If you are not familiar with the rules, it is a good idea to read the document below. Some of the major differences between NFL Flag and typical football include:

  • There are 5 players per team on the field.

  • No Blocking

  • Players with the ball may not jump, except to avoid injuring another player.

  • Players may rush the quarterback, however they start from 7 yards back.

  • A quarterback has 7 seconds to throw, after that it is considered a sack.

  • There are no fumbles. The ball is considered dead if it leaves a player's possession.

  • No stripping the ball is allowed.

  • No laterals.

  • All passes must start behind the line of scrimmage and cross it.

  • Hand-offs are allowed, but must be behind the line of scrimmage.

  • A quarterback may not cross the line of scrimmage with the ball.

  • Touching the quarterback while they throw is considered roughing the passer.

  • Game time is 20 minutes a half with a 5 minute halftime.

  • Clock moves unless a time out is called, or coaches challenge.


YepSF will follow the follow the NFL Flag Football rules with the following additions:

  • Sportsman-like conduct is expected at all times, both from players coaches and spectators.

  • All players are to be rotated equally.

  • We will allow a coaches challenge: if upheld, the coach gets their challenge/time out back. 

  • Soft shell helmets are to be worn by all players during game times.

  • 28 point lead does not end the game.

  • No metal cleats will be allowed on the turf field to minimize wear and risk of injury.

  • Offsides or false start by the offense will result in a 5-yard penalty. It it happens on the subsequent play, there is a loss of down and 5-yard penalty. 

  • Coaches will be allowed on the field and in the huddle for the first 3 games only for offense and defense.

  • If a team is winning by 21 points or more, the opposing team will have 4 downs instead of 3 on offense.

  • If a team is losing by 21 points or more, they may have an additional player on offense and defense.

  • If a team is winning by 21 points or more, they may not advance interceptions.

  • If a team is ahead by 35 or more points at the end of the game, the team will forfeit.

  • If a team does not have at least 4 players, they automatically forfeit. However, the opposing team, or others can lend players to the other team to allow an unofficial game to be played for the benefit of the players who did show up.

Below is an official NFL Flag Rule Book and our ref training slides. If you are interested in signing-up to be a referee, please use the sign-up genius button.