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NFFLA League Rules

The full set of rules can be found in the NGFFL Rulebook.

The NFFLA Code of Conduct can in the NFFLA Code of ConductWhich is also available to read here.

Rules Summary


1. Game Length:

a. 2 halves lasting 25 minutes each.
b. Running clock for the first 23 minutes of each half. In the last 2 minutes of each half, the clock operates like high school and college football rules. In the last 2 minutes, the clock will stop for player timeouts, official timeout for penalty enforcement or injury, first downs, out of bounds, incomplete passes, and scores. The clock begins on the ready for play after stopped for a first down or official timeout. The clock begins on the snap after stopped for team timeouts, out of bounds, and incomplete passes.
c. Each team will have 4 time outs per game, with no more than 3 used per half

2. Field:

a. Width = 35 yards
b. Length = 100 yards (80 yards of field + 2 end zones (10 yards ea)
c. Team Area = 2 yards from each side line and between the 20 yard markers.
d. Lines to Gain = First down earned by advancing 10 or more yards from last first down. First down can also be awarded by penalty.

3. Players:

a. Team consists of at least 7 players. At least six players must be present to begin a game. 4. Equipment (Each Player is Responsible for each item list unless otherwise noted):

i. Shoes must be soft pliable upper material (i.e. canvas/synthetic) that completely covers the foot and is attached to a one-piece molded composite bottom (i.e. tennis shoes). Molded rubber cleats only. No screw in cleats, metal cleats or baseball cleats allowed.
ii. Shorts/Pants may not have pockets.
iii. Jersey will be issued by the league. Similar colored t-shirt can be worn if issued jersey is unavailable. Jersey/shirt must be tucked into shorts.
iv. Flags are provided by the league. Flags shall be a one-piece flag belt (Triple Threat or Flag Tag) without any knots and the flags must be permanently attached to the belt.
v. Baseball caps may be worn backwards and other hats/head covers may be worn provided they are of soft pliable material and any hard bill is worn backward.
vi. Exposed jewelry is not allowed, with the exception of stud earrings which may be worn by a player at his/her own risk. Hanging or loop earrings are not allowed, nor is any other exposed jewelry that is not covered by the jersey or shorts/pants. Necklaces may only be worn if they remain under the shirt or are taped down. No bracelets or loose bands around the wrist may be worn unless covered by a tight-fitting sweatband.
vii. Football shall be pebble grained or rubber covered football of official NCAA/NFHS size. NO youth or intermediate sizes.


4. Contact Blocking:

a. Players are allowed to block by contacting only the opponent's body between the waist and shoulders, with the blocker's arms in front or to the side of the player being blocked.
b. Contact must be made with the blockers open hands (palms) or forearms contacting the opponent. Hands must always be in advance of the elbows. Hands and elbows must always be inside the frame of the blocker's body.

5. Passing:

a. The offensive team may not throw more than one forward pass per play.
b. The offensive team may throw an unlimited number of backward passes during any one play.
c. No forward pass is allowed once a runner has crossed the line of scrimmage (LOS).
d. Intentional grounding is allowed. 

e. If you identify as a male and are playing QB, you must use the standard size football.  Others may choose their ball size. 

6. The ball must be snapped from the ground, but does not have to be snapped between the legs.

7. Running/Deflagging:

a. Only one scrimmage running play may be used by a team per possession. A scrimmage running play is a play which gains yardage but does not include a forward pass.
b. The ball may not be intentionally stripped from the runners possession. NOTE: The ball may still be knocked loose by incidental contact. Only intentional acts are a foul.
c. A fumbled ball or backward pass is dead when it touches the ground.
d. The runner may not jump or use his hands/arms to prevent his flags from being pulled.
e. When deflagging the ball carrier, the defender may not impede the runners progress while attempting to pull the flag.
f. The play ends when the flag belt comes unclipped, not necessarily where it falls off. The ball is placed at the most forward point of the ball when the belt becomes unclipped.

8. Receiving/Pass Defense: 

a. ALL players are eligible receivers.
b. Receivers may be contacted by defenders within the first five yards but not beyond. Defenders may not hold receivers and receivers may not push off from the defenders. 
c. A reception is deemed complete if the receiver possesses the ball before the ball makes contact with the ground and the receiver has at least one foot in the field of play after possessing the ball. For catches made in the air, possession must be maintained through contact with the ground. d. Standard pass interference rules apply to offensive and defensive players.

