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					                                                                     Rules summary page 1 of 8




               Blanchard Park
               YMCA
               Adult Sports
              Flag Football Rules
                   Summary
Players, substitutes, bench personnel, and equipment:
Games are played with a maximum of seven players for each team.
A team may start the game with six players if a seventh player is not available or if a sixth
       player is available but at least one other substitute is not available. If players or
       substitutes are available, the team must play with seven players, therefore, a team
       may not play down even if the opponent does so.
A team may not start the game with less than six players; that team must borrow a
       player(s) from the opponent. If a team borrows a player(s) from the opponent
       whether by choice or requirement, the game is ruled a forfeit, both teams will play
       a scrimmage-game, and the opponent must lend any available player(s). After the
       game has started, a team may continue with less than five or six players due to
       disqualification, injury, etc., if the team has a reasonable chance to compete.
Substitutions may take place between every play while the ball is dead. Substitutes must
       remain in, and replaced players must exit to, their designated team boxes. For the
       offense, the substitution allowance ends when the team's initial shift ends after the
       referee signals "ready for play". When the initial shift ends, the offense must have
       no more and no less than the required number of players on the field.
Additionally, teams are prohibited from breaking the "spirit of the rule" by deceiving the
       opponent through dishonest substitution tactics even if that team meets the above
       requirements.
All bench personnel including coaches, substitutes, assistants, representatives, etc.,
       must remain in their designated team box.

Scoring and timing:
Teams are attempting to score points by entering their opponent’s end zone; this is a
      touchdown and it is 6 points. A player has scored a touchdown when, while in
      possession of the ball, the runner’s waist breaks the plane of the goal line; the
      position of the ball is irrelevant except that the runner must be in possession.


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        Normal pass completion rules determine a passing score, however, the receiver is
        also considered in the endzone when he/she jumps in the air, catches the pass
        while within the plane of the endzone, and then lands anywhere inbounds
        including back into the field of play.
When the ball is ruled dead in a team’s own end zone, it is a safety. The opponent
        receives 2 points and the ball at their own 5 yard line. However, a safety cannot
        be scored when the momentum rule is in effect; for example, if the defense
        intercepts the ball within 5 yards of its endzone, and the momentum of that
        interceptor caused him/her to enter the endzone, the result would be a touchback if
        he/she was then deflagged/tagged or stepped out of bounds or fumbled, etc.
After a touchdown, the scoring team is granted a try for an extra point. If the team
        chooses to try from the 3 yard line and is successful, they
        receive 1 point. If they try from the 8-yard line and are successful, it is 2 points.
        The defense can intercept and score on the point after-try; if they do they earn 2
        points. Safeties cannot be scored during a point after try. If the defense obtains
        possession of the ball and returns it for a score, they will be awarded 2 points.
Games are played in two 20 minute halves. The game time is a running clock except in
        the last 2 minutes of each half; at that point, the clock will stop and start per
        normal rules as describe below…
        The clock stops for a…                  The clock starts again on the…
        Incomplete forward pass                 Snap
        Out of bounds                           Snap
        Safety or touchback                     Snap
        Timeout                                 Snap
        Change of team possession               Snap or “ready”- due to previous play
        First down                              Snap or “ready”- due to previous play
        Inadvertent whistle                     Snap or “ready”- due to previous play
        Penalty administration                  Snap or “ready”- due to previous play
        Touchdown                               Snap after change of team possession
        There is a 3minute timeout at halftime. Additionally, each team receives two 60
        second timeouts per half; they do not carry over.
Overtime will follow the NCAA guidelines. Each team will be given 4 downs from the
closest first down line to the end zone. A coin toss at the beginning of overtime will
decide who receives the ball first. After 2 overtimes, each team will be required to
attempt a 2-point conversion after scoring a touchdown.

Start of play and downs
All games begin with pre-game information and a prayer.
The home team (the second team listed on the schedule) starts the game on offense and
       chooses the direction of play; teams switch directions for the second half.
Offense begins each new possession at its own 5 yard line and has four opportunities/
       downs to advance across first down yard line. If successful, offense receives a new
       series of downs to cross the next first down yard line or score. The offense is not
       required to use all downs and may score on any down. If unsuccessful, the offense



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        may elect to punt on 4th down, or the defense would take over at the spot of the
        ball after a failed fourth down attempt.
If the offense elects to punt, they are given a free punt from the line of scrimmage (no
        snap required), the defense must have 4 players on the line of scrimmage. The
        punt must be caught in the field of play to be returned. Once the ball hits the
        ground the play is dead and the returning team will start from where the ball
        landed.
Defense may intercept a live, airborne loose ball and advance and/or score. If defense
        intercepts, they begin the new series where the play ended.
When a play ends beyond a first down line, the line "disappears" and the team in
        possession must cross the next line even if they lose yards and ball is behind the
        previous line.

