Flag Football Regulations


The Intramural sport convener may modify these rules at their discretion. The Intramural sport convener and officials have the discretion to rule on any matter not covered by these rules.

Click here for Intramurals eligibility rules.

Number of Players

• A team must field seven players (maximum roster size = 17 [including at least 3 of each gender for coed leagues] for all leagues and tournaments).
• 7 people begin on the field at the start of each game. Each team must have a minimum of 3 players of each gender (M/F) on the field.
• In cases where teams only have 2 of a particular gender, they must play shorthanded (i.e., 6 [4M:2F] vs. 7), you may not replace the missing person with someone of the opposite gender. If this is not possible, the offending team will default.
• In order to play, a team must have a minimum of 6 players, (including a minimum of 2 of each gender) ready to play at game time.

The Game


In General, our rules are governed by FFC. Please see our House Rules below for exceptions.

I. A game consists of two twenty-minute halves (as long as time permits) with a running clock, with a five minute half-time break and with no overtime during the regular season.
II. A game may be shortened because of delays or abandoned at the discretion of the referee or league manager (who shall act as referee in chief in the case of an incident).
III. Substitutions are allowed only when the ball is dead.
IV. Huddles - twenty seconds maximum, the huddle begins when the referee places the ball down and ends when the ball is snapped. The ball must be put in play before the 20 seconds elapses and the referee blows whistle. Time starts when the referee puts the ball down after the cones have been moved. 
V. Teams are permitted one time out per half. The time out will be one minute from the time called, and will be stopped time.

Series of Downs

I. The field is divided into 4 zones, 20 yards each. A team has three downs to advance the ball to the next zone for a first down. If the offensive team receives a penalty which causes the LOS (Line of Scrimmage) to be moved backwards across a zone line, the team must cross the zone line it would normally have (if it had not received the penalty) to attain its next first down.


I. Touchdown - is worth 6 points, results when a team moves the ball into the end zone of the opposing team by completing a pass or carrying the ball.
II. Convert (1 or 2 points) - is attempted only and always after scoring a touchdown. Is scored in the same manner that a touchdown is scored. For a two-point convert the ball is scrimmaged 10 yards from the end zone. A 1 point convert is scrimmaged from the 5 yard line.
III. Single (1 point) - results when a punt travels through the end zone or a punt receiver catches the ball in the end zone and the ball becomes dead before the receiver leaves the end zone.
IV. A single does not result when - a kick-off goes in the end zone and then out of bounds without being touched. An interception occurs in the end zone and the ball carrier is flagged, runs out of bounds, fumbles, or concedes the play. After the single point the team that was scored upon scrimmages from the 10-yard line.
V. Safety touch (2 points) results when - a punt is blocked in the kicking teams end zone. The ball is passed or carried into a team’s own end zone by that team and the ball becomes dead for any reason. This includes a fumble into a team’s own end zone if at some time during the play; the team had possession outside the end zone. After a safety touch the team scored upon kicks off from their 15-yard line.
VI. Defaults - the score will be recorded as 14 - 0.
Coed Rules: If a woman scores a touchdown, it is worth 9 points. Converts scored by women are worth one extra point (i.e. 2 points from 5 yards or 3 points from 10 yards). Touchdowns scored by men are worth 6 points (converts 1 and 2).


I. All players are eligible receivers, and may move down field upon the snap of the ball.
II. There is absolutely no blocking by the offensive team at any time.
III. There is unrestricted motion in the backfield.
IV. The QB (Quarterback) must verbally signal the snap of the ball.
V. The ball must be snapped from the center but does not have to be snapped though the legs. If snapped sideways, the center must be behind the line of scrimmage and the ball must be snapped from the ground.
VI. The player receiving the snap must be at least 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. (mandatory 5-yard shotgun).
VII. Upon the snap of the ball the QB may run or pass. If the defensive team decides not to rush, the QB must wait 10 steamboats before crossing LOS as counted by the referee.  

