1st - 2nd Grade Flag

1st and 2nd Grade Flag Football Rules


Philosophy Statement: The purpose of 1st and 2nd Grade Flag Football is to introduce these athletes to the sport of football. The athletes should have fun, play hard, and walk away from every game knowing they contributed somehow to the game. This means that every participant should either have carried the ball or had one or two passes thrown in their direction. Getting every athlete involved will take a concerted effort and take precedence over winning.

The Team: The team will consist of approximately 10–13 players. Offense will always have one more player than the defense. There will be 7 offensive players playing against 6 defensive players. For that reason, the quarterback will not be an eligible receiver since he is not being guarded.

Defensive Guidelines:

Defensive players must be positioned at least three (3) yards off of the Line of Scrimmage (LOS). 

No defensive player may enter the three (3) yard area off of the LOS. This is a “free zone” for the offense. The defensive player may not enter this area until the offensive player has either touched or caught the ball. No interceptions can be made in this three (3) yard free zone.

A defensive player cannot go forward until a pass has been attempted (ball in the air) or a hand off has been attempted. There will be no zone coverage. All defenses must be man to man coverage. Double teaming an offensive player is allowed, however, you must realize one of the offensive players will be running “free” at that time.

Interceptions may be returned for touchdowns. Fumbles are dead at the spot where they touch the ground. If a hand-off is fumbled up into the air, it may be returned for a touchdown. Under no circumstances is there to be any down field blocking to help aid a defensive player returning a ball.

Offensive Guideline

The offensive makeup is: 1 Quarterback, 1 Running back and 5 Receivers on the LOS. 

1 Running Back: Must be lined up either directly behind the quarterback (a few yards back) or within a yard to the right or left (behind where a guard would be in a normal offensive line).  The running back cannot be split out like a wingback or another receiver.

5 Receivers: 2 must be located on one side of the quarterback on the line of scrimmage, and the other 3 must be on the other side on the line of scrimmage.  No overbalancing of receivers (example: can't have 1 receiver on one side and 3 on the other side).  All receivers must be within 5-8 yards of the quarterback prior to beginning a play (i.e. Don't send two receivers to line up by the sidelines).   

Motion: One receiver may go in motion.  The receiver in motion must be from the side of the line where 3 receivers start so as to not overload the line (i.e. motion cannot make it so 4 receivers end up on one side before the play starts).  The player going in motion cannot be moving towards the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped, and must end up within 8 yards of the quarterback when the ball is snapped (can still be moving - just not towards the line of scrimmage).  

A QB cannot run the ball beyond the LOS and is not eligible to receive a pass.

One running play is allowed, but not required, every four plays.  A running play will require either a hand off or a lateral (pitch).   The running play is to be used ONE OF EVERY FOUR PLAYS- THIS DOES NOT MEAN IF YOU GET A FIRST DOWN BY RUN, YOU CAN RUN AGAIN.  You can only run the ball within 4 plays of the last time you ran it.  See below for example:

---- Example 1

  • Play 1- Pass
  • Play 2 - Run
  • Play 3 - Pass (first down)
  • Play 4 - Run (ILLEGAL - Has only been two plays)

---- Example 2

  • Play 1 - Run
  • Play 2 - Pass
  • Play 3 - Pass (first down)
  • Play 4 - Pass
  • Play 5 - Run (Legal - 4th play since the last run)

ONE pass BEYOND the three (3) yard “free zone” is required every four downs.  A pass must be forward and beyond the LOS. The pass is considered a forward pass if the QB throws the ball forward from the QB position and the receiver is beyond the LOS.  The pass is considered a forward pass as long as a reasonable attempt is made for the pass to be beyond the LOS.  Note that it is okay to throw the ball to the running back as long as the pass is forward and the running back is moving towards the line of scrimmage when the pass is caught.  All passes must be overhand. No underhand or shuffle passes are allowed.

Only ONE legal forward pass (legal being thrown from behind the line of scrimmage and forward in direction) may be attempted during a down.  It is okay to lateral (backwards) after a forward pass - such as a hook and ladder - but cannot be two forward passes on the same play.

Absolutely no down field blocking or screening is allowed to aid the offensive player. No picks, stiff arming, or jumping over a tackler is allowed. Absolutely no running over (bulling over) a defensive player (this is a 10 yard penalty and loss of down). All other infractions, the ball becomes dead at the point of penalty.

The ball is put into play by the head official handing or tossing the ball to the quarterback. The quarterback has five (5) seconds to hand off or throw the ball. If the ball is still in the hands of the quarterback after five (5) seconds, the play ends and is considered a run.


General Guidelines: 

Quarters will be 12 minute continuous clock.  Score is not kept in this division.

There are no punts.  The offense attempts a play on 4th down and if they are unsuccessful in converting a first down, it is considered a turnover and the ball will be put into play on the opponent’s 20-yard line. 

There are no kickoffs. The ball will be put into play on the 20-yard line after every possession. 

A violation of said rules is considered illegal procedure and a five (5) yard penalty.

It is strongly encouraged to not include PATs in the game.  It has been shown to slow the game down tremendously, but if both coaches feel strongly about using them in a game, and agree to it prior to the game, then you can use PATs.  If a PAT is attempted, it MUST BE a pass.

Two coaches may now be on the field at once (own side of the ball) to huddle players and call plays. No coaching or instructing players after the play has started. The on-field coach(es) must be five (5) yards behind the deepest player on his/her team.

It is not mandatory to have pre-set plays but is recommended. This speeds up the game as well as gives more opportunities for additional plays. DO YOUR BEST AS A COACH TO GET PLAYS CALLED AND RUN AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE TO HELP WITH THE SPEED OF THE GAME.  If you need help with plays or how to get them run quickly, please contact the administrator or another board member of coach for help.

Coaches are allowed 2 time outs per game.

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