Dead ball and live play
The ball is dead until legally snapped and can only be made live by a snap.
The play is over and the ball is dead when the runner is de-flagged (or “tagged” when
       appropriate), when the runner or the ball touches out of bounds, when the runner
       or the ball is grounded, at the instant there is a score, when a foul occurs prior
       to/or simultaneously with the snap, during simultaneous possession by opponents,
       when the official’s whistle sounds.
       Note: grounded means a player’s body is touching the ground other than the hand
       or foot, or the ball touches the ground when it is not in possession.

Spotting the ball and the line of scrimmage
A team’s line of scrimmage is marked/spotted based on the de-flagged or tagged runner’s
      waist and is also the determining factor for simultaneous possession and
      inadvertent whistles. A team’s line of scrimmage is also spotted where the runner
      or the ball is grounded or out of bounds. However, if a grounded ball’s initial
      flight is towards opponent’s end zone, the spot is based on where the runner lost
      possession. Incomplete snaps (the ball becomes grounded before the quarterback
      gains complete possession of the snap-exchange) and incomplete forward passes
      are spotted at the original line of scrimmage. The ball is always spotted halfway
      between the sidelines.

Pre-snap requirements
Prior to the ball being snapped, both teams must ensure players are wearing their clothing
        properly including but not limited to shirts tucked into their shorts/pants and
        strings or ties tucked into the shorts/pants.
Prior to the ball being snapped, both teams must ensure players are wearing their flag
        belts properly including but not limited to securing them around the waist on the
        outside of all clothing, fastened in the front by the clip only, a flag on each hip and
        a flag on the rear, with all flags hanging down from the belt loosely and
        unobstructed. Additionally, teams must ensure any illegal or improper equipment
        is removed or corrected prior to the ball being snapped. The rules are strict in this



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        matter because opponents must pull off the flag belt. Incoming substitutes should
        be ready prior to taking the field and players in the huddle should use that time to
        make themselves ready. If a player(s) on defense is not able to put his/her flag belt
        on prior to the snap, play will continue with no foul provided the belt is
        completely off. On the occasion that same player were to intercept the ball, he/she
        would now be at a disadvantage because the opponent need only apply a tag.
Please see the “Equipment Guide” for more detail on illegal equipment.
The snapper and the snap
After the snapper/center touches the ball and makes any customary snap preparations
        including initially lifting the ball off the ground and adjusting it or releasing the
        ball to stand up or adjust hands, the center must snap the ball backwards in one
        quick motion. The center must completely release the ball to the
        snap receiver/quarterback.
Prior to the snap, the offense may shift/motion more than one player simultaneously only
        once in an effort to “set” itself. The shift ends and no other shift is allowed when
        all offensive players have come to a set/non-moving position. When the shift
        ends, the offense may only have one player be in motion at any given time.
        Additionally, the offense may not be in a shift at the snap.
Offensive players lined up on or within a yard of the line of scrimmage shall not “false
        start”. Defensive players lined up on or within a yard of the line of scrimmage
        shall not cause a false start. Neither team shall encroach upon the neutral
        zone/width of the line of scrimmage.
Offensive players lined up more than a yard from the line of scrimmage and moving
        forward shall come to set/non-moving position prior to the snap; however, a
        player may be motioning at the snap if moving laterally or towards own end zone.
Otherwise, the offense is not required to be in any specific formation.
However, the offense must snap the ball within 30 seconds after the referee signals
        “ready” and begins the “delay clock”.

