Dynamic Sport and Social Club

Official 8 vs. 8 co-ed Flag Football Rules

The Game

Rules of play as published by the NCAA will cover all play with the following exceptions:

  1. The game is played with 8-man teams. 2 women are REQUIRED to play a non-forfeited game, although if you only have 2, you must play short 1 person. 3 is the expected number of women on the field. The progress of the ball carrier is stopped when a defending player removes his flag belt.
  2. Belts must be sized to fit each player. Each belt has 3 flags that are 16 inches in length and 2 inches in width. The flag belts are triple-threat type, which require the entire belt to be removed. The belt fastener must consist of a spring-loaded clamp, resembling a clothespin, attached to one end of the belt and clipping onto the opposite blank end. All players must have flags.
  3. The field is to be a minimum of 55 yards by 30 yards with 5-7 yard end zones. There will be 1-2 first down markers, depending on field size.
  4. There will be 2 halves of 20 minutes, with an intermission of 3 minutes
  5. The game-clock shall be running time except:
    1. Time-outs
    2. Last 2 minutes of 2nd half according to Federation Football Rules. (incomplete passes, stepping out of bounds, turnovers or change of possession.
      1. If one team is leading by more than 17 points inside of the two minutes, the clock does not stop for the above items. However, if a team scores points to be inside the 17 point deficit, the rules above re-apply.
    3. Official Timeout which may include equipment check, injury and/or anything else deemed hazardous by the Referee.
  6. Each team will be allowed 3 timeouts per half. Each time out will last 30 seconds.
  7. A tie score is final except in the playoffs. During playoffs, a tie at the completion of the game is broken in the following manner: The winner of a coin flip will have the option of starting on offense or defense. The ball will be put into play at the 20-yard line. Each team will have 4 downs to advance the ball past the goal line. Each team may choose to go for 1 or 2 points following a touchdown. This process is repeated until there is a winner. Teams switch who plays offense and who plays defense after both teams have had a possession and there is still a tie. All teams must go for a 2-point conversion if the game is tied after each team has one possession.
  8. Substitutions are unlimited during the game.
  9. Scoring
    1. Touchdown = 6 points (Male); 9 Points (female)
    2. Extra points: 5 yards out = 1 point; 10 yards out = 2 points
    3. Safety = 2 points
    4. Forfeits = 21-0 win
  10. To start the game, a coin is tossed and the winner must choose one of the following privileges:
    1. Offense
    2. Defense
    3. Defers decision to the second half.
  11. Between halves the teams shall switch goals.
  12. Play will begin from the offensive team’s 10-yard line at the beginning of the game and at half time. Subsequent drives following a touchdown will begin from the 10-yard line.
  13. A fumbled ball is dead, unless caught in the air by a trailing teammate (lateral). The ball is spotted at the spot of the fumble or where the ball hit the ground, whichever is less advantageous to the offensive team. Reminder: for the play to be considered a fumble, the offensive player must first establish possession of the ball before a fumble may be called and the ball be ruled dead.
  14. There must be a minimum of 5 players on the offensive line to start a play. No rules about how many players are inside the box.
  15. Offensively, everyone is eligible for a pass.
  16. Shirts must be tucked in and all flags must be the same type for each team.
  17. All penalties are 5 yards except unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct, which are 10 yards or pass interference, which is defined later.
  18. In the case of an inadvertent whistle the play will be replayed from the original line of scrimmage unless the whistle came after a reception or a turnover. If the reception occurred prior to an inadvertent whistle then the reception will stand and the ball will be placed where the ball carrier was when the inadvertent whistle occurred. If a turnover occurred prior to an inadvertent whistle then the turnover will stand and the ball will be placed where the ball carrier was when the inadvertent whistle occurred.

Players and Equipment

  1. Jerseys of the same color are required and provided by DSSC. Pants or shorts with pockets should be taped over so fingers to not get caught in them. All t-shirts must have a name and number printed on the back in sharpie as of week 2. All shirts must be tucked in so that the entire flag belt is visible. Referees should inform players to tuck in shirts if they notice it before a play. If the ball carrier’s shirt is un-tucked, the ball is dead at the spot of the first legitimate flag-pull attempt made by the defense. This does not apply if a defender pulls the shirt out of the shorts of the ball carrier.
  2. The official ball shall be of rubber/leather/synthetic construction and of high school size or larger for co-ed flag football. All teams must make their ball available to opponents if asked to use it. 
  3. Regular football equipment such as shoulder pads, kidney pads, and forearm pads are prohibited. Non-metal cleats are ok and recommended.
  4. No casts of any kind are permitted.
  5. All players must wear shoes. If wearing cleats, only non-metal cleats are allowed and we highly recommend cleats on all grass surfaces.
  6. The flag belt must be clipped in such a manner that it will come off with one pull. It is illegal to create loops and knots with the belt to make it more difficult to pull off. Any player in violation will be warned, penalized 5 yards and loss of down, and will be ejected from the game on a 2nd offense.
  7. Fair play and sportsmanship must be the attitude of everyone involved.
  8. Defensive Pass interference will result in a 10 yard penalty from the line of scrimmage or, half the distance to the goal if within 10 yards of the goal line and result in a first down. Offensive pass interference will result in a 10 yard penalty and a loss of down.
  9. Flag football is intended to be a finesse sport. While a certain amount of contact is to be expected, dangerous and/or excessive contact and collisions must be avoided. Referees are to pay special attention and penalize and warn the player(s) responsible. The second warning to a player will result in ejection.

