 will use a TDJ. 


2. Players must wear shoes. Cleats are allowed, however cleats with exposed metal are not allowed and must be removed. Metal spikes are not allowed. 


3. Players may tape their forearms, hands and fingers. Players may wear gloves, elbow pads, and kneepads. Braces with exposed metals are not allowed.


4. Players must remove all watches, earrings and any other jewelry that the officials deem hazardous.


5. Matching jerseys must be worn


6. Players’ jerseys must be tucked into the pants AT ALL TIMES.


7. Pants or shorts with pockets or belt loops ARE NOT ALLOWED. Shorts that have a zipper on the pocket are allowed.  


8. Mouthpieces must be worn. 


V. Field


1. The field size is 30 yards by 70 yards with two 10-yard end zones, and a midfield line to gain.


2. There is a NO RUN ZONE 5 yards approaching the first down and the end zones. The officials will notify you when you are in this zone. In the NO RUN ZONE A QB IS NOT ALLOWED TO RUN OR  HAND THE BALL OFF





VI. Rosters 


1. Teams must field a minimum of 4 players at all times. Games are 6 vs 6 


2. Each player must be on the roster.


VII. Timing and Overtime


1. Games are two 20 min half’s. The clock stops only for the following, timeouts, injury timeouts, and official timeouts.


2. Halftime is 5-minutes long.


3. Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 40 seconds to snap the ball. Teams will receive a 15 second warning before a delay-of-game penalty is enforced. 


4. Each team has two 60-second time out per game.


5. Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.


6. In the event of an injury the clock will stop and then restart when the injured player is removed from the field of play.


7. If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, the game will go into overtime format. Clarification to this rule.  

Overtime format is as follows:

A. A coin flip will determine the team that chooses to be on offense or defense first.

i. If a second round of overtime must be played, the team that lost the coin toss will get to choose offense or defense for the start of the second round of overtime. This process continues with teams alternating who gets to choose to be on offense or defense to start out during every round of overtime.

ii. The referee will determine which end of the field the overtime will take place on.


B. Each team will take turns getting one (1) play from the defense’s 5-yard line for one point or the defense’s 10-yard line for two points. Whether to go for one or two points is up to the offensive team. Whether or not the team that begins on offense converts the team that started on defense gets a chance on offense to win or tie by converting a one- or two-point play of their own.


Example: Team A starts on offense and chooses to go for one point from the 5-yard line and is successful. Team B is then on offense and can choose to either go for one point from the 5-yard line to tie and force a second round of overtime or to go for two points from the 10-yard line for the win.

ii. If the second team on offense in an overtime round fails to beat or match the team that went first, the team that went first wins.


C. Both teams must "go for two" from the 10-yard line starting with the third round of overtime.

In the event that no team scores in the 3rd Overtime the game is then called an will result in a tie.  



D. Standings will not be kept throughout the season. The 2020 flag football season will be an instructional program which means there will not be an end of season tournament.


VIII. Scoring


1. Touchdown: 6 points


2. Extra Point: 1 point (Dash / (solid) Line- 5yd)

(Please note the dash line only indicates the no run zone area for the officials, players and coaches) (The extra point attempt is from the solid 5 yard line)

-2 points (Dot -10yd) 

-3 Points (Midfield) we will have clearer markings to indicate the extra point attempts.


3. Safety: 2 points


a. A Safety occurs when the ball carrier is declared down in his/her own end zone. They can be called down when their flags are pulled by a defensive player, their flag falls out, or they hit the ground with their knee or arm. A Safety also occurs when there is an offensive penalty in the end zone.


b. A team that scores a touchdown must declare whether it wishes to attempt a 1-pt, 2-pt or 3-pt. conversion. Any change, once a decision is made to try for the extra point, requires a charged time out. Decision cannot be changed after a penalty.


c. If a conversion is intercepted and returned for a touchdown, 2 points will be awarded.


