6on6 Flag Rules

Gridiron Official Flag Football Rules (6 vs 6)

Gridiron Flag Football is a popular six-on-six game filled with fun and action.

The Game:

The offensive team plays for a first down at midfield and a touchdown in the end zone. Running and passing plays are allowed. There are "no-running zones" at midfield and near each goal line. The offensive team cannot run a running play when the line of scrimmage is in a "no-running zone." The defensive team covers receivers, rushes the passer and grabs flags to make "tackles."

  • A coin toss determines first possession. Blue is home, Red is away. The away team makes the call. The loser of the toss chooses direction for the first half. Switch directions after half time.
  • NO KICKOFFS - The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its 5 yard line and has four plays to cross midfield. Once a team crosses midfield, it has four plays 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.

  • • All possession changes, except interceptions, Start on the offense's 5 yard line. Interceptions may be run back.
  • Teams change sides after the first half. Possession changes to deferred team.
  • Field dimensions are: 50 yards long X 30 yards wide with 5 yard end zones with 5 yard no run zones before the mid-field line and the goal lines.
  • Only the offensive coach is allowed to remain on the field. The defensive coach may help his team get set up, but must exit the field once blitz sponges have been set by the ref. 4th Down Punt Rule - On any fourth down, the offensive team will have to decide whether to "Punt" or "Go For It". Note that we will not be kicking the ball. If the offense "Punts," no play is conducted, and the other team takes over at their own 5 like normal. If the offense "Goes For It," they run their play. If they fail to convert, the opposition takes over possession at the spot instead of back at the 5. Disclaimer - teams will not begin their drive pushed back further than their own 5.
    Team Make-Up/Players
  • Teams consist of 8 to 12 players - six players on the field, depending on which format you are playing under.
  • Teams must field a minimum of four players at all times. pastedGraphic.png
  • If both teams forfeit, the score will be entered as a 7-7, however, both teams will incur a loss when determining the standings and playoff seeding.
  • If opposing team only has 5 players, both teams must use 5 players, and likewise with just 4 players.
    Game Clock/Overtime
  • Games are played in two 20 minute halves with a running clock. Clock stops on dead balls including out of bounds, incomplete pass, fumbles, and first downs and penalties in the last minute of each half.
  • Each team has two 30-second time-outs per half.
  • Officials can stop the clock at their discretion.
  • Each time the ball is spotted, a team has 35 seconds to snap the ball. (One Warning given) Play clock begins when refs are set up and ready to go.
  • There is no overtime in the regular season (see "playoff rules")

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  • Touchdown: 6 points
  • Extra point: 1 point (played from 5-yard line) or 2 points (played from 12-yard line)
  • Extra Point Attempt Return: 2 points Returning team gets possession, just like a safety.
  • Safety: 2 points
  • Forfeits: Any forfeit will be scored as 7-0 for the non-forfeiting team

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Running The Ball

The quarterback cannot run with the ball past the line of scrimmage.

EXCEPT: Once a blitzer(s) has come across the line of scrimmage, the quarterback may scramble and run the ball. The ball can never be run past the line of scrimmage in the No Run Zone.

  • Offense may use multiple handoffs.
  • No run zones are designed to avoid short yardage power running situations.
  • The player who takes the handoff can throw the ball from behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Once the ball has been handed off to the running back, all defensive players are eligible to rush.
  • Ball Carriers must hold the ball in front of their body for safety reasons.
  • Blocking/Screening is allowed, however, HANDS MUST BE BEHIND THE BACK AT ALL TIMES WITH ARMS LINKED!
  • Spinning is allowed, but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a defensive player.
  • The ball is spotted where the ball carrier's feet are when the flag is pulled, not where the ball is.

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• Laterals and pitches are only allowed behind the line of scrimmage.

  • By definition, overhand is a throw, underhand is a pitch/lateral.
  • A lateral/pitch is a running play, therefore are not allowed in no run zones unless followed by a forward pass prior to crossing the line of scrimmage.
  • If a team is in the No Run Zone and the ball is fumbled behind the line of scrimmage, the ball will be placed where the dead ball occurred, and it will still be considered a No Run Zone. In other words, you cannot fumble your way out of the no run zone.
    Receiving The Ball
  • As in the NFL, only one player is allowed in motion at a time.
  • A player must have at least one foot inbounds when making a reception.
  • All players are eligible to receive a pass (including the QB if the ball has been handed off).
  • If a player goes out of bounds without the ball, they are not eligible to receive a pass if they come back in bounds.
    Passing The Ball
  • The QB has a "7 second" pass clock. If a pass is not thrown within 7 seconds the play is dead and a loss of down ensues. Once a ball is handed off the 7 second rule is no longer in effect. Ruled like an incomplete pass.
  • All passes must be forward, they do not have to cross the line of scrimmage, but they have to be clearly forward.
  • Shovel passes are allowed, but it must be a clear "shovel" motion.
    Dead Balls
  • Substitutions may be made on any dead ball.
  • Play is ruled "dead" when:
    Ball carriers flag is pulled -this does not stop the clock in the last minute.
  • Ball carrier steps out of bounds
    Touchdown or safety is scored
    Ball carriers knee hits the ground
    The ball is fumbled and hits the ground
  • Ball carriers flag falls off
    Fumbled snaps result in dead ball
  • The ball must be snapped between the legs by the center, not off to one side.
  • **Note: There are no fumbles. The ball is spotted where the ball hits the ground.

