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Flag Football

2015 Flag Football Printable rules

Tackle Director Danny Isida


Although the game is serious to the kids, from the adult viewpoint, Mitey-Mite is strictly a training division, completely free of any pressure to win, with a total emphasis on learning. While scores are kept, no local championship may be declared, but post-season play is permitted. Coaches may remain on the field, at the option of the League. A maximum of one (1) coach per team is permitted on the field except during kickoffs and punts.

A. There shall be:

1.) No blitzing

2.) No rushing of punts, field goals or point after touchdown (while attempting a kick) in Mitey-Mite/Tiny Mite play.

3.) No more than six (6) defensive players can be on the line of scrimmage or rush the ball.

4.) Defensive players on the line of scrimmage must be in either a three or four point stance and may not line up over center. Penalty for violation of the above: First violation: Warning: Additional violations: 15 yards unsportsmanlike conduct.

S1: In the Mitey-Mite division, all tie games shall stand as ties.


S1: A game is played between two teams consisting of eight (8) players each.

S2: Each team roster shall have a maximum of 24 players, and a minimum of 10 players. A forfeit will result when the minimum is not met.

S4: The offensive team must have five (5) players on the line and three (3) in the backfield. The defensive team may choose any formation except in kicking situations.

S5: Mandatory Play Rule: All players will play a minimum of 10 plays. Failure to abide by this rule will result in forfeiture of that game.

S6: A team will have 30 seconds to put the ball in play after the ready signal.


B. 80-yard field: This field measures one hundred yards in length, divided into 4 zones of twenty yards each between two end zones of ten yards each. It is 40 yards wide.

2. 80-yard field: from the 30 yard line (middle of second zone and equal distance from the sidelines).


S1-GAME BALL Each PWFF league will determine which ball will be used during its games.


A. Each player must wear a belt with the number of flags designated as “standard” by the league, which will be either 2 or 3 flags.

B. The flags will be attached to a belt and extend or hang from each side of the player’s body. When using three flags, the third will hang from the rear of the player’s body.

C. Flags will be 14-20 inches long and a minimum of 2 inches wide.

D. The belt must be tight to prevent being turned around during a de-flagging.

E. The home team will wear light flags and the visitors will wear dark flags.

F. The securing of flags to the body, waist or belt, other than provided by S-2-B, is illegal.

G. Jerseys cannot be worn over flags.

H. If a player’s flag is inadvertently lost, he is ineligible to handle the ball.

I. Flags are to be of contrasting colors, different from game uniform. Definitions of uniform shall be game pants and/or jersey.

NOTE: The flags will be attached to a belt made for that purpose. Such a belt has equal resistance at the point of attachment of flags, thereby ensuring an equal effort necessary to de-flag a player.


A. All team members must wear the same color jersey.

B. All uniforms must have the Official Authorized Pop Warner Patch displayed in the designated areas as determined by National.

C. All jerseys will be numbered, front and back.

D. Any type of pants may be worn provided said pants have no front or side pockets.

E. Jerseys will be tucked in at all times.

F. Sneakers are the preferred shoe; however, non-detachable, rubber-cleated shoes are allowed. No other footwear is acceptable.


Eye glasses, when worn, shall be of athletically-approved construction with non-shattering glass (safety glass).


Mouth guards are required and cannot be clear or white, no keeper strap is necessary.


S1: Spiked or street shoes.

S2: Padding of any kind, including hard surface padding such as shoulder pads, hip pads, and helmets. S3: Hard metal or any other hard substance on a player’s clothing or person.

S4: Anything that conceals the flags.

S5: Slick or sticky substances such as grease or glue.

S6: Any equipment, in the opinion of the referee that will endanger or confuse players.



One coach for each team will be permitted on the field.


B. Two 20-minute running clock halves.

C. Three (3) time-outs per half.

D. Ten (10) minutes between halves.

S5-Special teams

Special Note: It was discussed in a Flag Head Coaches meeting this year (2015) Special teams will be left to the discretion of each coach BEFORE the start of the game.  

B. The 80-yard field kickoff will be from the 30-yard line. (Although this yard line is not diagrammed, the kickoff line will be marked with an appropriate symbol, usually an “X”.)

C. There shall be no on-side kickoffs permitted, and the kicking team shall not be permitted to recover the kickoff under any condition.

D. When a kickoff goes out of bounds the receiving team shall have the option of:

1. Taking the ball at the point where it went out of bounds OR

2. Accept a five (5) yard penalty and re-kick the ball.

E. There will be no kickoffs in the Cat flag division. Ball will be placed on 30 yard line.


A. The offensive team may punt at any time.

B. A punt is always a free kick.

C. Punting intentions are announced to the referee by the captain, or acting captain.

D. Rushing the punter is prohibited. No offensive or defensive player may move across the line of scrimmage until the kick has been made.

