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American Youth Officials: 7-on-7 Flag Football

Starting Saturday 3/27 @ 8:30AM-10:30AM at Joseph F. Mafera Park in Ridgewood, Queens

Rules and Regulations 

* MOUTH PIECES: It is required that mouth pieces be worn, except by QB.
* MASKS are to be worn on the sideline.  Airsoft helmets are optional.

1. Field Dimensions 
A. Field Length--40 yards long. 
B. Field Width--50 yards wide ??
C. End Zone--10 yards deep.
2. Starting the game 
A. Games are 25 minutes long with the last minute or the game being a pro clock.
B. There will be a running clock except for the last minute of the game. The line judge will have the clock after 25 minutes of play.        
C. Ball will start at the 40-yd line

D. Coin Toss will determine who gets possession 
E. Team Sidelines will be between the 45 and 50 (Team on Offense) and behind the end zone (Team on Defense)
 F. Official will announce/post score before each offensive possession begins. 
No defensive coaches allowed on the field.

3. Moving the ball 
A. Teams are allowed to run the ball except when teams get within the 10 yard line when teams must pass (no run zone). (A run play must be a straight handoff from the QB inside the tackle box. NO OPTIONS, PITCHES, TOSSES ETC). 
B. All other plays must be Offensive Passes (forward passes only). 
C. There is no kicking or punting. 
D. Each team has 3 downs to get a 1st down. To obtain a 1st down, teams will need to get to the 25-yard line and the 10-yard line. 
E. No penalty will be assessed beyond the 40 yd line. On an unsuccessful or successful offensive play from the 40 yd line resulting in an offensive penalty: The ball will be returned to the 40 yd line and 1st down will become 2nd down; 2nd down will become 3rd down; and 3rd down will result in a turnover. 
F. Offenses always move in the same direction. 
G. All passes must be forward. A pass caught behind the line of scrimmage must be a forward pass. 
H. Should a swing pass not cross the LOS and a defensive player tags the ball carrier behind the 40 yd line, it is a safety. Defense is awarded 2 points and the ball. 
I. Field is marked at 15 yard intervals with cones. 40-yard line, 25-yard line, and 10-yard line (3 first downs without a penalty would result in a touchdown). (First down after crossing the 25 yd line and first down after crossing the 10 yd line). 
J. Possession always begins at the 40-yard line.
K. Once the ball is marked for play, the offense has 25 seconds to snap ball.
L. There is a 4 (four) second count for the 14U division and there is a 6 (six) second count for the 12U division to throw the ball.  After the count is reached, the play is whistled dead.

4. Special Rules 
A. No blocking. Ball is marked at the spot of foul. 
B. Receiver/Ball carrier is legally down when one or both flags are pulled. . 
C. Fumbles are dead balls at the spot with the last team retaining possession. A muffed snap is not a fumble/dead ball. The 4.0 second count remains in effect on snaps. 
D. Two delay of game penalties in the same possession results in a turnover and defense is awarded 2 points. A delay of game penalty on the extra point try results in a turnover but no points to defense. 
E. The QB is allowed 4.0 seconds to throw the ball. Referee will count the 4 count and stop as soon as the QB releases the ball. If the QB has not thrown the ball when the 4 seconds is up, then the play will be blown dead. The play will result in a sack with a loss of down. 
F. If release is under 4.0 seconds; the play goes on. 
G. If the 4.0 seconds are up and the QB is sacked on play starting on his 40 yard line the play will result in a safety and the defense is awarded 2 points and possession of the ball. 
H. Defensive Pass Interference will result in an automatic 1st down & spot foul up to 10 yds. 
I. Offensive pass interference (10-yard penalty) and loss of down
J. Offensive team is responsible for retrieving and returning the ball to the previous spot or the new scrimmage spot in a timely fashion. Failure to do so can result in a delay of game penalty. 
K. The offensive center is not an eligible receiver. The ball needs to be snapped between the legs. (NO QB TEE’s ALLOWED).  Since the Center is not an eligible receiver, he must get away from the play or take a knee after the snapping the ball.