X. Live Ball/Dead Ball


1. The ball is live at the snap of the ball and remains live until the official whistles the ball dead.


2. The official will indicate the neutral zone and line of scrimmage. In regards to the neutral zone, the official may give both teams a “courtesy” neutral zone notification to allow their players to move back beyond the line.


3. When a players goes out of bounds. 


4. The defense may not mimic the offensive team signals, by trying to confuse the offensive players, while the quarterback is calling out signals to start the play.


5. Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.


6. Any official can whistle the play dead.


7. Play is ruled “dead” when:


a. The ball hits the ground.


b. The ball carrier’s flag is pulled.


c. A touchdown, extra point, field goal, or safety is scored.


d. The ball carrier’s knee, arm, or backside hits the ground.


f. If a receiver catches the ball, without a flag, he or she must be touched in order to be called down.


g. An inadvertent whistle is performed (at the spot where the ball was whistled dead). 


h. When a player goes out of bounds.


8. In the case of an inadvertent whistle, the offense has two options:


a. Take the ball where the whistle blew. 


b. Replay the down from the original line of scrimmage. Note: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball hits the ground.


9. A team is allowed to use a time out to challenge an official’s rule interpretation. If the rule is interpreted incorrectly, the time out will not be charged and the proper ruling will be enforced. Officials should all agree upon any controversial call in order to give each team the full benefit of each call. If the ruling is correct the team will be charged a time out.


10. The ball must be snapped between the legs.


XI. Running


1. The ball is spotted where the runner’s front foot is when the flag is pulled, not where the ball carrier has the ball.


2. There is a NO RUN ZONE 5 yards approaching the first down and the end zones. The officials will notify you when you are in this zone.  In the NO RUN ZONE A QB IS NOT ALLOWED TO RUN OR  HAND THE BALL OFF





3 The player who takes a pitch or handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage. The pitch must be backwards and not forwards as well as the hand off.


4. Laterals and pitches are allowed.


5. Flag Obstruction – All jerseys MUST be tucked in before play begins. The flags must be on the player’s hips and free from obstruction. Deliberately obstructed flags will be considered flag guarding.


6. All defensive players are eligible to rush at all times after a pitch or handoff.


7. Spinning is allowed, but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a flag pull (this is considered flag guarding).


8. Runners may leave their feet if there is a clear indication that he/she has done so to avoid collision with another player without a flag guarding penalty enforced.


9. Blocking allowed as long as the blocker has their hands behind their back, blockers cannot escort the ball carrier (run along the side) and cannot attacked the defending players chest. Blocking downfield is not allowed. 


XII. Passing


1. All passes must be from behind the line of scrimmage.


2. Shovel passes are allowed.


3. If a player receives a backwards lateral behind the LOS they can throw it forward.


XIII. Receiving


1. All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line).


2. Only one player is allowed in motion at a time. All motion must be parallel to the line of scrimmage and no motion is permitted towards the line of scrimmage.


3. In the case of simultaneous possession by both an offensive and defensive player, possession is awarded to the offense.


4. Interceptions change the possession of the ball at the point where the flag of the ball carrier is pulled after the interception.


XIV. Rushing the Passer


1. All players who rush the passer must be 7 yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. Any number of players can rush the quarterback from any angle if and only if they are 7 yards from behind the line of scrimmage. Defensive Players on the line of scrimmage rushing QB from head on or taking angles is considered an illegal rush.  


2. A penalty may be called if:


a. The rusher leaves the rush line before the snap and crosses the line of scrimmage before a handoff or pass –Illegal Rush (5 yards LOS and replay of down).


b. Any defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped – Offsides (5 yards and replay down).


c. Any defensive player, not lined up at the 7 yard line before the ball is passed or handed – Illegal Rush (5 yards LOS and first down).


4. Players rushing the Quarterback may attempt to block a pass. However, NO contact can be made with the quarterback in any way.


5. A Sack occurs if the QB’s flags are pulled behind the line of scrimmage. The ball is placed where the QB’s feet are when the flag is pulled.


