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FYFFA-GYFFA League Rules


Florida-Georgia Youth Flag Football Rules

The Basics

1. A coin toss determines first possession. Visitor calls toss. Coin toss winner has choice to play offense or

    defense in the 1st half. Team not playing offensive in the 1st half will start on offense in the 2nd half.

2. Offense takes possession of ball at its 5-yard line and has 4 plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses

    midfield, it has 4 plays to score a touchdown. If offense fails to score, the ball changes possession and the

    opposing teams offensive will take over on its 5-yard line.

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

    5-yard line.

4. All possession changes start on the offense’s 5-yard line.

5. Teams change sides after the first  20 minutes. (Clock stops for a 5-minute half time)

6. Play will be 5 vs. 5. If teams are short on players, games may be played 4 vs 4 format.   If each team has 8 or more players, 6 vs 6 is allowed only if both coaches agree.

    Teams with less than 4 players at game time will forfeit the game. Teams may combine to play a “scrimmage” game.


1. Two 20 minute Half’s.

2. Teams with full roster (10 kids) will have two 25 minute half’s.

3. Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 40 seconds to snap the ball. Referee will give one “Huddle Time”

warning before a penalty is enforced.

4. Each team has one 40-second time-out per half

5. The clock is a “Running Clock” and will only stop at halftime and coach allotted time outs.

Last Minute of Each Half

The clock will stop at the last one minute of each half. The clock will

stop after incomplete passes, plays that end out of bounds, during timeouts,

during change of possessions, to set the ball for a first down, defensive penalty

and during extra points, only if the game score is within an 8 point

differential in the second half. The clock will stop to set the pucks if a first

down is obtained.

Player Rotation/Ball Distribution

1. Players MUST be rotated evenly ! Each Child Should “Touch” the ball at least 2 times per game. A “Touch”

    constitutes a positive play. Run, catch or completed pass.

2. Teams must field a minimum of four players at all times.

3. Teams consist of a max of 10 players.

4. Coaches must not start the same players every week.

5. Coaches must equally distribute ball carriers. Each player should have two plays designed for them. They

    should get the ball at least twice per game.

6. Coaches must rotate player’s positions.

Overtime - No overtime!


>      Touchdown: 6 points

>      Extra Points: 1 point from the 5 yard line (pass play only).

        2 points from the 12 yard line (pass or running play)

>         “Safeties” will be enforced<2 points<.BALL RETURN TO OFFENSE!!!!!


1.    QUARTERBACK will “NOT” be allowed to run for “ANY” reason, except for the 11-13 Age Bracket.  The Quarter Back can only run when he being rushed. 

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2. “No-running zones”

3. The player who takes the hand off can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.

4. Once the ball has been handed off, all defensive players are eligible to rush. Exception: Defensive team

    may designate any number of players to Blitz on the snap of the ball. Players MUST start behind the 7 yrd

    “Blitz” cone.

5. Any football move by ball carrier to avoid a defender is allowed (Spinning, juking, sidestepping, cutting). No

    jumping. Players cannot dive headfirst or hurdle a player.

6. The ball is spotted where the ball carrier’s feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is. The ball

    carrier is down once the flag is pulled. If a ball carriers flag falls off inadvertently, the player is down at that spot.  All ball carriers must have flags attached to belts to be an eligible runner.

    No flags, No yardage!

7. Laterals and pitches are only allowed behind the line of scrimmage. Only ONE pitch or lateral

    allowed in the backfield


1. All players are eligible to receive passes.

2. As in the NFL, only one player is allowed in motion at a time.

3. A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception.


1. Shovel passes are allowed but must be BEYOND the line a scrimmage to be considered a pass.

2. All passes must be forward passes and BEYOND the line of scrimmage.

3. 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.

* If the QB is standing in the end zone at the end of the 7 second clock, the ball is returned to the line

of scrimmage.

4. Interceptions change the possession of the ball and will be placed on the opponents 5 yrd line unless the

interception is returned for a touchdown

5. Interceptions are live and can be returned.

6. Interceptions are not live when a team leads by 18 points...the ball is dead at the point of the interception of

the team leading by 18 or more points and cannot be returned. Once intercepted, the ball will be given back

to the team that threw the interception, on the opponents 5 yrd line if down by 18 or more. Interceptions

are live for the losing team.

Dead Balls

1. *The ball must be snapped between the legs, not off to one side, to start play. Exception: Female/Male

Exchange or younger age groups.

2. Play is ruled “dead” when: Ball carrier’s flag is pulled, ball carrier steps out of bounds, Touchdown or safety

is scored, Ball carrier fumbles the ball, Ball carrier’s knee hits the ground, and if Player catches ball and

does not have both flags.

3. If player does not have his flags on the side (front or back) the referee may call player down at the point he

gets ball. Please help referees and make sure that your players flags are on their hips and there is no

“third flag” hanging from the belts. Shirts must be tucked in.

Note: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted at the line of scrimmage or where the ball drops

during the play.

Illegal Contact

>      Offense or defensive players cannot run into each other (all players must make an attempt to avoid contact)

>      It is illegal for a player to “intentionally” contact another player

·        Examples - (defender cannot hand check receiver nor can a receiver push defender, no blocking,

no colliding with another player intentionally, no tackling, no pulling or pushing, players must let go

       of clothing immediately, no pushing or shoving (being clumsy or fast is not an excuse to bring a

       player down).

Official witnessing acts of tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking or any

unsportsmanlike act, will stop the game call illegal contact, penalize the team 10 yards, and

do one or all of the following (warn player, team, coach: eject player or coach. Referee

notifies Field Coordinator or League Commissioner of ejections ASAP.. TWO ejections

could limit player or coach’s ability to participate with any FYFFA  event :

Rough Play isn’t 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 warn or eject

player, coach, or fans.