Coed Rules:

 The Quarterback must wait for the 5 steamboats to elapse before rushing if the defensive team is rushing. If the defensive team decides not to rush, the QB must wait 10 steamboats before crossing the LOS.
IX. For every three downs each team must pass to a female at least once. An excessively errant pass in "the direction" of a female player as judged by game officials will result in loss of down, and not fulfill this requirement. At no time will teams be allowed to progress the ball forward on three consecutive downs without inclusion of a female athlete. Punt type kicks do not count toward this count. Failure to comply with these regulations will result in loss of possession.
X. All offensive players must avoid the designated rusher.

Forward Passes

I. A forward pass is a live ball thrown towards the opponent’s endline, and must originate from behind the line of scrimmage.
II. A backward pass or lateral is a live ball thrown toward or parallel to the passer’s endline, and may occur at any time during the play.
III. Only one forward pass may be attempted during a down.
IV. If a player down field delivers the ball in a forward direction either intentionally or accidentally and an opposing player gains possession of the ball before it touches the ground, the opposing player maintains possession and the play continues.


I. The defense may designate one player as a rusher. This player must indicate (by raising their hand) that he is the rusher and choose which side of centre to rush from BEFORE the offence lines up at the line of scrimmage.
II. The designated rusher (DR) is the defensive player indicated by the defensive captain to the referee and the opposing team.
III. The rusher must be beside the cone which is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage until the snap.
IV. The rusher has the right to an unobstructed direct path to the quarterback, except when he is more than 5 yards wide of centre.
V. The rusher must cross the line of scrimmage on the same side of centre that he chose before the play.
VI. Any other defensive player may line up no closer than one yard from the line of scrimmage. Any defensive player may cross the line of scrimmage, provided that the designated rusher is first across the line.
VII. After the snap of the ball the DR may cross the LOS. (immediately for Men’s, after 5 steamboats for Coed). Once he/she has crossed the LOS, all defensive players may also cross the LOS.
VIII. A defensive player cannot hold the offensive player with one hand and pull the flag with the other.
IX. A defensive player may not use his/her hands on the ball carrier to slow them, push them off balance or cut them off.
X. Defensive players may not bump a receiver at any time.
XI. If the defensive team decides not to rush, the QB must wait 10 steamboats before crossing the LOS.

Use of Flags

I. No garment may hang over, under or near the belt and flags in such a way to make it difficult to pull the flag. Any loose portion of the flag belt must be tucked in.
II. When a flag is removed from the ball carrier, the ball is dead at that point.
III. If the ball carrier’s flag drops which is not the result of a tackling attempt, the game becomes one hand touch.
IV. If a flag drops as a result of a tackling attempt further down the field, the ball is dead where the flag drops.
V. The ball carrier may not protect his/her flag by holding it, or swinging her/her arm at the point.
VI. It is the player’s responsibility to make sure both flags are worn properly prior to each play.
VII. Flags cannot be wrapped around the belt; they must hang from the velcro.


I. Kick-offs are from the 15 yard line; the restraining line is at center field. There must be at least 3 players from the receiving team on the restraining line.
II. If the point of kick-off is moved as a result of a penalty, the restraining line is moved accordingly.
III. There is no on-side kick-offs (kicks less than 10 yards recovered by the kicking team).
IV. The kicking team must maintain a 5 yard restraining zone on both punts and kick-offs.
V. If a kick-off travels less than 10 yards before touching the ground it becomes dead where it first touches the ground.
VI. If a kick-off goes out of bounds on the sides before touching the ground the receiving team scrimmages from half. If the kick-off goes out of bounds one the sides after touching the ground the receiving team scrimmages from where the ball exited the playing field.
VII. If a kick-off is fielded in the end zone and becomes dead for any reason, within the end zone (this includes the ball carrier running out of bounds); the kicking team is awarded a single point. The receiving team scrimmages the ball from the 10 yard line.
VIII. The punting team must declare that they are punting before the play begins.
IX. The designated rusher rule still applies.
X. The punter may be touched and downed in the backfield prior to beginning his/her motion to punt.
XI. However, once the punter has begun the motion, the rusher cannot make any attempt to block the punt.
XII. Blocking punts is absolutely prohibited. The rusher has to go for the flag not the block. Therefore the rusher’s hands cannot go above their shoulders on ANY rush.
XIII. If a punt goes in the end zone and becomes dead for any reason, a single point is awarded to the kicking team.
XIV. On kick-offs and punts, all receiving players ahead of the ball carrier must remain motionless once the ball is caught, until the ball carrier has passed them.

