Flag Football

5 Man Rules



Breaking these rules will result in Head Coach ejection and forfeit of game.  ALL BASEBALL FIELDS ARE TURF, and some FLAG FIELDS ARE TURF.

5 Man Rules


UPDATED 8/1/2019

"Saying you didnt know it was a rule does not excuse you from it" said any judge


If a coach or Parent is ejected from a game for any abusive behavior towards another parent, coach, player, or umpire that parent AND his child will be suspended for that game plus 1 additional game. This accountability rule is in place to make the parents know if they go to far it will effect their kids, their team, and the other familes. This same CODE OF CONDUCT applies for a coach that is caught cheating by playing player(s) that are not on the official roster.  The Farm league's goal is to make softball a fun experience for everyone ion the bench and in the stands.


  • Official NFL Flag jerseys must be worn during play.

  • Shorts and flags must be contrasting colors.

  • Cleats are allowed, except for metal spikes. Inspections must be made.

  • Optional protective mouthpiece is allowed
  • GIRLS: as of Nov 2023: no butterfly/aerie style shorts allowed. They fold over the flag and we can't call holding when this happens.  Also interferes with actually pulling the flag.  How they flow over the flag makes it where the entire shorts can get pulled down.  
    Please use the shorts we provide or if you want other colors that’s fine, just not this type of short. Bad for the game and extremely embarrassing potentially.


  • Types of footballs allowed:
    • 3rd and younger: K2 or NFL ball given
    • 4-5th : TDJ or NFL Ball given
    • 6th older: TDY or NFL ball given
    • Teams playing UP a grade must use the grade level ball
    • Teams can always use a larger ball but not a smaller one
    • GIRLS FLAG: all use K2 or NFL ball given

  • HOME TEAM WEARS DARK JERSEYS. At the time of the coin toss the coaches can decide to flip for jersey color in case of a conflict
  • All teams must use the NFL flags provided for teams with jerseys. No other flags can be used. If they are it is an automatic forfeit.
  • All rosters are final once a team has played a game. No additional late adds can be placed on that team.  Players on the official roster sent by The Farm League are the only players allowed to participate during the season.  If a coach is caught cheating by playing players NOT on the official roster, then they have broken the FARM LEAGUE CODE OF CONDUCT.  That coach AND his child will be suspended for that game plus 1 additional game. This accountability rule is in place to make the parents know if they go to far it will effect their kids, their team, and the other families.
  • No player can move once schedules are released.
  • No player can be added to any team after the season begins for any reason.
  • The league has a right to move a team up a grade based on a teams performance and make a fair class level play for all teams in the league . We allow groups to come as a preformed teams but TFL has the right to move them up.
  • To participate in the NFL tournament players must have registered/played in 1 flag season in the calendar year.
  • Football players play in their UIL grade level.  We have the age determination date of August 1 of the school year,  If a player is born after that date but in an older grade, they can play in the lower grade level. This also applies to players who academically skipped a grade. They can play in the grade level for their age. In these cases parents must show a birth certificate to confirm birthday. 
  • The min players allowed is 5, the max is 10 players.
  • The field dimenstions are 105 feet or 35 yards wide; 210 feet or 70 yards long back line to back line 
  • Fans must be 3 feet from the sidelines
  • In the event of a rain out during the game, if the teams have played to halftime the game is complete.
  • Rain outs will be scheduled where we can place them in the current schedule. We cannot honor or guarantee no play requests due to rain outs happening at any time. Once a rain out is placed it cannot be moved. The first rain out is not made up due to a 2-game playoff minimum. Ages that do not have playoffs will make up all rain outs.
  • Schedules are set once they are released. If a team requests a change the other team will need to approve the change and  both coaches will work together to reschedule the game. Coaches and parents need to understand everybody has important personal schedules and asking a team to move is requesting 10 other families change their schedule.

  • Games are played to 50 minutes running time. Two 25 minutes halves with a running clock.  Officials can stop the clock at their discretion for injury or conversations with coaches.
  • Run Rule- Once a team hits a 28 point lead at any point in the 2nd half AFTER and the losing team has had the ball at least once the game is called.

  • Each team has two time outs per half. One 60-second and one 30-second time out per half.
  • A player may not use any substance such as "stickem" in the league. 