XV. Flag Pulling


1. A legal flag pull takes place when the ball carrier is in full possession of the ball.


2. Defenders can dive to pull flags, but cannot tackle, hold or run through ball carrier when pulling flags.


3. It is illegal to attempt to strip or pull the ball or pull from the ball carrier’s possession at any time.


4. If a player’s flag inadvertently falls off during the play, the player is marked down when he or she is touched by the opposing team.


5. A defensive player may not intentionally pull the flags off of a player who is not in possession of the ball. (5 yards added to end of play or replay of down)


6. Flag guarding is an attempt by the ball carrier to obstruct the defender’s access to the flags by stiff arming, dropping of head, hand, arm or shoulder, or intentionally covering flags with the football or jersey.


XVI. Formations


1. An offensive team must have a minimum of   3 players on the line of scrimmage (the Center). The quarterback must be off the line of scrimmage.


a. One player at a time may go in motion parallel to the line of scrimmage.


b. No motion is allowed towards the line of scrimmage.


c. The center can snap the ball between their legs if able. If not, the center may turn their bodies half way to the QB to hike the ball. The ball cannot be lifted up and thrown to the QB as pass.  The ball must be center from the ground, this is allowed in all age groups. The QB is allowed to be under center or in shot gun at any point during the game. Rule updated per coaches meeting


XVII. Unsportsmanlike Conduct


1. If the field monitor or referee witnesses any acts of intentional tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will be ejected from the game. The decision is made at the referee’s discretion. No appeals!




2. After two personal fouls you are ejected from the game.


3. Offensive or confrontational language is illegal. Officials have the right to determine offensive language. If offensive or confrontational language occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game. This includes coaches!! Remember this is not the NFL.


4. Players may not physically or verbally abuse any opponent or official.


5. Ball carriers MUST make an effort to avoid defenders with an established position. Defenders are not allowed to run through the ball carrier when pulling flags.


Fans must also adhere to good sportsmanship:


a. Yell to cheer on your players, not to harass officials or other teams.


b. Keep comments clean and profanity free.


8. Fans are required to keep field’s safe and kid friendly:


a. Stay in the bleacher area. Not on the field. 


XVIII. Penalties




1. The referee will call all penalties.


2. Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play.


3. All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage, except as noted (spot fouls).


4. Only the team captain may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players cannot question judgment calls.


5. Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it. 


6. Penalties are assessed Live Ball then Dead Ball. Live Ball penalties must be assessed before play is considered completed.


7. Penalties will be assessed half the distance to the goal yardage when the penalty yardage is more than half the distance to the goal.




I. Defense



•           Offside (Illegal Rush).......................................................5 yards from the LOS-Free Play


•           Intentional holding ........5 yards added to end of run and replay of down



•           Roughing the passer.........................................5 yards from the LOS & 1st down



•           Unnecessary Roughness................ 5 yards from the LOS& 1st down



•           Stripping...........................................................5 yards from the Spot & 1st down



•           Defensive Pass Interference.............................5 yards from the LOS & 1st down



•           Defense Illegal flag pull (before receiver has ball) 5 yards & replay down



II. Offense


•           Illegal motion (More than one person moving, false start)..............5 yards from the LOS



•           Offensive pass interference (pushing off)................. 5 yards from the LOS, Loss of Down



•           Delay of game.................................................. 5 yards from the LOS



•           Offensive Unnecessary Roughness..................5 yards from the LOS and Loss of Down



•           Offsides...............................................................5 yards from the LOS



•           Illegal forward pass………………………..5 yards from the spot and Loss of Down



•           Flag guarding................................................5 yards from the spot and Loss of Down



•           Charging.......................................................5 yards from the spot and Loss of Down



•           Illegal Equipment……………………….Dead player, only can block behind the LOS



•           Blocking Down Field…………………..5 yards from the spot and Loss of Down



•           Illegal Blocking………………………………….5 yards from the spot and Loss of Down















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