Rules For Flag Football
General Rules

  • Individuals utilizing this facility do so at their own risk. The property owner(s), league operators, officers and owners and staff of Metuchen Sportsplex assume no liability for any injuries or accidents, which may occur.
  • Conduct within the facility and on the field should be in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
  • No food, drinks, chewing tobacco, chewing gum, metal cleats permitted on playing surface. No sunflower seeds or similar type products are permitted in the facility.
  • No glass containers on the field or in the player boxes
  • Metuchen Sportsplex reserves the right to refuse play or service to anyone

Sign Up Guidelines and Fees:

  • Teams sign up on a first come, first served basis.
  • Full-payment is required one week prior to league start date or your team spot could be forfeited.
  • If full payment is made after the first game, a $50 (or prorated) late fee will be charged.
  • No teams will be accepted after the first game of league play.
  • No individual will be allowed to participate in any league games, practice session, tournament, clinic, open pick-up game, or other activities until a release form has been properly completed and signed.
  • Playing sports can be a hazardous activity and unfortunate things can happen. You are contractually agreeing that you have signed our liability release and that you are waiving your rights to file a lawsuit against us. You accept the conditions of the fields, courts, and other surfaces, and also any unforeseen situations that may occur. If you are uncomfortable with any of these conditions, you can choose not to play or participate in our leagues or other activities.
  • Individuals that sign up will be placed in a Metuchen Sportsplex database where other teams may contact you to recruit you for their team. If you still are not on a team, the Metuchen Sportsplex will create a team from all the individuals in the database.

Player Rosters:

  • Player rosters must be turned in prior to the first league game. Men's Flag Football rosters will be limited to 18 players, with no guest players allowed. Changes will be permitted prior to the third game. Failure to comply will result in forfeiture of all games played with illegal player(s). Players may only be added later if a player is injured and removed from the roster for the remainder of the session. Proof of injury must be provided. Acceptable proof shall be a doctor's note. At the discretion of management, a team may claim hardship and add one player after the third game.

Levels of Competition:

  • The facility will offer the following divisional structure for adult teams, if enough teams are available:

Division 1- Premier division for teams with exceptional skills. College and former Professional football players allowed in this league.
Division 2- Recreational division for the average fan of the game that has not necessarily played organized football.

  • The Metuchen Sportsplex reserves the right to make the necessary changes within league divisions to ensure an equal level of ability and competition.
  • Players may only be on one roster in a given division and league. Players may participate in more than one division and league. A lower division team may not field more than three players from an upper division. Metuchen Sportsplex reserves the right to determine if a player is considered too advanced for a given division and remove the individual from the team roster. This is done in the spirit of maintaining parity in a given division.
  • Any players with current or former Collegiate or Professional experience must play Division 1. Any Collegiate players that want to play in a lower division must get permission from the league commissioner. No professional player, current or former, can play in a division lower than Division 1. Any professional players, current or former, caught playing in a lower division will be removed from that team's roster and that team will forfeit every game in which that player played.


  • Rubber molded cleats or turf shoes are allowed. No metal cleats allowed.
  • Teams must be dressed in matching colored jerseys. If a team needs to change jerseys, Metuchen Sportsplex will loan a set of pinnies for collateral. No player will be allowed to participate without a jersey or Sportsplex scrimmage vest. The first team listed, the home team, is required to switch jerseys in the event that two teams have the same colors.
  • Each player on the field must wear a belt – Sonic Flag-a-Tag (two flag belt) - unaltered in anyway. The flags must be of contrasting color with the pants. Metuchen Sportsplex will provide each team with flag belts (a player's license will be required to hold in exchange for the flags). These belts will be returned to the front office immediately after the game. Any team that does not return a belt will be charged a $15 fine for a new flag. All fines must be paid prior to next game or team will forfeit.
  • Players of opposing teams must wear contrasting colored jerseys with numbers. The pants must be a different color than the flags. No article of clothing may cover any portion of a player's flag (Excludes belts).
    Penalty: 5 yards
  • The use of headgear, of any nature, shoulder pads, body pads, or shoes with metal tipped cleats (regardless of material) is prohibited. Additionally, any unyielding or dangerous equipment is prohibited. Players may use an ace bandage. Knee braces will be covered by a soft yielding material not to exceed 3/8" thickness. No loose jewelry of any kind will be worn.
  • Football must be one of the following specs: NFHS, NCAA, or NFL.

Game Schedule Make-Up Games:

  • If a team is unable to play a scheduled game the opposing team may choose to accept a 6-0 forfeit. Games are generally not rescheduled or made up unless under the discretion of management.

