Home Flag Football Rules 8 on 8 Flag Football Rules

8 on 8 Flag Football Rules

The following 8 on 8 flag football rules are FlagSpin approved and customized in a way that we feel promotes the best experience for the players.  Check with your local league or tournament organizer to verify their rules, as many use custom variations to match their preferred play style.

RULE 1. THE GAME, FIELD, PLAYERS & EQUIPMENT

SECTION 1. GENERAL GAME PROVISIONS

The Game

Article 1. a. The game shall be played between two teams of no more than eight (8) players each, on a rectangular field with a properly shaped, sized and inflated ball. b. A team may legally play with no fewer than six (6) players.

Winning Team and Final Score

Article 2. a. The teams are awarded points based on values established by rules. Forfeited games are given a different value and depending on circumstances, may alter the outcome of the game. b. The game is ended and the score is final when the referee declares the game complete.

Supervision

Article 3. a. The game is conducted under the supervision of two, three, four or five officials including: a referee, a linesman, a back judge, line judge and a side judge. Use of the line judge and side judge is optional. b. Officiating crews will be assigned from an approved agent from the tournament host and/or the state commissioner. Officials will have completed training as set by guidelines outlined in the TAAF Cavalcade.

Team Managers and Captains

Article 4. a. Each team shall designate to the referee one or more players as its field captain(s) and one player shall speak for the team in all dealings with officials. There shall be no more than four captains from each team at the coin toss. b. A field captain’s first announced choice of any options offered his team shall not be reversed. c. Any player that participated in the last play, and is still on the field of play, may call for a team charged timeout.

Persons Subject to the Rules

Article 5. All players, captains, managers, or persons affiliated with the teams on the field, involved with a tournament or contest are subject to the rules and shall be governed by the officials and/or the tournament director, staff or appointed agents.

TAAF Members and Tournament Host Sites Subject to the Rules

Article 6. a. TAAF Member Cities conducting contests shall adhere to rules set forth by the Cavalcade and TAAF Flag Football Rules. b. Non-TAAF Members wishing to conduct contests utilizing TAAF Flag Football Rules, Logo must have approval of the Executive Director, State Office, State Commissioner and/or meet the requirements set forth by the TAAF Cavalcade. If approved contests must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Cavalcade as well as the TAAF Flag Football Rules.

SECTION 2. THE FIELD

Dimensions, Markings and Area Designation

Article 1.a. 80 yards from goal line to goal line with two end zones of 10 yards each. b. Field shall be divided into 4 zones of 20 yards each. c. Field shall be a minimum of 40 yards wide and a maximum of 53 1/3 yards wide. d. Marking the three (3) yard line and ten (10) yard line are optional for use during the PAT. These may be marked as hash marks in the center of the field no more than five (5) yards in width e. Lines should be clearly marked and use of cones or yard line markers along the sideline to signify zone lines are strongly recommended for use during championship play. f. Teams shall use opposite sides of the field to use as their team area during the game. The team area stretches from twenty (20) yard line to twenty (20) yard line and no less than ten (10) yards wide of the playing field. Only the team manager, captains and players are allowed within the team area. Persons associated with the team and are not the Manager, captains or players must be removed from the immediate playing field and team area. Where grandstands, bleachers or seating areas are available this is the preferred area for these non-players. g. When teams and players are in the team area, adequate room along the sideline must be made available in order for officials to work the sideline and properly officiate the contest.

SECTION 3. THE BALL

Specifications

Article 1. It is recommended that teams use the Wilson Official NFL Ball or its equal. (Official NCAA or the R5) However, each team must provide an official size leather covered football, which is properly inflated.

Administration and Enforcement

Article 2. a. An infraction of using too small of a football will be an automatic penalty of reversing possession of the football at the place of the last snap prior to discovery of the illegal ball, if the ball was used for one play. If the illegal ball is discovered prior to snap, there will be a 10-yard penalty, no reversal of possession and removal of ball. (S-19) b. Each team is responsible for their own ball as to retrieving it after an incomplete pass and keeping it dry during adverse weather conditions. The center may carry the ball to the huddle.