The offense
All players are eligible to give or receive passes, handoffs, pitches, etc. However, the
        center/snapper may not receive a “reverse handoff”- i.e., the ball may not be
        returned to the center forward through the legs.
Teams are allowed unlimited handoffs in any direction and unlimited lateral/backward
        passes/pitches and one forward pass may be thrown from behind the line of
        scrimmage as well.
For definition purposes, it is a “passing play” when a legally thrown forward pass breaks
        the plane of the line of scrimmage prior to being touched by an offensive player.
For a completed pass reception, the receiver needs only one foot or other body part to first
        touch inbounds. Also, the ground is not a factor in determining completion- i.e.,
        the ground does not cause an incomplete pass, because, a player in possession of
        the ball is down and the ball is dead at the moment the player in possession
        becomes grounded.
Anytime the quarterback releases the ball, any defensive player may rush. For rules



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       purposes, the quarterback is defined as the offensive player receiving the snap
       regardless of that player’s actual role.
A quarterback may “directly run” and cross the line of scrimmage at any point. The
       defense may rush as many people as it would like, but only after has counted to
       “go”. Upon the snap, the referee will count “1 bud, 2 bud, 3 bud, 4 bud, 5 bud,
       go”, once he says go the defense is free to rush.
The offense may have players stand still to act as a screen for the blocker, but no active or
       moving blocks will be allowed.

The runner
The runner is any player in possession of the ball (except the snapper).
The passer is a runner making customary body movements to throw a ball.
When in doubt, the passer is given the benefit of the doubt regarding the ball being
        released prior to the passer being de-flagged.
The receiver is a non-runner eligible to take possession from another runner.
Only the runner may be de-flagged or tagged, and only by an opponent. If the runner’s
        flag belt falls off prior to an opponent making contact with a flag(s), play resumes
        to “touch/tag”, however, the runner must not touch, grab, hold, “check”, or adjust
        own flag/flag belt during live play.
The runner must not deliberately thwart, through physical contact, an opponent’s attempt
        to de-flag/tag the runner by purposely “flag guarding”, reaching, extending,
        blocking, etc. Note the rule is dependent upon the deliberate, purposeful act of
        the runner, therefore, simply making contact with the opponent’s attempt during
        normal running or eluding motion is irrelevant.
The runner may avoid opponents using a variety of skill and athleticism including
        elusively jumping, spinning, or diving. Note diving must involve avoiding the
        opponent; diving into the endzone “for show”, for example, would be
        unsportsmanlike conduct. Also note runners are still bound by legal position
        rules; a jumping, spinning, or diving runner must still avoid a legally positioned
       opponent. Additionally, the runner may not hurdle over an ungrounded
       player.
When the runner’s flag is pulled the ball will be spotted based on the where the flag was
pulled, for example a touchdown would not be scored once the ball crosses the line, but
when someone’s flags cross the line of scrimmage.

Screening
Screening is the act of legally placing the body in the path of an opponent.
All stationary players are entitled to a spot on the field. This entitlement may be used to
        purposely block an opponent’s path. The screener must take a spot, or move from
        the spot, with “time and distance” for the opponent to avoid the screen. “Time
        and distance” is the reasonable opportunity for an opponent to avoid contacting
        the screener. The opponent’s speed determines the amount of time and distance
        needed, usually two full strides at full speed. Contact from extended body or
        appendage(s) out of vertical space is illegal.
Moving screeners may continually place the body in an opponent’s path by moving


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       laterally, obliquely, or backwards. Moving screeners must be facing their torso
       towards their opponent. The screener may move forward but must stop short of
       contact and provide time and distance. Rules regarding extended body or
       appendage(s) out of vertical space also applies. Additionally, if opponent is able
       to get his/her head and/or shoulders past the screener’s torso, the screener would
       be responsible for any resulting contact.

The defense
Opponents are encouraged to use legal positioning vs. runner, screener, or receiver to
        their benefit.
On all plays, any defender may rush after the quarterback releases the ball.
Players must de-flag or tag a runner, or may de-flag a pretending runner. When the flag
        belt is pulled, the player may hold it up or drop it- the player must not swing the
        belt or spike it. It is recommended players reach for the flag portion whenever
        possible. Player may not grab any part of the runner above the belt including the
        shirt. Inadvertently grabbing the runner’s shorts/pants during an attempted de-flag
        is not illegal unless the player grabs the shorts/pants with one hand and de-flags
        with the other, or grabs and/or pulls the shorts/pants with both hands, or gains
        extended advantage by prolonged holding of the shorts/pants.
If a runner does not have a flag belt on, players must resort to touch/tag. Tag is touching
        the runner with an open hand(s) between the runner’s shoulder and knee.
        However, from the moment an opponent makes contact with a flag of the runner,
        the runner will be ruled de-flagged if it falls off, regardless of the interval, during
        that live play; the defense will not have to tag. It is highly recommended, though,
        that all players continue play until the official sounds the whistle.
Obviously traditional tackling is illegal, but not all contact is illegal assuming the
        defender is in a legal guarding position.
The defense may intercept any loose, airborne ball and advance it. However, a ball in the
        runner’s possession is considered part of the runner.
The defense may apply any package or formation at their discretion including
        “blitzing”. The defense must wait for the referee to count “1 bud, 2 bud, 3 bud, 4
        bud, 5 bud, go”, once he says go the defense is free to rush.

