Rules & Regulations

The DGLFFL is a flag football league which has many rules that differ from traditional tackle football. For starters you "tackle" a player by pulling their flags. The game is played in two 30-minute halves and the clock runs continuously until the last 2 minutes of each half. Each team has 7 players on the field and 3 referees are present for each game. A touchdown is scored as 6 points and an option of going for 1 or 2 points can be chosen for PAT's. No field goals occur in this league. Offense is broken up into 3 positions: Quarterback, Receiver and Lineman. Defense has 4 basic positions: Safety, Linebacker, Cornerback & Rusher. Each player on offense is eligible to receive a pass, there are no fumbles, downfield blocking is not allowed and receivers are not allowed to engage in contact off the line. Defenders can engage each receiver one time within 5 yards of the Line of Scrimmage, no pushing or bullrushing is allowed for lineman. Punting is allowed. Kickoffs only take place at the start of each half. Possesions start at the 15 yard-line.

General Rules

  • Games are played in two 30 minute halves with a 10 minute break at halftime. Clock runs continuously, except inside the last two minutes of each half, where the clock will operate according to standard high school rules (see below). There is a 30 second play clock between plays. Each team gets a total of 4 timeouts per game and can use a maximum of 3 timeouts (one minute each) per half.
  • There are no fumbles...ball is dead where it falls. First down every 10 yards. 6 points for a touchdown. Extra point is made by converting a play from the 5 yard line. 2 points if you convert from the 10. Running is always allowed on extra points.
  • Yellow Card: The head ref will present a yellow card for flagrant fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct, and any player other than a captain challenging the enforcement of a penalty. The player must sit out for the rest of the offensive or defensive possession or a minimum of four to eight plays whichever is greater. The yellow card is in addition to the flag and resulting penalty charged to that team.
  • If any of the actions by a player results in the intentional injury of another player or the initial incident continues to escalate a RED CARD will be employed even if a YELLOW CARD has not been called.
  • Red Card: The head ref will present a red card for a player's second instance of flagrant fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct, or challenging the enforcement of a penalty. A RED CARD results in the player being ejected from the game and leaving the venue. The red card is in addition to the flag and resulting penalty charged to that team.


  • The Ball must be on the ground for a snap.
  • Only one running play (including a QB scramble across the line of scrimmage) per POSSESSION.
  • The QB is across the line of scrimmage (and therefore cannot make a legal forward pass) if either of his feet are across the line. It only takes 1 foot across the line to be illegal.
  • Multiple players are allowed to be in motion but only one (parallel to or backward from the line of scrimmage) at the time of the snap. Everyone must be set for one full second before the snap or before the receiver goes into motion.
  • There is no penalty for intentional grounding by the QB.
  • No flag guarding is allowed.
  • No lowering your head when running with the ball.
  • No charging into an must go around a stationary player.
  • No stiff-arming.
  • No hurdling to avoid being deflagged (spinning is allowed).
  • Teammates cannot push or pull a runner with the ball.
  • A Receiver needs to get one foot in bounds with possession of ball for a legal catch.
  • Downfield blocking is not allowed. Regular blocking rules (described below) apply (shadow blocking only). Note: 2 on 1 blocking is only allowed by the offense on their side of the line of scrimmage.
  • Receivers cannot contact the defenders when coming off the line of scrimmage. Once offensive receivers pass or occupy the same yard line as a defender, that defender cannot obstruct the receiver's opportunity to move freely about the field. Contact by the defender may not be continuous. The defender is only allowed to contact the receiver once and then release.
  • If the offensive player's shirt gets pulled to the degree that it obstructs his flag belt, the one hand touch is then employed.
  • If the offensive player's belt is obstructed such that it cannot be deflagged, the one hand touch is then employed.
  • If the offensive player's belt is tied and cannot be pulled, the player will be ejected from the game.
  • A player is deflagged when the clip from the flag is broken, not when the flag falls to the ground.


  • Blocking: A blocker is only allowed to contact the portion of the opponent's body between the waist and shoulders and the blocker's hands or forearms must be in front or to the side of the player being blocked. Your arms cannot be fully extended. "Hands must always be in advance of the elbows and the arms must be flexed at the elbows. In any block, the hands or arms may not be swinging forward faster than the blocker's body. Players must block with hands and elbows within the frame of their body.
  • Rushing: When rushing as a defender, you must be beyond the neutral zone; 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. When the ball is hiked you can immediately rush from this position. There is no limit to the number of people who can rush from this position (5 yards deep). A rusher must avoid charging into any offensive player. When encountering a blocker from offense, a pass rusher must (a) stop prior to making contact with the blocker or (b) clearly change direction in an effort to move around the blocker. If a pass rusher makes an effort to move around the blocker and the blocker moves into the path of the pass rusher, there is no charging.
  • Rushing Exception: You CAN rush from the line of scrimmage (not 5 yards deep) once a rusher who has lined up 5 yards back has crossed the line of scrimmage. For example: If you line up on the line of scrimmage you must wait until one of the rushers who lined up 5 yards off the line of scrimmage crosses the line before you can rush in or a running play occurs.
  • "Tackling": Only way to "tackle" a ball-carrier is to remove his flag. You can't push the player out of bounds or try to knock him down. You are not allowed to obstruct the forward progress of a ball-carrier.
  • You are allowed to contact any receiver (bump and release) within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Blocking rules apply on the line of scrimmage for blockers and rushers.
  • You cannot have contact with the receiver (other than incidental) beyond 5 yards. When defending a pass you must make a play on the ball.


