FLAG FOOTBALL RULES
- No ID No Play, No Questions: No form of identification other than an official Youngstown State University ID will be accepted. You MUST have your ID to play. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE FOR ANYONE FOR ANY REASON. If you do not have your ID for any reason, you need to go to Kilcawley Center and purchase a new one.
- Game Time is Forfeit Time: Player check-in will begin 15 minutes before the scheduled game time. If a team does not have the needed amount of players to begin the game at the scheduled game time a forfeit will be issued. No Exception or excuses will be accepted for anyone or any reasons.
- Players Can Only Play for 1 Team: In any Youngstown State Intramural League participants are only permitted to play for one team per season. If a player attempts to play for another team they will be suspended and the team that the player attempted to play for will immediately forfeit the scheduled game. Players are only permitted to play for the first team that they played for.
- Playoff Eligibility: Players must play in at least one regular season game in order to play in the playoffs. Players can be added to a roster at any point in the regular season, but must play in at least one game prior to playoffs.
- The Officials Have Full Authority: While participating in a Youngstown State University Intramural Sports Program, YSU IM Officials will have full authority to call and make judgments according to their training. Any questioning of any official’s calls may result in an unsportsmanlike penalty. If a team deems it necessary to question a call of an official, the TEAM CAPTAIN ONLY, may address it to the Intramural Intern, or Intramural Supervisor present at the event. If questioning causes a disruption of game play, the Intramural Intern or Intramural Supervisor has all authority to end the game, and give the team causing the disruption a forfeit. Any Intramural official or supervisor has the right to throw out any player from any game if it is deemed necessary from their training.
- All Games, All Weather: All games will be played during all weather conditions, unless otherwise informed of prior to game time, or until the Intramural Coordinator believes the playing conditions to be too severe to continue. Questions prior to game time can be answered at 330.941.3731
- Uniforms: Participants must be wearing athletic attire in order to participate in any intramural sport. No open toed shoes, jeans, or cargo shorts will be permitted. Any apparel or game equipment needed by players will be issued on a 1 ID basis. The ID will not be returned until the issued apparel or equipment has been turned back in.
- No Metal Spikes: No footwear with metal or metal-tipped spikes will be permitted for use during any Intramural event.
- Inappropriate Team Names: We will not accept team names that are deemed inappropriate by the Intramurals Staff. If you submit a team name that is not approved, you will be asked to come up with a new name. If you do not submit a new name, it will be changed for you.
- Two forfeits = removal from the league: If your team forfeits two times during the regular season, you will be removed from the league. The remainder of your games will be removed from the schedule and you will not be able to participate in post-season play.
- Forfeit Prevention: Each team in league play is permitted to use one forfeit prevention per season. This involves using one official to play on their team in order to meet the minimum player requirements. This is only permitted during the regular season and is only permitted if there are enough officials to officiate all games being played during that hour.
- Liability Waiver: All Participants must accept the terms of the liability waiver found on the participant’s IMLeagues profile. Failure to do so will make the participant ineligible for Intramural play. Participants must sign a separate wavier for each Intramural Sport that they play.
- Fighting: There is a zero tolerance policy for fighting at any YSU Intramural event. Anyone involved in a fight will be immediately ejected and will be reported to YSU’s Student Conduct Board.
- Each team will consist of seven players. At least five players must be present to play the game or the team in question will forfeit the contest.
- At least four offensive members must be on the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
- All players are eligible to receive a pass.
- The defense may not line up within one yard directly in front of the center nor two yards to either side.
- The designated team captains on the field are the only players permitted to address an official concerning a call.
- Winner of coin flip will choose to either start with the ball or choose to start with the ball at the start of the game or the start of the second half. The opposing team will determine the direction.
Sideline and Player Procedures and Rules
- All players, spectators, coaches, managers, and fans that are on the sidelines must stay between the two 20-yard line markers.
- Team captains collect the team ID’s and submit them to the site supervisor to receive the flag belts prior to the game.
- No smoking on the field areas, and no tobacco chewing on the field areas.
- The overall dimensions of the playing field shall be 80 yards by 40 yards with two 10 yard end zones.
- There will be no kickoffs and the first and second half will begin at the offensive team’s own 14 yard line.
- First Downs will be awarded to the offensive team at every yard marker (20, 40 and 20 yard lines).
- All shirts must be tucked in. If any article of clothing covers any portion of the player’s flag the player will be assessed a 5 yard penalty. Any shirt or jacket hanging below the belt line will be considered part of the flag. The play will be blown dead with a 10 yard penalty and loss of down against the offense if the shirt and/or jacket below the belt line is contacted by a defender (Official judgment call).
- Each player on the field must wear the flag belt provided by the Intramural office. Belt must be properly attached at waistline – one flag center back and one flag over each hip. If a player takes part in a play without his or her flag they will be assessed a 10 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
- Removing Flag Belt – when the belt is clearly taken from the ball carrier, the down shall end and the ball is declared dead. Hold belt overhead to assist officials. If belt comes off of a runner with the ball and was not pulled by a defensive player, a one-hand tag between shoulders and knees constitutes a capture.
