The Cal Intramural Sports Flag Football Rules are based on the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Flag & Touch Football Rules. Some of the more important rules as well as rules unique to the Cal Intramural Sports Program are included herein. All players are responsible for reading this document prior to participating in Flag Football.
Good sportsmanship is essential in Intramural Sports contests. Therefore, if a player or players are sent off from a game, they will receive a minimum, automatic one-game suspension. The suspension of that player becomes effective immediately following the ejection and carries through the remainder of that game, and the following game. While on suspension, the player is not allowed to participate in any Intramural Sports-sponsored sport, special event, activity, or IFC Sport. In order to be reinstated for play, the player(s) must meet with the Student Director, Sport Programs, and/or the Director, Intramural Sports. Meetings take place at the availability of Intramural Sports Staff and must be scheduled appointments. Call (510) 643-6822 to schedule an appointment. Failure to meet with the above individuals maintains the suspension in full effect. In some cases where appropriate, the Intramural Sports Director may suspend the player(s) for a longer period. In extreme situations, the matter will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
All participants must be prepared to show Game Officials a valid University of California, Berkeley, Student ID Card, or a current Cal Rec Club Card in order to participate in Intramural Sports. Individuals without current membership and picture identification will not be allowed to participate. A team unable to field a minimum number of players with current membership and picture identification will forfeit the contest.
Flag Football rules
End of Game: An offensive team may kneel the ball in lieu of running a play at any time during the game including the 5-play series at the end of the 1st half and the 10-play series at the end of the second half.
- Long enough to remain tucked into pants or shorts during the entire down, or
- Short enough so there is a minimum of four (4) inches from the bottom of the jersey to the player’s waistline.
Periods and Time Factors
- The Referee will announce to both teams the end of the 15-minute second half and beginning of the 10-Play Series.
- The game shall continue with no interruption other than the Referee’s notification that 10 plays remain. The team with possession shall retain possession.
- PATs and downs on which a non-loss of down penalty is accepted are not counted toward the 10-play total. Punts do count as a play during the 10-Play Series. Exception: A game cannot end with a punt on the 10th play of a 10-Play Series. If a team punts on the 10th play, the receiving team will be allowed to run one play from scrimmage and then, barring a penalty or inadvertent whistle, the game shall end.
During the playoffs, the tie game will be resolved in the following manner:
- A coin toss shall be held at a Captain’s meeting. The winning side can choose to play offense or defense first, or can choose which side of the field to play on. The losing side makes the choice yet unmade.
- Each team will be given three downs to attempt to score a touchdown from the 10 yard line. If a touchdown is scored, the PATs will be attempted. The second team will then be given four plays to match or beat the score of their opponent. No coin toss will be held if the game is still tied after one overtime period. Teams will alternate starting on offense as the number of overtime periods increases. If the defense returns an interception for a touchdown, the game ends.
- There is no game clock, however, the 25-second play clock shall begin once each ball is placed and declared ready for play. Each team is entitled to one time-out during the overtime period.
Ball in Play, Dead Ball, and Out-of Bounds
- Once any part of ball carrier’s body touches the ground (excluding hands and feet) play shall be ruled dead.
- Twenty-five second count — the ball shall be put into play within twenty-five seconds after it is declared ready.
- Offensive team must declare its intention to punt. No fake punts are allowed.
- Both teams must have and maintain at least four (4) players within one yard of their scrimmage line and they must remain motionless until the kick is made. A line player may not raise his or her arms to distract the kicker or block the kick. The kicker must be at least five yards behind the scrimmage line when receiving the snap. After receiving the snap, the kicker must kick the ball immediately and in one continuous motion.
- A fumbled punt is dead at the spot, with the fumbler’s team maintaining possession (this is true unless the player fielding the punt fumbles directly into the hands of a player on the kicking team, without the ball hitting the ground).
- A punt that is muffed in the end zone is a touchback.
- A third down, incomplete pass in the end zone will be considered a touchback if the ball had been spotted within thirty yards of the goal line. A third down, incomplete pass in the end zone from more than thirty yards from the goal line shall be returned to the line of scrimmage. The receiver must make a bona fide attempt to catch the pass; otherwise, the penalty shall be for intentional grounding of a forward pass. In cases where touchbacks are called, the ball shall be put into play on the ten-yard line.
Snapping, Handing, and Passing the Ball
- A forward pass may be made from any point behind the line of scrimmage. Handing the ball forward will not be considered a forward pass.
- Only one foot needs to touch in bounds for a pass to be complete.
Scoring Plays and Touchbacks
- Note: Interceptions of an attempted conversion may be returned. If returned to the end-zone, the intercepting team will be awarded two points.
- Note: In the case of any foul for which the penalty is accepted, a measurement is from on or behind its (offensive team’s) goal line, it is a safety (e.g. intentional grounding).
Conduct of Players and Others
- Guarding the Flag belt: Runners shall not flag guard by using their hands, shoulders, arms, or the ball to deny the opportunity for opponent to pull or remove the flag belt.
- Spinning: Spinning is allowed, however, two full steps must be taken between spins.
- A player on the ground cannot touch a ball carrier.