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Football Rules

BAM Sports Leagues Flag Football Rules and Regulations


  • Game is 7v7. Teams must field at least 5 and no more than 7 players.
  • A team must field at least 4 of its own players to begin a game.
  • Teams must have at least 2 females on the field, and no more than 5 males at all times.
  • If 1 female is fielded, the team may only have a maximum of 6 people on the field.
  • If 0 females are present, the team must forfeit unless opposing team allows it.


  • Game is two 25 minute halves. Running clock until the final 2 minutes of each half.
  • Clock continues to run if a team is winning by more than 18 points.
  • Each team is allowed 3 timeouts per game.
  • 25 Second Play Clock.
  • 6 points for a touchdown. 1 pt conversion from 5 yd line. 2 pt conversion from 10 yd line.
  • First down at the 20 yard lines.
  • Referee will count out loud Five Mississippi rush count.
  • No diving to get a first down or touchdown, 5-yard penalty will be assessed.


  • Teams must use a female player as an operative player within 3 consecutive downs.
  • Ball must be ran by, thrown to, or thrown by a female to count as a gender play.


  • Shirts must be tucked in, shorts or pants with pockets are NOT allowed.
  • No metal cleats!


Ball must be snapped by the center to the quarterback. New possession - ball starts on the 5-yard line. All offensive players (except motion player) must be set for one full second before ball is snapped. The man in motion must be continuing in a parallel motion or backward motion to the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap. All other players must be on the line or behind their backfield line.


The center must hike the ball to the QB. The center may hike it�?�¢??under center, shotgun, or sideways hike (where you throw underhand to the QB by facing sideways). The center MUST hike the ball�?�¢?�?�¦

no keeping it and sneaking it. The center may not go past the line of scrimmage to receive a pass, however they may run BEHIND the QB to receive a pass and they may then throw the ball downfield.

Defensive Pass Rusher

A defender must stay at the line of scrimmage. He/she cannot drop into coverage. If a team does not have someone at the line of scrimmage it is a 5-yard penalty.

Crossing the line of scrimmage:

After the 5 Mississippi count, the defense can rush.

The quarterback may not run until the defense crosses the line of scrimmage.

The quarterback is only allowed to scramble past the line of scrimmage to gain yardage ONCE per possession. If the ball changes possession in the backfield the defense may rush immediately.


A punt must be declared before it is executed. All punts are "free" punt, as they may not be blocked. Fake punts are not allowed.

Punts are "Open" plays and may be executed by a male or female player.

The punting team does not have to snap the ball before punting. All punts must be kicked. The team punting the ball may not cross the line of scrimmage until the ball has been punted. The is no minimum number of players that must be on the line of scrimmage at the time the punt is executed.

Downfield blocking after the punt is not allowed.

A caught punt is a live ball and may be returned up field.

A punted ball that douches the ground is a dead ball.

A punt kicked through the endzone will be spotted on the ten (10) yard line.

A punt downed in the endzone by the receiving team will be spotted on the ten (10) yard line.


No "blocking" is allowed. This includes downfield "blocking" during an offensive play. All players must try to avoid contact with any player on the football field. Offensive players may not run in front of a player with the ball. Offensive players may run behind the player with the ball to receive a lateral.


1. Open/Gender Play:

Teams must use a female as an operative player within three consecutive downs. An open play will be called by the referee if a gender play is not required on the current play. For an open play, the ball may be advanced by either a male or female player. If a female was not used within two downs, then the forced gender rule is put into effect. This means that a female must be used in the next play.

2. Forced Gender Play:

A female can be used on any play; however when the offense has not used a female/operative player within the last two plays, the next play must be a forced gender play. The operative player here is a female who is seen as the intended receiver in the eyes of the official, runs the ball, or acts as the quarterback. Once a female is used in any play then the gender count is reset. If the QB is sacked or fumbles the snap on a forced gender play, the play counts as a gender play. The gender rule is not in effect during extra points or punts.