SECTION 4. PLAYING EQUIPMENT AND UNIFORMS

Uniforms

Article 1. a. Shall be each team’s choice as long as it does not include any hard or unyielding surface. b. Jewelry: No jewelry of any kind may be worn by players. No headwear with an extended bill may be worn. (Ex: caps, visors. etc.). c. Jersey/Shirts: All members of the same team must wear the same color jersey with non-duplicating numbers including at least an eight (8) inch number on the back. The number on the front is recommended but not mandatory. Jerseys must be tucked in. The midriff shirt is legal, if in the judgment of the referee, it does not hinder the defense from pulling the flag. No article of clothing may cover any portion of a player’s flag. Officials should warn violators of this between plays. If a shirt/jersey becomes untucked during a play, it must be retucked before the next play. d. Shorts/Pants: Any shorts or pants worn during flag football league play must not have pockets located flags would normally hang from the flag belt. This is to reduce the risk of injury when pulling flags. If discovered during a game or a pocket becomes ripped during a play (an attempt at deflagging a player), if successful, player will be ruled down as if he were legally deflagged from a flag belt. Any shorts or pants that have striping, piping or a design that camouflages a player’s flags or flag belt will not be allowed. e. Shoes: Any flat soled or completely molded cleat shoes are acceptable. Removable cleats, baseball or track spikes or any shoes that have steel or metal tips are prohibited. All players must wear shoes. f. Protective Equipment: Helmets, shoulder pads, thigh pads are prohibited. Any questions as to the legality of player’s equipment shall be decided by the referee of that game. The use of any unyielding hard substance cannot be used to protect an injury, no matter how well covered or padded. Therapeutic or prevention knee braces can be used if covered from direct external exposure. g. Flags – The “Sonic” type of flag belts are recommended, but the choice of type, material, and securing mechanism used shall be the choice of each local league or local tournament. The Adult and Youth Flag Football State Tournament teams must use the “sonic” type flag belts. (Triple Threat and Velcro type flag belts are acceptable alternatives, but must be approved by tournament director. Ball & Socket type flag belts are illegal and cannot be used.) Each player on the field (8 offensive and 8 defense) will wear 2 flags at the waist, one on each side. Flags must be attached to a belt and the belt will be worn snug around the waist to eliminate being turned partially around the waist during an attempted deflagging. The flags must be a minimum of 12 inches (flag itself) in length and 1 1/2 inches in width and must be a different color than the players lower uniform. It is preferred that teammates must wear the same color of flags. h. Gloves work by a player must be approved and inspected by game officials in the case any illegal substance has altered the gloves with the intent to enhance a player’s performance.

Playing Equipment And Uniforms Enforcement

Article 2. a. If any player has improper attire, said player may not play in the game until he complies with these rules. If discovered during the game, player must be removed from play until compliance occurs. (Uniform violations: 5-yard penalty for someone who gains possession of the football). (S-19) b. Treat item Section 4 Article 1e & Article 1f as dead ball fouls with a 5yard penalty and remove equipment or player. c. Illegal alteration, securing, or substitution of flags or belts will result in removal of a player or players from the game and a 10 yard penalty from L.O.S. of last snap if offense and if defense from P.O.I. (S-19) Any player with less than two (2) flags in the proper position at the snap shall be ruled deflagged immediately at the point where he gains possession of the football.

RULE 2. ROSTERS, PLAYERS, ELIGIBILITY AND CONDUCT

SECTION 1. TEAM & PLAYERS

Eligibility

Article 1. a. TAAF flag football is 8 men with everyone eligible. A team may field no less than 6 players at any time. b. Team Roster: Teams regular playing roster shall not exceed twenty (20) players including a playing manager. There will be no drafting of players for Regional or State Tournament. c. No new player may be added to teams regular playing roster after October 15th and be eligible to compete in the T.A.A.F. Regional and State Tournaments. If a regional tournament occurs after October 15, the roster for that tournament becomes final and official. Player additions to rosters may only occur within the guidelines set by the TAAF Cavalcade. d. Eligibility: No player shall be permitted to play T.A.A.F. Flag Football if he is presently or has, during the current season, been a member of any semi-professional, (This includes arena football), high school varsity, B team, 9th grade, or college football team. Any player who has played professional football shall be ineligible to participate for one year after his last day as a member of a professional team. All players must be eligible under General Regulations of the current T.A.A.F. Cavalcade of Sports.

Classifications

Article 2. a. ADULT: CLASS “A” – Teams are not restricted by number of ex-professional and ex-collegiate players on the roster. CLASS “B” – Teams are restricted to three (3) ex-collegiate players who lettered in football and no ex-professional football players. b. YOUTH: Current age divisions include: 8 & Under Mixed, 10 & Under Mixed, 12 & Under Mixed and 14 & Under Mixed.

Team & Player Enforcement

Article 3. Any team or players found violating these rules shall forfeit all games played in by the ineligible player or players. If in Regional or State Tournament play, team will be removed from the tournament.

SECTION 2. PLAYER CONDUCT

Players Behavior

Article 1. a. Any verbal badgering of officials or derogatory language between opposing players after officials have asked once for team captain’s control can result in player or players involved in action being disqualified. 1. First derogatory action or language should be penalized 10 yards and captain warned. (S-33) 2. Second derogatory action or language will cause players to be disqualified plus 10 yards. (S-32 & 33) Sideline players are subject to the same disqualification for abusive, obscene or badgering language to either opposing players or officials. If the captain or coach of the penalized team cannot control the actions of his players, game can be forfeited. b. Fake Excessive Contact: Any player, who in the judgment of the officials, fakes excessive contact for the sole purpose of drawing a penalty may be warned once by the officials and then penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on the next offense. Enforcement: A warning to one player may be applied to a team as a whole if the officials so state that this warning is to the team. Penalty – (Treated as a dead ball foul) 10 yards (S-33) c. Begging A Call – During the course of a game, managers, players and participants on or off the field of play may decide to solicit unnecessary comments, badgering or complaints towards officials. If in the official’s judgment, the unsolicited information is interpreted as “begging the call,” a team may be penalized for such actions. The sideline must able to be worked by game officials. When this hindrance comes into play, either verbally or physically, Sideline interference may be warned and penalized as such. Enforcement: a penalty of 5 yards can be tacked on to the end of the play. This penalty will be marked off as a dead ball foul even if it occurred while play was in progress. (S-33)

RULE 3. DEFINITIONS/PLAYING REGULATIONS

SECTION 1. APPROVED RULINGS AND OFFICIAL’S SIGNALS

Article 1. a. An approved ruling is an official decision on a given statement of facts made by the state commissioner, tournament director and/or the TAAF Cavalcade. This is to illustrate the spirit and application of rules. If there is a conflict between an approved ruling and the official rule, the official rules take precedence. b. Official’s signals are outlined in the mechanics portion of the Official TAAF Flag Football Rules. c. Protest: Judgment calls/interpretation of rules cannot be protested. Enforcement of penalties may be questioned and confirmed at the time of enforcement, but not protested. Player eligibility may be protested and must be filed with referee before end of the half in which said player is playing.

