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Columbia Youth Football League

Columbia Youth Football League

K thru 3rd Grade Flag Football Rules

2023 Fall 7v7/8v8 Flag Football Rules

Starting Each Game:
1. A coin toss will determine which team gets the ball first. That team will begin possession of the ball on the 20-yard line with their choice of hash.
2. A whistle will begin each game.
3. Each game lasts two 20-minute halves with a running clock (2 – 20:00).
4. The official will declare when the clock is under two minutes (02:00).
5. The clock never stops, with the exception of an injury or referee timeout.
6. A whistle will end each game.
7. The referees will keep the official score and time on the field for each game.
8. Soft Helmets are REQUIRED for all players in the 2nd/3rd grade division.  The helmet is optional for players in the K/1st Grade Division. If a player does not have a helmet they cannot participate until they do.
9. Jerseys will be tucked in at all times.

Moving the Ball:
1. The offense always starts on their own 20-yard line and in the center of the field.  After each play, the ball is placed in the center of the field. 
2. All snaps at the 20-yard line must be from a shotgun formation or under center.
3. The offense has four (4) downs to earn a First Down or to score a touchdown.
4. First downs are rewarded at the offense’s 40-yard line and defense’s 20-yard line.
5. The offense may run the ball as many times as they want on any down during the game.
6. The quarterback is allowed to make one exchange (e.g., pass, handoff or toss). Toss passes, reverses or hook and ladder plays are LEGAL.
7. Defensive players cannot cross the line on a run play until the quarterback hands the ball off to a receiver/running back.
8. The quarterback is allowed to run the ball IF BLITZED.
9. PAT: The offense can choose to automatically receive one (1) point or go for two (2) points from the 10-yard line. Ball placed in the middle of the field.

Game Play:
1. Offensive team will have thirty (30) seconds to put the ball into play. (Penalty = Delay of Game; 5 yards and Loss of Down).
2. The offense must have at least three (3) players on the line of scrimmage (Penalty = Illegal Formation; 5 yards from LOS).
3. Ball carrier is legally down when their flagged is pulled or the ball carrier’s elbow/knee or the football touches the ground.
4. A defender can leave their feet to pull a flag.
5. The offensive player is not allowed to HURDLE or DIVE when possessing the ball.
6. Flag guarding or a stiff arm by a player in possession of the ball is not allowed (Penalty = Illegal contact, 10 yards from the spot of the foul).
7. Fumbles, including the snap, are dead balls at the spot and a loss of down.
8. Defensive pass interference will result in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.
9. Defensive holding will result in a 10-yard penalty and repeat the down.
10. Face guarding is allowed.
11. Offensive pass interference will result in a return to the previous spot and a loss of down.
12. The quarterback is allowed four (4) seconds to throw the ball UNLESS the defense blitzes. Referees will stop play if the four (4) seconds pass.
13. An interception will result in an immediate stoppage of play and a change of possession. and the intercepting team will gain possession at their 20-yard line or at the spot, if outside of their 20- yard line. b. If the ball is intercepted inside of the defense’s own 20-yard line, the ball will be moved to their 20- yard line. c. If an unsportsmanlike penalty is given to the intercepting team, they will be penalized 10 yards and will start from their own 10-yard line.
14. Excessive celebration is not allowed and will not be tolerated. At the discretion of the referee, if a team is penalized for excessively celebrating or clearing of the sideline, the result is an unsportsmanlike penalty and a loss of down.
15. A game cannot end on a defensive penalty. If this occurs, the offense will have an untimed down if time has expired.

Coaching your Team:
1. One offensive coach is allowed on the field at any time.
2. After a play is called, the offensive coach must be in position fifteen (15) yards behind the line of scrimmage (LOS).
3. Remaining team coaches must be on the sidelines.
4. NO defensive coaches are allowed on the field, with the exception of the K-1 division.
5. Coaches will be given one sideline warning during play.   A second warning will result in a 10-yard penalty or half the distance to the goal-line.  A third warning will result in a coach’s ejection.
6. Coaches are not allowed to challenge any official ruling.
7. Any form of cheating qualifies for automatic team disqualification.
8. Each team is given 2 timeouts per half. 

Special Rules:
1. BLITZING is allowed in the entire game, including overtime. a. ONE RUSHER is allowed to blitz from seven (7) yards behind the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball each play. b. The rusher is NOT allowed to charge or run through a screening player (Penalty = Illegal Contact, 10 yards from LOS). c. Blitzing from inside of seven (7) yards is not allowed (Penalty = Illegal Rush, 5 yards from LOS).
2. Offensive players inside of the tackle box before the snap of the ball are allowed to SCREEN a rusher, without using their hands or extending their arms.
3. Illegal offensive blocking (e.g., using hands/arms to block) will result in a loss of down and return to the previous spot.
4. FIGHTING will not be tolerated. If a player throws a punch, he is ejected immediately and CANNOT return to the game. If players are involved in pushing or shoving, they may be ejected immediately from the game at the referees’ discretion. If a second incident occurs with the same player(s), they will be ejected from the tournament in its entirety. If a team’s bench clears, resulting in a fight, both of the teams are ejected, resulting in a forfeit. The referee has the right to throw out any player, players, or team out of the game. A referee can also give a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Any person ejected from the game will have to leave the facility immediately.

Overtime/Tie Breaker:
1. There will be a coin toss at the beginning of the tiebreaker with the home team calling the toss. The winner has the choice to be on either offense or defense.
2. Each team will have four (4) plays from the 20-yard line. A score will count as six (6) points.
3. If the offense scores, then they may choose to automatically receive one (1) point or go for two (2) points from the 10-yard line.
4. The opposing team gets the same opportunity to score.
5. If neither team scores or the game is still tied after the overtime, the teams will play another overtime with teams switching possession.
6. If the game is still tied after three (3) overtimes, the game is over and officially declared a TIE


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Columbia, Missouri 65202

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