A team forfeiting a game during any one session will be subject to the following fines:
First Forfeit- warning
Second Forfeit- possible removal from league
A forfeiture will be incurred if a team has failed to field the minimum number of players within ten minutes from the start of the game clock. Teams incurring forfeitures during a session shall not be eligible for registration discount in the following session.

Any team no show will result in a 6-0 victory for opposing team and no rescheduled game will be given.

Weather Related Events:
No games will be rescheduled due to cancellation because of weather. If a league game is cancelled one night of a two night league, any league games that are played that week will not count toward the schedule to keep standings equal. Every game needs to be played in a given week for a given league in order for those played games to count toward the schedule. There are no refunds or credits. In the event of a weather related cancellation, all games that were missed shall not count toward the standings and they will be considered "non-games".


  • Individuals are expected to play under control and within the rules of the game, and to the best of their ability will avoid causing injury to themselves and other persons using the facility.


  • Referees appointed to officiate each game have complete authority on the field of play, and their decisions on points of fact connected with the game are final. Judgement calls cannot be questioned, only the enforcement of the rules. Officiating will be monitored and assessed periodically, and management will always try to provide quality officiating at the facility. Constructive comments regarding officiating are welcome and encouraged. Please submit any such comments in writing. Complaints regarding officials should be submitted in writing, contain points of fact, and have your name and the name of your team at the top. Do not discuss officiating or the officials with the facility staff during or immediately after your game.

Fighting Policy:

  • Metuchen Sportsplex has a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY toward fighting. Anyone fighting will be ejected and they will be permanently banned from the facility and sportsplex property.
  • A player or coach sent off in (or after) a game by a referee will automatically be suspended from the next game in the session. In addition, a player will be banned from playing on any other team until the suspension has been served. If a player is ejected in the last game of a session (he/she) will be prohibited from playing in the first game after he/she registers for another session.
  • Any of the following offenses will result in disciplinary action as outlined above:
    • A player or coach using foul and abusive language.
    • Persistent infraction of the rules after receiving a caution by the referee.
    • A player or coach involved in violent conduct; (including, but not limited to: spitting, threatening, continued rough play, etc.) will be suspended as outlined above and, in addition, will be suspended for one additional game and subject to further disciplinary action as decided by the facility management.
    • Assaulting an official will result in automatic suspension from any further activities at the Metuchen Sportsplex. The Police will be notified of any such incident.
    • Should a coach of a team be unable to control a player's actions after he or she has been penalized or thrown out of a game the coach will also be suspended as outlined above
    • A player jumping from the player box onto the field to break up or participate in a fight will automatically be ejected from the game and will be subject to the same penalties as outlined above.

A $100 bond will be required from any team involved in an altercation where more than one player is involved in a fight. Should a bond be placed against a team, the bond must be paid prior to the team's next game, or that game will be forfeited. The terms of the bond will be given in writing to the team. Should the team fail to adhere to the terms, the bond will be forfeited to the arena and the team's participation will be terminated. If the team adheres to the terms of the bond, then the team will receive the $100 bond at the end of the session.

It is the responsibility of each player and the player's team representative to be aware of the total status of their player's infractions. Failure to comply may result in further disciplinary measures which may include suspension of the coach/rep. and forfeiture of games in which that player participated.


  • Intention to file a protest must be noted in writing immediately following the game. A formal written protest with a $20 fee (refundable if upheld), must be submitted to the Metuchen Sportsplex within 48 hours after the end of a game. The league commissioner will review and have the final authority on all protests. ALL DECISIONS MADE BY THE COMMISSIONER ARE FINAL. Only violations of the laws of the game, rules or guidelines of the facility as published are matters for protest. Any protests regarding fielding of illegal players must be brought to the attention of the game officials prior to the suspected player(s) leaving the field of play.


  • The Metuchen Sportsplex will award winning teams with various prizes. Each first place team will receive either up to 18 trophies, or a 10% discount off the following session. If trophies are being ordered, they must be ordered within two weeks of the session ending.


Note: The Rules below are either substituted for, or supplemental to NCAA rules. All NCAA rules apply to any situation not mentioned.

  • The field will be 63 yards by 25 yards. The endzones will be 5.8 yards by 25 yards with the playing field measuring a total of 50 yards by 25 yards.


