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St. Louis SSC Flag Football Rules       



· The dimensions of the field are 80 yards x 30 yards. 

· The breakdown of the playing field includes four 15 yard zones, and two end zones (each 10 yards long).  



Game Clock Regulations

· Games includes two 20-minute halves, with a 3-minute half time.

· There is a 20 second play clock, meaning the offense has 20 seconds to put the ball in play once the official declares it ready for play.

· The game clock will run continuously except for stoppages due to penalties, injuries, or any stoppage due to the official’s discretions. 

· During the last two minutes of each half, the clock will stop for:

· Incomplete passes

· Any player with the ball who runs out of bounds

· All penalties

· After a team scores

· Time outs

· Also, during the final 2 minutes of each half, the offensive team may take a knee to run time off the clock.  The quarterback must kneel immediately after taking the snap.  NO FAKES ALLOWED! 




· All players must be 21 years of age or older.

· All players must wear the official league shirt, and have paid an entry fee

· Each team starts 7 players on offense/defense. Minimum of 3 female players

· The minimum number of players to start a game is 5 (2 females)

· If after 5 minutes, a team does not have the minimum number of players, the game is considered a forfeit. A $50 forfeit fee will be assessed. (IMPORTANT PLEASE READ FORFEIT SECTION ON PAGE 8 FOR INFORMATION ON THE FORFEIT FEE)

· Teams may substitute at any time, but must keep the minimum number of females on the field.  The idea is to let everyone play!


Game Play: Start of the Game

· Before the start of the game, possession will be determined by a coin toss.  The team captain that wins the coin toss will have the option to

· Start the game on offense

· Begin on defense (will start the 2nd half on offense)

· Choose an end zone to defend. 

· **There is no option to defer until the second half**

· The team electing possession of the ball will start the game with the ball at their 5-yard line.

· Each team is allowed 2, one- minute time outs per game.  



Game Play: Offense

· Forced Gender Play: Offenses may not run 3 consecutive “non-female” plays.  If the offense runs 2 consecutive non-female plays, the next play is a “forced gender play.” To be considered a forced gender play, a female must be either:

· The intended receiver (judgment call by official)

· On a forced gender play, pass attempts to female receivers cannot be intercepted by a male defender unless the ball has already contacted the intended female receiver. If a male defender intercepts a pass prior to contact by the intended female receiver, the play will be ruled dead, and the forced gender play restriction is reset.  This rule only applies to forced gender plays.

                      · If a pass to a female player on a forced gender play is significantly overthrown or underthrown, then a male defensive play may intercept the ball without the female receiver touching the ball first.  Whether the ball is significantly overthrown or underthrown is a judgement call by the official--if you're in doubt, then do not attemp to intercept the pass.

· The quarterback


· Examples of unacceptable forced gender plays:

· A female receives a hand off only to hand it back to a male behind the line of scrimmage

· A female snaps the ball into play

· A female receives a hand-off

· A male QB intentionally throws the ball into the ground at the feet of a woman

· A female QB grounds the ball to stop the clock

· A female QB throws a pass that is caught behind the line of scrimmage.


· During a Forced Gender Play, if the QB is sacked or fumbles the snap, the next play remains a forced gender play.

· The gender rule is not in effect during for extra points or punts.

· The Penalty for running or passing 3 consecutive non-female plays is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage, loss of down, and the next play remains a forced gender play.

·  Defenses MUST play man coverage during a forced gender play




· Touchdowns: All MALE touchdowns are worth 6 points. All FEMALE* touchdowns are worth 7 points. (*Female must be the QB or receiver on the play).

· Extra point/2 point conversion: Offenses may elect for an extra point or 2 point conversion.  The ball will be placed on the 10 yard line for an extra point conversion, and at the 15 yard line for a 2 point conversion. NOTE: If the defense intercepts a pass during an extra point conversion, and returns it to their endzone, they will be awarded the same number of points as the attempted conversion (1 or 2 points). 

· Safeties: Defenses are awarded 2 points and the ball on their own 5 yard line for a safety. 



First Downs: The playing field will be divided into four 15-yard zones. A first down is made by reaching the next zone in 4 downs. On 4th down, offenses have the option to punt or attempt to convert a first down.  Failure to achieve a first down results in the opposing team assuming possession at the spot of the ball at the end of the play.



Punts: The offensive team must declare their intention to punt on fourth down. NO FAKE PUNTS ARE ALLOWED. All punts are free kicks—NO RUSH BY THE DEFENSE. The kicking team must stay on the line of scrimmage until the ball is punted. The receiving team may fair catch the ball or attempt to advance it. If the ball hits the ground after touching any part of the receiver’s body, it becomes a dead ball. If the ball travels into the end zone without being touched or is downed in the end zone, it comes out to the 10 yard line.



Blocking: BLOCKING IN ANY/ALL FORMS IS ILLEGAL.  This includes downfield blocking during an offensive play and during punt returns.  All players MUST TRY TO AVOID CONTACT with any player on the football field. 



Quarterbacks: Quarterbacks must remain in the pocket to be protected by the delayed rush (5 seconds until defense can rush).  Any attempt by the quarterback to scramble or roll out of the pocket will allow the defense to rush without the 5 second delay.  



Receivers: Receivers only need one foot down in bounds for a legal reception.


Formations: Offenses must have a minimum of 5 offensive players on the line of scrimmage.  Three of these players need to form an "offensive line". 

                  Ex: every teams needs a center to snap the ball, and one offensive lineman on either side of the center.  These players are eligible receivers and are NOT there to block--blocking is illegal.   The whole point of this is to organize play and keep things safe. 



