Rules - Backyard Flag Football

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Rules:

- A coin toss determines first possession.
- The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5-yard line and has three (3) plays to cross midfield, with the option to go for it on 4th down. Each team also has three (3) plays, and the option to go for it on 4th down 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. 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 20 minutes, but possession does not change and the close does not stop.

PLAYERS/GAMES SCHEDULES

- Teams must field a minimum of seven (7) players at all times. Note Rule Change: The following age groups will play 9 on 9, 5-8 and 9-12. The Adult division will play 8 on 8. Note: If one team has a total of 7 players and the opposing team has a total of 9 players, both teams will play with a lesser amount of players that both teams have present at the field.

TIMING/OVERTIME

- Games are played with a 40-minute running clock. Note: Game times are subject to change depending on number of games and season being played.

- In the Playoffs: A coin toss will determine whether a team receives the ball first or if they elect to play defense. Once a goal has been established for overtime play, we will not switch sides of the field for any reason.
- Each team will receive the ball on the 20-yard line, and they will have 4 plays to score (1st down on the 20 yard line). If they score they will attempt either a 1 or 2-point conversion. If the score is tied at the end of the 1st overtime (both teams must have scored in overtime), we will play an additional overtime. In the second overtime, both teams upon scoring will have to attempt a two-point conversion. If both teams have scored in double overtime and completed a two-point conversion, a 3rd overtime will be played with both teams starting on their own 5-yard line. Whichever team goes further after 4 downs wins the game. Note: Teams will continue to play until the tie is broken in the Playoffs only!

TIMEOUTS:

- There are no timeouts in the 1st half of a game – continuation of play following halftime.
- Each team will have 1 timeout in the 2nd half of each game and the clock will stop with 1 minute remaining in the   2nd half.

DURING THE REGULAR SEASON THERE IS NO OVERTIME

-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 one (1) 60-second time out per in the second half only.
- Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.

SCORING

Touchdown: 6 points
Extra Point:   1 point (played from 5-yard line) or
                   2 points (played from 12-yard line)
Safety:         2 points

MERCY RULE

When a team is up by 21 points at the end of the 1st half of a game, the team that is down gets the ball at the start of the 2nd half regardless of who had the ball at the end of the 1st half. In addition, the team trailing by 21 or more points will have the ball in the 2nd half for as long as it takes that team to score a TD. Having the Mercy Rule in effect enables teams that are struggling to score to have an opportunity to run more offensive plays; therefore, teams will be able to work on more offensive plays than they would normally be able to work on if the Mercy Rule wasn’t in effect.

RUNNING

- CENTER SNEAKS ARE ALLOWED. NOTE: THE BALL MUST TOUCH THE “QUARTERBACKS HANDS” BEFORE THE CENTER CAN RUN THE BALL.
- THE QUARTEBACK CAN LINE UP DIRECTLY BEHIND THE CENTER OR IN SHOTGUN FORMATION, ONLY!
- “No-running zones”, located 5 yards from each end zone and 5 yards on either side of midfield, are designed to       avoid short-yardage, power-running situations.
- Once the ball has been handed off, all defensive players are eligible to rush. Note: The ball carrier must cross the   line of scrimmage to constitute a run. Reminder: The rusher can cross the line of scrimmage at any time, as long     as he or she starts from the rush marker.
- 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.

QUARTERBACK RUNNING – 5-8, 9-12 YEAR OLD AND ADULT GROUPS

- The quarterback is permitted to run the ball once every 4 downs. What constitutes a run by a quarterback is any player lining up directly behind center or in shot gun formation who has possession of the football and crosses over the line of scrimmage. Once a player, who has possession of the football crosses over the line of scrimmage, any player on defense can automatically rush into the offensive backfield.

RECEIVING

- All players are eligible to receive passes (including the quarterback if the ball has been handed off behind the line of scrimmage).
- Two players are the maximum number of players permitted to move in motion at any time.
- A player can be moving towards the line of scrimmage, or along the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped.
- A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception.

PASSING
-nAll passes must be forward and received beyond the line of scrimmage. Screen passes are legal.
- Shovel passes are allowed but must be received beyond the line of scrimmage.
- The quarterback has a 7-second “pass clock”. If a pass is not thrown within the 7 seconds, play is dead, loss of down. Once the ball is handed off, the 7-second rule no longer is in effect. Adult League only – 10 second rule for QB to throw the ball
- Adult League Only…Adult rush marker is 18-yards.
- Interceptions change the possession of the ball at the point of interception. Interceptions are the only change of possession that does not start on the 5-yard line. Note: If a team fails to make a first down or a touchdown, the ball will be spotted accordingly.

Interceptions: All interceptions can be returned, including extra point conversions. For example, if a team is going for a two-point conversion and the pass is intercepted and returned for a touchdown, the team returning the ball gets two points. If a team is only going for a one-point conversion and the pass is intercepted and returned, the team will get one point.
DEAD BALLS

-The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start play.
-Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.
-Play is ruled “dead” when:
 Ball carrier’s flag is pulled.
 Ball carrier steps out of bounds.
 Touchdown or safety is scored.
 Ball carrier’s knee hits the ground.
 Ball carrier’s flag falls out.