- Contact – in an attempt to remove the belt from a ball carrier, defensive players may contact the body and shoulders of an opponent with their hands, but not their opponent’s face or any part of their neck or head. A defensive player may not hold, push, or knock the ball carrier down in an attempt to remove the flag or the play will result in a 10 yard unsportsmanlike penalty on the defensive player.
- Start of Play – Play cannot begin until the sideline referee has announced that both the defense and offense are set (offense with four players on the line of scrimmage). If the play begins without clearance from the referee the offense will be assessed a 5 yard false start penalty.
- False Start – The offense will be assessed a 5 yard false start penalty if they: begin play before the referee has announced that they are set, if any player jumps forward before the ball is snapped, or if the center moves the ball without snapping it.
- Offside – The defense will be assessed a 5 yard offside penalty if they jump into the one yard neutral zone (marked by two cones) before the play begins.
- Dead Ball – A ball will be considered dead once it hits the ground or once a player has been deflagged. When a player has been deflagged the ball is spotted where the ball was at the end of the play not the player.
- The Quarterback – When the quarterback is throwing the ball and after the ball has been released no defensive player is permitted to hit the arm or body of the quarterback or they will be either assessed a 5 yard penalty for running into the quarterback or a 10 yard penalty for roughing the quarterback. The severity of the penalty will be determined by the official.
- Legal Catch – A completed catch can be made by either offensive or defensive player (interception) as long as that person has control of the ball with at least one foot in bounds. If there is a simultaneous catch the play is stopped at the spot of the catch and the ball is rewarded to the offensive player.
- Illegal Batting – A defensive player is not permitted to swipe at the ball after it has been caught by the opposing team or if a player is running with the ball or they will be assessed a 5 yard penalty for illegal batting of the ball.
- Pass interference – While a ball is in the air for a pass neither the offensive or defensive player are permitted to grab or shove the either player in order to prevent them from catching the ball or they will be assessed a 10 yard pass interference penalty.
- Screen blocking only. Standing on both feet with arms behind a players back there is no: tripping, use of feet knees elbows or legs to initiate contact, contact with opponent on the ground, no helping runner by pushing or contact, stiff arm, interlocking of hands and arms.
- Players blocking must allow one normal step to the opponent for screens to their rear, side or front. There is no contact, a moving opponent must be given space to stop or change direction, the blocker must be stationary or move in same direction as opponent.
- The defense must go around block – no holding, tackling, aggressive pushing, swim moves, or other use of arms and hands. They are also not permitted to hold or obstruct the ball carrier in order to remove flag.
- The ball carrier is not permitted to charge into the defensive player in order to advance the ball.
- Any penalty regarding an illegal block on the offense or illegal contact by the defense will be either assessed a 5 yard penalty or 10 yard penalty if the contact is determined to be excessive or unnecessary (as determined by the officials).
- Delaying the start of a half – all players must have their flags in legal position at start of the half. If a team is not prepared to start the half on time there will be a 10 yard penalty from the starting spot.
- Subs – each sub shall be in uniform, ready for play with belt in position if they are not they will be assessed a 5 yard penalty.
- Ball declared dead – when a ball carrier has a flag belt removed legally by a defensive player.
- Ball declared dead – when a ball carrier is legally touched with one hand between the shoulders and knees, including the hand and arm once the flag belt is no longer attached.
- Prohibited Act – pulling or removing a belt from an offensive player without the ball by a defensive player intentionally will result in a 10 yard unsportsmanlike penalty.
- Guardian Flag Belt – ball carriers shall not guard their flags by blocking with arms or hands the opportunity for an opponent to pull or remove the flag belt. The result of a flag guard will be a 10 yards penalty from spot of foul and a loss of the down.
- Obstruction of Ball Carrier – the defensive player shall not hold, grasp, or obstruct forward progress of a ball carrier when in the act of removing the belt or making a legal tag. Obstructing the runner will result in a 10 yard penalty.
- Diving – Offensive players are permitted to dive to advance the ball but is not allowed to hurdle or jump over other players or they will be assessed a 5 yard hurdling penalty.
- Flag Belt Removal – Basic rules
- Deflagging is allowed only under specific circumstances similar to tackling in regular football. Offensive players must have possession of the ball before they can legally be deflagged.
- A flag belt which becomes detached inadvertently (not removed by grabbing or pulling) does not cause play to stop.
- In circumstances where a flag belt is removed illegally, play should continue with the option of accepting the result of the play or accepting a 10 yard penalty.
- In all situations where a play is in progress and a ball carrier loses the flag belt either accidentally, inadvertently or on purpose, the deflagging reverts to a one hand touch of the ball carrier between the shoulders and knees.
