Flag Football – Stadium Ball
The game of Stadium Ball is designed to be a fast, exciting, and offensive game. Two games will be simultaneously played on the floor of Memorial Stadium with one game on the starting northern 40-yard line and always moving towards the north goal, and with the other game starting on the southern 40-yard line and always moving towards the south goal.
At no point in a game will a team’s offense drive from a goalline towards the middle of the field; both games are always played from the middle of the field to goal lines.
Aside from running and passing, place-kicking will also be a part of Stadium Ball. In Stadium Ball there is a “safe-zone” from 45-yard line to 45-yard line. This zone acts as the end-zone for both offensive teams, and a ball carrier (e.g. quarterback, runner, or receiver) may not go past the back of his or her “safe-zone” or the second 45-yard line. Any play in the “safe-zone” which would normally result in a safety in an end-zone in flag football (e.g. penalty, muffed snap, fumble, etc.) will result in a turnover. The defensive team will then start their offensive possession at the 40-yard line. Enforcement of penalties shall not move a team past their nearest 45-yard line. All possessions start at the 40-yard line (Exception: Penalty on previous play).
The offensive team shall have four (4) downs to reach or pass the 20-yard line at which time they will receive an additional four (4) downs to score. If the offense has not reached the 20-yard line and still has at least one down remaining, they may attempt a field goal. When the offense is inside the 20-yard line but has not scored, they may also attempt a field goal provided they have at least one down remaining. There are no punts in Stadium Ball, and all changes of possession will result in the offense taking over possession at the 40-yard line.
Eight players shall constitute a team; Six players are the minimum to start and finish a game. A maximum of 14 players can suit up for a particular game. In addition, each team must supply one person to assist with the down marker/line of scrimmage.
All players are responsible for reading this document prior to participating in Flag Football. These rules are subject to modifications when games are played at sites other than Memorial Stadium.
- End of Game, Roster Limits & Equipment
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.
Each Open team is allowed a maximum of fourteen (14) players on their roster.
Either one of the two teams is required to provide the game ball for their respective game. The ball MUST be official sized and approved by the officials.
No player may run the ball up the middle within 2.5 yards from where the ball was snapped. If the player clears the 2.5 yard radius from where the ball is snapped and reverses direction, he or she is permitted to run up the middle.
Players are prohibited from wearing: track or metal cleated shoes, padded suits, or special protective devices (e.g. shoulder pads, helmets, etc.). Players must wear shoes. Players of opposing teams must wear contrasting colored jerseys. Jerseys must be either:
- 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.
Teams shall consist of eight (8) players, but the minimum starting number is six (6). Failure to provide the minimum number of players at game time will result in an automatic loss. Failure to provide the minimum by 15 minutes past game time will result in a forfeit.
Note: There may be no more than eight (8) players in the offensive huddle before the snap.
- Periods and Time Factors
Playing Time and Intermissions
Playing time will follow the 15-5-15-10 Rule. The first half will be fifteen (15) minutes in length, running clock. The first half will end with a 5-play series. The second half will be fifteen minutes in length, running clock. The game will end with a 10-Play Series.
The game-ending 10-Play Series shall be conducted in the following manner:
- 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 in 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.
If, after the completion of the 15-minute second half, a team is leading by seventeen (17) points or more or obtains such a lead during the course of the 10-Play Series, the game will end.
In the event of a tie game, the following procedures shall govern play. During the regular season, the game shall be ruled a tie.
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.
- Each team will be given four (4) downs from the same 10-yard line. The object will be to score a touchdown. If the first team which is awarded the ball scores, the second team shall still have four (4) downs. Extra points will be attempted. If the defense intercepts the ball (during a set of four downs), and returns it past the 45-yard line, they win the game. If they do not return the ball past the 45-yard line, the ball will be placed at the 10-yard line to begin their series of four (4) downs. If the first defensive team intercepts during a two-point conversion and returns it for two-points, they do not automatically win but instead begin their set of four downs.
- 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.
- If the score is tied after the first overtime, a second will be played, etc…
Each team shall have two (2) time-outs during each half of the game. An Official may stop the clock at other times if, in his/her judgment, unusual conditions prevail that call for such an action (i.e. an injury).
- Ball in Play, Dead Ball, and Out of Bounds
If an official blows his or her whistle inadvertently, the ball is dead and the play stops. Referee’s judgment will govern the situation.
All fumbles are dead as soon as the ball touches the ground. The ball will be spotted for the next down from the point where the ball first touched the ground, if the ball lands parallel to or behind the ball carrier. If the ball lands in front of the ball carrier, it will be spotted from the point where the player fumbled the ball. (Exceptions: Fumbles that land in either end zone.)
