SFAC Flag Football Rules

First and foremost, SFAC is about having fun and being social.  Everything we do is geared toward becoming a part of a social community while playing games.  Should you try to win?  Yes.  Should you be a jackass or demonstrate poor sportsmanship if you don’t win?  Nope.  Be respectful.  Be fair.  Have fun and make some new friends.  If you are reading these rules thinking “how can we exploit them?” you are approaching this with the wrong mindset.  Let’s all play within the “spirit” of the rules and have some friendly, fair, well-played games.  Become part of the SFAC community.  There are over 1000 people that play sports with us every week.  Get to know players on your team and on other teams and build your social network.


8 players on the field (players of any gender are welcomed on the field at all times)

3 linemen

4 eligible receivers

1 quarterback

There are no gender specific plays.  Treat everyone as equals and with respect.  It’s a co-ed social sport and should be treated as such.

Play starts with the ball on your own 5 yard line.

The Offense has one set of downs to reach the 50 yard line (midfield).  If they reach midfield, they get 1 more set of downs to score a touchdown.

Offense has 5 seconds (counted at a realistic pace (no auctioneer paced counts ;-)) to throw the ball.  If the quarterback has not thrown the ball after 5 seconds, the defensive line is allowed to “rush.”  The quarterback may still not run the ball.  There is absolutely no bull rushing, or aggressive hand fighting.  The offensive line can move their feet to obstruct the defense from getting to the quarterback, but keep the contact to a minimum.  This is a co-ed social sport.  Always remember we all still have to go to work the next day.  Don’t go crazy and get hurt.

The offense is not allowed to run the ball.  The only exception to this is when the defense uses a blitz.  The defense is allowed to blitz 2 times per drive (1 blitz per set of downs).  The blitz must be announced before the defense comes.  Offensive lineman become eligible receivers ONLY during a declared blitz by the defense.  Everyone on the offense can run or receive during a blitz.

There are no players “in motion” before the start of a play.  Teams must be set with eligible receivers declared and defenders lined up.  No quick snaps or trying to catch teams unprepared.  Play with integrity and play fair.  Match up with players of similar skill sets and speed.


Defense plays 8 players (any gender) on the field.

3 lineman line up with the offensive lineman.  Defensive linemen are not allowed to drop back into pass coverage (except during a blitz).  Leave the defensive backfield open for plays to take place between receivers and defensive backs.  We don’t want collisions!

Offensive line is responsible for counting out 5 seconds before the defense is allowed to rush.  Be a good sport.  Count at an honest and reasonable pace.

Defensive backs can line up however they want.  Five defenders can be in pass coverage.  3 must stay on the line.

Defense is allowed to blitz 2 times per drive (once per set of downs).  Offense is allowed to run during a blitz and only during a blitz.  Everyone becomes eligible during a blitz.

Game Play

Games are played in 2 (two) halves.  There is a 5 minute halftime before switching sides.  Team with the most points at the end of 50 minutes is the winner.

Play starts with Rock, Paper, Scissors.  Winning team chooses between starting with the ball or which side to defend.

Teams must have an absolute minimum of 5 players to play.  In which case they would play with no linemen.


Uniforms MUST be worn to match your team colors.  Flags should be on the outside of shirts.  If you’re even thinking about flag guarding or anything of the sorts, forget about it now.  Nobody likes a flag guarder.  And guarding your flags makes you a tool bag.  Don’t be a tool bag.

No metal cleats are allowed.  Rubber cleats or sneakers are acceptable.  If you show up in metal cleats, you have the option of playing barefoot or not playing.  (ie don’t wear metal).


Touchdowns are worth 1 point

This is old school playground scoring.  The team with the most touchdowns at the end of 50 minutes of game time is the winner.


In the event of an interception or turnover on downs, the offense gets 1 set of downs to either reach the 50 OR score a touchdown.  If the turnover takes place so the new offensive team is already past their opponent’s 50 yard line, the new offense only gets 1 set of downs to score a touchdown.


Fumbles are considered dead balls at the point of the fumble.


A team can just declare a punt and the ball goes to the opponent’s 5 yard line.  Theres no need to throw or punt it.  The play is automatic.

SFAC reserves the right to amend any and all rules as they see fit in order to promote fair, safe play.  All players should conduct themselves within the “spirit” of the rules and the spirit of SFAC.  Always play with a mutual respect for your teammates and your opponents.