League Rules

Varsity Flag Fall Youth League Rules

30x60 with two 10-yard end zones. Fixed first downs at 20/40/20 yard lines.

Rubber cleats are suggested. Belt or flags must not be covered by the player's jersey. No hard casts, helmets or jewelry of any kind.

6U, 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U divisions: 7 on 7

If one team has less than the required number of players, the team with the opposing team can decide to play with a full team or match the other team (for example: the game can be played 7 on 5).

Two 24-minute halves with running time and one 2-minute warning in the second half. During the 2-minute warning, the clock becomes standard rules and stops for a change of possession, incomplete pass, out of bounds play, penalty, and first downs. The clock doesn’t start again until the ball is set, and the whistle is blown by the official.

Cancellations due to weather will be posted on the Varsity Flag website by 8:00 AM on Sundays.

Standings will be updated on the Varsity Flag website on Mondays.

All teams make the playoffs. Playoff schedule to be provided towards the end of the regular season.

Winning team chooses to receive the ball, defer or which endzone to defend.

One coach is allowed in the huddle. The team with the ball starts at their own 20-yard line and has three downs to get a first down or the ball gets walked down to the defensive team’s 20-yard line and they take over. In the case of an interception, the defense can advance the ball and will take over at spot.

There is no offensive blocking at any time (10 yards from the spot and loss of down). No picks (same penalty). On defense, there is no defensive bumping of receivers, no contact to break up a pass, no contact prior to pulling the flag, and no holding the ball carrier prior to pulling the flag. ALL of these will result in an automatic first down and a "Contact Penalty" (determined by referees’ discretion). Two Contact penalties in a game will result in an ejection for the player. Two ejections will result in a suspension of the player.

  1. The referee sets the ball, blows the whistle, and the offense has 30 seconds to snap the ball or it will result in a delay of game (five yard penalty). 
  2. The offense has six seconds for the ball (pass or run) to cross the line of scrimmage.  The ball is blown dead after six seconds and will be marked at the spot like a sack. The offense can only run the ball one play per set of downs (at the 6U level only the offense may run the ball twice per set of downs). Laterals and backward passes behind the line of scrimmage are considered run plays. A lateral or backward pass over the line of scrimmage is not considered a run play.
  3. If the ball is not thrown past the line of scrimmage by the QB, then it is a run play. Once an offense is in the Red Zone, this is considered a pass play. No player can lateral or handoff ANYTIME in the Red Zone, including after a reception. A ball carrier cannot shield their flag belt
    or stiff-arm (spot foul plus 10-yard penalty and loss of down). The ball must be snapped between the legs of the center. The receiver must have two feet inbounds.
  4. A ball carrier cannot run over the defender (charging penalty, spot foul and 10-yard penalty, loss of down). If the ball carrier falls to the ground, he can get up unless he's tagged with one hand while on the ground. If the ball carrier loses their flag belt it becomes a one hand
    touch. 
  5. The spot of the ball in flag football is the body, not the ball. There is no diving to advance the ball and that is defined as leaving your feet and not landing on your feet (10 yards from spot and loss of down.) Otherwise, the offense must wait for the ref to say "Call Your Play". The on-field coach must be out of the way at the time of the snap.
  6. The spot of the ball in flag football is the body, not the ball. There is no diving to advance the ball and that is defined as leaving your feet and not landing on your feet (10 yards from spot and loss of down.) "Hurry-up" offense is allowed only in the 17U and 14U divisions. Otherwise, the offense must wait for the ref to say "Call Your Play." The on-field coach must be out of the way at snap.

The QB is allowed to move 5 yards laterally, left or right. This is called the “pocket.” Only one(1) rusher may pursue him. If the QB is flagged inside the pocket, it is a sack, not a run play. Once the QB is outside the pocket, any defender may rush him and when he’s flagged, it counts as the run play.

Ball is dead anytime it hits ground, including bad snaps (loss of down).

Each team gets two timeouts per game.

  1. The referee lines up next to the pass rusher. The defense has one rusher who lines up five yards off of the line of scrimmage and waits for an official to count "three Mississippi" before rushing. If the rusher comes in early, it is a free play. The offense will choose the play or a 5-yard penalty.
  2. If it is a run play, then all players can rush.
  3. The one rusher is not allowed in the secondary. He must rush or stay on the line of
    scrimmage. 
  4. The secondary can line up on the line of scrimmage but it can't rush unless it is a run play. 
  5. If the QB rolls out more than five yards to his left or right (official’s judgment) from the point of a snap or drop back at any time, then the rusher can come in and will be released by the ref. 
  6. The secondary is not allowed to bump receivers or use contact to break up pass plays (automatic first down at the spot of the foul). The defender cannot hold the jersey (automatic first down plus a 10-yard penalty) in order to pull the flag and cannot tackle the ball carrier (automatic first down plus a 10-yard penalty).
  7. A tackle or jersey hold that prevents a touchdown will be called a touchdown.
  8. The defense can go offsides on purpose and there is no decline allowed by the offense.

Additional Information

Pass only (no laterals or handoffs after the pass). One point from the 3-yard line. Two points from the 10-yard line. Three points from the 15-yard line. Interceptions rule the play dead.

Two points and defense takes over on their own 20-yard line.

If at any time a team is losing by 18 pts, that team gets an extra down on offense and an extra run play per set of downs. If any time in the second half a team is leading by 36 points, then the game is over.

There are no ties. If the game ends and the score is tied the following takes place:

  • Each team gets one play from the 20-yd line. The longest play wins. Pass only. No run plays.
  • You have a coin toss and the winner opts for offense or defense. The winner gets one point added to the score.
  • Negative yards count.
  • In the playoffs: The longest yard rule does not apply. There is a coin flip and the winner chooses offense or defense first. Then it is played out from the Red Zone. Each team
    gets equal chances.
  • The ball must be thrown over the line of scrimmage by the QB or it is a run play.
  • Interception in the end zone is dead.
  • Once in the Red Zone, there are no run plays, laterals or double passes. The only acceptable play is the QB throwing the ball over the line of scrimmage.
  • If the QB rolls out more than five yards, the rusher may come in.
  • Offensive players cannot run alongside the ball carrier.
  • There is no left or right rule, but the center cannot impede the path of the rusher.
  • The coin toss options for the winner are: ball, direction or defer. If a team defers, then they can wind up going the same direction or starting on defense in each half.
  • Fields must be left clean.