HTB Flag Football League


Senior division rules


The Basics

A coin toss determines first possession.

The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has four plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has four 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. On fourth down, the offense, must declare, a punt or play. If a punt is declared the opposing team gets ball at their 5 yard line. If the offense goes on fourth down and do not make a first down, then the opposing team gets the ball on the spot.

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

All possession changes, except interceptions, start on the offense’s 5-yard line.















                Teams change sides after the first 30 minutes. Possession changes to loser of coin toss and the clock does not stop.




Play is six on six, but 7 on 7 is allowed if both teams agree

Teams must field a minimum of five players at all times.


Game play


Games are played to 60 minutes running time.

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.

Each team has three time outs per half

Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.




6 points

Extra point:
1 point (played from 5-yard line) or
2 points (played from 12-yard line)

2 points




There will be a seven Mississippi count, at the end of that count, if there has not been a handoff, pass, or run,  the ball will be dead.

The quarterback can run with the ball, once per set of downs, or if being blitzed.
Only direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are permitted. Offense may use multiple handoffs.
“No-running zones” located five yards from each end zone are designed to avoid short-yardage, power-running situations.
The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
Once the ball has been handed off, all defensive players are eligible to rush.
Spinning is allowed, but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a defensive player (no diving).
The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is.





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 two feet inbounds when making a reception.




Shovel passes are allowed.
The quarterback 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.
Interceptions change the possession of the ball at the point of interception. Interceptions are the only changes of possession that do not start on the 5-yard line


Rushing the Quarterback


All players who rush the passer must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. Any number of players can rush the quarterback. Players not rushing the quarterback may defend on the line of scrimmage. Once the quarterback is rushed, he is free to run.

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 game. FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Trash talking 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 occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.




All penalties will be called by the referee.


Five yards and automatic first down

10 yards and automatic first down

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

Illegal FLAG pull
(before receiver has ball)
10 yards and automatic first down

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


Illegal motion
(more than one person moving, false start, etc.)
Five yards and loss of down

Illegal forward pass
(pass thrown beyond line of scrimmage)
Five yards and loss of down

Offensive pass interference
(illegal pick play, pushing off/away defender)
10 yards and loss of down

FLAG guarding
10 yards (from line of scrimmage) and loss of down

Delay of game
Clock stops, 10 yards and loss of down

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.




Cleats are allowed, except for metal spikes. Inspections must be made. All players must wear a protective mouthpiece; there are no exceptions.

Same color jerseys must be worn during play.

Note: There are no kickoffs, and no blocking is allowed.


Mercy rule


If a team is winning by more than 18 pts, they get only 4 downs to go the

length of the field and opposing team starts at mid field.