TOURNAMENT RULES

Updated Thursday March 31, 2016 by Flag Mania.

FLAG MANIA TOURNAMENT RULES

Game Length:

  • 2 halves lasting 20 minutes each with a 3 minute halftime period. (Overtime) 2 minutes

  • Running clock the first half, the last 2 minutes of the 2nd half the clock will stop on: team time-out, incomplete pass, out of bounds, score (touchdown, safety), touchback, penalty, official time-out, player injury, first downs, change of possession, a team trying to conserve time illegally.

  • Each team shall have 25 seconds to snap the ball at the completion of the previous play.

  • Each team will have 2 (1) minute time-outs per half.

  • NO MERCY RULE.  All games will be played in their entirety.

Overtime:

  • In the event of an overtime period there will be a coin toss. The home team captain will call heads or tails, the winner of the coin toss will have the option to start the overtime period on offense or defense. The loser of the coin toss will decide the direction of the field to play.

  • Each team will have a possession in the overtime period and one time-out.

  • Unless moved by penalty, each team will start 1st and goal from the 20 yard line, all overtime periods are played toward the same goal line.

  • If the team that starts the overtime period scores on their first possession the other has the opportunity to have an offensive possession. If the team fails to score or match the points scored by the team that scored on their first possession the game is over.

  • If the team that starts the overtime period throws an interception and the defense runs it back for a touchdown the game is over.

  • If the score is tied after each team had a possession, they will play another overtime or as many as needed to determine a winner. Each overtime period begins with a coin toss.

Scoring:

  • Touchdown=6 points

  • PAT: 5 yards=1 point, 10 yards=2 points, 20 yards=3 points

  • In the event on a PAT attempt there’s an interception ran back for a touchdown the defense will be awarded the points of the PAT attempt.

  • Safety=2 points

  • After each score the official will check the flags of the scoring player by pulling their flag. After a successful attempt of the official pulling the flag the score stands. If the official attempts to pull the flag of the scoring player and the flag is unable to be removed from the player or any sign of tampering with flag the score is nullified. A 10 yard penalty will be enforced from the previous spot of the ball and loss of down.

Players:

  • Team consists of at least 7 players.

  • All games will start at the scheduled time, in the event a team does not have 7 players a game can be started with 5 players. If 5 players are not available to start the game at the scheduled time the game clock starts and there’s a 10 minute grace period before the team forfeits the game if the required amount of players are not present. The opposing team will receive 1 point for every minute the clock is running during the grace period.

Coin toss:

  • Before the game begins captains from both teams will meet with officials for a coin toss. The coin will be U.S. 25 cent mint coin. The home team captain will call heads (George Washington face up) or tails (perched eagle/respected U.S. state side up) when the coin is tossed. The winner of the coin toss will choose to receive or defend the ball or defer until the 2nd half. If the winner decides to defer until the 2nd half. The loser of the coin toss will decide to receive or defend the ball.

Equipment:

  • Footwear: molded rubber and screw in cleats are allowed.  NO METAL CLEATS.

  • Shorts/Pants: MAY NOT HAVE POCKETS

  • Shirts/Jersey: Must be long enough to be able to tuck into shorts/pants or short enough that they are 4” above the players’ waistline. You can play without a shirt.

  • Gloves: Players may wear gloves which must consist of a soft, pliable and nonabrasive material.

  • Flags: A one piece flag belt (triple threat or flag tag) without any knots.

  • Footballs: Pebbled grained or rubber covered football. MUST BE OFFICIAL SIZE. NO youth or intermediate sizes. No requirements regarding ball pressure.

GAME PLAY RULES:

CONTACT IS ONLY ALLOWED ON OR BEHIND THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE FROM THE OFFENSE BLOCKING AND WITHIN 5 YARDS OF THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE FROM THE DEFENSIVE BACKS BUMP AND RUN COVERAGE. NO BULL RUSH FROM THE DEFENSE.  NO OTHER CONTACT IS PERMITTED

  • Offense

Offense must start with 3 players on the line of scrimmage (guards/blockers on the right and left of the center)

There are no 3 point stances. Both lines must assume a 2 point stance.

Blocking (at the line of scrimmage) -Players are allowed to block as long as contact is in the front between the shoulders and waist on or behind the line of scrimmage. NO CONTACT TO THE FACE PERMITTED.

Blocking (beyond the line of scrimmage) -Players are to block downfield by shielding or shadow blocking only. NO CONTACT PERMITTED.

  • Passing

 The offensive team MAY throw an unlimited number of backward passes during any one play.