**Referees are responsible for checking the equipment of all players before and during the game.**

Rules – Offense

  1. Downs: If the offense fails to advance the ball to the next zone in 4 downs, it shall lose possession of the ball at the spot where the ball is blown dead after the fourth down.
  2. To start any offensive play, including punts, the ball must be passed between the legs of the center to a teammate. If any portion of the ball touches or crosses the line, the next zone is played.
  3. Offensive players may move around before the snap as they wish. The offense may have 1 player in motion at the time of the snap. One player may be in motion moving parallel or backwards from the line of scrimmage, but may not be moving forward at all or it shall be a 5-yard penalty.
  4. There will be a 25-second time limit between plays. If this time is exceeded, the clock will stop until the next snap of the ball.
  5. No hideouts are permitted. That is, the offense cannot intentionally try to hide a player on the sidelines. Only 8 players may be in the huddle. A 5-yard penalty will be assessed otherwise. Substitutions can be made during a huddle if a player is going and a player is coming out of the huddle.
  6. On a fumbled snap, a handoff that is fumbled, or backward pass or lateral, once the ball hits the ground, it is immediately dead and put in play where the ball hits the ground. If the ball lands forward, the ball will be spotted where the ball handler initially loses control.
  7. No intentional move with the hands, elbows, or shoulders shall be made by the ball carrier to prevent the defender from removing his flag (flag guarding). See Penalties Section for Penalty Information.
  8. Any player whose flags fall off without a defensive player making an attempt to pull them off, will not be considered “down” and play will continue until touched with only 1 hand by the defense. DON’T USE UNECESSARY ROUGHNESS!
  9. The ball carrier may not run into a defender in an effort to prevent his flag from being removed. Charging or the lowering of the shoulder is NOT permitted and will result in a penalty
  10. Arms may not be extended while blocking. Use of extended hands is a violation and results in a 5 yard penalty.
  11. The team that has the ball in play from the line of scrimmage may pitch a ball (backwards or parallel) to a player, who may then throw a forward pass. There may not be more than one legal forward pass during a down.
  12. Blocking is not permitted. 3/10/15
  13. The ball is placed in the middle of the field after each play.
  14. The quarterback may run at any time.
    1. If the line of scrimmage is between the 5yard line to the goal line, a NO QB run zone will be designated. The QB receiving the direct snap from center is in- eligible to run. The option to run becomes available, if and if only, a handoff or lateral occurs in the backfield.
  15. A ball carrier may not intentionally try to run through a defender. If a player is currently in “space”, he or she has the right to that space. Intentional contact made by the offensive player, into a defensive player will result in the ball being down and a 5-yard penalty.
  16. At least once every 4 plays (not every set of 4 downs), the ball must be thrown by or to a female player or run by a female player for positive yards. If, after 3 consecutive plays this has not occurred, the result will be a forced gender play-explained below.

The official will announce a "Forced GENDER PLAY" and the ball MUST be thrown to a female receiver on the next play.

OFFICIAL'S ANNOUNCEMENT EXAMPLE: "1st down and goal, FORCED GENDER PLAY, 2 mins 30 secs remaining in the half" (2nd down, team must score within 4 downs and a female must be involved on the next play.

Gender Play

  1. Each team MUST target a pass to a female player that is beyond the line of scrimmage (no catch necessary, but judged by the official to be targeted at a female player), hand off the ball to a female player for positive yards, or have the female player as the QB with the pass completion being positive yards, at least 1x per 4 plays.

    If after 3 plays you have not done so, a force gender play will be called. If any of the above scenarios fails, a loss of down will occur, and the next play will be from either the previous spot, or in the event of a run by a female player for a loss or sacking of a QB (male or female), the spot of his/her progress, and the gender play repeated. Completions or runs to or by male players by male QB will not count and a loss of down will occur and the forced gender play must be repeated.
  2. Penalty Assessment on Gender Play
    1. If the foul is on the defensive team, the offense will have one of two options:
      1. Accept the penalty and repeat the gender play.
      2. Decline the penalty and the next play will be open.
    2. If the foul is on the offensive player, the penalty will be assessed and the next play will be a forced gender play unless declined by the defense.