  • The referee will mark the line of scrimmage, and the first down will be made by crossing the permanent lines that are marked on the playing field.
  • Any live ball that touches the boards is considered out of bounds and the play is dead, except on kick-offs and field goals. If a passed ball hits the ceiling, wall or net, it is considered a dead ball. A player that hits the wall (voluntarlity or involuntarily) is considered out of bounds. Also, the referee has the right to call the ball dead if he/she feels the play is too dangerous.


  • The endzones will be approximately 6 yards in length


  • The game will be played between two teams of 7 players. The game will be played under the supervision of a referee and the commissioner. Team representatives, including players, team managers, coaches, and group members are subject to the rules of the game, and will be governed by the decisions of the Official assigned to the game.


  • Total playing time will be 40 minutes, divided into two 20-minute periods with a two minute half-time intermission. There will be overtime, if necessary (see below). However, the mercy rule will apply and the game stopped, when a team is up 30 points or more when there are four minute left in the game.


  • At the coin toss in the center of the field, the visiting team Captain will be given the privilege of calling the coin while it is in the air. The winner of the toss will be given their choice of kick-off, or receive. The team that receives the ball first half will kick-off in second half.


  • A team must begin the game with a minimum of six players. If a team does not have at least six players by game time then they will be forced to forfeit the game.


  • Each team manager or coach will designate a Team Captain(s) and inform the Referee. If more than one player is designated, a Speaking Captain must be selected to make all decisions. A Field Captain's first choice of any option will be irrevocable.


  • Any kickoff which hits the netting will be inbounds and should be played by the receiving team.
  • Any kickoff which is downed in the end zone will be placed at the 10 yard line and in possession of the receiving team.
  • Kickoffs will be started from that team's own goal line.
  • Kickoffs will occur after all scores.
  • Under 4 minutes the kicking team will have 30 seconds to put the ball in play. If the team fails to kick within the 30 seconds the receiving team will have possession at midfield.


  • All plays from scrimmage must be started by a legal snap from a point between the inbound lines, unless the rules provide for a free kick. An Official will mark the line of scrimmage.


  • A team in possession of the ball will have four consecutive downs to advance the ball ten yards. On 4th down, a team will have the following options:
    a. Go for a touchdown or first down
    b. Try for a field goal. (Punting is illegal)
  • Any down may be repeated if provided for by the rules. A PLAYER MAY NOT LEAVE HIS FEET TO ADVANCE THE BALL. A player may leave his feet to avoid head-on collisions or injury. The interpretation of this rule is left to the Referee's discretion.
    The forward progress of the ball is used to determine the succeeding spot, not the flag belt. If a player touches the ground with any part of their body aside from their hands or feet, that spot will mark their forward progress.


  • Fields goals can be attempted by the offensive team on any down.
  • Any field goal that misses will be considered live. The receiving team may choose to run the missed kick, call for a fair catch, or down the missed kick.
  • Missed field goals can be recovered by the offensive team similar to an on-side kick


  • The clock will start when the ball is legally snapped. It will run continuously for the entire game.


  • One time-out per team in the first half;  two time-outs per team in the second half.. Time-outs will last 30 seconds. Referees will indicate when the 30 seconds are over.


  • Each team will have its players on the field at the scheduled time for the beginning of each period. All players must have their flags in legal position at the start of each play.
  • The ball must be put in play promptly and legally; any action or inaction, which tends to prevent this is an illegal delay of the game. The Referee has sole discretion to determine whether a team is illegally delaying. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Consuming more than 25 seconds to put the ball in play after it is ready for play
      b. Deliberately advancing the ball after it has been declared dead Penalty: 10 yards and loss of down
  • Under 4 minutes to play a team committing a Delay of Game Penalty will be assessed a 3 yard penalty and a loss of down.
  • If it occurs before 4 minutes, the first during a 4-down series will be assessed a 3-yard penalty and repeat down, all other delay of game infractions that occur during the possession  will be assessed a 3-yard penalty and loss of down.


  • Legal kicks are in the form of field goals, and place kicks, by a player of the team in possession. Punting is illegal. Kicking the ball in any other manner is unsportsmanlike conduct and penalized as such.


  • Field goals may be attempted on any down. On field goal attempts which fail to score, the ball will be considered live. Point After Touchdowns attempts are dead balls if the attempt is missed.
    a. If a team decides to kick a field goal, the defensive team cannot rush the kick and must stand behind the line of scrimmage. The defensive team may stand with their hands in the air, but must remain behind the line of scrimmage until the kick is made. The defensive team may jump in the air as long as they do not cross the line of scrimmage until after the kick is made.
    b. The kicking team can set up for a field goal or PAT at any place behind the line of scrimmage.
  • On a PAT, if a team kicks the ball through the uprights from the 10 yard line or farther, it counts for 2 points.


