Rules, Flag Football 5Man

Nashville Sports Leagues Flag Football
General Rules (govern all league play)

Teams play with five players on the field 

Teams must have a minimum of three players to start and finish a game. Failure to do so at the posted game time will result in a forfeit

The team winning the coin toss can:
Choose to receive the first half or the 2nd half. The opposing team will then choose a direction to defend. One team cannot start both halves with possession.

Touchdown - 6 points, Extra Points 3 Yard Extra Point Attempt - 1 Point, 10 Yard Extra Point Attempt - 2 Points, 20 Yard Extra Point Attempt - 3 Point. Extra Point attempts cannot be returned by the defense. Extra points will be whistled dead at the change of possession.

After scoring, the scoring team can elect to give the opposing team the ball at the mid-field line in order to keep the opponent from using up the clock. Once this is declared, the scoring team must give their opponent the ball at the 20-yard line until the end of the game. This hurry-up tactic becomes irrevocable right of the opponent. This rule only applies after scoring plays. In the case of turnover on downs or an interception by the defense ball will be spotted at the end of the live play. 

The length of the game is 40 minutes, divided into two halves of 20 minutes. Running time with no clock stoppage is used for the first 19 minutes of each half. During the final minute of each half traditional clock stoppage is used. The playoffs will have a 2-minute warning.

A 25 second play clock will start once referee blows his/her whistle.

Each team receives two timeouts per half. Each time out is thirty seconds. Only one timeout can be used inside the one-minute warning. During league playoffs teams will be allowed the use of both timeouts during the two-minute warning if applicable.

Overtime will be determined by each team electing to try for extra point attempts of 1, 2 or 3. The opposing team is not required to make the same try.

Field will be 50 yards long and 30 yards wide with 10-yard end zones.

The triple threat flag belt is the only acceptable flag belt (teams may bring their own or will be provided by NSL). Football must be provided by the teams. High school, collegiate or NFL size footballs are the only acceptable sizes allowed. No metal cleats allowed No hard football pads may be worn. Mouthpieces are suggested. No hard billed hat will be worn. No pockets are allowed (you will not be able to play with pockets and you will not be allowed to tape pockets) THIS WILL BE ENFORCED!

In case of an inadvertent whistle, the team with possession of the ball has the choice of yardage gained/spot of the ball at the time of the inadvertent whistle or replay the down. If time expired one more play will be allowed.

Three downs for zone to gain. If zone to gain is not earned possession will change and ball will be placed on opponent’s 5-yard line.

Whoever receives the snap from the center may not directly rush the ball across the line of scrimmage. They must throw a forward pass or hand the ball off to another player. That player then has the option to run or pass. This hand off will also negate the 5 second rush clock.  

There will be no laterals anywhere on the field

The spot of the ball is always the ball at the time the flag belt is removed/broken or one hand touch in the appropriate scenario.

No contact other than screen blocking (basketball) with arms behind back or placed at the side. No blocking with hands. No moving blocks will be allowed.

The ball is part of the hand. Muffed or wild snaps are dead at spot of the ball making contact with the ground. ALL players are eligible to receive the ball. The ball carrier cannot advance the if he or she falls down. Only one forward pass is allowed originating from behind the line of scrimmage.

The ball will be placed on the 5-yard line of the opposing team. Arena Motion is legal. Laterals are not allowed.

The ball carrier or receiver that falls or dives to make a catch cannot get up and run.

The receiver must have one foot in bounds for a legal reception. If a player steps out of bounds on his own, he cannot re-enter play.

Defense can rush at the snap of the ball from five yards. If the defense does not send a rusher the official will count 5 seconds. If the Quarterback has not handed the ball off or thrown a legal forward pass the official will blow the whistle to signify the play is dead and the offense will lose the down. 

No de-flagging a receiver before the reception (pass interference). Cannot hold the jersey/short to pull the flag or tackle the ball carrier. Interceptions can be advanced for yardage or points. Fumbles are dead at the spot of the fumble, no change of possession. Defense is not allowed to strip the ball after receiver has control.

If a team is winning by 35 or more points the opposing team is provided a minimum of one possession to reduce the advantage to less than 35 points. Following the possession, if the winning team still leads by 35 points the game will be ended by mercy rule. At the 1-minute warning, the game will be ended by mercy rule if either team holds an advantage of 19 or more points.

No Run Zone
No running plays are allowed within five yards of the goal line and first down.

Tournament Modifications

  1. Quarterback may not run unless the ball has been handed off
  2. No laterals allowed anywhere on the field
  3. No blocking is allowed anywhere on the field.
  4. The offense must avoid interfering with the rusher
  5. Tournament game time are (2) 12-minute halves
  6. First half clock only stops for a 1 min warning
  7. Second half clock stops for 1 min warning and “regular” stoppage for the remainder of regulation
  8. The quarterback has 5 seconds to pass the ball if there is no rush. If not thrown ball is ruled dead and is returned to line of scrimmage
  9. Once ball is handed of 5 second count stops
  10. Players that blitz the quarterback must be a minimum of 7 yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped
  11. Point after Attempt (PAT). Point after Attempts may NOT be returned
  12. 1 point from 5-yard line
  13. 2 points from 12-yard line
  14. No mercy rule in pool-play games. Mercy rule for elimination will occur when a team is up by 35 points at any time. 19 points at the 1-minute warning of the 2nd half.
  15. Time outs will be 30 seconds.

Simple Offensive Penalties
Legend LOD - Loss of Down
LOS - Line of Scrimmage
EOP - End of Play Spot
SOI - Spot of Infraction
ROD - Replay of Down

Illegal Procedure (Live Ball): LOS - 5 Yards – Replay of Down (ROD)
Delay of Game: LOS – 5 Yards – ROD
Illegal Use of Clock: 5 Yards - ROD
False Start (Dead Ball): LOS - 5 Yards – ROD
Moving Screen Block: LOS - 10 Yards - ROD
Offensive Pass Interference: LOS - 10 Yards - ROD
Flag Guarding: Spot - 5 Yards - LOD (must include contact by the ball carrier)
Illegal Forward Pass: Spot - 5 Yards - LOD
Illegal Equipment (Live Ball): LOS - 5 Yards - ROD
Unsportsmanlike (Conduct): Spot/EOP - 10 Yards
Offsides (Live Ball): LOS – 5 yards – ROD
Intentional Grounding: SOI – 5 yards – LOD
Illegal Participation (equipment/substitution): LOS - 5 yards - ROD
Illegal Participation (player out of bounds): LOS - 10 yards - ROD

Simple Defensive Penalties?
Contact/Holding/Impeding Progress: EOP - 10 Yards - ROD
Defensive Pass Interference: Spot - ROD (10 yard min)
Encroachment (Dead Ball) 1st Attempt: LOS - 5 Yards - ROD
Encroachment (Dead Ball) 2nd Attempt: LOS - 10 Yards - ROD
Offsides (Dead Ball) 1st Attempt: LOS - 5 Yards – ROD
Roughing the Passer: EOP - 10 Yards - 1st Down
Illegal Contact: EOP - 10 Yards - ROD
Illegal Participation (equipment/substitution): LOS - 5 yards - ROD
Illegal Participation (player out of bounds): LOS - 10 yards - ROD