Download the full rules here: VSSC_Flag_Football_Rules.pdf
Download the field setup diagram here: Flag Football Field Setup PDF
Sport & Social Club General Rules
Score & Spirit Point Reporting
- Game Scores (account for 75% of total points): Team captains are responsible for reporting the scores after your game by logging into your player profile and clicking on ‘My Team’ tab and selecting ‘Report Score/Spirit Points’. Teams have a 48 hour window to report scores after the completion of the game. Please be timely with your score reporting so league standings can remain updated for playoff positioning.
- Spirit Points (account for 25% of total points): Spirit points are awarded to a team from their opponent after each game to encourage sportsmanship, honesty, integrity and fair play. For more information and how to properly award spirit points, please see our section ‘All About Spirit Points’.
- Players can view league standings & schedules by logging into your player profile and clicking on ‘Standings/Schedule’.
- All players must be added to the team roster by the team captain. This process confirms that all players have electronically agreed (checked the box) to our policies and online waiver.
- Substitute players are allowed, however they must be added to the roster (check the online waiver). Adding a substitute player from another team in the same league is allowed, however, regular/consistent use of a substitute player in the same league is considered unsportsmanlike and not encouraged.
- For a player to be eligible for a playoff game, the following criteria must be met or the team will default the game:
- Be on the SSC online team roster.
- Play a minimum of two regular season games in a 6-10 week season, or three regular season games in an 11-14 week season.
- Play for only one team per league/pool in playoff games. If a player plays for two teams, the second game will be defaulted.
- A default will occur if a team cannot field a squad by 15 minutes after the official start time. If a team does not meet the standard eligibility requirements, team captains must confirm the outcome prior to starting the game. Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum players. IF IT IS AGREED THAT THE GAME COUNTS, IT COUNTS! In the event there is a default dispute and the game was played, the SSC ruling is that the game counts.
- In the event of inclement weather, follow your sport specific foul weather policy below. To view our general foul weather policy click here.
Rough Play & Player Conduct
- It is recognized that incidental contact between players is inevitable – however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating unsafe play.
- Any unsportsmanlike conduct may result in immediate expulsion from the league. This includes, physical or rough play, verbal abuse, damage to facility property and/or loss of facility permit. Fighting will result in immediate expulsion from the league. To view our Unsportsmanlike Conduct policy click here.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages, use of drugs and smoking at your game site before, during, or after your game is strictly prohibited. Offenders will be asked to leave the league without refund. No Exceptions.
Game Coordinator (GC) On-site SSC Staff
- A GC presence is dependent on sport, season, and/or facility locations. They are not referees, as all games are self-officiated. They are on-site to be a neutral supporter of both teams, clarify rules, manage equipment, start/stop games, and to inform players of league news.
- Game Coordinators may stop a game before the full time has expired due to overly aggressive play, persistent unsportsmanlike conduct or a general violation of the rules of the game.
SSC Official Flag Football Rules – Coed 7-on-7
- Flag football is a version of Canadian football where the basic rules of the game are similar to those of the mainstream game (often called "tackle football" for contrast), but instead of tackling players to the ground, the defensive team must remove a flag or flag belt from the ball carrier ("deflagging") to end a down.
Game Length & Foul Weather Guidelines
- Games are 60 minutes in length including a 5 minute halftime midway through the game (unless otherwise indicated in your schedule).
- Games start and end according to your online SSC schedule.
- If games start late, games must finish at the scheduled time (e.g. 6:15pm-7:00pm).
- Games are played rain or shine.
- If a game is stopped due to lightning, games played until half time will constitute a complete game.
- If one team shows up during foul weather to play and the other team is missing, or if one team leaves mid-game and there is an opportunity to continue play - it is an automatic win for the present team.
- Teams are required to bring an NFL size Football, six (6) pylons, and a set of ten (10) flag belts (with 2 flags each) for every game.
- This equipment is available to rent through SSC. A $75 refundable deposit is required for the equipment, payable through online registration.
- Teams should bring both light & dark coloured t-shirts to help distinguish opponents.
- Please wear shorts/pants with NO pockets. This will reduce finger injuries when trying to grab the flags.
- Only flags with Velcro attachments to the belt are permitted.
- Metal cleats are not allowed.
Players on Field and Gender Ratio
- Teams are comprised of 7 players on the field.
- Teams must play with a minimum of 2 males and 2 females on the field at all times.
- A team can play with a minimum of 5 people, as long as the gender requirements are met.
- Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum players and gender ratio before the game starts.
Field & Player Set-Up
- Team captains should meet before the start of the game to set-up the field with the required pylons.
- Please check the online SSC schedule for a specific map of the facility and field orientation (when available).
- To view a diagram of a flag football field set-up, click on the pdf document in the rules section.
- The field set-up includes:
- Total field length (60 paces)
- Between the end zones (50 paces)
- End zones (5 paces)
- Total field width (35 paces)
- A pace is approximately 3 heel-to-toe steps.
- Flags should be placed on the hips of each player at the outset of each play. The flag must be on top of all clothing and cannot be folded over such that the Velcro attachment is on the inside or hidden.
- To start the game, teams can decide who gets ‘first ball’ by either a coin toss or playing a game of rock, paper-scissors.
- Teams should switch sides at half time.
- Teams are responsible for keeping score & time.
- A game can end in a tie during the regular season.
- A point is scored when a player catches any legal pass or runs the ball into the defensive end zone prior to having one of their flags stripped.
- To score a player must step over the line in the end zone (it is not enough to have the "plane of the end zone" broken by the ball).
- Teams receive one (1) point for each touchdown.
- There are no conversions.