  • Fair Catch- The receiving team has the option of declaring a fair catch on missed field goals and kick-offs. Any member of the kicking team that touches the player who is declaring a fair catch will cause his team to be penalized 15 yards from the spot of the penalty. Furthermore, any player involved in a dangerous play may be ejected from the game by the referee. The referee has the sole discretion to determine what is a dangerous play and whether or not that player or players should be ejected. No player shall argue a dangerous play call by a referee.


  • Penalty: 5 yards if an ineligible player touches a forward pass (behind line of scrimmage or past the line of scrimmage) or is deemed by the referee as the intended receiver.
  • Eligible receivers- Three players for 7 v 7 games will be ineligible every play. The ineligible players (3 players) will be required to wear a colored wrist band. Centers and guards are automatically considered ineligible receivers. Any team that does not have three players wearing a colored wrist band on any one play will be in violation of this rule. A 5 yard penalty will be assessed prior to the snap. Passes cannot be thrown to ineligible players behind or in front of the line of scrimmage.


  • a. Four offensive players must line up on the line of scrimmage.
    b. The other two or three players can line up anywhere behind the line of scrimmage.


  • Any defensive formation is legal. ALL-OUT BLITZES ARE PERMITTED


  • Offensive players must have possession of the ball before they can legally be deflagged. A flag removed inadvertently (not removed by grabbing and pulling) does not cause play to stop. It should continue as if the flag had not been removed. In all situations where a play is in progress and a ball carrier loses his flags either accidentally or inadvertently, the deflagging reverts to a two-hand touch of the ball carrier between the armpits and knees. It is unsportsmanlike conduct and penalized as such for a player to remove his own flags before or during a live ball period. A player may leave his feet to remove opponents' flags.


  • When the flag belt is clearly taken from the ball carrier the down will end and the ball is declared dead. A player who removes the flag belt from the ball carrier should immediately hold the flag belt above his head to assist the Official in locating the spot where the capture occurred. If a flag inadvertently falls to the ground, a two-handed tag between the armpits and knees constitutes capture. It is up to the discretion of the officials as to whether a flag fell or came off by being pulled, you are reminded to play until you hear the whistle.


  • If the flag belt is tied or illegally fastened it is a foul. Penalty: Player ejected from the game, play disallowed, loss of down, and 7-yard penalty from the previous spot. If the scoring player, a team member, or fan removes the flag belt or causes the belt to come off, (in the observance of an official) the score will not count and a 3-yard penalty will be assessed from the previous spot.
  • A kickoff will occur after all scores.


  • Ball carriers will not protect their flags by blocking with arms, hands, or the ball. Straight arming is a foul.
    Penalty: 7 yards from the spot of the foul and the down counts. If after a penalty, the ball did not advance beyond the 1st down marker and the foul occurred during the fourth down, the ball belongs to the opponents.


  • In an attempt to remove a flag, both player A (offensive player) and player B (defensive player) are responsible for avoiding head on collisions, however a player can "body up" on a player to remove a flag, but must refrain from contact with the player. Player B may contact the body and shoulders of player A with their hands, but player B cannot contact player A's face or any part of the neck or head. Player B may not hold, grasp, push, knock the ball carrier down, or obstruct forward progress in an attempt to remove the flag. Player B may not knock the ball loose after Player A has possession. Player B may not push out of bounds Penalty: 7 yards.


  • There are no fumbles. When a ball is dropped or inadvertently stripped from a player, play is dead at the spot of the drop and possession remains with the offensive team unless the down was an unsuccessful fourth.
  • One player can be in motion before the snap. They can move in any direction INCLUDING toward the line of scrimmage.


  • The following methods will be used in scoring a game:
    Touchdown: 6 points
    Field Goal: 3 points
    Safety: 2 points&
    Forfeited: Game 6 points
    Successful Point After Touchdowns:
    Running, passing or kicking from 5 yards- 1 point
    Running or passing from 10 yards- 2 points


  • A touchdown will be scored for the team that legally possesses the ball when a down is completed and any part of the ball is on, above, or behind the opponent's goal line.