SECTION 2. LENGTH OF GAMES, SCORING AND TIME OUTS

Coin Toss

Article 1. At the beginning of each half, a coin toss will be held. The winner of the coin toss will have the following options: (1) offense, (2) defense or (3) choice of goal to defend. The loser of the opening toss will have choice of the remaining options for the first half and will have the first choice of all options in the second half. The loser of the toss shall have first choice at the beginning of the second half. The winner of the toss has remaining second half options. There is NO DEFERRMENT to the second half.

Game Time

Article 2. a. Clock Management and Regulations: (1) Game clock will start each half when the official puts the ball in play. (2) The official’s whistle makes the ball ready for play and starts the play clock prior to each down throughout the games. The play clock is twenty-five seconds in length. (3) After a team time-out, the game clock will start at the snap of the ball. (4) Because the game clock is a continuous click, it does not stop during P.A.T. attempts. (5) The game clock will stop for team time-outs, official time-outs, and at the discretion of the official to retrieve long incomplete passes. (6) The play clock is 25 second and starts once the official marks the ball ready for play. (Delay of Game penalty if exceed 25 seconds) (7) Half time – A minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes. The on-field captain or quarterback may request the amount of time left in the game from the officials at any time. Officials will be expected to give the correct time. b. Periods of play include Regulation, Point After Touchdown (PAT), 7 Play Period and Tiebreaker. c. Regulation Period – The game shall be played in 2 halves of 20 minutes in length. In all games the clock will be running continuous. (S-2&3) d. The period of time after a touchdown is made is known as the PAT or Point After Touchdown. During regulation game time, the game clock does not stop. During the Seven (7) Play Period OR the Tie Breaker Period, the PAT is not counted as a numbered play, but will use the play clock as a guide. e. With two minutes remaining in regulation period {eighteen (18) minute into the half} of the first and second half, teams will be given a two minutes warning and be instructed that the seven (7) play period will begin. The seven (7) play period has only the twenty-five (25) second play clock to use as a time guideline between plays. The officials will give down, distance, and play number on all plays remaining. Teams must continue to make first downs if they want to keep possession, as it is with using the clock. However, if they do not make a first down, the defense has a chance to gain possession and use the remainder of the seven plays. P.A.T. tries will not count as one of the seven plays. f. Tiebreaker – In the event of a tie game at the end of the second half the following method will be used: (1) After an official’s time out of two (2) minutes, during which time officials and team captains will have a coin toss, the winner will have choice of playing offense or defense first. Both teams will go in the direction of the wind or if no wind in the direction chosen by the loser of the toss. (2) Ball will be placed on the 40 yard line and each team will have 4 consecutive plays unless terminated by an interception, in which to score the most points or gain the most yards. If no team scores, the team that gains the most additional positive yardage shall be the winner. Positive yardage is defined as yardage gained while on offense only and must be in advance of the 40yard line. If after 4 consecutive downs each, the two teams remain tied in all of the above combinations, additional downs will be played, one down at a time, alternating, until a winner is decided. (3) If a team scores a touchdown, it will be allowed to use its remaining downs, beginning again at the 40 yard line. A free down will be granted for P.A.T. attempts after each touchdown. (4) During Tie Breaker, teams will be allowed one time out each. (5) An interception terminates the offensive team chances. The offensive team is credited with positive yardage gained to point of the last snap prior to the interception. The defense may not advance the interception. Play stops. (6) Winner of the Tie Breaker shall be given one point.

Scoring

Article 3. a. Touchdown – 6 points (S-4) (Hips in which flags are attached must be on or in advance of the goal line before any points can be awarded.) b. Point After Touchdown – 1 point – run or pass from 3 yard line 2 point – run or pass from 10-yard line. Teams must declare before the official marks the ball ready for play. Once the ball is marked ready for play, a team may only “re-declare” if team uses a time out first. The PAT period is a separate period of the game. During regulation time, the game clock continues to run. During the 7 – Play period and Overtime Period, the PAT does not count as a numbered play. If infractions occur during the PAT, proper penalty enforcement may cause a re-play of the PAT and in some cases may be marked from the succeeding spot. Enforcement depends on type of infractions that occurs. c. Safety – 2 points (Punt ball from 20 yard line, Rule VI-R applies.) (S-5) (This is a guaranteed punt. The ball must be put in play by a snap.) d. Forfeited Game – Score is 7 – 0. e. Winner of Tie Breaker – 1 point. f. “17 Point Rule” – If either team is ahead by 17 points or more points by the second half’s 7 play period warning or at any time during the second half’s 7 play period, the game is over.

