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Flag Football League Rules

Last updated:  2018 April

    Updated Rules:

  • BSR will no longer provide flags; players will need to provide have their own Flag-A-Tag flag belt to play
    • While supplies last BSR will sell used Flag-A-Tag flags for $5 cash/venmo at the field
      BSR will sell new Flag-A-Tag flags for $8 cash/venmo at the field
  • 3/10/2019 - Roster check rule
 - BSR conditionally allows subs to play; if your team needs a sub one night be sure to read rules below in the rules.  



Have fun playing flag football with friends and people like you.  No tackling; instead pull flags from a flag belt each player is wearing.  Contact with other players should be minimal as possible.  This is not the NFL; this is an adult social sport.


Participating Players

  • Each team can have up to 8 players in the field to start the game.
  • Each team must have at least 5 players before a game can begin, and 2 of those players must be women.
    • If a team is unable to field a legal team, their opponent will receive a win after 10 minutes with a score of 21 to nothing.
  • Each team (of 8) can have up to 5 men in the field at once.



  • You can have as many players you want on your roster, but the minimum number of players is 12.
    • The recommended team size is 16.
  • Players who register as free agents may be added to teams with rosters smaller than 14 players (captains will be notified first).
  • Additional players can be added to the roster anytime until the third week of the season.
  • Captains are responsible for the conduct of teams. This means they’ll need to make sure all players are legal and conform to league play standards.
  • Teams caught with illegal players or subs will lose all games for that night.






















When playing






Equipment & Field Setup

  • Players will need to have their own Tag-A-Flag flag belt
    • BSR referees will have new Tag-A-Flag belts for sale at the field for $6 cash
  • BSR will provide a football for use in the games; teams may choose to use the football provided or their own valid football.
    • Valid footballs must be either NFL, College, Junior, or Pee-Wee size.
  • No clothes are allowed to be covering your flag belt. (This means you’ll need to tuck in your shirt.)
  • Flags must be worn on your left and right side over your hips (while standing with your arms drape straight down they show the correct positon where your flags should be)
  • Players may wear cleats when playing flag football outdoors.
  • Players are NOT allowed to wear metal spikes.
  • Players are NOT allowed to wear shorts/pants with pockets.  (Duct taping over your pockets is acceptable.)
  • Players wearing a hat with a rim on it must wear the hat backwards with the rim to their back.


League Scoring, Standings, Seeding


Regular Season

  • Each game will consist of two 20-minute halves.
    • The clock will run continuously for 18 minutes, and during the 2-minute warning at the end of each half, the clock may be stopped/paused if needed.
    • Inside of 2 minutes, college rules apply (out of bounds, incomplete passes, and 1st downs stop the clock only until the ball is spotted)
    • The clock will stop at the 2-minute warning.
    • Extra points are untimed during the final 2 minutes.
    • Each team is allowed 2 timeouts per each half.
    • A coin toss winner will choose to start on offense, defense, or side to defend first and the team that lost the coin toss will choose from the remaining options. 
      • These selections will be reversed for the second half.
      • There are no kickoffs.
        • The ball is spotted on the 5-yard line to start halves and after scores.
      • Teams get 4 plays to cross the 20-yard lines or the end zone.
      • Crossing a 20-yard line results in a first down.
      • Punting the ball is allowed
        • If a team chooses to punt on fourth down, a player from their team would kick the ball and the other team would take over where the ball landed or is caught. There would be no return.
        • If the ball landed out of bounds, the ball would be spotted at the 5-yard line or where the ball went out, whatever gives the receiving team a better field position.
        • There are NOT allowed to attempt to block the punt.
        • "Fake punts" will be allowed.
        • Teams declaring they will punt must punt.


  • Teams with 1+ forfeit during the regular season will be excluded from the playoffs.
  • Teams caught using players that are not on their roster or who were not signed up as legal subs will be excluded from the playoffs.
  • Seeding details this single-game per night sport can be found in the FAQ (FAQ - League Information - How are standings calculated for the regular season?)
  • The single elimination match format will be unique to each season.


Any rules not specifically covered below would fall into basic college football rules.