  • After a team scores a touchdown, they will have an opportunity to score an additional one or two points. Teams will have one opportunity to run a play to score these points unless a penalty occurs. A team is given one choice as to whether they are going for one point or two and this decision cannot be changed, even if a penalty should occur. If you declare you are going for two points, the ball is placed at the 10 yard line, and even if a penalty should occur, the team will only be able to run or pass, and if successful no matter from what distance the value of the try is two points. The point(s) will be awarded if the try results in what would have been a touchdown or field goal under rules governing play at other times.
  • If an offsetting foul occurs during the down, the down will be replayed. When a distance penalty is incurred by the defensive team, during a successful try, the offensive team will accept the score with enforcement of the penalty from the yard mark where the receiving team kick returner's flag is captured.


  • When the ball is out-of-bounds behind a goal line (except from an incomplete forward pass) or when the ball becomes dead in possession of a player on, above, or behind the player's own goal line, it is a safety if the defending team is responsible for the ball being on or behind that goal line. Any team that scores a safety will receive possession of the ball. The opposing team will kick the ball from their own goal line.


  • No substitute will enter during a down. Between downs any number of eligible substitutes may replace players provided the substitution is completed by having the replaced players off the field before the ball becomes live. An incoming substitute must enter the field directly from his team area. A replaced player must leave the field at the sideline nearest his team area prior to the ball being snapped. Once a substitute has entered the game he must remain in for one play, unless his team calls a time out during which time the player may exit without penalty.
    Penalty: 7 or more players on the field during a live ball period is illegal participation and penalized 7 yards from the previous spot. Any team having a player exiting the field when the ball becomes live but does not participate in the play will be penalized 3 yards. A player who enters the game but does not remain for the requisite one play will also have his team penalized 3 yards.


  • During the same dead ball interval, no substitute will become a player then withdraw. No player will withdraw and then re-enter as a substitute unless a dead ball foul occurs or there is a charged time out or period ends.
    Penalty: 3 yards from previous spot


  • Each substitute player will be in uniform, ready for play, with flags in position. 
    Penalty: 7 yards from previous spot


  • During a down in which a legal forward pass is thrown, contact which interferes with an eligible receiver who is beyond five yards down field is pass interference unless it occurs when two or more eligible receivers make a simultaneous and bona fide attempt to reach, contact, or bat a pass. Only one touch of the receiver is allowed within the first five yards.


  • All ejections will be reviewed by the commissioners to determine whether further disciplinary action is necessary. See the standard facility rules for details.


  • A disqualified or ejected player must always leave the game and MUST physically leave the playing area. See the Metuchen Sportsplex general rules for more details.


  • If a team refuses to play after two consecutive delay of game fouls, or if play is interfered with by an obviously unfair or unsportsmanlike act not specifically covered by the rules, or if a team repeatedly commits fouls which can be penalized only by halving the distance to its goal line then the Referee may enforce any penalty he considers equitable, including the awarding of a score. For refusal to play, or for repeated fouls, the Referee will, after one warning and penalty, forfeit the game to the opponents.


  • No player will commit a personal foul during a period or an intermission. Whenever, in the judgement of any game Official, the following acts are deliberate or flagrant, the players involved will be ejected from the game.
  • No player will block in a manner that would cause his feet, knees, or legs to strike an opponent (all blocking will be with the feet in contact with the ground).
  • There will be no hurdling or diving to advance the ball. (A player may dive, jump or hurdle to avoid contact or injury.)
  • There will be no contact with an opponent who is on the ground
  • The runner will not be thrown to the ground
  • There will be no unnecessary roughness of any nature
  • The ball carrier will not deliberately drive or run into a defensive player
  • The defensive player will not deliberately drive or run into a ball carrier
  • Pushing into the boards
  • Abusive or insulting language
  • Any acts of unfair play
  • Managers, coaches or others on the field of play at any time
  • Interfering with a player or any play while the ball is live
  • Using a sleeperplay, by placing a player(s) near the sideline who were not within the huddle at the time of the ready-for-play signal
  • Attempting to substitute a suspended player and forfeiture of the game
  • Intentionally pulling or removing a flags from a players without the ball.
  • Roughing the kicker, quarterback, center, or holder.
  • The defensive player will not deliberately drive or run into the ball carrier nor will the offensive player deliberately drive or run into the defender
  • Any other flagrant, deliberate, or violent act
  • Fighting
  • Using locked hands, elbows, or any part of the forearm or hand, except according to rule
  • Tackling the ball carrier as in tackle football
  • Penalty: 7 yards, if flagrant, the offender will be ejected


  • When a foul occurs during a live ball, the Referee will, at the end of the down, notify the offended captain of his options. If the penalty is declined or there is a double foul, there is no loss of distance. A captain's choice of options may not be revoked. When a foul occurs during a dead ball between downs or prior to a free kick or snap, the ball does not become live. The Referee will notify the offended captain of his options. If the penalty is declined, the number of the next down will be whatever it would have been if that foul had not occurred.