Ball Carriers/Fumble: THERE ARE NO FUMBLES.  If the ball touches the ground it is a dead ball and the offense retains possession at the spot.  Offensive players MAY NOT leave their feet to advance the ball (dive, hurdle, etc).



Lateral: Players may lateral the ball.  Any lateral hitting the ground is dead at the spot.




Game Play: Defense

· A Tackle: The play is dead once the ball carrier’s flag has been pulled off.  Defenders may leave their feet to make a tackle.

· Delayed Rush: There is a 5 second delayed rush on defense. Again, the delayed rush is forfeited if the quarterback moves towards the line of scrimmage or runs outside of the pocket.

· The cadence for the count is “One thousand, two-one thousand, etc.”  The count must be loud enough for the official to hear.  A 5 yard penalty will be assessed if the count is rushed, or the official cannot clearly hear the count.

· Forced Gender Play Restrictions:

                  · Again, a male defender cannot intercept a pass thrown to a female receiver on a forced gender play, unless the ball has already touched the intended female receiver. THIS APPLIES ONLY FOR FORCED GENDER PLAYS.

                  · Defenses MUST play man coverage during a forced gender play (all male receivers must be defended)  



Mercy Rule

· If at any point during the game, a team is losing by 28 points or more, the game will be called unless both teams and the official agree to continue play.  



Overtime Rules

· If the game is tied at the end of regulation, play continues into overtime.  Overtime will begin with a coin toss.  The team who wins the coin toss has the option to start on offense or defense. Both teams will get an offensive possession. The ball will be placed at the opponent’s 15 yard line. Teams have four downs to score.  When the possession changes, the second team must match or better the score of the team that had the first possession.  In the first overtime, teams have the option of an extra point or 2 point conversion.  If the score is tied at the end of the first overtime, play continues as above, except that teams must attempt 2 point conversions.  Each team will be given one time out for per overtime session.


Sideline Judges

       · In order to keep league fees low, teams will be required to provide a representative from their team to act as a sideline judge for selected games indicated on the schedule.  Teams will never have to provide a sideline judge for their own game.  The role of the sideline judge is just to assist the referee with spotting the ball in play, and making sure ball carriers do not run out of bounds.

       · If a team does not supply a sideline judge for their indicated game, a win will be subtracted for each offense.


League Standings

· As expected, the standings are based on wins and losses.  In the event of a tie breaker, the following will be used:  Head to head matchup then points allowed, then points scored.







· Defensive offsides: A player is considered offsides if they cross the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped, or if they rush the quarterback before the five second count is over. The offense has the option to accept five-yard penalty or take the results of the play.

· Defensive Rush Infraction:  Inaudible or rushed 5 second cadence. The offense has the option to accept five-yard penalty or take the results of the play



· Delay of game: The offensive team must run a play within 20 seconds after the ball is declared ready by the official.

· Too many players on the field:  Each team may not have more than 7 players (minimum of 3 females) on the field at one time.

· Offensive offsides:  Offensive players cannot move forward in the direction of the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped.

· Forced Gender Foul: Ignoring or improper execution of a forced gender play (See Forced Gender Play above). Penalty also results in a loss of down, and the next play remains a forced gender play.

· lIlegal forward pass: During each play, the offense may make only one forward pass from behind the line of scrimmage.  The defense can either accept or decline the penalty.

· Intentional Grounding: Regardless of the presence/absence of a defensive rush, an attempted pass by a quarterback must be within a reasonable distance to an intended receiver (Official’s judgment call). 

· Diving: Offensive players may not leave their feet in order to gain positive yards. The penalty is assessed from the spot of the infraction.





· Flag guarding – Ball carriers cannot obstruct the flag (official’s judgement call)

· Blocking:  Blocking in any capacity is illegal.



· Holding: A Defender may not impede the progress of an offensive player in any way.

· Defensive Pass Interference: A defender may not initiate contact with the intended receiver before the ball has contacted the receiver. 



· Screening/Picking: During the play, an offensive player may not intentionally pick/block a defender. 

· Offensive Pass Interference: The intended receiver may not initiate contact with the defender before the ball has contacted the receiver.





· Unsportsmanlike conduct: Any conduct detrimental to the casually competitive, social nature of the league. 

· Examples: Excessive or rough contact, taunting, abusive language or gesture to another player or referee, spiking the ball, etc

· Depending on the severity of the infraction, an official may eject the offending player from the game.  This will result in an automatic 2 week suspension.




· Tee Shirts: All players MUST wear the STLSSC tee shirt for each game.

· Permitted Alterations: Players may add their names, numbers and other similar personal information to their tee shirt. Player’s additions may not cover the STLSSC or sponsor logo. All other alterations are not permitted and penalties may apply (see below).

· Penalty: Players who do not wear the official STLSSC Tee Shirt will be ineligible for that week’s game. Team members may not exchange tee shirts with other team members. If a player is not listed on the team roster and participates in a game, the team will forfeit the game and must pay a $50 fine. Team with players who violate the alteration guidelines must purchase new STLSSC shirts ($50/shirt), and the offending team will forfeit all games until it has paid for the new shirts.

· No metal spikes are allowed.  All other types of cleats are acceptable. 

·The STLSSC will provide league approved balls.  If a team would like to use their own ball, it must be approved by the visiting team AND referee.




· If a team does not have the minimum number of players by 5 minutes aftergame time, a $50 forfeit fine will be assessed. The money will go towards your opponent’s bar tab. If a team contacts the St Louis Sports and Social Club within 24 hours of the scheduled start of the game, a forfeit fine will NOT be assessed. This will allow the opposing team captain to inform their team of the forfeit. 



· All fines must be paid before your next game. Teams not paying will have 2 points taken off their win total for each week that fine is not paid. 




Remember, we are all here to have fun.  The officials have the final say.