BudSports Flag Football Rules

8-v-8 All Eligible

Men’s Flag Football

(Updated 8/2015)

Participants must be 18 years of age

**The head coach/captain is responsible for making sure all players are aware of every rule prior to any participation by a player in any game or any portion of a game or activity.


ROSTER/WAIVER
The number of players on a roster is limited to 20 players per team. The roster must completed prior to the 1st game of that session and must include all players on that team no matter what their status. All rosters must be submitted by the captain or manager online at www.budsports.com. Players must be added/dropped no later than and up to the 4th scheduled game. ***The league provides no medical insurance of any form. The BudSports League only recognizes players who have been entered on the roster/waiver and if that player is not listed then he/she immediately becomes ineligible***.


The BudSports League rules and regulations are designated exclusively for the BudSports Leagues and Teams. Any conflict involving rule interpretations from BudSports and the USFTL shall revert back to the specific designations that were amended for BudSports.

  • PLAYING FIELD– the dimensions for the playing field are as follows 80 yds. long with 2-10 yd. end zones. The width is 45 yards wide. It is then broken up into 4 segments that represent 1st downs the segments are divided by the down markers at the 20, 40, and 20 yard lines must be attained to get a 1st down.
  • PLAYERS-Every player must be 18 years of old to play in the league unless given permission by the league coordinator prior to the session beginning.
  • TEAMS-Each team will field 8 players at a time. No team may start a game with less than 6 men and may not finish with less than 6 men.
  • LENGTH OF GAME- Every game shall consist of two 24 minute halves and a 3-minute half time. The game clock runs continuously for the first 23 minutes in the first half and only stops for all dead ball plays, team time-outs or officials time-outs. In the 2nd half the clock runs continuous for the first 22 minutes and the last 2-minutes of the 2nd half in each half the clock stops for all out-of bounds, incomplete passes, time-outs, and official time stoppages and will restart on the snap or referee’s signal.  Teams will not lose any time-outs at the 2-minute mark they will retain all 3. The clock remains stopped on all change-of-possession and resumes on the snap of the ball. The clock stops on all scores and extra point tries, change of possession, team time-outs, and referee time-outs and time resumes on the referees whistle.
  • LAST 1 MINUTES-of the first half. During the last 1 minute of the first half the clock will continue to run on any incomplete pass, ball is carried out-of-bounds, and running plays.  On a running play the clock continues to run, on a bad or dropped snap the clock continues to run. If the clock stops for a time-out it will not resume running until the ball is snapped for the next play. If there is no chance that the opposing team can get the ball back the offensive team may elect to “take a knee” and the half-time or game is called at that point.
  • MERCY RULE-If at the 2-minute warning a team is ahead by 17 points or more then the game has ended and the final score stands as is. If at 5 minutes remaining a team is ahead by a collective (5) touchdowns or 30 points then the game is ended.
  • OVERTIME- If at the end of regulation time there is a tie, the game will end in a tie and the score will stand as posted. During the playoffs there is however; an overtime procedure that is in place. At the completion of regulation time both captains will be called to the center of the field; the loser of the initial coin-toss will be given the option of offense or defense. The opposing team will be given the option of direction/end zone. Both teams will begin at the 20 yard line. Both teams will be given 4 offensive plays to score and if a team scores they will be given an opportunity for the PAT. The PAT is not considered 1 of the 4 offensive plays. If a turnover occurs at any point during the team’s 4 offensive plays then their offensive series ends. Since there is no kicking of field goals a team may elect to place the ball at the 10 yard line for (3) points only. If the defense forces a turnover and returns it for a touchdown the games end and no further scoring is allowed
  • TIME OUTS-Each team will be awarded 3 time-outs per half of 30-seconds in length.  No longer will teams lose a time-out at the 2-minute mark. Time outs not used in the 1st half will not be carried over to the second half.
  • PLAYERS EQUIPMENT-No metal cleats are allowed. Removable cleats must not have any metal exposed. A full sized regulation football must be used. If a team questions the legality of a ball being used the referee can at any point in the game inspect the ball and deem if fit or unfit for use. The flags are of the 3-position, quick release type, and will be furnished by BudSports, if a team elects to use their own flags they must adhere to the same equipment rules as those issued by BudSports.