  • If offsetting fouls occur during a down, that down will be repeated. Exception: If each team fouls during a down, in which there is a change of team possession, the team last gaining possession may retain the ball, provided its foul was not prior to the final change of possession and it declined the penalty for its opponents foul. When a live ball foul is followed by a dead ball foul by the opponent, the penalties are administered separately and in the order of occurrence.


  • The penalty for a foul between downs is enforced from the succeeding spot. A foul following a penalty incurred after a series ends and before the next series begins will be first down, but the zone line-to-gain will be established before the penalty is enforced.


  • Teammates of a runner or passer may interfere for him by blocking, but will not use interlocked interference by grasping or encircling one another in any matter.
  • THE OFFENSIVE BLOCK WILL BE LIMITED TO OPEN HANDS ONLY STYLE BLOCKING. Arms can extend outward to keep the defensive player away from the blocker. The block must be initiated on opponents chest or on either side. Any other block will be illegal. Contact that begins from behind, above the shoulders or below the waist is illegal. If the person being blocked presents their back to the blocker after a legal block was initiated, no foul shall be called. A blocker may use his hand or arm to break a fall or to retain his balance. A player must be on his feet before, during, and after blocking.
  • The offensive team will be prohibited from obstructing an opponent with extended hand or arm. This includes the use of a "stiff arm" extended to ward off an opponent attempting to deflag.
  • The ball carrier will not grasp a teammate or be grasped, pulled or pushed by a teammate.
  • Downfield blocking IS permitted, except on kickoffs.



  • Penalties for dead ball fouls are administered separately and in order of occurrence. Dead ball fouls are not coupled with live ball fouls or other dead ball fouls to create double or multiple fouls. All unsportsmanlike fouls are penalized separately, in addition to those occurring during a down by the same team.
  • When two or more live ball fouls are committed by the same team, only one penalty may be chosen except when a foul(s) for unsportsmanlike conduct follows a previous foul. In such a case, the penalty for the unsportsmanlike conduct is administered separately. The offended captain may choose which penalty will be administered or he may decline all penalties.
  • When both teams commit live ball fouls during the same live ball period and (a) there is no chance of team possession, or (b) there was a change of team possession and the team in possession at the end of the down had fouled prior to final change of possession, it is a double foul. In (a) or (b) the penalties cancel and the down is replayed. If both teams foul during a down where there is a change of team possession, the team last gaining possession may retain the ball, provided it did not foul prior to the final change of possession and it declined the penalty for its opponent's foul.


  • NCAA Rules will apply to all scrimmage fouls. (Examples- Encroachment, Lined up in neutral zone etc.)
    • Special Coed Rules- Male players cannot block female players. A penalty of 10 yards will be assessed.
      • Special Coed Rules- Every four downs an offensive female player must gain at least one yard in order for the offensive team to receive a first down. If a team has not used a female player and it is fourth down, the team will have three options- (1) Kick a field goal, (2) Use a female player to gain 1st down yardage, or (3) Use any player to score a touchdown. Turnover of possession is the penalty for acheiving 1st down yardage without using a female player.
      • Legal motion: One offensive player may be in motion in any direction including toward the opponents line of scrimmage. Other offensive players must be stationary in their positions without movement of the feet, body, head, or arms.
      • The offensive team must still have four men on the offensive line of scrimmage at the time of the snap.


      • In the event of a tie at the end of regulation, a "Kansas City" style overtime will be used. Each team will have 4 downs from the opponent's 10 yard line to score. On any down, if a pass attempt is intercepted, the possession automatically goes to the other team, and they then have 4 downs to try and score. A coin flip at the beginning of overtime will determine first possession.


      • Delay of game
      • Illegal substitution
      • Free kick infractions
      • False start
      • Any illegal act by the center
      • Encroachment (15-yards for second violation, when offensive team has 5 yards or less to go for a first down).
      • Less than 4 players on offensive line at snap
      • Illegal position at snap
      • Offense illegally in motion
      • Illegal shift
      • Illegally handing ball forward
      • Article of clothing covering portion of player's flag
      • Rushing between the guard-center gap on extra point try or field goal attempt (Automatic 1st down if infraction occurs on field goal attempt.)
      • Illegally pushing a player on your own team to advance the ball