- 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.
Kicking the Ball
The following procedures will govern punt situations:
- Kick-offs: There are no kickoffs. All possessions start at the 40-yard line except when a penalty on the previous play moves the starting spot forward or backward.
- Punts: There are no punts.
- Field goals and PATs:
- Field goals can be attempted on any down. When a field goal is being attempted, it must be place-kicked and there shall be no rush. All players (excluding the center must do down to a knee to clear out towards the sidelines. The center must snap the ball through his legs and the ball must travel in aminimum of five yards before it is placed for the try. Also, the kicker must havekicked the ball within three (3) seconds of the snap. If no kick is attempted for whatever reason (e.g. bad snap), and the offensive team has one or more downs remaining, they may choose to attempt another field goal. The ball will be placed at the spot where the bad snap touches the ground. A ball that hits the ground before the setter places shall be whistled dead.
- PATs are place-kicks also and can only be attempted after touchdown has been scored. The ball shall be placed on the three-yard line and must be kicked within three (3) seconds of the snap. Exceeding the time limit will constitute a “no-good” try. The offense also has the option of going for two (2) points after a touchdown. In this case, the ball will be placed at the 10-yard line and the offense must run or pass for the two points.
- Kicking is only part of the game when games are played in Memorial Stadium. At all other sites, PATs may be attempted for 1 point (3 yard line), 2 points (10 yard line), and 3 points (20 yard line).
- Snapping, Handing, and Passing the Ball
The ball must be snapped with one fluid motion from the ground. Legal snaps need not be through the legs.
The offensive team must have at least five (5) players on their scrimmage line (anywhere along their scrimmage line).
One offensive player may be in motion, but not toward the opponent’s goal line. Other offensive players must be stationary in their positions without movement of their feet, body, head, or arms. The offensive team must still have five (5) players on their scrimmage line at the snap not including the man in motion.
No Direct Snap
The player who receives the snap must be at least two yards behind the offensive scrimmage line.
- 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.
If a legal forward pass is caught simultaneously by members of opposing teams, the ball becomes dead at the spot of the catch and belongs to the team that snapped the ball. Such catches may not be advanced.
During a legal forward pass, contact which interferes with an eligible receiver is pass interference, unless it occurs when two or more eligible receivers make a simultaneous and bona fide attempt to reach, catch, or bat a pass. It is also pass interference if an eligible receiver is deflagged prior to touching the ball. In addition, if the pass interference by either player is intentional or unsportsmanlike, his or her team shall be penalized an additional ten yards.
The player directly receiving the ball from center may only cross the line of scrimmage if they are five (5) or more yards from where the ball is snapped.
If the defensive team intercepts a pass and returns it past the 45-yard line, they are awarded a two-point score. The intercepting team will then begin their possession at the 40-yard line. If a team does not return the interception into the “safe-zone,” they still retain possession (starts 40-yard line). Penalties on interception returns will be enforced in the following manner:
- If an intercepting team returns an interception into the “safe-zone” but commits a penalty during a return, their two-point score will be nullified. The intercepting team maintains possession and will be penalized accordingly from the starting spot of their next possession (half the distance to the “safe-zone”).
- If a team intercepts a pass, does not return it for a score, and in the process commits a penalty, it will also be penalized half the distance.
- If in any instance the team throwing the interception commits a penalty, they will also be penalized according (5 or 10 yards- depending on infraction).
- Scoring Plays and Touchbacks
A touchdown shall be worth six points.
Note: Interceptions of an attempted conversion may be returned. If returned to the end-zone, the intercepting team will be awarded two points.
Safety = Turnover: It is a safety (turnover) when any player in possession of the ball is downed in his or her safe-zone, or when a ball is fumbled or muffed in one’s own safe-zone.
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
Offensive Screen Blocking
The offensive screen block shall take place without contact. The screen blocker shall have his/her hands and arms at his/her side or behind his/her back. Any use of the hands, arms, elbows, legs or body to initiate contact during an offensive player’s screen block is illegal. A player must be on his/her feet before, during and after executing a screen block.
Teammates of a runner or passer may interfere for him/her by screen blocking but shall not use interlocked interference by grasping or encircling one another in any manner.
Use of Hands or Arms by the Defense
Defensive players must go around the offensive player’s screen block. The arms and hands may not be used as a wedge to contact the opponent. Screen blocks will be judged as legal or illegal similar to how blocks and charges are judged in Basketball.
- 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.
Loss of Flags
When a runner loses his/her flag belt accidentally, inadvertently or intentionally, play continues and the deflagging reverts to a one-hand tag between the shoulders and knees.
Taunting, in any way, is not allowed in IM Sports and is considered a dead ball penalty.