E. Free Catch-There shall be a free catch of a punt. The receiver shall signify his intentions for a free catch by waving his hand clearly over his head.

F. There will be no punting in the Cat flag division. Teams take over where down ends. S7-DOWNS (First down and zone to go)

A. Each team will have four consecutive downs to advance the ball into the next zone or to score a touchdown.

B. Once a team enters into the next zone, it is a first down and a new series of downs begins.

C. A team failing to move the ball into the next zone will lose possession. The opposing team takes over at the point where the ball is declared dead and begins its series of first down and zone to go.

D. The forward part of the ball touching any line will be the determining factor in measuring for a first down.

E. A down will be repeated if provided for by the rules (See Rule 13.)

F. When the offensive team is within the last zone and has a first down, it will be first down and goal to go.

G. At the conclusion of each down, the referee will place the ball in the center of the field (equal distance from sidelines not on a hash mark).


A. There shall be no tackling of the ball carrier, passer, or kicker.

B. The player carrying or having possession of the ball is down when the flag is removed from his waist (deflagging). The defensive player shall hold the flag above his head and stand still.

C. The defensive player cannot hold or push the ball carrier to remove his flag. An accidental touch of the body or shoulder while reaching for the flag shall not be considered a violation; however, touching of the head or face shall be considered a violation.

D. A defensive player may not run over, push, or pull a blocker away from him. He may push him sideways if he gets past him, but he cannot push the blocker down. 2015 Pop Warner Rule Book 59

E. A defensive player must go for the passer’s flag. He cannot touch the passer’s arm.


A. A blocker must be on his feet at all times while blocking. All linemen, except the center, must not assume the three point stance or otherwise spring from a coiled or crouching start. Instead, they must simply stand at the line of scrimmage and await the snap. The center, though crouching, if he is to block, must first stand straight up.

B. Cross body and roll blocking are not permitted.

C. A blocker cannot use his hands.

D. Blocking shall be done with the arms and body in the form of shoulder and brush blocking only.

E. A defensive player cannot block or push a ball carrier out-of bounds.

F. Butting, elbowing or knee blocking is not permitted.

G. There will be no two-on-one blocking for the ball carrier beyond the line of scrimmage.

H. Blocking a player from behind is not permitted (clipping

There will be no interlocking blocking.

J. A defensive player will be restricted in the use of his hands to the blocker’s body and shoulders.


A. The ball carrier cannot use his hands or arms to protect his flags. The defensive player must have the opportunity to remove the ball carrier’s flags.

B. The ball carrier cannot lower his head to drive or run into a defensive player.

C. Stiff-arming by the ball carrier is illegal.

D. The ball carrier cannot spin or hurdle to prevent a defensive player from removing his flags.

E. He may run in any direction until the ball is declared dead.

S11-CENTER (also see S9:A)

A. The center must snap the ball between his legs.

B. He must have both feet on the scrimmage line with no part of his body beyond the forward point of the ball.

C. He may adjust the long part of the ball at right angles to the scrimmage line for one time only.


A. All backfield men are eligible passers.

B. Passing will be attempted from behind the line of scrimmage only.

C. A lateral pass is a pass thrown parallel to the line of scrimmage or back toward the passer’s own goal line. A lateral pass is not considered a forward pass.

D. A forward pass is a pass thrown from behind the line of scrimmage toward the defensive team’s goal line.


A. All players are eligible to receive forward passes.

B. A receiver may catch a ball even if he steps out-of-bounds or out of the end zone as long as he comes down with one foot in bounds.

C. Two or more receivers may touch a ball in succession resulting in a completed pass.

D. If an offensive and defensive player catch a pass simultaneously, the ball is declared dead at the spot of the catch and the passing team is awarded possession.

E. An offensive player cannot be out-of-bounds and return in-bounds to catch a pass. This will be ruled an incomplete pass.


All balls touching the ground are immediately dead (except kickoffs and punts). For example, the ball is declared dead at the following times:

A. When the ball carrier touches the ground with his body, other than hands or feet.

B. When the ball carrier’s flag has been pulled.

C. If a pass receiver or ball carrier has a missing flag (ball is dead at that spot).

D. Following a touchdown, safety or touchback.

E. When the ball goes out-of-bounds for any reason.

F. If the center snap hits the ground before reaching a backfield man.

G. When the ball hits the ground as a result of a fumble or muffed ball.


H. If a lateral pass touches the ground (ball is declared dead at that point). If a lateral pass goes out-of-bounds, the ball is ruled dead at the point it crosses the boundary line.