The QB cannot throw the ball forward once they have crossed the line of scrimmage.

The QB MAY intentionally ground the ball by throwing the ball into the ground or out of bounds to avoid a sack. If the ball is thrown laterally or backwards it is considered a fumble and the ball will be placed at the spot where the ball crossed out the out of bounds demarcation or hits the ground. If the pass is thrown forward it is considered an incomplete pass and will be placed at the pervious spot.

  • Hiking

The center must snap the ball between the legs.  The ball may be hiked to any person at least 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

  • Rushing

ALL players are eligible receivers and running backs. NO limit on the number of rushing attempts by a team and QB can run on any down. Hurdling and diving is permitted.

  • Receiving

A reception is deemed made if:

The receiver possesses the ball before the ball makes contact with the ground.

The receiver has at least one foot in the field of play after possessing the ball. 

The receiver may NOT use their hands or arms to move a defender in order to make a reception.

  • Substitution

No substitute shall enter during a down.  All substitutions must enter the game during a dead ball.  (Incomplete pass, out of bounds, change of possession, team time-out, official time-out, penalty and administration)

DEFENSE:

  • Rushing

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS MUST AVOID CONTACT WITH OFFENSIVE BLOCKER.

Defense must have 2 (no more no less) players anywhere on the line of scrimmage. These are the only 2 players eligible to rush the quarterback. The rushers may move laterally but not forward or backwards during the count prior to the snap. Once the quarterback leaves the pocket (defined by 3 offensive blockers who must line up as guards or blockers to the left or right of the center which creates the pocket). Any defensive player can rush once the ball is handed off behind the line of scrimmage or whenever the ball leaves the quarterback hands while their still behind the line of scrimmage (example a pitch, pass or lateral behind the line of scrimmage). There are no 3 point stances. Both lines must assume a 2 point stance.

Rusher must avoid hitting the QB arm, even through the follow through motion. NO QB CONTACT ALLOWED.

  • Pass Defense

Defenders can bump receivers within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Defenders must play behind the line of the 2 designated rushers. NO CONTACT AFTER 5 YARDS.

Defenders are NOT allowed to play through the receiver to make a play on the ball.

If an interception occurs: SEE RECEIVING RULES

  • De-Flagging

When de-flagging the ball carrier the defender may NOT impede the ball carriers progress while attempting to pull that player’s flag. The ball carrier is down at the point when the flag belt becomes unclipped NOT when it falls off or when detachable flag is pulled.

If a ball carrier loses their flag either accidentally, inadvertently (not removed by grabbing or pulling), or on purpose, play continues.  The de-flagging reverts to a one hand tag by the opposing player.

INADVERTANT WHISTLE:

The team with the ball at the time of the whistle has the option of replaying the down, or taking the ball at the spot where the whistle was blown.

KICK/THROW-OFFS:

  • There will be a kick/throw off at the beginning of each half. Kick/throw-off team will kick/throw from their 20 yard line.

  • The receiving team must have at least 4 players lined up on the 40 yard line.

  • Touchbacks will be brought out to the 15 yard line.

PUNTING:

  • Punts must be declared NO FAKE PUNTS

  • Punts can NOT be blocked NO RUSHING

  • Once the receiver catches the kick they will be allowed to advance the ball until their flag is pulled or player runs out of bounds.

  • If the receiver drops the punt, the ball is dead and is spotted at that point.

  • Punts landing in the end zone are considered touchbacks and will be spotted at the 15 yard line.

PENALTIES:

When a penalty is called officials will notify both captains.  The officials will inform the captain of the offended team regarding the rights of penalty acceptance or declination and will indicate to them the number of the ensuing down, distance to be gained, and the status of the ball for available choice.  The distance for any penalty that may be declined.  If the penalty is declined or if there is a double penalty, there is no loss of distance.

  • Offense

Illegal contact: holding, contact to the head, overly aggressive behavior. 10 yard loss from the line of scrimmage. Repeat down.

Offensive Pass Interference: When an offensive player hinders a defensive player’s ability to catch a pass by, making physical contact with the defensive player. 10 yard loss from the line of scrimmage. Repeat down.

False Start: When offensive player moves before the ball is snapped/hiked. 5 yard loss from the line of scrimmage. Repeat down.

Illegal Forward Pass: When a player passes the line of scrimmage and throws the ball forward, or when more than one forward pass is thrown during a play. 5 yard loss from the spot of the infraction. Loss of down.

