BUFFALO BOWL FLAG FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT RULES FOR 2022

Download a Copy of the Rules Here

SAFETY

  • In the event of a player injury, we reserve the right to not allow players to continue in the tournament based on the recommendation of our Athletic Trainers and medical staff.
  • Also, players can be thrown out of the tournament based on behavior. If a team is disrespectful to other players, officials, Special Olympic Athletes or staff, your team can be disqualified and asked not to return.
  • "NO JOSH ALLEN RULE"-this means no jumping or hurdling. There will be a 10-yard penalty.
  • Diving is NOT ALLOWED. The play will be blown dead at the spot the offensive player leaves his feet and a 10-yard penalty will be assessed at that spot. No diving by the defense either, in an attempt to grab the runner’s flag. 10-yard penalty from the end of the run and replay the down.

WAIVER

  • Every participant must sign a game day waiver prior to participation. It is the responsibility of the head coach/team captain to provide these signatures to the event coordinators.

HEAD COACH AND/OR TEAM CAPTAIN

  • The head coach and/or team captain is responsible for making players aware of rules and regulations prior to participation in any game, or any portion of a game.
  • Captains are the only people allowed to respectfully discuss plays or other questions with Referees.

TEAMS

  • Teams consist of 6 players. Rosters may include up to 12 players per team.
  • A team must have at least 4 players present to start a game. Can play 4 on 4, 4-5, 4-6, 5-5, 5-6, 6-6.
  • Players may only be on one team roster. ➢ Middle school and high school teams are allowed to have two coaches on their roster. Coaches are NOT eligible to play.

EQUIPMENT

  • Flags must be worn at the waist with one flag on each side of the player’s hip “flaring out”. No article of clothing may cover any part of a player’s belt. Shirts must be tucked in so the entire flag from post to flag is accessible.
  • Player’s may wear sneakers with plastic or rubber cleats. Metal cleats are prohibited.
  • Teams should provide their own jerseys. This is a family friendly event. Inappropriate graphics or terms on jerseys will result in immediate ejection from the tournament if the team members do not turn the jerseys inside out so the graphics/terms are not visible, or otherwise cover the offensive pictures/words.

RULES AND REGULATIONS:

  • Fields are 40 yards long
  • Game will begin with a coin toss; one team will be designated home team one away team. The away team will call heads or tails at the toss. The winner of coin toss chooses to go on Offense of Defense. If a team is more than 10 minutes late to report to the field, game is forfeited. If late to report, coin toss is automatically deferred to the on-time team. Winner of toss will have coin toss choice if OT is needed.
  • To start the game, and after each score, the ball will be placed at the offensive team’s 10-yard line. There are no Kickoffs or Punts. If Offense declares a punt, ball will be placed at other team’s 10 yd line.
  • If the offense goes for it on 4th and does not score the field is “flipped” Example #1- 4th down at the 30 and the pass is incomplete, it will now be first down for the team that was on defense at the 10-yard line. Example # 2 4th down at the 20-yard line pass is complete for 5 yards. It will now be 1st down for the team that was on defense at the 25-yard line.

HIKING THE BALL

  • The ball must be hiked from the ground.
  • The ball must be snapped to a “back” in the back field. No self-snaps are allowed (5 yds illegal snap).
  • Side-saddle snaps are allowed.
  • There are no running plays with the exception of on a blitz by the defense the QB can run.
  • Ball Always Starts on a “tick” (yard line-no half yard) ex 20-yard line, not the 20 ½ yard line.

RUNNING

  • There are no running plays with the exception of on a blitz by the defense, the QB can run when the line of scrimmage is outside the 10 yard line (the QB cannot run when the line of scrimmage is inside the 10 yard line)

COUNT

  • After the snap, there will be a slow four count (1, 2, 3, 4) called out by the referee at the LOS. After the count, defense can rush the QB (See Blitz).
  • There will be a 25 second play clock when the ball is spotted. There will be a 5-yard penalty if the play clock hits 0.

FIRST DOWNS

  • There will be No first downs. The offensive team will have four downs to score a touchdown unless a penalty gives team a new set of downs.

LINE OF SCRIMMAGE (LOS) /OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

  • All players, including the center are eligible receivers.
  • One offensive player is allowed to be in motion behind the LOS before the ball is snapped, after all players are set for one second. All other offensive players must remain stationary in position before the ball is snapped. Motion is defined as being in the backfield, parallel to the LOS or going away from LOS (not Arena Football Style). Motion going forward toward LOS is illegal live ball foul.
  • No designated number of players on the LOS or backfield. All players are eligible to catch a pass, including the center.