  • Teams must field a minimum of FOUR (4) players at all times. A minimum of 2 players must be on the line of scrimmage

  • A coin toss determines first possession. The winner of the toss chooses BALL, DIRECTION, or DEFER. The loser of the coin toss makes their selection. In the second half the team that lost the coin toss chooses either BALL OR DIRECTION. The other team then makes their choice.

  • There are no kickoffs in flag football
  • Ony 1 player in motion at a time. SAME AS NFL
  • Quarterbacks have 7 seconds to throw the ball. Once a handoff is made the 7 second clock is off.

  • The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has three (3) plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has three (3) plays to score a touchdown. If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the new offensive team takes over on its 5-yard line.
  • NEW 2020-  4th down option  . A team on THEIR OWN SIDE OF MIDFIELD ONLY may go for the first down with a 4th down OPTION. If they choose this and DO NOT MAKE the first down the opponent takes over at that spot of the offenses final line of scrimage. The final line of scrimmage is determined as to where you are at the end of a play. (think about in the NFL when a team goes for it on 4th and 10  and the O gets 8 yards . ball is spotted 8 yards at the final line of scrimmage which is determined at the end of the play)  The 4th down option can ONLY be used prior to the midfield 1st down.  When a team is on the opponents side of mid field and the line to gain is the touch down they DO NOT have a 4th down option.  The regualr 3 down rule applies. 

  • All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offenses 5-yard line.

  • If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, possession of the ball changes and the opposition starts its drive from its 5-yard line.

  • Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 30 seconds to snap the ball. Teams will receive one warning before a delay-of-game penalty is enforced.

  • Only screen blocking allowed behind the line of scrimmage

  • After the ball is caught it becomes 1 vs 5 . One ball carrier vs 5 people trying to pull a flag. All offensive players must stop and stand still

  • Screen flag is legally obstructing an opponent without initiating contact with him or with any part of the screen blockers body. This block will take place without contact. The screen blockers hands and arms interlocked in his front belt or behind his back. Any use of arms, elbows, knees or legs to block the rusher is an illegal block and will be penalized.

  • All teams at all levels can return interceptions. Extra point interceptions can be returned for 2 points
  • For all divisions with playoffs: the first rainout is not made up due to a 2 game minimum in the playoffs.  The second rainout is made up. All divisions without playoffs (youngest no scores leagues) will have all rainouts made up
  • The players on the official roster sent by The Farm League are the only players allowed to participate during the season.
  • Grades can be combined if needed to make a full division.
  • The TFL has the right to remove any coach, parent, or player during the season due to issues within in the league or their team for either behavior, rules violations, or safety.
  • A game can only be protested for illegal rosters or rules quesiton.  Not judgement calls.  A game must be "played under protest"  coaches must notify the ref they are playing the game under protest during the game. A game can not be protested after the game ends.

NO OUTSIDE NOISE MAKERS such as cow bells, horns, whistles, speakers or anything similar.  Cheering & clapping are the ways to support the team and show good sportsmanship.


  • Only 1 coach allowed per team in the huddle at a time.

  • The offense coach can stay in the field during the play. BEHIND THE QUARTERBACK AND OUT OF THE PLAY

  • The defensive coach will have to exit the field before the play starts to avoid interfering with the other team’s play
  • A coach can not interfere with a play verbally or physically. A coach cant say “wait stop come huddle”  and then run a quick play. A player can do any type of performance he may want to, but Not an adult.  This will be a 15 yard penalty and is the same as a coach physically directing one of their O players
  • A maximum of 3 coaches or adults on a teams player sideline during the game. If any more than 3 coaches on the sideline it is a loss of down 15 yard personal foul penalty. No warnings will be given.  All parents must be on the parent sidelines. 
  • No tents on the player sideline. Safety issue.  If players need a tent they are welcome to sit next to the parents where those adults can keep an eye our for a player running out of bounds.  These can cause injuries and need to be a min of 6 feet off any sideline. 
  • Coaches are responsible to control their parents and fans. If a ref brings up a problem to the coach they will stop the clock so the coach can address his team and how that behavior will be causing ejections and penalties 


  • Touchdown: 6 points
  • Extra point: 1 point (played from 5-yard line NO RUN ZONE ) or 2 points (played from 12-yard line Run or pass ok
  • Safety: 2 points


  • Regular season will end in a tie. There will be no OT
  • Playoffs OT - If the score is tied at the end of 50 minutes, each team will get a chance from the 5 yard line. This will be conducted as if it was an extra point in the no run zone (one down, pass only) until one of the team misses and the other one scores. If a winner is not decided after 5 OT move to the 12  yard line and will be able to run or pass.  Each team gets a turn- EX  TEAM A goes then Team B.  If no winner in OT #2  TEAM B would go first then Team A . Same as college or high school over times .  Coin flip at the beginng of OT to see who goes first.  They both agree on one direction or REFS choice if they can not decide.  Winner of the coin flip chooses O or D first OT.