Rules – Defense

  1. Defenders shall not impede the progress of the ball carrier in an attempt to remove the flag by running into the lane of the runner (cutting them off). They may wrap up the player if attempting to remove flags in the eyes of the officials.
  2. It shall be illegal to dive at the ball carrier from the forward plane. Diving from the side and behind is legal and potentially unsafe.
  3. Use of the defensive forearm shiver technique on the line is forbidden. The Center must be allowed to stand up right after the snap of the ball for a one count.
  4. Defensive players attempting to block a pass may not contact the passer (roughing the quarterback). A passer may be contacted if the defender is sincerely attempting to remove the passer’s flag.
  5. It shall be a 10-yard penalty to tackle, hack, straight-arm, trip, push, hold or rough another player. Defenders may not contact an offensive player with extended arms. Bump and run or Press defense on any offensive player is NOT permitted at any time, however, they may stand in their path to alter their route within 5 yards.
  6. Defensive players must line up within 1⁄2 yard from the spot of the ball. This zone shall be referred to as the neutral zone and an infraction shall be offsides.
  7. Defensive players may not return an extra point conversion.
  8. Defensive Players attempting to rushing the QB must begin seven (7) yards behind the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball. There is no minimum or maximum number of players that can rush the QB. The referee will provide the seven (7) yard marker for which the rusher must begin.
    1. A second rusher may rush the QB from the line of scrimmage when the initial rusher has passed the lined of scrimmage.
    2. If there is a handoff/Option, all defensive players are allowed to pass the line of scrimmage.


  1. The following penalties are 5 yards unless stated:
    1. Offensive offsides-offensive players are lined up in front of the line of scrimmage-play is blown dead, and penalty assessed
    2. Defensive neutral zone infraction-player lined up in neutral zone-play is blown dead and penalty marked off
    3. Offensive Illegal shift-2 players moving at the same time in motion-play blown dead and penalty assessed
  2. The following penalties are 10 yards unless stated:
    1. Offensive Holding
    2. Defensive Holding
    3. Offensive Pass Interference: Play results in 10-Yard Penalty from the Line of Scrimmage and Loss of Down.
    4. 2nd and subsequent Intentional Defensive Encroachment penalties in one game.
    5. Flag Guarding-from the spot of penalty, 10 yard penalty, loss of down
    6. Illegal forward pass-from the line of scrimmage, 10 yard penalty, loss of down
    7. Roughing the QB-10 yard penalty, automatic first down
    8. Defensive Pass Interference: Play results in 10-yard penalty and automatic first down
    9. Intentional Grounding (throwing out of bounds without a primary target to avoid a sack): Play results in 10-yard penalty and loss of down
    10. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Play results in 10-yard penalty, loss of down, and possible ejection. 2 ejections in 1 season will result in automatic disqualification from the season
    11. Unnecessary Roughness: Play results in 10-yard penalty and either loss of down or automatic first down depending on who committed the penalty. It may also be combined with Unsportsmanlike Conduct if the official deems the play to be malicious. The player will automatically be ejected if this is the case.
    12. Timeout declaration when the team no longer has any timeouts to call.


  1. There is no punting allowed. On 4th down, a team may elect to give the ball to the opposing team on their own 10 yard line in lieu of punting. 3/10/15

Playoffs and Scoring

  1. Wins are worth 3 points, ties worth 1 point, losses 0 points. A forfeit win will result in 21-0 on the schedule.
  2. In the event of a tie for any place, the tie-breakers will be in order of our tie-breaker procedures in our FAQ page:


Initial standings are determined by the number of league points (PTS). In the event of a tie, the following tie-breaking rules are used. If there is still a tie after a given tie-breaking rule is applied, the next one in the list is used.

  1. Head-to-head. If the teams met during the regular season, the team with the better record versus the other wins. If the teams did not meet, head-to-head shall be considered a tie.
  2. Effective for leagues starting after June 4, 2012: Win-Tie-Loss Percentage (WTL%). With ties counting as half a win, the percentage of games that were won.
  3. Strength of Victory (SOV). The average of the records of a team's defeated opponents for each instance in which they competed. Teams which defeat teams with good records have a higher SOV than teams which defeat with poor records.
  4. Effective for leagues starting after June 4, 2012: Strength of Schedule (SOS). Two times the average of a team's played opponents + the average of the a team's opponent's opponents, divided by 3. Assesses the relative difficulty of a team's schedule.
  5. Points Against (PA). The team with the lowest number of points scored against them wins.
  6. Points For (PF). The team with the highest number of points scored against opponents wins.

The top 4 teams will make the playoffs unless we are able to obtain more field time and allow more teams to participate. This decision will be made at some time during the season. The playoffs will likely be one evening where 4 separate games will be played.