SCORING

  • Based on National Federation of State High School Association rules, unless otherwise specified.
  • In Round Robin all extra points will be attempted even if extra point is not necessary to win the game. IE: if A scores & is winning 13-12, with no time left on clock, extra point will be attempted.
  • Touchdowns are worth 6 points.
  • In Co-Ed Division, if a female scores, it’s 8 points. Teams must attempt to throw to a female 2/4 times per set of downs unless the QB is female. The penalty for this will be a loss of a down. Ex #1 If the offense hasn’t thrown to a female in their first three downs, they lose possession of the ball (because of the loss of a down penalty they lost their right to play the 4th down). Ex #2 If the offense has thrown to a female once in their first three downs, and they do not throw to a female on 4th down regardless of what happens on that 4th down they lose possession of the ball. So, if they score a TD, it will not count and the defense takes over at the line of scrimmage. Ex #3, if the offense hasn’t thrown to a female the first two downs, and a male catches a pass on 3rd down, the score will not count as they will not have satisfied the requirement to make sure a female is a target for 2 downs in the series.
  • Extra Pts: 1 pt. from 5-yard line & 2 pts from 10. Live ball, Defense can return for points attempted (interception only).
  • Quarterbacks CANNOT run from the 10-yard line and in if they are blitzed.

BLOCKING

  • There can be blocking on the line of scrimmage only no downfield blocking
  • The offense can have up to 2 offensive linemen to block for the QB. These offensive linemen are still eligible receivers.
  • Blocking by offensive linemen must be between the waist and shoulders.
  • Blocking by offensive linemen must be with open hands.
  • If an offense elects to have offensive linemen, there is still a 4 second count before the defense can rush the QB.

BLITZ

  • There can be 1 blitz per set of four downs. If the Defense comes across the LOS before the 4 second count, then it is a blitz. There is no limit to the number of rushers. The status of the blitz will be determined by if defense has broken LOS at the time the ball is declared dead. If ball is dropped or snapped over QB’s head, ball is dead at that spot on the ground or furthest away from LOS. If there is a replay of a down on a blitz play, defense is given their blitz back. Blitzing after defense has used their blitz will be considered encroachment, live ball foul (5 yards). o The QB can run when blitzed as long as the offense is outside the 10 yard line. If the QB does run the ball when the offense is inside the 10 yard line, the play is blown dead when the QB reaches the line of scrimmage and the down counts.
  • o The QB cannot run if the defense rushes after the 4-second count.
  • Defense can Blitz on the Try (Extra Point) if they have not used your Blitz yet.

BALL CARRIER

  • The “spot” of the ball is always the torso of the ball carrier at the time of flag removal or the flag falling to the ground (ball is dead at the spot). So, if an offensive player extends the ball and it breaks the plane of the goal line, if the torso of the player is at the 1 yard line and their flag gets pulled off there, the spot of the ball for the next offensive play is the 1 yard line.
  • The defense cannot push a ball carrier out of bounds. The defense cannot use contact to break up a pass play (UNR-15 yards).
  • Defense cannot hold the jersey to pull the flag or tackle a ball carrier. You cannot “stand up” a ball carrier to pull the flag. This is considered holding -10-yard penalty & repeats the down.
  • If the ball carrier’s flag inadvertently falls off during a play, the play is dead at spot of flag falling off.
  • If ball carrier/receiver has possession of ball & is on the ground, before they get back up on their feet, opponent need only one hand touch ball carrier. Note: If players go down together to the ground on a catch, opponent must clearly one hand touch ball carrier, not just body contact like the NFL, but “one hand” touch ball carrier while still down.

RECEIVER

  • A receiver must have one foot in bounds to make a reception. A receiver cannot step out of bounds, on his own & come back onto the field & touch the ball. This is considered an illegal participation penalty (5 yards from LOS and loss of down).
  • No de-flagging a receiver before the ball arrives or busting up a play with force other than knocking pass out of receiver’s hands or pulling flag, play the ball.
  • “Stripping” a ball carrier is a 10-yard illegal contact penalty.

FORWARD PASS

  • There is only one forward pass allowed per play. There are unlimited backward or lateral passes.