  • COIN TOSS-Every game starts with a coin toss. The team that wins the toss has 4 options 1-Offense (receive), 2-Defense (kick), 3-Direction, and 4-Defer to 2nd Half.
  • FORFIET RULE-Teams must start with at least 6 players. Game time is forfeit time “no grace period”. The team that has a complete team will be given the option of taking a 17-0 forfeit or waiting for the incomplete team to get their entire team of players. During this period the clock continues to run until halftime at which point the game is called. At no time will a team be allowed to play with less than 6 men and cannot finish with less than 6 men. If the incomplete team cannot field a team they cannot recruit non-roster players from other teams even with permission from the complete team it is considered a forfeit. Once a game is called as a forfeit officials are not allowed to officiate the game
  • START OF THE GAME-There is no longer a kick-off. The team electing to receive will start at their own 20 yd line (1st and 20).
  • A TACKLE- Is defined as the removal of any of the 3-position flags from the offensive player. The defender must immediately hold the flag above his/her head to assist the official in locating the spot where the flag was removed. If a flag inadvertently falls to the ground a 2-hand tag between the shoulders and the knees constitutes a stop. A defender may not place himself in a direct path of a ball carrier in an attempt to remove a flag. If a defensive player attempts to pull a flag and the flag does not immediately fall off until that player moves further down the field then it must be considered a result of an attempted pull and the ball carrier is down.
  • FIRST DOWNS– Are achieved by the yardage as marked on the field of play (measured every 20 yards. If a team elects to go for a 1st down on 4th down and do not make it the ball will be turned over to the other team at the spot of the 4th down play (A ball may not be extended across a line to attain a 1st down except at the goal).
  • QUARTERBACKS-The quarterback may receive the ball in a sideways motion (Co-Ed only), or from the ground, from the center (NO DIRECT SNAPS). If the ball is “snapped” and touches the ground prior to reaching the QB (either bouncing or rolling) the ball must be fielded cleanly and if it touches the ground after the QB has touched it the ball is dead at the spot and the clock continues to run.
  • SNAPS, THROWS, AND FUMBLES-The snap from the center must be received from the QB who must be a minimum of 3 yds from the center. An errant snap cannot be considered a fumble until it is touched by the QB, RB, or other offensive player behind the line of scrimmage. If the ball is snapped over the QB’s head then it is still a live ball until it is touched by the offensive player or downed by the defensive player.
  • OFFENSIVE BLOCKING-There is absolutely no blocking below the waist either with the shoulder or the hands at any location on the field. On pass blocking the hands should be kept within the framework of the defensive player’s body. If the hands go outside that framework it is considered holding by the offensive lineman. Any attempt to hook, lock up or wrap-up a defender is also a discretionary holding penalty. Any illegal use of the hands is a 10 yd penalty, if 2 illegal uses of the hands are called on the same player he may be ejected without further warning.
  • POINTS-Touchdowns are worth 6 points. 10-yd extra points are considered 2 pts. each, 3-yd extra points are considered 1 pts. each. All extra point attempts that are intercepted and returned to the opposing end zone are worth 2 pts
  • RUNNING PLAYS-Offense may run the ball as often as they wish but the runner may not lower his head and/or shoulders in attempt to advance the ball. The runner may not stiff-arm, hurdle, or dive to advance the ball (These are all 10 yd penalties and will be assessed from the point-of-the-infraction. If the runner however loses possession or fumbles that ball is dead where it leaves the runner’s hands not where it lands.
  • PASSING PLAYS– a ”Passing Play” is defined as a play where the ball travels in a forward path even with or in front of the person throwing the ball. If a defensive player makes contact with a QB’s arm in any capacity accidental or intentional it is a penalty (10 yd. automatic 1st Down from the original line of scrimmage).
  • LATERALS-Laterals are legal at anytime anywhere on the field and cannot count as a forward pass. Any lateral hitting the ground is dead at the spot. The defense may advance an intercepted lateral.
  • PENALTIES (OFFENSIVE)…traditional penalties listed as addendum
  • 2-MINUTE RULE- If the team trailing in the score in the last 2 minutes of the 2nd Half scores a touchdown on the ensuing possession the offensive team gets the ball at the 10 yard line(1st and 10). The offensive team must attain a first down in order to keep possession. If the offense does not attain a first down then the defense gets the ball at the 40 yd. line. The offense gets 4 downs to attain a 1st down however a team can elect to punt at any time.