Legal position
Obtaining and maintaining legal position is the same as the screening rules and includes
       time and distance, body placement, and extension. Offensive players in legal
       position are screeners, defensive players in legal position are attacking the runner
       or blocking the receiver’s path. All players must avoid contact with legal
       screeners whether stationary or moving. All offensive receivers must avoid
       legally positioned or legally moving defenders even when attempting to run a pass
       route. The runner must avoid legally positioned or legally moving defenders; plus,
       the defense is not restricted to “time and distance” towards the runner.
When both opponents are legally positioned, contact may be incidental even when
       perceived aggressive or severe.



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Fouls
If the defense fouls, the offense is given the choice to accept the yardage and replay the
        down from the appropriate spot (unless the yardage causes a first down, or the
        penalty is an automatic first down). Otherwise, they can decline the penalty and
        accept the play. However, defensive fouls that occur against the runner are
        automatically added to the end of the run; or, if the runner scores, the penalty
        is added to the try or the new possession. Additionally, any defensive foul
        resulting in the ball being spotted into the No Run Zone will shrink the Zone; the
        offense may either run or pass. Further, if the defense fouls and the accepted
        penalty is half-the-distance to the goalline and results in the ball being spotted on
        the 1 yard line, a subsequent defensive foul results in an automatic first down; if
        the defense fouls yet again, the result is a touchdown.
If the offense fouls, the defense is given the same choice. Additionally, if the runner
        fouls, the defense is given an extra choice to accept the fouling spot and the next
        resulting down as if the runner was de-flagged at that spot. Additionally, any
        offensive foul resulting in the ball being spotted out of the No Run Zone will
        expand the Zone; the offense must still pass. Further, if the offense fouls and the
        accepted penalty is half-the-distance to the goalline and results in the ball being
        spotted on the 1 yard line, a subsequent offensive foul results in a safety.

Foul types                                Penalty
Pre-snap or at the snap                   5 yards
(false start, offside, illegal motion, etc.)

Live ball non-contact                     5 yards
(illegal blitz or running play, illegal transfer, etc.)

Illegal contact                          10 yards
(illegal screen, pass interference, flag guarding, etc.)

*Personal foul/unsporting conduct 15 yards and loss of down/automatic first
       (roughing the passer, charging, tacking, etc.)
       A player earning a personal or unsporting conduct foul must be substituted. That
       player may re-enter at the next substitution opportunity; however, a player is
       ejected upon earning his/her second personal or unsporting foul.

Any inappropriate language, whether directed at an official, opponent or teammate will
       result in a Personal Foul. Also the offender will be fined by the league $15
       dollars that must be paid in cash to the coordinator before their next game.

If a coach, spectator, or player should lose their way and behave in a manner determined
        to be profane, taunting, vulgar, abusive, obscene, inciting, persistent,
        demonstrative, or otherwise disrespectful or inappropriate, the official or
        coordinator will encourage the offender to stop the behavior. The act(s) do not
        need to be directed to any specific individual to be accountable.


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If a player’s conduct does not cease or cannot go unpenalized, the official will penalize
        accordingly as described above.
If a coach’s conduct does not cease or cannot go unpenalized, the official will penalize
        accordingly as well, and further misconduct results in disqualification for the
        remainder of the game; the coach must leave the facility, however, the game will
        resume from the point of interruption- the players and the team will not be
        penalized. Further, the coach is ultimately responsible, and therefore penalized,
        for any unsporting conduct of bench personnel including substitutes, other
        coaches, assistants, representatives, etc.
In some unfortunate, severely inappropriate or potentially violent situations, a player or
        coach may be assessed a flagrant foul and be disqualified for the remainder of the
        game without prior encouragement. The player may not participate for the
        remainder of the game; the coach must leave the facility.
If a spectator’s conduct does not cease or cannot go unpenalized, the coordinator will
        direct the spectator to leave the facility.

The referees and coordinators of the Blanchard Park YMCA are YMCA Employees.
        They work here because they enjoy working with children and sports and the
       opportunities of being positive role models with other adults to encourage both
       teams to try their best, learn and develop skill, and grow as healthy, gracious
       competitors. Winning externally is secondary.




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