Flag Football League Rules

• Must be submitted on imleagues.com/Gordon by deadline.
• Teams have one week after the first game of the season to adjust their roster.
• Teams may have a max of 2 free agents (players not from the team’s dorm affiliation).
• Gordon-Conwell as well as Staff teams may sign up but will be ineligible for playoffs.
• Seminary students, grad students, teachers and staff members count as free agents (RDs and their spouses are an exception).
• No player can play for more than one team, even if they are in separate leagues.

• Only team captain can bring issues to the referee.
• Teams will receive a score of 1-5 (5 best, 1 worst) for their sportsmanship each game.
• A score of 2 will be reported to the staff and they will speak with the captain (a second score of 2 results in removal from the league).
• A score of 1 will be reported to the staff and Greg Scruton and the captain must meet with them in person (a 1 could result in removal from the league).
• In order to qualify for playoffs, teams must have a 4.5 sportsmanship average.
• Teams with a 4.5 or higher average at the end of the season will receive All-Hall points.

Forfeit Policy:
• Teams are allowed 2 forfeits before being removed from the league and stripped of their All-Hall points.
• Please notify Rec-IM through email if you know your team will forfeit ahead of time.

Inclement Weather Policy:
• If weather forces games to be cancelled, Rec-IM will notify captains 30 minutes before games start and captains must notify their team.
• Games will be re-scheduled if it is possible but there are no guarantees.
• Once games have begun, refs have full discretion over whether the game can continue.
• If the ref must cancel during the first half, the game will count as a no decision.
• If the ref must cancel during the second half, the game will count based on the score at the time.

Playoff Eligibility:
• Players must play in half of the regular season games to be eligible for playoffs.
• Each player must sign in with their name and ID number so that it will count.

Starting a Game:
• Players must sign in with the referee when they arrive.
• Players must put on waistbands with 2 flags which hang down from their sides, not covered by their shirt (tuck in extra belt so that it is not pulled by accident).
• A meeting will be held to go over rules, followed by prayer, and rock-paper-scissors to decide on who will be starting with the ball for the first half, the second half or when choosing a side.
• A team may start with 5 players but must have 6 or 7 by halftime. Failure to do so would count as a forfeit.

• Teams should wear their dorm affiliation colors.
• Teams will change directions for the second half.
• The game will consist of two 20-minute halves. The clock will run continuously until the last 2 minutes of the 2nd half when it stops for incomplet, touchdowns, penalties, 1st downs, or running out of bounds.
• Each team has 2 timeouts per game and 1 timeout in overtime regardless of timeouts used in regulation.
• Halftime will be no more than 3 minutes long.
• No metal spikes.
• Substitutions made only during stoppage of play (10 yard penalty).
• Max of 7 players on the field per team (10 yard penalty).
• Teams have 4 downs to get a 1st down by crossing midfield or score a touchdown.
• The play is dead once a fumbled ball hits the ground, the team retains the ball at the spot of the fumble, losing a down.
• The ball is spotted where the flag is pulled.
• Games cannot end on a defensive penalty unless the offensive team declines the penalty.
• There is no running if the ball is snapped from within the 5 yard line or was snapped within the 5 yard line before a penalty brought it out.
• Refs should state the down before each snap.

Kicks and Punts:
• No kicking, kickoffs and punts are automatically placed on the opposite 5-yard line.
• On fourth down the team has the option to “punt” placing the ball in the other teams possession at the opposite 5-yard line.

• Each touchdown is worth 6 points.
• A team can attempt an extra point from the 5 yard line (passing only) or a two point conversion from the 10 yard line (passing or running).
• If a team intercepts a pass on an attempt for extra points, they may run it back for the value of the points attempted.
• A safety (2 points and possession) occurs when a player is downed in the end zone, there is a holding penalty in the end zone, the ball is fumbled out of the end zone, there is a flag guarding penalty in the end zone or the player runs out of bounds in the end zone.

Offensive rules:
• There is a 25 second play clock (will be announced at 10 and a countdown from 5) and a 5 yard penalty for not hiking the ball before the clock runs out.
• The offensive line must have a minimum of 3 players, lined up straight, foot to foot before the snap (no forming a pocket pre-snap), a 5 yard penalty for illegal line (linemen are eligible receivers)
• One player besides the quarterback is allowed in the backfield (5 yard penalty).
• Players may not be in motion while the ball is snapped (5 yard penalty).
• No one may leave the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped (5 yard penalty).
• Play starts when center snaps the ball to another player.

  • Center sneak play: the ball must leave the center’s hands before he is given it back (a touch is not good enough).

• Only 1 forward pass per down and it must be thrown behind the line of scrimmage (5 yard penalty and loss of down).
• Receiver must have 1 foot in bounds when ball is caught and controlled.
• Any extension of the arms when blocking is illegal as well as a block from the back or at below the waist (10 yard penalty from spot of foul).
o Proper blocking technique can be crossing your arms or making a wall by holding your own hands together (as long as arms are not extended it is okay).
• Blockers may not hold or grab the defense (10 yard penalty).
• Penalty for running inside the 5 yard line is a loss of down (penalty pushing the ball out of the 5 yard line does NOT allow the team to run the ball).
• Players may not guard their flag with their hand, lower their shoulder or plow into defenders (10 yard penalty from spot of foul and a loss of down).
• A player is down when their flags are pulled, they step out of bounds or their knee or the ball touches the ground.
o If a player gets the ball and has only 1 or no flags, the defense may just touch the player with 1 hand and he is down.
• There is no diving forward to gain position (ball is spotted at beginning of jump).

Defensive Rules:
• There must be a minimum of two defensive linemen within the offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage at the beginning of the play. Must be one yard off of the line (5 yard penalty for illegal line).
• Anyone who would like to blitz initially must be lined up at the line of scrimmage at the beginning of the play (after 5 seconds or if quarterback scrambles, anyone may go for them) (5 yard penalty).
• Players must always go for the ball carrier’s flags. No grabbing or pushing the ball carrier (10 yard penalty).
• Defender may not hit the ball out of the ball carrier’s hands after they have obtained possession of the ball (10 yard penalty from spot of the ball).
• Cornerbacks are allowed minimal contact (same rules apply as with offensive line blocking) up until 5 yards off the line of scrimmage (replay down from spot of the foul).
• Defensive players may not jump into the yard long space between them and the line of scrimmage, run at the line of scrimmage or simulate the snap with their voice in order to draw the offense offside (5 yard penalty).
• If the ball is intercepted it may be returned.
• There may be no contact above the chest on the quarterback, players must go for flag (5 yard penalty).
• Defensive linemen may not use brute force to break through the line, they must go around the blockers (10 yard penalty).

• Collegiate rules. Each team is given 4 downs from midfield to score a max of 8 points. Whichever team scores the most wins.
• If both teams score the same points, they each get a new down to try again.
• If after the 2nd time each time receives 4 downs, the score is still tied, the game ends in a tie.
• If the 1st defense intercepts the ball and runs it back for a touchdown, the game is over.
• If the ball is intercepted and not scored by the 1st defense, they will get their 4 downs from midfield or where the player was down