Time Outs

Article 4. a. (1) Each team shall have two (2) time outs per half. (2) Each time out will be one (1) minute in length. (3) Each team will be allowed only one (1) time out during a tiebreaker period. (4) A “time out” to be called from any player that participated on the playing field during the previous play is allowable. Said player may not have left the field and returned prior to the request. (5) A team may use a time out to change their option during the PAT. (6) A team MAY NOT use a time out to change any 4th down option (Punt or Play). b. Officials may call additional time outs at their discretion. If a team exceeds their time out limits per half or during a tiebreaker. Delay of Game 5-yard penalty (S-17) c. NOTE: During a team charged time out, a team representative may confer with their team either on the field or at the sidelines.

SECTION 3 THE BALL: LIVE, DEAD, LOOSE

Live Ball

Article1.A live ball is a ball in play. A pass, lateral, kick or a fumble that has not touched the ground is a live ball in flight.

Dead Ball

Article 2. A dead ball is a ball not in play.

Loose Ball

Article 3. A loose ball is a ball not in player possession: a. Following the snap and prior to a player fielding the ball cleanly in order to keep the ball live and in play. b. Following a punt that has hit the ground and has not been fielded by the receiving team or touched by the punting team.

When a Ball is Marked Ready for Play

Article 4. A dead ball becomes ready for play once the referee: a. If time is in, sounds his whistle and signals ready for play. The 25 second play clock begins on that whistle, Delay of Game (5 yards LOS) enforced if exceed time to put ball in play. b. If time is out, sounds his whistle and either signals “start the clock” or “ready for play.”

“In Possession”

Article 5. a. A player is “in possession” when in the judgment of the covering official, the player exhibits control or is holding the ball. b. A team is “in possession” of the ball when its players is “in possession” or attempting to punt; while a pass or lateral is in flight; or when one of its players was last in possession during a loose ball.

Catch or Interception

Article 6. a. A catch is the act of establishing player possession of a live ball in flight. b. A catch of an opponent’s pass, lateral or fumble (prior to touching the ground) is an interception. c. Simultaneous catch or a double reception of an offensive pass or lateral always goes to the offense.

Fumble

Article 7. a. When a backward pass hits the ground between the goal lines or a fumble occurs, the ball becomes dead and belongs to the team last in possession at the spot where the ball hits the ground or at the spot where the ball goes out of bounds (if in the air). b. When a forward fumble occurs and hit the ground, it is considered dead. The End of the Run in this case would return to the point and which control was lost or from where the fumble originated. If the offensive fumbles forward and crossed or hits the ground beyond the next line-to-gain or goal line, the result will bring the ball back to where the fumble occurred and next down will be played.

SECTION 4. LINE OF SCRIMMAGE

Article 1. a. Is the plane of the ball that extends from sideline to sideline and ninety (90) degrees from the plane face of the field, once an official places his ball marker and signal the ball “ready for play.” Once the ball marker is set, the neutral zone becomes established. b. If a change of team possession occurs between the five (5) yard line and the goal line due to an interception or a kick catch and the original momentum of the player catching the ball carries him into the end zone where he is downed by any means, the ruling will be a touchback.

SECTION 5. NEUTRAL ZONE

Article 1. The neutral zone is the space between the between the end of the ball when in t a normal resting position on its long axis while parallel to the sidelines and one yard beyond the line of scrimmage. This zone extends from sideline to sideline and is established once the ball is marked ready for play.

SECTION 6. SERIES OF DOWNS/LINE TO GAIN

Line to Gain

Article 1. The line to gain is the established line designating the twenty-yard zones as well as the ten-yard end zones. The zone shall be considered reached when the hips (flags) are on or in advance of the line marking the next zone or in this case “the line to gain” when the play is declared dead. (S-7)

Series of Downs

Article 2. A team will be allowed four downs to advance the ball from one zone to the next. (A zone is to be 20 yards.) If after four (4) consecutive downs, a team has failed to advance the ball into the next zone, possession shall go to the defense at that spot.

SECTION 7. POSITIONING, MOTION, SHIFT, SUBSTITUTION

Huddle/Lining up on Offense or Defense

Article 1. a. Teams may choose to huddle prior to a play. It is not necessary to huddle after a play if a team wishes to use predetermined plays or audible signals. b. Lining up: Any number of players may be on the offensive or defensive L.O.S. at the snap. Defense line must be one (1) yard off the ball at the snap. No defensive player may be within 4 yards of the ball if lined up directly in front of the center or within one yard of the ball if lined up to the side of the center at the snap. (S-19) (5 yards)

Substitution

Article 2. There will be free substitution as long as players being substituted for are off the field prior to the next snap OR player is out of the area of play and is departing the field in haste. “Sleepers” on substitutions will not be allowed on any play. No player may line up closer than 5 yards from the sideline unless he came out of the huddle or unless he was on the field of play during the previous play and did not leave the field of play. (S-18) (5 yards)

Shift

Article 3. Two or more offensive players may be shifting their position at the same time prior to the snap. Their movement may be in any direction but they must become set for one full count before the ball is snapped or before another player can go in motion prior to the snap. (S-16)(5 yards)

Motion

Article 4. Only one player is allowed to be in motion at the snap and his movement must be parallel or away from the L.O.S. and must be continuous. (S-16)(5 yards)

Stance

Article 5. Any stance is permitted. Any number of players may be on the offensive or defensive L.O.S. at the snap. Defense line must be one (1) yard off the ball at the snap. No defensive player may be within 4 yards of the ball if lined up directly in front of the center or within one yard of the ball if lined up to the side of the center at the snap. (S-19) (5 yards)