      • Holding
      • Illegal block
      • Delaying start of either half
      • Interference with opponent or ball before snap
      • Offensive pass interference (the down is consumed in addition to the yardage)
      • Illegal forward pass
      • Illegal use of hands
      • Pushing the ball carrier
      • Illegally quick kicking the ball
      • Illegal contact
      • Illegal center block on PAT or field goal attempt
      • Offensive stiff arm
      • Striking, kicking, kneeing, tripping, clipping, hurdling, or hitting
      • Striking the head
      • Unsportsmanlike conduct by player or bench
      • Interlocked interference
      • Roughing the kicker, holder, passer or center (automatic first down)
      • Fighting
      • Illegal participation
      • Any listed unfair, unsportsmanlike, personal foul, or prohibited act.
      • Any player leaving the bench area during a fight, and if not actually involved in the fight, is ejected for that game. If any player is involved in the fight, event expulsion, in addition to the yardage penalty.


      • Defensive pass interference (automatic first down)
      • Flag guarding and the down is consumed
      • Fouls committed in the offensive backfield


      • Failure to play within one minute when ordered by the Referee
      • Repeatedly committing fouls in an attempt to delay the game
        Less than six players at game time or at any time during the game
      • Forfeiture of game is not a penalty, but an edict by the Referee.
      • Any flagrant foul, in addition to the yardage penalty, results in disqualification.
      • ANY fighting results in ejection of the combatants and possible suspension from Rockville Sportsplex leagues and events. See our general rules for more details.


BACK Any player who is legally behind that line when the ball is snapped.

BACKFIELD LINE To be legally in the backfield a Team A player's head must not break the plane of the line drawn through the waistline of the nearest Team A player (except snapper) on the line of scrimmage.

BACKWARD PASS A live ball thrown toward or parallel to the passer's end line. A pass continues to be a pass until it is caught or strikes the ground. A backward pass that hits the ground is ruled the same as a fumble, dead at the spot where it hits the ground.

BALL CARRIER Player in possession of a live ball. BALL READY FOR PLAY If time is in, a dead ball is ready for play when the Referee sounds the whistle and signals "ready for play". If time is out, a dead ball is ready for play when the Referee sounds the whistle and signals either "start the clock" or "ball ready for play.

BATTING Intentionally striking the ball with a hand or arm, or in other than a legal kick, with the leg or knee.

BETWEEN DOWNS Interval during which the ball is dead.

CATCH Act of establishing player possession of a live ball in flight. If a player attempts a catch while in the air, the ball MUST be in control when the player returns to the ground inbound.

CENTER Player who snaps the ball.

CLIPPING Running or diving into the back of an opponent; or Throwing or dropping the body across the back of the leg(s) of an opponent; or Pushing an opponent in the back

DEAD BALL A ball not in play.

DEAD BALL FOUL Point at which the ball last became dead.


DEFLAGGING Legal removal of a flag from an opponent in possession of the ball. Pushing, striking, holding, slapping or tripping is not permitted.

DISQUALIFIED PLAYER Player who becomes ineligible from further participation in the game.

DOWN Unit of the game which starts after the ball is ready for play, with a snap or a free kick and ends when the ball becomes dead.

EJECTED PLAYER Player who becomes ineligible from further participation in the game.

ENCROACHMENT The position of a player, except the snapper, any part of whose person is beyond their scrimmage line or their restraining line when the ball is about to be played.

ENFORCEMENT SPOT Point from which the penalty for a foul is enforced.

FAIR CATCH Catch of a free kick or scrimmage kick, which is beyond the neutral zone and between the goal line, by a player of the receiving team, who has signaled intention by extending one arm above his head and waving it from side to side more than once.

FORWARD PASS A live ball thrown towards the opponents goal line. A pass continues to be a pass until it is caught or strikes the ground. Only one forward pass per down.

FOUL Rule infraction for which a penalty is prescribed.

FREE KICK Kick made under restrictions which prohibit either team from advancing beyond established restraining lines until the ball is kicked. (e.g., kickoff after a safety or kickoff after a scoring play)

FUMBLE Loss of player possession other than by handing off, passing or kicking the ball. A fumble which hits the ground is immediately considered dead.

GOAL LINE A vertical plane separating an end zone from the field of play.

HANDING THE BALL Transferring player possession of the ball from one teammate to another without passing or kicking it.

HUDDLE Two or more offensive players grouped together after the ball is ready for play and before assuming scrimmage formation prior to the snap.

HURDLING An attempt by a runner who has both feet or both knees foremost, to jump over a player on the scrimmage line or a similar jump over an opponent who is on his feet at any place.