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

OFFENSE

-Each team will have the choice after third down to either turn the ball over and the ball will be placed at the opponent’s 5 yard line or go for it on fourth down. If a team fails to make the first down or touchdown on fourth down the ball will be turned over on downs and spotted accordingly.
Effective immediately the Beehive Play used in past seasons will no longer be an eligible offensive play in Backyard Flag Football by any age division. Also, any play that emulates the Beehive will not be allowed as an offensive play by any team in any age division.
RUSHING THE QUARTERBACK
- All players who rush the quarterback must be a minimum of 10 yards from the line of scrimmage (5-8 & 9-12 year old division) 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.
Adult League Only - All players who rush the quarterback must be a minimum of 15 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 ball is handed off, the 10-yard rule or the 15-yard rule is no longer in effect, and all defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage. A special marker will designate seven yards or ten yards from the line of scrimmage. Remember, no blocking or tackling is allowed.

SPORTSMANSHIP/ROUGHING

-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.

Coaches: In the 5-8 year old division (only) two coaches are permitted on the field at anytime. In the 9-12 year old divisions one coach may be on the field as long as he or she is off the field at the time the ball is snapped. If not a 5-yard penalty will be called.

PLAYER OR PLAYERS IN MOTION

-2 players can move simultaneously at anytime as long as they do not cross the line of scrimmage before the ball has been centered. A maximum of 2 players can move towards the line of scrimmage before the ball has been centered.

SUBSTITUTION RULE

-If a coach is deemed not rotating a player in the lineup in a regular rotation, an official will blow the whistle and call a dead ball foul on the offensive or defensive team guilty of the infraction and a 15-yard penalty along with a loss of down will occur. Note: Referees discretion!

FLAG PULLING
-When a player pulls a flag, the flag must be dropped on the ground and spotted at the point it was pulled. If a flag is pulled and thrown, a 5 yard penalty will be called from the spot of the foul.

ATTIRE

-A protective mouth piece must be worn during the games
-All flag must be worn on top of the game jersey – they cannot be worn under your game jersey during the game
-Towels may be worn – but they must be tucked in
-No jewelry
-No metal cleats
-Players are not allowed to cut the length of the team jersey provided

NOTE: THERE ARE NO KICKOFFS AND NO BLOCKING IS ALLOWED.

Playoff Stipulation
-If a team forfeits a game or does not have a minimum of 7 players in the final week of regular season games, they automatically surrender their right to participate in the Playoffs!
Backyard Sports implemented this rule to prevent teams that do not have a chance to move up or down in the standings from acting in this manner and then expecting to jump into the Playoffs without any consequences.
No players may be added to the rosters following Week #3 of the regular season.

Game Cancellations

Backyard Sports reserves the right to cancel any game due to field, weather or unforeseen medical conditions and permit issues at any time during the regular season. We set out to play 8 regular season games plus the playoffs and do our best to get all of the games played. If there is a cancellation we will do everything in our power to make up the cancelled game(s). In the event we cannot accomplish this task, the game(s) will be cancelled and not made up.

Thank you.
PENALTIES
The referee will call all penalties.
Defense:

 Offsides
 Pass Interference
 Illegal Contact (holding, blocking, etc.)
 Illegal Flag Pull (before receiver has ball)
 Illegal Rushing (starting rush from inside 7-yard marker)
 Unsportsmanlike Conduct (live ball)
 Unsportsmanlike Conduct (dead ball)
 Steal/Strike/Attempt to Steal Ball
 Trip an Opponent
 Contact with Opponent on Ground
 Throwing Runner to Ground
 Hurdle another Player
 Drive or Run into Player
 Clipping
 Tackling
 Roughing the Passer
 Illegal Use of Hands

Offense:

 Illegal Motion (more than two players moving, false start, etc.)
 Illegal Forward Pass (pass received behind line of scrimmage)
 Offensive Pass Interference (illegal pick play, pushing, off/away defender)

 Illegal Use of Hands
 Flag Guarding

 Delay of Game
 Encroachment (dead or live ball)
 False Start (dead ball)
 Illegal Snap (dead ball)
 Player Out of Bounds when Ball is Snapped
 Illegal Shift
 Intentional Grounding
 Helping the Runner




5 yards 10 yards from scrimmage or the spot where the foul occurred, whichever is greater and automatic first down
10 yards
10 yards and automatic first down
10 yards and automatic first down
10 yards/from spot of ball
10 yards from previous spot
10 yards from spot of foul
10 yards from spot of foul
10 yards from spot of foul
10 yards from spot of foul
10 yards from spot of foul
10 yards from spot of foul
10 yards from spot of foul
10 yards from spot of foul
10 yards plus automatic first down from the
previous spot
10 yards from spot of foul



5 yards and loss of down
5 yards and loss of down
10 yards and loss of down

10 yards from spot of foul unless it is behind the line
This penalty is a spot foul. “10 yard penalty from the spot of the foul and loss of down.”
Clock stops, 10 yards and loss of down
5 yards from previous spot
5 yards from previous spot
5 yards from previous spot
5 yards from previous spot
5 yards from previous spot
5 yards and loss of down from spot of foul
5 yards from spot of foul
Backyard Flag Football---The League that Defies the Odds!
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