Encroachment / Off-sides

Article 6. Shall be called if either the offense or the defense passes over the plane of their L.O.S. before the ball is snapped. A false movement of the football by the center shall constitute offensive encroachment. These are dead ball fouls and the play shall be immediately whistled dead before play begins and 5 yards automatically marked off against the encroaching team. (S-14) (Exception: Defensive encroachment resulting in an offensive first down will become an offensive captain’s choice penalty.) If a player on either side lines up off sides, the official will point toward that player’s team side. If that player does not get back on-sides before the ball is snapped, he will be considered as having been off sides at the moment of snap. If an official has not “off sides warned” a team for lining up off-sides, by pointing at them, he should not call off-sides on them at the snap of the ball. Play continues in this instance and following the play, this becomes a captain’s choice penalty. This is a 5-yard penalty from L.O.S. (S-14)

SECTION 8. CENTER SNAP

Article 1. a. A center snap may touch the ground before it gets to the quarterback and remain playable if the quarterback fields it cleanly off of a bounce (one or more) or from the ground. However, if quarterback muffs the ball to the ground or the ball goes past the quarterback it is dead where the ball touches the ground. b. All center snaps must be made between the center’s legs. A false movement of the football by the center after he is set shall constitute encroachment. No direct snap may be taken at anytime. The snap must travel a minimum of 5 yards to be legal (either backwards or sideways). (S-15) At all times the ball shall be snapped from the spot marked by the official ball marker.

SECTION 9. SCREENING AND RUSHING

Screening

Article 1. a. Only screen blocking is permitted. Screen Blocking: shall be defined as obstructing the rusher’s path to the quarterback or ball carrier, as long as it is done behind the L.O.S., with any part of the body except head, hips, and legs. There can be no independent movement of the elbows. b. Techniques: The screener must use one of the two following methods: 1) Screener must have his thumbs hooked in his pants and holding the flag belt with each hand OR 2) Screener must hold his arms behind his back with arms locked together in some manner. A screener may not leave his feet to screen. c. Type of screening includes: Moving Screens and Stationary screens. 1. Moving screens are when a player is in motion in an attempt to prevent the rusher from maneuvering to de-flag a player. These are only legal behind the L.O.S. when protecting the passer or potential passer. 2. Stationary screens are screens set by players in a manner that places the screener in a position that attempts to prevent the rusher or defender from maneuvering to de-flag a ball carrier, receiver or potential receiver or ball carrier. A stationary screen is legal behind the LOS. Once the passer or potential passer or ball carrier crosses the L.O.S., all downfield screens must be stationary screens. 3. As the ball crosses the L.O.S., offensive players may maneuver for laterals behind the ball but in doing so must not be deliberately screening any defensive players. They must be clearly in the act of positioning for a lateral. d. Enforcement (Infractions Behind the LOS): A penalty will automatically be called if a screener’s hand leaves his pants and flag belt or if arms are separated from behind his back while in the process of screening within 2 yards of the rusher. Although this method of screening cuts down on excessive contact by the screener, it nevertheless laces the screener in very vulnerable position; therefore; THE MAIN RESPONSIBILITY OF AVOIDING CONTACT RESTS WITH THE RUSHER. (S-14) (10 yards) The screener may not step into the rusher. (Added for interpretation) Illegal screen, behind LOS, 5 yards from LOS, if excessive 10 yards and loss of down. e. Enforcement (Beyond the LOS) Moving screens shall be penalized from the end of run (E.O.R.) or the point of infraction (P.O.I.), whichever hurts the offensive team the most. If the illegal screen is judged to have caused excessive contact, it will be penalized 10 yards and loss of down. (Cannot have loss of down if penalty leaves ball in front of line-to-gain and 1st down.) (S-24, 29 & 8) (If Not Excessive- 5 yards) “Pick Plays” by receivers on defensive backs or linebackers are illegal if set by receivers within 5 yards of defender (a form of downfield screening).

Rushing

Article 2. a. Rushing is defined as the act of a defensive player pursuing the offensive player who is in possession of the ball. b. The rusher may not run over the screener. The rusher may not pull the screener toward him or push the screener away from him. c. Enforcement: Illegal Rushing – A penalty will be automatically called if the rusher touches the screener’s head as long as the screener is screening upright. (S-31)(10 yards) Roughing the passer when the pass is incomplete will be marked off 10 yards from the L.O.S., when the pass is complete the penalty will be 10 yards marked off from the E.O.R. and automatic first down in either case. If the rusher touches the quarterback in the head in his attempt to block the pass a penalty will be called. This will also go for striking the passer’s arm when in a forward motion while attempting to block a pass. Roughing the passer will be called when the rusher, if while attempting to de-flag the quarterback or block a pass, lets his momentum carry him into the passer. Defensive player may not have any contact with the passer when he is passing. The defensive may rush as many players as it wishes. (S-26) NOTE: OFFICIALS SHOULD BE AWARE IF CONTACT IS CAUSED BY PASSER STEPPING UP OR MOVING INTO RUSHER. IT IS ASKED THAT BOTH THE SCREENER AND THE RUSHER STRIVE FOR NON-CONTACT AT ALL TIMES.