INBOUND SPOT The intersection of the nearer inbound line and the yard line passing through the dead ball spot.

INTERCEPTION Catch of an opponent's pass or fumble before it hits the ground. If a player attempts an interception while in the air, the ball MUST be in control when the player returns to the ground inbound.

KICKER Any player who makes a kick. The kicker is a runner until he actually kicks the ball.

KICKOFF A place kick followings a touchdown or field goal. Unless changed by penalty, kickoffs are from K's 40 yard line. Kickoffs, which are muffed, MUST be possessed. Muffed kickoffs may be advanced by R, but only recovered by K. LINEMAN Any player, on his scrimmage line, when the ball is snapped.

LIVE BALL A ball in play. A pass, kick, or fumble which has not yet touched the ground is a live ball in flight and therefore recoverable by either team.

LOOSE BALL A LIVE ball, not in player possession during a running play; or a scrimmage or free kick, before possession is gained; or the interval after a legal forward pass is touched, becomes complete, incomplete or intercepted.

LOSS OF DOWN Loss of the right to repeat the down.

NEUTRAL ZONE Space between the two free kick lines during a free kick and between the two lines of scrimmage during a scrimmage down. It is the width of a football and is established when the ball is ready for play.

MUFF Touching a ball while unsuccessfully attempting to catch or recover it. All muffs which strike the ground are dead. Kickoffs, however, MUST be possessed.

OFFENSIVE TEAM Team in possession, or the team to which the ball belongs.

OUT-OF-BOUNDS SPOT The point at which the ball becomes dead because of going or being declared out-of-bounds.

PASS Throwing the ball. A pass continues to be a pass until caught, intercepted, or the ball becomes dead.

PASSER The player who has thrown a legal pass. He remains the passer while the ball is in flight.

PENALTY A loss imposed, by rule, upon a team which has committed a foul.

PLAYER Any one of the participants in the game at any particular time.

POSSESSION A player is in possession when he is BOTH holding and controlling the ball. A team is in possession when one of its players is in possession; while a punt is being attempted; while a forward pass, thrown by one of its players, is in flight; or during a fumble, backward pass, or illegal forward pass.

PREVIOUS SPOT Point from which the ball was last put into play.

PROTECTED KICK Scrimmage kick by Team A which is made under the restrictions which prohibits either team from advancing beyond the neutral zone until the ball is kicked.

PUNT Kicking the ball by the player who drops it and kicks it before it strikes the ground.

RECOVERY Securing possession of a live ball after it strikes the ground. If a player attempts recovery while in the air, the ball MUST be in control when the player returns to the ground inbound.

SCRIMMAGE The interplay of the two teams during a down in which play begins with a snap and ends when the ball next becomes dead.

SCRIMMAGE KICK Kick by Team A during a scrimmage down, other than a "free kick", before team possession changes.

SCRIMMAGE LINE Yard line, and its vertical plane, which passes through the point of the ball nearest its own goal line. To be on the line of scrimmage an offensive lineman's head must break the plane of the line drawn through the waistline of the snapper.

SHIFT Simultaneous change of position by two or more offensive players after the ball is ready for play and before the snap.

SNAP Handing or passing the ball back from the position on the ground through the legs. The movement must be a quick and continuous motion of the hand(s) during which the ball actually leaves the hand(s). The ball may not be raised to move more than a 45 degree angle at the snap and the long axis of the ball must be at right angles to the scrimmage line.

SNAPPER Player who snaps the ball.

SPOT OF THE FOUL The point at which that foul occurs. If the ball is out-of-bounds between the goal lines, it will be the intersection of the nearer inbound line and the yard line extended through the spot of the foul.

SUBSTITUTE A replacement for a player or player vacancy.

SUCCEEDING SPOT As related to a foul, the point at which the ball would have been put in play if that foul had not occurred.

TEAM A Team which puts the ball in play.

TEAM B Opponent of Team A.

TEAM K Team which kicks the ball.

TEAM R Team which receives the kick.

TOUCHING The ball carrier is simultaneously placing both hands anywhere between the armpits and knees of an opponent with the ball. This includes the ball in the ball carrier possession. The feet of the toucher may leave the ground to make a touch. Pushing, striking, slapping, or holding is not permitted. If the player trips the ball carrier in his attempt to make a diving tag it is a penalty.

TRIPPING Using, the lower leg, foot, or arm extended in an obvious manner to obstruct an opponent (including the ball carrier) below the knee.

YARD LINE Is defined as any line in the field of play parallel to the end lines and between the goal lines.

Please read the SMG waiver of liability.