9. Pass Rushing:

a. Player can rush from any position that is at least 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. Once a legally positioned rusher has crossed the line of scrimmage, any defensive player may rush.
b. Rusher must avoid charging into blockers.
c. Rusher must avoid hitting the QB, including the arm. Incidental contact below the elbow if covering official determines player was making a legitimate play on the ball or flags.

d. FALCON DIVISION ONLY- In Falcon division, there is only one rusher allowed during weeks 1-4.   That rusher is still required to start 5 yards away.  If the rusher crosses the line of scrimmage and pulls back, then another player can engage and cross the line of scrimmage.  This rule is obsolete if there is a fwd pass/fwd pitch.  At that point all players can cross the line. AMENDMENT- after week 4, Falcon division can have multiple rushers each play.  There is no single rush rule in Falcons after week 4.   

10. Kicking: 

a. Kickoffs:

i. There will be a kick off (punt or place kick) at the beginning of each half. 1. Kicking team will kick from their 30 yard line. 2. Receiving team must have at least 4 players between midfield and their 30 yard line.
ii. Kickoffs out of bounds result in a penalty.

b. Punting: 

i. Team may choose an announced punt before any play. The ball must be snapped to kicker and ball must be kicked.
ii. The receiving team may not rush on an announced punt.

c. Receiving:

i. Any receiving team player may catch a kick and advance the ball 
ii. If a receiving team player drops the kick, the ball is dead, and will be spotted at that point. 
iii. Kicks into the end zone remain live and may be returned or downed in the end zone for a touchback.

11. Penalties: 
a. Minor penalties are five yards, major penalties are ten yards. 
b. Penalties unique to flag football include:

i. Flag Guarding: When an offensive player, either intentionally or accidentally, inhibits a defensive player from de-flagging them by the use of their hands, arms, hurdling, diving or jumping. 5 yard penalty and loss of down.
ii. Illegal Rush: When a defensive player rushes the QB from inside the 5 yard neutral zone. 5 yard penalty.
iii. Holding the Runner: When a defensive player grasps and restricts the progress of the ball carrier. 10 yard penalty.
iv. Although some contact will occur, any excessive contact will be penalized. This includes unnecessarily rough blocks, charging into/running through an opponent, and intentionally pushing, tripping, or tackling. This does not include incidental or unavoidable contact resulting from legitimate attempts to catch or bat a pass or deflag the runner. d. Players who act in an unsportsmanlike manner toward other players or officials will be penalized. A second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the same player in a single game results in ejection for that game.
v. A single excessive or flagrant personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct occurrence may result in a player being removed for 4 plays, 8 plays, or the remainder of the game at the discretion of the referee.

12. Scoring:

a. A touchdown is worth 6 points. After scoring a touchdown, a team may try for 1 point from the 5 yard line or 2 points from the 10 yard line.
b. Any PAT try may be intercepted by the defense and returned for 2 points.
c. A safety results in 2 points to the defense. A safety during a returned PAT try results in 1 point to the original offensive team.

13. Miscellaneous Rules:

a. During the last 2 minutes of a game, after the trailing team scores, they can elect to give the leading team the ball with only 10 yards to a touchdown. This prevents the leading team from running out the clock.
b. During the regular season, should a team have only 6 or 7 players attend a game, they may recruit another player from another league team only. The recruited player may not be on the No Substitute list. No outside player can take the field. AMENDMENT- In the event a team only has 6 players show up, that team can add up to 2 others players not on the No Substitute list.  If a team has 7 players only, they can add 1.  United teams can pull from Falcon division teams for substitutes, but not from the No Substitute list.  Falcon substitutes can only come from Falcon division as long as they aren't on the No Substitute list. Substitutes need to be cleared by the board and both captains before the start of the game. 
c. During the playoffs, no players may be picked up/substituted.
Mercy Rule: If the point deficit is 21 points or greater with 2 minutes or less remaining the game is over.
d. OVERTIME - In the event the 2nd half ends with a tie score: 

i. During the regular season, there will be one overtime period during which each team will get ONE possession. If the score remains tied after each team has had a possession, the game ends in a tie.
ii. In the playoffs, overtime periods continue until there is a winner. Each team will get one possession during each overtime period. 

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