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Rushing The Quarterback

  • All players who rush the passer must be a minimum of seven yards from the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped.
  • If a player "jumps the snap" they will not be allowed past the line of scrimmage (or a penalty will be called).
  • 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 or thrown, the seven-yard rule no longer is in effect and all defenders may go behind the line of scrimmage.
  • A special marker (Sponge), will designate seven yards from the line of scrimmage.
    Remember, blocking/screening is only allowed if the player's hands are behind his/her back with arms linked. NO TACKLING IS ALLOWED.
  • Cleats are allowed, except for metal spikes. Inspections will be made.
  • All players must wear a protective mouthpiece; there are no exceptions.
  • No pockets or hoops on shorts. NO RED SHORTS
  • No hats with brims or bills. (unless medically necessary)
  • Sponsorship T-Shirts should be worn during practice if applicable.
  • The official Gridiron Sports jerseys must be worn during game play and tucked in.
  • If the field monitor or referee witnesses any acts of tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, illegal blocking or any unsportsmanlike act, the game will be stopped and the player may be ejected from the game. If a player, coach, or spectator is removed from a game for behavioral reasons, that person is permanently ejected from our programs.

  • When using a "Hurry-Up Offense", the ref must be ready and set up before the next play can take place.
  • If a player is brought to the ground and his/her flag is not pulled, the responsible player will be penalized (SEE UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS).
  • 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. pastedGraphic_1.png pastedGraphic_4.png pastedGraphic.png


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  • Jumping/Diving: 5 yards from the point of foul and loss of down.

  • Offside -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Pass Interference -- 15 yards and automatic first down
  • Illegal contact (pushing, tackling etc.) -- 15 yards and repeat the down
  • Illegal flag pull (before receiver has ball) -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Illegal rushing (starting rush from inside 7-yard marker) -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Substitution fouls (too many players on the field) -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Interference with opponent or ball at the snap -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Defensive holding -- 5 yards from the point of the foul and repeat the down
  • Unnecessary Roughness - (referee discretion & if a player is brought to the ground without having flag pulled) - 15 yards and repeat the down.
  • Illegal Attire - (i.e. player without flags, jersey not tucked, etc) 5 yards and repeat.
  • Delay of game -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Substitution fouls -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Illegal motion -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • False Start -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Offensive holding and illegal blocking-- 5 yards and loss of down from point of foul.
  • Player out of bounds (once OUB, no possession allowed) -- 5 yards and repeat the down
  • Illegal Pass (any lateral past the line of scrimmage or any double pass, as well as any horizontal or backwards pass) - 5 yards and repeat the down.
  • Offensive pass interference -- 15 yards from the Line of Scrimmage and loss of down
  • Flag guarding (swatting, stiff arm, ball on flag) -- 5 yards from the Line of Scrimmage and repeat the down.
  • Illegal Run (running the ball in a "no run zone") - Loss of Down and ball is spotted at previous line of scrimmage. All offensive penalties committed in a no run zone will result in the penalty as identified, however, you cannot penalize your way out of the No Run Zone. The only way out of the No Run Zone is to advance the ball with a pass. A flag pull in the back field does not pull you out of the NRZ.
  • Tight Flag Penalty - Refs will pull the flag off of those who score a touchdown, and in the case the flag is tied on such that it cannot be pulled off, this penalty will be in effect. 5 yards from line of scrimmage and repeat down.

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  • Every team plays in the final "Championship Week"
  • Teams will be seeded, with top 2 seeds playing for 1st/2nd Place, next 2 seeds playing for 3rd/4th place, etc.
  • Tiebreakers for Post Season
    o Tiebreakers will be in the following order and are based on win percentage, not the number of wins:
    Head to Head Competition Least Total Points Allowed Coin Flip
  • Overtime (Playoffs Only) - If the score is tied at the end of 40 minutes, teams move directly into overtime.

o Coin flip will determine possession
o Each team will get one possession starting at mid-field (4 Downs To Score)
o Continue play until winner is determined.
o Sudden Death Rule - Each team is guaranteed one possession, after which the game will end upon the first score.
In tournament play, teams must be able to field 6 players on the field at the start of the game, or it is considered a forfeit and elimination.