I. If a forward pass strikes the ground or is caught at the same time by an opposing player(s).

J. When a player on the kicking team touches a punt before a player on the receiving team.

K. A free catch (cannot be advanced).


When one team is 30 or more points ahead at the end of the first half or it takes this lead during the second half, the game is ended at that point. THIS RULE ALSO APPLIES TO TOURNAMENT PLAY.


Touchdown 6 points

Safety 2 points

Points after touchdown:

Passing 2 points

Running. 1 point

Forfeit (offended team wins by) 1-0


S1: Tie games will go into the record as such and will not be played off in regular season play


Since two football field sizes can be used, penalties are adjusted accordingly. The 100-yard field will be assessed the standard fifteen (15) and five (5) yard penalties. The 80-yard field will be assessed ten (10) and five (5) yard penalties. With this in mind, references to penalties will be given as (15-10) and (5-5) in the following listings.


A. Offside, defensive or offensive (5-5)

B. Illegal snap (5-5)

C. Failure to observe 30 second rule (5-5)

D. Illegal motion-more than one backfield man in motion (5-5)

E. Illegal formation, offense (5-5)


A. Failure to announce to the referee-(5-5) and punt is repeated, or the receiving team may take the ball at the spot where the ball is declared dead.

B. If the kicking or receiving team enters the neutral zone before the punt-(5-5) from the spot where the ball is declared dead after the kick.

C. Less than five players on the line of scrimmage for the offensive or defensive team-(5-5) from where the ball is declared dead after the kick.

D. De-flagging a receiver after a fair catch signal-(15-10) from the spot of the foul.


A. If an illegal forward pass is thrown and intercepted, the play will continue until the ball is declared dead. The intercepting team has the option of possession from that spot or accepting the penalty (5-5).

B. Passer crosses the line of scrimmage-(5-5) and loss of down.

C. Intentional grounding-(5-5) and loss of down.

D Offensive pass interference-(15-10) from line of scrimmage and loss of down.

E. Defensive pass interference-first down from spot of infraction for the offensive team.


A. Continuing to play after the ball is dead-(5-5) from spot where the ball is dead.

B. Recovering a fumble or falling on the ball (5-5).

C. Advancing a fair catch (5-5).

D. Unnecessary delay of game for any reason (5-5).


A. Tackling (15-10).

B. Wearing the flags illegally (5-5).

C. Ball carrier using his hands to prevent a defensive player from de-flagging (15-10).

D. Holding, pushing, or hitting the ball carrier while de-flagging - (15-10).

E. Leaving one’s feet while de-flagging-(15-10) from spot of foul.

F. Wearing one flag (5-5).


A. If the ball is handed forward beyond the scrimmage line- (5-5) and loss of down.

B. Handing or snapping a ball to a lineman (5-5).


A. More than eight (8) men of the field (5-5).

B. Substitution(s) while the ball is in play or before it is declared dead (5-5).

C. Disqualified player entering game (15-10).


A. Leaving feet to block (15-10).

B. Cross body blocking or roll blocking (15-10).

C. Illegal use of hands by blocker (15-10).

D. Holding a defensive player (15-10).

E. Defensive player blocking or pushing the ball carrier out of bounds (15-10).

F. Butting, elbowing or knee blocking (15-10).

G. Defensive player using hands illegally (5-5).

H. More than two blockers for the ball carrier (on one defensive player) beyond the line of scrimmage (5-5).

I. Clipping (15-10).

J. Interlock Blocking-(15-10) from spot of foul.


A. Stiff arming-(15-10) from spot of foul.

B. Lowering head to drive or run into defensive player (15-10). 2015 Pop Warner Rule Book 64

C. Use of head (15-10).

D. Use of hands or arms to protect flags (15-10).

E. Spinning or hurdling (5-5).


A. Offensive and Defensive (15-10).

B. Disqualification of guilty player or players if repeated.


A. Fighting (15-10)-offenders ejected from game.

B. Defensive player pulling offensive player’s flag to make him ineligible for play (15-10).

C. Insulting and abusive language (15-10).

D. Interference with progress of the game by coaches or any other team personnel (15-10).

E. Illegal play (15-10).

F. Team leaving field before game is completed (15-10). Failure to return-Forfeit. Win for team remaining on the field.

G. Failure of home team to control players or fans (15-10).

H. Forfeit if not controlled.