Game Start & General Rules
- The kicking team will kick-off from their own end zone line. All players on the team must line-up behind the kicker and can only start to run downfield once the ball has been kicked. If the ball is kicked out of bounds, the offensive team will start their drive at the spot where the ball left the playing area – there is not an option to ask for a re-kick.
- From the time the ball is placed on the line of scrimmage, the offense has 30 "steamboats" to start the next play. Running down the clock with an unnecessarily long huddle is not an acceptable strategy.
- If a defending team sacks the quarterback (or any offensive player with the ball) in the offensive end zone, the ball is turned over at midfield to the defending team.
- If an interception occurs in the end-zone and the player is flagged down, a touchback will occur, and the intercepting team will gain possession on the 10-yard line.
- If the ball is kicked through the end zone on either a punt or kick-off (or kicked into the end zone and the receiving team elects not to run the ball out by letting the ball go), the offensive team will start their drive 10 paces out from their end zone, in the centre of the field. If the receiving team elects to catch the ball in the end zone (or runs back into the end zone after catching the ball), the receiver is in play and runs the risk of being tackled in his/her own end zone.
- After a punt/kickoff, if the ball comes in contact with a player on the receiving team before touching the ground, the ball is live (considered a fumble).
- Teams may call a one (1) minute time-out per half if needed except during the last 10 minutes of play.
- Ending the Half or Game - With three minutes to go in the half (game), there are 5 plays left in the half (game). A kick-off after a touchdown is not considered a play.
Offense, Quarterback and Receiving
- The offensive team has four (4) downs to cover the entire field. If the offensive team fails to score on the 4th down, the ball is turned over and the new offensive team starts their drive from the position where the last play ended.
- The offensive team may punt on the 4th down, and does not need to notify the defense of their intentions to do so.
- The Quarterback may only run the football past the line of scrimmage when/if any defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage at the end of the 5 “steamboats”. If a defensive player does not cross the line of scrimmage, the Quarterback cannot run the ball.
- To start an offensive play, the ball must be snapped by the offensive Center, from the point of scrimmage to the Quarterback. There is no minimal distance required by the Quarterback who can be either up close to the Center or in a shot-gun formation. The Quarterback cannot self-snap.
- Spinning - An offensive player CAN turn their bodies from side to side, but cannot spin 360 degrees. This prevents defensive players from injuring their fingers. If a player spins, the ball is dead at the point where the spin occurred.
- Offensive players may not block or otherwise obstruct any defensive players.
- Offensive players cannot protect/cover/hide/block his/her flag. If the person with the ball blocks the defenders hand from grabbing their flag, the play is dead where the block occurred.
- An offensive player can dive or jump to catch a ball, but once in possession he/she cannot leave their feet at any time. This includes all forms of jumping and diving. If the ball carrier breaks this rule, the play is dead at the point where the player stood before the infraction.
- If a flag inadvertently falls off the ball carrier, or if a player attempts to grab a flag and there is not one on the hip of the offensive player, the play is stopped at that location.
- First point of contact: A receiver is determined to be "in" or "out" based on their first point of contact with the ground. If a player lands first with one foot in-bounds, and then the other foot touches down out-of-bounds, it IS a legal catch, but the play ends where they touched the out of bounds line. If a player catches the ball, but is straddling or lands straddling the sideline, it is NOT a catch. Only a one foot landing is needed - as long as that foot touches down in-bounds.
- The defense must loudly count five (5) "steamboats" before rushing the Quarterback.
- While counting, the defense must line up at or behind the line of scrimmage.
- Steamboats should be counted as follows: "one...steam...boat".
- Once the ball has come in contact with a 2nd offensive player (Quarterback hand-off or throw to receiver), the defending players can cross over the line of scrimmage before the end of the 5 “steamboats” and engage with the offensive players.
- A defender may not step in front of the ball carrier or block a running lane if it has the potential to create an unsafe play. Likewise an offensive player should not run with their head down, in an attempt to run through the defenders. In other words, incidental contact is inevitable, but players should not be run over. Please use your best judgment.
- If a player carrying the ball slips/falls and one knee touches the ground, the play is dead and the defense does not have to remove a flag for the play to stop. Please observe this rules carefully as it helps to promote safer play.
- If the football touches the ground for any reason (kick-offs, fumbles, handoffs, etc) the ball is dead and the play is over. The next play is started at the spot where the ball hit the ground.
Violations & Making Calls
- The offending player should call their own infractions, however any players involved with the infraction can also make a call.
- Players not on the field at the time of any incident cannot make a call at any time.
- Fouls (including picks) that are called by the offence or defence will lead to a re-down (the play starting over from the line of scrimmage). Once a foul is called, the play must stop and the play is started over. If the offence/defence is fouled, they can choose not to call a foul if it is an advantage to do so. Example - A receiver is fouled as they catch the ball and continues to run the ball in for a touchdown.
- All games are self-refereed. Disputes about a possible infraction are to be discussed amongst the people involved in the play. If an agreement cannot be reached, simply redo the down. Please play safely and with good spirit.
- Playoff games should be 50 minutes in length in anticipation of needing the extra time to settle a tie.
- A game can end in a tie during the regular season. In the playoffs, if regulation time expires and the score is tied, the game continues until a team has scored to break the tie.
- Team Playoff Position: Ties in the standings will be broken first on head-to-head play. If there are more than 2 teams that are tied, all the teams must have played each other in order for the results to go to head-to-head. Otherwise, least points against, then +/-, then most points for will determine the placement in that order.
- The SSC office will update the playoff schedule once all scores have been submitted and after the last regular season game. Please do not assume the time/location of your playoff game until team names have been posted into the schedule.
Remember… Always have fun!
Game locations include (but not limited to):