Illegal Motion: When more than one person moving before the snap/hike. Motion cannot move forward towards the line of scrimmage until the ball is snapped/hiked 5 yard loss from the line of scrimmage. Repeat down.

Flag Guarding/Stiff Arm: When a ball carrier either intentionally or accidentally, inhibits a player from de-flagging them by the use of their hands.   A runner shall be prohibited from contacting an opponent with an extended hand or arm which includes the use of a stiff arm to guard the flag.  10 yard loss from the spot of the infraction. Loss of down (on interception 10 yard loss from the spot of the infraction team keeps the ball 1st down).

Illegal Formation: When the offensive team does not have at least 3 players on the line of scrimmage. 5 yard loss from the line of scrimmage. Repeat down.

Illegal Touching: When an offensive player steps out of bounds and is first to make contact with a live ball. 5 yard loss from the line of scrimmage. Loss of down.

Delay of Game: The ball must be put in play promptly and legally and any action or inaction by either team, which tends to prevent this, is a delay of game. This includes:

  • Failure to snap or free kick within 25 seconds after the ball is ready for play.

  • Putting the ball in play before it is declared ready for play.

  • Deliberately advancing the ball after it has been declared dead.

5 yard loss from the line of scrimmage. Repeat down.

Helping the Runner: A player shall not grasp, pull, push, or aid any teammate runner.  5 yard loss from the spot of the infraction.  Loss of down.

  • Defense

Illegal Contact: holding, contact to head, overly aggressive behavior making contact with receiver beyond 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. 10 yard penalty from line of scrimmage. Repeat down.

Roughing the Passer: When a defensive player makes contact with the QB while the QB is in the throwing motion, completing the throwing motion. This includes hitting the QB’s arm after they have released the ball. 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. Automatic first down.

Defensive Pass Interference: SEE OFFENSIVE PASS INTERFERENCE. Ball is placed at the spot of the foul and automatic first down is awarded. If in the end zone ball is placed at the 5 yard line 1st down.

Off-side: When a defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped/hiked. 5 yard penalty. Repeat down.

Face Guarding: A defensive player may not use their arms and hands to intentionally obstruct the receiver’s view of the ball.  10 yards from the spot of the infraction. Automatic first down.

Illegal Flag Pull: Pulling an offensive players flags before there is possession.  5 yard penalty. Repeat down.

Penalty on a Score:

If there is a penalty by the offensive team other than unsportsmanlike, during a down, which results in a successful touchdown or try, the acceptance of the penalty nullifies the score.  If there is a penalty by the defensive team, other than unsportsmanlike, during a down, which results in a successful touchdown or try, the penalty is automatically declined.

Penalty on a Try:

If there is a penalty after a touchdown and before the ball is ready for play for the try, the enforcement is at the succeeding spot where the ball will be next snapped for the try. 

Double Penalty:

If there is a penalty for both teams other than unsportsmanlike during the same live ball both penalties off-set.  Replay down.

During a down in which there is a change of possession, the team last gaining possession may retain the ball, provided the penalty was not prior to the final change of possession and declines all penalties for its opponent's penalty, other than unsportsmanlike.

  • Unsportsmanlike penalty supersedes regular penalty and that unsportsmanlike penalty will be enforced.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The result will be 10 yards from the spot of the ball or at the end of the play. 

Automatic first down when the penalty is on the defense.

Examples of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties:

  • Using disconcerting acts or words prior to the snap in an attempt to interfere with the offense’s signals or movements, indicating objections to an official’s decision. (warning will be given before penalty is enforced)

  • Holding an unauthorized conference or being on the field illegally. (warning will be given before penalty is enforced)

  • Using profanity, insulting or vulgar language or gestures. (warning will be given before penalty is enforced)

  • Intentionally tripping or attempting to trip opposing player.

  • Making any contact with an opponent that is deemed unnecessary of any nature, including using fists, locked hands, elbows, or any part of the forearm or hand.

  • Contact an opponent who is on the ground, throwing a runner to the ground and tackling the runner.

  • Deliberately drive or run into a defensive player.

  • Clipping

  • Arguing calls with officials/attempting to influence a decision by an official. (warning will be given before penalty is enforced)

  • Tampering with flag belt in any way to gain an advantage including, tying, using foreign materials, or other such acts.

If a player has a 2nd offense, they will be ejected for the remainder of the game. If the team advances to the next round the player is eligible to continue play in the tournament.

If a player intentionally kicks, take a swing with the arm, hand or fist at another player or any illegal contact with an official that individual will be ejected from the game and will not be able to participate in another Flag Mania tournament.

Team captains should be the ones to address the officials.