OFFENSIVE RULES

  • Center-The center in 8-v-8 is an eligible receiver and can catch a pass directly from the Quarterback. The center cannot be touched until and unless he is allowed 1 count to come to an upright position or he/she takes 1 step forward. The center must snap the ball between his legs in a backward direction. For Co-Ed the ball can be snapped in a sideways fashion as opposed to between the legs; in either case the ball must be in direct contact with the ground prior to the snap.
  • Snap-The snap must travel in a backward direction. As with the previous rule the snap may touch the ground prior to reaching the QB or punter and the ball is still live provided the ball is picked up or fielded cleanly. If it is dropped or muffed and the ball hits the ground it is dead at the spot where the ball hits the ground and the down counts.

If a ball is snapped over the quarterback’s/punter’s head in a direct path without being touched, the ball is blown dead and is marked at that spot and the down counts. It is not considered a fumble and there can be no recovery by the defense or the offense. (Rule Change)

  • Line of Scrimmage-The line of scrimmage begins at the spot set by the official and is based upon the end to the previous play. The LOS cannot be reduced or enhanced by the placement of the ball. The center has the right to rotate the ball or relocate the ball as long as it does not exceed the LOS. The center cannot move the ball in such a way that it would be considered a snap or attempt to snap. All offensive penalties are assessed or interpreted from the LOS unless the penalty happens in the end zone.
  • Blocking-All blocks by any blocker in men’s football must take place no higher than the shoulders and no lower than the waist. “Blind-sided” blocks are defined as a block on an unsuspecting defender as that player is in pursuit of the ball carrier. Blind- sided blocks are not allowed and will be given an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty for 15 yds and a second offense in the game by either team will result in an ejection.  All blocks must be made with the hands and arms extended directly in front of the body. At no time shall a player make a block with the shoulder and forearm.
  • Forward Pass-A pass is considered a forward pass that makes it beyond the line of scrimmage, and/or travels out of bounds.
  • Alignment-The offensive team prior to the snap must have at least 3 players on the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball and all 3 players must be stationary prior to the snap of the ball.
  • Kicking-Punts are protected kicks if they are declared by the offense prior to the snap of the ball. Once the ball is snapped to the punter (no direct snaps) he has 5 seconds to kick or a 5 yd delay of game penalty will be assessed. Once the kick is declared the offense has to punt the ball. (The declaration must happen before they break the huddle or they must take a timeout to change their declaration). The offensive team must have all players on the line of scrimmage except for the kicker and those players cannot leave the line-of-scrimmage until the ball is kicked. The defense must have at least 4 players on the line of scrimmage and cannot go back until the ball is kicked. The defense cannot cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked but they can jump at the line of scrimmage in an attempt to block the kick.
  • Field Goals and Extra Points-Kicking field goals or extra point is no longer allowed. Extra points must begin at the 3 yard-line or the 10 yard-line. Any attempt by the offense on an extra point that results in a penalty and the extra point is successful the penalty is assessed and the extra point try is attempted again. If the extra point try is not successful and the offense has committed a penalty then the defense has the decision to accept the penalty and allow a retry or decline the penalty.
  • Ball Carrier– A ball carrier may not lower his head, stiff arm, and/or lean his body in an attempt to prevent flag removal. The ball carrier must carry above the waist and the off arm may not be swung so as to prevent contact with the flags. He/she may not dive to advance the ball anywhere on the field. They are not allowed to spin to avoid flag removal more than once (1 complete turn is allowed per touch of the ball). The flags must be worn so as to position them on each hip and on the tail bone. Clothing cannot obstruct the flags. All loose clothing must be removed or tucked is if the flags are obstructed and the defender attempts to pull a flag and grabs clothing the player may be whistled down for attempt.

DEFENSIVE RULES

  • Defensive Lineman-Defensive line man can be in a 3-pt stance on any play.
  • Flag removal-A defensive player must grab a flag and hold it up it at the spot. Please do not allow a defensive player to hand, throw, or return the flag to the offensive player to reduce taunting, and escalating problems. A defensive player may not obstruct or encircle the runner in an attempt to remove a flag. A defensive may leave his/her feet to remove a flag. If however a defender trips an offensive player it will result in a tripping 10 yd. penalty and an automatic 1st down. If in the referees discretion the runner would have scored a touchdown may be awarded.
  • Contact-A defensive player is allowed to make contact with a receiver 1 time within a 5 yard area and cannot initiate any contact after the 5 yard area. “One chuck….one step”.
  • Rushing-As with the offense, no player may make contact at or above the shoulders nor shall they initiate contact with the offensive player with his forearm or shoulder.
  • Line Rushers-Defensive rushers may go into a 3-point stance.
  • ENCROACHMENT: Once a defensive player puts any part of his/her body in the neutral zone prior to the offensive snap of the ball the play is blown dead and a 5-yd penalty is assessed for encroachment. (Rule Change)
  • This above rule does not allow the defensive player to get back behind the neutral zone as in previous years. (Rule Change)

POINTS OF EMPHASIS

MEN’S 8-V-8 FLAG FOOTBALL

(Revised 8/2015)

ENCROACHMENT:  Once a defensive player puts any part of his/her body in the neutral zone prior to the offensive snap of the ball the play is blown dead and a 5-yd penalty is assessed for encroachment. (Rule Change)

This above rule does not allow the defensive player to get back behind the neutral zone as in previous years. (Rule Change)

If a ball is snapped over the quarterback’s/punter’s head in a direct path without being touched, the ball is blown dead and is marked at that spot and the down counts.  It is not considered a fumble and there can be no recovery by the defense or the offense.  (Rule Change)

As with the previous rule the snap may touch the ground prior to reaching the QB or punter and the ball is still live provided the ball is picked up or fielded cleanly.  If it is dropped or muffed and the ball hits the ground it is dead at the spot where the ball hits the ground and the down counts.

No game may be started with less than 6-players, and a game cannot be completed with less than 6-players.


CO-ED FLAG FOOTBALL

(Revised 8/2015)

The male quarterback cannot advance the ball by “running” beyond the line of scrimmage.  The male quarterback can run to avoid having his flag pulled but he must throw the ball in a forward direction prior to reaching the original line-of-scrimmage. (Rule Change)

The female quarterback can run at any time but during a “female play” she must attempt to gain to or beyond the original line of scrimmage.  If a pass is to another teammate it must be considered a “forward pass” and not a “lateral”. (Forward progress is a point-of-emphasis not a rule change)