After all flag pulls


Blocking is illegal... Similar to basketball, runners can use teammates who stand still as interference. (Pick). THE

PLAYER MUST BE STILL. (No moving “Picks”)

Coach and Spectator Conduct / Responsibilities

1. Coaches, family members, parents, and spectators are required to observe the contest from a designated


2. Participants, coaches, parents, and family members must conduct themselves appropriately during League

and tournament play. Comments or cheers must be positive (not negative) to coaches, players, teams, or


3. Misconduct may lead to removal from premises at the discretion of FYFFA Officials

4. Only the coach can ask the referee questions about rule clarification, interpretations or to watch for

perceived rule violations. Players, parents, or fans cannot question or argue referee calls.

5. FYFFA has a NO TOLERANCE Policy in place.

Unsportsmanlike conduct – Forms of unacceptable behavior by coaches and players

1. Questioning the integrity of an official by words or gestures.

2. Physically challenging an official.

3. Directing personal, vulgar or profane remarks or gestures toward an official.

4. The use of gestures or actions that indicate displeasure with the officiating.

5. Publicly demonstrating officiating signals such as holding, blocking, etc., which indicate displeasure with

the officiating.

6. Voicing displeasure about officiating through continuous verbal remarks.

7. FYFFA has a NO TOLERANCE policy in place.

Handling player, coach, or spectator (Referee may eject individual immediately)

1. Warning given to team

2. 10 yard penalty & loss of down if given to offense or 10 yards and first down if on defense

3. Referee asks player, coach or spectator to leave game area and report to the Field Coordinator or League

Commissioner on site

4. Coaches are encouraged to be great examples to our youth. If you dispute a referee call, you are allowed to

ask for a “rule clarification”.

Referees are instructed to keep control of the game and make sure all coaches are following our “KIDS

FIRST” motto. The referees and or “Staff Members”, are authorized to make calls and issue warning/ejection

cards as follow

Yellow Card<.Warning

Red Card


 Cleats are allowed, except for metal spikes. Official NFL FLAG jerseys must be worn and be tucked in when


 All players must wear a protective mouthpiece; there are no exceptions.

 All players must wear black pocketless athletic shorts or sweatpants.

 No hats with bills or brims

 No jewelry during games.

 Flag belts (not the flag themselves) must be cut or taped, to ensure that they do not hang down as

appearing to be a flag (3rd Flag). If the belt is hanging, flag guarding will be called.

Coaches on Playing Field

1. One (1) coach per team is allowed on the field.

Mercy Rule

This is a recreational league and as such we will actively discourage running up the score. The following

rule will apply to any team that is up 28 or more points ahead in a game.

*       The coach who is leading will NOT be allowed to call a time out.

*       Interceptions. The ball is dead at the point of the interception of the team leading by 28 or more points and

cannot be returned. Once intercepted, the ball will be given back to the team that threw the interception, on

their own 5 yrd line. Interceptions are live for the losing team.

*       Losing team will get 5 possessions to cross midfield and then 5 possessions to score.


*       After each game, players and coaches are required to line up at midfield and high five and congratulate the

opposing team whether your team wins or loses.

*       After all flag pulls

*       All players, coaches and parents are required to sign and abide by the FYFFA code of conduct.

*         All coaches, staff and volunteers will keep a Kids F.I.R.S.T mentality

Playing Field

*       The field is 64 yards in total length by 23

*       These dimensions can be modified at any time to accommodate facilities

*       Teams will be on the opposite side of the field

*       A 5 yard buffer zone around the field will be in place during all games. This zone will assist us in maintaining the safety of our players and spectators during the game play. Only coaches, players and league personnel are allowed within this zone while a game is going on. Coaches will be asked to enforce this rule. Please cooperate.

No Run Zones

No Run Zones:MUST pass in this area.

QB may "NOT" run for any reason, Except in the 11-13 Age Bracket.... 


. PENALTIES (The referee calls all penalties.)

ALL Penalties are 5yds except personal fouls

1. Referees determine incidental contact that may result from normal run of play.

2. Only a coach can ask referee for rule clarification, interpretation, or to watch for rule violations.

3. Games cannot end on a defensive penalty, unless the offense declines it.

Spot Fouls

 Flag guarding & Stiff Arming<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<...5 yards and loss of down

 Charging<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<.10yards & loss of down

 Defensive Pass Interference<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<5 yds from LOS, automatic 1st down

 Stripping<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<...5 yards & First Down

 Offensive Unnecessary Roughness<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<10 yards & loss of down

 Screening, Blocking or Running with the ball carrier<<<<<<<<<.5 yards & loss of down

 Defensive Unnecessary Roughness<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<..10 yards & first down


 Offsides<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<5 yards from the LOS, repeat down.

 Illegal contact (Holding, pushing etc.)<<<<<<<<<<<<<<5 yards from the LOS & automatic first down

 Illegal flag pull (before receiver has the ball)<<<<<<<<<<<.5 yards from the spot of catch and automatic first down

 Illegal rushing (starting from inside 7 yard marker)<<<<<<<<5 yards from the LOS, repeat down.


 Illegal forward pass <5 yrds from LOS. Not a loss of down. Play is DEAD. Ref to blow whistle immediately.

 Offensive pass interference<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<5 yrds from the LOS & loss of down

 Flag guarding & Stiff Arming<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

 Screening, Blocking or Running with the ball carrier<<<<<<<<<<...Spot foul, 10 yards & loss of down

 Charging<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<.10 yards from the LOS & loss of down

 Delay of game<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

 Offside<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<.5 yards from the LOS

 Offensive Unnecessary Roughness<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Spot foul, 10 yards & loss of down

FYFFA reserves the right to modify and adjust rules at any point during the season