SECTION 10. PASSING REGULATIONS

Passing

Article 1. a. There can be only one forward pass per play. There can be only two (2) exchanges of the football in the air (forward pass or lateral) which are initiated from behind the L.O.S. After the 2nd exchange of the football in the air, if completed behind the L.O.S., the football must be run across the L.O.S. A forward pass is definedas a live ball thrown toward the opponent’s goal line. b. A completed direct handoff, even if bobbled, shall not be considered an exchange of the football in the air. c. If the passer is beyond the L.O.S. when the football is released, or if a 3rd exchange of the football in the air is initiated from behind the L.O.S., an illegal Forward Pass has occurred and will result in a 5 yard penalty and loss of down if accepted. Illegal forward passes will be marked from P.O.I. (S-27 & 8) d. Once the ball has crossed the L.O.S., in the air or in possession of a player, it cannot be passed forward, even if the ball is first returned back across the L.O.S. (Illegal Forward Pass) (S-27 & 8) e. Intentional grounding shall also constitute an illegal forward pass. (S-28 & 8) f. A lateral will be any pass thrown overhand or underhand perpendicular or away from the direction of advancement of team in possession. Forward laterals are treated as an illegal forward pass if beyond L.O.S. (S- 27 & 8) g. Push or Shovel Passes thrown in any direction is legal if initiated behind the L.O.S. Once a player crosses the L.O.S., push or shovel passes are legal if thrown parallel or behind the ball carrier.

Receiving

Article 2. All players of both teams are eligible pass receivers. Each player is eligible, even if he steps out of bounds or out of end zone, as long as he catches the ball in bounds or comes down first in bounds with at least one (1) foot. If a receiver comes down with one foot in bounds and one foot out of bounds simultaneously, the pass is incomplete. The lines marking the sidelines and the extreme end of the end zone shall be considered out of bounds if stepped on to any degree. Two or more offensive receivers or defensive players may touch a pass in succession, resulting in a completion. After a pass is thrown, it is too much to expect of the officials to keep track of exactly who touched the ball and in what order, if receivers and defenders are battling for possession. Therefore, the only things that will be judged will be (1) did pass interference occur, (2) who caught the ball, and (3) was receiver in bounds with at least one foot at moment of possession.

Pass Interference

Article 3. a. Pass Interference Rules shall apply to any pass made from behind the L.O.S., whether it is a forward pass or a lateral pass and applies to both offensive and defensive players. After the pass is in the air, neither the pass receiver nor the defender may touch the other player until one of them touches the ball, or else offensive or defensive pass interference may be called. If contact occurs after one of them touches the ball, then pass interference cannot be called unless one of them catches the ball and the other “strips” or attempts to “strip” the ball from his hands. b. Receiver stripping is attempting to take the ball from the grasp of a receiver after he has caught the ball, but before he has brought the ball into a possessive position. In which case, Pass Interference will be called: If player established possession of the football, the defender must go for the flag and not the ball.

Pass Interference Enforcement

c. Any contact that occurs after the pass is touched (excluding Receiver Stripping) and is either complete or incomplete, must be judged by the officials as either Non-Intentional contact caused by both players “playing the ball” or Intentional contact/pass interference which shall be penalized from the point of infraction. Penalty will be 5 yards if incomplete or complete, and if judged to be flagrant, the penalized player may be removed from the game and penalty will be 10 yards. d. All pass interference plays, offensive or defensive, whether they occur during the “Regulation Play Period”, “7-Play Rule”, “Tie Breaker Period”, or the “P.A.T. Try Period”, will be captain’s choice penalties. If the captain refuses penalty the play will stand. e. All offensive pass interference plays, whether they occur during the “Regulation Play Period”, “7-Play Period”, “Tie Breaker Period”, or the “P.A.T. Try Period” which are accepted by the defensive captain shall be marked 5 yards from L.O.S. with a loss of down (and loss of play number if during Tie Breaker). (S-25 & 8) f. Defensive pass interference plays, which occur on the playing field, during the “regulation play period”, “7-Play Rule Period”, and the “Tie Breaker Period”, and are accepted, shall be marked 5 yards from P.O.I., automatic first down (except in Tie Breaker), and play number will be run again. (S-25 & 7) Defensive pass interference that occurs in the end zone during the “Regulation Play Period” and accepted: ball will be placed on one (1) yard line, and 1st down. (S-25 & 7) Defensive pass interference that occurs during the “P.A.T. Try Period”, and accepted: ball will be placed on one (1) yard line – P.A.T. try will be rerun, plus one (1) free P.A.T. try will be awarded if needed. (S-25) Point value will be what ever was declared prior to original P.A.T. Defensive pass interference which occurs in the end zone during the “Tie Breaker Period”, or “7-play Rule Period” and accepted: ball will be placed on the one (1) yard line – same play will be run again, plus one (1) free down will be awarded, if needed, to score. (S-25) Shielding/screening a receiver’s eyes by a defender without playing the football is pass interference and shall be penalized as such. (S-25) Bump and Run, or checking an offensive receiver during a passing play will be a 5-yard penalty from P.O.I. and captain’s choice. (S-31)

SECTION 11. RUNNING WITH THE BALL

Ball Carrier

Article 1.a. The responsibility of avoiding contact rests with the ball carrier. He must show the officials he made an effort to avoid contact. The ball carrier will not deliberately run or drive into a defensive player. A ball carrier may spin or jump but realize that while spinning or jumping he is in a “State of Non-control” and should contact occur as a result of his uncontrolled momentum, he will be penalized. The “Stiff Arm” is illegal. Penalty: 10 yards from P.O.I. (added for interpretation) and loss of down (S-29 & 31). b. The ball carrier shall not protect his flags by blocking with his hand, arm or head, the opportunity to pull his flags. Flag guarding will be marked 10 yards from P.O.I./L.O.S. (if behind line) and loss of down. (S-30) c. If any of the above acts are judged to have caused excessive contact, 10 yards and loss of down. (S29- 30 & 8)

