Flag Football Rules

Sportsmonkey will follow T.A.A.F. Flag Football rules with some exceptions.


  • 8 players on the field (5 males, 3 females).
  • Two 20 minute halves with 7-play period.
  • 1st Half: 2 time-outs.
  • 2nd Half: 3 time-outs.
  • Running clock for entire game except time-outs and serious injury.
  • Time-outs called during extra points will keep the clock stopped until the next offensive possession.
  • Must cross 20 yard markers to obtain first down.
  • Dead Ball on all fumbles.
  • 5-second rush count counted by the official out loud.
  • Defensive team has 3 blitzes per half of play.
  • There is NO Defensive Neutral Zone.
  • Defense may line-up at the line of scrimmage but cannot bump or hold receivers.
  • No defensive player may line-up over the center. IF THE DEFENSE IS over the center must be at least 5-yards back.
  • Bubble zone is in effect around the center.
  • Offense may screen block (with hands behind back or tucked in the front belt area) on the offensive line and behind the line of scrimmage.
  • No down field blocking is allowed.
  • Receivers need only one foot in bounds for a reception.
  • If in the eyes of an official a receiver could have caught a pass but was pushed out by the defense; the catch and pass interference will be awarded to the receiver.
  • There is a 30-second play clock when the referee blows his whistle: referees WILL NOT warn teams when the clock is about to expire.
  • Delay of game penalty is 10-yards from the line of scrimmage.


  • 6 points for a male touchdown.
  • 8 points for a female touchdown (throw, run or catch).
  • Female must be the operative player in order to receive the 8 points
    • Female player catches a thrown pass in the end zone and or runs after receiving the pass into the end-zone.
    • Female is quarterback and either runs or throws a pass for a touchdown.
    • Female is handed the ball behind the line of scrimmage and runs the ball into the end-zone.
    • Female intercepts the ball and returns it for a touchdown.
  • If a male catches the ball and laterals to the female it is NOT an 8-point touchdown.


  • 3 yards is worth one point
  • 10 yards is worth two points
  • 20 yards is worth three points
  • All extra points are live and can be returned by the defense if intercepted
  • Defense will be rewarded one point more than the point after try is worth (For example: 1 point try worth 2, 2 worth 3 and 3 worth 4 points.)


  • All plays in the play period must be played out IF:
    • If the offensive team has possession of the ball on their end of the field (their side of the 40-yard line) and leading by 8 or less points.
  • There is no assumption by the officials that the team will just down the ball.
  • Mercy rule is 23-point lead in second half will result in no 7 play period.


  • The team that wins the coin flip at the start of the game has a choice of taking the ball, playing defense or deferring their choice to the second half.
  • The team that doesn’t have the ball in either half has choice of direction.
  • There are no kick-offs; play begins on the 20 yard line.


  • Teams not able to field a “full” team may play with a minimum of 6 players with a maximum of no more than 5 male players.
  • If less than 6 players arrive, a 5-minute grace period is allowed for all games.
  • If the team fails to have enough players to play after the grace period, it is up to the official and the opposing team to allow the game to be played without a forfeit being recorded.
  • Substitute players may enter the game on all dead ball whistles and prior to the cadence of the next play. Eligible players must be on the field before cadence starts.


  • There is no maximum limit to the number of females that must be on the field.
  • To ensure co-ed participation a penalty will ensue if the offensive team fails to use a female as an operative player within 3 consecutive downs.
  • Operative is defined as a player who:
    • Is the intended receiver in the eyes of the official.
    • Runs the ball as the primary runner.
    • Receives the snap as a QB and must attempt to be the person who initiates the ball crossing the line of scrimmage-unless she is sacked.
  • On a closed play, if the primary runner is female she must advance the ball across the line of scrimmage for positive yardage or be sacked for a loss of five yards or more for the play to count as a female play.
  • Penalty for running 3 consecutive plays without a female as an operative player will be the defenses choice.
    • 10-yard penalty from the line of scrimmage, down the same and play still closed.
    • Decline the penalty, take the result of the play, advance to next down and open for two plays.
  • Plays utilizing a female player in the loss of down penalty will still be considered a female play.
  • Plays utilizing a female resulting in a non-loss of down penalty will not count as a gender play.  The play never existed.
  • Operative Player is not defined as a player who:
    • Hands off the football.
    • Snaps the ball in play.
    • Receives a hand-off only to give it back to a male before crossing the line of scrimmage
  • Examples operative and non-operative plays:
    • A pass deflected by a male and caught by a female is not a female play.
    • A pass defected by a female and caught by a male is a female play.
    • A pass thrown by a male, received by a male and pitched to a female is not a female play.
    • If a female pitches the ball to a male behind the line of scrimmage this will not result in a female play.
    • A forward pass thrown to a female or thrown by a female that falls incomplete and is deemed catchable by the official will result in a female play.


  • Ball carrier has at least one flag pulled by an opponent.
  • Ball carrier leaves the field of play.
  • Ball carrier scores.
  • If a flag falls (without being pulled) from the belt of a player and they have possession or   receive possession the play is whistled dead at that spot.
  • Ball touches the ground as a result of a fumble or incomplete pass: the ball is not an extension of the arm. If the ball is pinned between the ground and the ball carriers hand, the play is dead.
  • Ball carrier’s knee touches the ground.

Flag football is built around the offense and scoring. It is also for the most part a non-contact sport. Minimal contact will happen and it will be the judgment of the official as to whether or not it warrants a penalty.

* These policies are designed to make the league run as smoothly and safely as possible, and provide continuity for its participants.  Each player in the league is responsible for this information: please advise your team of these rules and thanks for playing.

If you have any further questions please email us at info@sportsmonkey.com

Sportsmonkey Men’s Only Leagues Follow T.A.A.F Rules.

The rules can be found by clicking the logo below:


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