  • The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start play.


  • The quarterback cannot run with the ball, unless it has been previously handed off to another player and returned to him.
  • QB can field a snap that bounces to him or flies untouched over his head. The ball must be picked up and handled cleanly. If the QB drops the ball it is a dead ball at the spot where it hits the ground.
  • Offense may use multiple handoffs, laterals or direct hand offs. The QB must make a clean exchange of the ball to the running back.
  • Center Sneak Rule - The QB can not receive the snap from under center and then hand it back to the center between the centers legs, if this occurs it is a dead ball loss of down.
  • Laterals, hand offs or pitches are allowed behind the line or in the field of play. If in the field of play this play MUST be backwards. No forward pitch.
  • No-running zones, located 5 yards from each end zone and 5 yards on either side of midfield, are designed to avoid short-yardage. TEAMS MUST PASS. A pass in this zone MUST be across your line of scrimmage.

Power-running situations.

  • The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage. If he hands off the ball to another player that player can throw OR run.
  • Once the ball has been handed off, all defensive players are eligible to rush.
  • Spinning is allowed, but players cannot dive forward into a defensive player to advance the ball.
  • Ball carriers may jump side to side to avoid a flag pull, however no contact can be made with a Defender or it will be called a roughness penalty.
  • The ball is spotted where the ball carriers hips are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is.
  • Defense may dive to pull a flag reaching for flag and not holding the O player.  If the O player falls down and no flag is pulled it is a tackle. If the O player falls down but a flag pulled it is a clean tackle.


  • All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage).
  • As in the NFL, only one player is allowed in motion at a time.
  • A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception.


  • The QB can throw any type of pass forward (ie. shovel is OK). 
  • The pass does not have to be beyond the line of scrimmage UNLESS in the NO RUN ZONE. Once the pass is caught ALL Defense can rush in the backfield.
  • If in the no run zone the WR must be across the line of scrimmage to receive the pass.
  • The QB has a seven-second pass clock. If a pass is not thrown within the seven seconds, play is dead, loss of down. Once the ball is handed off, the seven-second rule no longer is in effect. All defenders are eligible to rush the QB once the ball is handed off.
  • If a behind the line of scrimmage lateral is made the defenders cannot rush until the ball is caught by the RB/WR.


         Play is ruled dead when:

  • Ball carrier`s flag is pulled.
  • Ball carrier steps out of bounds.
  • Ball carrier`s knee hits the ground.
  • Ball carrier`s flag falls out.
  • Touchdown or safety is scored.
  • Inadvertent whistle
  • If a team incurs 2 dead ball foul penalties on the same down the clock will be stopped until a successful play is run.  Ex: false start and another false start. We have a running clock in the league and this is to prevent abuse of the clock.   Yardage penalties will be assessed on both penalties and the clock will stop on the second one. If this happens more than once in a game a 15 yard personal foul unsportsmanlike will be called and the clock stopped.

        Note: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball hits the ground.


  • All players who rush the passer must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
  • Only one RUSHER can rush the QB.
  • Any player from any location on the field may rush as long as they are 7 yards back. IE a corner may rush the QB as long as they are behind the marker. Players not rushing the quarterback may defend on the line of scrimmage. .

  • Once the ball is handed off, the seven-yard rule no longer is in effect, and all defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage. A special marker, or the referee, will designate seven yards from the line of scrimmage. Remember, no blocking or tackling is allowed.



  • If the field monitor or referee witnesses any acts of tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player will be ejected from the tournament. FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

  • Trash talking is illegal. Foul language used at the park is illegal. Officials have the right to determine offensive language. (Trash talk is talk that may be offensive to officials, opposing players, teams, or spectators.) If trash talking or foul language  occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game AND THE PLAYER AND PARENT WILL BE SUSPEND FOR 1 ADDITIONAL GAME ! ! !