- If any player has tied their flag so that it is unable to be pulled they will be assessed a 10 yard unsportsmanlike penalty.
- Safety – A safety occurs when the offensive player is deflagged in their own end-zone or if the ball is considered dead in the offensive player’s own end-zone. If a safety occurs the defensive team will be rewarded two points and the ball at their own 14 yard line.
- Teams are asked to wear the same distinctively colored jerseys. Players wearing the same color as opposing teams must remove jerseys. Jerseys will be supplied by the Intramural Office. All shirts/jerseys must be tucked in or above the belt line.
- No regulation protective football equipment may be worn. All padding and equipment is subject to approval by the Intramural Officials and Supervisors. They shall not permit any player to wear equipment, which in his/her judgment is dangerous to other players. Elbow, hand, finger, wrist or arm guard, cast or brace made of any hard substances, even though covered with soft padding shall always be declared illegal.
- Footwear – Tennis shoes, turf shoes, or molded one-piece soccer style shoes. No football, track, baseball (removable spikes) shoes are allowed. No bare feet. No metal spikes.
Players and Subs
- Team = seven players, at least 4 on line of scrimmage for offense. Any player is eligible to catch pass. A minimum of five players are needed at the start of the game for the game to take place.
- Unlimited substitutions are permitted when ball is dead. Subs must enter from team box area and substitution must be completed before the ball is in play. Exiting players must be completely off of the field before the ball is in play. Exiting players must go directly to their team sideline nearest spot to field.
- Each team must appoint a designated speaking captain. This person shall make all team decisions and is the only player allowed to speak with officials regarding calls or questions.
- Before the game, designated captains meet with the referee to sign out belts and flip a coin to determine who will start with the ball. The winner of the coin flip will determine if they want to start with the ball in the first or second half.
- Time Factor
- A team must be ready to play at the scheduled start time of the game. Failure to do so will result in a forfeiture of the contest. If the preceding contest runs over, the next scheduled teams must be ready to take the field immediately following the finish of such contest. It is recommended to arrive to the field at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of a game.
- The game will consist of two 18-minute halves with a five-minute halftime.
- The clock will run continuously except as follows:
- Called time-outs (each team will be allowed two time-outs per half, each time-out will be one minute in length).
- Official’s time-out.
- A one-minute warning at the end of each half to both teams, after which the clock will stop according to official rules (incomplete passes, out of bounds and when there is a change of possession).
- There is no kickoff at the start of the game and the start of the second half play will begin at the offensive team’s own 14 yard line.
- The offense has 25 seconds to put the ball in play after the ref sets it down and declares it ready for play failure to do so will result in a 5 yard delay of game penalty.
- Ball is dead at the spot where it hits the ground on fumbles – team retains possession but loses down. Defensive players are not permitted to swipe at the ball in an attempt to cause a fumble or they will be assessed a 5 yard illegal contact penalty.
- There is only one forward pass from neutral zone or behind line permitted per down play (all players are eligible receivers) or the offense will be assessed a 5 yard illegal forward pass penalty. The offense is permitted an unlimited amount of backwards passes or pitches from anywhere on the field.
- All snaps must be through the legs – players cannot move the ball or change its position, longs axis of ball at right angles to line of scrimmage, raised not more than 45 degrees at one end. The player that receives the snap must be at least 2 yards away from the line of scrimmage. An illegal snap will result in a 5 yard penalty.
- Touchdown = 6 points
- Point after from 3 yards = 1 point
- Point after from 10 yards = 2 points
- Safety = 2 points
- Defensive player returns PAT attempt for touchdown = 2 points
- Protected scrimmage kick (punt) – No Quick Kicks – On fourth down the offense will be asked if they will attempt the conversion or punt the ball. There are no fake punts. The kicking team must announce intention to kick and then they must kick (unless there is a timeout or penalty then they must re-declare if they wish to punt or attempt the fourth down conversion). During the punt both the offense and defense need to have five players on the line of scrimmage and no player is permitted to move from the line until after the ball is kicked.
- Mercy Rule- If one team is up by at least 19 points with less than 5 minutes remaining in the second half the game is automatically over.
- A coin toss will be made just as in the beginner of the game. The team that wins the toss can either choose to take the ball first or take the ball second.
- The start of the overtime period will take place with the ball placed on the defense’s own 20 yard line. The offense will have four plays to score a touchdown. If the offense scores a touchdown they have the option to go for a one or two point conversion. If the offense gives up a defensive touchdown on the first overtime possession the game is over.
- After the first team is on offense the defensive team will get a turn to be on offense starting from the 20 yard line and will be given the same opportunity to score as the other team.
- If there is a score during the overtime period, the team will attempt their extra point. If they make it, the other team must match the score. If they do not match the score, then the game is over.
- If the game is tied after the overtime period another overtime period will begin immediately and the team that started on offense for the previous overtime period will now start on defense.