Fumbles & Space Deadballs

I. If the ball hits the ground at any time, it is dead with the following exceptions:
• during the exchange from the center to the QB or kicker.
II. The ball becomes dead (i.e. the play is stopped) when:
• the ball carrier places at least one foot on or outside the sideline or endline;
• the play is dead at the point where both of the ball carriers feet leave the ground;
• the ball carrier touches the ground with at least one knee;
• a pass is incomplete.
III. Out of bounds rules will be the same as CFL and CIS (only 1 foot is required to be in bounds to be considered a catch).

Last Five Plays

I. The referee shall keep time. At the last 3 minutes in the half, the referee shall signal that there shall be 5 plays from the next first down (i.e. if the 3 minute mark is reached and it is only 2nd down that series of downs must be completed then 5 more plays to end the half).
II. If a foul creates a repeated down during the last 5 plays it is not considered an additional play.
III. If a major suspension penalty occurs during this time the player is given an additional game suspension.


I. Penalties can be accepted or declined based by the team that did not commit the infraction.
II. If the offense commits an infraction in their own end zone, the defense is awarded a safety.
III. If a team commits an infraction when the LOS is on its own 1 yard line:
a. Offensive infraction= loss of down on 1st and 2nd downs.
b. Offensive infraction= 3rd down defensive choice to kick or turnover on downs.
c. Defensive infraction= down repeated unless penalty calls for automatic first down.
IV. If a penalty is issued on or outside the 15-yard line and the yardage is to be applied toward the closest goal line, the penalty yardage may not exceed one-half the distance to the goal(space)line (except pass interference at point of infraction with 1-yard line). All penalty yardage assessed is from Line of Scrimmage.
V. Converts - any personal foul resulting during a convert attempt will be assessed on the following kick-off.
a. if the defense commits an infraction and the convert attempt failed the offense repeats the attempt.
b. if the offense commits an infraction, the convert point is not awarded regardless of the outcome of the convert attempt.






Jumping/Spinning with Ball → Call dead upon infraction

Dead Ball at Spot & next down

Dead Ball at Spot

Offside (Offense) → Immediately called on snap

5 yards back & repeat down

Ball remains at same spot & next down 

Offside (Defense) → Play Continues

5 yards forward & repeat down

Result of play & next down

Blocking the Rusher → Play Continues

10 yards back & repeat down

Result of play & next down

Illegal Rush (Defense) → Play continues

10 yards back & repeat down

Result of play & next down

Illegal Run (Offense)1 → Play Called Dead

5 yards back & repeat down

Ball remains at same spot & next down

Pass Interference (Defensive)2 → Play continues

15 yards forward or Point of Infraction & automatic first down

Result of play & automatic first down

Pass Interference (Offensive)2 → Play continues

15 yards back from line of scrimmage & repeat down

Result of play & next down

Objectionable Conduct (Defensive)

15 yards forward & automatic first down

Result of play & automatic first down

Objectionable Conduct (Offensive)

15 yards back & next down

Result of play & next down

Flag Guarding → Call dead upon infraction

10 yards back from point of infraction3 next proper down   (See note 3)

Dead ball at spot & next down

Holding (Offensive) → Play Continues

5 yards back & repeat down

Result of play & next down

Holding (Defensive) within 5 yards of Line of Scrimmage→ Play Continues

5 yards forward & repeat down

Result of play & next down

Holding (Defensive) beyond 5 yards of Line of Scrimmage (Illegal   Contact on a Receiver)4 → Play Continues

