9-Man Ineligible Flag Football Rules

These rules are based off of USFTL 9-man Ineligible Lineman Capsulized Playing Rules as of January, 2016.

1. MINIMUM LINE PLAYERS: minimum of five players at snap. (If the Offense uses a man in motion and he comes from the line of scrimmage, there still must be the minimum players on the line at the snap.)

2. Two on one blocking is allowed.

3. A ball carrier who falls to the ground may get up and advance the ball until touched with 1 hand. EXCEPTION: The holder’s knee can be up or down on an extra point or field goal.

4. DIVING: Diving to pull a flag is legal. Diving to block is illegal. Diving to advance the ball is also illegal.

5. PASSER’S arm in motion and ball is in his hand: the passer is down if deflagged or legally touched.

6. SNAPS: If a Quarterback fields a snap cleanly on one bounce, play on.


8. FLAG: If flags fall off inadvertently, revert to 1 hand touch.

9. ONSIDE KICKS/TURNOVER RULE (Applies to Losing Team only!):
A) During the last 2 minutes of the 2nd half only, all free kicks that follow a score must be returned by Receiver to Receiver’s 20 yard line or further (after all penalties that occur have been assessed), or Kicker shall receive the ball at 50 yard line, 1st down and next zone line-to-gain (1st & 10).
B) If a touchback occurs during the last 2 minutes of the second half, it shall be Receiver’s ball 1st & 20 at Receiver’s 20 yard line.
C) If the free kick goes out of bounds between the 35 yard line and the goal line during the last 2 minutes, it shall be Receiver’s ball, 1st & 5 at Receiver’s 35 yard line.

10. PUNTS: Rushing punter is allowed. You may not rush between center-guard gap. Only the two outside players on the punting team may release at snap, all others must wait till ball is kicked. Punts that hit the ground may be picked up and advanced.

11. FUMBLES: Dead at the spot. Muffs of Kickoff & Punts are dead at spot.

12. CENTER: You cannot touch the center until he assumes a blocking position.

13. CHUCKING A RECEIVER: One chuck off line is permitted from the line of scrimmage to 5 yards.

14. FORWARD PASS: Only one forward pass per down.

15. ROUGHING THE PASSER: An automatic 1st down, plus a 15 yard penalty. Penalty yardage will be tacked on to any gain. If the defender contacts the passer’s arm, whether or not he touches the pass, it is roughing the passer.

16. EXTRA POINT & FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS: There is no rushing between the guard and center. 3 or 4 point stances are allowed. The holder’s knee can be up or down.

17. NO baiting or taunting of opponents either on the field or from the sidelines. PENALTY: 10 yards.

18. MUFF by the kicker on a declared punt is a dead ball. The kicker cannot pick it up and kick it.

19. NO spiking or throwing of the ball whether in anger or glee. PENALTY: 10 yards. NO WARNING!

20. OFFENSIVE PASS INTERFERENCE: Loss of down and 10 yard penalty assessed from the line of scrimmage.

21. THE BALL is NOT an extension of the arm.

22. HUDDLE clock is 25 seconds.

23. OBSTRUCTION OF THE RUNNER: The defensive player cannot hold, grasp or stop the forward progress of a runner in their attempt to make a tag or pull a flag.

24. SAFETY: A kick after a safety can be a punt or a place kick. The kick will take place at the 20 yard line. The receiving team lines up on the 30 yard line. Treat the punt or place kick as a protected punt. Fumbles and muffs are dead at the spot.

25. WHEN A RECEIVER goes in the air for a catch near the sidelines, he must have at least one foot in bounds when he hits the ground.

26. A PLAYER on the line of scrimmage CANNOT receive the snap.

27. FLAG GUARDING is a 10 yard penalty and a loss of down. A) When the Flag guarding is behind the line of scrimmage, the enforcement spot is the line of scrimmage. B) When the flag guarding is beyond the line scrimmage, the enforcement spot is the spot of the foul.

28. BLOCKING down field when the ball is in the air is an offensive pass interference penalty. It does not matter if the ball is behind the line of scrimmage or beyond.

29. POSITION of the ball when tagged or deflagged is the mark for the succeeding down.

30. If a Quarterback is not avoiding a sack, he can take the snap and immediately ground the ball by throwing it straight down to stop the clock under 2 minutes in the 4th quarter.