  • Kickoff: At kickoff all teammates of the kicker must be behind their 30 yard line until the ball is kicked. Receiving team must have at least 4 players between their 30 yard line and midfield. At least 4 receivers must remain in this area until the ball is kicked.
  • Punts: Fourth down punts have to be announced (you can quick-kick on any other down). For announced punts all teammates of the kicker must be on the line of scrimmage. Receiving team must have 4 players within one yard of the line of scrimmage until after the ball is kicked. No receiver can cross or move off the line of scrimmage until after the ball is kicked.

Clock Rules Within 2 Minutes

  • During the last two minutes of the second half, the clock will stop for player's time-outs, official's time-outs, penalties, after a first down, after an incomplete pass, after a play ends out of bounds or a score. In the case of a time-out, an incomplete pass, or after a play ends out of bounds, the clock will start on the next legal snap. In the case of a penalty or first down, the game clock will start again once the ball is spotted and the ready for play signal is given by the referee.


The Field & Markings

  • The field will be rectangular with the preferred dimensions of 80 yards by 35 yards (plus two end zones of 10 yards deep), although facility limitations may cause the field dimensions to be modified.
  • The sidelines and end lines are the boundary of the football field. These lines demark out-of-bounds; measurements will be from the inside edges of these lines. Each goal line is entirely in its end zone so that the edge toward the field of play and its vertical plane is the actual goal line. Each sideline is entirely out-of-bounds. The inside edge of the end line is the outer limit of each end zone.
  • End zones and in-bounds lines will be marked with brightly colored, flexible cone pylons. These cones will be placed on the out-of bounds and end zone lines.
  • All non-players, coaches and substitutes must remain in their team box unless they are a substitute or replaced player about to become a player. The team box is within an area 2 yards behind the sideline and bound by the extension of both 10-yard lines.

Player's & Their Equipment

  • Each team will designate up to four players as Field Captains. If all Captains become a non-player, another player will then be designated. The designated Captain(s) will confer with officials. A Captain's first choice of any offered decision is final. Decisions involving penalties will be made before any charged time-out is granted to either team.
  • Players on each team must wear jerseys that are similarly colored. Jerseys must be long enough to remain tucked in to the pants or, if shimmel jerseys are worn, they must be at least 4 inches (approximately the width of the referee's closed fist) above the player's waist while the player is standing. Jerseys must have numbers. Jersey's must not be the same color as the football or of the flags the team is wearing.
  • All players must wear pants. The pants may not be the same or similar color as the football or a player's flags. Vertical stripes on a player's pants are not allowed. Pants and shorts cannot have belt loops or pockets. Short pants are preferred.
  • Every player must wear shoes that completely cover the foot. Metal cleats, or those that, in the opinion of the umpire, are hazardous may not be worn.
  • Players must wear a belt around their waist that includes "triple threat" that hang at the player's side and posterior side (3 flags). The flags must contrast with the player's pants and should, but don't have to, contrast the opposing teams' flags. Flags may not be looped around the inside of the belt before securing the belt. The flags shall be freely removable.
  • Players must wear an intraoral mouth and tooth protector.
  • Players may wear soft, pliable basketball or wrestling knee pads or soft pads specifically made for scrimmage pants; soft, single-layer, pliable elastic joint braces; stocking caps and other caps without hard bills and prescription or athletic safety eyeglasses. Eyeglasses must be secured with an eyeglass band. Tape, applied in fewer than four layers, may be used to support joints, such as wrists or fingers. Sunglasses are allowed, but plastic frames and lenses should be used.
  • Illegal equipment includes:

A. Helmets.

B. Any kind of pads with hard components such as those for shoulder, hand, forearm or thigh, unless specifically authorized by the Head Referee.

C. Any hard or unyielding substance, other than permitted by a specific rule.

D. Anything that, in the opinion of the Head Referee, would confuse, potentially harm or endanger other players or is rough or abrasive.

E. Watches, rings or other jewelry.

F. Any foreign slippery or sticky substances.

  • Prior to the game, the Team Captain will verify that all his players are legally equipped. The Head Referee will determine any questions concerning equipment legality. Each player must properly wear the required equipment while the ball is in play. A player with missing or illegal equipment must correct the deficiency before further participation. An official's time-out may be declared to permit repair of equipment that becomes illegal or defective through use.

View Complete NGLFFL Rules

View Complete DGLFFL Bylaws

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