On the Field

  • The ball must be hiked to the QB.
  • Teams are NOT allowed to disguise whom their quarterback is. The designated QB must be obvious to the defense and referees.
  • The ref will count to 4 out loud after the ball is snapped. When the ref gets to 4seconds, defenders can rush the ball.
    • Exception:  The QB are NOT allowed to run if the ball is snapped within 5 yards of the opponents end zone unless a defender has rushed the QB.
    • Defenders are allowed to immediately rush after the ball leaves the QBs hands (throw/handoff).
    • The ball is spotted where the flag is when the flag is pulled.
    • A player must physically have 1 foot inbound when making a reception.
    • Players are not allowed to intentionally make contact with other players. This means…
      • No blocking.
      • No 5-yard chuck.
      • No putting your hands on other players.
      • Defensive rushers may NOT attempt to run over or "bull rush" defenders. They must run around and avoid screeners.
      • Offensive players may NOT use hands to push or move defenders.
      • All defensive players must line up at least 2 yards from the line of scrimmage.
      • The gender play rule will be enforced. (If a woman isn’t involved in 2consecutive plays on offense, then the third play will be a forced gender.)
        • This will not apply to extra point attempts.
        • A gender play is any play in which the QB or WR catching the ball is a woman.
        • The gender rule is to ensure teams regularly involve the women on their teams.
    • The QB can run with the ball after the 4 seconds.

Gender Play Rule

*Not to be exploited for a tactical advantage.

  • If a woman is QB: this negates all gender rule restrictions and rules as by default, a woman will be a primary participant.
  • If a woman is not QB:
    • The team on offense
      • All non QB males must be lined up together within 10 feet of one of the sidelines (left or right side).
      • 1 woman must lineup to snap the football to the QB. (Additional women are allowed to lineup anywhere.)
      • The QB must lineup behind the woman snapping the ball.
    • The team on defense
      • 1 man is allowed to lineup within 5 feet of the QB and can choose to rush after the referee counts down.
        • The man must stay guarding the QB and have no part defending women until the ball is thrown and a woman touches it.
      • The rest of the men on defense must “play man” and lineup within 5 feet of the man they are covering.
      • Women on the team are allowed to lineup and “play man” or zone vs. women they are defending.
      • A team can only assign the number of women to guard women on offense equal to the number of women on offense.

Additional Rules/Exceptions

  • Once the ball leaves the QBs hands and it’s touched by a woman, all players are free to make a play on the player with the ball.
    • Prior to a woman touching the ball, men must stay locked up on the men they are guarding.
    • If the team on offense fields 2 women for a gender play, the defense may field up to 2 women on defense who can “play man” or zone against the women on offense. Additional players must be lined up on the men.
    • If the team on offense fields more than 2women for a gender play…  
      • The defense may field up to the number of women on defense the offense is fielding.
      • If the defense does not have enough women to cover all of the women the offense, they may field men to cover the women equal to the number of women on offense minus 2.

(1) Team A on offense has 3 women lined up for the gender play. Team B on defense has 4 women on defense. Only 3 of Team B’s women can line up to cover men or zone vs the 3 women on offense.  The fourth woman must line up and cover a guy as the other guys. There’s no advantage for putting out extra women on a gender play.

(2) Offensive team fields 4 women on a gender play, the team on defense only has 2 woman that day, the defensive team may field 2 women and 2 men to defend the women on the gender play.


  • A touchdown is 6 points.
  • Extra points consist of…
    • 1 point from the 3-yard line.
    • points from the 10-yard line.
    • Safety is 2 points.
    • Any points scored with female players as a "primary participant" are to receive extra points (touchdowns +2, extra points +1, safety’s, interception returned for a TD +1).
      • A situation where a ball is caught by a male who then laterals to a female who scores would not qualify for extra points.
      • To qualify for the extra points a female must be a primary participant in the play.
        • The woman must be the QB who throws the ball for a touchdown or extra point.
        • Or a QB who runs with the ball for a touchdown or extra point.
        • Or the receiver who caught the ball then taking it in for a TD or extra point.
        • Or the defensive player who intercepted the ball then taking it for a touchdown or extra point.



  • All penalties will be assessed from the spot of the foul.
  • Flag guarding—the runner is down at the spot where the penalty occurs, and play is over.
  • Illegal forward pass and OPY are loss of down penalties.
  • Roughing the passer is only an automatic first down penalty.
  • No diving.
  • All penalties are 5yards with the exception of…
    • Roughing the passer (15 yards first down).
    • Pass interference (Spot of foul first down).
    • Unnecessary roughness (15 yards first down).



Rules are subject to change when and as needed by BSR staff.