BUFFALO SNOW BOWL FLAG FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT RULES FOR 2021 (Note: Rules are subject to change. Official rules will be sent to each team captain prior to the tournament)




  • 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.



  • 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 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 on 5, 5-5, 5-6, 6-6.
  • Players may only be on one team roster.



  • 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.



  • 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 receive or defend a goal. 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 20 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 35 yard line



  • 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.
  • Ball Always Starts on a “tick” (yard line-no half yard) ex 20 yard line, mot the 21 ½ yard line



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



  • 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.



  • 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.
  • Extra Pts: 1 pt from 5 yard line & 2 pts from 10. Live ball, Defense can return for points attempted.
  • Quarterbacks CANNOT run from the 10 yard line into the goal line unless they are blitzed.



  • Ø Offensive Blocking & Defensive defending, BOTH must be open-handed & thrust outward from the chest, with open hands, & not “loaded up” from the side. There is no blocking below the waist or above the shoulders. No chop-blocks. Player cannot leave his/her feet to block. No bull rushing by blockers/defenders (Players cannot take a running start @ other player, barreling over player – UNR (unnecessary roughness – auto first or loss of down -15 yards).



  • There can be 1 blitz per set of four downs. If the Defense comes across the LOS before the 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.
  • You can Blitz on the Try (Extra Point) if you have not used your Blitz yet



  • 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).
  • The defense cannot push a ball carrier out of bounds. The defense cannot use contact to break up a pass play (UNR-15 yards). You 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 floor 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.



  • 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 a Spot Foul. The player may return to block or “tackle” the ball carrier.
  • No deflagging a receiver before the ball arrives or busting up a play with force other than knocking pass out of receivers hands or pulling flag, play the ball (Note: Stripping a “ball carrier” is illegal not a pass).



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



  • Stiff arms are not allowed by any player. This will be considered an illegal contact foul & 10-yard penalty will be assessed & the down will count, as this is considered a “spot foul not end-of-the-run” foul. 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 players flag




  • 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.



  • 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 or defense on passing plays). If receiver’s blocks on a passing play, Offensive Pass Interference, if illegal contact by defense 10 yards & repeat the down.
  • Tackling is strictly prohibited (UNR).
  • 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 10yd 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. If deemed that hold restricted player and no other defensive player is in the area, Ref may award a TD (discretion).



  • 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.
  • In PLAYOFF Rounds – Winner of Coin Toss decides either offense or goal to defend. 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 must go for two on the extra point.



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



  • Illegal contact-no chucking receivers
  • Illegal participation
  • Offensive holding/repeat the down
  • Defensive holding/interference-penalty enforced from the previous spot and automatic first down
  • Ball stripping/deflagging or holding the runner to pull the flag

-baggy shorts being grabbed does not automatically result in holding


  • Blocking below the waist
  • Chop blocks
  • Blocking above the shoulders
  • Blindside blocks
  • A player leaving feet to block
  • Bull rushing
  • Running starts at another player before ball is snapped
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct



  • Roughing the passer is defined as making avoidable contact with the passer while the passer is in the act of throwing the ball



  • Contact to the neck/head/face
  • Lowering of head and shoulders at the runner
  • Running into an official which can be avoided
  • If the foul is deemed to be flagrant, the person who committed the foul will receive an unsportsmanlike penalty and in the opinion of the referee was intentional, then that person will be ejected from the game



  • 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.