L. The center will be responsible for setting or re-positioning the referee’s bean bag at the LOS. On change of possession, the team moving to offense will ensure the bean bag gets to the new LOS. 
M. No taunting or “trash talking”. (5-yard penalty & expulsion if flagrant).

N. The offense must gain at least 15 yards in the first 3 or less plays or the defense takes over. (There is no kicking). 
O. Fighting: the player(s) involved will be ejected from the game and tournament. If a team fight occurs, the teams involved will be ejected from the tournament (NO TOLERANCE POLICY). 
P. Excessive Contact: The receiver or ball carrier is down when the flag is pulled. There shall be no intentional contact permitted other than necessary to pull a flag from the ball carrier. Any player that uses excessive force or contact is subject to ejection. In an effort to maintain control, the organizers, field manager or officials shall have the discretion to impose the appropriate sanction. 
Q. There will be an area referred to as the tackle box that extends 3 yards on both sides of the center and extends 3 yards deep into the backfield. No eligible receiver may align within the tackle box. 
R. Mercy rule will come into play once a team is up by 24 points. At this time there will be a running clock only with no time outs allowed. 

5. Scoring 
A. 6 points for TD (Offense only; No defensive TDs – only 3 pts for INT). B. 1 point for PAT from 3 yard line, 2 point PAT from 10 yard line. No defensive points on PAT. 

B. 3 points for an INT and 2 points for a defensive stop. (INT points and Defensive stop points are not combined). Defensive stops can happen on any part of the field not just the 40-yard line. If defensive stop happens with any time left on the clock, 2 points will be awarded. If a defensive stop happens with no time left on the clock there will be no points awarded. 
C. INT and defensive stops are not combined. Defense only receives 3 points for interception. Official score is kept by the game manager.

6. Overtime 

7. Time 

A. Games are 25 minutes with the last minute being a pro clock.
B. Each team has (2) :30 second timeout per game. 
C. Teams must be on site and ready to play when scheduled. 
D. If a team(s) are late and cannot start when the tournament officially starts, they will begin play with whatever time is left on the tournament clock. 
E Forfeit will occur after 10 minutes of the game start time. 
F. Injury time outs may reduce the amount of time between games to maintain the game schedules. 

8. Officials 

A. 2 Officials on field –  Field Judge; and Back Judge 

9. Coaches 

A. Each team must have a coach accompany the team to any/all events to serve as an administrator on duty for their particular organization(s). This individual is responsible for the action of those representing his organization.
B. A team may not have more than four (3) coaches on the sideline. 
D. No Defensive Coaches allowed on field. 

  1. 24 minutes per half with 2 timeouts per game.  Pro clock after 1 minute.  1 minute warning.
  2. Three officials on the field.  Referee, Back Judge and Field Judge


Offense: False Start (5 Yards + Loss of Down)
Offensive Pass Interference: 10 Yards + Loss of Down
Flag Guarding: 5 Yards from Spot of Foul + Loss of Down
Illegal Offensive Contact: 5 Yards + Loss of Down
Delay of Game: Loss of Down
Illegal Formation: Warning, then Loss of Down

2 offensive penalties from the 40-yard line will result in a safety and 2 points for the defense with possession.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: 10 Yards + Loss of Down (Offense)
Unsportsmanlike Conduct: 10 Yards + Automatic First Down (Defense)

Offsides: 5 Yards (Live Ball foul)
Defensive Pass Interference: Spot Foul up to 10 Yards + Automatic First Down
Defensive Holding or Illegal Defensive Contact: 5 Yards + Automatic First Down
Restricting—Holding the ballcarrier to grab the flag: 5 Yards + Automatic First Down + Tack on the from the end of the run.

12U Championship Trophies

  1. Offensive Player from the Championship-winning Team
  2. Defensive Player from the Championship-winning Team
  3. Most Valuable Player from the Championship-winning Team

Tournament’s Most Valuable Player
Tournament’s Best Offensive Player
Tournament’s Best Defensive Player

14U Championship Trophies: One team trophy

  1. Offensive Player for Championship-winning team
  2.  Defensive Player for Championship-winning team
  3. Most Valuable Player from Championship-winning team

Offensive Player Highlight Reel
Defensive Player Highlight Reel
Most Valuable Player Highlight Reel