10 yards forward & repeat down

Result of play & next down

Roughing the Passer/Kicker → Play Continues

15 yards forward & automatic first down

Result of play & automatic first down

Time Count Violation → Play Stops

5 yards back & repeat down

Ball same spot & next down

Delay of Game5 → Play Stops, penalty automatically applied

5 yard penalty (whichever team committed the infraction) & repeat   down


Intentional Grounding → Play Stops

10 yards back & Loss of down

Ball same spot & loss of down

No Yards6 (Ball Caught in Air) → Play Continues

15 yards forward from end of play


No Yards6 (Ball off the Ground) → Play continues unless unsafe to do so

5 yards forward from end of play


Intentional Tackling

Automatic Ejection



10 yards from play result


1When the quarterback who wasn’t rushed runs prior to the 10 seconds being completed
2To be judged by the official; Pass interference occurs when either player physically contacts an opponent creating separation, redirects, restricts or impedes an opponent in a manner that is visually evident and materially affects the opponent’s opportunity to play the ball. A player who has gained position shall not be considered to have impeded or restricted the opponent in a prohibited manner if all such actions are a bona fide effort to go to and play the ball
3If first down is gained prior to infraction then first down is awarded
4Defensive holding is grabbing the receiver to prevent them from running their route.
5Intentionally taking Time Count Violation Penalties, taking too long to switch flags out for players on the bench.
6No Yards only applicable on Punts


• Flags, flag belts, footballs and a kicking tee will be provided.
• Molded cleats are permitted, two flags (2 x 18 inches) must be worn by each player (1 on each hip), no player may wear casts, braces or other equipment on their hands, wrists, forearms or elbows. Tape and tensor bandages may be used. No equipment may be worn which is designed to soften the blow received from contact with others, protective equipment such as volleyball kneepads are permitted.
• It is important that all players bring both a white and dark shirt with them to all games. Generally the Home Team will be expected to wear white and the Away Team will be expected to wear dark. Any team that has a set of matching jerseys will be given priority to wear them regardless of if they are the Home Team or Away Team. If both teams present have jerseys of a similar colour then it is the home team that will be given preference and the away team will be expected to change. No gray or red shirts.


• There is no overtime process for regular season games. Games ending in a tie will be recorded as such.
• In the result of a tie in the playoffs, teams will move to a shoot-out format. Teams will take turns completing conversions. Initially the ball will be placed at the 5 yard line and after each round that it is still tied the ball will be moved back 5 yards. This will continue until one team scores and the other fails to do so.


• Format will be determined by the Intramural sport convener based on weather and field conditions.


Campus Recreation Intramural Sports at Western University holds sportsmanship as “Our Golden Rule of Sport”. Sportsmanship is a great tradition in sports and competition that means playing clean, handling both victory and defeat with grace, style, and dignity, respecting the judgment of referees and officials, and treating opponents with respect. Sportsmanship is a style and an attitude, and it can have a positive influence on everyone around you.

Weather & Playing Field Conditions

• Games will continue to be played during all weather conditions except: if thunder is heard, games will be suspended for 15 minutes. If no thunder or lightning are seen or heard in the 15 minutes, games will continue. If thunder and lightning persist, games will be cancelled and rescheduled, if possible. If lightning is seen, games will be immediately cancelled and rescheduled, if possible.
• Field conditions will be monitored by Intramural staff who may suspend games at any time if they believe the field is unplayable.
• When in doubt, players should expect the game to be played and arrive at the field on time. If games get/are to be cancelled the sport convener will send out a message to those affected as soon as the decision to cancel has been made.

Game Reschedules

I. Cancelled Games (due to weather, space conflicts etc.) will be rescheduled whenever possible to ensure you get the Intramural experience you paid for, however facility availability is limited, and games may not always be able to be rescheduled.
II. Team Requests for a Reschedule - Unfortunately, once our schedules are released online we only make changes due to facility closure, etc.
III.If you need to reschedule a game, email your opponent to gain their permission to a possible rescheduling. Only if the opponent agrees to a change of game time can you email your Intramural sport convener at least 48 hours prior to the game with your request (and proof of opponent’s agreement). Requests will be accommodated when possible, but are not guaranteed. If you wish to swap game times with another game in your division, you must contact the captains of all teams involved in the game swap. The swap can only occur if all parties agree. This must be completed at least 48 hours prior to the originally scheduled game. Proof of all agreements must be sent to the Sport Convener before the game time swap can be executed.
IV. Forfeit the game: If you give at least 48 hours’ notice to your sport specific convener that your team won't be playing and that the game is a ‘forfeit’. You will lose the game, but not your Performance Bond.