If a parent is the one using trash talk or foul language , the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the parent and their player will be suspended for that game and 1 additional game.

  • All penalties will be called by the referee. A penalty can negate a first down (spot foul penalties that push the ball back)

  • Personal foul: 10 yard penalty no loss of down. Will apply to both offense and defense.
  • Stripping the ball is not allowed and is a 10 yard personal foul penalty. Hitting the ball out of the Qbs hand is a strip. automatic first down


  • Offside: 5 yards and automatic first down . not a dead ball play . Play continues offense can choose result of the play or penalty

  • Pass Interference: 10 yards and automatic First down

  • Illegal contact (holding, pushing, blocking, etc.):10 yards and automatic first down

  • Illegal flag pull (pulling a players flag when they do not have the ball): 10 yards and automatic first down

  • Illegal rushing (starting the rush from inside 7-yard marker): 10 yards and automatic first down.

  • If a rusher "jumps" the snap count he must go back behind the marker and then rush in. Play continues.


  • Illegal motion/ FALSE START: more than one person moving, false start, etc. Dead Ball. 5 yards & replay down .After 2 false starts in a row, every false start is a lose of down and 15 yard penalty for that team for the rest of the game. Sportsmanship issue.

  • Illegal forward pass 2 forward passes: 5 yards and loss of down

  • Illegal contact: Blocking, pushing off/away defender from either a blocking back or WR: 10 yards and loss of down

  • Down field screen: Once the ball crosses the line of scrimmage no blocking is allowed even if is a screen block. Spot foul 10 yard penalty

  • Non contact flag  The offensive players must stop and can not move if they are in front of or near the WR who catches the ball. A team can not have 2+ players running side by side down the field or have players running in front of the ball carrier . All WR must stop and stand still like a "basketball pick" block . The official will judge if the players did this to gain an advantage on the play.

  • Flag guarding: 10 yards (from spot of the foul ) and loss of down
  • If the Offense is in the no run zone they can not benefit by having a penalty pushing them out of the no run zone.  EX If the O is on the 3 you can not have a delay of game penalty or any other to push you out of the no run zone.  You will get the penalty AND it is still a no run play for the rest of the series.

  • Delay of game: Clock stops, 5 yards no loss of down
  • Illegal subsitution/ sleeper play -  10 yard penalty .  Players must be in the huddle and or be identified by refs prior to a play.  EX a player standing on the sideline can not sneak on a field

  • Last man to beat penalty; Will place the ball at the 1 yard line, automatic first down, 4 DOWNS TO SCORE run or pass for all downs--- Ref decision if flagrant

Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play. All penalties will be assessed from the line of scrimmage.

Only the team captain may ask the referee questions about rule clarification and interpretations. Players cannot question judgment calls.

Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.


  • All teams make the tournament. A single elimination tournament will take place after the season has ended. Be prepared to play games on back to back days.

  • Playoff seeds are decided by win-loss record. If there is a tie in the record then we look at head-to-head, points allowed then points scored. If teams have a different number of games due to rainouts loses is the first factor then head-to-head

  • We have Gold, silver and Bronze bracket divisions . Teams with 8 or more loss's will be placed in Bronze

  • Games will be any day of the week at any time 


On the final weekend for girls seasons (all sports), we match up teams with like-level records for their MATCHUP games - each team will have 2 games.  In these divisions we have teams with a wide range of abilities and we want to make the finals games fun and competitive for all teams - thus the MATCHUP WEEKEND.  Teams can still opt out, however we have seen the participation increase a lot with these schedules.  Coaches will be emailed towards the end of the season to confirm participation.  The MATCHUP weekend will be the weekend following the last regular season games - weather permitting.

Every player receives an commemorative AWARD SHIRT, even if the team does not participate in MATCHUPS.

* This is only for age divisions that have standings.  Due to this being added, the first rainout is not made up for standings divisions - same as in baseball and flag.  

Football players play in their UIL grade level.  We have the age determination date of August 1 of the school year,  If a player is born after that date but in an older grade, they can play in the lower grade level. This also applies to players who academically skipped a grade. They can play in the grade level for their age. In these cases parents must show a birth certificate to confirm birthday. The age determination date is the same as the NFL flag rule

TFL may change the rules during the season in order to address game or team issues.