STIFF ARMS & FLAG GUARDING

  • Stiff arms are not allowed by any player. This will be considered an illegal contact foul & 10-yard penalty will be assessed from the spot of the foul & the down will count if against the offense and replay of down if against the defense.
  • Flag guarding is a form of Stiff Arming. You cannot swat an arm or hand away to prevent a defensive player from grabbing an offensive player’s flag (10-yard penalty and from the spot of the foul & down will count).

TURNOVERS

  • Interceptions a ball that is intercepted by the defense may be returned for a score.
  • Fumbles if player fumbles & the ball hits the ground, the play is whistled dead & the team who possessed the ball last will retain possession at the point of the fumble or where ball hits the ground. The down counts.

REMOVING THE FLAG

  • A player is considered tackled when at least one flag is removed from the ball carrier’s belt.
  • No chucking is allowed (no contact on receivers by defense on passing plays). If a receiver blocks on a passing play, Offensive Pass Interference, if illegal contact by defense 10 yards & repeat the down.
  • Tackling is strictly prohibited (Unnecessary Roughness 15 yard penalty).
  • A defensive player may not pull the receiver’s flag before the ball is caught; the play is dead at the spot of a one hand touch. This will result in a 10-yard penalty tacked onto the end of the run & repeat the down.
  • A defensive player may not grab and hold on to the offensive player in order to pull the flag (10-yard holding penalty.

OVERTIME

  • Round Robin games with a tie. One play will be made to determine the Winner. Winner of coin toss to start the game gets to call toss for OT. Choices will be Offense or Defense. Ball is placed at the 5-yard line. If you score you win, if you choose defense and you stop the offense you win.
  • Winning team is awarded one point added to their score. Defense cannot blitz on this play.
  • In PLAYOFF Rounds Winner of Coin Toss decides either Offense or Defense. Each team starts from the 20-yard line. If one team scores they go for the extra point. The next team has the same opportunity to get a score with the extra point. If both teams score the exact points, they go again. If neither team scores the team that gains more yards wins. If we play a third series or more, each team must go for two on the extra point. The defense has one blitz in playoff overtime rounds.

5 YARD PENALTIES

  • Delay of Game/Repeat the Down
  • False start
  • Encroachment
  • Illegal shift/motion

10 YARD PENALTIES

  • Jumping/Hurdling/Diving (10 yards from spot of foul and repeat the down)
  • Blocking downfield (10 yards from the spot of the foul and repeat the down)
  • Illegal contact-no chucking receivers (10 yards from the line of scrimmage and repeat the down)
  • Swatting away players from grabbing flag (10 yards from the spot of the foul and down counts)
  • Illegal participation
  • Offensive holding (10 yards from the spot of the foul and repeat the down)
  • Defensive holding/interference (10 yards from the line of scrimmage and automatic first down)
  • Ball stripping/de-flagging before pass is caught/holding the runner to pull the flag (10 yards from the line of scrimmage and repeat the down)
  • -baggy shorts being grabbed does not automatically result in holding

15 YARD PENALTIES

  • Running starts at another player before ball is snapped/Bull rushing (15 yards from line of scrimmage or end of the run and replay the down)
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct (15 yards from the line of scrimmage)
  • Roughing the passer is defined as making avoidable contact with the passer while the passer is in the act of throwing the ball (15 yards from line of scrimmage or end of the run and automatic 1st down)

FLAGRANT FOULS=EJECTION + 15 YARD PENALTY ENFORCEMENT

  • Contact to the neck/head/face of your opponent
  • Lowering of head and shoulders at the runner
  • If the foul is deemed to be flagrant, the person who committed the foul will receive an unsportsmanlike penalty and if in the opinion of the referee was intentional, then that person will be ejected from the game
  • 2 Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties in 1 game
  • Intentionally contacting an official

CONDUCT

  • There will be absolutely zero tolerance for unsportsmanlike conduct. Anyone who engages in unsportsmanlike conduct will severely impact his/her team and his/her chances for resuming play. If a player receives two unsportsmanlike penalties, they will be ejected for the rest of the game & possibly the next game(s) as well. A player who throws punch/kick/knees will be ejected for the rest of the tournament. If a player is ejected from the game, he/she has one minute to completely leave the field. If the player does not comply, the referee can declare a forfeit and the other team will be awarded the victory. If a team comes off its sideline onto the field or to the other sideline during an altercation, the game is over, and a forfeit victory is awarded to the other team. Cursing at a referee will result in immediate ejection from the game. Captains are the only people allowed to respectfully discuss plays & other questions permitted within reason with Referees.