Deflagging the Runner

Article 2. a. The ball carrier is down and the ball is dead when either flag is detached from his belt or when the ball or either knee touches the ground. A defensive player may leave his feet to pull the offensive player’s flag but may not make contact while doing so. When a defensive player pulls the ball carrier’s flag he should stop and hold it above his head for officials to see. If the act of deflagging a player is simulated or faked, the infraction will be treated as a delay of game penalty. b. Tackling is prohibited. Tackling is grasping or encircling the body of the ball carrier with a hand or arm. Grabbing the ball carrier’s clothing shall be penalized as tackling. If the defensive player reaches across the body of a ball carrier to pull his flag, and contact occurs, the responsibility of the contact lies with the defensive player. Penalty: 5 yards for impeding – 10 yards for tackling (encircling of body) with automatic first down if tackling from P.O.I. or L.O.S. If in the opinion of officials, the act prevented a score, the ball will be placed on the one (1) yard line, first down and goal. The offender will be disqualified if the act was flagrant. (S-29 & 31 & 7) c. Illegal deflagging is prematurely pulling an opponent’s flag with the intent of making the offensive player ineligible to become a ball carrier. Penalty – 5 yards from L.O.S. or E.O.R. (S-31) Runner Stripping occurs when a defender attempts to strip or take the ball from the grasp of a player in possession. This is a form of Illegal Deflagging. (S-31) d. The intended receiver of either a pass or lateral may be deflagged only after first touching the ball – even while fumbling or bobbling the ball and before possession is established. That receiver will be considered downed at the point he was deflagged. e. If the quarterback’s arm was in forward motion when his flag was pulled, the pass is allowed. If the passer is legally deflagged as he is passing the football, and later in that play receives the ball back, he shall be downed at that spot. If he is deflagged after he has released the football and he then receives the ball back, illegal deflagging should be called. f. A defender may not push or knock a ball carrier out of bounds. A form of illegal deflagging, if excessive contact – 10 yards. (S-31 & 29) g. Illegal Advancement – Advancement may not occur as a result of the ball being slapped, kicked, pitched, or pushed by either team in the direction of their goal line. The ball will be declared dead at the spot of such illegal advancement and a 5-yard penalty. (S-23)

SECTION 12. PUNTS

Punt

Article 1. a. If a punt is to be made, the offense must announce it to the referee before the ball can be declared ready for play. Offense must declare within 10 seconds after asked by referee on 4th down play. (Penalty delay of game.) After offense declares, the referee will mark ball ready for play whereupon the offense will have 15 seconds to punt the ball. (S-17) b. When the offense declares the punt, it becomes a guaranteed punt, and only if a defense penalty occurs after the offense declares punt can the offense reconsider, due to change in field position. c. The ball will not be dead if it touches the ground before the punt is made even if muffed by the punter. After a punt has been declared, it must be made and neither team may cross the L.O.S. until the ball is kicked. The offense may have any number of players on the L.O.S. The punt returning team must have 5 players within 5 yards of the L.O.S. and they must remain in that zone until the punt returner enters that zone, at which time they may provide stationary screens or maneuver for a lateral. These 5 men may not attempt to screen any member of the punting team as they pass through this 5-yard zone. (Penalty – 5 yards from EOR/POI) (S-24) d. If the punt hits a member of the punting team, which has not crossed the L.O.S., it is dead at that spot. Any member of the punting team may down the punt if it is beyond the L.O.S. and has touched the ground prior to being downed. The punt will be declared dead at the spot where it is first touched by the punting team. e. The punt receiving team must be given an opportunity to field the punt in the air; therefore, there will be a 10-yard penalty if touched in the air beyond the L.O.S. by the punting team, from the P.O.I. (S-23) f. The punt returning team may have 3 returners in deep positions. The 2 returners that do not carry the ball may not be moving screens. They may run forward and provide stationary screens or be maneuvering for a lateral. (Penalty – 5 yards from EOR/POI) (S-24) g. The punt receiving team may field a punt in the air, off of a bounce (one or more), or directly off of the ground, if fielded clearly. When a punt touches a player on the receiving team who is in bounds and the ball rebounds into the air, all players become eligible to intercept and advance the ball before it touches the ground. h. On a punt play, there are no line-to-gain lines (1st down lines) established. When the punt receiving team is returning a punt, any live ball fouls committed by either team, which are accepted, will result in the penalty being marked off after which the next line will become the line-to-gain for a first down. As soon as the play is blown dead, the line-to-gain is established. Any dead ball fouls that occur will results in the line-to-gain remaining the same (unless the enforced penalty leaves the ball past the line-to-gain.) i. When a punt is left unattended, it becomes dead where it rolls still. j. NO Quick Kicks are allowed. (5 yards penalty and loss of down from L.O.S.) (S-22 & 8) k. Punts muffed by the receiving team in the end zone before possession, and ball hits in or out of end zone, it will be a touchback. If the ball is touched in the air or on the ground by the punting team in the zone, it is a touchback. If a punt receiver who has gained possession of the punt in the end zone is deflagged prior to crossing the goal line into the field of play, it is a touchback. If punt receiver remains in end zone 5 seconds after fielding punt, or downs punt by knee or ball touching ground after possession, it is a touchback. A muffed lateral in the end zone will be a safety. (S-5)