31. PROFANITY during the game will NOT be tolerated. A) At the coin flip teams will be warned about profanity anywhere on the field and bench area. B) First time offenders: Unsportsmanlike penalty. C) Second time offenders: Ejection

32. ONLY one man can be in motion at the snap of the ball. A) If two men are in motion before the snap of the ball, only one has to stop and get set for one second. B) Shifting is legal at any time. All players who shift still must reset for 1 second.

33. INADVERTENT WHISTLE: At the time of the inadvertent whistle, the team with possession of the ball has the option of replaying the down, or the result of the play.

34. EXTRA POINT ATTEMPT: A) Any roughing of the kicker, holder or center is: 1. Automatic 15 yards on kickoff 2. Choice of 1 or 2 from the 1 yard line 3. Run, pass or kick from the 1 yard line for 1 or 2 points B) Captain may change his mind on 1 point try from 3 yard line or 2 point try from the 10 yard line if he has a time out.

35. PADDING RULE ADDITION: A) Any exposed metal, like a knee brace or ankle brace, must be covered. B) Casts are not allowed. C) Pads that are used for medical reasons cannot be used as a weapon.

36. FIELD GOALS: A) Field goals missed inside the 20- placement spot is 20 yard line. B) Field goals missed outside the 20- placement spot is the scrimmage line.

37. OVERTIME: A) Each team receives an Extra Point Attempt for 1, 2 or 3 points. B) NO KICKING ALLOWED IN OVERTIME. C) If score is tied at end of second overtime, teams must go for 2 or 3 points only. D) CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES – SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME: Each team gets a possession as in a regular game and if score is tied, the next team to score wins.

38. SCORING: Touch Downs = 6 pts/ Field Goals = 3 pts/ Safety = 2 pts EXTRA POINTS = 1 pt (Run, pass or kick from 3 yard line) = 2 pts (Run, pass or kick from 10 yard line) = 3 pts (Run, pass or kick from 20 yard line)

39. INTERCEPTION ON AN EXTRA POINT ATTEMPT: A) Interceptions may be returned for the value of the Extra Point Attempt (1, 2 or 3 points) B) A blocked extra point attempt that does not hit the ground may be returned by the defense for the value of the Extra Point Attempt (1, 2 or 3 points) C) If there is a penalty after the interception or during the return of a blocked extra point attempt against Kicker, and Receiver does not score, Receiver will be given one untimed down from the spot of the Extra Point Attempt (1, 2 or 3 points)

40. BALL REQUIREMENTS: USFTL Licensed Footballs must be used in all USFTL play. Men shall use the regulation size ball and women and youth shall use any size ball (regulation, intermediate, junior or youth size). The particular tournament or league director shall specify Licensed Football of the USFTL that will be used in their particular tournament or league.

41. FLAG REQUIREMENTS: A) Flag-A-Tag’s Sonic Boom flag belt is the USFTL Licensed Flag and must be used in all USFTL play. B) Any tampering with a flag, such as tape or cutting it too short, will result in an immediate ejection.

42. PUNTING: Teams may request a protected punt with no rush. Defense may rush the punter on a non- declared punt. On a live rush punt, only the outside two players may cover the punt. You may not rush between guard/center gap.

43. STIFF ARM: Stiff arming is allowed.

44. BLOCKING REQUIREMENTS: You may not leave your feet to block. Two on one blocking is permitted. No contact allowed above shoulders or below waist. An open hand, straight arm block, within the framework of the blocker’s body, is the ideal block to avoid unnecessary rough play. No grabbing of jersey allowed. You may not flip an elbow to block.

45. PROSTEST PROCEDURES: Protests must be accompanied by $50.00 and before the next snap. Player Eligibility protest must be protested before the end of the game. If a protest is upheld, the teams $50.00 will be refunded. Along with the above, only these will be considered items a team may protest: 1. Misinterpretation of the rules 2. Failure of an Official to apply the correct rule to a given situation 3. Failure of an Official to impose the correct penalty for a given violation

46. Any player that leaves the bench area during an altercation is immediately ejected. If a whole team leaves the bench are during altercation, it’s an immediate ejection.

47. 35 & OVER BIRTHDAY CUTOFF: The National Championship birthday cutoff is December, 31 (prior to Nationals).