3. Gender Play:

1. A pass thrown to a female.
2. A pass intended for a female that is deflected by a woman, and is caught by a male.
3. A pass is deflected by a male and caught by a female.
4. A female lines up as quarterback and throws a pass to a male or female.

5. A female receives a hand off and runs.

4. NOT a Gender Play:
1. A female receives a hand off only to hand it back to a male behind the line of scrimmage.

2. A female snaps the ball into play.
3. A male QB intentionally throws the ball into the ground at the feet of a woman.
4. A female QB that grounds the ball.
5. A female QB throws a pass that is caught behind the line of scrimmage.

5. Penalty on Gender Play:

If the foul is on the offensive player, the penalty will be assessed and the next play will be gender.
If the foul is on the defensive team, the offense will have 3 options: 1) Take the penalty and repeat the gender play. 2) Take the penalty and the next play will be open. 3) Decline the penalty.


  • Complete/Incomplete Pass: A forward pass is completed when caught by any player of the passing team who has at least one-foot in-bounds. If opponents catch the pass in-bounds simultaneously, the ball belongs to the passing team at the spot of the catch.
  • Turnovers: A change of possession can only occur due to downs, or an interception on a forward pass. A fumble is not a turnover (the ball is DEAD at the spot of the fumble).


No flag guarding. Ball will be dead at the spot of the foul.

Any ball-carrier who has a flag or both flags missing for whatever reason (falls out, accidentally pulled before reception, not noticed before snap, etc.) will be down at the first point receiving a pass.


  • All fumbles will be considered dead balls.
  • Any dropped lateral pass will be considered a dead ball.
  • Once the ball carries knee is down the play is considered over


In the Playoffs, a coin toss will determine which team receives possession first. Teams will attempt to score in the same end zone. Each team will then have four downs to score from half field. If a team scores, they will have the opportunity to go for one or two. A female must be used once within those four downs. Interceptions will result in a turnover and may not be returned for any points. If a tie occurs after the first round, then teams will repeat using the same format (only during playoffs). However, the team that defended first is now on offense first. The game will be decided when one team scores more points in the round. No first downs will be awarded except in the case of a penalty.


Penalties are assessed as either 5 yards & 10 yards, depending on the severity of the infraction. An exception is the Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalty.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalty - 15 yards. This includes grabbing and holding a player, tackling or pushing, abusive or insulting language to another player or referee. If penalty is after the touchdown it will be assessed on the conversion. If the penalty is severe you may be ejected from the game with no warning.

5-yard Penalties:

  • Diving.
  • Offsides.
  • Crossing the line of scrimmage early.
  • False Start-All offensive players must be set for one second prior to snapping the ball.
  • Picks/Blocking, no contact.
  • Delay of game.
  • Incidental Illegal Contact.

10-yard Penalties:

  • Picks/Blocking, with contact.
  • Intentional Illegal Contact Ã??Ã?¢?? From spot of foul if penalty is on the defense + automatic 1st down, from line of scrimmage if penalty is on the offense.

Spot Fouls

  • Pass Interference and Flag Guarding

Playoff Tie-Breakers

The number of teams to make the playoffs could vary each season.

To determine the standings at the end of the regular season, the tie-breakers are as follows:

1. Head to Head

2. Point Differential

3. Strength of Victory against common opponents

4. Strength of Schedule


Flag Football will be played rain or shine! In case of severe weather, we will try to update you at least one hour prior to your game time if a cancellation is necessary. We will send out an email to all participants.

Non-Roster Subs

If a team will be short-handed, non-roster Subs must register online before the game and sign the waiver. A team using non-roster subs cannot have more than 7 players unless needed to satisfy the gender rules. A team must have at least 4 official roster players to avoid a forfeit.  Go to http://www.bamsportsleagues.com/pages/registerasub and choose "Non-Roster Sub Registration". The Sub must present their registration confirmation to the Umpire or League Manager before the start of the game. Failure to follow the sub registration process may result in the disqualification of subs and forfeiture of the game.

*Non-Roster subs are NOT allowed during playoffs*

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