RULE 4. PENALTY ENFORCEMENT

SECTION 1. PENALTY INFORMATION

Article 1. a. All live ball fouls (fouls which occur while play is in progress) are captains choice. All dead ball fouls (S-6) (Fouls which occur prior to snap or after ball is blown dead) will automatically be marked off. This means if a foul occurs during a down and is a live ball foul and then a dead ball foul occurs both fouls will be enforced. They do not offset, even if against different teams. b. After a penalty is called, only captain of the penalized team may discuss it with the officials. The official making the call is obligated to give the player’s number and the act they committed (without discussion) to the penalized team captain. Official will then give the opposing captain his options on the penalty. That captain’s first choice will be final. In the judgment of any game official, the following acts are deliberate or flagrant, the player or players involved shall be ejected from the game: 1) using fists, kicking, or kneeing (S-29 & 32) 2) illegal use of hands, forearms, or elbows (S-29, 31, 32) 3) tackling (S-29, 31, & 32) 4) any deliberate or flagrant act which could cause injury (S29 & 32) 5) any act of unsportsmanlike conduct (S-33 & 32) 6) abusive, profane, or insulting language (S-33 & 32) 7) any act of unfair play (S-33 & 32) 8) harassment of officials or other players (S-33 & 32) A minimum one (1) game suspension for any person ejected from a game for any reason. Local rule and tournament rules may be more severe. c. Penalties, which would otherwise be marked off past the goal line, shall be placed on the one-yard line. d. Offsetting Penalties – If offsetting fouls occur during a down, or while the ball is ready-for-play, that down shall be played over. If offsetting fouls occur between successive down, the next down shall be the same as if no fouls occurred. (S-9) e. If there is a change of team possession during a down, the teams last gaining possession may decline the offsetting fouls and retain possession after the penalty for its own infraction providing that the infraction occurs after the change of possession. If offsetting fouls occur prior to change of possession, play shall be repeated.

SECTION 2 T.A.A.F. PENALTY CHART

Article 1. a. All penalties will be marked 5 or 10 yards, if in the opinion of the officials, the foul is flagrant or excessive contact, the player (or players) might be ejected. b. In order to establish a simple philosophy in assessing penalties, these general rules hold true with only a few exceptions: 1. All Accepted Penalties: are marked from the E.O.R., L.O.S., or P.O.I., whichever hurts the infracting team the most and the down may or may not be replayed. 2. All Refused Penalties: the ball stays where blown dead and down is not replayed. 3. All Live Ball Fouls: are captain’s choices 4. All Dead Ball Fouls: are not captain’s choices and will be marked off. c. “Little-To-Lose” Penalties: If the full penalty cannot be marked off due to the field position relative to the goal line, the ball will be marked off to the one yard line. 1. Defensive penalties on teams backed up within 1 yard from their goal will result in play being run again from L.O.S. Plus one free down awarded to offense if they have not scored by the 4th down. 2. Offensive penalties on team backed up to within 1 yard from their goal will result in Loss of Down unless there is a change of possession during a play. 3. Offensive fouls in their own end zone will be captain’s choice: Safety or Loss of Down. d. Penalty Enforcement During 7-Play Period and Tie Breaker Periods: When infractions occur during either the 7-Play Period or the Tie-breaker Period, if the penalty is accepted, the down number may or may not be lost, depending on the penalty. In turn, that same infraction may or may not also lose the play number, depending on the penalty. Officials must enforce the combination that hurts the infracting team most. Exception: Only the offensive pass interference penalty during the tiebreaker period, if accepted, will cause that play number not to be repeated. e. Penalties on the playing field during the tiebreaker period shall be marked the same as during regulation time. f. Penalties Enforcement and Line-To-Gain: 1. Enforcement of any penalty which leaves the ball across the line-to-gain will result in a new line-to gain (1st down). 2. After enforcement of any live ball foul that leaves the ball short of the line-to-gain will result in the first down line remaining the same. g. All defensive dead ball fouls after a touchdown but before the ball is put in play after change of possession will be penalized from the 20-yard line. All live ball fouls during this period are captain’s choice penalties.

SECTION 3. DEFENSIVE FOULS DURING / AFTER TOUCHDOWNS AND PAT ATTEMPT

Foul A: Touchdown Penalty A: Live Ball Fouls – Captain’s Choice Penalties (can take points & have penalty marked off from 20- yard line after PAT attempt. Foul B: Dead Ball Period After Touchdown But Before Pat Attempt Penalty B: Dead Ball Fouls – Marked Off After Change of Possession from the 20 Yard line. Foul C: PAT Attempt 1. Which is Unsuccessful 2. Which is Successful Penalty C: 1. Captain’s Choice Penalties Which if Accepted – Ball Marked To The One Yard line and PAT Attempt Run Again (Same Point Value) 2. Live Ball Fouls – Captain’s Choice Penalties (can take points and have penalty marked off from 20 yards line. Foul D: Dead Ball Period After Pat Attempt But Before Ball is Put in Play from the 20-yard line. Penalty D: Dead Ball Fouls – Marked Off After Change of Possession From the 20 Yard line.

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